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Thrustmaster T248 Review

Verdict

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The Thrustmaster T248 improve upon the classic T150 entry-level racing wheel with a much better pedal set. It offers solid force feedback and a significant upgrade on immersion levels over using a pad. However, Logitech wheels beat it for build quality, and the slightly more expensive Thrustmaster models offer smoother force feedback.

Pros

  • Better pedals than older entry-level wheels
  • On-wheel display for menus and telemetry data
  • Low weight wheel base is perfect for casual setups

Cons

  • Slightly granular or notchy feel to wheel rotation
  • Wheel build doesn’t match that of Logitech
  • Cheap-feeling paddle shifters

Availability

  • UKRRP: £299.99

Key Features

  • Hybrid force feedbackThe Thrustmaster T248 uses a part-belt, part-gear system for force feedback, which leads to quite a direct feel, but less-smooth wheel rotation
  • Built-in displayA small LED display at the wheel’s centre displays the T248’s handy menu system and will show telemetry data in supported games
  • Three-pedal boardThe T248 includes the best pedal board we’ve seen in an entry-level Thrustmaster racing wheel to date. It’s sturdy and has adjustable brake resistance, which is a significant upgrade

Introduction

The Thrustmaster T248 is an entry-level racing wheel. To look at its price you might think it’s high end, but the reality is that good force feedback wheels such as this model simply don’t come cheap.

The Thrustmaster T248’s hybrid motor system delivers a smoother feel – and this matters. However, things become murkier when you compare it to another Thrustmaster wheel such as the T300 RS.

Those slightly higher-end wheels have all-belt-driven feedback that feels far smoother than the Thrustmaster T248. What we have here is a wheel that replaces the once bottom-end Thrustmaster T150, raising the price floor for the company’s force feedback wheels.

This is disappointing, and there’s an argument Thrustmaster could have put more of the budget into the fundamentals rather than fluff features such as an in-wheel display. However, one thing is clear: if the Thrustmaster T248 is to be your first proper racing wheel, you’ll love it.

Price and Compatibility

The Thrustmaster T248 costs £299 and includes everything you need to get started. Its wheel base and rim come as one connected piece, and there’s a solid three-pedal set in the box. A mount adapter screws into the base.

There are separate versions for Xbox and PlayStation consoles; make sure you pick up the right one, since there’s more going on here than simply the icons on the buttons. Sony console wheels require a special compatibility chip. The Xbox model simply won’t work with your PS5, and vice versa. Both work with a PC, though.

Design

  • Light wheel base
  • Somewhat unimpressive build
  • Built-in display

The Thrustmaster T248 is a very approachable wheel, even if it does cost more than an Xbox Series S. Its base and the rim aren’t modular. No construction is required for you to get started, and the wheel base is light.

You may like the idea of a hefty, heavy wheel that feels like it’s been wrenched right off a sports car. But if you’re going to mount the Thrustmaster T248 to a coffee table or a portable wheel stand, its lower weight is a big positive. Setting it up and packing it away isn’t too onerous, and it won’t threaten to topple a stand – as some Fanatec wheels can.

Thrustmaster seems to have had its Logitech rivals in mind when designing the T248. The rim here isn’t just plastic with some rubberised sections. Its outer half is topped in synthetic leather, and there appears to be a thin layer of foam underneath to deliver some “give”.

The wheel of the Thrustmaster T248
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Does it outclass the Logitech G923? It doesn’t come close. That wheel has a metal core and a leather-wrapped rim. And having mentioned the benefits of a lighter weight, a more solid construction helps to deliver elements of the force feedback to your hands more confidently.

As you can see from the images of the Thrustmaster T248 here, I have the PlayStation version. It has just about all the inputs of a Dualshock 4, minus the analogue sticks.

There’s also a display at the wheel’s centre. This is used in a few games to relay “telemetry” data, including favourites such as American Truck Simulator, Gran Turismo 7, iRacing and Asset Corsa Competizione.

The screen on the Thrustmaster T248
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s a fun feature, with the screen also providing access to the wheel’s on-menu system, which lets you alter a bunch of important parameters. But is it the best place to allocate part of the budget when areas of the build are clearly a bit compromised? Of course, it would be easier to make that calculation if you knew how much cost that display adds.

Force Feedback

  • Hybrid force feedback leads to slightly granular wheel rotation
  • Moderate FF strength

The Thrustmaster T248 features hybrid force feedback. This is the system used to transmit the feel of the road, and the way the car pulls against your turns, through to your hands and arms.

Force feedback wheels use either a direct drive motor, belts or geared mechanisms to make this happen. The Thrustmaster T248 has hybrid force feedback, meaning part of the motor system uses the gears; the other part a belt.

Gears generate less heat, but result in less-smooth wheel rotation than a pure belt-driven system. “Notchy” is the term racing wheel fans often use – and, sure enough, the Thrustmaster T248 does have a slight notchy feel. This is the reason some of you will prefer a wheel such as the Thrustmaster T300 RS to this unit.

It also still needs a fan, which usually kicks in after a couple of races.

The front of the Thrustmaster T248
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, Thrustmaster says the T248’s force feedback is significantly more powerful than the old Thrustmater T150’s, “up to 70%” more powerful according to Thrustmaster.

The Thrustmaster T248’s strength is solid for an entry-level wheel, bringing the sense of realism and immersion that force feedback is all about. You can feel the tyres start to lose grip on turns, the heaviness of steering at low speeds, and the rumble of the road under your vehicle.

It doesn’t offer the overwhelming power of the Fanatec ClubSport v2.5, for example, nor the newer Fanatec DD line. In higher-end models such as those, the wheel becomes “the boss” at higher power settings, and will all but wrench itself out of your grip at times.

The Thrustmaster T248 viewed from the side
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Thrustmaster T248 is still relatively comfortable to use maxed-out, and so are other wheels at around this price. However, I prefer the style of the older Thrustmaster T300 RS. Some say belt feedback can seem more vague than the geared kind, which can affect your racing performance. However, I’d prioritise immersion every time, and the smooth feel of Thrustmaster’s belt wheels is superior in that respect.

That said, the Thrustmaster T248’s wheel rotation remains smoother than that of the Logitech alternatives, such as the G923.

Pedals and Shifters

  • Excellent pedals with adjustable brake resistance
  • Poor on-wheel shifters
  • Includes two brake springs

Advice for racing wheel buyers on a moderate budget has been fairly easy until this current generation of models. You buy a Thrustmaster for better force feedback; a Logitech for the full package including good pedals, with no pressure to upgrade in the future.

This is because the cheaper Thrustmaster wheels have come with pretty poor pedals; a light two-pedal board would appear toy-like next to the quality wheel base. The Thrustmaster T248 addresses this by starting off with a three-pedal set, which I don’t think most folk will need to upgrade from unless they get deep into sim racing.

The the three-pedal board
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It still isn’t anything too fancy. The structure of the pedals is largely made of plastic, but they have nice metal caps. You now also get a clutch for manual transmission, and far better resistance for the brake.

Thrustmaster even includes two resistance springs, so you can play with a lower or higher level of tension. You can remove a rubbery spacer, which delivers four possible tension settings.

Racing wheel obsessives may still find the brake a little light, but Thrustmaster has judged the level well here. If you’re not going to lock the pedal board in place then you only want so much tension, or the board is simply going to move under the pressure.

A close-look at the pedal
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The clutch and accelerator also have their own distinct depress character. Sure, these pedals can’t go up against the Fanatec ClubSport V3, but they cost 50 euros more than the entire Thrustmaster T248 package.

Thrumaster has effectively zapped one of the most common pieces of advice given to prospective affordable racing wheel buyers: Thrustmaster wheels are great, but bear in mind the pedals might suck.

The rear of the Thrustmaster T248
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It isn’t all positive progress, mind. The Thrustmaster T248 also has paddle shifters that sit behind the rim. These have a very positive click, which is good; but they also feel cheap, are almost excessively noisy, and require more force to depress than just about any racing wheel I’ve used to date.

The aluminium paddles of the Logitech G923 and G920/G29 series feel much better, and not just because they’re metal. This is one of the weakest aspects of the Thrustmaster T248.

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Should you buy it?

You want an entry-level steering wheel with great force feedback:

The Thrustmaster T248 is a great starter force feedback racing wheel that solves the main problem of cheaper Thrustmaster wheel sets of the past by including solid pedals that you won’t feel the need to upgrade from in future.

You want top-notch build quality:

The wheel itself isn’t quite a masterwork. It lacks the great build quality of the Logitech G923, G920 and G29, and if you’re more interested in immersion than race performance, the belt-driven force feedback of older Thrustmaster wheels such as the T300 RS is better.

Final Thoughts

The Thrustmaster T248 is a great force feedback racing wheel, particularly for those who haven’t tried such a unit before. In addition, it also isn’t quite what you might first assume it to be.

This is less a followup to the T300 RS and TX lines; more a replacement for the budget Thrustmaster T150. It also raises the cost floor significantly, but there’s solid justification thanks to the Thrustmaster T248’s much-improved pedals.

However, build quality isn’t at the same level as Logitech rivals, and if you’re most interested in an involving race experience then you should also consider the much older Thrustmaster T300 RS (PS4/PS5) and Thrustmaster TX (Xbox). Their belt-driven feedback feels significantly smoother.

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How we test

We use every gaming wheel we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by playing a variety of games.

We also check the controller’s software support, as well as the quality of bundled accessories such as pedals and shifters.

We used for at least a week.

Played a variety of racing games.

FAQs

Does the Thrustmaster T248 have force feedback?

Yes, this is a full force-feedback racing wheel that uses motors to emulate real-world driving forces.

Can you change the Thrustmaster T248 racing wheel rim?

The wheel is fixed and can’t be replaced with another model.

Can you use the Thrustmaster T248 with a PC?

Both the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the wheel support PC, but they’re not cross-compatible with the other type of console.

Full specs

UK RRP
Weight
Release Date
First Reviewed Date

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