The wireless TopDrive steering wheel for PC and console gives games a new burst of life, offering vibration feedback and a built-in gear stick. This gaming accessory costs less than £40 and is a great laugh for most titles. Read on for our review of the TopDrive steering wheel for PC, PS2 and PS3.
Look and Feel
This steering wheel has a solid build quality and arrives with a pair of pedals and a gear stick built onto the side of the driving console. A Bluetooth receiver, which is plugged into a USB device, is also included in the package for gamers looking to play wirelessly.
The TopDrive wheel itself can be slightly daunting at first, considering the gadget is absolutely covered in buttons that, if you’re looking to get the most out of the product, you’ll have to configure manually.
Logic3’s 10-inch rubberized steering wheel feels nice to touch and doesn’t wiggle around too much during intensive play sessions. The suckers on the underside of the driving console stop it from sliding away from you and the gear stick has a satisfying ‘click’ sound to it.
Despite feeling solid, we have to admit the TopDrive wireless steering wheel doesn’t look too pretty. Of course, this is a budget-priced steering wheel (just under £40 on Shopomo) but if you’re picky about looks you might be disappointed by the product’s plastic body.
When it comes to actually steering, the wheel doesn’t spin a full rotation and beyond, which we found annoying. It’s a disappointment. When you’re trying to navigate really tight turns during a race and you can’t reach the right angle, it’s pretty frustrating. Still, considering the price tag, we can’t complain too much.
Using the TopDrive wheel
To set the TopDrive up, users plug the foot pedals into the back of the wheel. After that, the Bluetooth receiver has to be stuck into the PC or console you’ll be using. In our experience pairing the wheel with a gaming system was fairly hassle-free, although in some instances we had to mess around with in-game settings to get our PC to register the pedals correctly.
In our experience pairing the wheel with a gaming system was fairly hassle-free
We tried a number of popular driving-based titles with the TopDrive wheel, once of which was Euro Truck Simulator 2. Using the wheel on ETS2 was fairly problematic, as configuring the wheel for this game seemed to take a long time. Even when we managed to get the wheel and pedals working, the wheel wasn’t as responsive as we would have liked, which is where the limited turning degree became an issue.
Our experience using the TopDrive on Dirt 3 by Codemasters was much better though, and the wheel added a genuine level of excitement and immersion. Zooming across dirt roads in a rally car and changing gears with the stick felt great, especially at high speeds. When the wheel works as it’s supposed to, it’s brilliant fun.
Despite some issues setting it up on certain games, the TopDrive is a solid steering wheel when you consider the price. The build quality is good (even though there’s lots of plastic), the wheel itself has plenty of mappable buttons and the gear stick has a nice feel to it.
The wireless TopDrive steering wheel isn’t perfect for racing fanatics, but it’s more than enough for casual players. We enjoyed taking it for a spin.