There comes a time in which all racing sim pilots will look for an upgrade. Force feedback wheels do a lot to help immerse you in the racing world, but they simply don’t reach the same levels you otherwise would with a direct drive wheel, and there’s plenty of them to choose from. Today we’re examining the Simucube 2 Pro, an upgrade to the already excellent Simucube 2 Sport. Will this upgraded version be able to make itself stand out?
What to Consider Before Buying Direct Drive Wheels
Direct drive wheels are marketed towards expert virtual racers. This is both because these are expensive products and because they require a good driver to truly take advantage of them. Much like regualr sim wheels, there are some key considerations to keep in mind before making a purchase. First is how authentic the wheel feels. Essentially this is force feedback on steroids. A good direct drive wheel will make it so that you’re able to tell what kind of surface your wheels are on at any given time just by feel. Second, comes the input accuracy. You want your every action faithfully translated into the game to make sure that your car behaves exactly as you intended it to. Lastly comes how much and how easily its options can be adjusted. Much like a mechanic would look to tailor the wheel and car to the racer, your Direct Drive wheel should be able to be molded around you.
The Simucube 2 Pro
The Simucube 2 Pro is a direct drive wheel base that promises excellence in all it does. Its sleek and resistant design are only the tip of the iceberg, as this wondrous feat of engineering unleashes upon you all that it has been carefully designed to do. The first question the Simucube 2 Pro asks of you is whether you’re ready to be known for incredible manoeuvres. Those these ultimately depend on your own skill, the Simucube 2 Pro gives you all the hardware needed to pull them off with incredible accuracy and fidelity.
The Simucube 2 Pro is the “middle child” of the Simucube 2 family. The entry-level model is called the Simucube 2 Sport (which you can find in our review of the best direct drive wheels), whilst the upper-end direct drive wheelbase is the Simucube 2 Ultimate (find our in-depth review here!).
When compared to the Accuforce Pro V2 it’s hard to declare an ultimate winner. Though both have incredible features we might favour the Accuforce. The wheels are almost identical in how amazing they are, but the Accuforce is considerably cheaper, making it a better bang for buck option.
In terms of appearance, the Simucube 2 Pro is pretty good looking. There’s also a wide range of compatible third party wheel rims, including popular Formula-style wireless rims from Ascher-Racing. All in all, the Simucube 2 Pro is not only an impressive direct drive wheel but one with which you’ll be able to feel every little grain of sand under your wheels.
Features & Benefits
When considering whether to purchase a product or not, certain features (or occasionally drawbacks) will come up as more important than others. The following five are features we’ve selected for the Simucube 2 Pro to help you decide whether this wheel is tantalising enough for you to consider purchasing it.
Natural Sign Processing
The Simucube family makes use of innovative technology called natural signal processing. What this does is interpret the force feedback exactly as was intended by the physics engine of your simulator, and reproduce it faithfully on a precise 1:1 scale. Of course, this means the wheel is only as good as the game your running but it means that the game you’re running can perform exactly as it was meant to. Natural sign processing also includes natural damping, inertia and friction filters. If the games you are running are faithful to what real-life driving would be like, then the Simucube 2 Pro will give you almost unmatched authenticity.
The Simucube 2 Pro reaches the same incredible levels as the Fanatec DD2 wheel with regards to torque. The peak torque you’ll be able to coax out of this machine is of 25Nm, with a max torque slew rate of an astonishing 8.0Nm per second. This allows you to feel every little bit of feedback you’re supposed to feel to such an extent that you might forget you’re not driving an actual race car. When coupled with Natural Sign Processing and fidelity the force feedback delivers, you’ll remain smitten.
Fidelity and Force Feedback
What we could jokingly call the triple T of racing simulators. Let’s start with force feedback. The response time you get is under one millisecond (more on this below), meaning that what your car is feeling, you’re feeling. As mentioned above, the direct-drive torque motor is powerful. Speaking of fidelity, my goodness! The Simucube 2 Pro had a singular goal in mind: the pilot should be able to sense the tiniest loss of grip at any time when using this product, and they hit the nail right on the head. Not only is this very impressive but it allows you to train and better yourself. Soon you’ll learn all the minute details and giveaway and learn how to adjust to them. This wheel will thus not only serve as a fun addition to a racing simulator but will truly train you to push your car to its very limit.
Close to no Latency
As if the aforementioned incredible feats of engineering didn’t suffice, everything happens instantaneously. It would have no sense for you to be able to feel a minute loss of grip if you didn’t have time to react, or if you reacted in time but the game didn’t register it. Well, the Simucube 2 Pro makes certain that neither of these outcomes are possible. Their unique dual CPU architecture makes sure that, even if all simulator actions and processing is running, the latency you will experience has no impact whatsoever. Basically, no matter how much you stress this wheelbase, no matter how many things you’re asking it to do at once, you are assured that the game will register all of your inputs, and still be able to output the data that will be then translated into force feedback. Truly a marvel of engineering!
This has to be the most negative aspect of the Simucube 2 Pro. It doesn’t break the bank, but it’s roughly equivalent to the aforementioned Fanatec DD2 (see our in-depth guide of that here). These are expensive wheels that, while they do offer a lot, are perhaps a smidge overpriced. You can find the excellent Accuforce for two-thirds of the price of this direct drive wheel, leaving you with enough money to be able to purchase a good wheel (the physical object) and perhaps a nice set of pedals or a shifter. The Simucube 2 Pro is a fantastic wheel, but is it worth the money? Only you can make that call.
The Simucube 2 Pro is an excellent wheel but by no means the only one you should consider purchasing. Below we’ve listed some of its alternatives, and we encourage you to look at them all before you make a final deliberation on what you’d like to purchase.
The smaller sibling of the Pro, the Simucube 2 Sport is less expensive but has a vast majority of the same features. It makes use of natural signal, robotics grade angle sensors, passive cooling and comes at a much more affordable price. Unfortunately, being a less expensive model, it doesn’t reach the same torque levels as the Pro, but it’s still a noteworthy alternative.
We must have mentioned this direct-drive podium dozens of times in this review, and there’s a good reason for it. The auto-optimization feature which causes the wheel base to change its settings to best mirror your driving style, your driving line, what track you’re on, what car you’re using, how all these interacts is downright sci-fi worthy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s one of the best direct-drive choices out there and is considerably less expensive than the Simucube 2 Pro. If you’re interested check out our complete guide over here.
The new and improved Podium model is by large and far the closest comparable product to the Simucube 2 Pro we can find. The DD2 optimizes all that was great from the DD1 and expands on it. It doesn’t suffer from having heavier wheels mounted to it, and both the DD2 and the Simucube 2 Pro achieve the same torque as real race cars. Unfortunately these products also both cost around the same, expensive, amount. For a more in-depth look at the Fanatec DD2 find our guide here.
The Simucube 2 Pro is truly a fantastic direct drive wheel aimed at expert drivers that want to push themselves to their limit. It has a myriad of great features, some of which it borrows from the already excellent Simucube 2 Sport and some which it refines and/or strengthens to surpass the base model wheel. It’s, unfortunately, a little expensive, making buying this great wheel less accessible than we would like it to be. Having said that, if what you read tickles your fancy, you should give the amazing Simucube 2 Pro a look.
Last Updated on March 2, 2021