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Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals Review

Whether you plan on being a civilian or military pilot, rudder pedals will play a central role in your flight simulator experience. Whether it’s taking off, fighting hard winds, or landing, you’ll find yourself making use of rudder pedals multiple times throughout a single session. For this reason it’s important that you purchase a quality set.

Our review of the Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals[/amazon][/amazon] will examine whether they live up to expectations, where their advantages and disadvantages lie, and whether you should purchase them.

What to Consider Before Buying Rudder Pedals

If flight simulators are a pastime to which you only ever dedicate a handful of hours then purchasing rudder pedals may be too advanced for you. This peripheral is meant for those who are not only passionate about the subject but have some experience with it. Rudder pedals control the ailerons on the wings and of the rudder and elevator to the rear. If you both understood what that meant, and understood the importance of being able to control them, then rudder pedals may be for you. 

As with all peripherals, there are certain key factors that should be kept in mind when looking to purchase rudder pedals. The first, and perhaps most important is precision. Simply put, this is how well the rudder pedals translate your actions within the simulator. Second is customization. This allows you not only to replicate the feel of rudder pedals you may already know and be comfortable with but also make sure that you are able to fly comfortably and to the best of your abilities. Finally, realism. This is whether your purchase is comparable to something you’d be able to find in a plane or high-quality simulator. 

As a rule of thumb, price is also worth keeping an eye on. Simulator equipment can be expensive, and a good price-quality ratio is something that most would-be purchasers should keep in mind. 

The Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals

Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals
  • Designed for all users; Compatible on PC with all joysticks on the market; Also compatible on PS4 with the Flight Hotas 4 joystick (sold separately) and also T.Flight Hotas One joystick ; The first rudder to feature the S.M.A.R.T slide rails system for smooth steering
  • Ergonomic design allowing you to put your entire foot on the pedal, thanks to the heel-rests; Heel-rests are removable, for alternative ergonomic configurations: put your entire foot on the pedal, or rest the ball of your foot at mid-pedal
  • Differential braking: 2 large pedals (10 inches/25 centimeters); S.M.A.R.T (Sliding Motion on Aluminum Rail Tracks) slide rails rudder; System of 4 slide rails crafted of industrial-grade aluminum for perfectly smooth sliding motion
  • Versatile ergonomic design suitable for all types of flight (aerial combat, space adventure, civil flight, etc.); Two differential brake pedals; Large differential brake pedals: 10 inches/25 centimeters (12/45 shoe size)
  • USB and/or proprietary RJ12 connectivity; On PC (Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP), works with all joysticks on the market with available Thrust master drivers; On PC, compatible with all games supporting multi-USB and rudders

The Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals[/amazon][/amazon] were built with the intention to satisfy even the most exigent flight sim pilot, while still keeping their price point accessible enough for new users to be able to purchase them. There is another set of Thrustmaster pedals which we can also recommend (the TRP) and which are perhaps a bit more advanced, but the TFRP are precise enough that we’d still pick them over their more extravagant siblings.

All in all we feel comfortable recommending these rudder pedals to anyone who may need to make this purchase. There are some aspects that could use some upgrades (more on this later), but they are such a solid piece of craftsmanship that we can’t but give them the widest possible thumbs-up for all users.

Thrustmaster proves itself an able constructor of peripherals not only in the racing sim market but in the flight sim one too, as these rudder pedals accomplish a lot more than we thought they would.

Features & Benefits

When looking to purchase any product, we often look at the most glaring boons and banes of what we’re reviewing in this section. Without further ado, here are the features and benefits (or shortfalls) of the Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals.

Calibration Software

Why this feature isn’t present in more rudder pedals is inexplicable. The TFRPs come with (well you have to download it, but it’s free) a software that allows you to recalibrate them in order to eliminate any deadzones you may have come across while playing. This not only makes sure that the precision remains at the highest possible levels, but it also means that you will never have to face the terrible feeling of “okay well my inputs are worthless”. Hats off here’s to hoping more companies adopt this.

S.M.A.R.T Tech = Smart Addition

If you’ve used a Thrustmaster product before, chances are you’re aware of the Sliding Motion Advanced Rail Track technology. This means that your rudder pedals not only have a Long-range of travel on the rudder axis for precise maneuvers but that it feels absolutely magnificent every little movement you make. We love S.M.A.R.T. tech. 

Pinpoint Precision

Let’s start with the fact that the rudders are able to recognize 1024 different values. That’s a lot, and we’re happy that it’s this much. When you couple this with the fact that the calibration software will make sure that these values are always going to be precise, and that the S.M.A.R.T tech will make you feel like a real-life pilot when these values are taken and well… Did we also say that the pedals are differential? 

Thrustmaster Ecosystem and Price

The TFRPs are part of a growing ecosystem of Thrustmaster peripherals for flight simulators. This means that pairing the TFRPs with the rest of Thrustmaster’s high-quality products is easy, convenient and all in all recommended for those looking for a good price-quality ratio. Speaking of price, the Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals are quite inexpensive! When you consider what they do and how well they do it, they come at a fraction of the cost that we would have expected. These are pedals worthy of an expert, but priced so that even a beginner can pick them up! 

Build Quality

This is the only point where we have an ambivalent feeling when talking about the TFRPs. The pedal set is mostly made of plastic, and as such may not feel as “weighty” as other sets. The build quality remains very good mind you, but it does feel less sturdy compared to some other high-quality alternatives available. The plastic itself is still quite resistant and doesn’t feel cheap. All in all this was likely a tradeoff that had to be made to allow for a less expensive price-point. The more experienced pilots may be soured by this, but we think that allowing these pedals to be accessible to all audiences is a good move on behalf of Thrustmaster.  

Alternatives

If you’re interested in the Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals, but also want to know which other products you should look at, here’s a list. They can range from straight one-to-one alternatives to cheaper or more expensive models. 

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
  • Self-centring pedals with adjustable damping / Foot rests adjust to fit all sizes and include non-slip materials
  • Precise rudder and braking control / Tension adjustment - choose resistance to suit the way you fly
  • Partial metal construction for long life
  • Saitek Smart Technology programming software allows gamers to configure their controls to suit their preferred gaming style for flight and space sim
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 Works with: Windows XP, XP64 and Vista (all versions) Windows 7

The highly precise and highly customizable Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals make for an excellent choice for those looking for a good but expensive product. Smart choices are coupled with excellent build-quality and precision.

Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals

Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals
  • Self-centering pedals with adjustable damping / Foot rests adjust to fit all sizes and include non-slip materials
  • Precise rudder and braking control / Tension adjustment - choose resistance to suit the way you fly
  • Partial metal construction for long life. Cable Length  (Power/Charging) - 1.8 meter
  • Saitek Smart Technology programming software allows gamers to configure their controls to suit their preferred gaming style for flight and space sim
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 Works with: Windows XP, XP64 and Vista (all versions) Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

The Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals topped our list of the best rudder pedals available and it’s clear why. They’re very realistic, and are coupled with a lot of customization options and are incredibly precise and faithful. Muck like the Saitek pedals, these are not inexpensive, but there’s a reason why they are so far up our list. 

TPR Thrustmaster’s Expert Rudder System

TPR Thrustmaster's Expert Rudder System
  • The TPR features Thrustmaster’s PENDUL_R technology: a unique, suspended mechanism ensuring smooth and fluid movements
  • The TPR also features Thrustmaster’s H.E.A.R.T. HallEffect AccuRate Technology for ultra-precise, frictionless action that won’t change over time.
  • The positions of the TPR’s springs can be adjusted, allowing users to adjust the resistance according to their preferences (two springs are included).
  • The pedals can be adjusted into five positions, at angles between 35° and 75°.
  • The TPR’s metal base guarantees total stability, even when used without a cockpit. 4 mounting holes (M6 diameter) are incorporated into the base for installation in a cockpit.

The aforementioned more exuberant sibling of the TFRP, the TPR Thrustmaster's Expert Rudder System is an excellent choice. A solid build and good customization is only the tip of the iceberg. The PENDUL_R technology allows for incredibly fluid motions which, coupled with the H.E.A.R.T. tech, makes these pedals hyper-precise whether you use them on day one, or day one thousand. Costly? Yes. Worth it? You be the judge. 

Conclusion

Rudder pedals are a fundamental linchpin of flight simulators. Controlling an airplane doesn’t solely require a joystick or a yoke. You need to be able to master the entire aircraft. The Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals[/amazon][/amazon] do a great job at this, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced pilot. Precision and price are by far two of the biggest strong suits of this peripheral, though there’s little not to love. Even the build quality, which isn’t a strong suit, is still more than simply serviceable. We can handily recommend you purchase these rudder pedals, but if you’re still not sure why not give them a look? 

Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Thomas Bush