You can spend as much money as you like on a racing sim setup for your gaming PC. I'm not just talking about extravagant prices for the latest graphics cards or CPUs. It's the monitors, the shifters, the pedals. Perhaps you want a full racing seat rig, or want to go fully-modular with the wheel base and steering wheel. Top-notch rigs trade affordability for realism, immersion, and feedback on the track.
But while there's a big difference between McLaren's top-secret F1 simulator and the $400 Logitech G923, you'd be surprised how much realism there is on offer from something cheap and cheerful in the sim racing world.
The Logitech G923 is a wheel I've been keen to try out for some time due to its popularity. It follows in the footsteps of the Logitech G29/G920, a popular racing wheel for PC/Xbox/PS4, and very little has changed between them. In fact, they're near-enough identical.
It's no surprise, then, if you're an owner of Logitech's previous racing wheel, the G29 or G920, you'll not find a suitable upgrade path in the G923. I'd recommend checking out the Fanatec CSL Elite or its upcoming CSL DD wheelbase. You could even go whole hog and step up to a more pricey direct drive option.
Similarly, if you're in the market for a cheaper racing wheel, the G29/G920 make for a great, PC-friendly options that have come down in price significantly since the launch of the G923.
Importantly in this case, though, the Logitech G923 can be considered affordable. For that, it sticks to its roots with a twin motor force feedback construction. It's not quite a direct drive or even belt-driven wheel base, but it's got kick where you want it around the corners or over bumpy terrain. You'll know when a tyre is clipping the outer edge of the curb, or when your left rear clips the grass—it's that level of fine-grain feedback you'll need to nail lap times at the ragged edge of sim-racing.
Wheel: Anodized aluminium/leather wheel with steel steering shaft and rear shifters
Base: Dual-motor geared force feedback
Pedals: Tri-pedal unit with carpet grip system
Price: $400 (£350)
The G923 certainly hits that sweet spot of enough... what's the best word... womp? It throws the wheel around some, is what I mean. There's also enough resistance there to mimic the racing experience and keep you close to the track. in a way that you simply can't experience without decent force feedback. It's not going to throw you around corners quite like some more expensive kits, but at the same time the G923 isn't scared of dragging your wheel off course as you're careening out of a corner.
The benefit of this wheel over some others is that, despite being relatively new, it benefits from the many G-series wheels before it. Most games recognise the wheel natively and will set the controls accordingly, but for those that don't there are tons of helpful guides on how to do so, either for the G923 or the G29 and G920. F1 2019 was the only game I had to hop into the options menu to setup, and I simply followed these guidelines from Reddit for the G29.
One of the few changes with the G923 over its predecessor is the introduction of TrueForce, a software feature that translates in-game physics more accurately from game to wheel.
How to explain TrueForce in action... it's sort of like a low humming as you glide over the track, which translates the finer features of the track into your wheel. I'd say it does feel like driving a car, at least more so than with it disabled, although it doesn't feel like it's usable information when racing. I enjoy the feel of it, it's just limited in scope, and that's both in terms of on-track feedback and support. TrueForce is currently supported in just seven games:
Project Cars 3, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Automobilista 2, GRID (2019), iRacing, Monster Truck Championship, and Snowrunner.
As a way of differentiating the G923 from its predecessors, perhaps that's not all that convincing. As I mentioned, if it's an upgrade from the G29 or G920 you're looking for, this isn't it.
For new super licensees and growing gearheads there's an well-rounded package here, though. The G923 is well-built: the rear may be plastic but the metal and leather finish on the wheel itself brings about longevity where it counts. Unfortunately, the inclusion of leather does mean this product isn't vegan.
The shifter paddles (flappy paddles) feel responsive and mechanically satisfying, too. My only concern with the construction is with the way the wheel attaches to a desk or frame. It's not the most stable design, depending on your desk, and keeping it firmly planted can mean cranking the latches down pretty tight.
The maximum depth of the mounting system latch is 31.5mm, so if your desk is thicker than that you'll either have to screw the wheel in using the two threaded holes on the underside of the unit, or attach a thinner board and clamp that to your desk through other means.
Perhaps the best bit about the G923 package though is that it's more than a racing wheel and wheelbase. It's a set of three pedals, too, and really solid ones at that. I was pretty taken aback at the quality of these pedals the first time I used them, they have all the makings of higher-end pedals where it counts.
The accelerator delivers a decent linear press with a snappy return to keep it glued to your foot, while the clutch brings similarly swift response with increasing tension as you depress the pedal—enough to create a faux bite point. The brake pedal, however, is the highlight of the three. Slightly tweaked from the G920 and G29 design, a progressive spring design requires serious stomp power to use. So much so that the units carpet grip system is something of a necessity for serious racing, and you'll want to consider a chair with lockable castors to keep you firmly in place and gunning for position in-game.
The pedals only add to what I feel is an already impressive package in the G923. An all-rounder like no other, you're getting a wheel that not only feels great, it plays great too. I've failed up until this point to mention this wheel is simply great for racing. It's not some tiny, gimmicky wheel that can nary stand up to a controller. It's built for racing games. It makes the racing game experience addictive as heck, as I've waxed lyrical about already, but it will also allow you to be more accurate, faster with any luck, when racing.
If you're a motorsport fan, a lapsed virtual racer, or a gamer looking to broaden your horizons with sim racing, the Logitech G923 is much more of a competitive racing wheel than you'd expect, and with a competitive price tag to match. Similarly, though, it's still worth checking out the G29 and G920 while they're still available, simply because they're much of the same for less cash.