With the next-generation of gaming here, the Thrustmaster T248 steering wheel and pedal set is the company’s latest flagship unit. Retailing for $399 USD, the T248 doesn’t sound like an entry-level wheel. But when you look at the costs of other options, you’ll realize it’s quite a deal. Especially when you start getting into all of the features it offers.
In the box, you’ll get T248, T3PM pedals, a power brick and cord, and a USB-C to USB-A cable. Pretty standard if you think about it, but the USB-C cable is a big deal for many who want the most responsive peripherals.
Now, dollar-for-dollar, the T248 is one of the most feature-heavy wheels on the market today. There are 25 different action buttons to program along with a detailed LCD telemetry display that gives you information such as your position, RPMs, lap times, and more. It’s a feature you simply won’t get with other wheels at this price.
It’s in the details
The buttons feel great thanks to optimal placement. It never felt uncomfortable to reach for various buttons while mid-race. My only thing is that there were times I felt like I would activate a button while trying to reach for a different one. It was rare, but it happened enough to mention. It probably could’ve been solved with a larger wheel itself, but that’s not something you’ll get with any entry-level wheel.
Despite being mostly made of plastic, the T248 wheel feels anything but cheap. Whether you are rally racing in Dirt 5 or traversing the circuits in F1 2021, the wheel feels durable and reliable in your hand. The leather-like grip around the wheel helps with that, along with the attached desk mount for those without racing cockpits.
There is 900 degrees of rotation, and the new Hybrid Drive system makes everything feel authentic. You’ll find yourself fighting with your car depending on a variety of factors. Being three-wide in an iRacing stock car race will have you feeling your call pull, while going over a curb on a tight turn will see you fighting to keep your wheels in the proper position. It makes for a great time, really.
What’s not to like?
On to my problems with the Thrustmaster T248. While many may like it, I’m personally not a fan of the magnetic-based paddle shifters. These are not quick enough for me to feel like I am making the quick gear shifts I need in various games.
What’s more is that these are far too loud for my liking. When racing with friends or dealing with a spotter, if they can hear my clicking of the shifters through the microphone, there’s a problem. It’s bad enough that I don’t know if I’d use this wheel if the paddle shifters were my only option. If you can afford it, I’d pick up an H-pattern shifter in order to give yourself a better feeling (and sounding) experience.
The pedals are also a combination of metal and plastic. While the actual pedals are metal, the base is plastic. These generally feel quite responsive with four different pressure modes depending on your setup and preference. The problem with these, however, are the countless issues with keeping the pedals in place on the floor. The grips (if you even want to call those as such) underneath just don’t do a good job of keeping the pedals sturdy. What that led to was a lot of sliding around when quickly slamming on the brakes in various games and races.
Thrustmaster T248 Racing Wheel, racing to first place
From a straight driving and control standpoint, the Thrustmaster T248 is one of the best wheels I’ve ever used. It’s responsive with great force feedback to give you that sense you are behind the wheel of whatever car you are driving. Unfortunately, my issues with the paddle shifters and the lack of grip on the pedals give me pause for recommending this as a go-to setup for everyone.
Again, if you get a shifter (another $200 USD) and have a place to securely put the pedals, then the T248 is a must-have. But, most don’t have that. Right now, I’d lean towards picking this up either when it goes on sale, or if the features on the wheel itself just outweigh the concerns for you.