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mmp
06-10-2015, 08:14
Hi all,

Even at 60, I've never driven a car, living in a country/city with adequate public transport somehow never got round to it.
This is not about realism or driving abilities here, but more about physical comfort and strain.

Currently I'm using an Xbox one controller with pCars, will a wheel actually be easier to use?

With the controller, one is sitting bunched up with both hands close together, and the fingers are doing all the work.
This is true digit-al racing, and fingers and hands start hurting after a while. I'm worried about getting something like carpal tunnel syndrome eventually.

A wheel+pedals might mean more movement steering, but braking, accelarating and shifting tasks are distributed among all limbs and shifting paddles will allow more fingers to be used.

I am thinking of getting a wheel and pedal set, but haven't decided yet.

From some of you who have gone from using a gamepad to a wheel and pedals, what are your experiences/thoughts?

aussiejeff
06-10-2015, 08:27
From this 64+ year old....

Get a decent wheel & pedals. You won't regret it! (I also played Forza 5 on Xbox1 with the controller and it is like two different universes between the two types of controller - guess which universe you will prefer :rolleyes:).

Plus side of the wheel & pedals combo is if you get the FFB set up nice, you get a great physical workout pumping those small weights .. even with my crappy half-worn Logitech Momo Racing plastic - lol

Good luck & happy racing .. err... exercise!

aj

Sankyo
06-10-2015, 08:54
And if you get wheel and pedals, get a good chair as well :)

senn
06-10-2015, 08:59
you will probably find you get a bit of upper body strength if you are playing lots! The wheel + pedal is MUCH more precise. If you are playing lots tho, you will still get aches lol. Personally I'd reccomend any logitech G25/G27 as best bang for buck. I still have the G25 I bought many moons ago, and have kept it happy by dialling the FFB down a little so it isn't getting hammered everytime I go over kerbs.

RadiatedSlime
06-10-2015, 10:36
As others have said, the wheel + pedals is leagues better.
With my experience, the controller was just putting strain on my hands, whereas with the wheel+pedals there is much less strain but you work up more of a sweat. After a recent two hour stint, I felt like I had a decent light workout without any strain. One thing I must say is make sure you use decent footwear, long stints of bare feet on pedals, takes its toll.

Cheekiecharlie
06-10-2015, 10:50
wheel and pedals are a must ,it will enhance your gaming experience and you will feel more involved,i have been a fanatec wheel user for 5+ years,just recently bought the logitec g920 for xbox one and the logitec actually feels like a better wheel ,even though it is smaller than the gt3 fanatec

my advice,go for it ,you wont regret it

poirqc
06-10-2015, 11:11
Wheels and pedals. A proper sitting position.

You'll be glad you did!

E30_Hntsvl
06-10-2015, 13:30
This 64 yr old says, get wheel!

Johngrim
06-10-2015, 13:48
I love to see older players I'm 51 and thought I was one of the oldest. Get a wheel I find with age your thumbs get some bit twitchy on the controller, a wheel remedies that and allows you to remain competitive plus it's a lot more immersing.

hkraft300
06-10-2015, 14:03
Ye, get a wheel.
How much my knuckles (tendons) ache after a long hard race is not a good sign. I'm not 30 yet, but at this rate: hello arthritis!

Edit: why are the PS4 controllers so bloody small? XB1 controller is bigger and bulkier, but it's slightly easier on the fingers too. But then, you'd end up having problems with wrists soon enough...

Anyway, I've been eyeballing the G29... I don't think the FFB of a wheel should be so strong that you get a work out, unless you're in a 60's racer maybe? But that's another topic.

mmp
06-10-2015, 14:25
Thanks for the reactions, guys!

Guess I may have to go looking for a wheel, thenm. BTW, running on PC. My desktop situation is not ideal for having the wheel on permanently, not enough space; this is one of the things holding me back from getting a wheel in the first place, besides cost.

As far as I can tell so far, though, there are two or three decent options at the moment, from reading and watching reviews. Can't afford the Fanatec stuff, I'm afraid.

Logitech G29, good wheel, great pedals with clutch, reliable, ~379 Euros
Thrustmaster T300, better FFB, mediocre pedals, but reliability risk (?), ~300 Euros
Thrustmaster T150, nice wheel, mediocre pedals, reliability untested, ~200 Euros

The T150 has not been released yet, probably in a week or two. Nice preview on Inside Simracing though
At the moment, I don't think I'd be missing a clutch pedal all that much.

Johngrim
06-10-2015, 14:27
I use very light ffb you only need enough to let you know what the car is doing. Strong ffb slows me down.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
06-10-2015, 14:53
As far as I can tell so far, though, there are two or three decent options at the moment, from reading and watching reviews. Can't afford the Fanatec stuff, I'm afraid.

Logitech G29, good wheel, great pedals with clutch, reliable, ~379 Euros
Thrustmaster T300, better FFB, mediocre pedals, but reliability risk (?), ~300 EurosThe Logitech G wheels aren't bulletproof either, first two of my G25 broke very early within warranty, though my third one has lasted 8 years. And some of my friends have run into the seemingly way too common issue with their G27s that the optical encoder disc breaks, making the wheelbase unusable. So they're not quite as bulletproof either. And while the pedals certainly aren't bad (they're entirely capable of supporting fast driving) I would never call them "great". High-mediocre is more where I'd put them, the two pedal sets in the new Thrustmasters are more low or mid-mediocre.

Most complaints I've heard about the TX and T300 (and mostly it's been the TX afaik) has been with the early units, they have improved upon them since. As a wheel, I'd take the T300 anyday over the G25/G27/G29. I personally have a T500 RS, and I really couldn't see myself ever going back to the G25, it's simply nowhere near as enjoyable as an experience. It doesn't make me faster or anything like that, but it's just so much nicer to use. And I've used the T300 as well, and would put it pretty much on par with the T500, the slightly smaller rim is the biggest drawback for me, along with the pedals (the T500 came with pedals that are sold today as the T3PA Pro set).

One option would be looking into used wheels. A T500 RS that has been used a while is likely to be one of the better deals you can get, with the larger wheel rim and three piece metal pedals, and is also unlikely to break anytime soon. With Thrustmaster it seems that either their gear breaks instantly or not at all, so one that has worked for a while is likely to keep on working. Thrustmaster is also really good with their support in my experience (which extends into the 90s).

Shinzah
06-10-2015, 14:59
There is some definite health benefits if you have a sedentary lifestyle and simrace often.

With higher FFB/Centering Forces you work out your forearms and shoulders and with a loadcell and pedals in general you get your legs moving which is good for circulation.

With lower FFB you still get benefits in motor control and in low impact exercise.

I highly recommend a wheel. This is from my own experience using wheels as someone who is physically disabled.

mmp
06-10-2015, 15:13
Well, I was leaning towards the T300 anyway because they're less expensive and I could always upgrade to T3PA pedals later on if I wanted to.

I'd prefer buying new with warranty etc. though, and there don't seem to be many used ones on offer here anyway, mainly older models, T80s, T100s etc.

Invincible
06-10-2015, 15:21
It is always delightful seeing some older chaps enjoying this game too... It really helps when I (soon to be 30) get called "immature" for playing video games. :D

Keep it up guys!

Oh, and get a wheel. The position alone (with a decent seat) is much healthier with a wheel.

mmp
06-10-2015, 15:33
Thanks Shinzah, some extra exercise is always welcome though I am probably getting enough as it is...it's getting some kind of repetitive strain injury that I'm more worried about.

I'll have try out FFB strength settings too once I do get a wheel, will probably do some kind of mod on the brake pedal if that seems neccesary too.

One thing that kind of baffles me is how FFB can be so realistic at conveying various driving conditions just through wheel movements, rumble strips and bumps, OK; but things like losing grip and at what point, or whether something happens at the front or at the rear of the car...I'm very curious about all that! It's likely a combination of visual clues from the screen and the feeling of the wheel?

edit: typo

Roger Prynne
06-10-2015, 16:09
With a wheel you feel the bumps/curbs, you can feel when the car is loosing grip, you feel the actual grip, feel understeer/oversteer.
With a pad you feel none of this.

When you combine this with sound/visual clues it all fits together and makes it a very enjoyable experience.

Also be prepared to spend some time on setting up the wheel to your liking (FFB etc)

F2kSel
06-10-2015, 16:32
I do suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and it can be extremely painful mainly due to my job, I do use a racing wheel and still get it from time to time.
A wheel will help and you don't need to turn it max as many people seem to want.
I found the rim a little thin so fattened it up by wrapping cloth around it and that helps take a bit of tension out of your hands.
The really odd thing is that there are just some games that are unplayable even using a wheel, Live for speed is really bad for me and my wrists will ache within minutes of playing, I don't have a problem in pCars,AC or rF2 and can play for hours at a time

Mr.Smoke
06-10-2015, 17:18
G29/27 over Thrustmaster any day.

Logitech has a great track record for reliability & comes with a better package out of the box IMO. If you go with a T300, plan on upgrading the pedals right away. The included ones are complete garbage. My 3yr old could break them.

It all boils down to personal choice though really. Any wheel will be worlds better then a controller!!

ElectricBlues85
06-10-2015, 17:30
I use a FitBit on a daily basis and in addition to the muscular workout aspect of using a wheel, i find the game also raises my heart rate.

Under exercise mode it can track heart rate at 5 second intervals. I logged this against a video recording of me driving around Laguna (I synced the start times) and my HR jumped up every time I got to the corkscrew. I've also noticed it raises during periods of close racing, during times of pressure.

Don't get me wrong it's not aerobic exercise but the effects are noticeable. Nothing wrong with giving the ticker a work out :)

Shinzah
06-10-2015, 19:23
I didn't get any cardio benefit, but I've also driven at speed and find driving in general to be relaxing to me.

Actually when I used a heart rate monitor I noticed it went down substantially, it only seemed to spike if something untoward was happening, like an incident.

I thought it was strange, but then I watched a race where they had a heart rate monitor on a driver. I think it was a nurb race. And he seemed quite zen as well. So I don't know.

aussiejeff
06-10-2015, 19:40
Factoids I have personally determined:

(1) After 2+ hours of TT with wheel + pedals in PCars, my "gaming" clothes are damp from sweat, equivalent to a session of light/med aerobic exercise.

(2) An ave of 1-2+ hours of the above has actually helped me to lose weight over the last 2 months - 20kg in total! When I take a short break of a couple days off PCars, my weight starts to creep up again. Therefore I have determined & informed the good wife that I must continue with this new weight loss treatment regime. :biggrin-new:

(3) As some others have stated, you don't need gorilla-strength FFB. Mine is light-med, but I can feel the weight shift, traction levels, tyre twist, vertical bumps etc etc to my satisfaction.

Sankyo
07-10-2015, 07:08
There is some definite health benefits if you have a sedentary lifestyle and simrace often.

With higher FFB/Centering Forces you work out your forearms and shoulders and with a loadcell and pedals in general you get your legs moving which is good for circulation.

With lower FFB you still get benefits in motor control and in low impact exercise.

I highly recommend a wheel. This is from my own experience using wheels as someone who is physically disabled.
I'm not sure about the legs bit, since you're still sitting on your bum all the time. I recommend (the OP) putting the sim rig in the attic to get some extra excercise going up the chairs to sim race :)

Charger
07-10-2015, 07:58
As a 47 year old who has done a bit of real rallying in the past and that really makes you sweat and pumped, I have my wheel dialled up as high as it will go within reason and I find after a 4-5hour session my arms are bulging, my calves ache and I feel good, it's not repetitive in that you move your arms around violently in different directions not a fixed one, I would actually say it's good for physical fitness and I am not one for doing much exercise so this gives me mine.

The legs definitely get a workout both of them I left foot brake so my legs go like crazy, ok your arse might get a bit wider lol.

If my other half has noticed my biceps have toned then it's all good ;)

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
07-10-2015, 11:19
I'm not sure about the legs bit, since you're still sitting on your bum all the time. I recommend (the OP) putting the sim rig in the attic to get some extra excercise going up the chairs to sim race :)Set it up like so? =)

219895

Sankyo
07-10-2015, 11:23
Set it up like so? =)

219895

Very challenging to do left-foot braking...

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
07-10-2015, 12:02
If you consider standing on your heels challenging, then yes. =)

Roger Prynne
07-10-2015, 12:16
Set it up like so? =)

219895

I used to have one of those in my living room.... used a bar stool for a seat :biggrin-new:

mmp
07-10-2015, 12:54
If you consider standing on your heels challenging, then yes. =)

You must have been wearing high heels!

Sheldon
07-10-2015, 13:01
And if you get wheel and pedals, get a good chair as well :)

Are those 'racing seats' I see people using comfortable? When I get a wheel I wouldn't mind doing nice hour long+ races but I don't know if I should get a racing seat or a big comfy recliner.

xsomnivmx
07-10-2015, 13:07
I use a GT Omega chair. Being ~190cm tall and wanting to have a seat with a proper head support doesn't give you that much options besides racing seats. For my personal taste it could have a thicker cushioning - but the fix is.. well. a 5€ cushion. ;)
I can easily sit there playing racing games, shooters or simply work on my pc for hours straight without any backpain. My old, cheap office chair was simply painful in comparison.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
07-10-2015, 13:16
My computer seat is an old repurposed passenger side seat from a Mazda 626 Sport Saloon. Quite comfy enough for me, and it reclines to boot. =)

E30_Hntsvl
07-10-2015, 14:15
No, racing seats are not comfortable. For my rig I have a very comfortable seat from a 280ZX, $50 at a junkyard.

Charger
07-10-2015, 17:34
I have a racing seat on wheels like an office chair, it reclines and is very comfy, I can drop it way down so my eyes are at the bottom of the screen like a windscreen would be.

Silraed
07-10-2015, 17:39
If you pay for a good one, and good ones are not cheap, the racing style computer chairs are very good. The cheap ones not so much.

Linus27
07-10-2015, 17:57
As a 47 year old who has done a bit of real rallying in the past and that really makes you sweat and pumped, I have my wheel dialled up as high as it will go within reason and I find after a 4-5hour session my arms are bulging, my calves ache and I feel good, it's not repetitive in that you move your arms around violently in different directions not a fixed one, I would actually say it's good for physical fitness and I am not one for doing much exercise so this gives me mine.

The legs definitely get a workout both of them I left foot brake so my legs go like crazy, ok your arse might get a bit wider lol.

If my other half has noticed my biceps have toned then it's all good ;)

Exactly the same for me. I like doing long stints and have my FFB set up pretty heavy. My approach is to try and replicate the same force as turning a real car one handed. My upper body is very toned from doing sim racing with a wheel for the last 20 odd years.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
07-10-2015, 17:57
I have a racing seat on wheels like an office chair, it reclines and is very comfy, I can drop it way down so my eyes are at the bottom of the screen like a windscreen would be.I actually want my eyes to be roughly mid-level on my screen, I like looking at the cockpit dials through my wheel rim. =)

219920

Mr.Smoke
07-10-2015, 17:57
The seat on my rig is from a 2004 Mazda 6 which is the same car sitting in my driveway. Cost me $25 to a friend who was sending his car to the junkyard.

Charger
07-10-2015, 18:09
I actually want my eyes to be roughly mid-level on my screen, I like looking at the cockpit dials through my wheel rim. =)

219920

Mine is similar but a little lower and I adjust the FOV so I don't see the dials.

Charger
07-10-2015, 18:13
Exactly the same for me. I like doing long stints and have my FFB set up pretty heavy. My approach is to try and replicate the same force as turning a real car one handed. My upper body is very toned from doing sim racing with a wheel for the last 20 odd years.

Lol, yeah I like it hardcore, I see some people videos and I think you are just girlie, man up, if you go off track you would be bouncing around in your seat so that's what my wheel does!

BigFred
07-10-2015, 18:13
Lol.

I do 40 pull ups a day. A racing game is not going to work your upper body, unless it's been totally enfeebled by years of sitting in front of a tv scoffing pizza and swilling soda.

Charger
07-10-2015, 18:14
I do a few pulls.....I'll leave it there ;)

BigFred
07-10-2015, 18:20
I do a few pulls.....I'll leave it there ;)


Funny !

I just get the image of people feeling their biceps and thinking "this is really bulking me up" after 3 laps of Silverstone.

Just no.

I do a shedload of weights and run for miles each week and still don't have massive muscles. The idea you're going to turn into Vim Diesel by sitting in front of Project Cars swigging pop and scoffing pizza while turning the FFB up is laughable.

Charger
07-10-2015, 18:24
Funny !

I just get the image of people feeling their biceps and thinking "this is really bulking me up" after 3 laps of Silverstone.

Just no.

I do a shedload of weights and run for miles each week and still don't have massive muscles. The idea you're going to turn into Vim Diesel by sitting in front of Project Cars swigging pop and scoffing pizza while turning the FFB up is laughable.

'Vim Diesel' isn't he the bulky toilet cleaner?

Charger
07-10-2015, 18:34
I wouldn't say it'll bulk you up, I'm already bulky but it does keep you toned, my wheel can generate up to 3lb ft of torque which doesn't sound a lot but constant left to right action does help, some of the direct drive ones can generate 15lb ft of torque which is going to hurt.

BigFred
07-10-2015, 19:09
I wouldn't say it'll bulk you up, I'm already bulky but it does keep you toned, my wheel can generate up to 3lb ft of torque which doesn't sound a lot but constant left to right action does help, some of the direct drive ones can generate 15lb ft of torque which is going to hurt.

Maybe they should have it on "SAS are you tough enough" ? A 15 mile hike with a 50kg pack through mud, eat nothing but woodlouse for a week, get beaten with a cricket bat for 2 hours, then 15 minutes racing on project cars as a final test to sort out who the real hard nuts are ?

Charger
07-10-2015, 19:19
Maybe they should have it on "SAS are you tough enough" ? A 15 mile hike with a 50kg pack through mud, eat nothing but woodlouse for a week, get beaten with a cricket bat for 2 hours, then 15 minutes racing on project cars as a final test to sort out who the real hard nuts are ?

Sounds like a plan but the project cars part might be the tough one lol.

No one is saying that racing is a substitute for a proper fitness regime but using a wheel has got to be better than hunched over using a controller with your thumbs? also I think at 5 hours lugging 2-3lb ft torque left and right is going to aid you not hinder you.

Also have you ever been go karting? That is physically draining so is rallying for an hour on dirt, anything that makes you sweat has got to be physically exerting.

Shinzah
08-10-2015, 01:05
Funny !

I just get the image of people feeling their biceps and thinking "this is really bulking me up" after 3 laps of Silverstone.

Just no.

I do a shedload of weights and run for miles each week and still don't have massive muscles. The idea you're going to turn into Vim Diesel by sitting in front of Project Cars swigging pop and scoffing pizza while turning the FFB up is laughable.

You seem to be making a massive deal out of this, also assuming that people who simrace are unhealthy in general and swig pop and scoff pizza.

But you're still not knowledgeable enough to know that "Bulking" muscles takes an entirely different form of exercise regime than toning them. Often one that isn't at the maximum level of health. Muscles that are denser are much more defined than muscles that are huge and bulgy.

Not having large muscles and being able to do 40 pull ups a day, is probably better than many bodybuilders can do with gigantic muscles.

Anyway, creating this fictitious world and attacking others who at least do something for their health, even if it's not much compared to you. Is not a very good standpoint to take.

mmp
08-10-2015, 09:28
lol, TS here...

All I was looking for is something to enjoy a car game with...not some kind of home trainer or gym/exercise rig!

E30_Hntsvl
08-10-2015, 21:21
No kidding mmp, somehow massive testosterone side track on this...

Stevesixty7
08-10-2015, 21:37
I hate trying to play a driving game with a pad. A wheel and pedal set is the only way to go. You can always tell when you're racing against a pad user as they are all over the place.

hkraft300
08-10-2015, 23:15
I hate trying to play a driving game with a pad. A wheel and pedal set is the only way to go. You can always tell when you're racing against a pad user as they are all over the place.

I take offence to that.
The only reason I'm all over the place is because I suck. Not because of DS4.

Shinzah
08-10-2015, 23:16
I take offence to that.
The only reason I'm all over the place is because I suck. Not because of DS4.

I'm not really all over the place with my DS3...It's just really difficult to race online because of the precision vs latency thing...

hkraft300
08-10-2015, 23:43
I'm not really all over the place with my DS3...It's just really difficult to race online because of the precision vs latency thing...

DS3 never felt as progressive as the DS4 (different games/platforms. Calibration issue?)
Get on it mate! I'm pretty smooth with the Ds4 after ~600 hours racing it. I dare say I'm smoother than half the wheel users online. Better tire life is partial evidence of that.
Left stick to steer, L2/R2 for brake/throttle, R stick for shifting (like a sequential rally/ GT1 thing, you know, because race car)...
It's not impossible.

Shinzah
09-10-2015, 00:55
DS3 never felt as progressive as the DS4 (different games/platforms. Calibration issue?)
Get on it mate! I'm pretty smooth with the Ds4 after ~600 hours racing it. I dare say I'm smoother than half the wheel users online. Better tire life is partial evidence of that.
Left stick to steer, L2/R2 for brake/throttle, R stick for shifting (like a sequential rally/ GT1 thing, you know, because race car)...
It's not impossible.

I can't use triggers for brake and throttle, I don't have the fine motor control for it. I use L2/R2 for shifting.

I'm probably smoother than most of the wheel users too. But I don't race public lobbies. I wholeheartedly refuse to.

And I don't want to join a league if I'm a filthy casual controller squeeb who is 2s off the (fast) WR times, and don't have the ability to have finer control in an incident or side-by-side situation. ^^;

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
09-10-2015, 01:38
Translation: Shinzah doesn't like the fact that he's not as quick as he was with a wheel and doesn't want to go into serious racing if he knows he can't put in his best performance. =)

Shinzah
09-10-2015, 01:51
Translation: Shinzah doesn't like the fact that he's not as quick as he was with a wheel and doesn't want to go into serious racing if he knows he can't put in his best performance. =)

If I can't perform at my 100% potential there is no reason to be a competitor.

So. Harsh, but accurate.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
09-10-2015, 02:18
I don't think I've ever competed at 100% of my potential, but to each their own. =)

Ralph B
09-10-2015, 09:21
As long money is not a reason, I'd head to a wheel without any exeption. First of all much more accurate than a gamepad and less demanding to the body. But must say, an excessive use of a wheel can cause problems as well. Apart from that, I personally don't see any reason to use a unrealistic steering device for a SIM when the price is not an argument.
I personally have made good experience with the G25 or now with the G27. The wheel and pedals work fine and are very durable. Only the shifter unit is not the burner - at least not the one for the G25. The potis made problems only after a short time twice and gears partly jumped itself into annother or were not assigned correct. Changed to a Trustmaster TH8A after some frustration. It works well with the G25/27 as a replacement. Can't say much about the G27 shifter unit, as I didn't use it anymore after I had bought the TH8A. It is very similar to the G25 H-shifter, but maybe it was improved internally too and is now more durable than the G25 precessor.

mmp
09-10-2015, 10:01
@Jussi & Shinzah: transitioning from using fingers to using feet for accelerating and braking will be the biggest challenge when going from gamepad to wheel, I suppose. I expect steering to come more naturally once you have the right settings down, and much more smooth and precise than that little gamepad joystick, but it will probably take some getting used to and finding the right settings and FFB set-up.
I'm also looking forward to using paddle shifters, don't plan on getting a stick shift just yet. Will probably decide in the next week or two on which wheel/pedal set to get.

@Ralph: TBH, yeah, money is a bit of an issue, three to four hundred is still quite a lot for what may well be a sim, but to me personally is still basically an entertainment title, not a learning/practice tool as I will never be driving a real racecar. But I'd rather spend that rather than less on something that does not feel right or something that breaks within a couple of months.

BTW. I'm still using a Microsoft Sidewinder FFB 2 joystick for flightsimming, might be 15 years old, now that certainly proved its money's worth...