Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Input Devices arrow SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel
SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel
Closer Look: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1
Simraceway SRW-S1 Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

steelseries-logo-2.jpgSteelSeries Simraceway Features

  • Portability and Authenticity - Unique hybrid design brings a true-to-life racing experience to your laptop or desktop computer without the set-up, storage or transportation hassles of a wheel-and-pedal set.
  • Full Range Acceleration and Braking - A patent-pending, hand-controlled paddle system on the rear of the wheel produces full-range acceleration and braking, providing drivers with the same subtlety of control as high-end wheel sets and real-world cars.
  • Optimized Design - Over 20 on-wheel buttons and dials, each one optimized for easy access, and two ergonomically-designed rubberized grips ensure drivers stay in complete control.
  • Plug-and-Play with Simraceway - No complicated configuration required when used with Simraceway. No device drivers to load, no bamboozling set-up process to follow, simply plug-and-race.
  • Compatible with PC Racing Games - Can be used with most PC racing games although some features, including the assists dials and the shift indicator LEDs, may not be compatible with certain titles.
  • Complete Customizability - Many of the SRW-S1 Steering Wheel's controls can be customized to suit the driving and gaming preferences of individual players.

SteelSeries SRW-S1 Specifications

Ready. Set. Race. - The Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel is a high-performance, handheld PC racing wheel co-designed by SteelSeries and Ignite Technologies. The portable, motion-sensor wheel features a patented throttle and brake lever system that offers a fully simulated racing experience within hands reach. We've collaborated with and tested the SRW-S1 Wheel with top ranked Indy 500 race car drivers and Simracing World Champions.
Stay in Control - Everything you need, from brake balance controls to assist setting dials, are always in reach. No other wheel on the market combines this level of customization and functionality.
In Your Hands - The wheel's unique design means you can take it everywhere and use it anywhere. There are no pedal sets or bulky seats. The Simraceway S1 is a handheld joypad and wheel combined that brings a true-to-life race set-up to your laptop or desktop computer.
Full Range - You can experience full-range acceleration and braking on the back of the S1 Wheel. The right paddle - for acceleration/throttle - allows you the ability to vary the amount of throttle input, from feathering to fully depressing it for maximum acceleration. The paddle on the left - for braking/stopping - allows you the ability to vary the amount of braking input, from feathering to fully depressing for full braking force.
Brake Balance Control - Brake balance control (aka "brake bias") allows you to change the brake balance to the front or rear of the vehicle. If a driver were to hit the brakes with a rear brake bias, he is more likely to spin out of control. However, if a driver were to hit the brakes with a front brake bias, his is more likely losing his ability to steer into a corner. A balance must be found. We have a button for that.
Plug-and-Race - Plug it in. Choose your game. Play. Sure, you can customize every button, but only if you want to. There is no complicated configuration required when used with Simraceway and most PC racing games.
What's Your Style? - The SRW-S1 wheel adapts to your driving style based on the way you steer. You're going to do it in 1 of 3 ways: Over-steer, under-steer and neutral.
OVER-STEER
Drivers who prefer over-steer like to have the rear of the car loose and the front dialed in. This allows drivers to use the throttle to correct their driving line or to use it to aid in steering. It also means there is more risk of losing control.
UNDER-STEER
Drivers who prefer under-steer like to have the rear of the car dialed in and the front loose. While it becomes harder to make a turn at higher speeds, it does provide stability and reduces the chances of losing control.
NEUTRAL
Drivers who prefer a neutral setup like to have both the rear and the front of the vehicle dialed in. This allows drivers to compromise between over-steer and under-steer.
Where to? - Everywhere. The Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel can be used with all PC racing games including:
iRacing
Need For Speed
Simraceway
GTR
Live for Speed
+ Any other PC racing game on the market.
(Some features, including the Assists dials and the shift indicator LEDs, may not be compatible with certain titles).
Get a Grip - The rubberized wheel grips have an ergonomic shape that allows you to keep a comfortable grasp to steer as you move around the controller to brake, accelerate, shift, look back, request a pit stop and everything else in order to drive and win.
Total Flexibility - While the wheel comes preconfigured to operate seamlessly with Simraceway, many of its controls can be customized, so you can program them to match your driving - and gaming - preferences. Find out more about the simulated racing experience at www.simraceway.com.
Used by the Pros - The SRW-S1 Steering Wheel has been tested and approved by professional racing drivers including four-time IndyCar Series winner, Dario Franchitti and double Indy 500 Champion, the late, great and much missed Dan Wheldon. As well as SimRacing stars, David Greco and Bruno Marques.

Source: Features and Specifications taken from SteelSeries.com and SteelSeries Press Release.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelDoug Dallam 2012-01-04 23:00
That was a cool review and the video hit the spot. After playing RAGE with it's speedway option, I was impressed with racing. It was quite fun, but of course I was using mouse / keyboard, which was not fun.

Did you try pressing your elbows just forward of your ribcage, for stability, and using it like that?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-04 23:33
I tried many things for stability, but to avoid rambling in the review I only wrote about what made a difference eg. using my chairs armrests and mounting the wheel on my tripod.

I for one hope there is a mount made as it will turn this fun wheel into a serious bit of kit. Thank you.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelSun Down 2012-01-05 05:58
Nice gear. I still find the button placements to be overly chaotic though. Frankly I'm more interested in the race sims mentioned here. I miss the GTR series. I hope one day all sims (IL-2 Sturmovik, GTR, etc...) adopt the graphical enhancements of DX11. One shouldn't ignore the effect that graphics give out to the 'driver'.
Report Comment
 
 
# SRW-S1 Mount on G25Piero 2012-01-05 10:35
##youtube.com/watch?v=6KfEF0Pcz7g
Report Comment
 
 
# MehMergatroid 2012-01-05 17:41
I bought a $60 non FFB wheel a few years ago. It was fun, but my scores actually went down compared to using a joystick. You just cannot move a wheel from one side to the other through it's full range as fast as you can a joystick.

So, I sold it and continued to use my joysticks. Just this year a buddy moved in and he owned a nice Logitech FFB wheel. He was enjoying himself so much I decided to purchase one. Again, my scores went down. I got the Logitech Force GT for about $160. I have to admit it's more fun to play with this steering wheel than with a joystick, and if both of us are using our wheels we have a great time. However, if one of us pulls out a stick so will the other. Sticks are just superior for racing because of the movement times involved.

This Steel Series controller is something I have considered but I passed it by. For that price you can still get a pretty good wheel, and I would prefer a wheel over that...controller...any day if I'm playing for fun. If we're competing against each other, out comes the joysticks.

Of course, a big advantage to the Force GT is that you can use it on the PS3 as well.

I think your score was very generous.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-06 07:40
I wouldn't say my score was very generous, in fact other review sites have actually given this wheel an award (which I felt it didn't deserve here). I too have played driving games using an XBOX 360 style pc controller and found it only works better in games that are designed for consoles.

Just out of curiosity, what games are you playing where you are better with analogue sticks than with a wheel? And how can you knock this wheel without at least giving it a go.
Report Comment
 
 
# I just read the reviewMergatroid 2012-01-06 18:09
After reading the review, I can certainly agree with the problem of not having a shaft and having to hold the wheel up all the time thus creating fatigue (which was one of the reasons I passed it by in the first place), not to mention there's no pedals. That's enough for me.

As for which game I can play better with a joystick, name one. NFS, Dirt, Test Drive, Blur. It's in the reaction time, and that's better with a stick, (I'm not referring to the little stick on a console type controller, but a real PC joystick). It's simple enough just to time how long it takes to move a joystick from one side to the other and compare that to how long it takes to move a wheel from one side of its full turn radius all the way to the other side. Joystick wins every time.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: I just read the reviewSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-07 05:38
"NFS, Dirt, Test Drive, Blur"

My point exactly, they are the sort of driving games I have always loved to play, with a controller.

When it comes to racing sims though it's a different story bud. The SRW-S1 and your Joystick are at different ends of the spectrum to each other with regards to realistic and arcade style driving.
Report Comment
 
 
# Sure, for funMergatroid 2012-01-07 17:11
Yeah. Controllers like steering wheels are more fun, but I'd bet on a joystick any day for scores.
Report Comment
 
 
# spoongrammatonfeather 2012-02-22 00:26
The better scores with joystick simply illustrates that a wheel is not the most efficient controller for a vehicle (even a real vehicle). I guess if you fitted a real car with a sidestick and side throttle (HOTAS) then you'd have more responsive driving. I used my Saitek X52 pro recently on some driving games but it feels awkward and not enjoyable. I have this Simraceway controller since yesterday. Doing ok on simraceway and shift 2 but some of the arcade racers like dirt 2 or GRID I am finding much harder than with my fixed force feedback wheel. Maybe I just need to get used to having the throttle and brake on the unit.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: spoonDavid Ramsey 2012-02-22 07:25
They've tried real joysticks in cars many times over the years (starting in the 50s), and it just doesn't work. Having the front wheels go from full left to full right in a 90 degree tilt of a joystick makes for a car that's virtually impossible to drive in the real world.
Report Comment
 
 
# That's odd...Mergatroid 2012-02-22 17:19
That's very strange because plenty of vehicles, especially electric vehicles, shop vehicles, golf carts etc. use joysticks. Even remote controlled cars with proportional steering use joysticks. I had a remote dune buggy with proportional steering that worked fine with a joystick. I would wonder if the cars you tried had modified steering made for a joystick of if someone just stuck a joystick in a car that had a classic car steering assembly made for a wheel? When you say "full left to full right" I also wonder if the stick was analogue or digital. A digital stick would be like using a d-pad and would really suck badly. An analogue stick with proportional steering would work on a real car, but it would likely take more skill to use. Come to think of it, doesn't Myth Busters use remote joysticks to control real cars? So even with stock steering it works.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: That's odd...David Ramsey 2012-02-22 17:59
Really? I have never seen a real-world vehicle that uses a joystick (other than some airplanes). Even the RC car controllers use a little steering wheel. Could you provide an example of a full-size vehicle that does? I have seen tillers, but those aren't joysticks...
Report Comment
 
 
# Myth BustersMergatroid 2012-02-22 19:31
You haven't watched Myth Busters? They usually jury rig the steering wheel and use a remote control, I believe it has joysticks on it. Look in the toy section of any store that sells RC and you will see duel joystick controllers. The more expensive ones ($200 and up) use proportional steering and the remotes are available both with little wheels and joysticks. The cheaper ones usually don't have proportional steering, and if they use a wheel it's just left or right, no in between (like a d-pad).

Here's some remotes (both types):
hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__82__190__Tx_Rx_Systems_Pa rts-Complete_systems.html

Here's a cheap toy with just sticks:
toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=11361547

When I was a kid all our remote controlled cars were using joysticks. I remember being surprised the first time I saw a wheel. Besides, in this type of control system, wheel or joystick really doesn't matter. They're both just variable resistors or coils anyway, what difference does the shape make?
Report Comment
 
 
# You tube videoMergatroid 2012-02-22 19:38
youtube.com/watch?v=vfvX7jKqoqU

Here is a real car being controlled by a joystick
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: You tube videoDavid Ramsey 2012-02-22 19:44
Interesting, but it's a one-off prototype or concept of some sort. I maintain that you can't buy a joystick-controlled human-drivable car/golf cart/etc. today.

The problem is that the range of steering which even in Ferraris will require more than 720 degrees of rotation is compressed to a very small arc in the joystick. This, combined with the lack of feedback you get with a wheel mechanically connected to the wheels, makes fine control very difficult for most people.
Report Comment
 
 
# OKMergatroid 2012-02-22 20:39
Never really said you could purchase a car that was controlled by joystick. But I have seen a fair number of joystick controlled vehicles.

And, personally, I don't think compressing an arc of movement to the size of a joystick is a problem. As I said, there are lots of RC vehicles out there that use joysticks. I had no trouble at all controlling the digital proportional steering on my RC toys when I was a kid, and I highly doubt their arc for steering is any different than that of a real vehicle.

Here's another one:
#ntho.posterous.com/future-mercedes-concept-car-wi-1

Here's one using an xbox controller:
youtube.com/watch?v=7-39URz4vL8

You can get vehicles today that use a joystick:
vti.se/en/publications/pdf/joystick-controlled-cars-for-drivers-with-severe-disabilities.pdf

Although it is likely custom modified by a speciality shop.
I guess if a disabled guy can drive a car with a joystick, you and I could too.

Here's a wiki article on it:
#en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive_by_wire

I think all this proves you can control a real car with a joystick.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheelgrammatonfeather 2012-02-23 01:03
Well my SRW-S1 is DEAD after 2 days! Switched PC on this morning and the SRW-S1 lights were on (usually they are off unless you are in Simracing). The device is no longer detected in windows. The lights stay on, the device is screwed! It worked very well in simracing and surprisingly F1 2011 was very easy to drive with it, however, the wheel has now died after 2 days so it is being sent back and I will purchase a Logi G27.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-02-23 11:02
Surely it would be better to contact SteelSeries support and try to resolve this issue rather than going on a web rampage trying to give this wheel a bad name. I'm sure that if it is a known issue SteelSeries will resolve your problem. Good luck with the G27, choose a different USB port, you may have a faulty hub.
Report Comment
 
 
# That's too badMergatroid 2012-02-23 18:14
I don't think leaving a message saying he had problems with his controller amounts to a "web rampage". However, I always exchange once before considering a different product. Nothing's perfect and all electronics are bound to have a few defective units here and there. Oh well, I hope you enjoy your Logitech. I have no complaints with mine.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: That's too badSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-02-24 11:04
This isn't the only place he has left that message.
Report Comment
 
 
# Complaints of Fatigue are FrivolousCyberdactyl 2012-04-10 05:51
I've now had the SRW-S1 for several months. I've read many reviews one of the perceived drawbacks is its main positive attribute, and that being you have to hold it up since it is unmounted. The argument is, your arms will fatigue over time. True... IF that is the way you hold it the entire time driving. Add to that, many gamers are 'no-exercise couch potatoes', I can understand the comments. But you will quickly find you can rest it on your lap, and even better yet, lay back in a recliner, get comfortable, rest it on your lap and race for literally hours.

However there is an advantage that NO mounted wheel can hope to achieve, and something that no one has addressed. Since the wheel relies on an artificial horizon for its orientation, you can move the wheel laterally in small sweeps or jerks as you rotate to add an extra layer of control.

So to me, being unmounted, is now the way to go.

Yes there are drawbacks, no force feedback, must have control if it at all times during a race, but if you can live with these small quibbles, I highly recommend it.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelDavis 2013-12-26 19:22
What was the size and thread of the bolt/screw that used to mount it on a tripod? I was going to do the same thing, but I couldn't find a bolt that I owned that fit.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: SteelSeries Simraceway SRW-S1 WheelSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-12-27 00:24
It was the screw already on the tripod. Standard size is 1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch. Hope this helps.
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter