- Leather-topped wheel feels good
- Decent pedals
- Strong force feedback
- Turning and feedback feels 'notchy'
- Very similar to 5-year-old G27
- Some won't like bright-coloured buttons
- Review Price: £299.99
- 900-degree wheel rotation
- Helical geared force feedback
- 3-pedal base
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.
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.
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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?
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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).
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
A great wheel, but one without many big improvements over the old G27.