Is this the new must-have direct drive wheel? MOZA’s $399 PC & Xbox compatible R3 bundle is incoming

Moza racing bundle
(Image credit: Moza)

New force sim racing manufacturer MOZA has caused quite a stir recently. Previously direct drive wheels that offered the strongest and most detailed force feedback were prohibitively expensive, so unless you were on the books at Team Redline or had limitless funds to pursue sim racing as a hobby, you were limited to non-DD, belt-and-gear wheel bases. Not so anymore.

Adding to MOZA’s affordable R12 and R9 platforms, the upcoming R3 bundle features the R3 direct drive wheel base, a PC and Xbox-compatible ES steering wheel and SR-P Lite pedal set for $399. 

That’s such good value that there isn’t even a competitor in the same price range - Thrustmaster’s most affordable direct drive setup costs over $400 for the wheel base alone, and MOZA adds to that value proposition with Xbox compatibility with this R3 bundle, so if you dabble in console racing too you’re covered. 

In terms of force feedback strength, it’s outputting 3.9nM of torque. It’s not going to rip your arms off with that output, and while it’s down on power versus MOZA’s pricier R9 with 9nM of torque, compared to an entry-level model like Logitech’s ever-popular G923 with around 2.2 of peak torque delivered via a belt-and-gear mechanism, you can see that $399 buys you a lot. 

(Image credit: Moza)

It’s also a really compact wheel base, so you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting it into a race seat or mounting it to a desk setup. It’s finished in aerospace-grade aluminium, and earns bonus points for a passing resemblance to the original Xbox.

Why is direct drive important in the first place? Mechanically, it’s able to deliver you feedback from the car in racing sims quicker and more precisely, and that means it feels closer to the real thing. You can catch the rear slipping out on a corner exit that bit faster and apply some countersteering. You know when you’re out on the kerbs fractionally earlier. You feel the weight of the car transferring back to front under braking, and then laterally as you turn in. And in an ultra-competitive setting like a racing sim, the quicker you feel the sensations, the quicker you can drive. 

MOZA hasn’t been in the racing simulator game as long as some other brands, but their wheels are fully compatible with all the sim racing staples. So you needn’t worry about that nightmare control menu scenario where your game stares back at you blankly, refusing to recognise the inputs and axes you’re showing it. ACC, Automobilista 2, the Dirt Rally, Project CARS and F1 series are all covered on PC. Even Euro Truck Sim 2 recognises it. Better bust out the sunscreen on that left arm. 

The ES wheel bundled in this deal is crafted with durable ISF grips and an aluminium alloy framework, and features an RGB sequential shifter light and 22 programmable buttons. The SRP Lite Pedals, meanwhile, have a precision angle sensor and feature steel construction. 

MOZA has plans to release an SDK to its community this October, giving third-party devs the chance to build middleware programs and find new ways to control MOZA devices. It’s a cool idea, open-sourcing sim racing hardware. MOZA’s software is already surprisingly customisable and in-depth versus its competitors, and if the SDK program bears fruit you can expect that to only improve into 2024.

(Image credit: Moza)

You can find out more at Gamescom on August 23rd when the R3 bundle, the GT steering wheel, truck steering wheel and sequential shifters are officially unveiled. The products are due to launch early in 2024.