Thrustmaster T500 RS GT6 Review
Thrustmaster is trusted by many race fans. If you ask someone about wheel preference, it will be one of Thrustmaster, Fanatec or Logitech in 99% of cases. The Thrustmaster 500RS is Thrustmaster’s premium product. And under review fire today!
This test will be sectioned into:
- Quick Conclusion (Meta Review)
Let’s start without further BS.
Quick Conclusion (Meta Review)
The Thrustmaster T500RS received an overall of 4/5 Stars on Amazon. On the german Amazon, it even goes up to 4.5/5. It is available at $599. One weakness can be the cooling fan. Experience with the customer service is mixed, but overally Thrustmaster does work out issues with you.
On average, Amazon reviewers suggest it’s a great buy. Take into the mix that people don’t post Amazon reviews. But when they do, it’s because they are dissapointed. Want to say: If really every buyer would write a review, the marketer in me says the rating can only go up even more.
Here are some hard data condensed:
- realistic wheel diameter
- 1080 degrees rotation
- pedals 100% metal and adjustable
- sequential gearshift levers
- shifters fixed to wheel base like in many sports cars
- officially licensed for PS3 & Grand Turismo 5
- force feedback: Torque 150mNm, 3,000 rpm, 65W, quite smooth
- brake pedal: realistic mod and adjustable resistance
Available at $599 / €420 on Amazon.
WheelThe 17 cm (6.7 in) big shifters are fixed to the wheel base. You get used to it. Consider that many real life cars with sequentual shifting have paddles like that, too. So if you want to feel like a GT or Sports Car driver, the Thrustmaster 500RS is a great fit.
The 150 mNm / 300 rpm / 65 W powered force feedback feels a bit more soft and heavy than with Logitech and Fanatec. It is pretty strong, but feels less brutal. More like a road or GT car. Consider driving your own road car, which probably lacks the brutally direct and less relaxing feel of an almost undamped F1 car. That’s a matter of personal preference, of course. I totally enjoy my rides with this wheel.
It would also be a great fit when playing Grand Theft Auto, especially because it goes massive 1080° (three complete turns) around. Just this morning I power understeered my civil car a little bit, and it felt exactly like what the Thrustmaster 500RS offers.
I think we do not need to discuss precision in the racing wheel upper class too much; to me, there was not much difference between Fanatec, Logitech and the Thrustmaster T500 RS in this review (IMPORTANT: I am talking about the wheel precision, not the pedals, which are another story!). Anyways, with 16 bit, equaling 32768 possible values to the right and 32768 to the left, it has more than enough.
The diameter is about 30 cm (11.8 in). One gripe I have, of course: The wheel base is boxed in plastic. But that’s really nothing to care about while racing.
I have a preference for metal. I hate plastic parts. And the T500 RS are 100% metal. Neat. I am not a particular fan of the construction worker style metal plate, but then it does not get any more robust, right?
What’s really nice with the Thrustmaster T500 S pedals is that you can position them in the standard way, or upside down. Builtin!. The standard way is akin of some sports cars or Formula 1 cars. The inverted Thrustmaster 500RS pedals remind of GT cars or normal road cars.
The brake pedal force can be adjusted and comes with a mod to make it feel like a real brake pedal. Of course this cannot keep up with a real load cell based brake like the Fanatec Club Sport Pedals, but you get a great bang for your buck.
Lastly, you have a clutch pedal. Personally, I do not consider a clutch pedal essential, as I prefer racing Indy Cars or other Open Wheelers, but our GT and Rally fans may admire it. Like with the Fanatec Load Cell brake, the clutch can not keep up with it. Fanatec features a degressive clutch, which the Thrustmaster 500RS does not.
Overally, the pedal set is pretty heavy, with around 7 kg, and therefore fixes pretty stable to the floor and against a wall. Height and slope, as well as distance between pedals, can be customized.
All in all, if the Fanatec Club Sport pedals are no option, then the Thrustmaster T500 RS should be.
Many other reviewers skip buttons. We don’t!
Anyways, big talking about buttons just retracts from the topic, so …
- Wheel Base: 2 buttons (L3, R3)
- Wheel: 8-way D-Pad, 9 Buttons (L2, R2, X, O, Square, Triangle, Select, Start, Playstation)
The shifters represent the L1 and R1 buttons of the Playstation controller.
The Thrustmaster T500 RS is compatible with the following devices.
- PlayStation 3
- Playstation 4
- XBox One
- Windows XP/Vista/7/10
Note that full compatibility depends on the game or simulation. The following is an excerpt:
- rFactor 1, 2
- Asetto Corsa
- Project Cars
- Gran Turismo 5 (officially licensed!)
And many more.
Basically, if you got to decide between one of the big three, it depends mostly on the money you want to invest. Logitec G27 and Logitech G29 (see also the reviews on http://perfectsimracer.com) are awesome in their price class, but are mostly plastic and the brake is non-degressive if not modded. The Thrustmaster T500RS is awesome in his price class, the pedal plate is stable and rock-solid, plus it can be mounted upside-down. It also comes with a realistic-feel brake-mod included. Lastly, the Fanatec Ecosystem is simply put top-notch: No plastic, brutal, load-cell brake, but way more expensive than Logitech and Thrustmaster.
In 5 Words: Buy if your price class!
Typically Top 2%-5% racer. Tries to not be slow.
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Thrustmaster T500RS Discussion
- Overall Impression - 7/107/10
- Value for Money - 9/109/10
- Precision - 8/108/10
- Robustness - 8/108/10
- Material (Metal/Wood beats Plastic) - 7/107/10