Turtle Beach Velocity One Race

Headphone giant Turtle Beach has just released its first direct drive steering wheel, including pedals and external button box, and we're not at all impressed.

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I remember (of course, it wasn't that long ago, after all) when there were no direct drive steering wheels on the market minus possibly Leo Bodnar's extremely expensive industrial piece that was never sold outside the US. Everyone drove with chain/belt-driven steering wheels and the idea of a direct drive at home was but a constantly recurring dream. Then, about four years ago, it all came crashing down. Fanatec released DD1 and DD2, Simucube released Pro, Sport and Ultimate and the rest, as we all know, is history. Today it is possible to buy direct drive steering wheels from a whole range of different manufacturers and it is no problem at all to find a really good base containing a very high quality motor for about £350.

Development... Is wonderful.

However, it's not without some rubbish slipping through the cracks. For my own part, I was never impressed with the Moza Racing R16 (gen 1), which I thought offered a poor design, poor force feedback, brutal oscillation problems and really bad software. The Thrustmaster T818 didn't impress me either as I found it to be difficult to assemble, ugly, with poor quick release, mediocre force feedback (FFB) and that it was just plain redundant given the stiff competition. Headphone giant Turtle Beach is now the next company to dive headfirst into the direct drive sphere and like Thrustmaster's attempt and the Moza R16, this is not something you need to bother to look at or purchase. Instead, you should stay as far away from the Velocity One Race as you can.

Turtle Beach Velocity One Race SystemTurtle Beach Velocity One Race System
The FFB feel that this steering wheel offers is the worst in its class. By far.

The Turtle Beach Velocity One Race is a DD base with a motor that, according to the manufacturer's own specifications, pushes out 7.2 newton metres of maximum torque and is compatible with Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC/Windows. It comes with a wheel with magnetic shift paddles, load cell-based pedals and a built-in 6.8-inch "Race Management" display and a small side-mounted mini-button box to control functions such as brake balance and traction control.

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And yes, all that sounds great. On paper, the Turtle Beach Velocity One Race is as good as new, but once it has been switched on and set up, the problems begin to pile up, quickly. This £630 package is not the slightest bit better than old belt-driven steering wheel bases for half the price, and it's easy for me to throw this right into the dustbin. First we have the problem of the shape and size, which is unnecessarily large and haphazardly wide in a way that old sim-racing stuff was, but no longer is. The plastic housing for the DD motor itself is oversized and bends a bit, which of course feels extremely strange since Turtle Beach, like Fanatec, Simagic or Simucube, could easily have just shipped the DD motor in its aluminium housing, as it is - without the plastic chassis. The quick connector is also flawed and houses more flex than anything else from Fanatec, Moza, Logitech, Simagic and Simucube. The wheel that comes with it feels plastic and too small, and the button box accessory is honestly among the worst I've tested.

However, there is nothing wrong with the built-in display and Turtle Beach's own software is also clearly approved. If the force feedback and the feeling of actually driving a car had been good here, I could have easily overlooked the negative points regarding the plastic chassis and the poor wheel, but unfortunately the FFB is the worst thing about this whole package. 7.2 Nm feels more like 3.2 in this case and I never ever get the feeling that I'm driving a racing car, rather that I'm just playing video games, on the same premise as the cheaper belt-driven steering wheels from ten years ago. There is no detail to speak of here, no power and Velocity One Race also oscillates too much to be as weak as it is.

Turtle Beach Velocity One Race SystemTurtle Beach Velocity One Race System
The button box accessory is one of the worst we have ever tested in the world of sim-racing.

The pedals aren't much better, sadly. Turtle Beach has put a loading cell in the brake, which is always preferable, but the brake is too weak, provides too little resistance and the accelerator feels stone dead and travels far too far to feel realistic. Add to that the fact that the magnetic shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel feel flimsy and are made of a material that flexes, too. There is no doubt in my mind that this package is one of the absolute worst you can buy in the direct drive space and that this has now been called affordable in some places (again, it costs around £630) seems absurd to me. For the same money, you can buy the Ready 2 Race bundle "McLaren Elite" containing CSL DD and CSL Elite V2 pedals plus the absolutely phenomenal McLaren GT3 V2 wheel and all of that is 2000% better, without any doubt.

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03 Gamereactor UK
3 / 10
The built-in screen is solid. The software is just fine.
Poor force feedback. Awful quick release. Horrible wheel. Flappy pedals. Poor driving experience.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Turtle Beach Velocity One Race

Turtle Beach Velocity One Race

HARDWARE. Written by Petter Hegevall

Headphone giant Turtle Beach has just released its first direct drive steering wheel, including pedals and external button box, and we're not at all impressed.

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