Have you ever been comparing the specifications for various sim racing wheels, only to be confused in the differences between steering wheel rotation? The Thrustmaster T150, for example, has 1080 degrees of rotation. Compare that to the popular Logitech G29/G920, which only has 900 degrees of rotation. In this situation, it is easy to assume that more is better. But does the amount of available steering rotation really matter that much? In this article, we will be discussing if the degrees of rotation are worth comparing when shopping for sim racing wheels.
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What is wheel rotation?
Wheel rotation is a measurement, in degrees, of how much the steering wheel can turn. The amount of rotation is usually calculated from stop to stop, meaning from one physical limit when turning all the way left, to the other physical limit when turning to the right. Think about a circle. 360 degrees is one full rotation. So in this example, a wheel with 1080 degrees of rotation would be able to turn 3 full times because 1080 degrees / 360 degrees = 3. And remember, that is lock to lock. So if you have the steering wheel centered, you can rotate the wheel one and a half times to the right or to the left before hitting the physical limit.
What amount of steering rotation do real cars use?
The amount of steering wheel rotation in real cars varies by model, but generally most road cars have a rotation range between 900-1200 degrees. Most racing cars around on the lower end of that range to provide quicker steering response. What this means is that most sim racing wheel base’s are basically equivalent in terms of the available rotation. Also, the variance of rotation from car to car brings up another important point, that the specification of rotation isn’t super important because the real life cars vary just as much as between sim racing wheel base’s.
Does steering rotation matter for sim racing?
When you look at most sim racing wheels, the rotation is 900 or 1080 degrees. This matches pretty closely with real life cars. The variance between wheel bases is also similar to the variance between different car models. Based on all the information we have analyzed so far, it can be said that the difference between a sim racing wheel with 900 degrees of steering rotation and one with 1080 degrees of rotation is not a big deal at all. You really won’t notice any performance or accuracy difference between two wheel bases with different ranges of steering rotation.
Why it isn’t that big of a deal…
When you load up the drivers for your sim racing wheel, you calibrate the rotation and position of the wheel. When you load up a sim racing game for the first time, you also need to configure the wheel settings by selecting steering rotation. As long as you select the matching wheel rotation value for your specific wheel base, you are good to go! The game will automatically adjust for variances in the different cars you drive in the game. In summary, as long as your wheel base is properly calibrated and configured in the game, the wheel input will match what happens in the car. If you turn the wheel 90 degrees to the left on your wheel, the in-game steering wheel should turn 90 degrees to the left. It won’t matter if your steering wheel is capable of 800 degrees or 1080 degrees of rotation.