It’s time for a gamer true confession. I am intimidated by modern racing games. In fact, I tapped out on racing games years ago, around the end of the PS3/Xbox 360 era. Oh sure, I’ve dabbled here and there, covering and reviewing racing games when I needed to, but I stopped pursuing them as an enjoyable pastime years ago.
The mechanics in modern games just got too real, too complex for me to keep up with. The realism that the hardcore crowd absolutely live for edged casual fans like me right out the door. I enjoyed ramming dudes off the road in the Burnout franchise; but when games started asking me to adjust the individual shocks on each tire, my eyes glazed over once and for all and I decided I was done. Done with ridiculous learning curves, done with pinballing from wall to wall in a desperate attempt to keep a car on the road, done falling off cliffs in rally games. I was just over it.
But a couple of weeks ago, something happened that sent me scrambling to the PlayStation Store for every racing game I could get my hands on. I was scouring my old PlayStation Plus games for racing sims and Need for Speed games. I went digging through my pile of unopened discs until I emerged triumphantly with a copy of Gran Turismo Sport. I spent twenty bucks on Project Cars 3, for goodness’ sake. And what sent me spiraling down this particular rabbit hole with such desperation? There is a simple explanation. There was a Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE Sim Racing Wheel in my living room, and I needed to find new ways to love it.
I need to be clear here, I am an absolute neophyte when it comes to racing wheels. Due to my lack of fundamental racing-game-guy-hood, I’ve never even considered checking out a racing wheel. They seemed like something that frivolous people buy, used to run a few races and then left to collect dust in the basement. Or, alternatively, a product for the hardest of the hardcore, who are so locked into racing games that they needed the latest and best peripherals. I pictured people building custom racing rigs in their family rooms, with built-in screens and gear shifters - just to show them off to visiting friends, who would in turn suppress their quiet thoughts about how their friend is a little crazy and obsessive.
There is no question that Logitech’s wheels may seem like an extravagant expense to those that have not used them, an accessory that costs as much as an entire new console. But I’m here to attest that the G923 is an absolute game-changer. Sitting down in front of this thing is akin to putting on a VR rig for the first time; the doors to an entire new world are blown open, and you think, “Oh. Wow. I get it.” I am completely converted; I want to play every racing game released going forward, but I can’t imagine playing one without my G923.
The wheel itself is a work of art, made of steel, leather, and badass attitude. The build of the G923 is so solid coming out of the box that you know you are holding an impressive piece of tech. The setup is ludicrously easy. A few wires that snap together, and a single USB cord into the PS4 (or PS5, in my case). Plug a power cord into the overtaxed power strip, and you are off to the races. Two easy-to-manage clamps lock the wheel to your desk (I was using an over-glorified coffee table). There are screw holes underneath should you want to permanently attach it to your desk. The wheel is encased by a leather cover, and though it is about 2/3 the size of a real steering wheel, that size difference is quickly forgotten.
On the face of the wheel are various buttons and a D-Pad as well as a dial. Since I was sent the PlayStation version, the buttons are marked with the usual Square, Circle, X, and Triangle. The buttons feel appropriately snappy with a suitable D-Pad to navigate the menus with. Shift pedals on the rear offer nice feedback when pressed as the springs give a satisfying click when pushed down. The controls aren't made for any long term gaming like a controller, just to get you by on the menus and perhaps a few controls that you'll map to your vehicle. And that is absolutely fine, as that's not what the wheel's main function is for. Its purpose is to drive, and drive well.
The pedal base, which is so weighty that it feels like it is full of bricks, sat firmly on the hardwood floor beneath my table. No matter how hard I jammed on the gas or brakes, that thing held on for dear life, stubbornly refusing to budge. It was as though I had bolted it to the floor. The pedals themselves are brushed metal, and placed realistically enough that my lizard brain had no problems determining which was which. They feel utterly realistic to use, furthering the illusion that the player is driving a real car.
My first experience with the Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE Sim Racing Wheel came when I fired up Gran Turismo Sport for the first time. The wheel spun to life with an impressive, whirling calibration routine while I navigated the menus on my DualSense controller (I later got the hang of doing that stuff on the wheel itself, but it was a little intimidating at first). I loaded up the first race, which was a simple loop around an oblong track. The timer counted down, and all of the sudden the G923 spung to life. I clutched the wheel and started driving, and – I can not find the words to properly express this, because it was so obvious but so profound – it felt like I was driving a car.
This wasn’t like sitting down to drive at an arcade cabinet, and it certainly wasn’t the hideous uncontrolled feeling I get when trying to drive with an analog stick. No, this was like driving a real, honest-to-goodness car. I could feel the weight of the car pulling against the wheel when I whipped around corners. The wheel would jerk realistically to one side or the other when some bozo rammed me from behind or side-swiped me. I could feel the hum of the engine vibrating up into my lower arms, increasing when I laid on the gas.
And most impressive of all was the feel of the road beneath me; I turned to my son, who was sitting with me patiently waiting his turn and exclaimed “My God, I can feel the road.” There are only a few games on PlayStation that support Logitech’s TRUEFORCE tech, but it is absolutely worth seeking out. You can find a ton of info about TRUEFORCE on Logitech’s site, and I’m clearly not tech-y enough to run through it all appropriately. Long story short, TRUEFORCE is built right into the game, tapping into the physics engine and the sound design to simulate stuff like road conditions, various terrain, bumps and crashes, weather effects, and the rumble of the engine beneath you. That all sounds cool, but it is crazy impressive when you experience it first-hand. According to press materials, the G923 uses gears to simulate what you would feel on the road. It works extraordinarily well. Doing a bit of research, I learned that other wheels have historically used belt systems. While my lack of experience doesn't allow me to speak to those, the force feedback given by the gear system of the G923 is top notch.
I finished the race, surrendered control to my son so he could have a turn, and down the rabbit hole we went. All of our weekend plans were swept off the table so we could sit in the living room, earning cars and crushing races in Gran Turismo. “This is so cool,” we kept exclaiming to each other. “This is so cool.”
Playing with the G923 reopens an entire genre of gaming to me. What feels incredibly unnatural to me with a controller is suddenly second nature. With a controller, I forget when to brake, sometimes barreling into turns at full tilt just to end up bouncing off the walls like an idiot. With the G923, I know when to brake, and I do it without even thinking about it. Because, you know, I’m a decent driver in real life, and those skills translate. Suddenly, I’m finding the line, cutting around other racers and crushing the competition, whereas with a controller I’m lucky to finish in second-to-last place. It occurs to me that I disliked playing modern racing games with a controller because that’s not the right way to play them. I was doing it wrong.
The G923 is no slouch with non-TRUEFORCE games, either. Beyond Gran Turismo, the other game we spent a ton of time with was Need for Speed: Payback (don’t look at me like that, it was free on PS Plus, and it is pretty fun once you get past all the story gobblety-gook). While the difference between a standard supported game and a TRUEFORCE game is immediately noticeable, the force feedback in Payback was still utterly enjoyable – and much more realistic than I assumed it would be. I spent a lot of time racing off-road, and the rumble-bumble of those experiences bring them an immediacy that feels almost real.
So yes, I must admit, I’m utterly obsessed. I can’t wait to see play games designed for the PlayStation 5 with the G923, and I’m thinking of investing in the Driving Force Shifter. I learned to drive on a manual, and it is my preferred way to drive in real life. I’ve always avoided manuals in video games because it seemed like a hassle, but that was before the scales were lifted from my eyes. I now see the light.
I can’t sit here and tell you that if you don’t enjoy racing games, you should still pony up $400 for a racing wheel. I can’t say for certain that you will suddenly love games that you found blisteringly difficult, just because you change the method of input. But I can say that, for me, playing with the G923 was something of a revelation. I now want to play all of the racing games, and I’m still mentally rearranging my house to be certain I have a good place to play them with the G923.
If you are a racing fan and you already have a racing wheel, the TRUEFORCE tech might not be enough of a draw for you to upgrade, but when you find yourself in the market for a new wheel, you should definitely take a look at this one. And if you are a racing fan still using a controller, I do feel that if you have the money to spare, there are far worse ways to spend it than on a Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE Sim Racing Wheel. Get your hands on one, try it out, and you will be convinced.
I was dead wrong about racing wheels. They are not expensive toys to be purchased and ignored. They are serious gaming accessories to be cherished and doted upon. My only fear is that I’ve opened a door that can’t be closed, and I will soon be dragging visiting friends down into my family room to look at my racing rig, while they suppress their quiet thoughts that I’m a little crazy and obsessive.
That’s fine, G923. Don’t listen to them. They just don’t understand our love.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Howdy. My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids. During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories. I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 to my headset collection. I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.
My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then. I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep. Currently, I play on Stadia, PS5, PS4, PSVR, Quest 2, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, and a janky PC. While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.
When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect.View Profile