The primary main replace for Thrustmaster’s eSwap controller is right here – and it’s as genius as it’s bizarre

Kath Santarin
6 Min Read

If you need a barely totally different method to play racing video games, there’s actually just one possibility: purchase a steering wheel. You possibly can select how deep you go down that rabbit gap, clearly – if that’s balancing one in your lap, strapping it to your desk, or shopping for some enormous divorce-prompting racing rig. However for racing video games, your choices are analog sticks, d-pads, or steering wheels. Or, y’know, they had been.

Everybody deserves a superb racing wheel: even these of us in small flats.

A few months in the past, I reviewed the Thrustmaster eSwap X Professional, a singular modular controller that mainly means that you can swap out ‘modules’ the place the D-Pad and Analog Sticks sit. It’s additionally received a bunch of the usual ‘professional controller’ options, some neat audio-based options, and a few beauty choices.

The purpose is, it’s all modular, swappable, and customizable. It’s an honest controller, and if you wish to know extra about it, I recommend you learn my eSwap X Professional overview. The whole lot stated there nonetheless stands – however now, that modular setup is fulfilling its true promise.

Enter the eSwap XR Professional. It’s referred to as the eSwap Professional ‘cos it’s nonetheless a type of. The X stands for Xbox – and the R stands for… racing. Women and gents, that is your new steering wheel various. And it’s delightfully bizarre.

It is a looker!

This is similar controller that I beforehand reviewed with a few tweaks and bonuses and at a barely greater value. For that additional dosh you get a neat white and neon pink colour scheme impressed by the palette of Forza Horizon 5, and one main additional – a single further module within the type of what’s mainly a mini racing wheel.

It’s what it says. It’s a tiny steering wheel that you could mount into any of the analog stick or d-pad slots on the eSwap. Clearly it’s tiny (so you may’t grip it with each palms) however the thought is that it offers you a better facsimile of an actual driving expertise… within the palm of your hand.

Does it work? Nicely, sure, however the studying curve is bloody steep. The racing module has a 95-degree rotation angle, and when launched will all the time return to a impartial, central place.

In actuality, it’s rather a lot like having an analog stick – however with out the flexibility to roll up or down, providing you with a pleasant, linear left-to-right rotation development. I discovered two methods to successfully use it.

One was to only prop it beneath the stress of your thumb and twist it. At first this was massively weird-feeling, however with perseverance it begins to work; and it does really feel higher and extra pure than utilizing the analog stick. My recommendation for getting used to that is to drop the sport into the cockpit view. You possibly can then affiliate the motion of the in-car steering wheel in-game with the motion of your thumb and the racing wheel module beneath it, as the 2 will match up kind of one-to-one. Fairly shortly I used to be drifting, paint-checking, and profitable races with out spinning out.

The opposite possibility requires a little bit of controller remapping, nevertheless it’s slightly extra instantly accessible – and that’s to grip the tiny wheel together with your index finger and thumb and switch it like a racing wheel. This takes your finger off the brake, however you may re-map that to a face button and it really works simply positive.

Plenty of fascinating modules, and hopefully extra to come back.

The last word finish purpose needs to be to get comfy with that first setup, although. Like I say, whereas bizarre, after a few hours it’d turn out to be second nature – and was undoubtedly preferable to enjoying with a stick. I may also see some fascinating makes use of for this enter for non-racing video games with left-right enter, too… like, I wager you could possibly play a imply recreation of Puyo Puyo or Tetris with this factor.

In order that’s it. This add-on seems bizarre, nevertheless it does work. And felt slightly like a stroke of genius as soon as it clicked for me. It’s an amazing feather within the cap of an honest controller – and holds promise for what different extraordinary modules Thrustmaster may be capable to provide you with.

We do not advocate holding your pad right here.

You possibly can choose up the restricted version Forza controller full with the module, or seize the racing module by itself, must you already personal an eSwap pad.

So, possibly you don’t want that steering wheel in any case. Perhaps you don’t play sufficient racers. However with this, you could possibly have a specialist racing management possibility able to go… all you might want to do is swap modules. It fulfills the promise of this curious controller – and I hope it’s the primary of many.

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