After doing quite a bit of racing in Forza Motorsport 4, I decided I wanted to step it up a few notches. I started doing some research online in the area of driving simulation and found that people were putting together some pretty serious setups for games like Forza and iRacing.
I found everything from full metal cockpit cages with multiple monitors and racing seats to a basic wireless control steering wheel from Microsoft. The handheld wireless wheel controller is nice but not as precise or immersive. It’s probably a step up from the regular controller but not by much. I don’t have the room for a full simulation setup so a cockpit was out of the question and my budget for something like this. My friend Mark had played around with some of the setups from Fanatec and after looking into them I decided these would work best for me.
I decided to go with the Fanatec CSR wheel and Rennsport wheel stand. I ended up ordering their combo setup which includes the wheel, CSR Elite pedals, and shifters (H pattern and sequential). The wheel stand is great because it folds and allows me to move it out of the way when not in use and is quick to set up yet sturdy. I already had a race car gaming chair that works perfectly with this setup.
I found this setup works great and really changes the game and how I play. I changed the game setting steering to simulation and controller type to wheel with clutch. Now I’m able to drive with a real brake/gas pedal, shift with a real clutch and shifter and get force feedback from the wheel when driving. This all comes together to give you an even better and more immersive experience when racing. The biggest thing I noticed is how much smoother you can be using the wheel and pedals. I always found it hard to give it just a little bit of throttle with the controller triggers, now I have a much better range of control. Also, holding the wheel steady or making minor corrections is much much easier.
The setup is not cheap, and it’s certainly a big expense for a “game”. Sure, I could have gone to a couple of track events for that price but with this setup I can practice every week and even work on things like heel toe downshifting when I’m not in my car. It makes my participation in the weekly series feel like much more of an event as I bring out the setup before the race and get myself into position.
Of course this setup can be used with other racing games as well. Forza Horizons will be coming out soon so I’m looking forward to trying it with that as well. I’m still pretty addicted to Forza and recently picked up the Porsche expansion which is great. They keep adding content like the new Dodge Viper so this setup will definitely keep me satisfied in between real life driving events.