Anyone that has dived into sim racing knows it can be an expensive hobby.
With YouTubers and streamers boasting setups that hit the £5,000+ price range, it can seem intimidating to even start. But it really isn’t.
You don’t need to make a huge investment to start racing with a wheel, thanks to the amazing Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback.
Let’s start with ease of use. The Thrustmaster TMX wheel has a simple clamp that you use to secure the wheel. This can be to a race rig or playseat, or simply to a desk.
With the wheel you get a set of pedals that work with a simple spring mechanism. Bolt the wheel on to a table, plug your pedals in, pull up a chair, and away you go. It’s that easy.
As a result, this is a great purchase for those just starting out on their sim racing journey, as well as younger drivers. The brake provides a little more resistance than the throttle, but you don’t have to put 50kg through it to get max pressure. It’s a good set to learn and develop on.
The wheel itself comes with 10 buttons plus a D-pad. That is enough to set up your DRS/ERS or adjust fuel flow and traction control depending on the game you race on. The buttons all have a satisfying push and you are never left in any doubt if you hit it during the heat of battle.
The gear paddles are metal and have a fantastic weight to them. They make a definite click when pressed, again great for knowing that you are actually executing the change.
With variable 270-900 degrees of rotation, you can throw the wheel around when off-road racing or keep everything neat and tidy on circuits. That makes the TMX a superb all-rounder, so if like us you jump around from F1 2021 to WRC 10 and Assetto Corsa Competizione you are covered.
The 11″ wheel is a good size for everyone, and the setup is comfortable enough to drive for hours. All the buttons are in easy reach while driving too, which means those fuel changes or pit requests are simple to manage during a race.
As the name suggests, the Thrustmaster TMX does provide force feedback to the driver. Force feedback not only adds a real-world racing feel to a sim racing experience, but it can actually help you perform better!
Using a hybrid belt & gear system it provides excellent feel for the price, always letting you know where the edge of your grip is. You can feel the TMX getting light as you start to lose the rear, letting you know to ease off the throttle! On the dirt roads of a rally game you can feel every bump, but it doesn’t rattle around like a fully gear-based wheel.
Coming in at $199.99 (US) at Best Buy and at £189.99 (UK) on Amazon, the Thrustmaster TMX is an excellent option if you are starting out in the world of sim racing.
While the included 2-pedal set is a limiting factor to how fast you grow as a racer with the TMX, they are upgradeable to a three-pedal version or even the loadcell-enabled TLCMs which offer far better precision in your braking.
The 2-pedal version is very useful if you have a young wannabe driver in your household or are only just embarking on your racing journey and don’t anticipate adding a shifter too soon. Accessibility and ease of use is at the heart of the TMX, but that doesn’t limit its quality either.
Thrustmaster’s customer support is very responsive and the wheel has a one-year warranty if something goes wrong. In my time as a TMX user I have broken a pedal spring from over-exuberance and quickly had a replacement sent out to me.
It really is an excellent entry point to sim racing, and a wheel you can use for years without hitting a ceiling.