If you’re looking to step your game up and purchase a reasonably priced desk-mounted sim racing steering wheel on Xbox, the Thrustmaster T248 could be for you.
Originally announced back in August 2021, the Thrustmaster T248 is an entry-level, but not bargain basement, sim racing wheel. It sits above the venerable T150 in the company’s range, mixing both belt and gear-driven technologies for the first time and features a telemetry LCD readout.
Bundled with the wheel base, wheel rim and a three-pedal set that even offers adjustment, the whole package is priced at £299.99 / €349.99 / $399.99 – aimed squarely at the Logitech G923.
Upon our initial review, we claimed it was an ideal wheel for those looking to sim race when mounted to a desk. But there was one huge flaw for a percentage of our readers – it didn’t work on Xbox devices.
This was then rectified by a separate Xbox SKU launching in March 2022. Identical to the original 2021 T248, except now with Xbox buttons and the ability to work with both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Both versions work with PC.
Jumping back onto a T248 then, this time on an Xbox Series X, does this latest steering wheel deliver the goods at this price point?
Well, I’ll answer that rather quickly with an emphatic yes.
In short, it’s the same as the PlayStation version (full video review above), but with A, B, X and Y as opposed to Cross, Circle, Square and Triangle. Oh, and the ability to play Forza Horizon 5 on a console.
That’s no bad thing. Playing the Mexican open-world driving epic, the T248 and game are in perfect harmony. As if the physics engine was made of this wheel.
It also helps that Forza Horizon 5 is a game perhaps better suited, most of the time, to automatic gearing as while the wheel’s shift paddles are tactile, they make one hell of a racket upon use.
This is fine if you’re using the device on your own, but if someone else is in the room next door or you’re on a group voice chat during a Horizon Open race, for example, people will hear every thunk.
The telemetry display is also not quite as useful as it could be. Games can be developed to natively support it, with titles such as WRC 10 and DiRT 5 letting you cycle through important information. Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t yet, but it is said that it will do soon.
However, it’s a low-resolution screen with a poor viewing angle. Taller drivers won’t be able to see the information it shows without ducking down.
Yet, the main reason for buying a racing wheel is additional fidelity. More feedback enhances immersion. Here, the T248 for Xbox delivers in spades.
As we said in our initial review:
“With everything plugged in and running, the hybrid drive system feels really satisfying. With the expected 900° of rotation, the mix of belt and gear gives the force feedback enhanced clarity. Going over kerbs feels spectacular, and it does have a little punch as and when it needs to.
“The steering feels precise enough, but it is pretty heavy overall, however, you can change the feedback’s force on the fly with a dedicated button.”
The T3PM pedals include throttle, brake and clutch out of the box and feature an all-metal design – a boon at this price point. There’s even a second spring that can be used to create a different stiffness.
“The brake pedal configuration out of the box is acceptable, with a smooth travel and a constant resistance, but if you’re wanting a better feeling brake, definitely swap out the stock spring for the black one, with the cushion too for arguably the best feeling,” we said during our initial testing last year.
The build quality of the wheel itself is reassuringly solid. Sure, there are more premium devices on the market, but they cost significantly higher outlays. While you can tell there’s a lot of plastic involved, the rim is soft to the touch and the buttons click sharply.
The Thrustmaster T248 for Xbox should now be straight onto your wish list of steering wheels, especially if you’ve just got into racing games and would like to get more involved, or you don’t have the space or budget for a direct drive unit.
When you factor in the feedback it delivers, the metal pedals and its compatibility with accessible driving titles all in one package, every Xbox owner should be considering it.