“I think it’s worth being clear what you intend to use the wheel for and what you are using it on in terms of gaming platform”
The steering wheel is an extremely important part of anyone’s sim rig, the wrong size can hinder fast movements in twitchy cars or the wrong shape can prevent getting the most from a car. So it’s important to understand what you want from a steering wheel when making a purchase. This particular steering wheel has been a part of my arsenal for more than a year. The V2 has been my go to wheel for GT / LMP style racing.
The Fanatec V2 rim is quite a pretty piece of hardware in my opinion. It has a very purposeful look, and the black, red and carbon compliment one another.
The main plate is made up of 5mm Carbon which houses the oled screen and LED rev light. This is then finished off with plastic trim which houses the buttons / flag LEDs and also the detachable alcantara grips. The buttons and switches are mainly plastic but two of the analogue funky switches are metal. This is then all attached to the Clubsport quick release system along with a set of slightly adjustable anodised paddles. The total width of the wheel is 270mm and weighs in at around 1245g
Buttons / lights
The Buttons are probably one of the main reasons for people considering purchasing this wheel. It offers quite an endless array of options with everything at your finger tips. It’s worth noting though that although this wheel is Xbox compatible, the majority of buttons are not assignable and nor do the LED lights work on Xbox.
There are 11 single push buttons, 6 located in 2 sets of 3 along the top. Another 2 positioned conveniently near both thumbs, and the final 3 at the bottom of the wheel, again reached with the thumb if required. I used these to assign functions like ‘lookback’, ‘Pit Limiter’ etc. The remaining buttons have multiple positioning, the thumb encoders can be set to cycle two separate ways, so for example increasing or decreasing brake bias. Unfortunately these are very sensitive and when adjusting on the fly tend to cycle multiple times rather than one click at a time. I have read that removing the thumb encoders and installing a rubber o-ring behind them prevents this, but I have never got to try it out. Just to the side of each thumb encoder is a two way rocker switch, great for cycling lights or wipers. The next two are the most important in my opinion. The analogue stick on the left and the funky switch on the right they are both strategically placed, and they offer really stable operation even whilst in racing conditions, these have a multitude of functions. They both offer Left, right, up and down for navigating menus but the stick on the right can also be pressed to select, or turned left or right to scroll. The final 3 dials are located in the centre of the wheel and didn’t receive much attention from myself whilst using the wheel. Two are 12-way multi position encoders and the final one is only valid if the podium paddle module is fitted and it serves as a way of altering settings.
At the top of the wheel is a horizontal set of LEDs, these indicate revs and progressively change colour as you apply more throttle finishing with a crescendo of flashing dancing lights when you hit the limiter. The two sets of three LEDs display flag colours, this is a great feature, entering sector 1 and seeing a yellow flashing in your peripheral vision is a clear reminder that trouble potentially lays ahead or your foe is dropping a wheel in the gravel on a regular basis. Both these sets of LEDs can be fine tuned and changed using ‘Fanalabs’ (LEDs and Fanalabs not compatible with Xbox). Finally the small Oled screen in the middle is used to fine tune the settings of the wheel base and once selected and on the move can be used to display the current gear selected.
I have religiously used this wheel for GT and LMP style racing, although it’d be greatly suited to open wheel racing, it’s not something I do much. However I do think a slightly wider wheel would be better suited to GT style racing but if your looking for something to use through mixed disciplines then it’ll serve you well.
The wheel feels great in the hands and is extremely maneuverable through hair pins and other acute turns due to its size. It’s worth noting that with a wheel so small and light, your force feedback will be heightened and have more of a kick due to the reduced rotational weight. Whilst on the subject of wheel size, something I was fond of is how the wheel offers great visibility of your monitor, and when setting my FOV I found I could still see the full instrument panel, something which I quite prefer. I’ve said very little in terms of the gear paddles, but there isn’t much to say. They get the job done and do it reliably and neither feel premium nor cheap. Some people have complained about them and say they without doubt require magnets, but I think that is relative to the user and although won’t improve the function in my opinion, it may add a bit more emersion due to its being closer to the real deal.
Do I think you need 67 functions from the buttons? Personally I don’t, because I found it hard to group the buttons in a way that seemed organised. So my V2 has a fair few buttons which are unassigned yet my original intentions were to make use of nearly all of them. The biggest negative for me is the thumb encoders and I don’t think you’d miss them if they were removed altogether.
I absolutely love the LEDs but was extremely disappointed when they wouldn’t work on Xbox. Maybe I was a bit naive and should of knew they wouldn’t work but that wasn’t the impression I got. Once hooked up to a PC though it’s a different story and they do add a nice touch and a level of emersion. Who doesn’t like flashing RGBs?
Would I recommend the wheel? I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the wheel but I think it’s worth being clear what you intend to use the wheel for and what you are using it on in terms of gaming platform. For the price point it packs a punch when you consider all the features it comes with, whilst other after market wheels of similar spec are sometimes double the price of the V2. If your preferred style of cars are GT, LMP and F1 then I’d certainly consider adding the Fanatec V2 to your Sim gear.
Price – €369.95 / £333.91 * (priced at time of writing)