Following the Q1 2017 survey that we conducted at the end of March this year, we are going to share progressively some of its results, and today we start with a specific focus on a new question we have added this time around: whether Linux gamers use a lot of racing wheels (game controllers), and what kind of models they typically have.
First, out of 810 answers (mostly from r/linux_gaming respondents), about 12% actually have a racing wheel. I lack any sort of benchmark to say whether or not this is a high percentage, but it does seem high if I did the same kind of survey among my friends and acquaintances who play video games (not just on Linux).
It’s probably fair to assume most of these respondents did not purchase their racing wheel just for playing games on Linux, since there is unfortunately still a lack of such titles so far (we do have Dirt Rally, GRID Autosport and Dirt Showdown). But since such peripherals are pretty much using standard USB controllers, they can also be used on Linux, too.
Out of the 12% who own racing wheels, here’s the split between the models they use (note that I am only showing the key answers below, account for 83% of the total answers). FFB refers to Force-feedback, and 900 input to 900 degrees rotation (not all models can handle so much).
- Logitech G27 (FFB and 900 input) – 24 %
- I don’t know the model – 23%
- Logitech Drive Force GT (FFB and 900 input) – 11%
- Logitech G29 (FFB and 900 input) – 6%
- Logitech G25 (FFB and 900 input) – 5%
- Logitech MOMO Racing (FFB) – 3%
- Chinese / Generic – 3%
- Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Experience Racing Wheel 3-in-1, 2%
- Logitech Driving Force (not GT model) – 2%
- Logitech G920 – 2%
- Thrustmaster t300 – 2%
As you can see, the most popular brand is Logitech (that is not a surprise), and the most popular model, the G27, that is quite similar to the previous G25 model. Both the G25 and G27 are discontinued. The newer models are the G29 and G920. The G29 has additional controls and LEDs but does not include a stick shift unlike its predecessors (you can buy a separate attachment though).
The 920 has no clutch pedals, and no stick by default either. The Drive Force GT is an older version (released for GT on PS3 in 2007) and has no clutch either. The MOMO Racing model does not support force feedback and only allows for 240 degrees angles.
I don’t own a racing wheel myself, but when you do compare the list of features and how much they cost at retail, and considering it’s not really a cheap purchase, I’d recommend anyone to go for a used G25 or G27 if they want to save some cash while getting a very decent piece of equipment. A G29 is 300 USD, and a G920 330 USD (Amazon prices). A used G25 can be found at half the price, and a G27 at around 200 USD – both include gear shift sticks.
The positive thing is that the recent Feral ports (Dirt Rally and GRID Autosport) support most of the wheels mentioned above (and certainly the Logitech ones) so it should be pretty much plug and play at this stage. Games like Dirt Rally really seem to play VERY differently whether you use a racing wheel or a gamepad, so if you are invested in such games and have the space for a racing wheel, it may be worthwhile to get one.
I also have a secret hope that we get more racing games down the road, to further justify such peripherals even for some of us who are Linux-only gamers.
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