The two most important peripherals needed for racing sims are a good wheel and good pedals. Most people only concentrate on the first, without understanding that the latter is just as key to your successes and failures. Not only will it be a more engrossing experience, but good pedals will register your inputs a lot more faithfully than any controller ever could. This is where the Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3 comes in. This review will examine whether these pedals are something you should consider purchasing.
What to Consider Before Buying Pedals
We recommend that all racing sim aficionados consider purchasing pedals. It makes very little sense to buy a wheel and no pedals. Moreover, the ones that come pre-bundled with wheels are often of lackluster quality. Pedals will determine just how well you take turns, perform in straights, and any action you take with your wheel will likely have some correlation with an action you need to take with your pedals. For this reason, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.
When purchasing racing sim pedals the most important aspect to keep in mind is whether they have load cells. These are force transducers that translate the pressure, compression, and position of the pedal to electrical signals which the game can measure. This means the game will know just how much gas you’re planning on giving your car.
Another key aspect is the adjustability. You not only need to be able to press down on the pedals successfully, but you need to make sure you’re not hurting yourself as you do so. The more things you can adjust with this type of product, the more likely you are to have a positive experience.
Finally, build quality. Pressing down on cheap plastic pedals not only breaks immersion, but you risk them slipping away or breaking. Because leg muscles are often some of the strongest ones we have, good build quality is key.
The Fanatec ClubSport V3
The V3s are actually two different types of racing pedal sets. The basic set and the inverse set. We’ll touch on both, but a majority of this review will look at the base set. The V3s are Fanatec’s pedals from the Clubsport series, and they aimed to replicate the excellence of their other products with these. These pedals hit the nail on the head, as they are not only highly compatible (Xbox, Playstation, and PC), but also some of the best out there overall. Until 2020 we would have said that these were hands down the best set of pedals (especially if looking at the inverse set) on the market. The Thrustmaster T-LCM Pedals have taken that crown now, as they present themselves as a more precise and less expensive product.
Nevertheless, if you have a pretty penny to spare, and are looking for excellent pedals to complete your professional set-up, then the V3 or V3 inverted is an excellent choice. If you’re just looking to get a better set of pedals than those included with a wheel, this might be too expensive a step for you to take.
Features & Benefits
Superb Load Cell
The V3s come with a 90kg load cell to simulate the race track as precisely and as roughly as any pedal set possibly could. The pressure-sensitive brake pedal vibrates to simulate ABS and locking tires. Essentially the immersion that force-feedback gives your hands, these pedals will give your feet.
Simply put, we wish more things in life had the adjustability that the V3 pedals have. Being able to change the position of pedals, their angles, the throttle spring strength, brake sensitivity, brake travel and inclusion of the alternative D-shape race plates in curved design which are ideal as standing pedals all means that you will be able to tailor the Clubsport V3 to exactly what you’re looking for. This should be the standard more peripherals should be held to.
The set is built entirely in aluminum and it feels both weighty as well as resistant. The mark of an incredible build quality comes from the use of contactless sensors. These magnetic sensors on the gas and clutch will guarantee you a lifelong accuracy and four times the resolution that the previous version of these pedals did. Top-notch build quality.
Inverted Axis (Only inverted set)
This advanced version of the V3s moves the clutch and brake pivots being to the top axis. This allows for longer pedal travels, replicating more accurately than any other pedal set the distance you would find in a real car. It’s a small change that yields a very large difference in how authentic the pedals feel.
This is by far the V3s most unfavorable aspect. The normal set is already very expensive, equalling the price of a good non direct drive wheel. The inverted set is close to half the price of a direct drive wheel. These pedals are very good, but very restrictive price-tag wise.
Thrustmaster T-LCM Pedals
These newcomers have entered the racing sim world with a bang. These load-cell pedals will be able to can distinguish 65,536 different pedal positions, the closest approximation to a real-world car currently possible. It’s cheaper, as long-lasting, equally as customizable and just as good looking. Consider these in place of the V3s.
Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals
These mid-range pedals remain excellent and are more specifically tailored for those who have a racing rig. Nevertheless, they have a plethora of adjustable options and come with Fanatec’s usual brilliance. The build quality is great and they come with a comfortable heel-rest. Their main pull comes from adding a Fanatec product to your own rig, so consider these if this applies to you.
These pedals are some of the oldest (usable) ones out there, and as such don’t have some of the technological breakthroughs other sets have. The build quality is good for being made from plastic, and the accuracy is surprising for an older product. The main reason to go for the T3PA, however, is the price. We’d recommend these pedals for those hoping to get an inexpensive upgrade.
The ClubSport Pedals V3 are more than just good pedals, they’re fantastic pedals. In every aspect they are at the top of the list, the unfortunate reality is that this is also true regarding price. Still, their elegance, precision, and adjustability will give you such a more comprehensive control over your car that it’ll be hard to go back to playing without them. If you have the money, or want to save up, we recommend giving the ClubSport Pedals V3 a look!
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