The Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Steering Wheel and T3PA Pedals Review
A SETUP WORTHY OF A FORMULA ONE RACER:
From creators Thrustmaster, comes the amazingly versatile and entertaining piece of kit every gamer should have, the TMX Force Feedback Steering Wheel and pedals. Race for hours on this addictively sensational gear, as you pedal to the metal, with ease: no longer are you bound to your living room, but escape through your TV and feel like you’re in the actual car.
Straight away, the TMX felt impressive, right out of the box. You can tell Thrustmaster have give it their all with this one, with the setup only taking a few minutes: it was up and ready in no time at all.
When I loaded up Forza Horizon 2, and began to take charge, I immediately felt the sense of control. The way the wheel feels is amazing, and does well to replicate what an actual steering wheel feels like. The textures on the wheel provide for a precise grip, especially needed in times of extreme concentration. The grooves felt soft on the fingers, and provided with an experience that didn’t felt unnatural at all, but comfortable and controlled.
The button layout is too, on par and makes the TMX very nimble to use. With ABXY all close to your thumbs, and the LB/RB triggers at the back, it means you can access a wide range of commands, without faffing around trying to find them.
The presentation of the wheel is outstanding also: It all looks so professional, especially with the Thrustmaster logo in the center. It’s a piece of kit I wouldn’t be ashamed to show to a friend, quite the contrary: I would have this on display if someone visited. It stands out, it looks sleek and dear me does it feel it.
It’s not as heavy as I thought it would be: I was expecting something that I’d have to put on a table and try to use it on a surface, but no you really don’t have to. From the look of it, you’d be really surprised at how much it weighs. It’s surprisingly light to hold, which is great because the last thing you need after a race is to have a little bipod workout trying to get the thing off you.
This means you can easily perch it on your lap, as I did. However, you will want to install the mount for this, as I soon found out. I didn’t install the mount at first and as I was driving, found the wheel scooting off. The addition of the mount will stable the wheel tenfold, and honestly the best setup is when your on the sofa, with the pedals on the floor and the wheel right in front of you.
When you first start the TMX up, it will start to configure on its own. Don’t touch it during this stage, and be prepared: it makes quite a noise. It caught me off guard the first time, and because it was laying on the floor, the wheel couldn’t move. Make sure not to restrict this movement, as it could damage the motor.
One of my only gripes I have with the TMX is the colossal noise it makes after about roughly an hour of gameplay. Because the TMX simulates every bump, scratch and terrain your car will journey across, this all heats up the technology inside. Whether it was the fan or a machinery noise, I started to notice it during the load screens. After a few screens, I decided to quit the game and listen, in silence. I found that the TMX is, unfortunately, louder than the sound of the Xbox.
This shouldn’t affect gameplay too much, and as I should imagine, the more performance heavy the game, the quicker you will hear this noise, it did throw me off just a little.
Most games on the TMX work really well, such as the Forza series, but I found really hard to play was V-Rally 4. V-Rally 4 was hard to play with a controller, but it was 10x as hard using the wheel.
You see, with most games, I turn the vibration off: to save controller battery. But with the vibration on, V-Rally affected the wheel in ways that almost scared me. I found even the smallest of accelerations caused the wheel to violently vibrate in ways I didn’t feel comfortable with.
I could hardly play the game without being distracted from the movements of the wheel. They were intense, to say the least.
However, with more refined games, I found those same vibrations (in moderation) to work extremely well. I could often tell if I was going to fast, or that I was about to crash, by the vibrations in the wheel. Not to mention the dynamic resistance you feel when going round corners, or bendy roads: you really need to hold the wheel firmly, as you would in a real car.
I found these moments intensively immersive.
The TMX pedals help build this immersion. The resistance you get from the pedals are just about right, meaning you can easily rest your feet while driving. Another comfort foryour feet is the inclusion of the textured foot rest: this pattern in the material makes its a good place to relax your foot, and it does just the trick.
The pedals really do well and are sturdily built. They’re surprisingly lightweight and yet are incredibly compact. I was shocked when I found out how easy they were to carry, the T3PA pedals also had this feature and I was frankly amazed.
Another gripe I had with the TMX setup in general, were just the sheer amount of cables. With all the leads in correct sockets, your left with quite a restrictive amount of cables, which if you haven’t got your Xbox close, can really be annoying.
The addition of the T3PA pedals makes all the difference. However good the TMX pedals are, they haven’t got anything on these bad boys.
Metal plated and textured pedals, which give you ultimate control over the speed of your car, makes you wonder how else you could feel while driving a car. The softness of the pedals, when you place your feet over are a godsend, and require little to no effort to accelerate and brake.
Not to mention the T3PA have included a clutch pedal: further immersing you into the game you are in. When adjusted to the settings in game, you really start to feel how in-unison it all starts to become.
With the TMX steering wheel primed for manual gear switching (with the levers behind the wheel itself) and the T3PA pedals giving a smooth, lushful experience: it’s hard not to imagine playing racing games any other way.
The pedals aren’t heavy either. Being metal plated, I assumed that carrying this thing out of the box would be a nightmare, but it really wasn’t. You can easily move this around, and it’s setup is identical to that of TMX pedals: you just need to insert the cable into the back of the wheel.
Honestly, I was took back with the amount that was on offer. Overall, this setup can be a little messy, with cables going here, there and everywhere, but when you get into it: this really doesn’t become an issue. I had an immense amount of fun playing and really recommend. Together, both casual players and the elite, can find enjoyment out of this and it changes your whole perspective on racing games in general, in my opinion. You form bonds with the cars you drive, much more so than a controller and start to want to play more racing games, as I have found out.
The TMX Force Feedback is a seriously good piece of kit. Anyone thinking about getting Forza Horizon 4 should really recommend buying this alongside. You really don’t know what you’re missing, and that’s coming from someone who’s never been into the idea of gaming extensions. My first thoughts would be that it would just be another gimmick, but it really isn’t and I’m glad to say it has proved me wrong. The addition of the T3PA pedals are not necessary, but really do give it that much more and to say they both work well together, would be an understatement.
We’d like to thank Thrustmaster for sending us all of this amazing kit!