Why are direct drive wheels the way to go?

Reading time: 2 minutes
Direct drive wheels offer the best force feedback a sim racer can wish for – but how do they do it?
Photo credit: OverTake

While the actual racecraft is the bread and butter of any esports racer, a well-assembled sim racing setup makes the driving experience. To help you choose the ideal components in your price range, our hardware review will guide you through the maze of different products. In the newest episode, we talk about different wheels and the technologies they use – and what makes the direct drive variant so special.




Direct drive vs belt and gear driven



The distinguishing feature of a direct drive wheel is the way it transmits force feedback to the driver. It is directly attached to the shaft of the motor sitting in its base. For that reason, no element in between dampens the feedback the racer receives, which makes the experience much more immersive and gives professional drivers a lot of information to help them hone their racecraft.

For both beginners and advanced sim racers, belt driven wheels might be a more sensible investment though. As the name suggests, these sit on a belt connecting them to a motor that is less powerful than in direct drive wheels. Belt driven ones offer a smoother experience, mostly due to a good amount of force being lost in transmission. Beside them, gear driven wheels are another alternative to the direct drive technology. Instead of a belt as the drive, they use two differently sized gear wheels to amplify the motor's force feedback in exchange for some of its nuances.

Both of the latter variants are cheaper than a direct drive wheel – but if you don't have to worry about your budget and want the most accurate force feedback available, direct drive is the way to go.

Which type of wheel do you find most convincing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
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