Thrustmaster’s new $399.99 T248 is a force-feedback steering wheel and pedal setup designed for the PS5, PS4, and PC.
While it’s not quite as premium as some of the more extreme enthusiast gear out there, it’s intended to be an all-in-one package that gets players started with a good quality racing wheel setup.
If you’ve never used a force feedback wheel before, it’s hard to overstate how much one can change the experience of playing racing games.
A good wheel provides a strong level of resistance and can replicate the effects of the track on your vehicle in granular detail, which heightens both immersion and your understanding of what’s going on.
The most dedicated racing simulator fans use direct-drive wheels, which are essentially full-on car wheels attached directly to bulky motors and usually cost thousands of dollars.
Entry-level wheels, meanwhile, rely on more conventional gears and rumble motors. Thrustmaster’s “Hybrid Drive” system sits somewhere between the two, using belts and pulleys to provide force feedback; the company says the T248 is the only wheel in its price range to use a belt in its design like this.The T248 also stands apart by integrating an LCD screen into the wheel itself.
Depending on the game, this can display information like lap info, speed, your position, and more, or device-specific settings such as the type of force feedback and the angle of the wheel.
It’s not something I found myself spending a lot of time looking at — it is generally a bad idea to look away from the actual screen when you’re playing a racing game — but it does add a nice touch of authenticity.