Does a Wheel Make You Better at Racing Games?

Wheels may be expensive but are they worth the money? Do they make you a better racer?

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Skuletor1380d ago

Yes, preferably four of them /s

ApocalypseShadow1379d ago (Edited 1379d ago )


But it's definitely more fun with a wheel. Feels like the days at the arcade playing games like Turbo. And Outrun in the sit down cabinet with the stereo speakers. And later on with games like F355 Challenge and multiplayer Mario Kart Arcade. Oh, and Initial D arcade machine where you have to strap in was hella fun with a wheel.

Playing with a controller pad isn't reality accurate. But if you're good, you're good. Good drivers adapt to the situation and limitations. You could be playing with a pad but still beat someone with a wheel.

Si-Fly1379d ago (Edited 1379d ago )

For an arcade game I agree that it makes no difference but for anything serious like iRacing, Assetto Corsa or RFactor all of the Pros are using wheels and pedals. In fact a large proportion of the Pros on iRacing are using Direct Drive wheels and high end load cell or hydraulic pedals, I’d imagine it’s the same in other sims but not familiar with the drivers of those.

ApocalypseShadow1378d ago (Edited 1378d ago )

Put a person that has never driven at all behind a wheel and see if it makes them a better driver in a game. Try a real world experiment. Take someone who's never driven at all and let them play against a person with a pad. The pad driver with experience will win. You can even switch it. Take someone that drives for real but has never played a videogame and put them against an experienced pad driver. Even though the real driver has the wheel, it doesn't mean they will beat the pad driver already used to playing the game.

The reason it made YOU a better driver in a game is because you were already used to driving for real. You have the experience and your are just duplicating it in a game. And you already have experience playing games. Take that real experience away and that wheel will do nothing for you.

That's what I'm saying.

bloop1379d ago

Have to disagree Apocalypse. We had a national competition back when Gran Turismo 3 released and the top 10 Nurburgring hot laps qualified for the final. I think I must've done 100 laps using a pad and couldn't improve my time. I went out and bought a wheel and was lapping 10 seconds faster after about an hour of using it. Using a wheel is much, much faster.

ApocalypseShadow1378d ago

I guess the question would be, "did you already know how to drive with a wheel?" What if you never driven a car? See? Not as simple is it?

Put an inexperienced person that plays games with a pad behind the wheel of a videogame wheel or real car, doesn't make them drive better. They are going to crash, miss a gear, stall it, etc.

I know what you're saying. But I'd bet the reason you could play with a wheel, is because you already drive a real car. Take the real experience away and what conclusion could you come up with?

The only reason in the competitions that gamers drive better with a wheel, is because of experience of real driving. Without that experience, a videogame wheel will give you no benefit. And a pad driver can beat you.

IRetrouk1378d ago

While I get what you mean, its not really true, I
was using a racing wheel in gt much longer than I have been driving in real life, you don't need real world experiance to get the benefit of a wheel, with practice the extra level of control will 100% make you better than with a pad.

rainslacker1379d ago

I find it easier to control the car like it's an actual car, which makes it seem like I'm better at driving. Analog I tend to not be as good with the smaller increments or smooth turning, which tends to make it seem like I'm jerking the wheel, which is generally not good for racing at high speeds.

Throw in a wheel with VR, and it's almost feels like being in a real car, because you can actually tell where you are in the turn, which means not having to worry so much about watching the edge of the track to get your queue on where you should start turning.

ApocalypseShadow1378d ago

That's the only time I'll agree. With VR, the perception is better.

But if a person sucks at driving with a pad, there's no guarantee they can drive with a wheel. Or improve their ability to drive.

Si-Fly1378d ago (Edited 1378d ago )

I’m really not sure what the point you’re trying to make in your reply is. The original question was does a wheel make you better and the answer is yes when it comes to serious sim racing. A high end set of wheels and pedals absolutely affords you greater control and consistency. Take a look at products by Simucube and Heusinkveld and watch an iRacing world championship race on YouTube, it seems you lack a little knowledge on this subject.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1378d ago
IRetrouk1379d ago (Edited 1379d ago )

Yes it does.
With practice obviously though, your turns are more accurate, so is your breaking and acceleration.
Also depends on what wheel you have, the cheap ones are no good, you need the wheel to atleast offer force feedback and 900 degree rotation, most cheaper wheels don't.

kneon1378d ago

I'd say even a cheap wheel is better than a controller. If I can't play a racing game with a wheel then I won't play at all.

sampsonon1378d ago (Edited 1378d ago )

I use a cheap wheel that at least has force feedback, but it is cheap. First wheel I've owned. Once i got used to it i started getting way better times. It makes a difference because of the turns for sure, smoother entry and exit.

IRetrouk1378d ago

Get yourself a g29, you will be shocked by the difference, but I agree, you can get much better control from a wheel and pedals vs a controller

Bathyj1379d ago

I don't know about that but it's definately the best way to play.

ApocalypseShadow1378d ago

Based on the disagrees above, a person that has never used a wheel in a videogame, can beat a person experienced with a pad. The wheel will automatically make them better at driving in a game.

When in my opinion, the person with the better ability and experience will win. Which is the same with an arcade stick and a pad for fighting games. Having a stick won't guarantee a win over a pad. Unless that person is just better at the game.

Maybe they didn't get what I was saying above.

Kurt Russell1378d ago

I think what you're doing is twisting the discussion rather than paying attention to it.

The skill ceiling of a wheel is higher, it affords greater control which in turn gives the player the better opportunity to improve on their times.

All this "what if they have never used a wheel" or "what if they were blind and had no arms and legs" is a moot point. With practice the benefits of a wheel outstrips that of an analogue controller.

jukins1379d ago

It definetly makes you better. Obviously there's those occasions where a pad player will be better but 9/10 once you adapt to wheel and pedals you'll be better. Not to mention it's just that much more fun. Especially in games like dirt rally. The more realistic the better the wheel is gonna be. Even more immersive if you go high end with pedals as well.