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Thrustmaster T300RS

Thrustmaster T300RS

The Thrustmaster T300RS has been around for some time now. It was first released in December of 2016 and was a strong contender in the affordable racing wheel department. Unlike many other steering wheels in similar price ranges, the T300RS features a belt driven motor instead of gear driven.

Thrustmaster T300Rs

How that compares has mainly to do with smoothness. Gear driven wheels tend to feel clunky. The force feedback itself is strong, but it kind of rattles about. They’re loud too, making it very inconvenient to play games in a shared area like you living room for example. The belt driven wheels then, are considerably quieter and smoother. The first thing you’ll notice is that the force feedback is much more gradient. When moving direction fast, the weight transfer of the car is translated smoother into your hands, making it easier to feel traction levels. Generally speaking, belt driven wheels will give you better feedback and will increase the car’s predictability.

Apart from the increased handling and feel, the T300RS also comes with the massive backing of Thrustmaster. That means you’ll find several pedal sets to with the base, in combination with several steering wheels as add-ons. Yes, that is a money pit if you don’t pay attention. It’s easy to get carried away with the many differently good looking options for your setup.

The base pedal set that comes with the T300RS isn’t great by all means. They lack accuracy and stability. But that is fair, considering they’re just the entry levels and will offer the occasional gamer plenty of control. However, the more experienced sim racer will struggle with the lack of braking force and throttle feel. Being consistent relies mainly on being able to spot your braking markers, since trailbraking into a corner is no less than guess work. So, if you do invest in a T300RS , consider upgrading the pedal set as this will undoubtedly save you a few tenths at least on track.

Thrustmaster T300RS pedals

Still a good purchase, then? Obviously that depends on a few factors. Pricing? Sure. You pay for what you get and the general package is good value for money. There might be other wheels on offer, such as Logitech’s G29, but remember the belt driven aspect. If you don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel, of course the belt driven element won’t come into play as much. If you’re a casual gamer that doesn’t like realistic settings, a cheaper alternative might be more interesting to you. The T300RS is priced higher because it is aimed at the more advanced player.

But wouldn’t it be better to buy a T500RS instead? Maybe … In my opinion the T300RS isn’t far off, but there is a considerable difference in price. I picked the T300RS myself for that very reason, after testing the T500RS. The biggest separator between the two of them is the Nm of torque they deliver. The T300RS sits at a comfortable 3.9Nm, whilst the T500RS is capable of 4.4Nm. That’s not all that far off the Fanatec CSL DD with 5Nm. Nevertheless, the T300RS  will fit most needs as a starting point for your simracing. Are you really looking for that finely tuned feel? Head straight for the direct drive as that will have plenty more to offer. But if price is something that’s holding you back, the T300RS will be just fine. Most add-ons are fairly well priced too and are easily picked up second hand.

So would I recommend it? Yes. But keep in mind that if you’re a seasoned pro, willing to spend more on a wheel base that are better alternatives out there. Nevertheless, the T300RS is good value for money and you get a lot more feel and fun than with the cheaper gear driven alternatives!

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