Hardware

Published on April 16th, 2017 | by Ben

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Fanatec CSL Elite Review

Fanatec CSL Elite is a very accessible gaming wheel in the market. It is rather special at its entry price. Its wheel system is very customizable; it has two wheelbases, four pedal sets, more than ten wheels and a separate shifter and handbrakes. Even though all of these don’t come with the Fanatec CSL Elite package, you will get everything you need that includes the Xbox One steering wheel, CSL Elite wheelbase, and the CSL Elite pedals. Fanatec produces very high-end products indicated by the prices this product fetches; the wheel rim alone costs 150 Euros.

The style of Fanatec CSL Elite is evident right from the moment you get it out of its packaging. It is much less simple compared to the Logitech G920 or the Thrustmaster TX and is very customizable. It comes with universal clamp allowing you to attach it to a stand or table. Some products have mounting trouble, but not this.

Key Features
• Reliable Force Feedback
• PC/Xbox One support
• Variable resistance settings for the brake pedal
• Has a three-pedal board
• 1,080-degree steering wheel
• modular system
• Price: £586.00

Fanatec CSL Elite comes with an on-wheel menu system so you can alter the settings on the go. Other products don’t allow such flexibility and simplicity of changing settings. When you first get this product, it can baffle you since it is not the plug and play types. However, after mounting and trying it out, you will get the hang of it and really enjoy the difference it presets espercially if you have used other wheels in the past.

What’s in the Menu System?
Sensitivity: this alters the turning cycle of its steering wheel since the wheelbase can make a 1,080-degree rotation though this is not suitable for all car types. With this setting, the driver can choose the rotation to auto.

Force feedback: this setting customizes the strength of the force feedback between 0 to 100%.

Shock: this control fiddles with the rumble motors strength from 0 to 100%.

ABS: when you brake hard, this simulates the ABS feeling.

Linearity: it alters the sensitivity of the wheel turning towards the center. This gives you more control over the fine movements.

Dead zone: changes the amount of dead zone at the center of the wheel.

Drift: this control allows you to reduce the wheel resistance minimizing the struggle with drifting.

Spring/force/damper: this lets the driver fine tune various force feedback components on the PC.

Brake force: This change the amount of brake pedal pressure needed for maximum braking force.

These on-wheel controls make the ride smoother and override what the games directs Fanatec CSL Elite to do.

The Wheel Base
The P1 steering has a rubbery coating, a metal plate central part while the outer part plugging into the base is made of plastic. Fanatec has created a great product with stripped down gloss giving you high-end components. The base is plastic with gray multi-shade patterns on the front. The Fanatec CSL Elite is fairly easy to mount, and even though it is attached to a basic stand, it feels sturdy. The basic wheelbase doesn’t matter since it is the internal skeleton that takes the force exerted by the wheel torque.

Gear Shifters
The gear shifters are made of solid aluminum spokes with no clicky feedback. It’s smoother feel departs from the norm making gear changes feel less pronounced.

Pedals
The base and wheels are not all that flashy, but the set is better than most of those we see in the market. It has the trio of clutch/brake/accelerator in one sturdy block. Everything is made of metal except the pedal rubber tops that gives an industrial-grade feeling. The pedals are large enough to make you feel like you are into real racing and not just some toy. It is highly customizable juts like the wheelbase.

You can tailor the progressive feel of the brake. You can make it go firmer that other products. You can change the rubbers behind the brake pedal to change the level of push required to depress the pedal. For a very stiff feel, use the one requiring 90kg of force, but the lightest rings are favorable for most drivers. The pedals can also be moved to make the accelerator and brake pedals sit closer for easier heel-toe-action. You can also give h pedals a different cover. You can replace the rubber covers with other pads like the grippy pads.

Performance and Force Feedback
Force feedback is without a doubt the most exciting aspect of any racing wheel. Without the force feedback, you are better off with the cheap models. Fanatec CSL Elite has the most powerful force feedback which at 55% will make you feel like it is a real life racing and not just some game. Even with all this power, your arms don’t tire since you don’t have to struggle with the force. The ride is smooth, enjoyable and feels real. Its single belt drives brushless motor delivers all the power you will ever need to feel alive while racing. This brings about the smoothness. The brushless system is almost silent hence the quieter ride. After a few minutes of racing, you will hear the fans at the wheelbase fire up to keep the motor from burning up. At maximum speed, the fans may sound like the PC fans; this does not distract as much as the products using gear or belt systems.

Why buy the Fanatec CSL Elite?
It is the best racing wheel, is smoother and has a more powerful force feedback with an excellent pedal set. If you cannot do without virtual racing as a hobby, it is better to upgrade to the Fanatec CSL Elite and experience something real. Its features are attractive even to a novice, imagine how happy it will make a racing enthusiast. Its price is fair considering how great it is and excellent for racing fun.

Pros
• Powerful force feedback
• The action is extremely smooth
• Pedal board is excellent
• Very customizable

Cons
• Base housing is plastic
• Wheel construction is non-luxury
• Expensive to upgrade wheels

The Fanatec CSL Elite is the best Xbox One and PC racing wheels you will ever get for under 1,000 Euros. It provides a smooth ride, customizable controls and on-wheel drive customization for the best experience on the fly.

Fanatec CSL Elite Review Ben
Force Feedback
Construction
Cost

Summary:

4.3


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