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Don‘t Buy a Logitech G920 Until You Read This In-Depth Review

If you‘re looking to upgrade your racing sim setup with an entry-level wheel, the Logitech G920 likely caught your eye. As one of the most popular options under $300 compatible with Xbox and PC, it packs a lot of features for the price.

But before pulling the trigger on what seems like a sweet deal, it‘s wise to take a closer look at the G920‘s pros and cons. While a very solid wheel overall, it does have some notable limitations to be aware of.

In this detailed guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know before buying the Logitech G920. You‘ll get key specs, an in-depth feature overview, candid pros and cons analysis, comparison data, and final recommendations to decide if it‘s the right fit for your needs.

At a Glance: Key Logitech G920 Specs and Features

Before diving in, let‘s quickly overview the key specs and features that define the Logitech G920 racing wheel:

Wheel Size: 11 inches

Wheel Rotation: 900 degrees lock-to-lock

Force Feedback: Dual-motor gear-driven force feedback

Pedals: Gas, brake, clutch pedals included

Shifter: 6-speed shifter sold separately

Buttons & Controls: Xbox buttons, paddle shifters

Compatibility: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Price: MSRP $399, typically sold ~$300

Release Date: 2015

For a budget-friendly racing wheel, the G920 doesn‘t skimp on inclusions. You get force feedback, clutch pedal, paddle shifters, and Xbox/PC support right out of the box. But specs and features only reveal so much, so let‘s dive into the real world performance.

In-Depth Pros of the Logitech G920

The G920 punches above its weight class in a few key areas that deserve spotlighting:

Surprisingly Great Force Feedback for the Price

Having force feedback at this price point is a major selling point for the G920. Unlike cheaper wheels that just passively turn, force feedback adds vital physical sensations to your steering.

As you drive in-game, you‘ll feel the wheel naturally align to on-screen steering. Hit a bump or rumble strip, and subtle vibrations add realism. This tactile feedback makes controlling the car more intuitive and enjoyable.

According to experts like Lifewire, the G920‘s force feedback system "gives you a proper sense of controlling a vehicle as opposed to just steering." For a wheel often found under $300, having any degree of force feedback is impressive.

While more powerful systems exist, reviewers consistently praise the G920‘s force feedback as very good for the price. It‘s strong enough to feel weighty and informative without going overboard. This strikes a nice balance for simulating real forces without tiring your arms.

Materials and Build Quality Pun Above Its Paygrade

Another common praise is the G920‘s well-made design and quality materials that seem premium for an entry-level wheel.

The wheel itself has a thick 11” diameter wrapped in hand-stitched leather reminiscent of a luxury vehicle. The pedals are made of sturdy metals with grippy rubber grips to stay planted on your floor.

Little touches like the steel paddle shifters and perforated leather accents make the G920 feel like a more expensive wheel. Everything works together as a cohesive realistic racing rig, not just a plastic accessory.

Reviewers at Tom’s Guide were similarly impressed, saying the G920’s “materials simulate a real racing rig’s build quality.” It’s clear Logitech didn’t cut corners here.

For context, competing budget wheels often have toy-like plastics and lightweight materials. Yet everything on the G920 is made to last and perform like higher-end racing gear.

Clutch Pedal & Shifters Included for Realistic Manual Control

Having a proper clutch pedal and manual shifter adds immensely to immersion in racing sims. The ability to master real manual transmission technique separates toys from serious racing wheels.

The G920 delivers here with its three pedal set. The clutch has a natural resistance curve to match real-world bite points. Learning to operate it smoothly takes practice just like a real clutch pedal.

And the paddle shifters behind the wheel allow you to rapidly shift up and down without taking your hands off the wheel. The all-metal construction gives confident feel.

While the paddle shifters do have some slack issues covered below, their inclusion is still a big value-add. Alternatives like Thrustmaster’s TMX omit them entirely at similar prices.

Add in the optional 6-speed stick shifter, and the G920 gives you all the tools to handle virtual manuals like a pro.

Broad Compatibility Across Xbox, PC, and Xbox Ecosystem

Thanks to Microsoft‘s plug-and-play driver support, the G920 provides a seamless experience on Xbox consoles without complicated setup. Just plug into any Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S and it instantly works.

Compatibility is equally hassle-free on PC. Logitech provides Windows and Mac drivers so the G920 works universally out of the box.

Its dual Xbox and PC focus gives it broader compatibility than PlayStation-only wheels. You can use it for hardcore racing sims like iRacing on PC along with casual arcade racers on Xbox.

And with Xbox backwards compatibility, you can expect the G920 to keep working on future Xbox consoles. That provides some nice future-proofing.

Notable Shortcomings and Compromises

As with any budget wheel, the G920 makes some compromises. These drawbacks are worth factoring into your decision:

Force Feedback Lacks Nuance of Pricier Wheels

The G920‘s force feedback, while great at this price point, isn‘t as detailed or realistic as pricier wheels in the $400+ range.

The dual motor gear-driven system is dated. Without ability to fine tune settings, the forces can feel vague and clunky rather than nuanced.

There‘s no detailed road texture feedback or highly responsive feeling. It‘s adequate for entry-level use but has clear room for improvement.

For example, the Thrustmaster T300RS uses a far smoother belt-driven system and feels noticeably more advanced at $430. So expectations should be set accordingly.

Notorious Brake Pedal Issues

One of the G920‘s most criticized flaws is the brake pedal. An overly strong spring inside the pedal requires pressing extremely hard to reach maximum braking.

This quickly causes fatigue if you brake aggressively. And the pressure needed surpasses what real brake pedals need.

Many owners swap out the spring to alleviate the leg-numbing stiffness. But it‘s an extra hassle just to make the pedal usable.

Significant Slack in the Paddle Shifters

The metal paddle shifters seem like a premium inclusion at first. But in practice, they disappoint with sloppy engagement.

There is noticeable slack or deadzone when engaging the paddles that you must pass through before it registers a shift. This imprecision makes smooth shifts tricky.

It‘s a surprising weak point considering how robust the rest of the materials feel. The paddles clearly used budget internals.

Limited Wheel Accessories Compared to Competitors

Because the G920 is a Logitch exclusive wheel, accessory and upgrade options are far more limited than open wheels.

Logitech themselves only offer the stick shifter and pedals as first-party accessories. Everything else requires cheaper third party or DIY modifications.

Contrast this with ecosystem-focused brands like Fanatec that offer endless upgrade paths. The G920 is largely static out of the box.

Logitech G920 vs. Alternatives: How Does It Compare?

To help decide if the G920 is your best option, let‘s see how it stacks up to close competitors:

Logitech G920 vs Logitech G29

The Logitech G29 immediately stands out as the PlayStation counterpart to the G920 with extremely similar specs and performance. See the head-to-head data:

Specs Logitech G920 Logitech G29
Compatibility Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Wheel Size 11 inches 11 inches
Wheel Rotation 900 degrees 900 degrees
Force Feedback Dual-motor gear driven Dual-motor gear driven
Pedals Gas, brake, clutch Gas, brake, clutch
Shifter Optional add-on Optional add-on
Price $300 $350

As you can see, the core features and performance are identical outside of platform compatibility. The G29 costs a bit more as the PS-specific variant. So for PlayStation owners, the G29 is likely the better choice. But Xbox/PC gamers may as well save $50 and get the G920.

Logitech G920 vs Thrustmaster TMX

Thrustmaster‘s TMX is the G920‘s closest budget competitor on Xbox and PC:

Specs Logitech G920 Thrustmaster TMX
Wheel Size 11 inches 11 inches
Rotation 900 degrees 900 degrees
Force Feedback Dual-motor gear driven Dual-motor belt driven
Pedals 3 pedals included 2 pedals included
Shifter Optional add-on Not compatible
Price $300 $200

For around $50-100 less, the TMX is a viable alternative. It includes force feedback and paddle shifters but lacks a clutch pedal. Materials and build quality are toy-like compared to the G920.

But for Xbox/PC budgets buyers, the cost savings of the TMX may be worthwhile. Just expect a less premium feel.

Splurge Pick: Thrustmaster T300RS

If you want a clear step up over the G920, the Thrustmaster T300RS is a popular mid-range option at around $430:

Specs Logitech G920 Thrustmaster T300RS
Wheel Size 11 inches 11 inches
Rotation 900 degrees 1080 degrees
Force Feedback Dual-motor gear driven Industrial-grade dual belt driven
Force Feedback Power Helical gearing Belt and gear hybrid (smoother)
Pedals 3 pedals included 2 pedal set
Modular/Upgradeable No Yes, interchangeable wheels

For nearly twice the price, key upgrades are much higher fidelity force feedback and an open ecosystem with interchangeable parts.

The T300RS uses a hybrid gear and belt drive system with industrial servos. The result is exceptionally smooth, nuanced forces. It‘s great for feeling detailed road effects.

Consider this a high-end force feedback wheel at a mid-range price. The T300RS opens far more future upgrades too.

Final Verdict: Is the Logitech G920 Worth Buying?

So where does this leave us? Here are some final recommendations on whether the Logitech G920 racing wheel is worth buying:

The G920 is IDEAL for:

  • Xbox or PC gamers wanting great entry-level force feedback
  • Players on a max budget of around $300
  • Those who enjoy mods/upgrades down the road
  • Casual players valuing simplicity out of the box

BUT, you may want to AVOID the G920 if:

  • You primarily play PlayStation console games
  • Demand the absolute best feeling force feedback
  • Want high-end/futureproof materials and parts
  • Need tons of button mapping customization

Overall, the G920 lives up to its reputation as one of the most versatile budget racing wheels. Considering its affordable price, Logitech impressively packed it with quality force feedback, pedals, and paddle shifters.

It rides the line nicely between toy and serious racing wheel for Xbox and PC. Yet still leaves room for enthusiasts to tinker and modify it over time.

Just go in aware of its feedback and build limitations versus pricier models. However, for the money, it satisfies the core essentials for an immersive entry-level sim racing experience.