Logitech G923 full review
When Logitech announced the G923 there was a lot of excitement, quickly followed by disappointment that there was ‘nothing different’ about it compared to the G29 and G920. And that’s partially true: the G923 does reuse a lot from its predecessors.
But the company has sensibly refrained from making unnecessary changes when the G29 and G920 were already widely regarded as the best entry-level wheel that money could buy.
What has changed is that there’s just one model name for both the PlayStation and Xbox variants which will undoubtedly cause a few problems when the wrong model turns up. If you’re buying for PC use, then it really doesn’t matter which one you go for as they both work.
Previously, there were a few differences in buttons with the Xbox/PC version lacking shift lights and a rotary dial (that’s often used to adjust brake bias). Now, though, it’s the same layout on both models, with only the console-specific buttons at the bottom being different, as well as the symbols on the four ‘game pad’ buttons.
The pedals and power supply connect to the wheel, and the wheel has a single USB connection to your console or PC. It clamps to your desk, or rig, via two L-shape prongs on the underside which you tighten using the hand screws on top.
So other than the blue centre marker and G29-style button arrangement on the Xbox version, there’s nothing outwardly to tell you that you’re looking at a new wheel. Well, nothing except the Trueforce branding on the side.
This is more of a software change than hardware: the drive system inside the wheel is basically the same as before. TrueForce works by hooking directly into a game’s engine and using the data available instead of using a profile and a library of haptic effects, as has been the case for the past 20 years or so.
This is combined with a higher 1/1000 second polling rate to give what Logitech says is force feedback that’s much more realistic and akin to the jump from standard-def to high-def TV.
Because it’s a software thing, games have to support TrueForce and even at the time of writing in 2021 the list comprises of just five titles. There are some popular sims on it though, including iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione and Gran Turismo Sport. Codemasters is adding support in F1 2020 and Dirt Rally 2.0, but it’s a shame more support hasn’t been retroactively added by now.
There is one notable hardware change: to the brake pedal. The G29 and G920 had horrible brake pedal which was caused by a rubber / foam insert. This was designed to mimic a real car with hydraulic brakes, but many owners took their pedals apart and removed it or replaced it with a third-party load cell.
The latter is usually found on high-end pedal sets, but Logitech has simply used a progressive spring to solve the issue and keep costs down. And it feels great.
Another change, which threw this reviewer, is that you need to install Logitech’s G Hub software on Windows, not the old Logitech Gaming Software used with the G920.
Using this you can customise buttons and settings as you’d expect, but it also works with Logitech’s other recent gaming hardware. It's a decent improvement on the old software, too.
And in case you’re curious, there isn’t a new H-pattern shifter for the G923: the existing one sold for use with the G29 and G920 still works, not that you’ll want one as it was never much good. I’ve always preferred the flappy paddles for faster, last-minute changes and they’re exactly the same on the G923.
There's one last feature: launch control. Logitech calls it 'Dual Clutch' which is misleading, but despite the absence of clutch paddles, it's a handy feature that can allow you to get off the starting line quicker. Documentation is sorely lacking on how to use it, but you pull both paddles and press both LSB and RSB at the same time. You then pick LSB or RSB to be your 'clutch release' and then you press the down (-) button to adjust the bite point.
This part takes a bit of trial and error but once you've got it set to the point where the car starts to move forward you can do some practice starts. The way it works is that you wait until the start lights go out and release the button to immediately put the clutch at the biting point, while keeping your clutch foot flat to the floor. Once the car starts rolling, you can release the clutch pedal fully.
The wheel handles this feature itself, and while it could theoretically be added to the G920 and G29 with a firmware update, Logitech is keeping it as a reason to buy the G923 at the moment.
Swap straight from using a G920 to a G923 and you might initially think it was a slightly pointless exercise. In non-TrueForce games, such as Assetto Corsa, you won’t notice any real difference. Obviously, you’ll benefit from the rev lights and the new buttons, but the biggest improvement is that brake pedal.
It’s much easier to apply the right amount of force without damaging your foot or spending time fiddling around with brake power settings in your games.
Since the internals, particularly the two motors are the same as before, force feedback feels the same and although it can feel ever-so-slightly notchy, the wheel still feels good quality, helped by the stitched leather instead of plastic as you find on some entry-level wheels.
It’s when you fire up a TrueForce-supporting title that you’ll really feel the difference. In Grid 2019, for example, feedback is completely different to, say, Assetto Corsa. There’s a tangible sense of engine idle through the wheel when you’re sat on the grid waiting for a race to start and a real difference in how things feel, from riding over saw-tooth kerbs to contact with other cars.
As TrueForce also taps into a game’s sound engine, there’s also – in Grid at least – a slightly strange hum from the FFB system which changes as engine revs and overall speed rises. This is much more noticeable if you use speakers rather than headphones, and I’m not convinced it adds to the realism at all.
Overall, I wouldn’t say TrueForce is a huge leap forward: it’s just different. My mind might be changed when other developers add TrueForce support, as it won’t be identical in every title. But right now, it’s not a compelling enough reason to upgrade from a G29 or G920.
Price & Availability
The fact that the G923 is more expensive makes an upgrade an even trickier decision, but as far as RRPs go, there’s only £20 between the new and old models.
In the US, there’s no difference at all: they’re all $399.99, but at the time of review, the G29 and G920 were discounted to $249.99, a big difference.
For alternatives, see our roundup of the best racing wheels.
If you already have a G920 or G29, there’s little point in upgrading until more titles have TrueForce support. Even then, you might prefer to jump considerably higher to a entry level belt-drive wheel.
But for anyone looking to buy their first racing wheel, the G923 is excellent value and should be top of your shortlist.
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