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Fanatec DD Pro Review

Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review: Direct Drive & PS5!

Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review

We love a new product release at Total Sim Racing, and today we are excited to bring the Fanatec GT DD Pro Review. This wheel set has been a long time coming, with the market crying out for an official PS5 wheel. Have Fanatec delivered with this wheel?

GT DD PRO

What is the Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro?

This is the steering wheel set that you’ve been waiting for, if you’re a Sim Racer looking for an official Playstation racing bundle. That’s right, Fanatec have partnered with Gran Turismo and announced this Direct Drive set, which will release in November 2021.

Fanatec GT DD Pro Review Pedals Overview

Instead of having to purchase all of your equipment separately, like with the CSL DD, you’ll actually get a full set delivered to your door. This means that you’ll be able to unbox your gear and get straight onto the track, as you receive the wheelbase, steering wheel and pedals. No extra purchases required.

This release has been timed perfectly with the announcement of the latest Gran Turismo game, and the developers of Gran Turismo are working closely with Fanatec to ensure that this wheel works perfectly on the game. Exciting times for Playstation Sim Racers!

Official Gran Turismo Licensing

Fanatec have secured a deal with Polyphone Digital, who are the developers of Gran Turismo. This is the reason why this wheel is called the Gran Turismo DD Pro, it’s their take on the wheel. Fanatec handed the reigns over to Polyphone, who were allowed to design the wheel to their requirements. This is the reason why the wheel seems a little different to Fanatec CSL Steering wheels, as they didn’t have too much input.

This wheel will offer a big win for Playstation owners, who will now have a designated wheel for their console.

Gran Turismo DD Pro Variations

There are multiple bundles that you can purchase, direct from the Fanatec website. These come with a variation of specification, such as different boost kits, load cell pedals etc. At time of writing, there are four bundles which can be purchased. The cheapest is £579.99, with the most expensive £799.99. As you’re getting a full set, I really don’t think that’s too bad. Here are the options:

Bundle NameWhat’s Included?Price
Gran Turismo DD ProSteering Wheel, 5Nm Wheelbase, Pedals£584.99 / €699.95
Gran Turismo DD Pro 8NmBase above, with 8Nm Power Supply for Base£709.00 / €849.90
Gran Turismo Pro DD ExpressBase Wheel But with Express Delivery £709.99 / €849.95
Gran Turismo DD Pro Premium All Extras (8Nm 180 Boost Kit, Load Cell Pedals) £809,99 / €969.85
The Pricing Structure and Variations of the GT DD Pro

Gran Turismo DD Pro Performance

I decided to test the base bundle, which includes 5nm of torque. I made this decision, due to the fact that I’ve already tried the 8nm wheelbase, so I wanted to give the base option a real overview. If you’re getting into sim racing then you’ll most likely choose this version, so I wanted to make sure this review was suitable.

As an experienced Sim Racer, I didn’t really find the 5nm of torque suitable for myself, so I asked my close friend to pop over to test out Monza on Assetto Corsa Competizione. He loved it, to the point where I think he’s converted to sim racing now himself, and he only completed 9 laps!

GT_DD_PRO 8NM Torque

I suppose the 5nm of torque is adequate for when racing, you can feel the wheelbase doing it’s thing, and you aren’t punished too much if you go wide into the gravel. I don’t want my personal thoughts to get in the way of this one, but if you’re looking at using this wheel for the next 3-5 years, it may be a good investment tactic to start off with the 8nm version, as you’ll grow to handle the torque demands.

If your budget only goes as far as the 5nm, let me tell you that this is still a great wheelbase. Due to the Direct Drive technology that’s inside these things, the level of force feedback is miles ahead of any belt-driven wheel you may have tried in the past. It’s also worth noting, like I did in the DD review, that you can purchase the optional boost kit down the line, anyway.

Again, without the risk of repeating myself and boring repeat visitors, you’ll be please to know that this wheelbase doesn’t get too hot during operation, due to it’s design. It also operates close to silent, due to having no internal fan. That’s definitely a winner, as background noise can be off-putting!

The Design

Most Fanatec releases split opinions, due to the nature of the sim racing community. Some like innovation, some like the company to stick to it’s roots and others like the exact replica wheels that Fanatec often create. The Gran Turismo DD Pro is another release to split opinion.

The Steering Wheel

Let’s start off with the steering wheel, as this is the thing that you’ll be interacting with most. The honest truth? I’m a little underwhelmed with this design. Some of my favourite designs come from the Fanatec clubsport steering wheels range, but the Gran Turismo DD pro wheel seems a far cry away from their usual standards. I’m sure there are people out there that will love the design.

GT_DD_PRO Gran Turismo Design
Does the colour take away from the seriousness of this wheel?

Typically, Fanatec would use Alcantara, wonderfully placed Carbon Fiber and realistic toggle switches to bring their steering wheel to life. We don’t get that with this wheel, instead the replica wheel that we are used to seeing has been replaced with their Gran Turismo wheel which contains large clunky buttons, with the outer rim of the wheel just a standard rubber grip.

I’m also not a fan of how these buttons have brightly coloured backgrounds, making the buttons stand out even more. It seems like Fanatec have branched out of their usual standard with csl steering wheels and decided to make a one off ‘Arcade Steering Wheel’, because this does feel a little bit recreational. It’s something I would probably expect from a £300 Thrustmaster bundle, not the giant that is Fanatec.

I would refer you here back to the fact that this wheel was designed with Gran Turismo. I would think that Gran Turismo had a say in the development of this wheel, as it’s so far away from what fanatec usually produce.

The Wheelbase

The wheelbase for the Gran Turismo DD pro is based around the CSL DD, with a few more tweaks to allow Gran Turismo to put their final touches on this. I’m actually a fan of the little additions that have been made here, which is in stark contrast to my thoughts on the wheel!

GT DD PRO Wheel Base
A sharp blue ring around the rear of the base, it’s a shame we won’t be able to see it!

The design of the base has been altered slightly, with thing such as the clunky power on button replaced and moved. This is a good move, as the button did feel a bit cheap on the CSL DD. I’m also a fan of the blue outer ring that has been added to the rear of the base, which replicates the light that omits from the Playstation when powered on. This is a really good touch, one of those little things that helps you remember that this is built for the Playstation.

You can choose between 5nm and 8nm, depending on the DD Pro bundle that you choose. Both offer sufficient levels of force feedback detail.

The CSL Pedals

Although I’ve been a little bit negative so far, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the pedals. These have been re-designed, but I don’t think there was a problem with the originals personally! However, looking at this new release, you can immediately tell that the pedals are so much sleeker, with a cleaner design overall.

Going forward, the new CSL Pedals will be replacing the CSL Elite Pedals, which were a stealthed out, completely black unit. The new pedals will still feature black, but with silver added into the mix to compliment the set. These look really good.

GT DD PRO Load Cell kit
To load, or not to load… cell kit?

The pedals have also been re-developed, with the new fanatec pedals using magnetic hall-effect sensors. If you aren’t too sure what this means, it’s where the position of the pedal is measured without any contact, reducing friction and wear. This will help to keep a consistent pedal position, whilst reducing any degradation over time. It will also help with your muscle memory as you start to complete longer races, as you’ll naturally start hitting the perfect braking points and become more consistent.

There is an optional upgrade available for these pedals, a load cell kit. This is included automatically with the premium bundle, so you’ll only have to consider this if you’re taking one of the base sets. The base set is a two pedal set.

The load cell kit will increase immersion, by replicating braking performance. This is an extra pedal which is added to your set, and it will be your brake. This brake pedal measures pressure instead of distance and allows you to control the amount of pressure that you apply to the brake pedal.

If you’re working to a budget at the moment, you don’t have to purchase this upgrade immediately. You can buy the load cell kit for the csl pedals later down the line, add it whenever you require.

Compatibility & Requirements

Playstation fans will be glad to know that this is the steering wheel set that has been designed for use, exclusively with this console. Spoiler, it works with Xbox and PC too! (For the Xbox, you’ll need to change the wheel rim).

This release will help to cleanse the sour taste that was left in 2021, when the CSL DD was released, but not compatible with Playstation.

The GT Pro DD wheelbase has been made with a few changes to make it compatible for use with Playstation. If you’re an Xbox gamer, you probably won’t be looking at this set but it’s worth adding that this steering wheel will not work with your system. So you would have to consider the additional costs of an extra wheel, something like the Mclaren Gt3 maybe?

Which Gran Turismo DD Pro Version is best?

I really like the way that Fanatec built multiple vesions of these, allowing sim racers from various experience levels, or diferent budgets to have their choice of bundle.

If you’re looking for the most realistic setup, then the premium bundle will contain all of the options such as the load cell brake pedal and additional torque from the boost kit.

Fanatec have got you covered if you’re also looking for a budget setup. Their base package is still very strong and will be miles ahead of the Logitech G923 or Thrustmaster T150. You’ll still have 5nm of torque which is plenty, but you do lose the load cell kit. However, you can freely upgrade these down the line, adding to your current setup.

It all depends on your budget. If you can afford the premium bundle, this will work out cheaper long term as Fanatec give a slight discount for the additional gear which would cost more when purchased separately.

Should I buy the GT DD Pro?

The answer to this one will depend on your main console for Sim Racing. If it’s Playstation, it’s got to be a yes. If you’re a Gran Turismo fanboy at heart, it’s got to be a yes! You simply will not find a tailor-made Fanatec wheel for your Playstation other than this unit.

Albeit, the steering wheel design has diverted a little bit from typical Fanatec wheel designs, but this is because it was a one-off design collaboration with the Gran Turismo developers. It does look a little bit Logitech though!

How much does it cost?

I think the price point offers very good value, due to the performance specification that’s included. The base set will cost you just over £600, which sounds expensive at first, but you need to remember that you’re getting a direct drive setup. The most expensive bundle costs just under £900 and includes extra torque via the boost kit and a load cell brake pedal.

Technical Specs

  • Compatible with: PS5, PS4, PC
  • Optional Extras: 8nm 180 Boost Kit, Load Cell Pedal Kit
  • Weight: 10kg
  • Torque: 5Nm

Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review: The Conclusion

I’ve got to be honest. I started off with a particular disliking to this wheel. Over the course of the review, I understand why the gt dd pro wheelbase set has been made and I’ve got to be honest, it works really well.

Playstation owners have been crying out for an official direct drive wheel for their console, and this has been delivered now with this wheel for gran turismo. (It works for other games too, but it’s been made specifically for this game, by the devs).

I’m still not a huge fan of the wheel rim, as I know Fanatec can do much better with their racing wheel design, but you’ll struggle to find better value for money than this. I’m sure the Fanatec Gran Turismo set will become a integral part of your sim racing journey, if you decide to purchase it.

F-GT Lite Review

Next Level Racing F-GT Lite Review: A Game-Changing Affordable Racing Simulator

Next Level Racing is a highly esteemed name in the realm of immersive gaming experiences, widely recognized for their meticulously engineered, high-performance racing simulators. The brand’s commitment to innovation and realism in the gaming world has cemented its place among elite manufacturers in the industry.

One particular product in their lineup that has been garnering attention lately is the F-GT Lite. A versatile and portable racing simulator, the F-GT Lite is a compact yet robust solution for gamers seeking a top-tier, yet accessible racing experience.

It has promised a professional and comfortable feel, but it’s priced for beginners. Will it live up to expectations?

Next Level Racing F-GT Lite Cockpit de Course (NLR-S015)

£249.00  in stock
15 new from £249.00
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of February 22, 2024 11:57 am

Features

  • Unique Folding feature for easy storage when not in use
  • Durable and adjustable hubs that allow Easy and fast position change
  • Compatible with all major wheels and pedals including Thrustmaster, Logitech, and Fanatic
  • Compatible with PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, PC and Mac
  • Suits users of 120cm/47 inches and up to 200cm/79 inches. 150kg/330lbs user limit

Touted for its impressive functionality and adaptability, this simulator promises a unique blend of realism and convenience that appeals to both hardcore racers and casual gamers alike.

Coming up next, we delve deeper into the features and specifications of this product, unboxing and setup, and an in-depth assessment of its performance and value. Stay tuned for an exhaustive look at what the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite has to offer.

Features & Specifications of the F-GT Lite

Key Features of the F-GT Lite

The F-GT Lite is brimming with well-thought-out features that are designed to significantly enhance the user’s gaming experience. One of its most noteworthy features is its portability. Despite offering a complete racing cockpit experience, the F-GT Lite is fully foldable, making it highly convenient for storage or transport.

F-GT Lite Folding Down for Safe Transport
It’s easily foldable, so you can take it with you

Another major feature is its adaptability. The F-GT Lite boasts a unique design that allows users to switch between Formula and GT racing positions seamlessly, catering to a diverse range of racing game preferences. Additionally, it comes with adjustable wheel, pedal, and gear shifter positions, ensuring maximum comfort and precision control during gaming sessions.

Specifications of the F-GT Lite

As for specifications, the F-GT Lite measures 75 x 50 x 30 cm when folded, making it a relatively compact solution without compromising on the immersive experience. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s compatible with a wide range of equipment from top brands, including Logitech, Thrustmaster, and Fanatec.

When it comes to construction, the F-GT Lite doesn’t skimp on durability. Made with high-quality materials, it has a solid frame that supports up to 150 kg. The product also includes Next Level Racing’s reclining fiberglass race seat for additional comfort.

In the following sections, we will explore the unboxing and setup process, assess the comfort and adjustability of the F-GT Lite, and evaluate its real-world performance. Keep reading to find out more about this compelling offering from Next Level Racing.

Unboxing and Setup

Unboxing the F-GT Lite

Unboxing the F-GT Lite is akin to uncovering a treasure trove for any racing game enthusiast. The packaging is neat and practical, with the different parts carefully wrapped and compartmentalized to avoid damage. Once everything is laid out, you’ll be greeted with the racing seat, frame parts, bolts, and an easy-to-follow instruction manual.

Setup Process

The setup process of the F-GT Lite is streamlined and user-friendly. While it’s not a process to be rushed – it does require a bit of time and patience – the included manual guides you through each step, ensuring a smooth setup experience.

The main frame folds and unfolds with relative ease, and mounting the racing seat onto the frame is straightforward. Following that, the adjustments for the wheel, pedals, and shifter can be a bit more time-consuming, depending on your preferences. The numerous customization options cater to a wide range of setups, adding a personal touch to your gaming experience.

All in all, the F-GT Lite offers an accessible yet comprehensive setup process that takes you one step closer to the immersive racing experience that awaits you. Up next, we delve into the comfort and adjustability of the F-GT Lite.

Comfort and Adjustability

Comfort level of the F-GT Lite

When it comes to comfort, the F-GT Lite does not disappoint. The reclining fiberglass racing seat is designed for extended gaming sessions and provides ample back support. The fabric used on the seat is breathable, reducing the risk of overheating during intense races.

Adjustability and Flexibility of the Racing Simulator

One of the major selling points of the F-GT Lite is its excellent adjustability. Whether you prefer a GT racing position or a more laid-back Formula racing style, this racing simulator caters to all. The ability to quickly switch between these two modes adds an extra layer of convenience and customizability.

F-GT Lite Switching Racing Style

Further adjustability comes from the wheel, pedal, and shifter positions, which are fully customizable to match your specific needs and body type. This feature ensures that the simulator is accessible to a wide range of gamers, regardless of their height or gaming style.

In summary, the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite prioritizes comfort and personalization, enabling users to fine-tune their setup for a fully immersive, tailor-made gaming experience. Up next, we will delve into the F-GT Lite’s performance and how it impacts gameplay.

Performance

Real-World Performance of the F-GT Lite

When it comes to actual gameplay, the F-GT Lite truly shines. The combination of its sturdy frame, adjustable controls, and comfortable seating delivers a highly immersive racing experience. The rig is stable even during intense racing moments, providing you the confidence to maneuver with precision.

The seat and frame have been designed to resist wobble and flex, which not only contributes to its overall durability but also to the realism of the gaming experience. Whether you’re cruising down a straight or navigating sharp corners, the F-GT Lite maintains its composure, providing a solid platform for you to engage with your game.

Impact on Gameplay

The F-GT Lite’s ability to switch between Formula and GT racing positions offers a nice impact on gameplay.

The flexibility to choose your preferred racing style enhances the realism and engagement level of your sessions. Additionally, the ease of adjusting controls allows you to find the perfect setup that matches your gaming style, leading to improved performance and more enjoyable gameplay.

Side View of the F-GT Lite

In conclusion, the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite’s performance is impressive, creating an immersive, realistic, and adaptable platform for both novice and experienced racers. Up next, we’ll compare the F-GT Lite with other similar models on the market.

Comparison with Other Models

Comparison with Similar Models in the Market

When compared to similar models in the market, the F-GT Lite holds its own quite admirably. Other racing simulators might offer comparable functionality, but where the F-GT Lite stands out is its blend of portability, adjustability, and realism.

There’s no denying that the F-GT Lite is the standout performer from the below list.

Racing SimulatorPrice (GBP)Key Feature Differences
Next Level Racing F-GT Lite£200Foldable for easy storage, adjustable GT and Formula racing positions, compatible with a wide range of equipment
Playseat Evolution£250Robust and durable design, comfortable seat but not foldable, mainly suited for GT racing
GT Omega ART Racing Simulator Cockpit£230Adjustable wheel and pedal positions, robust frame but not portable, includes monitor mount
Trak Racer RS6 Mach 2£400Premium finish, adjustable pedal and wheel positions, but not foldable, also includes a monitor mount
Logitech G Challenge Playseat£160Portable and foldable, compact design, but fewer customization options and primarily suited for GT racing

Most simulators in the same price bracket either focus on a robust, fixed setup, sacrificing portability, or they emphasize compactness, compromising on the immersive gaming experience. The F-GT Lite, on the other hand, strikes a balance, offering a robust and immersive racing platform that can be folded away when not in use.

Advantages and Disadvantages over Other Models

One of the significant advantages of the F-GT Lite over other models is its dual position functionality. Not many racing simulators allow for a quick and effortless switch between GT and Formula racing styles. Additionally, the level of customization available in the F-GT Lite is noteworthy, enabling a personalized gaming experience.

However, there might be some drawbacks as well. For gamers looking for a more permanent and fixed racing setup, the F-GT Lite’s portability might not be a significant advantage. Also, while the F-GT Lite does offer comfort, some racing simulators at a higher price point provide more premium materials and seating options.

In the next section, we’ll look at the pricing of the F-GT Lite and evaluate its value for money.

Price and Value for Money

Pricing of the F-GT Lite

The Next Level Racing F-GT Lite is priced at approximately £200, positioning it competitively within the racing simulator market. It’s not the cheapest offering out there, but it’s also far from the most expensive. The pricing places it squarely in the mid-range category, making it accessible to a wide range of users – from casual gamers to more hardcore racing enthusiasts.

Value for Money Evaluation

When considering the value for money, it’s crucial to assess the F-GT Lite’s features, performance, and overall user experience. The simulator offers an immersive and realistic racing experience, underpinned by its ability to switch seamlessly between Formula and GT racing positions. Additionally, its foldable design and robust construction enhance its versatility and longevity.

The F-GT Lite’s high level of adjustability also sets it apart from many competitors in its price range, allowing users to customize the simulator to their exact preferences. The compatibility with a broad range of racing equipment from various manufacturers is another feather in its cap.

F-GT Lite is it Good Value for Money?

On the other hand, while the F-GT Lite does provide a good level of comfort, there are offerings in the higher price range that may offer more premium materials or enhanced seating options.

Taken all together, the F-GT Lite’s competitive pricing, coupled with its feature set and performance, provides solid value for money. It strikes a commendable balance between affordability and quality, making it a worthy consideration for those seeking a mid-range racing simulator that doesn’t compromise on the gaming experience.

In the final section of this review, we will summarize the key points and offer our verdict on the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite.

Conclusion

Summary of Key Points

In conclusion, the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite is a versatile, adaptable, and immersive racing simulator. It stands out with its ability to switch between GT and Formula racing styles, its high level of adjustability, and its foldable design for easy storage.

Its sturdy construction and the realistic experience it offers add to its appeal for both casual gamers and hardcore racing enthusiasts alike. While there are racing simulators in the market that may offer more premium materials or seating options, the F-GT Lite holds its own by providing a balanced mix of comfort, customization, and practicality.

Final Verdict

Given its feature set, performance, and competitive pricing, the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite offers solid value for money. It successfully delivers on its promise of an immersive, adaptable, and realistic racing experience without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to enhance your gaming setup or a seasoned racer seeking a balance between performance and affordability, the F-GT Lite is a worthy consideration. Its blend of portability, adjustability, and realism makes it a stand-out choice in the mid-range racing simulator market.