The onset of high end PC gaming gave way to high end PC gaming peripheral’s like multifunction keyboards and precision pointing devices, there is a stiff competition in the high end peripheral market and there are various companies that are trying to push the boundaries of high end gaming grade hardware. Now there are many peripherals available in the market but we are looking at something entirely different in this review, this is something for those wanting to burn some serious rubber along with a balance of intensified simulation and an arcade experience, this is about the Simraceway SRWS1 Racing wheel .A racing wheel brought to light by none other than the E-sports hardware giant Steelseries.
It is developed by real racing professionals and tested by real racing drivers, it is a bold new direction by Steelseries to head into the racing arena where companies like Logitech and Thrustmaster are already are on the top of their game when it comes to Racing wheels.
So is the SRWS1 a worthy companion for all those speed junkies, read on for an in depth review.
The S1 comes in a fairly neat packaging and sports black racing vinyl’s and contains details about the product. You also get a free download card of the game Simraceway which is recommended to get the best experience from the S1.It supports and array of other popular racing games. Overall the packaging resembles other Steelseries hardware with the addition of it tailored to attract speed junkies. In the box you get the wheel along with the download card, no other prerequisites are required for the S1 to work, just plug it in the USB port and you are good to go.
We can tell by the looks of it that this is a product designed for serious racers, it is a full size wheel measuring around 20cm, it does not have any foot pedals and instead works with motion control just like an accelerometer on smartphones and tablets. It has been designed to fit perfectly in the hand and comfort and ease of access is great. There is a rubbery grip that allows maximum control and there are an array of buttons and knobs that fit different purposes like setting the traction control, Adjusting the angle of drivers position along with dedicated buttons for minute tasks like lights, horns etc. Turn the wheel over and we can find that there are 4 paddles,2 that make a click sound when slightly pressed and 2 larger paddles for acceleration and braking. The paddles feel sturdy just like a real car as you can expect the exact response with the amount of pressure applied on the paddles. There is a lighting panel on top that indicates the response of RPM for optimized gear shifting. You can tweak nearly any setting using the knobs and buttons for an optimized driving experience.
The S1 works with nearly any racing game but if you want to make full use of the wheel I would recommend downloading Simraceway as it fully supports all the functions of the wheel, Simraceway is free and you can download the game from the Simraceway website, The S1 was tested with the following games.
Now the wheel performed exceptionally well with all the games, the learning curve is not very steep and the wheel controls works great with nearly all the games, you can further tweak the settings according to your preference. The RPM indicator is near accurate and it goes to a blue colour indicating you to shift up, the sensitivity is just right and there is no delay during gameplay. For other games like Need for Speed and Dirt you just have to go in the options menu and enable gamepad support and you can jump right into a race after that. Steel series has a plugin for the RPM meter that you can download from the website for those games which do not natively support it.
The performance of the wheel was superb in all the games and it felt great to use the buttons for various task in game like requesting for pit stops in Simraceway and traction control for those steep turns. It was easier to use than a keyboard as the functions were all present in the wheel itself.
Now the only downside that I feel is nothing related with the product but the atmosphere as this product might not appeal to the professional gaming individuals as during professional matches nothing can replace a tactile keyboard or a controller. Overall the product is exceptional and I would recommend this to any hard-core speed junkie out there.
The S1 is built exceptionally well and it resembles a real Formula 1 racing wheel, the wheel comes in a matte black finish with a rubbery grip for optimized control. The wheel feels rough and sturdy during racing sessions. The paddle shifters work well and have an accurate response time along with the accelerator and brake pedals. It brings you closer to the real thing as you can feel the mechanical click when you change a gear and the slipping and sliding of your car when using traction control. The S1 is built to last for a very long time and it has a balance of both professional as well as arcade style racing.
The S1 is definitely a worthy companion for any speed junkie, its performance surely outweighs its minute flaws, it is easier to use, built really well and is comfortable to use for extended periods of gaming. It may not be suited for the extremely professional gamers who compete on a larger scale but it is definitely a product worth looking to if you want to experience a mix of both arcade and simulation racing. The S1 is available in nearly all specialised shops. The S1 is a must buy for racing fans as it is innovative, comfortable and offers great ease of accessibility of features.
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