SteelSeries SRW-S1 Review

Conclusion

SteelSeries SRW-S1 Review

Testing and Conclusion

In testing I ran a huge amount of racing games to see what the SRW-S1 was good at. From the aged, but still brilliant, GPL through GT Legends, Race Injection, F1-2011, NFS:Shift 2 and of course SimRaceWay itself.

The first thing that strikes you is how easy it is to configure. Because the placement of the buttons are labelled you can usually use the same button in a multitude of titles which allows you to learn where it is very quickly. Of course so many buttons can seem overwhelming, but the reality is you wont need all of them by any means.

Although initially holding the wheel in the air feels unnatural, especially if you're used to fixed wheels, the steering response is absolutely flawless. There is no lag, and even delicate inputs are read and replicated with precision. Because your input mirrors your visual reference so accurately you don't need to think at all about using it and the whole thing feels very natural. The accelerator and brake 'triggers' have an equally linear response and are no more complicated than the triggers on a standard pad.

Actually as a by-product of this all-in-one philosophy the hand-controls for the accelerator and brake are perfect for opening the world of racing to those who might not have full use of their legs. Every other wheel on the market falls into either the pretty useless MarioKart style, or the 'needs pedals' ones, so as far as we're aware, this is the first modern wheel that supports genuinely useful hand controls.

There are a few niggles of course. Firstly because it's not mounted and you have to hold it up, this definitely isn't the kind of thing you can use for a full-length F1 race, or a Le Mans 24 hour. With the need to hold it gently because most of your fingers are on the hand controls and your thumbs are trying desperately to not press one of the many buttons, you can quickly find your shoulders fatiguing. Secondly those huge dials work for the SimRaceWay game itself and, rotation angle aside, nothing else. Indeed the d-pad and select buttons aren't a replication for "cursor keys and Enter", which would be nice to see. Finally, and this is just a personal nitpick, the gear-shift paddles have far too much play. There is a full centimetre before the microswitch engages which is pointless. There is no vibration to simulate the force-feedback, but that's something that I can live without although I know it bothers some people. Finally because you're holding it up it's not easy to reach all of the buttons because you need "hands-on" at all times to work the throttle and brakes, whereas with a wheel and pedals you are pretty much hands free on straights.

However those are small things. Sure this isn't aimed at the ultra-hardcore racer with an Actlabs shifter and Frex wheel but if you want to have way more control than is possible with a pad, but haven't got the room, money or maybe even use of your legs needed for a vastly more expensive G27 style setup, then this is a surprisingly good first rung on the ladder. You'll be astounded at how much faster you are, and how much more immersive it is to use a the SRW-S1 than a pad. At around £100 it's very good value for money and we're happy to award it our OC3D Gamers Choice award.

   

Thanks to SteelSeries for supplying the SRW-S1 for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

10-02-2012, 04:55:41

tinytomlogan


Today we look at the SRW-S1 from SteelSeries, a wheel designed around motion controls.

Continue Reading

10-02-2012, 07:59:13

Critical
For best results with this wheel while in simraceway, apply these settings recommended to me by an in-game admin:

Go to Options > Controls, click on the sensitivity tab and change X Axis Sensitivity to 40 (leave the rest at their default value of 50).

Next, click on the Rates tab and set the sliders to the following values:

Steering rate: 50

Throttle rate: 50

Brake rate: 50

Clutch rate: 20

Speed sensitivity: 0

Look ahead: 0

Head movement: 0

Exaggerate yaw: 0

All that is left to do after this is find your own sweet spot with the steering sensitivity dial on the front of the wheel, the admin recommended 360 but I prefer it closer to the 200 mark.

Hope this helps someone

10-02-2012, 09:05:58

badtaylorx
for better results glue this thing to a doorknob and screw it to the edge of you desk!!!

10-02-2012, 15:20:29

Rasmus66
Good review but I do not understand these new motion steering wheels.

I love sim racing and use a lot of my time playing Iracing, Richard burns rally and all the simbin titels but to get the best experience then you need a proper wheel with realictic force feedback so you know what the car is doing and not just a fancy controller with lots of buttons and a rumble function.

I get the point of it being a step in the right direction towards getting a real wheel but why not get the real deal the first time?

11-02-2012, 09:16:31

cerbrus2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasmus66 View Post

Good review but I do not understand these new motion steering wheels.

I love sim racing and use a lot of my time playing Iracing, Richard burns rally and all the simbin titels but to get the best experience then you need a proper wheel with realictic force feedback so you know what the car is doing and not just a fancy controller with lots of buttons and a rumble function.

I get the point of it being a step in the right direction towards getting a real wheel but why not get the real deal the first time?
I like It I may.......may go for one. I am not a big fan of motion sensative controllers but I had to get rid of my G27, as it shatterd my glass desk DOH.

11-02-2012, 09:43:49

Critical
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasmus66 View Post

Good review but I do not understand these new motion steering wheels.

I get the point of it being a step in the right direction towards getting a real wheel but why not get the real deal the first time?
Not everyone can afford the real deal or maybe they don't have the room for a full setup.

This is a bloody good wheel when you mount it, it is so accurate and easy to use. (I have mine mounted on my tripod)

11-02-2012, 16:13:50

Rasmus66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical View Post

Not everyone can afford the real deal or maybe they don't have the room for a full setup.

This is a bloody good wheel when you mount it, it is so accurate and easy to use. (I have mine mounted on my tripod)
Haha love the DIY mounting thats pretty cool

But i can see some people would buy it because like you said it takes up very little room compared to a complete rig with pedal and everything.

My rig takes up quite a lot of space but i would never get rid of it and buy a motion controller

11-02-2012, 18:42:38

dipzy
Looks really good this and not bad for the price too. But i reckon i'd still go for g27 for the reason that i just feel that much more immersed in the game than i would be with this and the g27 with the force feedback and stickshift, its more real to me. I do see this selling well though, could be a great addition for a living room gaming pc or in a small box room where space is an issue. Good product overall though.

21-02-2012, 06:08:13

grammaton_feather
My SRW-S1 is coming today. I have a force feedback logitech with pedals but I don't have room for it. The G27 looks great but again I dont have room for it and have read a lot of negative feedback about terrible input lag and parts wearing down.

I am totally not bothered about force feedback because I get that from the seat I sit on. I use an Aura vibration cushion with an additional speaker low pass filter I bought on ebay. Thus I get the engine and road vibration through my body!

I think that camera tripod mod is an excellent idea and that is something I actually would have room for just below my desk.

23-02-2012, 04:00:30

grammaton_feather
Had the SRW-S1 for a couple of days, was working fine. Switch PC on today and all of the lights of the wheel are on and won't go off. The device is no longer detected in windows. Tried on 2 PC. The wheel is screwed after 2 days!

Returning it for Logitech G27.

EDIT:

Not getting G27 now.

25-02-2012, 04:22:34

grammaton_feather
Changed my mind about the Logitech G27. Have heard lot of complaints about a built in deadzone.

http://www.fanatec.de/html/index.php?id=230&lang=en

Going for this german made wheel and pedals.

The broken SRW-S1 is on it's way back to the shop for refund.

I spent several days trying to post a support ticket for the SRW-S1 on Steelseries website. The support ticket posting is also dead most of the time. Finally got a support ticket posted last night but it's too late now. No more floaty wheel for me.

If you're thinking maybe I'm a noob who broke his wheel? I still have my logitech formula force GT bought second-hand 12 years ago and it still works.

25-02-2012, 06:07:23

Critical
Quote:
Originally Posted by grammaton_feather View Post

Changed my mind about the Logitech G27. Have heard lot of complaints about a built in deadzone.

http://www.fanatec.d...?id=230&lang=en

Going for this german made wheel and pedals.

The broken SRW-S1 is on it's way back to the shop for refund.

I spent several days trying to post a support ticket for the SRW-S1 on Steelseries website. The support ticket posting is also dead most of the time. Finally got a support ticket posted last night but it's too late now. No more floaty wheel for me.

If you're thinking maybe I'm a noob who broke his wheel? I still have my logitech formula force GT bought second-hand 12 years ago and it still works.
Well Ralph I think you have successfully smeared the name of SteelSeries enough, is anything ever going to be good enough for you. You've posted this same crud on nearly every SRW-S1 review published so far... You are quite negative towards tech in general on your facebook page too.

25-02-2012, 08:44:33

grammaton_feather
Had the wheel kept working I would have kept it.

Yes I am negative about it. Should I be positive about a wheel that stops working 2 days after purchase?

The final nail in the coffin was the Steel website ticket page failing to load when I tried to raise a support ticket.

If you have an SRW-S1 that works then that's great. If you don't then this really is none of your business.

"you are quite negative towards tech in general on your facebook page too. " - really? Not a steelseries employee are you? Perhaps you could send me one that doesn't fail after approx 4 hours total use.

While the wheel was working I found it to be quite responsive. In F1 2011 it was excellent. No lag. Shift 2 was hard to control due to the steering lag the game is known to have. For anyone who doesn't have the desk space the SRW-S1 is very good. However, since it is my first Steelseries product and since it failed within 2 days and since I had trouble posting a support ticket because that section of their website kept returning "failed to load", well I am not so impressed with them now.

16-06-2012, 17:48:21

Gary
I, too, purchased a SteelSeries SRW-S1 wheel which worked very nicely for just about one month. Then, it failed to upshift and then failed to be recognized by my computer. The lovely row of LED's all remained lighted, and it was useless. O.K., so I contacted SteelSeries' Chicago Customer Service office and the runaround began. They verified that my purchase had been valid; and then that my unit was, indeed, defective. I had to pay shipping to get the unit returned to them.

Dealing with them can only be done by e-mail; and only first names are provided, with no indications of title in their organization. The first contact person, Brendan, referred my claim ticket to Mike, who then referred me to Brendan. Within these referrals, were periods where neither would respond for periods of days. In some very insinuating ways, their e-mails would further refer to the need for me to rearrange my mailing address format, to ensure that no further delays would be encountered. Also, Brendan claimed that my mailing address (which is a rural mail box on a dirt road) was not appropriate for return delivery as it was a Post Office box (which I assured him it was not). My address is of the format: RR2 box ####, some town, some state, zip. This is obviously NOT a P.O. Box at a post office. I assured him that the U.S.P.S. , U.P.S., and Fed-ex all deliver to my address. NO REPLY!

So, I next e-mailed their Netherlands (I presume) office, and I await some action.

I am a 61 year old retired electrical engineer. I was very nice to this equipment. I know enough about these things to know that it failed to communicate with my pc, and since have discovered others' reports of similar failures with the SRW-S1 wheel. The wheel was great fun to use within that one month, and my other reason for buying it was to avoid the mechanical failures associated with many other wheels. I believe that SteelSeries knows that there is an inherent electrical design problem with this wheel, and that they are stalling for some reason which is not clear to me right now.

My advice would be to STEER CLEAR of this SRW-S! wheel. I have no other conflicts with them and am not associated with any of their rivals. Their customer service is a misnomer! It remains to be seen how they will follow up with my warranty claim, but I can assure you that they are NOT very nice to deal with.

16-06-2012, 20:36:52

Big WigglyStyle
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipzy View Post

Looks really good this and not bad for the price too. But i reckon i'd still go for g27 for the reason that i just feel that much more immersed in the game than i would be with this and the g27 with the force feedback and stickshit, its more real to me. I do see this selling well though, could be a great addition for a living room gaming pc or in a small box room where space is an issue. Good product overall though.
stickshift* you said stickSHIT lollol

17-06-2012, 00:17:40

arnzzz
Lys0l im glad you turned up with something happY to say, was getting a bit warm in here haha

17-06-2012, 00:18:10

arnzzz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lys0l View Post
stickshift* you said stickSHIT lollol

17-06-2012, 03:25:09

dipzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lys0l View Post

stickshift* you said stickSHIT lollol
lol i just saw that now
Reply
x

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