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Direct drive vs belt/gear wheels and player satisfaction in Dirt Rally 2.0?

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I was hoping that people that have played Dirt Rally 2.0 using direct drive wheels or belt/gear driven wheels would describe their experiences with each type. If people have played on both kinds, I would be interested to know how the experience is different from one to the other and any insight for people looking to make the leap to a wheel setup. I mostly play rally games but am also interested in a setup that can be used on iRacing, AC, ACC, AMS 1&2, rFactor 1&2, PC2, etc. I also need to be able to play RBR, the older Dirt games, Dirt Rally and various other older racing games on the setup. Please help.

Edited by FlatOverCrest

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I have just bought logitech G923 Wheel, it’s a lot of fun with DIRT Rally 2 and Forza MOTORSPORT 7, but Fanatec CSR Wheel that I had many years ago with Xbox 360 was better 😉 much more smoother and better force Feedback, I’m sure I will go for Fanatec DD1 or CSW soon 😉 just have to use logitech little bit to feel better about spent money 😁 I think logitech is OK for the beginning, but when you really want to feel the car you have to go for something Like FANATEC

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10 hours ago, Piter2801 said:

I think logitech is OK for the beginning, but when you really want to feel the car you have to go for something Like FANATEC

That's my impression too.

I only have limited experience with Logitech (about an hour or two on a G27 in the office) but everything felt stronger and more refined when I used my Fanatec gear at home.

One thing that can make a big difference though is the rig itself; if you can get/build something sturdy instead of clamping to a desk then you should get more of the force-feedback through the wheel than having some of that energy wasted shaking the desk.

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8 hours ago, PJTierney said:

One thing that can make a big difference though is the rig itself; if you can get/build something sturdy instead of clamping to a desk then you should get more of the force-feedback through the wheel than having some of that energy wasted shaking the desk.


True! Good racing cockpit makes huge difference. When I had fanatec years ago - Wheel was good, but I had just Wheel stand and normal chair or whatever, because of that whole set didn’t feel so Realistic. Now with Logitech G923 I use Next Level GTTrack cockpit, as said Wheel is not perfect, but using good cockpit makes it much more realistic and fun, whole construction is very stabil and it just feel great to drive on this, specially with big screen mounted on right place, so it feels Like I am really in that car 😉 

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I went from Logitech to Fanatec this summer and I'm so glad I did. I had my G920 for about 2 years, I loved it and I still think it's an amazing entry level setup. Stepping up to a Fanatec Clubsport v2.5 was just night and day though, especially for rallying. I play circuit sims like ACC and PC2, but my main thing is rallying, and the geared G920 would tend to get really notchy under heavy turning. The Fanatec is just butter smooth the whole time, and there is an in-wheel tuning menu with 5 save slots, so you can adjust you FFB, vibration, wheel weight and steering angle on the fly and save it for a specific game. I've got 5 separate wheel setting slots for PC2, ACC, DR2, WRC 9 and F1.

And as above, a good rig is essential to get the most out of your gear. However, I know guys who use a G25 clamped to a desk and a wooden kitchen chair who are alien-levels of fast, so it depends what you want and what you like! I'm not the quickest ever, but I live for the immersion.

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20 minutes ago, merseyxshore said:

The Fanatec is just butter smooth the whole time, and there is an in-wheel tuning menu with 5 save slots, so you can adjust you FFB, vibration, wheel weight and steering angle on the fly and save it for a specific game.

I do the same, with 3 setups: DiRT Rally 2.0, F1 2020, Project CARS 3.

I play F1 with a high DRI setting, which can throw the wheel around a lot, something I don't want as much on the bumpy roads in DR2.

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Logitech G27/G29 - fantastic entry wheels that you can easily put a few hundred, if not, thousand hours into and enjoy every minute of it.

CSW - oh man now we start getting some feedback. You can't believe how much more there could have been.

Accuforce/Simucube - holy ****. you can't can feel every pebble and kerb. half the time you forget this isn't your real car as you reach for a non-existent cupholder. 

 

Basically an entry wheel like the G29/T150 will give you a fantastic experience. You can set world records with them and fight for top positions in championships in real events (CRSedmicky was driving on a G27 when he qualified for the first World Championship). But if you're willing to invest the money, the experience starts to become so much deeper. Is it worth the money? Up to you to decide, but if you love racing I can say it isn't uncommon to put more hours driving a sim-rig in a week than you do your real life car... sometimes 2-3x more virtual miles per day.

The fancy equipment doesn't make you faster though, only more consistent. Consistency lowers times, but don't fall into the trap that you have to spend money to be fast on the best gear.

The other huge component I see a few others mention - a wheel is only so good without a solid frame to mount it to. This doesn't have to be an expensive frame, but getting your body positioning to match that of a real car does HUGE things for the experience. I'd go so far as to say I'd much rather take a G27 on a quality Sim-Labs rig than a brand new direct drive wheel mounted to my desk. Basically a wheel + pedals gets you 80% of the experience, adding a sim-rig gets you another 10% or so. Upgrading from an entry wheel to a top of the line wheel won't get you a 10% immersion increase IMO, and therefore getting a whole package sums up to much more than just a single high end component.

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I really appreciate people taking the time to respond to my post. This is part of the reason why I love this community so much. Some people may be wondering why I didn't just go to YouTube to get this type of information. When I did look at YouTube sim information/reviews, what I found was the majority of sim racers reviewing gear without using rally games as a consideration. Most of them are playing iRacing, AC, ACC, AMS 1&2, rFactor 1&2, PC2, etc. I enjoy playing off-road, rally, and circuit racers so if I invest in a sim setup, I want it to be great on all genres of racing games. Also realizing now that I didn't consider PC/console compatibility. Not sure I am going to find a high end wheel/pedal combo that works with all platforms (PC/XSX/PS5). If future Forza games launch on PC and run well, I will only need PC and PS5 compatibility. I will probably primarily play on PC but also want to be able to play future Forza and Gran Turismo games on console with the setup if needed. seems like most higher end DD wheels do not work on all three platforms. I'm not a sim only player and enjoy all sorts of racing games as long as they are well-made and fun. They have to be fun in the end because that's why I play games. I'm hoping even more people will post to help myself and others looking to make the leap to a wheel setup that is compatible and works well with all kinds of racing games. Thank you to everyone that has posted so far and to everyone that does in the future.

Edited by FlatOverCrest

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From what I could tell you won't get anything that will play on both consoles but they all should do a console and PC.
I've just started out and went with the G923 a few weeks ago.  I wasn't really considering rally at the time, or at least not to the point that I would be wanting a sequential and handbrake.  I'm using B button HB atm but keep losing track of it.  ***When the shifter arrives I'll try paddle up, shifter down + hb***. 
So whilst it isn't as powerful or as quiet as belt/DD the only real drawback is no handbrake without modding the 'B button' or shifter, but then losing the shifter and nullifying the warranty.  But for games that don't use handbrake I think it's great, though not at RRP.  I've yet to try out the dual clutch and the new buttons, and even the RSB/LSB buttons that were on the G920, don't yet work on some games like DR due to covid delays on updates.  Also not convinced by the 'trueforce' vibration.  It only works on a few games and, maybe I'm just not in tune with it, but for the most part in ACC it just makes it sound like you're on a skateboard.  I've read iRacing is better but I'm on xbox.  

I'm using the dining table with the pedals screwed to some lengths of wood which rest against the wall to stop them moving.  Some videos say put a box behind them but this will end up bending and breaking the cable.  I have some more as a frame behind the office chair to stop it rolling back.  A rig is on the horizon.  

I don't know whether I'd go as far as fanatec when I change but perhaps the CSL kit depending on what TM are doing price wise at the time.


***Or I'll do the more sensible thing and mount it on the right and paddle shift gears with the shifter as HB.***

Edited by MauriceMiller
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It is hard to compare anything. I, and probably most of us, start with a low budget wheel (mine was dfgt) attached to a desk with a normal chair.

In the meantime I bought better equipment with a playseat, a Thrustnaster ts-pc and a VR.

Yes, it feels so much better and I very much like it. But also I myself got much better in driving and get good results.

Offcourse I like it more with good results, but don't think it is all from the equipment. It is partly because with good equipment I have better feedback but mostly because I got better in sim racing.

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On 12/8/2020 at 3:21 AM, PJTierney said:

I do the same, with 3 setups: DiRT Rally 2.0, F1 2020, Project CARS 3.

I play F1 with a high DRI setting, which can throw the wheel around a lot, something I don't want as much on the bumpy roads in DR2.

I use Dri 2 on everything as the base rotational resistance is way too high. What's weird is it almost seems mechanical because it seems to change resistance even when it's not powered. I've come to the end result after a lot of time of just setting it one way and leaving it alone for every game unless it's something older that wants less DOR. Everything else like FFB strength should be set in the game.

I also think being able to move the wheel quickly in DR is a great boon. You're basically drifting 60% of the time.

 

On 12/8/2020 at 12:34 PM, Mike Dee said:

The other huge component I see a few others mention - a wheel is only so good without a solid frame to mount it to. This doesn't have to be an expensive frame, but getting your body positioning to match that of a real car does HUGE things for the experience.

I have triple screens I use for racing, but not full time so they also spend the vast majority of their time as a standard desktop. Any time I want to race I have to drag out my wheelstand, drop my chair as low as it'll go, attach my shifter to where the arm rest used to be, crawl under my desk to plug stuff in, pull my monitors forward, and carefully try to lower them without them slamming into my desk on top of speakers.

Even then my seating position is weird. If I don't do all of that then it everything I drive has this mass disconnect because everything feels like I'm sitting in a truck.

 

On 12/10/2020 at 11:34 AM, FlatOverCrest said:

I really appreciate people taking the time to respond to my post. This is part of the reason why I love this community so much. Some people may be wondering why I didn't just go to YouTube to get this type of information. When I did look at YouTube sim information/reviews, what I found was the majority of sim racers reviewing gear without using rally games as a consideration. Most of them are playing iRacing, AC, ACC, AMS 1&2, rFactor 1&2, PC2, etc. I enjoy playing off-road, rally, and circuit racers so if I invest in a sim setup, I want it to be great on all genres of racing games. Also realizing now that I didn't consider PC/console compatibility. Not sure I am going to find a high end wheel/pedal combo that works with all platforms (PC/XSX/PS5). If future Forza games launch on PC and run well, I will only need PC and PS5 compatibility. I will probably primarily play on PC but also want to be able to play future Forza and Gran Turismo games on console with the setup if needed. seems like most higher end DD wheels do not work on all three platforms.

The considerations are the same, but most sim guys will tell you to buy the most expensive stuff you can't afford. Personally I have zero experience with Logitech, and initially bought a TM wheel. It died within a week. So I returned it and got another one. It died that day. I sent it back and got a Fanatec setup. Everything about it was immensely higher quality, and to date ~5.5 years later the only issue with it I've had is the rubber texture on the wheel.. center... hub thing breaking down (which is common for rubber, and I took the wheel apart to clean it and the alcantara to new) and a load cell for the brake pedal dying, which they also do. The only thing I don't really like about Fanatec is they kind of nickel and dime you. My wheel came with ~6 cables to connect to Logitech pedals and stuff I'll never use, but my (I'm pretty sure I didn't pay this i.e. I think it raised in price by ~$100) $250 shifter doesn't come with a USB cable. That's quite literally an additional $20 to use USB so I can actually use 7th gear.

You won't get a wheel that works on everything, but if you have a PC I recommend one that works on PC and PS if you want to play GT. My wheel actually works on PC, 360, and PS3, but Sony and MS got real weird and annoying about controllers last gen. It actually initially worked with PS4, just like my standard earbuds with a mic worked as a headset until Sony decided they could milk money and literally patched compatibility out. Considering you can't use DS4 with PS5 I'm thinking the wheels won't work either, but I don't know. MS this time around said you can use your old controllers.

I don't know why if you had a PC you'd want to play Forza on Xbox. MS had already made a commitment to the play anywhere or whatever. DD only works in supported PC titles.

 

I will say, Austin Ogonoski put in WR times (or close to) using a G27, single monitor, and a lawn chair. Take from that what you will. Only recently did he upgrade.

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On 12/7/2020 at 10:01 PM, PJTierney said:

One thing that can make a big difference though is the rig itself; if you can get/build something sturdy instead of clamping to a desk then you should get more of the force-feedback through the wheel than having some of that energy wasted shaking the desk.

So my desk is actually a rather sturdy corner desk so that wasn't really an issue, what really made a difference when I moved to the rig was that I was no longer using my rotating computer chair 🤣

So if a rig is out of reach (they're certainly expensive) do whatever you can to replace a computer chair with something else, something more solid. I've seen camping chairs suggested when could make sense if you get the right one.

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14 hours ago, JZStudios said:

I will say, Austin Ogonoski put in WR times (or close to) using a G27, single monitor, and a lawn chair. Take from that what you will. Only recently did he upgrade.

I miss his YouTube channel. He wasn't well-liked (as he went against the grain of certain fandoms) but I always appreciated his point of view.

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5 hours ago, PJTierney said:

I miss his YouTube channel. He wasn't well-liked (as he went against the grain of certain fandoms) but I always appreciated his point of view.

He periodically posts some sim related stuff on his twitter, but right now as a Canadian he's focusing on election fraud, BLM riots, and the great reset. Mixed in with "Nascar/football/hockey does dumb thing." And Kotaku whining about being trans in Cyberpunk or something.

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I'm driving with a Fanatec CSW 2.5, it has a belt, it's perfectly fine for DR2.0 and I am sure if I was a better driver I could win esports with it.  Came in 7th in Sol WC with the thing, without silly mistakes could be maybe 5th or 4th  (hard to say).   Relatively easy to set WR times and fight at esports level with the wheel just up to the driver and practice.

 

Direct drive is slightly better feedback, for rally don't need it TBH.

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On 12/4/2020 at 5:11 PM, FlatOverCrest said:

I was hoping that people that have played Dirt Rally 2.0 using direct drive wheels or belt/gear driven wheels would describe their experiences with each type. If people have played on both kinds, I would be interested to know how the experience is different from one to the other and any insight for people looking to make the leap to a wheel setup. I mostly play rally games but am also interested in a setup that can be used on iRacing, AC, ACC, AMS 1&2, rFactor 1&2, PC2, etc. I also need to be able to play RBR, the older Dirt games, Dirt Rally and various other older racing games on the setup. Please help.

my feedback is if you wanting a better set up for times then for dirt rally there is no need to go past a logitech g29. same for most games. if you doing it for realism then yes the money maybe worth upgrading. dont think buying a better set up will make you better ! this is the sell many people will do. often you will end up slower on high end gear than cheaper stuff.

also remember that many youtubers and streamers who advertise wheels pedals and such are actually given them by the company involved. not brought em.

id personally stick with logitech or...a thrustmaster equivilent .

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On 12/19/2020 at 8:47 PM, dgeesi0 said:

my feedback is if you wanting a better set up for times then for dirt rally there is no need to go past a logitech g29.

Agreed. If pace is the only motivator then a G29 is all you need. Looking at recent esports events like the Solberg World Cup and the World Series, the top players have used G29s. No need to go fancier than that, at least not for your first wheel.

 

In @FlatOverCrest's case however he's looking for a wheel that's compatible pretty much everywhere. I would have initially recommended the G27 but I don't know how well-supported it is on modern titles, so G29 is the way to go.

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The thing I’d suggest with the G29/920 is to try and get somewhere to test the brake pedal as many seem to mod it.  At times the price of the G923 is near enough as an alternative and is a spring brake without the load cell rubber block. More so xbox as the extra buttons do come in handy on games such as ACC. 

 

I noticed the other day that fanatec wheel bases are/can be compatible between both consoles and PC. It’s the wheel itself that contains the software/hardware that is console dependent. 

Edited by MauriceMiller
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18 hours ago, MauriceMiller said:

I noticed the other day that fanatec wheel bases are/can be compatible between both consoles and PC. It’s the wheel itself that contains the software/hardware that is console dependent. 

Most Fanatec bases have a PS4 security chip in them.

Most Fanatec rims have an Xbox security chip in them.

 

If you buy a PS4 base with an Xbox rim, you can have a system compatible across both as well as PC.

 

That's the main reason I went Fanatec.

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To sum up my thoughts: You can use a G29 wheel, or some decent belt ,  or even DD wheel to be fast (won't change your pace that much either way).  But you should try to get a loadcell brake pedal.  It's possible to be fast without it,  but a properly set up loadcell just makes you more consistent especially before you have completely hammered a stage to memory.

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3 hours ago, bn880 said:

To sum up my thoughts: You can use a G29 wheel, or some decent belt ,  or even DD wheel to be fast (won't change your pace that much either way).  But you should try to get a loadcell brake pedal.  It's possible to be fast without it,  but a properly set up loadcell just makes you more consistent especially before you have completely hammered a stage to memory.

+1 for loadcells, they're great 🙂 

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the reason why cheaper wheels are mainly better for dirt is how it plays. cheaper wheels generally have less feedback and are easier to move quicker at lower DOR than dearer wheels as they are often more mechanical. thats why your logitech wheel will often comes out on top 9 times out of ten over fanatec wheels and the like.

tarmac games then yes the dearer base will help as you can be more precise on tarmac and generally you wont have to whip the cars at low DOR.

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On 12/28/2020 at 9:06 AM, dgeesi0 said:

the reason why cheaper wheels are mainly better for dirt is how it plays. cheaper wheels generally have less feedback and are easier to move quicker at lower DOR than dearer wheels as they are often more mechanical. thats why your logitech wheel will often comes out on top 9 times out of ten over fanatec wheels and the like.

tarmac games then yes the dearer base will help as you can be more precise on tarmac and generally you wont have to whip the cars at low DOR.

Fanatec has a drift mode setting that will literally spin the wheel from lock to lock bouncing back and forth. I use 2/5 to keep the FFB in a reasonable range.

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On 12/31/2020 at 12:40 AM, JZStudios said:

Fanatec has a drift mode setting that will literally spin the wheel from lock to lock bouncing back and forth. I use 2/5 to keep the FFB in a reasonable range.

doesnt change that they are more mechanical in use which = slower in dirt games.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, dgeesi0 said:

doesnt change that they are more mechanical in use which = slower in dirt games.

And to this point, it's why most of the drivers in the World Championship have been using less than 360° DoR on their wheels. For Dirt if you want WRs and the absolute fastest times you want immediate responses and super tight turn radius moreso than any amount of higher quality FFB - which doesn't require anything fancy to achieve.

 

Now if you just want the best driving experience in games, the better stuff definitely has a lot of perks for the price.

Edited by Mike Dee
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