We’ve received quite a few requests recently from parents that are looking to get their children a decent budget set, for this reason, today we have the Thrustmaster TMX Review.
Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback is an Xbox/PC racing wheel that’s a godsend to anyone looking to dip their toes into immersive racing games. The TMX comes with a fully-featured wheel, adjustable force feedback, ergonomic design perfectly adapted for racing games, and a pedal set – all at an incredibly affordable price.
Thrustmaster TMX Set - Xbox One, Series S & X and PC
2 used from £129.99
- Works on Xbox Series X|S
- Realistic wheel: wheel rim is 11 inches / 28 cm in diameter, with an ergonomic design that’s great for all types of racing games
- Up to 900° wheel rotation, for optimal racing precision
- Responsive, precise and silent Force Feedback, thanks to the belt-pulley system in the racing wheel’s base
- Optical reading: 12-bit resolution ensures accurate in-game reproduction of all wheel movements (4,096 values on the steering axis)
Large pedal set included. Works on Xbox Series X|S
The Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback is a carbon copy of the Thrustmaster T150. The most significant difference between the wheels is that the T150 is designed exclusively for PlayStation Consoles.
So, if you’re an Xbox Series X or Xbox One gamer, you should stick to the TMX.
You may be wondering why the same company would have a different racing wheel for each console. That is because Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PlayStation have different security and architecture.
Thrustmaster isn’t the only company doing this. For instance, Logitech has console-exclusive wheels – the G29 for PS4 and G920 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
How Are Thrustmaster TMX And T150 Racing Wheels Different From Each Other?
So, are there any differences between the TMX racing wheel and the T150? The honest answer would be – not many. Both wheels work the same when plugged into a PC, and almost all internals are the same.
Both the TMX Force Feedback and T150 feature a wheel that’s 28 cm in diameter with an ergonomic design perfectly adapted for both simulation and racing games supporting racing wheels.
If you’re looking for a very precise wheel, both TMX and T150 are excellent choices. Both of these wheels feature optical reading with 12-bit resolution (4,096 values on the wheel’s steering axis), ensuring that you’ll stay immersed in the gameplay at all times.
Both wheels are rotation angle adjustable. That means you can adjust the rotation from 270-degrees up to 900 degrees – that’s almost three full rotations.
Another cool thing about both TMX Force Feedback and the T150 is that they feature 100% metal sequential paddle shifters. Most wheels in this price range tend to skimp on the materials and use plastic as much as possible. That’s not the case with Thrustmaster. They went a step further for your immersion – and incorporated metal sequential paddle shifters with smooth and distinct gear shifting.
The TMX Force Feedback and the T150 have the same high-performance adjustable force feedback system. Adjustable force feedback lets you further your immersion by letting you tweak the power adjustment options.
Both wheels use a steering axis mixed belt pulley system with a metal ball-bearing axle. The primary advantage of this system is that it allows for the channelling of sounds from the motor while providing you with smooth and fluid controls. What’s more, the steering axis mixed belt pulley system – with a metal ball-bearing axle that ensures enhanced sturdiness – is much smoother, more fluid, and more silent than a gears system.
Another essential feature both the TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel and the T150 share is the compatibility with the TH8A, Thrustmaster’s metal shifter. The TH8A features an authentic automotive industry-inspired design. It comes with a detachable shift knob and allows for two different shifting styles – H-pattern and Sequential. This shifter makes Xbox One racing games like Forza Horizon truly shine.
Where these steering wheels for racing games differ is in the button placement.
The Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel has the official buttons on the upper edge wheel hub, giving it a more of a sport’s car look. The T150 also boasts gaudy blue rubber-coated wheel grips that match the PS logo.
We prefer TMX’s glossy black finish on the rubber-coated wheel grips; it’s much classier and easier to blend in with a PC/Xbox peripheral.
Getting The Feel Of TMX Racing Wheel
Now that we’re done with the technical stuff, let’s discuss how this racing wheel feels. We’ve tried with a couple of Xbox One driving games, including Forza Horizon 5, Project Cars, and Assetto Corsa. So far, our impressions are very positive.
Steering Wheel Look And Feel
The TM Force Feedback Racing Wheel does what it’s supposed to – and does it pretty well. There are no extra bells and whistles.
The design of the steering wheel is a bit dated, especially when compared to its main competition, the G920. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, decently performing racing wheel, the steering wheel design should be at the bottom of your checklist.
With that said, we believe Thrustmaster’s design team could’ve made a bit more effort. The G920 has a much more modern steering wheel design. Even more so, it features leather-coated steering compared to TMX’s rubber and plastic. The G920 feels much more high-quality overall.
Paddle Set Look And Feel
Like most contemporary racing wheel gamepads, the TMX comes with two paddle shifters. They’re reasonably responsive, and we’ve had a blast using them while playing various Xbox One games supporting racing wheels. The click you get when you shift the gears isn’t the most pleasurable thing on Earth – but it does a good job, in our opinion.
How Does Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel Perform
Now, onto the meat of the matter. How does the TMX perform in games?
Since this wheel comes with Xbox One certified embedded software and works on Xbox Series X, we’re happy to report that all button inputs work perfectly. The official buttons all do what they’re supposed to – and they’re perfectly responsive.
Thanks to the built-in, clicky D-pad, you won’t have much trouble navigating through the system’s menus and console’s menus and accessing social functions. That eliminates the need for switching from the wheel to the controller to flip through menus.
Once you get into any of the games supporting racing wheels, you’ll feel the full glory of the steering axis mixed belt and pulley system. The system’s as quiet as a mouse and much smoother than anything in this price range.
As for the force feedback strength, it’s pretty OK. It leaves a lot to be desired – especially compared to other, more expensive steering wheel gamepads. Still, it’s more than fine for a first wheel you’ll own.
Furthermore, the adjustable force feedback lets you tweak your experience to your heart’s content and feel every detail – track’s relief, tire grip, braking, and the like.
Optimized Pedal Set
Pedals seem to be the weakest part of the TMX package. They’re made out of plastic which makes them feel and look cheap. Build quality aside, the pedal set lacks compared to the steering wheel.
That said, each pedal’s angle of inclination can be adjusted, brake pedal offers progressive resistance, and they feature a wide foot rest.
Both the brake and the gas pedal provide good resistance, but they fail to emulate a real car. To make things worse, it lacks the clutch. That means you can’t use a shifter add-on.
These pedals will likely do for the first few months while you’re getting used to the feel of racing games. Once you get the hang of these games, we’d recommend you get a decent set of pedals as soon as possible.
How Compatible Is The Thrustmaster TMX?
The best thing about buying a console-specific steering wheel gamepad is that it works out of the box. The TMX comes with official embedded software from Microsoft that pairs it with Xbox One or Xbox Series X nearly instantaneously.
It’s also fully compatible with most PC operating systems. You will have to download Thrustmaster drivers if you’re using Linux, but it’s plug and play on Windows and Mac OS.
The TMX is also compatible with a range of other Thrustmaster’s peripherals. That is excellent news because you can switch the crummy feeling pedal sets for a T3PA-Pro.
How Much For The TMX?
If you’re looking for the cheapest steering wheel gamepad on the market, the TMX might be your best option. It costs a tad bit under 200 pounds, and it comes with a pedal set. So far, so good.
However, the pedal set is horrific. The pedals don’t feel very sturdy and aren’t very good at emulating a real car. They won’t get in the way when it comes to enjoying Xbox One racing games – but there are better options out there. You can upgrade to T3PA-Pro, for example, but that ups the bill significantly.
For just 100 pounds more, you can get a Logitech G29/G920, which feels – and looks – much better.
Thrustmaster TMX Review: Should You Buy The TMX?
If you’re a complete beginner in racing simulation games, the Thrustmaster TMX is a great starting point. For just under 200 pounds, you get a decent steering wheel and pedal set combo.
But, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly competitive race wheel, we recommend you give the TMX a wide berth. You can get a much better Thrustmaster TX for just a few pounds more.
Yes, the TX does cost a bit more – but it spares you from upgrading down the line.
So, is the Thrustmaster TMX worth its asking price, and should you buy it? If you’re looking for sheer value, the TMX is one of the best in the world. And if you’re a new racer, you’ll have loads of fun with this great wheel. However, if you’re planning on competing, we recommend going for something more expensive.