Smooth force feedback and a lovely leather wheel rim make the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition feel the complete package, and it’s the best option at the price. However, there’s strong competition for those willing to spend just a little more.
- Smooth belt-driven force feedback
- Great leather-topped wheel rim
- Adjustable brake tension
- Thrustmaster offers a better pedal set in this class
- Fanatec force feedback is better
- Dual-belt force feedbackThe belt-driven force feedback feels smoother than the hybrid or geared kind found in most cheaper racing wheels.
- Xbox and PC supportThis wheel is made for PC plus current-get and last-get Xbox consoles, so don’t buy one if you use a PS4 or PS5 instead.
- Removable leather wheel rimThis Thrustmaster has a removable wheel rim, but the included leather one is lovely as-is.
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition is the best Xbox wheel you’ll find until you reach Fanatec money.
It’s better than the Thrustmaster T248, Logitech G920 or Hori RWA. The Fanatec CSL DD is significantly better, though. But once you add a wheel rim and pedals to the brilliant 350 Euro wheel base, it costs a bit more at 500 Euro.
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition is a more luxurious set on the surface, thanks to its lovely leather-wrapped wheel rim. But do I think you should save up a little more and get the superficially less impressive-looking Fanatec? Quite possibly, as it has stronger and more coherent force feedback as standard, with the option to make it borderline terrifying with a power supply upgrade.
- High-quality leather-bound wheel rim
- Bundled clamp mount
- 900-degree rotation
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition is an upmarket package based around one of Thrustmaster’s mid-range wheel bases, called the TX.
It is the wheel rim that really stands out here. The chunky leather wrap feels at least as good as that of the Logitech G920, and the core is metal.
It’s sturdy, hefty, and feels a match for the not-insubstantial price. My old reasoning in the Logitech versus Thrustmaster debate was buy Thrustmaster for the force feedback, Logitech for the outer materials and the feel of the wheel. That doesn’t hold with the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition.
This wheel rim has none of the fancy display tech of the Thrustmaster T248, but much of that stuff is arguably low-impact gloss anyway.
You can mount the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition to a dedicated stand if you want, but it is also made for the complete beginner. It includes a standard screw in clamp mount, which can hook onto most tables or desks. Then all you need to worry about is a surface on which to put the pedals that won’t let them slip away every time you try to brake.
- Satisfying belt-driven smoothness
- Good, if not punishing, force feedback strength
- Uses a cooling fan, but it’s quiet
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition has Thrustmaster’s classic force feedback system. I find it significantly better than the newer hybrid system of the Thrustmaster T248.
It uses a pair of belts and brushless motors to send force feedback responses to your hands. You’ll feel your wheels lose traction, the rumble of the road, the tyres bumping along road markings, and the heavy steering of a weighty car moving slowly.
If you’ve used one of these wheels before, you know the drill. It’s what makes force feedback wheels some of the most thrilling game accessories alongside VR headsets.
The best characteristic of the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition’s force feedback is it is nice and smooth. The T248 and affordable Logitech wheels use geared feedback, which has a notchy feel that isn’t here – there’s just a mildly granular texture to rotation. This makes slight wheel adjustments feel much more natural and helps your suspension of disbelief.
Back when I started reviewing racing wheels about a decade ago I’d have been more than happy with the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition’s force feedback strength. However, the curse of knowledge means I can’t help but notice it’s less punchy than that of the base model Fanatec CSL DD, and isn’t that much stronger than the feedback of the step-down Thrustmaster T248.
Its force feedback level (which is only adjustable in software, not on the wheel itself) is at the level I’d use for everyday play. The TX will put up enough of a struggle to eventually wear on your arms a bit when driving a heavier car with gusto in games with good force feedback, like Asset Corsa.
The perfect wheel should go beyond that for days when you want to up the immersion even further. But, it turns out, you have to pay a lot for that. Powerful models like the Fanatec CSL DD 8Nm and discontinued Fanatec Clubsport can make it feel like your wheel hates you, and has the power to literally wrench itself out of all but the strongest grip. I find that gets old pretty quick, but the TX could arguably do with just a mite more headroom to set itself apart from the T248 – perhaps a sign of its age in 2023.
Still, it’s the best you can get without spending more, and is a significant upgrade over step-down Logitech models like the Logitech G923.
- Still uses Thrustmaster’s old T3PA set
- Adjustable brake tension
- 3-pedal board
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition’s pedals look good from a distance. You get three pedals, with chunky metal caps.
However, this is also where you see this package is kinda old. This pedal board is the classic T3PA set, a mainstay of the Thrustmaster line-up for many years. The Thrustmaster T248 introduced the world to the T3PM, which I think is significantly better.
This pedal board uses potentiometers, the T3PM uses magnetic hall sensors. They don’t feel all that different as a result, but hall sensors won’t wear like potentiometers.
How do they feel? Pretty decent as long as you are not a super-enthusiast. The accelerator, brake and clutch have different tension profiles. While they are all on the lighter side, this is what you want if you are not going to be able to bolt down your pedals.
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition also includes a rubber stopper that dramatically increases the brake tension for those who can fully secure their pedals. This is the part I think the T248’s T3PM pedal set does better, using a spring and spacers to alter brake tension. Here there’s a huge gulf between using the rubber stopper and not, where the newer pedal board offers a wider range of tension settings. But, fair enough, the T3PA certainly lets you make your brake sports-car-stiff if that’s your bag.
- Good-quality sports-style shifters
- Upgradeable rim/accessories
- A well-balanced package overall
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition’s belt-driven force feedback system can generate some heat, and it uses a fan to keep it at bay. However, I’ve found it barely noticeable when using TV speakers for audio. And the sound of my PC’s fans 4-5 feet away was still louder.
If you want to use manual gear changes with the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition, you just flick the sports shifters behind the wheel.
These are a reminder of quite how much Thrustmaster dropped the ball with the T248’s shifters. These are hard to fault offering a nice positive click on actuation, without making too much noise or being too hard to depress.
The shifters themselves are also metal, avoiding the cheap-feeling flex you get with the T248 shifters.
Thrustmaster’s TX Leather Edition is also part of a wider system of accessories. You can add a handbrake, or switch to a different wheel rim if you like. However, one of the key strengths of this particular package is there’s no obvious part to upgrade. The rim is lovely, the base is good, the pedals are sound. Much as I prefer the Fanatec CSL DD, the cheapest bundle with that wheelbase is a sure road to upgrade-itis.
Should you buy it?
You want a great value racing wheel package:
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition feels like the complete package in a manner most racing wheel sets aren’t.
You want the absolute best racing experience:
The TX Leather Edition uses an older pedal board than Thrustmaster ships with its T248, and Fanatec’s latest entry-level wheel is a generation ahead thanks to its use of direct drive force feedback.
The Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition is a classic racing wheel package for Xbox and PC that clearly outshines the cheaper options available from Logitech thanks to its smoother force feedback and wheel rotation.
However, it shows its age in a few respects. While I prefer this wheel set to the much newer Thrustmaster T248, that lower-end wheel includes better pedals and an in-wheel display. And it’s shown up by the Fanatec CSL DD, which has significantly better force feedback and a more compelling upgrade path.
That said, to get a three-pedal board and leather-lad wheel, you’re looking at paying far more than the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition costs from Fanatec.
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.
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Yes, this is a full force feedback wheel.
Its force feedback uses a belt-driven system, for a smoother feel than geared or hybrid styles.
No, this wheel works with Xbox consoles and PC. For PS5, get a T300RS instead.