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Thrustmaster T248 Review


 

Brand: Thrustmaster

Reviewed On: PS5

Compatible With: Playstation 5, Playstation 4 & PC (Xbox version coming soon)

Release Date: October 27 2021 (Xbox version March 15th 2022)

Price: $649.95 - EB Games

 

The Thrustmaster T248 is a very premium “mid range” force feedback steering wheel and pedal kit. My particular model is compatible with PC, PS4 & PS5 although there is a separate Xbox version available also. I have tested this one mainly on PS5 with games such as Gran Turismo 7, Dirt 5, Grid Legends, F1 2022 and Project cars 3 to name a few (full list of games I have tested it with below with a rating out of 10 for compatibility and performance), but I did also get it hooked up to PC with Forza Horizon 5, Forza Motorsport and to have a few laps on a crazy Wreckfest.

While some might baulk at the price tag of $599, for that price the T248 is in fact one of the most feature packed, most complete steering wheels at this price point and is certainly on the more premium end of the scale. The T248 is listed as the only current "next-gen" racing wheel, unlike other racing wheels on the market "most of which are now 5 years old or more" the T248 was designed with the PS5 in mind. As a result it really gets the most out of those PS5 advancements.

Game

Platform

Rating out of 10

PS5

10

Grid Legends

PS5

10

PS5

9.5

Project Cars 2

PS5

8.5

Project Cars 3

PS5

8

F1 2020

PS5

8

F1 2022

PS5

8

Forza Horizon 5

PC

8

Grid

PS5

7

Dirt Rally 2.0

PS5

7

Wreckfest

PC

6

NFS Heat*

PS5

3

*NFS Heat doesn't really handle a steering wheel all that well and ends up being super twitchy and hard to control.


I have been playing a lot of Gran Turismo 7 in the lead up to this review and let me tell you, the 2 are a match made in heaven. GT7 is the perfect companion for use with a steering wheel, specifically the T248. Not only does it make driving high powered sports cars around some of the most famous race tracks in the world a whole lot more fun. But due to the force feedback of the T248, it somehow makes it almost easier. The ability to feel the road, to feel through the wheel when your car is starting to lose traction and therefore able to back off on the accelerator a little, allows you to really push the car to the limits and shave valuable milliseconds off your time. I highly recommend that if you're able to, play GT7 with a racing wheel and if you don't already have one, I'd definitely recommend the Thrustmaster T248 as its hybrid drive technology really is taken advantage of in this game and allows you to really feel ever bump in the road and every bit of torque your car has.


Key Features:


  • Premium design with leather wrapping on the outer-facing portion of the wheel

  • Versatile wheel shape, well-suited to all racing game styles

  • Up to 25 action buttons including 2 dual-position encoders

  • Interactive race dashboard with a selection of more than 20 different displays on the wheel's screen

  • Dynamic Force Feedback: on-the-fly Force Feedback level adjustment (3 preset modes included) via the screen, compatible with all games

  • Magnetic paddle shifters (patented H.E.A.R.T technology) for instant responsiveness, and a super-clear gear shifting feel

  • Magnetic pedal set (patented H.E.A.R.T technology) for incredible 12-bit resolution precision that won't decrease over time

  • 4 distinct pressure modes on the central pedal for optimized braking according to the configuration and gaming setup (desk, cockpit, stand, etc.)

  • Next-generation HYBRID DRIVE system delivering 70% more power than other Thrustmaster hybrid racing wheels (T150 series)

  • Officially licensed for PlayStation; compatible with PS5, PS4 and PC


I have to admit, I am a relative newcomer into the world of sim racing and racing wheels etc. I've tried my fair share in the past, but nothing in the last few years, so as you can imagine, a lot has changed. However, the T248 well and truly exceeded any expectations I had going in. I have paired it with the X Rocker Chicane and XR Racing Rig combo (review coming for both soon), and I have to say, racing games have never been so much fun.



Firstly let me start by saying just how sleek this steering wheel looks, a lot of other racing wheels are pretty gaudy and relatively heavy. The Thrustmaster T248 is neither. It's extremely attractive and weighs almost nothing making it super portable and easy to attach to just about any surface. It features a premium leather material that adds sufficient grip that makes wrestling this thing a hell of a lot easier. Other than that the rest of the T248 is made entirely of plastic, which combined with this thing weighing in at only 2.7KG does make it feel a little flimsy at first, but I can assure you it's not. Not only have I subjected it to a bit of a beating as I throw my Dirt 5 cars around muddy tracks but it has also had to withstand the wrath of my 10 month old daughter on more than a few occasions.


The LED telemetry is really one of the more premium features that you simply don't get with a lot of racing wheels in this price bracket. You are able to change this telemetry to display anything from RPM to speed and even your lap position and times etc. My only down side with this is that not all games support it unfortunately which renders it useless at times. When it is compatible however (which most, if not all newer games are) it is extremely useful and just looks super impressive.


Click the drop down menus below to see a full list of compatible games:

List of games compatible with the T248 screen (and with telemetry information):

Your racing wheel is compatible with the following PS4™ games:

Your racing wheel works with the following PS5™ games

The pedals are really nice and heavy, with metal pedals and really excellent pedal pressures with the brake pedal being adjustable to suit your preference, I have only used it with my XR Racing Rig so with the pedals clamped in and in a very natural feeling position there's really not a lot to complain about there.



Let's talk about the wheel itself and how it performs. This part right here is where both myself and everybody I got to have a try was blown away. Straight out of the box, this thing just works, it feels realistic. The exclusive combination of belt and gear driven force feedback technology is a game changer, delivering up to 70% more feedback power than standard belt driven wheels. This gives an ultra realistic level of feedback and really allows you to feel every corner and bump in the track. From my experience with steering wheels in the past, one thing I've always noticed to be a bit of a problem is the button placements, to simply look in your rear view is super difficult to do, the T248 however is a whole different kettle of fish, the button placements are super easy to get to mid turn. Best of all, all the buttons are remappable, meaning that if you prefer to drive with automatic shifting the shift paddles can be remapped to do whatever you like. I chose things like boost etc for the right paddle and rear view for the left, this seemed to work really well for me. The only downside to this is that I didn't realise with my noise cancelling headphones that the paddles make quite the click when you press them, something the rest of my household was very aware of.



The force feedback is adjustable with 3 levels of resistance some of which are truly mind blowing, the level of force this thing puts out is insane. There were times early on that I actually lost grip of the wheel due to the force of being smashed into on games such as Dirt 5. Aside from feedback on cornering, the FFB on the T248 does a really excellent job of replicating the feeling of bumps in the track, things like kerbs in the city tracks of Grid Legends or bits of debris in F1 become very real very quickly as you feel every single one.


It really does take racing games to another level. Games like Dirt 5 were already pretty fun, well now they are one of the most fun experiences I've had. So much so that even my wife, who's not a gamer (at all) , would fight me to play it. Literally running through the house to get there before me on a couple of occasions. My father-in-law who has never “gamed” in his life had a go and loved every minute of it. In fact I even ended up having a bit of a Grid Legends tournament with my wife, father-in-law and even my mother-in-law which as you can imagine hilarity ensued.


The only one real negative I have with the T248 is more of a PS5 issue honestly, you see I have a portable HDD in one of th eback USB slots and a PS5 HD camera in the other, meaning there's only 1 free USB slot on my PS5. That means that its a real struggle to have both the T248 and a USB or USB dongle headset plugged in simultaneously. I would love to see Thrustmaster add the ability to plug in a headset and receive audio or to have a USB-C cable included in the box to allow the steering wheel to be connected by the vacant USB-C slot on the front of the PS5


Pros

Cons

  • Excellent Force Feedback

  • Lack of Audio Options

  • Lightweight

  • Lack of cross platform support

  • Very Solid Pedal Setup

  • LCD Telemetry is a literal "game-changer"




All in all, I can't really fault the T248, and in my opinion it's the perfect setup for both beginners and seasoned sim racers alike. Unless that is you're willing to spend a considerably larger sum of money for a top of the range setup the Thrustmaster T248 is as good as it gets. Its just an all round great bit of kit and makes racing games so much more fun! You can get your very own right here...





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