Reader Submission #78 – Is the Direct Drive Wheel Fad a Thing of the Past?

Retailing for nearly $2,000 and cementing itself as the ultimate piece of sim racing hardware for the most hardcore of virtual racers among us, the SimXperience AccuForce Pro Direct Drive Wheel is a toy steering wheel in name only. A serious upgrade from the high end Fanatec and Thrustmaster offerings, the flagship SimXperience wheel has become somewhat of a mythical beast among the sim racing community; those who brave the hefty price tag are sent a steering wheel that the brand claims will revolutionize the way you play racing sims well into the future. With YouTube reviews of the lucrative product skyrocketing into multi-hour affairs, it’s no question that people are desperate for information regarding a product that only an elite group of sim racers own. However, as a Reader Submission we’ve received today points out, the Direct Drive fad seems to be burning out at an alarming rate.


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Hey James. I have been observing a variety of different threads on the iRacing forums from the beginning of the year, and there seems to a lot of people deciding to part ways with their AccuForce wheels after a few short months of ownership. Even users who have purchased kits or the parts to build Open Sim Wheels via guides put out from community members are also selling their kits. Keep in mind, these open source style kits can end up costing nearly as much as a base Accuforce that is put together by the company itself. 

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I have a lot of suspicions regarding this phenomenon, as again these are all brand new postings, as you can see by the time stamps. Are these wheels not as hyped up as they seem to be? Or are there these new users simply finding out that the games that they’re playing are not in a state which would make use of these high powered wheels?

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I am also noticing a bit of friction between the AccuForce support staff, and the owners themselves. A good deal of owners are waiting on support and/or repairs for their wheels (as is to be expected), and in both instances given no estimated time as to when their support tickets will be received and evaluated by the staff.

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I also find it very odd that a company selling such high end products has also opted to not allow the license for their wheels to be transferred to other users. Unlike the Logitech Profiler software that comes standard with each wheel and can be downloaded free of charge from the official Logitech  website, Accuforce requires you to pay them $89 to download their custom-built profiler software. So if you’re picking up an AccuForce wheel off someone from a sim racing forum, you’re adding $89 to your purchase.

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Just found this to be very interesting. Keep my name as Jake from State Farm or something.


 

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EDIT: Let’s get this right, because it’s no longer 10 PM and I can approach this topic again. The profiler software for the wheel is free, but requires a license transferal process between owners – something AccuForce claims they’ll walk users through upon selling their wheel to another owner. Alright, sounds good. However, the software to run the same company’s SimVibe technology is $89. So it’s not the wheel profiler costing more than a game, it’s software to run sound & feedback enhancements properly.

I guess the angle now is to question why AccuForce wheel owners get confused about this in the first place? Maybe the process isn’t made explicitly clear upon purchase? As I’ve said in the comments below, guys who already own these wheels are coming out and saying in the ad that “there is no software included so don’t buy this unless you own the Sim Commander profiler software”, so a greater effort must be made on the part of AccuForce to clear up the confusion.

But regardless, I still believe the Direct Drive wheel fad is almost over. With three or four of these wheels being made available for second-hand purchase after only a few months of play… It sure is interesting. This was a wheel many deemed to be an investment, meaning you’re looking at a lifespan of several years, and in the opening weeks of 2016 we’ve already got a handful of guys saying “nah, I’m looking to get rid of the thing.” You could blame the games, but then again there are people who really like iRacing or Assetto Corsa despite their flaws, and sink hundreds upon hundreds of hours into them. Sure, it makes us question their sanity, but having an extremely durable steering wheel for a racing sim they play almost every single day is hardly a bad thing.

My take on the Direct Drive craze has always been to ridicule the gear snobs. Most modern racing sims, with the exception of iRacing, are anywhere between $30 and $60, running on various game engines that first saw a commercial release over a decade ago. It’s just a little too crazy to drop $2,000 on a toy steering wheel so you can have better Force Feedback effects in a $30 game. In real life racing, there are actually rules against this kind of reckless spending – Chump Car or Le Mons mandate your car to be valued at less than $500, and your local short track can force certain cars that are obviously going to destroy the competition to participate in a quicker class. To take things a step further, some sim racers defend their choice to jump into the direct drive craze by claiming it’s the ultimate way to increase the realism in their sim of choice, but the reality is that it’s actually cheaper to drive a shitbox for a full season by a few hundred dollars.

Race_Steam 2016-01-23 15-05-19-69

 

 

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83 thoughts on “Reader Submission #78 – Is the Direct Drive Wheel Fad a Thing of the Past?

  1. Why do we have the above^^^^^^^ slogan: Assetto Corsa is SIMCADE and has NO SIMULATION VALUE
    Is this paid for advertising?
    Irrespective of the opinions on AC (of which I am not a big fan) I think its downright pathetic that you have this slogan at the foot of every article. It is petulant and childish. Remove it FFS!

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    1. It is crazy to spend that kind of cash on a wheel to play a $30 game. I have a $20 blu-ray and I will only watch that movie on a tv I picked up from the junkyard, mostly works, speakers from an old car and a player I got from rite-aid. Right on! Plus that extra dosh can be used for food and fresh underwear, of which I couldn’t afford to buy if I bought fancy speakers. Thank you. Must suck to be poor AND stupid.

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  2. I think he put it there to make it less interesting for the guys that spam that same thing in every article with lengthy quote walls…

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  3. Congratulations, another article full of bullshit and lies.
    The software for Accuforce is for free, you can pay for additional software which you dont need.

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    1. Ah, thats why a seller says “dont buy this expecting it to work unless you have the software.”

      And in another post an AccuForce rep defends the $89 software purchase.

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      1. The seller in the original post had misunderstood what was allowed. Read the response from SimXperience again. The license for the software for the AccuForce *IS* transferrable.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The guy who made the original post misunderstood what was allowed. Read the response from SimXperience again. The license for the software for the AccuForce *IS* transferrable between owners.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The DD fad is over, eh?

        Kevin Reidel sold his AF to partially finance a Bodnar SS2 (you know, the $4500 wheel that he can’t keep in stock), and Dennis Reimer’s one of the original OSW suppliers. He only bought the SS2 for testing purposes, and, yeah, it was sold within a day or two.

        Unfortunately, SimXperience’s customer service definitely needs work, but beyond that mention, this post was a bit of a flail.

        “Jake from State Farm” basically has no clue what the hell he’s talking about, and cherry picking forum posts isn’t persuasive.

        BTW, JFSF somehow managed to miss Thomas Jackermaier’s thread announcing Fanatec’s entry into the DD market.

        Of course, after reading your post, I’m sure he’ll reconsider his position.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s pretty straightforward, it’s a pretty usable chunk of cash and doesn’t have any depreciation – better than pawning your shit if you need 2 grand for some reason.

    Without knowing how many they sold, screenshots of 3-4 resales is kinda meaningless.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “Yes, because $2000 toy steering wheels are flying off the shelves.””

        While they’re obviously not outselling G29s and the like, the AF has been available for just over a year, yet remains on 4-5 month back order. And SimX recently added a new manufacturing facility solely to deal with the unexpected demand for AFs.

        There seems to be a surprisingly large market for high-end hardware, and given its obvious benefit to the hobby, your ridicule is confusing.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Good article, i agree. Last days (when Daytona happened) i i discovered, that one of our Russian teams, which will ride world championship series in iRacing this season have driver – he,s really fast, i saw it many times in champs – who drive on DFGT or MOMOForce. So authentic FFB is a question. As question this – this year simracing expo one of Driver from blancpain series (real one) have tested 6DOF motion platform on simracing expo. He said, that it needed to be calibrated. Only after he calibrated it, it started to helping him, especially in braking forces. But he’s real pilot, so…

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    1. LoL, Accuforce and other expensive wheels are not made to make you quicker but to make the experience more realistic! More realistic = more dificult. It´s obvious, that you will be faster on a toy wheel with 270 degrees than on Accuforce with 900 degrees… The only advantage of more expensive gear you get is brake pedal that dont lock your tires everytime you push it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Man, you need to look inside mechanics. direct drive wheel have the most detail and direct sim-hands FFB. But as article says, a little sims can handle that. More momentum and more (mean EVERY, because other wheel systems eat some details/cant handle them) detail you get = more realistic. So it can make you faster, is another ways. Simple. And also if you have pedals with nice mecahnics, or real piston in it, you can handle braking better, but again, only if you capable to do this. For many people something like fanatec is the top and awesome thing to use – they have good service, they have addons and they are quite realistic in details and momentum. I think today direct drive is a little bit hyped. I can also tell you that Blancpain GT3 driver, which tested direct drive wheel this year sim expo said, that it was a bit harder then IRL to handle car with forces, because without good motion platform in obsess mind and hands.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Nope. You don’t break a sweat with cheap low FFB wheels. At that point you can spin consecutive laps with marginal effort. Now use a wheel that has the capacity to injure your wrists like in real life, you are breaking a sweat and are fighting fatigue like in a real race car. Like the other reply – More realistic = more difficult, that doesn’t mean better lap times. If anything it’s the opposite.

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  6. Too bad you didn’t touch on the part about how this wheel performs. From what I’ve read, this isn’t as good and smooth/direct as other DD wheels, for example OSW.
    I don’t know if people are returning it just because of slow support when is not working well, or if they aren’t satisfied, bored, with its performance according to what they expected.

    The intent of this post is that accuforce owners to read some of those complaints and improve it/do it better in a next edition of their wheel.

    I think there are opinions about this in iracing and assetto forums, in threads about accuforce or osw wheels.

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  7. This seems to be a problem isolated mainly to AccuForce wheels, and from having watched 1 or 2 videos about them I can totally see why: They are absolute shit quality. The wheel rim itself bends like it’s made out of plastic, literally my G27 wheel rim is more solid and rigid than their standard wheel. Personally I haven’t tried out any DirectDrive wheels so I can’t really say how good they feel, but after having tried out the latest Fanatec stuff (V2 wheelbase with both BMW-GT2 and Formula carbon rim, V3 pedals and a raceseat) at a friend’s house I can say that IF you really want to spend $2k on a wheel, just get a Fanatec. It works, is extremely easy to setup, and the quality is the best I have ever seen. The wheel actually IS a real GT wheel, just with the wiring etc. replaced on the inside to work with the Fanatec base, and the FFB when finally set up correctly feels as close as you can get on a consumer-grade simulator to what it feels in real life. I am 100% sure a DD wheel won’t make the FFB any better, because the games simply won’t offer the precision needed to feel the difference. Sure, if you have a 6DOF motion simulator with rFactor Pro and a professionally made mod at home like most F1 teams then go for a DD wheel. Otherwise, go for a belt-driven wheel like a T300RS or a Fanatec

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    1. You will never have the same resistance on belt driven wheel like you have in a real race car without power steering. Fanatec CSW is a nice wheel but it´s still pretty far from what you feel in a real race car

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      1. Compared to 99.9% of simracers out there I’ve driven racecars (with and without power steering, and also electical steering in the BMW M235i Racing), and I can tell you the resistance is 100% the same.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. @Sev,

      For a guy who’s usually on point with his comments, you’re all over the place with this one.

      I’m not sure why you think the AF is shit quality, or even what that exactly means (are the parts shit quality, or the performance, or both, and how can you evaluate either, having never used one?).

      We’ve all seen the Sim Racing Garage video, and Barry’s rim was very likely an anomaly. Mine certainly doesn’t bend like that, nor have any other similar reports surfaced.

      As for the CSW V2 being comparable, it simply isn’t. I’ve owned both CSW variants, and while my opinion in isolation is meaningless, I’ve not heard a word of dissent.

      As for being 100% sure FFB can’t feel any better, because games don’t offer the corresponding precision, I’d direct you to David Tucker’s posts in the iRacing forum, but I know you’re not a member (nor do I agree with what happened to you). To paraphrase (poorly): when you have a larger torque band, individual forces are much more distinguishable than when compressed into a narrow range.

      There’s a reason iRacing, RF2 and AC all offer a minimum force setting. With DD wheels, that value is set to zero.

      Finally, one of the biggest issues in transmitting FFB from sim to wheel to operator is latency, and the defining aspect of DD wheels (motor surrounding the steering shaft) is a game-changer in this regard.

      I urge you to try an AF, OSW, or Bodnar wheel if ever you have the opportunity. You may rethink your opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I meant the SRG video where his rim bent like hell. You are right, I haven’t tried one out yet and if I get the chance I definitely will.

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      2. Interesting,

        I take issue with this part, however: “To paraphrase (poorly): when you have a larger torque band, individual forces are much more distinguishable than when compressed into a narrow range.”

        You can already achieve excessive torque from the majority of FFB wheels, implying an already sufficient range. For the record, I’m not arguing that DD wheels do not provide any better FFB detail, they should provide more. I just don’t think torque range is particularly relevant.

        Also, “There’s a reason iRacing, RF2 and AC all offer a minimum force setting. With DD wheels, that value is set to zero.”

        I don’t see how this support’s your argument. Zero force (let alone the fact that zero force (or resistance) is impossible with any electric motor-driven system (it becomes a no-gain generator with ‘no force’ applied) doesn’t seem relevant in the first place, because no car exists with a ‘no force’ steering rack and hydraulic system. Even the absolute worst of the stock road car American boats with worn out shocks and bushings will still give you some resistance.

        Again, not arguing against the overall point, just some of the supporting statements.

        Example: a range of 1-10 is not better than a range of 2-10 if the 1-2 range increment is effectively irrelevant.

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      3. @Sev, I have the AF, and the rim does not flex like that. Maybe if I’m strong as Barry, I can probably bend it, or even break it. Though I’m sure if I attempted the same with a G27, it will probably shatter it to pieces. Either way, I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the steering function of the wheel, as I certainly have not noticed it to be a factor. Perhaps maybe as testers and reviewers, we should add a criteria that a sim steering wheel should withstand being thrown from the roof a three story building to be deemed a quality product. I’ll have to give it a try some time.

        @e123 I’m not sure I follow what you don’t see by the min force supporting my argument. I can understand if the concept of the min force isn’t clear, because it isn’t exactly trivial. You can’t exactly equate this to real life, because it isn’t a close feedback system. Rather you have two systems in a loop, sending and receiving messages to eachother. The first being the sim software, the second being the wheel hardware. To make it seem like a closed system, where the signals produces from the software are represented perfectly via the hardware, there shouldn’t be anything that changes that signal, whether it be the strength of the signal, or the time it needs to arrive. The arrival time is well known as lag, and it can’t be avoided. The strength of the signal can be altered if you have a wheel that is so heavy that a tiny force can’t move it, and therefore as a user you won’t feel it, or feel it very faintly.

        All wheels have different mechanisms, and as a result, varying degrees of internal resistance that needs to be overcome. With a geared or belt driven mechanism, this implies that for you to get a true 1:1 signal, you have to compensate for all of the additional energy that is required to move the gears, belts, overcome their friction, etc… This isn’t much of an effort, but for very small forces, it becomes noticeable. The software offers a “min force” setting as a way of sending an extra strong signal so that any internal resistance (if any exists) in the wheel is overcome. This depends on the wheel, and the software can’t know what it is. You have to do a bit of testing to find out. David Tucker’s little tool does exactly that.

        As it turns out, DD wheels, because of their DD nature, have the least internal resistance compared to the others. You can see this in the plot by where the change in position values start to take off. In fact, it’s so little, that for all practical intents and purposes, it’s 0. So if the game requests 1% of the total FFB of the wheel, the wheel reports it.

        Now you could say that 1% of a 20Nm wheel (Bodnar/OSW) is 10x the amount of 1% of the total force for a 2Nm wheel (G27), so of course it would show. However, that only further supports that if you did add min force to a strong wheel, it might give you undesirably strong forces and actually ruin your experience because the wheel would overshoot its intended destination as a result of its own physical inertia, and oscillate wildly.

        I’m not sure this explanation is any better, but the min force setting is a software to hardware compensation thing. Come to think of it, it’s not that important unless you’re missing details and reaction from the wheel, which is only applicable to wheels that don’t generate enough torque, figure CSW V1 (4Nm) and below.

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      4. Min force (and the more general linearity settings some games have) are pretty much a driver thing. AccuForce drivers are aimed at sim enthusiasts so it provides the most convenient interface – 1% force means you actually want 1% of the force on the wheel, 100% force means you actually want 100%, and everything in between exactly proportional. The DFGT, G27 etc. don’t do this – they’re all amplifying lower forces, compressing higher forces, and have the fairly large dead zone that min force compensates for. This is largely a legacy of bad-ffb games – if a game is providing a noisy signal then it cuts out a bunch of rattling by ignoring it.

        If you run at >100% force, the Logitech driver actually shrinks the min force deadzone – each percent above 100 makes the deadzone 1% smaller – so if you start with a 5% deadzone at 100% force, then at 105% force you have no deadzone.

        The trouble with that is, the driver isn’t only changing the deadzone, it’s also compressing strong forces further – so the games provide the best of both worlds, pick a more linear force setting and tell the game to start sending signals at 6% instead of 1% force to hide the gap.

        The driver+controller is always translating a digital signal (0 to 1 in some number of steps, 65535 is probable) into an analog voltage for the motor; the exact mapping determines the wheel’s response, and DDs are only linear response because that’s what the developers chose to provide.

        Really it’s resolution that you want – ability to distinguish 32% and 33% force, or 32% and 32.1%. I don’t know of a good way to measure this; maybe you could run sin waves of varying amplitudes and find what you can feel. DDs are almost certainly better in this regard since they use much higher quality motors and controllers, have more strength compared to the system’s resistance, and so on.

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  8. One thing I don’t get is this insistence of calling sim steering wheels toys. Without these “toys” sim racing wouldn’t exist as we know it today. It would simply be the same arcade/simcade racing games, because you can’t honestly enjoy sim racing games with keyboard and gamepad, as much as you can with a wheel, pedals, shifter. So devs wouldn’t bother to make realistic simulation of cars.
    So, these “toys” are part of what makes sim racing games simulators of cars and tracks.

    Are steering wheels in a real car toys too? Because you know, you can develop cars with gamepads or joysticks, remote controllers, or even autonomous cars nowadays.

    Yes, steering wheels are often replicas of a physical car’s steering wheel. But that is just a coincidence. And that is just the rim design. A steering wheel and pedals are the superior device of controlling a car. They are a mean for controlling a car. I fail to see how a steering wheel in a sim is a toy. If you are simulating the behavior of a real car in a software, then you also need to simulate a device (steering wheel) for controlling it through the software.

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    1. A lot of over-amped rhetoric in this one (as customary) but the most egregious part of the rant to me is comparing SimVibe/Sim Commander to the functionality of a Logitech Profiler. Given that the authors on this site routinely and snidely assert as fact their conjecture that some sim reviewers have not actually tried the software being reviewed, I ask the author of this piece, have you ever tried a driving rig with SimVibe/Sim Commander? Does your Logitech Profiler allow you to convert live in-game data to sound output simulating a number of real world road effects and conditions to drive bass shakers at the front and rear suspension, seat, pedals, shifters of your driving rig and allow separate configurations not only for each game, but for each car and track configuration with telemetry and automatic save tools to refine your set-ups. Do you know of another product on the market that provides the functionality of Sim Vibe/Sim Commander for $89? At any price? I thought not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My question is why would I need any of this? I’m happy with the results my current setup produces, though at some point my DFGT/G27 pedals are going to die and I’ll need to order a G29. With the price of the DD wheel so astronomically high, I’d rather spend half the cost of a fancy toy steering wheel on driving somebody’s shitbox for a season.

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      2. You obviously don’t fall in their market target, James.

        The same way expensive phones or cars aren’t for everyone. For sure a person with low-medium income can buy a cheaper car and phone and give it the same use. Make phone calls, or even check the internet, and drive from home to work, work to home.

        Of course there are people with enough income that afford expensive things, but that’s not the point here. The point here is that the company behind an expensive product doesn’t care whether someone with low-medium income affords or even needs the extra functionalities. Only because you can find the basic functionality of an ffb steering wheel enough, other people want other things in a product type.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. edit: “Of course there are people with enough income that afford expensive things, ‘and don’t have the need to buy something expensive,’ but that’s not the point here”…

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      4. I think you’re missing the point.

        The relevant question is: does the investment provide comparable returns in pace? So far, the answer has been no.

        Since it doesn’t provide comparable adrenaline as real driving, there’s a very limited tangible value prospect behind these wheels, particularly if you’re already annoyed/burnt out with the majority of simulator offerings.

        Taking that same amount of money and investing it into other options that likely provide greater returns in terms of driver skill…Or a toy wheel and limited to no gain in pace or race ability.

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      5. @e123

        I also don’t agree with this statement, because one, I’m pretty confident you haven’t measured this to know, as it’s practically impossible, and two improvement means different things for different people.

        Let’s assume that there is a theoretical minimum amount of time you can go around the track in a car. We know it can’t be zero, but we also don’t know what the actual minimum is. However, if were to plot all of the laps ever made, it’s likely we’ll see that at some point, the lap times stop improving significantly.

        I will say that no matter how much money and hardware you throw at your simring, you won’t get any faster than the theoretical limit. However, it might get you closer than before, if you’re really far behind.

        Let’s say there is some driver out there that has managed to get close to running the fastest possible laps on a track using the keyboard and mouse. A wheel won’t make him faster. Fine.

        However, let’s say there is another driver who can barely turn a lap with the keyboard and mouse, and by having a more natural way to communicate with the game, he is able to improve his times.

        It’s sort of like buying a more expensive video card to raise your minimum FPS in graphics.

        So there is certainly value for some, and I know for sure that there was for me, as I have experienced the differences between G25 -> TX300 -> CSW V1 -> CSW V2 ->.AF -> Lenze OSW -> Bodnar2.

        At some point there is a diminishing return, but so is with everything else.

        @James Just because you don’t see the value, doesn’t mean its wrong. It would also help if you actually read the full posts in the full context before you use them as “evidence” in your articles. Your articles are hysterical though, mostly because of the misinformation you present. I plan to revisit your site, as this is some funny shit!

        – Mock Racer 😉

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      6. There’s obviously one ideal input: the series of gas/brake/steer/clutch values that produces the shortest lap to an infinite amount of accuracy. The minimum bar to be competitive is a controller that is capable of sending something as close to this ideal as the best drivers can physically perform – if the best drivers are within 0.1% of the correct limit, the signal should have a <0.1% error margin.

        User feedback doesn't come into that equation – the ideal input is the ideal, whether or not you can feel the FFB, hear the engine/tyres, or even see the screen.

        Think of it like singing a song – you can learn a tune and reproduce it perfectly, note for note, exactly in time with the original, without using Rock Band's lyric display.

        The purpose of the FFB wheel, or the lyric display, is to make it easier to *become* perfect. Immediate feedback when you're doing something wrong is, as you can find out in any intro psychology textbook, immensely helpful in training your instinctive responses. it works on dogs, it works on pigeons, it can work on sim racers.

        As a rule, no change to your rig is going to give you an immediate improvement in laptime – it's not like aero setup where you're tearing down the brick wall that stops you from achieving your best. But I do think that, in the long run, a more realistic force feedback makes the car easier to drive.

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      7. I think the relevant ‘measurements’ are readily available. Ask the aliens you encounter online what their driving with, the only commonality will be fairly accurate and large input ranges, because that’s 99% of what actually matters for putting in fast and consistent laps.

        “At some point there is a diminishing return, but so is with everything else.” There’s also a point of very limited tangible value.

        If you enjoy your wheel upgrades, that’s fine. I think the relative investment in simulator and input hardware is wildly out of line.

        “The purpose of the FFB wheel, or the lyric display, is to make it easier to *become* perfect. Immediate feedback when you’re doing something wrong is, as you can find out in any intro psychology textbook, immensely helpful in training your instinctive responses. it works on dogs, it works on pigeons, it can work on sim racers.”

        And a lyric display that is a millisecond closer to tempo isn’t going to make a damned bit of difference.

        ‘But I do think that, in the long run, a more realistic force feedback makes the car easier to drive.’

        So do I. Problem is, a large number of DD buyers are 1) already off pace 2) never configured their hardware correctly in the first place and 3) run their DD wheels with settings that produce completely unrealistic behavior and doesn’t really benefit them.

        I’m no longer amazed by the mental gymnastics people go through to justify purchases, I expect it.

        Don’t be surprised if I take the account of people who claim that a tightly-meshed singular point mechanical drive adds significant input latency with a large granule of salt.

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      8. The force feedback latency in my DFGT is pretty easily observable, as is the maximum rotation speed (270 degrees per second) so it’s not like “1ms better”. A DD wheel can do the full 900 degrees in under a second (although the Accuforce drivers actually cap this to avoid injury)

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      9. “The force feedback latency in my DFGT is pretty easily observable, as is the maximum rotation speed (270 degrees per second) so it’s not like “1ms better””

        Perhaps. Actual comparative latency metrics could be produced easily. The lack of such comparisons and metrics is part of the reason I question these claims, particularly when they are often confounded with completely inaccurate reasoning as to why it’s better. Whatever latency reduction that may or may not exist in a DD, it’s completely unrelated to the lack of mechanical drive mechanism.

        “A DD wheel can do the full 900 degrees in under a second (although the Accuforce drivers actually cap this to avoid injury)”

        That actually a good example of improvements reaching well outside the range of relevance. Without comparative metrics, all we see are claims with little relevant software or hardware engineering basis behind them, or comparisons that completely disregard the simulation relevance.

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      10. What do I have to do to convince you rotation speed matters, time it on a real racing video? I didn’t think it was controversial to say that a DFGT is slower than a real car can move the real steering wheel.

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      11. @e123

        I take it you haven’t actually tried a DD wheel, have you?

        Either way, it’s very easy to show the benefit of a DD wheel in terms of accurately representing what the sim is doing. You can certainly argue that this may not improve a driver’s ability to improve their lap times because they maybe generally retarded, but that’s like denying the output of information because there is an assumption that no one can make sense of it and turn it into an advantage.

        Some time ago I did the following test in iRacing, and plotted the result with telemetry:

        Step 1: Go to the skidpad in the skippy.
        Step 2: Turn the steering wheel all the way to one side (full lock).
        Step 3: Mash the throttle and don’t touch your steering wheel.

        In the ideal world, the sim will simulate the aligning torque and output the result to your physical wheel. The physical wheel will report back to the sim with an input that influences the car.

        To get a true baseline of what *should* happen, the sim should be able to get its inputs based on its simulated position of the wheel. Meaning, your physical wheel should play no part in this. Not sure how this can be achieved, unless you cut the connection right before you mash the throttle and the sim happens to do the right thing, but that’s what would need to happen.

        However, the test is still valuable in observing relative differences between wheels and between different settings of a single wheel.

        It also highlights an inherent problem of FFB in general, where wheels are given an instruction of force to move in a direction, rather than a calculated final destination. (See Leo Bodnar’s white paper on FFB and some of David Tucker’s comments).

        When observing the telemetry output, the resulting position of the steering will show differences in wheel response. The plot looks different depending on various damper settings, force settings, etc…

        It should be fairly easy to configure two wheels with settings that should yield similar results, in which case you can observe the capabilities of each wheel.

        With this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you that you can configure a DD wheel to be far more responsive and influence the recovery of the steering wheel far quicker than a wheel that cannot be configured to do so. If you’re keen enough, you’d know this is advantageous for being able to amplify feedback and receive information quicker than you otherwise would.

        Now if you’re the kind of person who can mentally predict the optimal position, and don’t rely on FFB to gain information form the car, then yes, the information is useless, and you won’t benefit from such a wheel. However, who’s to say that this is the right way and there aren’t people who are turning this information into an advantage?

        My point is, this isn’t some stupid justification, but rather goes hand in hand with the evolution of what sims can do, and hardware that can represent and manipulate FFB output on unprecedented levels.

        Just because people can interpret it differently, doesn’t make it unworthy of pursuit.

        – Mock Racer

        Like

  9. Why would you write your opinions and dismiss something you haven’t even tried?

    There was some article by a dude that said that you should not write opinions or write reviews if you haven’t even tried the stuff. Oh, right, it was you. Maybe you should follow your own advice here.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The butthurt in this article is hilarious, poor people schooling us about expensive hardware they can’t afford or haven’t even tried. Let me guess, Porsches are shit too, because your ’92 Civic can take you from a to b?
    Pro-tip: Not every simracer is a basement-manchild without a life or money.

    “I’m 100% sure ffb can’t feel any better” lol, you’re 100% butthurt, stop crying. Even on a low end G25/G27 the ffb feels better than on your child level DFGT.

    In 2 months we’ll have an article on PRC how DD wheels are the best thing ever and the ffb feels like god himself came over your face, because you actually tried one you imbecile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This whole website should be called THE BUTTHURT CENTRAL, because every article is just butthurt… Author of this website is like “I dont know anything about this game/wheel/car/company/affair but I saw a forum post saying it sucks, so I’ll make an article about it!”

      Like

    2. Nothing screams “basement manchild” more than a 2000 $ toy steering wheel if you ask me. When you commit that much to a hobby it´s probably because you have nothing else to do.

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      1. Hell yeah, because kids are known for their commitment and basement dwelling autists usually are swimming in money, you fucking monkey.
        Can you imagine that for some working people 2000$ is not “that much”? For others it might have been, but they still saved up and spent it on something they enjoy doing.

        I bet you can’t afford better hardware because you have so much to do lol.

        Like

      2. btw when people talk about basement manchild, they refer to usa gamers right? Because here in Europe people live in apartments and those who have house use their basement for storage, or just abandoned, or no basement at all. People here actually have rooms in the house.

        Anyway, what do I know.. just stuff I see in american movies.

        Like

      3. “People here actually have rooms in the house.”
        Didn’t mean to say in the literal way, but that people use their rooms and don’t isolate in basements. Maybe is a gamer tradition in usa.

        Like

  11. got the bodnar at my main home in germany and the af at my place in austria. both work flawlessly. i do have one complaint though. my less fortuned buddy’s race less frequently since they tasted my servowheels.

    Like

  12. James, Chump car or Lemons season for under 2k? You can’t honestly believe that bullshit. Trailer, Tires, Fuel, food and sleeping arrangements, plus more. What a joke dude. Use your brain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The difference is that VR tech is still brand new. Sim Racers arent sitting on a box of old VR headsets like they are with steering wheels.

      So $2000 on a toy wheel for a subjective increase in realism when people are already satisfied with cheaper options is just bizarre.

      Like

      1. Maybe if you struggle in life it’s bizarre. Me, i couldn’t care less if people are satisfied with the new madcatz wheel, i still wouldn’t want to spend my limited free time on such a piece of crap.

        Some people are satisfied living in a trailer, does that mean i’m a weirdo for living in a house?

        Like

  13. I’m not a fan of the really expensive wheels either and wouldn’t buy one but I will say that two of my teammates (one being a DWC driver in F1) say they can feel a lot more and faster. They swear it is easier to catch a slide as you can feel it coming a lot sooner.

    Like

  14. If you don’t feel the g27 in AC responding fast enough at the center, when driving or even when drifting, increase the ffb frequency.
    assetto_corsa.ini FF_SKIP_STEPS=0 (instead of 1, meaning it doesn’t skip anything, but return the value to 1 if you don’t like or pc not fast enough). C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\system\cfg

    Like

  15. James sorry but this article is by far one of the worst on your site, you’ve started taking examples of people selling kits and parts, and arguing that the DD fuss is going to end but…. then you’re drifted away with this pointless Simxperience SW license argument…
    MOST of the people selling the AF is going to buy an OSW, or a Bodnar, or do you think they’re going to buy a Logitech / Thrustmaster instead ?
    Now, more then ever, who is selling OSWs (I mean RESELLERS), has long waiting lists.
    I bought from Ollie a small Mige, and then some very good pedals, I was coming from an ancient G25, the whole experience is so rewarding that never, not for a moment, I regretted spending € 2000.
    Can you afford to spend this ammount of money in your hobby ? No ? Ok, than be happy with what you have, it’s up to you deciding how to spend your money
    I wont become the new Senna of Sim Racing, for sure, many aliens out there has DFGT, G27 and stuff like this but, for the SAKE OF GOD every one is free to spend his own money.

    cheers, Nicola

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The worste site I could possibly ever visit for sim racing news isn’t much of a news site is it? I think it’s more of a troll haven…or magnet maybe?

    Owner of a mige osw here currently, and previously owned a Lenze osw. I’ve also tested an accuforce at sim x headquarters last year.
    Search “MMos osw Lenze raceroom racing” on YouTube and you’ll likely see me rambling, and links to other videos I made. (Just for reference to put a face to go with the comment here)

    Has direct drive made me quicker? A bit, yes, mostly because confidence and ability to catch a slide has increased. Otherwise, perhaps not. Is that the reason I chose to upgrade from a worn out yet trusty t500? Hell no. I got the Lenze osw just because!…I wanted it. I saw the comparison on sim racing garage, cancelled my AF order, and emailed dennis reimer. The open sim wheel and MMos is the best thing to happen to sim racing in a long time. No more coorperate brands selling toy wheels for me. Osw is what I always wanted. Customized Force feedback kits and wheels for the hardcore sim junkie…. Its f***ing badass, awesome, realistic, personalized (from a “choice of rim” aspect), and it sure as hell isn’t a toy…but I’d refer to it as one of I had a house guest who had no idea what sim racing is, lol.
    I had some extra $$$ leftover from letting go of my Ducati, and to this day, nearly 10 months later, I still love owning an OSW. No regret.
    I think if someone like the author feels so strongly about direct drive wheels, he should certainly share his opinion with the rest of the community and let off some steam, if only for us to use it as an example of ignorance and discourse. In this case, it is an op ed piece: (piece; as in, P.O.S.)
    James, I’d like to remind you of a reason for having divisions in a market for a product. In this case, ffb wheels. It is natural for markets, even as small as ffb wheels, to have a division of class. It keeps a select demographic away from having to associate, or be associated with the “other” demographic. From a business standpoint, Bernie and the guys at sim x kind of f***Ed up for making a direct drive wheel for the masses. They’re now, and will, continue to to deal with not only the rich, educated, and friendly veteran sim racers, but also the lower classes, people that typically don’t have communication skills or etiquet to match the level of service they were provided; guys with chips on their shoulders, or just not enough experience to make their product operate as they once thought it should. In other words, sim x has to deal with sh** heads that aren’t patient, aren’t polite, and expect the world. Bodnar doesn’t deal with that because his prices keep those scrubby guys away. ( call me one I guess. I’m not rich. Just an enthusiast. )
    Osw kit builders don’t have to deal with scrubs either. There’s nothing on the average PayPal invoice that says a builder is required to service your fried OSW disco board. That’s often unspoken respect and open communication that keeps the peace.
    What I’m getting at here is that if guys like James got into the direct drive wheel market somehow, they’d make it much more unpleasant, so we should be happy he feels this way about the market. The rest of us can live in reality. And that reality is the direct drive market is trully on the rise in popularity because of the option to go uber with bodnar, DIY with osw, or commercial with sim x. Three great options, totally different approaches. Its the beginning of a new market, and there’s already distinguished models of service and production.
    A high peripheral is a good thing to have in a market, even when there’s only a small handful of buyers. This is allowing the sellers / manufacturers, and in osw’s case, the kit builders, to sell only to the early adopters, so we can show em off and see if they’re worth it…for blokes like me; a sim racer who’s ready to spend good money for elite gear, without hesitation; Somene who’s done their research, and is educated. Above all else; someone with class and dignity…well, mostly…
    Sim racers are mostly a cut above the rest of the gaming community too. James should.have remembered that. His op ed sounds very fan boyish or perhaps just childish. We’re older on average, we make more money to justify a purchase for even the entry level gear like g27. So why tear down part of your community that has huge potential for innovation? That’s moronic and ignorant James. Go splurge on a new DD wheel and live a little and don’t take life too seriously.

    Like

  17. I wouldn’t call a “toy” a DD device that has a GENUINE wheel screwed on, whereas the real “toys” are the chinese plastic junk items with flimsy motors that overheat and burn like matches .. and also convert signals so compressed by the garbage firmware that they look like square wave type.

    OTOH anyone remember Simxperience’s “contest” to win an Accuforce, to celebrate the launch of the product ? The winner (he has a personal page on the web) was a guy who worked for the government , a specialist working on haptics applied to vehicles. I mean it’s clear the guy was part of the SIMXPERIENCE adventure in producing the accuforce devices and software. Tossing a gift to a supposedly “random” facebook user who happens to be a research scientist who has probably worked hand in hand with the said company is a horrible marketing trick…
    …but by no means does this sort of detail diminish the intrinsic value of direct drive devices

    Like

    1. wow now this needs to be investigated and made an article about, now that’s disingenuous marketing. James will love this, we know he did when WMD marketed pcars.

      Like

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