In this highly competitive sim racing landscape using a joystick or a cheap steering wheel is no longer an option.
You really need a proper wheel and pedals set if you want to race and compete at the highest levels of online sim racing.
But with so many racing wheels on the market, which one should you actually buy?
In this Thrustmaster TS-XW Sparco wheel review, we’ll help you take a step closer towards that decision.
What is the TS-XW Sparco good at?
The Thrustmaster TS-XW is a mid-priced steering wheel that offers features usually found in more expensive wheels such as the Fanatec ones.
For example, it has a maximum rotation angle of 1080° with an embedded cooling system, which gives you more precision, consistency and control when pushing the car to the absolute limit.
It also has got a pair of sequential paddle shifters which guarantee smooth upshifting and downshifting, exactly as you would have in a real GT3 car.
In addition, the Thrsutmaster TS-XW comes with an adjustable 3-pedals set made 100% out of metal which will allow you to brake really hard and progressively trail the brakes into the corner.
The awesome thing is that the pedals can be adjusted both in terms of height, inclination and spacing which is key for finding your optimal driving position.
What is the Thrustmaster TS-XW not so good at?
Although the TS-XW has got tons of great features, there are a couple of drawbacks that you should be aware of.
First of all, the look and feel of the TS-XW isn’t quite as professional as an F1 steering replica like for instance most Fanatec wheels.
For that reason it looks more like a GT3 wheel than an actual F1 steering wheel.
In addition to that, the force feedback is not as aggressive as on other Fanatec wheels and so you may not feel the steering as “heavy” as in real life racing.
Moreover this wheel is only compatible with PC and Xbox therefore you won’t really be able to run it on any Playstation console.
Other than that, it should be clear to you by now that the Thrustmaster TS-XW is actually a pretty good choice for anyone looking for an awesome wheel at an affordable price.
But don’t just take our word for it, let’s now get in depth with our review of the Thrustmaster TS-XW!
Does the Thrustmaster TS-XW come with a wheel base?
Yes, it does, and that’s really great considering that most steering wheels require it to be purchased separately, like the Fanatec wheels for instance.
In case you were also wondering, the wheel is completely detachable from the base so that you can easily store it away or take it with you if you’re traveling.
What about its Force feedback (FFB)?
The TS-XW comes with a pretty realistic and responsive force feedback which will make you feel every bumb and kerb on the track.
Not only that, in fact it’s unique 40-watt brushless FFB system with embedded motor cooling makes the steering feel smooth and realistic beyond expectations.
This will substantially reduce deadzones plus increasing your driving precision and ability to race on track even when things get tough, for example in extreme wet conditions.
Is the Thrustmaster TS-XW good for beginners?
Yes, this Thrustmaster wheel is actually really good for total beginners.
In just a few laps you’ll be able to start feeling the grip from the car and begin setting personal best lap times in your favourite circuits.
That is really crucial since not everyone is a pro driver and finding the complete confidence to push the limits of the car further and further each lap isn’t exactly an easy task to do.
What games are compatible with the Thrustmaster TS-XW?
The Thrustmaster TS-XW is compatible with most PC and Xbox racing games including iRacing, Assetto Corsa and Forza Horizon 5.
Some of the games compatible with the Thrustmaster TS-XW are:
- Assetto Corsa
- Assetto Corsa Competizione
- Forza Horizon 5
- Gran Turismo 7
- Gt Sport
- rFactor 2
- Automobilista 2
- Nascar Heat 5
- WRC 9/ WRC 10
- and many more…
As you can see there are plenty of options to choose from and you’re definetely not going to get bored anytime soon.
Is the Thrustmaster TS-XW easy to set up?
Yes, the Thrustmaster TS-XW is actually pretty straightforward to setup as it doesn’t require any special drivers or software to install.
You just need to connect it to your PC or Xbox via USB and you’re ready to race.
What’s included in the box?
The Thrustmaster TS-XW Sparco comes with:
- TS-XW steering wheel
- Thrustmaster Wheelbase
- Integrated Paddle shifters
- Motor cooling system
- Set of T3PA 3-pedals (Throttle, Brake & Clutch)
- USB cables
- instruction booklet
Can I use the Thrustmaster TS-XW on PS4 and PS5?
No, unfortunately the Thrustmaster TS-XW is only compatible with Xbox and Windows PCs with an OS of Windows 7 and above.
Does the Thrustmaster TS-XW work on PC and Laptop?
Yes, the TS-XW works both on PC and Laptop with an operating system of Windows 7, 8, 10 and Vista.
However, we highly recommend avoid running it on laptop since it most of the time won’t have the right graphics card and CPU making the whole experience quite laggy and unpleasent.
What are people saying about the Thrustmaster TS-XW ?
After doing some online research and analysis we’ve found that the general consensus for the TS-XW Sparco is pretty positive.
The most common comment was that the wheel allows you to realistically feel the grip of the tyres and limit of the car which is really key for any sim racing wheel, despite having a not so aggressive FFB, which pro sim racers like to have.
And also its medium-range price makes it quite affordable for anyone that’s looking to get into sim racing without breaking the bank.
Will the Thrustmaster TS-XW make me faster?
We can’t guarantee that by 100% but it will surely help you improve your driving skills thanks to its precise and realistic dual-motor FFB.
You can check dozens of raving reviews online from people that have actually bought the Thrustmaster TS-XW wheel and now have improved their lap times by quite a chunk.
How much does it cost?
The Thrustmaster TS-XW wheel is currently being sold at around 600 dollars, which makes it a pretty decent bargain considering that it comes with a wheelbase and a 3 pedals set.
It’s actually quite affordable compared to other Fanatec wheels selling between 750$ to 1,800$, so this is definitely something you should keep in mind if you’re trying to spend as little as possible.
Where can I get the Thrustmaster TS-XW ?
You can get the Thrustmaster TS-XW on Amazon and we actually encourage you to check its current prices and latest reviews here.
By the way, you can also purchase it at GameStop, BestBuy, Walmart and other similar retailers.
Bottom line: Is the Thrustmaster TS-XW worth it?
So, is the TS-XW really worth buying?
The answer is definitely yes if you’re planning to take your sim racing skills to a whole new level and its current price is actually one of the most affordable you can get on the market.
The Thrustmaster TS-XW Sparco is definitely a pretty good steering wheel that comes with features that are usually only found in more expensive models.
It’s perfect for anyone looking for a realistic racing experience, from beginners to more experienced sim drivers.
Having said that, we highly recommend having a look at its Amazon Reviews to make your final decisions! 🙂