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Logitech G29 review

Andrew Williams

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  • T300RS

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Leather-topped wheel feels good
  • Decent pedals
  • Strong force feedback

Cons

  • Turning and feedback feels 'notchy'
  • Very similar to 5-year-old G27
  • Some won't like bright-coloured buttons

Best Deals for Logitech G29

  • ebay

Key Features

  • 900-degree wheel rotation
  • Helical geared force feedback
  • 3-pedal base
  • Manufacturer: Logitech
  • Review Price: £299.99

What is the Logitech G29 Driving Force?

The Logitech G29 Driving Force is a force feedback wheel, one of the few that works with the PS4. Don’t own a PS4 yet? It’ll also do the job for the PS3 and PC.

This is a good wheel, one that may radically increase your enjoyment of racing games if you don’t yet own a force feedback wheel. However, it offers only minor improvements over the ‘classic’ Logitech G27, a wheel that doesn’t work with the PS4 because of contentious compatibility issues.

At £300, anyone thinking of buying the Logitech G29 also needs to consider the Thrustmaster T300 RS and T300 Ferrari GTE. To make the decision trickier, the two camps each have their ups and downs, but the smoother feel of Thrustmaster’s wheel may well seal the deal for many of you. 


Xbox One owner? Check out the Logitech G920, this wheel's brother.

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Logitech G29 Driving Force: Design and Features

The Logitech G29 Driving Force does its best to look and feel like a ‘real’ steering wheel. And those of you who have owned or wanted one of these wheels for years will notice it looks an awful lot like the Logitech G27, its last-gen brother.

27cm in diameter, with a largely metal frame and finished with leather, it has a high-end-enough build to just-about give you enough ammunition to convince people it’s not a toy. Yes, we know it is one really.

The notable part here is the leather. Rival Thrustmaster wheels are coated in rubber as standard, and feel that bit cheaper as a result. The Thrustmaster system offers interchangeable wheels, but when the Alcantara and leather ones cost £140/150, it’s no pocket money upgrade.

Related: Xbox One vs PS4

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The feel of the Logitech G29 wheel is pretty much identical to the older G27. It seems it's built to withstand punishment, and is far hardier than the cheap wheels you may have used until now. However, the upholstery is not quite supercar-grade: there was a bit of flabby flappiness to two parts on the rear.

Being a PlayStation-centric model has let Logitech kit out the G29 with all the buttons needed control the PS4 and PS3, without need for a controller. Doing so is a cinch. All that’s missing is the pair of analogue sticks, but you’re not exactly going to start playing non-racing games with the G29, are you?

Related: Xbox One vs Xbox 360

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We found it to be 100 per cent plug and play. Hook up the 3-pedal board to the wheel, then the wheel to the PS4 and you’re away. It automatically recognises the wheel, which can then be used instantly with games like DriveClub and Project Cars. No extra set-up is needed.

The one incredibly shallow pitfall is that there’s a little switch up on the top of the Logitech G29 that toggles between PS3 and PS4 compatibility modes. You see, the PS4 talks to an extra security chip in accessories like this wheel, which is Logitech’s excuse for the older G25 and G27 models not supporting the PS4.

This is a dodgy area, as some claim this is nonsense designed to get people to upgrade from older wheels, that a firmware solution is possible, but we’re not going to go into that here (it’s the reason for the user review down-voting of the wheel on Amazon).

Related: PS4 vs PS3

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What we will say, though, is that we were not initially won over by the bright and colourful extra buttons, not found in the Logitech G920. Those little blue buttons on the front replicate the trigger buttons on a controller, while the red dial allows quick tweaking of certain car parameters. In all honesty, we did not find much use for it.

Whether you love the colour injection or hate it, it’s not as though Logitech gives you any choice. And for something that’s going to be consigned to wherever you game (or, as is quite likely, the cupboard 95 per cent of the time) does it matter?

Related: Best PS4 Games 2015

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Logitech G29 Driving Force: Pedalboard

There’s no bonus bling to the pedalboard, and it is one of the strongest reasons to recommend the Logitech G29 over its Thrustmaster rivals. While the base is plastic, the board is substantial, needing less securing than the oldest G-series sets.

It’s a three-pedal setup: accelerator, brake and clutch. Each has a different tension style, mirroring what you get in a real car. The important improvement in the G29 is the brake. It’s progressive, with more tension at the end of its depression to give you much better control over the force of the brake and a more realistic. It’s a big improvement over the old wheels, and the pedal set included with the Thrustmaster T300 RS.

Related: PS4 HDD Upgrade - How to upgrade your PS4 storage

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Some Logitech G27 owners went as far as to emulate this brake feel by putting a sliced-in-half tennis ball under the pedal, so it’s good to see Logitech has taken this on-board.

If you’re wondering what stand we’re using for the pictures in this review, it’s the Speedblack Evo, an affordable stand that’ll do the job for people who don’t want a giant chair/frame cluttering up their lounge.

Have plenty of space? You might also want to consider the gear shifter add-on. We haven’t had a chance to try this out, but it costs £50 and, if it’s anything like the old model, will feel a little bit flimsier than the rest of the hardware.

Related: PS4 Backwards Compatibility - Can I play PS3 games on my PS4?

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Logitech G29 Driving Force: Performance and Force Feedback

Aside from the decent pedals and the questionable colourful bonus buttons, one of the neat extra features of the Logitech G29 is the LED display that sits just above the wheel’s centre. This acts as a rev counter, letting you tell when it’s time to change gears — particularly useful if you have the sound down low.

Gear shifting is done using racing-style paddles behind each side of the wheel. They’re firm, clicky and made of metal, getting you just the right kind of gear change action.

Related: Best PS4 Games 2015

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The wheel itself turns around 900 degrees. This allows two and a half turns before the wheel locks. While the Thrustmaster wheels play 'features Top Trumps' with 1080 degrees of rotation, we’re perfectly happy with what Logitech offers.

What’s not quite as perfect is the force feedback. Or, to be more precise, the lack of marked improvement over the 5-year-old Logitech G27.

Before we address this properly, we need to take a step back. The Logitech G29 has great force feedback. Playing Project Cars without any customisation, the force is strong enough to cause arm ache after 30-40 minutes play, a clear sign that the wheel has powerful motors working for it.

Logitech G29

If you’ve not used a proper force feedback wheel before, we think you’ll love it. It gives you a much more direct sensation of control over a car, where with a gamepad you’re left relying on visual and audio cues to judge when a car is about to understeer or oversteer. With force feedback you can feel it, because when properly programmed it lets you feel how the car (and the road) is working against you. It works very with DriveClub, and even better with the more realistic Project Cars.

Wheels like the Logitech G29 Driving Force make driving games far more engaging, perhaps too much for those days when you just want to let you brain quietly vegetate after a stressful day of work.

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We love force feedback wheels. However, we are also a little disappointed that Logitech hasn’t done more to address the granular ‘notchy’ feel to the G-series’s wheel turn action and force feedback.

The dual motor system is geared, which is what leads to this less-than-smooth feel. Most similar-price rivals from Fanatec and Thrustmaster use a dual belt system that is both a lot smoother and slightly quieter. Using the Logitech G29 with the metal Speedblack Evo was a fairly noisy experience, the impact of the feedback engine almost sounding like someone was tapping on the metal sheets that make up the not-100-per-cent-solid stand.

This minimises the benefit of the fairly cool operation of the geared G29. Where belt-driven feedback wheels tend to use fans to avoid overheating, and generally get a lot hotter, the passively-cooled Logitech can be used for a pretty long time without really getting too warm at all.

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Logitech G29 Driving Force vs Thrustmaster T300RS

Here’s the big one, the question any potential wheel buyers need to answer: Logitech or Thrustmaster? On Logitech’s side, its pedals are better and we prefer the feel of the leather-topped G29 to the rubbery T300RS.

However, returning to the gear-driven Logitech after the belt-driven T300RS feels like a significant downgrade. Any force feedback wheel adds a huge dollop of authenticity to a racing game, but a smoother response feels that much more real. It’s a big factor to consider if you’re in this for the fun of the experience rather than the seconds a wheel may shave off your lap times.

If money’s no object, Thrustmaster also offers ‘upgrades’ that’ll fix all the T300RS’s shortcomings. For £150 you can get an impressive set of T3PA-PRO pedals, and another £150 will get you a leather or Alcantara wheel. That’s right, we’re talking about an almost-£600 spend.

T300RS

Logitech G29 vs G27 vs G25

We imagine some of you will be owners of older Logitech G-series wheels wondering whether you should upgrade or not. If you’re after PS4 support, the old wheels will do you no good. They don't work with the console, despite a 20,000-strong petition to get Logitech to add PS4 support (which some claim would be possible).

The Logitech G27 and G29 are both less ‘notchy’ than the G25, and have the LED rev indicator that the granddad wheel lacks. Given the five years that have passed since the G27 arrived, the differences in the G29 are fairly minor.

You get the extra controls on the faceplate, plus a new feel to the brake pedal. There are probably tweaks to the internals, but these are the main differences we noted.

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Should I buy the Logitech G29 Driving Force?

If you’re really into your racing games, you should at least find a way to try out a force feedback wheel. And for PS4 gamers, now that both Project Cars and Driveclub are out, there’s enough content to feast on to justify it too.

Is this the best PS4 wheel? Right now there are no perfect options, and just a few very good ones. The Logitech G29 sits among them, with a nice leather-upholstered wheel and plenty of PS4 specific controls.

However, it is quite noisy and its force feedback, while powerful, isn’t as smooth feeling as the belt-driven competition from Thrustmaster and Fanatec (we’ve not had a chance to use those extensively, though).

Verdict

A great wheel, but one without many big improvements over the old G27.

Overall Score

8

Best Deals for Logitech G29

  • ebay

BillBant

June 23, 2015, 6:12 pm

"Bearing in mind that I'm nearly 6ft tall, I had some issues with the set-up of both wheels at E3 2015. The mount had a large metal bar running from the wheel to the middle of the pedal mount, which made reaching the pedals a lot trickier than normal."

The G29 comes with a mount? That's incredible news, and worth the price ALONE. Last-generation Logitech wheels practically required you to spend another $100 to get a mounting system. The "lap mount" was a joke.

Marxist American

June 24, 2015, 1:13 am

"I'm not quite sure why Logitech has decided to introduce such bold colours on the G29, as it's bound to put off a lot of potential buyers. PC gamers will probably prefer the more refined G920."

Uh, probably because it's easier to see and read. I don't know why superior usability would put off a lot of buyers. I don't consider those ugly skittles looking xbox buttons "more refined." Can't believe they still stick with that look for xbone, it's so off-putting seeing them pop up on screen as well. The G29 will sell a lot more. Still, if you are PC only you can find deals on older wheels that work fine. Unless devs start phasing the old wheels out for some reason.

It looks like the xbox version is missing a lot of stuff unless it's just a prototype? The bottom half is missing.

chiVelle

June 24, 2015, 9:15 pm

It won't come with a mount. The E3 setup was simply using a mount. I do agree though that the Logitech G27 mounting brackets were not ideal, as they didn't even unscrew low enough to mount to the width of my table. I hope the new G29 and G920 are improved in this regard.

Crimson Gungnir

June 25, 2015, 10:51 am

Amazon says my G920 will ship in 2-5 weeks and should expect it anywhere from the 15th-29th of July. However, when the wheel was first announced, Logitechs website said October, but now it just says "coming soon", which kind of gives me hope it will be July, so either Amazon is wrong, which I doubt because it's saying it ships from them and they are the sellers (no thrid party), so I doubt they are wrong, or Logitech decided to have it ready by July with the G29, but didn't say anything. I'm hoping the latter since I want the wheel before Forza 6 comes out so I'll have it day one, and by then any launch day kinks in the wheel that are firmware related, will most likely be fixed by September, if its a July release.

Admir Karalic

August 21, 2015, 7:30 am

Why can't they make a Wheel base compatible for both XBOX ONE and PS4 and having the possibility at the preordering to select which wheel you would like to have and/or have both. Also for 499.99 $ (in canada) not coming with a Shifter really puts me off a little bit :-/

Jim

November 13, 2015, 10:07 pm

The red dial will have a huge advantage over other wheels when GT7 is released. You may remember the Logitech Drive Force GT,great wheel, great price. It was designed in conjunction with Gran Turismo 5. Those dials were excellent for on-the-fly adjustments. Brake bias, TCS, anti-lock force (some other parameters that are slipping my mind) were adjustable with that dial and up-down rocker. I haven't read that the G29 is guaranteed to support those functions in GT7, but I think it's a fair assumption since that's the origin of those buttons.

Alex Walsh

November 24, 2015, 8:53 am

£180 on Amazon today! W00t!!!

andyvan

November 25, 2015, 1:17 pm

Haha, yeah I got it from Currys for the same price. Stupid not to! :D

n525

January 19, 2016, 5:21 pm

Hi! What are the compatible games for g29? How come if we turn left while playing the steering wheel does not work? But when u go to settings the steering wheel works perfectly fine. We tried 2 games already

ant

February 8, 2016, 2:45 pm

Currys had the stick marked up wrong so I got the g29 + shifter for £185

surprisinglyfastforafatman2

April 6, 2016, 10:12 am

Question - I have the G27 for PS3, and I found that it behaved really weirdly (with Evo5), e.g. turn the wheel a little bit whilst driving in a straight line, then let go, and the force feedback started oscillating until a few seconds later it'd spit you off the track & into the hedge... I found it made driving at high speed nearly impossible.

Does the G29 fix this? Or will it still do it?

Apparently the G27 on PC could be configured to avoid this pendulum effect, but as I only have PS3 (and now PS4), there weren't enough tweaks to do it.

tech2cool

May 4, 2016, 1:52 am

Like the 900-degree lock-to-lock rotation of G29, you can turn the wheel two and a half times same degree as a steering wheel inside a car!

http://www.tech2cool.com

Mike Diaz

November 25, 2016, 12:01 pm

There is already a way of connecting the older wheels like the gt force and the G27 to the PS4 if you don't mind having a computer (or a raspberry pi) acting as a middle-man.

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