Featured image: dotesports.com
It’s no coincidence that one of the first brands most sim racers encounter in terms of driving hardware is Logitech, or to be more accurate Logitech G. The Logitech company has become such a significant player in the technology world over the years that it has broken its different market interests down into separate brands; Astro Gaming, Blue Microphones, Jaybird, Ultimate Ears, Streamlabs, and Logitech G.
Given that we’re all motorsports fans here, we’re mostly going to be concerned with the latter, although I will be touching on some of the company’s other subdivisions briefly as they are still highly relevant to the sim racing universe as a whole.
Don’t let the lower budget pricing of Logitech sim racing gear fool you into thinking that sim racers who use Logitech’s kit aren’t fast. In fact, some of the most competitive and successful sim drivers in the world swear by the company’s easy to use and robust gear, and in the world of eSports, Logitech is renowned for organising some of the best and most lucrative competitions in sim racing.
Taking that into account, in this post we’re going to take a look at some of the newest and best-selling sim racing merchandise Logitech G, hereinafter simply referred to as Logitech, has to offer, as well as some of the company’s PC gaming equipment that can boost your sim racing experience. Though, before that, I’d like to share a bit of history about Logitech to explain how they became one of the world’s largest producers of gaming hardware and why so many people continue to use its products after nearly four decades in the technology business.
Logitech: The backstory
Logitech was founded in Switzerland, in 1981 by Stanford alumni Daniel Borel and Pierluigi Zappacosta, and former Olivetti engineer Giacomo Marini. Given the nature of its Swiss-American roots, the company has maintained headquarters in both countries since it’s formative years, with current locations in Lausanne, Switzerland and Newark, California.
Throughout its development, the company has grown successfully thanks to a commitment to producing usable and reliable hardware that was (and still is) highly affordable. Its popular and innovative products, coupled with a smart business plan, led to several acquisitions of other tech companies along the way, making Logitech the giant it is today, and as of 2021 the company’s total assets are worth a staggering US$2.34 billion.
Now split into six different brands, Logitech became a major innovator in the sim racing arena when Logitech G first pioneered its gaming wheel in 1998. Since then, Logitech G has formed a long list of industry firsts in the advancement of gaming gear, and over 20 years later, it continues to produce some great force feedback racing wheels, which is the result of a culmination of years of community feedback and technological advances. The ethos behind the Logitech G branch of Logitech is to allow you to play at your peak with high-performance gaming equipment, and as the company’s sales over the years have shown, they remain true to that goal.
So, now that you’ve been formally acquainted with the company let’s start things off by looking at what may well be the best-selling sim racing wheels of all time, the G29/G920.
The Logitech G29/G920 is a gear-driven wheel which features an 11-inch steering wheel, wrapped in leather, with plug-and-play installation across multiple platforms. As we covered in the history lesson, Logitech has been making gear-based force feedback wheels for over twenty years, and over that time has established a reputation for making trustworthy wheels, hence the epic volume of them on the market.
The G29 and G920 are actually separate models, where the G29 caters to PS4 and PC, and the G920 caters to Xbox One and PC. This dual-platform availability is quite common for wheels at this price point, and the G29/G920 duo is comparable to the T300/TX Racing Wheel Servo Bases from Thrustmaster. That doesn’t mean to say the G29/G920 and the T300/TX are the same in terms of performance, but it is interesting to note how both brands named each model separately to denote its platform compatibility.
The G29/G920 utilizes dual-motor force feedback and solid steel ball bearings to give weight and durability to its technical abilities. The main body is constructed from metal, and the almost perfectly round handle is wrapped in real perforated leather. The rim is finished with a flash of metal at the top just like actual racing wheels.
On the front of the metal body are a selection of console-specific buttons and which model you buy will dictate which buttons you will get. There’re also a couple of metal paddle shifters on the rear of the wheel, which are light and responsive and when it comes to mounting the wheel, there is a choice between securing it to a table or racing rig via built-in clamps or the pre-installed screw mounting points. Something to note is that the G29 receives a few nice flourishes that Xbox owners miss out on, including a series of rev lights on the wheel, and an extra rotary dial.
One nice thing about this wheel is that it comes complete with pedals, giving you the perfect beginner set-up straight out of the box. The pedal set supplied with the G29 and G920 is identical, and each pedal, that is to say, the accelerator, brake, and clutch all utilize potentiometers that are essentially position sensors.
More expensive pedal sets use technology like Hall-effect sensors and load cells, but since the pedals that come with the G29/G920 are part of a bundle and could even be considered a freebie, you can’t expect too much. I’d like to direct anyone who wants to know more about pedals to my pedal buyers guide, explaining these technologies in much more detail.
All hope is not lost for the potentiometer-based pedals supplied with the G29/G920, as many third-party companies produce mods that can increase the performance and realism factor quite dramatically.
3DRAP Brake Pedal Mod Rally/GT & Formula
These mods simulate a load cell on the brake pedal, and it makes the pedal progressively harder, and therefore more realistic. As not to confuse matters, the Rally/GT and Formula are two separate mods available from 3DRAP, each with their own degrees of stiffness. Since the original spring on the G29/G920 pedals always opposes the same force to your foot, whether you are braking hard or slowing down, the 3DRAP mods improve this by creating a progressive braking feel.
Basically, the greater the pressure on the pedal, the more intense the braking will be.
AXC SIM TrueBrake
Likewise, this mod upgrades your Logitech brake pedal to give a positive and realistic feel. TrueBrake fits perfectly in your Logitech pedal set and all at a reasonable cost. It’s one of the most cost-effective brake pedal mod available for this pedal set and is easy to install while following this video guide from Barry Rowland’s Sim Racing Garage.
Ricmotech Race-Car-Feel Brake Load Cell Conversion
For a superior upgrade to the real deal, try the Ricmotech Race-Car-Feel Brake Load Cell Conversion. This mod will upgrade the brake pedal on your Logitech pedal set from a travel sensitive, potentiometer-based pedal to a force-sensitive-based load cell pedal. Of course, it’s more costly than the first two mods I mentioned, but you will definitely notice the difference in performance.
Many more companies produce mods for the Logitech G29/G920 pedals, so you need to shop around to find the right solution for your requirements and budget. Unfortunately, there’s little to nothing in terms of modification that can be done to the G29/G920 wheel, other than completely replacing it with a new wheel, motor or power supply electronics which takes quite a bit of know-how.
The wheel itself comes firmly bolted on to the wheelbase, and you aren’t meant to tinker with this. Unless you start unbolting things, which the manufacturer does not recommend, you’re stuck with what comes out of the box. However, those who feel confident with a set of tools can check out the offerings from ACELITH Design or MVH Studios.
Alien Sim Products – Carbon Wheel Mod
Check out this carbon Formula style wheel from Alien Sim Products:
That said, the G29/G920 wheels are always in high demand due to their ease of use and compatibility so should you decide further down the line to improve your sim racing wheel set-up you can quickly sell your Logitech wheel on eBay, and it will hold relatively good value.
All-in-all, the G29/G920, is a solid choice for any sim racer looking for something reliable or fun to use. The wheel is dynamic yet straightforward enough to see you through almost any sim racing game, and in fact, it probably is one of the most game-compatible wheels on the market, if not the most. The pedals are equally practical, and given the fact that they offer an accelerator, brake, and clutch, you have the choice of adding a shifter, and what better way to round things off with you Logitech sim rig than with the Logitech Driving Force Shifter. So, let’s take a look at that next.
Driving Force Shifter
A highly popular H-pattern shifter, the Logitech Driving Force Shifter is a budget-friendly gear shifter that can be used on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC when connected to a G29 or G920 wheelbase.
While Logitech doesn’t make an adapter to use this shifter as a standalone device on your PC, you can find them for sale from several third-party manufacturers. If you’re unsure what H-pattern means, you can read my in-depth shifter guide, which explains it clearly.
The Driving Force shifter body is built from injection moulded plastic throughout with a steel shifter arm and faux leather trim. The shifter’s overall finish is quite nice, and it’s precisely what you would expect from a mass-market manufacturer like Logitech. Furthermore, this shifter includes a desk clamp built into the unit’s underside and M6 mounting points, so desk mounting is easy, but rig mounting may require additional mounting solutions.
Released in late 2020, the G923 is the next evolution of the G29/G920 and is essentially the same wheel with a few minor upgrades. There are really only very minor differences between them, which include a new centre logo, black shifters instead of silver, and all-black buttons. Interestingly Logitech made a really big deal about the launch of this equipment using Fernando Alonso in the advertising. But really that was the most exciting thing about the refreshed wheel and its launch.
It seems that the main difference here is that unlike the previous generation, both the PS4 and Xbox variants look identical and use the same naming convention.
Of course, Logitech has stated that many substantial internal upgrades come with the G923 including Logitech Trueforce; a built in wheel vibration technology (essentially rumble motors that most users deactivate).
While it’s nice to see the company are still trying to innovate and release new solutions for us sim racers, there was quite a bit of disappointment among the sim community when this wheel was unveiled as many of us were hoping for something brand new. My advice would be to stick with the G29/G920, save yourself a bit of cash, and wait for Logitech to up its game and come up with something genuinely fresh! Anyway, let’s hope the company listen to our feedback and go back to the drawing board for the next G series wheel iteration.
In the meantime, I would like to show you a few more great products the company has released that can improve your sim experience. Firstly, speakers.
Z313 2.1 Speakers
The Z313 2.1 is one of Logitech’s entry-level models, and though they offer fewer features than the Z906 5.1 I’ll cover below, they’re still a fantastic choice for any sim racer.
and come bundled with a dedicated subwoofer to effectively handle low-end noises and prevent distortion for a pristine sound experience.
Z906 5.1 Speakers
If you’re looking for the best audio immersion for your sim rig, then check out Logitech’s Z906 5.1 audio system. This monster of a set-up has powerful yet crystal clear sound that’ll give you the impression you’re genuinely involved in the game.
As well as being a delight for all you audiophiles out there, the system also features multitudes of inputs letting you connect up to six different devices at the same time. The system’s attractive and intuitive control box, and remote, give you the power to choose what’s playing and control settings quickly, and this speaker system has even been THX certified, so you know it’s the real deal.
PRO X Wireless LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset
Moving on, this wouldn’t be a complete Logitech write-up without some bonus gaming peripherals so next up we have one of the company’s flagship headsets, the PRO X Wireless LIGHTSPEED.
With LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, this headset lets you game wirelessly without compromises in latency, connectivity, or battery life. You can play in complete freedom with 20+ hours battery life which is perfect for those extra-long races, and it has up to 15 m range using a robust 2.4 GHz frequency.
The headset also incorporates Logitech’s patented BLUE VO!CE microphone technology, which gives you a choice of real-time voice filters. The technology reduces background noise, adds compression, and ensures that your voice sounds richer, cleaner, and more professional. A headset like this is perfect for any sim racer who plays online a lot, especially anyone who is into streaming. On that note, for my final Logitech item in this guide, I’d like to put a word in for the company’s latest and most technologically advanced PC camera.
The STREAMCAM allows you to take your content to the next level and share your passion for sim racing. Featuring pristine image quality, dual front-facing microphones, versatile mounting options, and USB-C connectivity, it’s the perfect camera for broadcasting to your favourite streaming platforms.
It can stream and record vibrant, true-to-life video with smooth motion and crisp details in full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second, and is a great way to round off your sim rig if you already have all the driving gear you need.