Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel
- Oozes quality for entry-level equipment
- Great feel in hands and under foot
- Takes racing games to a different level of immersion
- Easy to setup with desk clamp
- Takes some time to fine-tune
- Slightly small wheel
I think most of us will agree that a global pandemic is a terrible thing. Yet one silver lining to come out of the past year-and-a-bit is that we have discovered ways to adapt our homes to become personal sanctuaries. With the uncertainty of lockdowns and international travel an impossibility, we have learnt to seek experiences, socialization and entertainment within the four walls of our house. Thank goodness for the internet!
Among the many at home hobbies and activities to explode in 2020 (and continue into 2021) is video gaming. In particular, the racing simulator scene has taken off like wildfire! For those looking to enter at the ground floor, the requirements are pretty simple. And pleasingly, the components of a beginner rig are way more affordable than even the cheapest real-world racing. A capable PC, a comfortable chair, a set of speakers or pair of headphones and (most importantly) a racing wheel are all the hardware that is required to get on the track. I have been testing the entry-level Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel over the past few weeks. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it…
Disclosure: Logitech provided Blog of Dad with the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about Logitech products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for PC – Initial Impressions
The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel has been around for a few years, but that doesn’t mean that it is isn’t an excellent choice for a 2021 racing simulator. Logitech have recently produced an upgraded model in the TRUEFORCE G923 that has received rave reviews, but with an RRP of $100 less, the G920 still reigns as the entry-level champ for the budget-conscious sim racer. The G920 is the twin of the Logitech G29. The G920 is designed for use with Xbox, while the G29 is for PlayStation. In great news for us PC users, both wheels are PC-compatible. There are some minor differences between the two, but the fundamental functions are exactly the same.
It has been quite a while since I last used a racing wheel. My previous experience was with the fun-but-flawed Xbox 360 racing wheel on the early Forza games. Since that time, my racing experience has been on controllers and even, recently, *gasp* a keyboard.
Taking the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel out of the box immediately brought a smile to my face. Despite being “entry level”, the Logitech wheel oozes class and quality. Logitech have been in this game for quite some time and over the years they have refined their product brilliantly.
Even before I had plugged it all in, I took some time to admire the feel of the hand-stitched leather wheel. If I’m honest, I also spent slightly longer than necessary taking in the smell. It’s the closest I’m getting to new car smell anytime soon. The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel feels brilliant to hold! It is smaller than a real steering wheel, but I soon forgot about the size difference as I admired the build quality. It is solid, with a good heft and a smooth feel when turning.
The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel has multiple mounting options for using with a dedicated stand or attaching to a desk. While a racing stand is on my wish list, for now I’m clamping the G920 to my work desk. This works surprisingly well, with the two inbuilt clamps providing a firm hold. In all my time testing, this setup has only shifted once, because I hadn’t tightened one of the clamps properly. Thankfully, it is also quick and easy enough that I can set it up and pack it away each time I want to use it.
The pedals also have a great feel to them. They are designed to look like racing pedals and, as with the wheel, they feel robust and well made. I happily apply forces to the pedals as would when driving a real car, without any concerns. Each pedal provides a different feel, again somewhat simulating the real thing. The brake pedal can be a little controversial – more on that in a bit.
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for PC – Setup
As I have already mentioned, the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel is easy to setup (and disassemble). You will need to download the Logitech G-Hub software. I already have a Logitech gaming mouse, so the software was already on my computer and it recognised the steering wheel immediately.
The underside of the G920 wheel has a USB cable (for attaching to the PC), a connection for the separate power supply and a proprietary connection for the included pedals. There is also a second proprietary connection for the optional gearstick attachment (sold separately). Cable management is excellent, with a simple but clever system that contains excess cable and routes each of the cables out through small groves in the rear. The cables have plenty of length to suit most mounting setups.
The 3.1kg pedal attachment sits firmly on my floating floorboards with just the attached small rubber pads holding them in place. I’m not the world’s most aggressive driver, but I have not had any issues with them slipping out of position. In my experience they have sat firmly in place. For use on carpet, there is a patented retractable carpet grip system that folds out. I briefly placed the pedal base in my carpeted bedroom and gave things a good push and it certainly seemed to work. I have not conducted extensive testing on carpet beyond that though.
Customising Experience in Logitech G-Hub
All steering wheel setups on PC benefit from a degree of fine-tuning. Personal preferences play a big part here, especially when is comes to things like force feedback. That being said, proper fine-tuning can be a time-consuming process (just like in real motor racing), so it can be a good idea to use someone else’s experience as a starting point.
The best setting can also depend on the game that you are playing. F1 2019, for example, benefits from a much tighter wheel rotation than, say, drifting in Forza, where the full 900 degrees can come gloriously into play! Be willing to tinker a bit, the end result is well worth it.
Customising Experiences In-Game
In addition to the G-Hub settings, most games have extensive customisation options in their menu. As a basic rule, settings such as wheel rotation should be kept consistent in both menus. In-game menus are where you can fine-tune the experience to really suit your personal preferences. You can choose what elements of the game activate force feedback and to what degree, for example.
My number one rule for new owners of ANY racing wheel is if you are not happy with how it feels, take some time to set it up properly. The result is worth it!
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for PC – Experience
I’ve put hours and hours into testing the G920, across a diverse range of racing games. I could lie and tell you that I have spent so long using the wheel because I am a supremely dedicated reviewer, but really, I was just having too much fun!
The fact of the matter is that a properly configured Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel is an absolute blast and it has cranked my racing game enjoyment to 11! I have always enjoyed racing games, but the G920 is next level immersion and enjoyment.
The biggest difference for me has been in Forza Motorsport 7. While I could happily play games like the outrageous Forza Horizon 4 on a keyboard, I found Motorsport 7 to be boring. The Logitech wheel changed that immediately. After quickly researching wheel settings and making some minor adjustments… Wow!
For me, the difference is night and day. Forza Motorsport 7 is now one of my favourite games to play. The addition of a wheel and pedals completely changed the dynamics of the game and takes it from a little bit boring to incredibly challenging and engaging. The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel is the gateway to simulation and it is incredible.
It’s not just the simulator-type games that benefit from the addition of the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel. Forza Horizon 4 is an absolute blast, especially in activities that I used to dread with the keyboard, such as drifting. One thing I have noticed is that driving with a wheel can be less forgiving once everything gets a little loose. I have spun my way out of more than one team race in spectacular fashion! I don’t mind, as I feel that overall I am becoming a far better virtual driver. My teammates probably mind…
Wreckfest is another game that has become immeasurably more enjoyable with the addition of the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel. There is something extremely satisfying about thrashing a beater around dirt track in an anything goes style race.
The accidents are spectacular and the G920’s dual force feedback motors certainly make it known when you have been hit. Wreckfest is an awesome reminder that you don’t need to be driving flat out down Conrod Straight in a racing-spec hypercar in order for virtual driving to be fun! (just to be clear, driving flat out down Conrod Straight in a racing-spec hypercar is definitely also fun!)
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for PC – The Pedals
The above scenarios focussed on the greatness of the force feedback wheel, but it is worth spending a bit of time examining the impact of the pedals. Firstly, it should be noted that they play as much a part in creating the realistic feel of the game as the wheel it’s self. Motor racing has always been about the full-body human connection to the mechanical components, with perfect timing and mechanical sympathy key to success. Watch the cockpit view of a professional driver and you will notice that the movements are as precise as any dance.
So pedals are important. And pedal feel is important in simulating the real thing.
Each of the pedals of the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel has a different feel, as is the case in a real car. The accelerator moves smoothly to the floor, but can also be held at any position along the way. This is obviously a huge improvement from the on/off control you have with a keyboard, but it is also better than a trigger on a controller. There is something extremely satisfying about getting the engine revs just right and launching perfectly at the beginning of a race. It is easily the best way to quickly improve your position and set yourself up to contend for a podium position.
As I mentioned earlier, the brake pedal is the most controversial component of the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel. Basically, Logitech have included a small foam-like component that helps to simulate the pressure sensitive nature of real brakes. This does mean that hard braking requires A LOT of force. Some people really dislike this, to the point that there are YouTube videos that show you how to remove the component (and void your warranty). I DO NOT recommended this.
Others, like me, really like it. Sure, higher end pedals might have better engineered mechanisms for simulating this aspect of braking, but you’d better be prepared to pay A LOT more for it. What I like most about this brake setup is that it helps coach me to become a better driver. Instead of going into corners way too hot and slamming on the brakes to the point of locking with 100% force, I now know how to brake on time. Once I reach the point where applying the brakes becomes hard, I actually feel like I have a very fine level of control.
You can still brake hard, but it is hard and smooth, which is ultimately a much more efficient way of driving than overcooking the turn and locking everything up in a desperate attempt to not hit a barrier at speed. I can still lock up if I have to with a solid stamp on the pedal, but I’m doing it less and less. As with everything, the settings on the pedals can be fine-tuned to suit your preferences.
To be honest, I can’t comment too much on the use of the clutch pedal. That is because, despite setting all of my games to manual shift, I don’t use it. More on that in just a bit. What I can say is that it does feel nice under my foot. Like in a real car, the clutch pedal requires a slightly firmer press than the accelerator. In my opinion, Logitech have done a great job of simulating the feel. The clutch pedal pleasingly springs back into position quickly, which should make it ideal for fast gear changes.
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel for PC – Shifting Gears
I have been driving manual cars for over 20 years, so its fair to say that I know how do it in real life. And I do play in manual in all of my racing games. Just not with the clutch.
Because my brain can’t wrap its self around the mechanics of using a clutch while paddle shifting. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t seem to master it. Maybe I’m an old man who is too stuck in his ways… I just don’t know.
I’m not having a go at the paddle shift setup of the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel at all. In fact, I really enjoy the feel of the paddles and the satisfying click that comes with changing gears on them. I just cannot seem to make that movement align with my left foot on the clutch. I seem to get all flustered and either miss the shift (which makes a delightful crunching sound on some games), or end up in completely the wrong gear. So I happily play in clutch-less manual mode.
Does this make the clutch on the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel a useless feature? Not at all, in fact I’m thrilled that it is there. This is because Logitech sell an optional Driving Force Shifter. The Driving Force shifter works with the G920, G29 and G923 wheels, and adds a six speed manual stick shift with push-down reverse gear to your setup. Like the wheel, the Driving Force Shifter is wrapped in leather and has steel components for comfort and durability. Frankly, it looks amazing and is high up on my to purchase list. When I get around to it, I’ll be sure to update this review!
With a proper stick shift, that clutch pedal will come right into play.
The Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel is a fantastic entry point into the world of PC simulator racing (or arcade-style racing, for that matter!). It looks great, has a high-quality construction feel to it and appears built to last. Logitech have years of experience in this field, which fills me with confidence that I have a quality product in my hands (and under my feet). Most importantly, it makes driving games absolutely amazing!
While there is a bit of work involved in fine-tuning the experience (as with any racing wheel), users who are willing to take the time and perfect their settings will reap the rewards! For this long-time wanna-be racer, the G920 is a revelation and extremely welcome addition to my gaming PC. I absolutely love it!