A few weeks ago when I was getting ready to review the Evolution from Playseats I was on the hunt to find a Steering wheel to test with it. Thrustmaster was kind enough to send their RGT Force Feedback Clutch out to use with it. After a few weeks of pretending I'm the Stig I was finally able to pull myself away long enough to do some work. After all they didn't just send it to me for me to have fun.
Product Name: Thrustmaster RGT Force Feedback Clutch
Review Sample Provided by: Thrustmaster
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Exclusive "5 axes" modes
Axe 1 : Wheel
Axe 2 : Accelerator
Axe 3 : Brake
Axe 4 : Clutch or Left cockpit progressive view
Axe 5 : Handbrake or right cockpit progressive view
Function buttons on wheel
10 actions buttons (with 14 locations)
Navigation Cross button (To customize your vehicle)
Twin wheel-mounted progressive levers + twin wheel-mounted sequential levers
Exclusive Force button on the wheel
2 “Sequential Shifter System” options (choose between "Rally" or "GT" styles)
Sequential gearshift stick (new life-size handle!)
2 new reinforced wheel-mounted sequential levers
Oversized rubber-textured wheel
+ 270° turning angle
Metal axis + ball-bearing steering mechanism
Mixed belt pulley and gears system (for a smooth and ultra-silent Force Feedback mechanism)
Large and sturdy clamping system
PC USB (USB1 or USB 2)
Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000, XP or Vista
Thrustmaster focused on showing off the wheel on the packaging of the RGT Force Feedback Clutch. With large pictures of the wheel on the front and even a full sized picture of the pedels on top you can get a good idea of what you are buying just by taking a look at the packaging. Along with the pictures they included a diagram pointing out all of the important features. Inside everything was packed tightly into the box with cardboard to keep it safe and sound.
Setting up the RGT Force Feedback Clutch was a little more in-depth than just plugging it in. Attaching the steering wheel was easy, the included desk clamp tightens up with one crank. Using the pedals at your desk doesn't require any mount or clamp, the rubber feat should hold it in place. Wiring everything up included hooking up a USB plug to the pc, a power plug to the wall and into the wheel, and hooking the wheel , pedals, and shifter with a cable with a switch in between. With everything plugged in all that was left was to install the included software, the install went without any issues.
In order to judge how the RGT Force Feedback Clutch works I had to play some racing games. I decided to test it out with Grid, it was grueling work having to play racing games for work but I survived ;). In game I found the pedals to have good resistance. The wheel's rubber coating was very grippy even after long periods of game play with sweaty hands.
The front of the wheel has 7 buttons and a directional pad. The four buttons on the right side are very useful, but the three buttons on the bottom are so far out of the way during game play they aren't very useful. On the back side of the wheel there are up and downshift levers along with analog levers on each side for acceleration and breaking if you desire to use them instead of the pedals. The force feedback could be adjusted in the software and in game from almost nothing at all to being so strong you can hardly hang on to the wheel. I found that it worked the best for me set at just below the half way point, any higher and effected my control.
Considering the quality of the steering wheel I found the gear shifter or poor quality. It basically felt like holding a hollow piece of plastic that was painted silver. I would like to see an H pattern for the shifter similar to what the G25 has to help make it more realistic.
When used in combination with the Playseats Evolution, Thrustmaster's RGT Force Feedback Clutch was very impressive. The wheels force feedback pulls you into the race and keeps you there. The wheel itself is of good quality, even slamming it around I had no worries of breaking it. The shifter on the other hand had questionable quality and lacked the H pattern layout needed to make the experience realistic. Overall I found that the RGT Force Feedback Clutch falls below the performance of the G25 from Logitech, but considering it comes in at around half the price it is definitely a good option for someone looking to enhance their racing experience.