A decade ago, if you were getting into sim racing and wanted to buy a steering wheel, there wasn’t much shopping around to do. You pretty much bought a Logitech G27 like everyone else and called it a day. Today, the offerings are far more diverse, with higher-end options from Thrustmaster and Fanatec sending wheel-feedback to your hands via belt-drive or, in especially advanced wheels, direct-drive motors.
Problem is, belt-driven sets can still be quite expensive and aren’t perfect either. For example, Thrustmaster’s T300, a popular $399 entry-level belt-driven wheel, comes with pedals that are generally disliked by sim racers. What’s a newcomer to invest in, then?
Fortunately, Logitech is still around. Last fall the company pushed out the the G923, an update to its G29 and G920 wheels. The G923 is gear-driven like its predecessors, where many serious sim-racers prefer belt-drive or direct drive. The benefit to that, however, is a price that should be very attractive to racers on a budget. The G923 also touts a new haptic feedback system, called TrueForce, that is designed to give drivers more textured feedback.
The G923's MSRP is $399, though it’s already $349 at Best Buy and Logitech wheels can almost always be found on sale. Hardcore sim racers may scoff at the G923's internals and dismiss its haptics as a gimmick, but if you’ve only got between $300 and $400 to spend, Logitech’s offering is still the value king.
(Full disclosure: The G923 we received for testing was provided by the fine folks at Logitech. I tested it on a Trak Racer FS3 wheel stand, connected to a PS4 Pro; I played Gran Turismo Sport, Dirt Rally 2.0 and Assetto Corsa.)
Logitech offers two versions of the G923: one for PS4, PS5 and PC, and another for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Previous Logitech wheels had different names to indicate compatibility with each system and a slightly different array of buttons. (The PlayStation/PC wheel was the G29, and the Xbox wheel was the G920.) This time around, Logitech is using the same nomenclature for both; you simply select the one for your console of choice. PlayStation users should note that unlike the G29, the G923 will not work with a PS3.
Logitech sim racing hardware is perceived by some to be outdated, and that perception is mostly rooted in design. It’s not that the G923 looks ugly or feels cheap. Rather it’s that aside from colors and badging, the G923's silhouette and buttons haven’t been altered at all since the G29 was released in 2015. In fact, much of the G923's design is reminiscent of the Driving Force GT, an even more beginner-targeted wheel that was released alongside Gran Turismo 5 Prologue way back in 2007.
I’ll defend Logitech’s reluctance to change things too much though. The G923's assortment of buttons is well thought out and especially so for a wheel in this price bracket. Sure, the multifunction knob is a little imprecise, but the given the range of buttons — you’ve got your four face buttons; D-pad; keys for the shoulder buttons; plus and minus; as well as Start, Option and the PlayStation button if you’re gaming on PS4 or PS5 — a little plastic tackiness can be forgiven. Besides, Logitech wheels have a deserved reputation for being built to last, and the G923 gave me no reason to call its build quality into question.
The buttons all sit on brushed metal wheel spokes inside a wheel of perforated faux leather that looks better than it feels — though it’s still miles better than hard plastic would’ve been. The three-pedal set is identical to that of the G29 to the naked eye, and, as with Logitech’s last model, you can fold out a strip of small plastic spikes on the bottom to help it stay in place on carpet.
There is one major update to the G923's pedals that you can’t see. Logitech’s previous models placed a foam stopper within a constant-rate brake pedal spring that stiffened up the pedal’s movement close to the limit, in an attempt to replicate a sensation of hydraulic pressure. Many owners disliked this aspect of the old design and either took apart the pedal set to remove the foam, or replaced the spring entirely with a third-party mod like the TrueBrake system.
Fortunately, Logitech has ditched the foam with the G923, opting for a new progressive spring that gives the pedal more resistance the farther you press but doesn’t require quite as much force to achieve full stopping power as the G29's brake did. It’s a noticeable upgrade and addresses what was arguably the biggest shortcoming of Logitech’s old hardware.
Steering and TrueForce
On the surface, there’s nothing especially different about the way the G923 feels to chuck about. The gear drive system is unchanged from previous models, and with that comes the slight notchiness such wheels tend to have; it’s not significantly off-putting to me, but then, I’ve mostly used Logitech equipment in my sim racing exploits, so I’d imagine the quirks of that design would be more noticeable to someone who’s primarily played with belt-driven wheels.
The big difference with the G923 isn’t so much hardware but the TrueForce software. The motor inside the G923 is essentially unchanged; it’s now supported by new algorithms that relate more information from the game’s physics engine to the feedback system. TrueForce updates more quickly than conventional force feedback and accommodates a greater bandwidth of information, so it can more finely convey everything from road feel to pounding a curb, striking another car or wheelspin. Cleverly, TrueForce also plugs into a game’s audio as well as its physics, because sound cues tend to go hand-in-hand with each of those phenomena.
The one downside with a software-first approach to haptics, as you might’ve already guessed, is that it requires developers to enable support for TrueForce on a per-game basis. Gran Turismo Sport, Assetto Corsa Competizione and Grid are the lone few that already support TrueForce by default, while Codemasters’ F1 2020 and Dirt Rally 2.0 were supposed to receive updates to enable it last fall, though the implementation has evidently been delayed. TrueForce is supported by iRacing, reportedly, but you have to switch it on in the app’s configuration files first.
Having tested the G923 on GT Sport, a TrueForce compatible game, as well as Dirt Rally 2.0 and the original Assetto Corsa, which both lack TrueForce, I can’t say Logitech has won me over. In GT Sport, TrueForce manifests as an added degree of friction and a low-level hum that’s kind of always present when you’re driving normally in a straight line. If you upset the balance of the car, though, or happen upon a curb, bump or any manner of imperfection in the road surface, you’ll feel dull pulses emanate from behind the wheel and that’s about it.
I suppose TrueForce technically lends an additional point of feedback that might provoke a quicker reaction from the driver. That said, after 10 minutes I routinely became numb to the sensation — your mileage may vary. It being a software feature, I suspect developers may be able to do more to unlock TrueForce’s potential in the future. At the moment, I could take it or leave it.
Features and Add-Ons
The G923 comes with almost everything you need in one box: a wheel-and-base tandem and the three-pedal set. Behind the wheel are clicky stainless steel paddle shifters that feel great, just like they did on the G29. The shift LEDs are still in place above the center of the wheel, though for some reason Logitech felt it necessary to rearrange the positioning of the colors so that blue now indicates when you’ve hit redline.
Curiously, Logitech isn’t selling its $59 gated shifter attachment in a bundle with the G923, at least not yet. That means you’ll have no use for the clutch pedal out of the box, though I’d say you’re not missing much. I used Logitech’s H-pattern add-on with the G29 for all of five minutes before I packed it away, unimpressed by its hollow, toylike feel. Unless you absolutely need that shifter to enjoy driving an older car in your simulator of choice, I wouldn’t sweat the omission.
Here’s where the G923 really shines. If you want a well-rounded wheel that costs less than $400, and perhaps as low as $300 on a good day, the G923 is as dependable and plug-and-play as any you’ll find. The only competitor for the money is Thrustmaster’s similarly priced T300, which does have the advantage of being belt-driven but falls short in terms of its build quality and material choices, specifically plastics where the Logitech gets metal and leatherette. The T300 also has far fewer controls for on-the-fly adjustments, and it comes with a two-pedal set you might want to replace.
Logitech hasn’t changed much with the G923, and while that might disappoint longtime sim racers the fact is that the company didn’t need to. The G923 isn’t perfect, but it’s got everything you could ask for, whether you’re dipping your toes into sim racing or you just want a more immersive tool to enjoy the racing games you already love.
TrueForce might add something to the experience depending on the game, and the new spring behind the brake pedal should help you turn faster laps. But the G923's real strength is in the overall quality it offers for how little you’ll spend — and quality never goes out of style.