Best Gearbox Shifter for Racing Games 2020 Updated Review
Steering wheels now have plenty of great features that improve the realism of your gaming experience. Force feedback provides tactile feedback related to road conditions. But what are the two best shifters on the market? Let’s take a look.
Thrustmaster VG TH8A Add-On Gearbox Shifter
Already the creator of the most popular steering wheel controllers available today, the Thrustmaster VG TH8A Add-On Gearbox Shifter is guaranteed to take your game to the next level. With a build quality comparable to what you’d find in an actual car, you’ll definitely have to give this one a look.
- Optimized clamping for any support surface
- 100% metal internal mechanism, metal gear stick and metal clamping system
- H.E.A.R.T. HallEffect AccuRate Technology; Precision that won’t decrease over time (contactless magnetic sensor); No tact switch and no potentiometer (for unlimited product lifespan)
There are two included shift plates depending on your play style. Pictured, you see the H style shift plate. This gives you seven independent speeds you can choose between. For a more relaxed gaming experience, you can use the sequential shift plate. This is a little more akin to what you’d find at the arcade. There are only two shifting modes with this plate, up and down.
If you’ve never used a racing pedal with a clutch before, start off with the sequential shift plate. This will help you get familiar with the system and prepare you for a more complicated control scheme. The H plate, on the other hand, provides the most realistic driving experience.
However, it does take a little bit of getting used to. If you’re used to driving a five-speed car, the seven-speed gears are a little closer together. When you first start driving, some users report that it takes them a bit of time before they can reliably hit the correct gear each time.
There are two main things you can do to this shifter if you want to customize your play style. The shifter plate can be rotated up to 360 degrees. Depending on how you like to sit and use the controller, you can rotate the plate in order to get a comfortable shifting position.
The next modification requires a little technical know-how, but everything is described perfectly in the manual. Removing the plate, there is a small mechanism that lets you adjust the throw distance. This refers to space from one gear to another. If you want lightning-quick response times, reducing the throw distance can speed up your game by just that little bit you need to get an edge on your opponents.
Logitech G Driving Force Shifter
So, you want to improve the realism of your racing experience without spending a fortune on literal car parts that are going to be littered around your desk? Maybe you already dropped some cash on one of Logitech’s respectable G series racing wheels and you don’t feel like replacing your entire setup? Check out the Logitech G Driving Force Shifter.
- The sim racing shifter for G29 and G920 Driving Force Racing Wheels: Adds realistic shifting to your racing rig
- Built to last: Durable solid steel gear shifter and hand stitched leather boot and knob cover and six speeds with push down reverse gear
- Six speed shifter and push down reverse: “H” pattern gear box for fast, smooth shifting.SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Logitech G29 or G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel.Games that support Logitech Driving Force Shifter(not compatible with Playstation 3). Weight without cable 1.59 pounds. Weight with cable 1.66 pounds
- Secure mounting: Built in clamps mount shifter securely to a table or racing rig. Connection Type : Shifter connection DB9 (female)
- Compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7, games that support Logitech force feedback racing wheel
- Weight with cable: 1.66 pound (0.76 kilogram)
This shifter was designed with a very short throw, which makes it quite a bit easier to be gentle with it. It’s easy to guide it into each gear, with a noticeable clunk at the end. The shorter throw makes it very easy to pick up the nuances of it in just a couple of minutes, allowing you to direct your focus on your game.
Most people purchase H pattern shifters because they want a more authentic gaming experience. And the G series shifter is the easiest way to get in on that. The shifts feel solid, with a noticeable tactile response once you get the gear into the right place.
It feels tight, responsive and is easy to use, giving you the same kind of feel as the G series wheels. It’s important to note that this shifter does feel like a controller. It definitely adds an aspect of realism to the entire platform, but it’s not designed to simulate the actual experience of shifting a real car.
Which Gearbox Shifter Should I Choose?
No matter which route you decide to go, adding a shifter to your racing set up is guaranteed to take your experience up a few notches. Which one you choose will depend primarily on how realistic you want your experience to be and how serious of a gamer you are.
If you want to replicate the driving experience as much as possible, the Thrustmaster VG TH8A is a clear choice. The build quality is incredible, but most importantly using it feels like a real shifter. Many gamers spend a lot of time getting the perfect wheel, the perfect chair and the perfect pedals. If this sounds like you, then the Thrustmaster shifter is the one piece that will bring your entire setup together.
If you’re more of a casual gamer, then the Logitech G Driving Force Shifter offers value that can’t be beaten. Sure, it’s not a 100% accurate representation of shifting a real F1 car. But it’s simply fun to use. The controls are well laid out, well made, and easy to learn.