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Moza R3 Racing bundle review – Meet your new favorite wallet-friendly race sim controller Moza R3 Racing bundle review – Meet your new favorite wallet-friendly race sim controller
Moza Racing has rightly been lauded in recent times for bringing high-quality sim racing gear to the masses at a price point that laughs... Moza R3 Racing bundle review – Meet your new favorite wallet-friendly race sim controller


Moza Racing has rightly been lauded in recent times for bringing high-quality sim racing gear to the masses at a price point that laughs in the face of some of the more pretentious opposition and has also just announced a move into the flight sim market.

With a range of great gear already available for the PC, the recently-announced R3 race bundle remains PC compatible but is the company’s first punt into the console market with full Xbox compatibility built in.

If you want to use it to race on your PC, that’s fine too, and it turns out to be a very reasonably priced option to jump into that if you are new to the sim racing game, or want to simply upgrade that tired old belt-driven wheel you have had sat under your desk for the best part of a decade.

So let’s jump in and see what Moza Racing has pulled off here, whether it has worked, and if we remain as excited as we did when we first heard about it.

What’s in the R3 box?

The great thing here is that you get everything you need to race within one sizeable box. Wheel, wheelbase, pedals, and, thankfully, a desk clamp.

The clamp is important because chances are this is your starter wheel which is why you are going in at the low end of the price spectrum for this sort of thing, so again, chances are you don’t necessarily have a sim pit (yet!) or a wheel stand to attach all your new toys to.

I’ve seen desk clamps before, even on joysticks that have an awful lot of movement in them which is annoying but the lump of shaped steel you get here is solid as a rock. Indeed, the only thing you need to worry about is what’s actually on your desk. I have (had!) a plant precariously balanced atop my speakers, which in turn were on a 3D-printed speaker stand. Halfway through a lap of Assetto Corsa the plant vibrated its way off the speaker and made a right old mess!

Anyway, the point stands the clamp is ace and easily attaches to the wheelbase with four screws and the included tools.

If you have used any kind of serious Direct Drive wheel before you will be amazed at just what Moza has managed to pack into the small size of the R3. The shell has a molded X on it as a nod to its Xbox uses but you can comfortably hold it in one hand.

This is partly down to clever design but also the fact that the R3 is the ‘weakest’ of the range when it comes to the force the wheel applies while driving. Even for a non electrical engineer like me, that’s too basic an explanation so let’s dig in further.

Science lesson 101

The force of the wheels is measured in Nm (Newton-Meter) – An Nm is the unit for torque when a force is applied one meter away from a pivot point at a right angle to the radial direction. Apologies, forget you ever read that.

Basically, we can simplify it by just saying it’s what effect you feel back through the wheel. Here’s a quick look at the Nm measurements for some of Moza’s other bases

  • R3: 3.9Nm
  • R5: 5.5Nm
  • R9: 9Nm
  • R12: 12Nm
  • R21: 21Nm

So as we can see the R3 here has the lowest Nm rating of the lot, but trust me, when you are fighting to get your car around a corner it won’t feel like it, and spinning out the wheel will powerfully try to wrench itself from your grasp. So if that’s the case wouldn’t a wheel with 21NM rip your arm off?

Not quite, an increase in Nm actually allows you to feel more granular details in the road as oh, science, science, science. All you really want to know at this stage is the wheel feels great in your hand and the force feedback it exudes is amazing.

Lesson over. I think that’s all correct.

Putting it all together

As mentioned you get the pedals here as well and these plug into the back of the wheelbase. Moza hasn’t scrimped with the connections here, there are ports on the base for a handbrake, electronic dashboard, and a gear shifter should you choose to add to your toolkit by upgrading in the future.

The pedals and pedal base are all steel and a hefty old unit. It comes with a throttle and a brake and you can choose to add a clutch as an optional extra. We did add one and it’s a simple as unbolting the brake, moving it into the middle of the base, and then attaching the clutch pedal and connecting it with the wire into the port on the break. It took about three minutes.

The pedals use Hall Effect Sensors to work out where they are at any time and this is fine for the throttle which you will no doubt be jamming to the floor but granular control for the brake is missing here. Again, you can spend a small amount of money on a Precision Brake upgrade which is basically a monster spring that ramps up the resistance on the brake massively, making it much more realistic.

The best thing about both these upgrades is that they are affordable, yet you don’t need them if you are just looking to mess about with this sort of thing for the first time.

This brings us to the wheel itself. The R3 wheelbase is interchangeable with Moza’s other wheels, including some F1 butterfly versions and the like, and the one you get here is an Xbox-modded version of Moza’s E3 wheel and the rim here weighs in at 280mm which feels a tad small in some respects but, realistically, I am being picky.

The buttons are consoled up. Instead of the Start button, we have an Xbox Start button and the usual Xbox controller buttons such as Home and the like. All the buttons have a nice click to them. I wasn’t a massive fan of the D-Pad which felt a little spongey, but if I am only using it for maybe a quick glance left or right or navigating menus, it isn’t a big deal really.

The wheel features Moza’s Quick Release tech which means it can be detached from the base for easy storage by simply pulling on the metal shroud. It’s really nice to see that the same mechanism from the really expensive setup is also included here.

Software

The R3 bundle is controlled on PC by Moza’s Pit House software which allows tweaking and fine-tuning of pretty much everything and I would recommend you spend at least a little time adjusting the curves to get something that feels natural for you.

There is also an iOS and Android app that connects to the wheel via Bluetooth and allows most of the same changes and this is of course what you will need to do if you are using it for your Xbox beyond what an individual game may let you tweak.

Xbox Compatibility

This brings me nicely to how Xbox compatibility works because it may not be how you expect it too. The security chip that makes it recognizable by an Xbox is actually in the wheel itself, not the base, which means that you can technically attach the wheel to any base that it fits and make that Xbox compatible. Nice. There are a few caveats, you need a wheelbase that has a connection for pedals as you can’t plug any pedals directly into your console, but it does open up a further upgrade path down the line.

As the wheel is only available as part of the R3 bundle however you can’t just buy one to attach to say an existing R12 you may be using on your PC. Maybe it will become separately available further down the line.

R3 bundle conclusion

So is it worth it? If you are upgrading from a) a controller or b) something like a Logitech entry-level wheel, this will blow you away. The fact it is only 3.9Nm matters not, the detail you will feel will put a smile on your face the second you start using it.

And using it is near silent too, apart from the clicky gear-shift paddles. Anybody who has been in the next room to somebody playing with any of the Logitech G wheels will be fully aware of the absolute racket they make. The Direct Drive here is as good as silent and that is no exaggeration.

So, if you want to play a race game such as Forza on your Xbox with a wheel, this is a no-brainer. It’s slightly more difficult for PC because there are so many great options, many from Moza itself, but as an entry-level into the Direct Drive ecosystem, especially if you don’t have money to burn, you can’t go wrong.

The R3 is a great first wheel and in many cases a fantastic second wheel. If there is remotely anything casual about your sim racing you should look at picking this up. If you walk past a mirror and think you could take on Verstappen at his own game, then you might only be happy spending a little more money, but it is, for most people unnecessary.

Basically, if you are looking to get into racing with a wheel and want to try it out before dropping thousands, it’s tough to not recommend the R3 bundle.

How much does the R3 cost?

The R3 Racing Wheel and Pedals for Xbox & PC bundle is available now from Moza Racing and online stores priced at £399

 



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