Logitech G29 Racing Wheel Review

Conclusion

Logitech G29 Wheel Review

Conclusion

Hardcore racing sims have lessened in recent years. Whether it's the influx of console racers, or the popularity of same, or maybe just Papyrus leaving the scene, you haven't as many to choose from as there where back in the days of Grand Prix Legends, Nascar Racing 2003, Richard Burns Rally and their ilk.

The majority of modern titles either have woeful arcade physics or aren't designed to utilise a wheel - Forza 6 Apex, Grid Autosport, the list goes on. It's no fault of Logitech of course, just a sad indictment of the way the market was for a while. You can either use the, now somewhat aged, Simbin or Papyrus titles, or only the very latest stuff like PCars, Assetto Corsa etc. There was a long period of time when the only racing offering you could have was Need For Speed or Codemasters Grid series, which was as easy to play on a keyboard as a pad due to the pants physics, so the need for a wheel just wasn't there. Thankfully the advent of Steam and the explosion of Indie developers, as well as both Sony and Microsoft making the most of their powerful consoles to bring more hardcore titles to the masses has meant that there is a place in the gaming world for wheels once more.

Once you escape from the all sizzle, no steak titles and into the ones that require a modicum of skill take full advantage of and thus heighten your rewards, then a wheel becomes an absolute must and the Logitech G29 is an outstanding entry into that marketplace.

If you've never experienced racing with a wheel and pedals then you can stop reading here and go and buy a G29. The difference in immersion is enormous, but it's not just about having controls which match those inside the car. The extra distance from lock to lock over a simple analogue stick enables you to recover from those moments when you lose control far more often than you'd hope to manage with a pad. Indeed it's almost easy to use the G29 to live out on the edge of adhesion where lap times are at their lowest. The combination of a beautifully linear throttle, responsive brake pedal, and smooth wheel turning combine with amazing force feedback to give you all the, erm, feedback you need to ride the leading edge of the performance envelope to new heights.

If you have already got an older wheel setup then the G29 is easily the best of the non-specialist wheels around. Sure you can buy a Fanatec if you've recently won the lottery, but for most of us even the price of the G29 is stretching it for a peripheral. At least that's what you might feel if you haven't actually used one. The moment you grasp it in your sweaty hands though the quality is obvious. The wheel is leather bound, which adds an air of quality and realism to proceedings and is a long way ahead of the Momo Force wheel. There are a lot of buttons on the front, in part because of its Playstation compatibility, but they all feel more robust and have a reassuring click that belies their obviously plastic material. The paddles are metal with microswitches. There is a couple of millimetres travel before the switch engages, useful if you want to pull in anticipation of the peak of the torque curve or just have a twitch in those tense moments.

Pedals are, if anything, the most impressive part of the whole package. What has for years been the weak spot in any wheel and pedals is suddenly the strength. We're not suffering with either plastic pedals, or plastic actuators. They are all metal, beautifully sprung, and so robust that we think their plastic surround will die long before they do. Something that definitely wasn't true of the old Momo wheels. Hell I went through four sets of pedals myself in my career. These are majestic. The clutch has a medium spring on it that just resists enough as you reach the end of the travel. The brakes are the real stars with tons of pressure and resistance to truly give you that real-world brake feel. The throttle is lightly sprung and linear throughout its travel. All three have very accurate sensors meaning that if you're in control of your feet you can hold a particular rev perfectly, or apply just the right amount of braking every time.

Lastly the force feedback utilises helical gears and dual motors to give you all the resistance and tactile cues necessary for fast times and to give a true sense of the grip under your rubber. If we're being insanely pedantic then the microfine, seriously subtle responses you might expect from a very expensive setup are somewhat lacking, but with plenty of options to tune the feedback we guarantee that you'll find a setting that fits you best. There is a moment when your suspension geometry and grip match up perfectly where you can feel the resistance in the wheel melt away and it's absolutely glorious. Yet, it's equally capable of rattling your teeth in crashes or if you're injudicious in your treatment of the kerbs.

Obviously we're focussed largely upon the PC capabilities of the G29, but we also gave it a quick blat in the PS3s Gran Turismo 5 and the PS4s Driveclub, and all the experiences we had on the PC were replicated. Sure you might not be able to spend the night tuning every last detail of the force feedback, but the G29s default settings are great enough that you have a wonderful time anyway. Being able to switch between consoles with just a quick flick of the top-mounted switch rather than fiddling about with adaptors only enhances the user friendliness of the G29.

Negatives? Hmm. Perhaps we'd like the L2 and R2 buttons to be nearer the edge of the wheel. We'd also like a little better indentations on the clamps to enable us to tighten them further without requiring the grip strength of a weightlifter. We're still miffed that the H-Shifter isn't included by default. You need to figure the cost of a shifter if you're a die-hard manual box user. Otherwise there is nothing to complain about.

Fabulous build quality is allied to a much smoother gaming experience and far higher quality feedback than a wheel and pedal set at this price point has any right to have. Once you add in the plentiful buttons and always impressive gear shift lights the Logitech G29 is a spectacular piece of kit for the money and if you've even a passing interest in driving simulations you owe it to yourself and your laptimes to get one.

Logitech G29 Wheel Review  

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Most Recent Comments

24-08-2016, 21:04:22

jimma47
Nice review Bryan.

I've had a G29 for a few months now and agree with most of your thoughts. Unless you're going to spend crazy money on a fanatic set up; and at only slightly more than half the cost of the Thrustmaster T500RS it's a solid mid range offering.

My negative thoughts are limited to the software and the USB - it was a nightmare setting it up and detecting anything as I only have USB3 on the front and back panels. Luckily the motherboard had a USB2 internal and once I switched out my xbox wireless controller dongle to the G29 the steering wheel has worked really well.
The internal header poking out through a rear w/c grommet is a bit ugly but it's functional. and saves me having to take the side of the case off every time I want to connect or disconnect the wheel.

Occasionally (well more accurately - rarely) it will turn hard left/right mid race and throw me into a wall. I think it has still to do with the usb detection and the software as the resistance to turn the wheel changes as well. Like losing your power steering or driving a car from the 80s.

I have a G502 Mouse and a G110 keyboard all running off LGS and the keyboard lighting and macros like to glitch out now and then since installing the G29 whereas they'd been bullet proof before so I'd be tempted to blame the software.

Hopefully they come up with a fix for the USB3 detection issues.

This being said it's a quality offering. The wheel feels awesome, response is great and the enjoyment levels in racing have improved immeasurably. I drive in socks as the pedals are a little too close for clunky feet but I can see this being part of my setup for a long time yet.Quote

25-08-2016, 08:21:17

SeekaX
I only skimmed through the review, so i might have missed the price, but the MSRP on these is 399 euros, just 30 euros less than a t500rs which is in a completely different league. To be fair, i can find the g29 for 275 euros on Amazon now, but on launch it really was that expensive. Considering that the g27 came with a shifter (a pretty flimsy one, but hey, it's cheap) i still think the g29 was a step back. It doesn't really offer any improvements over the g27 but it's more expensive, even with the discounts. They slapped a bunch of fairly useless buttons on it, dropped the shifter and called it a day. The g27 went for ~230 euros at the end of its lifespan.
Also regarding racesims, i disagree that there isn't much to choose from. There's Assetto Corsa, PCARS, Dirt Rally, Raceroom, Automobilista/Stock Car Extreme, Formula Truck, rFactor 2, iRacing, BeamNG, etc..Quote

25-08-2016, 09:07:27

jimma47
Yeah on launch it was way overpriced. I got mine for $350 AUD. The T500 is around $800 here. I wouldn't upgrade from a 25 or 27 but as I had no wheel it was a great choice.Quote

25-08-2016, 09:48:42

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekaX View Post
I only skimmed through the review, so i might have missed the price, but the MSRP on these is 399 euros, just 30 euros less than a t500rs which is in a completely different league. To be fair, i can find the g29 for 275 euros on Amazon now, but on launch it really was that expensive. Considering that the g27 came with a shifter (a pretty flimsy one, but hey, it's cheap) i still think the g29 was a step back. It doesn't really offer any improvements over the g27 but it's more expensive, even with the discounts. They slapped a bunch of fairly useless buttons on it, dropped the shifter and called it a day. The g27 went for ~230 euros at the end of its lifespan.
Also regarding racesims, i disagree that there isn't much to choose from. There's Assetto Corsa, PCARS, Dirt Rally, Raceroom, Automobilista/Stock Car Extreme, Formula Truck, rFactor 2, iRacing, BeamNG, etc..
Gotta say I agree here there are LOADS of sims out right now, and the T500RS is in a completely different league. It's a shame they decided to separate the shifter, typical logitech really.

G25 had a H shifter that could change to sequential,
G27 changed that to h-shifter only,
and the G29 removed it entirely. lolQuote

25-08-2016, 10:15:33

Wraith
Have not owned a wheel since 1998 which was the Microsoft Sidewinder force feed back pro, it broke my desk! Only game to support it properly back then was world Rally Championship, my oh my how things have changed.. always wanted the Act Labs pro racer but damn even back then it was sub £1k.Quote
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