Racing games have become more realistic and the simulations have come closer to real-time driving. This demands the player to install a more sophisticated controller that is made especially for racing.
A steering wheel controller is the best way to play racing games on a PC. But it is very difficult to learn and takes time to get accustomed to. Even though the wheel gives you ultimate control, real-time racing tactics, and an immersive experience that cannot be attained in a keyboard or controller setup, beginners might find it quite difficult to play with a steering wheel.
Several factors add up to the difficulty of racing with a steering wheel. Let us dive into each of them and understand whether a steering wheel makes racing games easier or not.
Does a steering wheel make racing games easier?
The control system of a racing game, whether it be a steering wheel, joystick, or keyboard and mouse, is designed to make the player feel as if they are actually driving the car.
Yes, a steering wheel provides an immersive experience for the player. It creates a feeling of realism that can’t be replicated with other input devices. The combination of force feedback and vibration makes it feel like the player is actually driving a car.
Although the steering wheel is efficient, it does not make racing games easier initially. Here are some of the reasons why it might be difficult to use the steering wheel for gaming:
Control Takes Time
The steering wheel offers the best control for your racing game. The mechanics of driving can be experienced better with a steering wheel than with a keyboard setup.
But beginners who are used to other types of controllers may find it quite difficult to control the car using a steering wheel.
Learning how to control the car takes a lot of time and practice with a wheel setup. At first, gamers might experience a lot of crashes and mishandling.
Since the wheel simulates real-time driving, there will be a lot of handling issues. So, gamers struggle with a racing wheel initially.
Another major part that affects this learning curve is the game you are playing. Certain games have easy control with a normal controller. But they are very difficult with a steering wheel setup and you might even lose interest in the process.
Requires Multi-Tasking Abilities
Most gamers are highly talented and multi-tasking comes naturally to them. But racing with a steering wheel is a whole new kind of multi-tasking.
The steering wheel comes with an accelerator, brake, and clutch pedals like a real car. Therefore, you have to practice controlling all of these to perfect your racing skill.
It is a difficult task, in the beginning, to control everything at once particularly if you have zero experience in driving a real car.
Although the simulation is not too daunting as real-time driving, without prior experience, it will have a steep learning curve and takes a lot of time.
The racing wheels have a 900-degree turn which is the actual rotation angle of a real car steering wheel. Therefore, gamers must get used to such controls before mastering them.
Requires Unique Setup
Unlike controllers, a steering wheel setup needs a separate setup to mount the wheel and housing for the pedals.
This makes it difficult to race with it whenever you like. Also, you have to buy the setup including a gaming chair that is suitable for comfortable sitting for the racing game.
So, gamers have to invest a large amount in the simulation setup and go through a steep learning curve to finally play the racing game.
Although the steep learning curve and the time you spend will be worth your while, without a passion for racing, you may find it useless and costly.
With a controller, you can just start the game, pick up the controller, and sit back on your sofa to enjoy a good racing experience without any tension or hassle.
Does a steering wheel require more power?
Yes, the steering wheel controller requires a separate power supply which usually comes with the setup. The power supply can go anywhere from 25W to 180W according to the model and features it comes with.
The power consumption is way more than a normal controller and it is up to the gamer whether to go for this setup or not.
Since the wheel uses a set of pedals, gear, and wheels along with features like force feedback, it takes up more power.
The steering wheel mimics the real-time force experienced by the racer in the steering wheel which is called the force feedback. The higher the power consumption of the wheel, the higher the force feedback experience. It also depends on the type of drive used by the wheel.
How is the steering wheel getting popular in gaming?
The steering wheel is very popular among racing gamers. Many gamers don’t actually play racing games all the time and they don’t use steering wheels.
A controller is more sophisticated to use for all titles whereas a steering wheel can only be used for racing and driving simulation games.
Although a real-time driving experience is gained with a steering wheel setup, only hardcore racers prefer this setup.
Is the steering wheel compatible with all Racing Games?
There is no single answer to the question of whether a steering wheel is compatible with all racing games. There are many factors that come into play when trying to answer this question.
The first thing to consider is the type of steering wheel. For example, some steering wheels are only compatible with specific racing games, while others are compatible with a wide variety of games.
The next thing to consider is the type of controller that you have on your gaming console or computer.
Some controllers have different inputs for the left and right hands which means that you will need a separate steering wheel for each hand if you want to play on both hands simultaneously
The use of the steering wheel is difficult and has a steep learning curve for beginners. Getting used to a wheel takes a lot of time and practice.
Therefore, racing with a steering wheel needs more patience and hard work than a normal controller which is preferred by many gamers to play multiple titles.