An In-depth Review of the Logitech Driving Force Shifter

An In-depth Review of the Logitech Driving Force Shifter

Written by Mark Williams, In Gadgets, Published On
February 27, 2024
, 64 Views

In Shorts: 

  • The Logitech Driving Force shifter is an affordable add-on component for Logitech’s G29 and G920 steering wheel and pedal sets.
  • Logitech Driving Force Shifter provides sim racers with a manual shifter to enhance the realism of racing games that support manual transmissions.
  • Introducing our Logitech Driving Force Shifter review.  The $59.99 shifter works with G29 and G920 Driving Force Racing Wheels.
  • It works on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.  The G29 works on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). However, the Driving Force GT doesn’t have a shifter, and the Driving Force Shifter won’t function.

The 1.66 lb (0.76 kg) shifter has six gears, a push-down reverse, steel and leather components for comfort and durability, and clamps or M6 screws to mount it to a racing setup. The Driving Force Shifter resembles the Logitech G27 shifter.  The throw length and feel are the same, but the buttons and D-pad are absent. The Driving Force shifter is a 6-speed manual shifter with a seventh reverse gear. It has a leather boot and knob with an all-metal internal mechanism. The shifter securely clicks between each gear with a short throw. It connects directly to Logitech wheels through a supplied cable. The shifter is compact to fit most rigs. It has a screw-in clamp to attach to a surface and two clamps on the front. There are also screw holes on the bottom to bolt it down for added stability. Overall, it is designed to be a durable and realistic shifter.

Logitech Driving Force Shifter Specs

Logitech Driving Force Shifter

Warranty 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
Height 206.5 mm (8.13 in)
Width 176.4 mm (6.94 in)
Depth 146.4 mm (5.76 in)
Weight 0.72 kg (1.59 lb)
Importer Rashi Peripherals Pvt.Ltd
Manufacturer LOGITECH ASIA PACIFIC LTD.
Country of Origin Vietnam
Brand Logitech

Key Benefits of the Shifter

  • Affordable Price Point

The Driving Force shifter provides a manual shifting experience at an affordable $59.99 MSRP. This makes it accessible for budget-minded sim racers. Other stand-alone shifters can cost over $200. The low price makes it easy to add to a beginner setup.

  • Quality Construction

Despite its low cost, the shifter feels pretty cheap. The leather and metal materials give it a nice look and feel. The clicks between gears feel smooth and solid. Overall, materials and performance exceed expectations for the price.

  • Plug-and-Play Setup

The shifter uses a single cable to connect directly to Logitech wheels. No extra power or accessories are required. This plug-and-play setup reduces clutter and gets you racing quickly.

  • Compact and Adjustable

The shifter has a small footprint of about 6 x 5 inches. Its compact shape fits on most rigs. You can position it for left or right shifting. The clamps and screw holes also allow mounting in different configurations.

  • Enhanced Realism

Having a tangible shifter adds physical realism and immersion to racing simulations. The audible clicks and short throws simulate the feel of shifting a manual transmission.

Understanding The Driver Force

900-degree turning is the latest racing wheel buzzword. Spin little wheels in a few games is fun, but the Logitech Driving Force is worth a look if you’re okay with a reduced range of motion and want to save money. Designed for PlayStation 2, the wheel has strong feedback, great control, and a price you won’t mind. Although the wheel isn’t used for nondriving games, the square, X, triangle, circle, and directional pad appear. The buttons make menu navigation and automobile features like nitro boosts and hand-brake maneuvers easy. Depending on how you drive, some of these buttons may touch your hand, causing you to mistakenly press them. The wheel’s several comfortable settings allow for more precise hand positioning.

Quality wheel design and construction

Logitech Driving Force Shifter

The Driving Force was secured to our table by two huge top-mounted octagonal screws. It took a minute and was painless. After locking the wheel, it didn’t move during our drive. After use, we simply turned the wheel to free it from the table and save the Driving Force. Be careful, since installing the wheel left permanent damage on our table. Logitech should have included rubber feet on the Driving Force’s underside to protect the table.

Push-buttons, paddles

Logitech’s R1, R2, L1, L2, Start, and Select buttons are silver and low-profile. Their tactile reaction needed to be improved. Short button travel and silent movement make you doubt you pressed it. The gear-shifting paddles on the underside of the wheel have a lengthy throw, but you’ll hear the “clunk” mark their finish. The paddles appear strong and will likely withstand everyday use.

Laptop Connector

A laptop connection for the Driving Force lets you play with the wheel on your lap. The laptop attachment gadget was unsatisfactory, but it may work in theory. Nothing held the wheel still, so it moved between our legs. Turning the wheel with the Driving Force between our knees offered us imperfect control under ideal conditions. Being serious about racing means not fooling with the Driving Force on your lap.

Wheel Precision and Force Feedback

We may discuss solid attachment surfaces and button feel, but if the wheel control isn’t good, we could use a gamepad. A successful wheel must move predictably and precisely. The Driving Force was exact, letting us race nearly perfectly. After powering up the console, the autocalibration kept the wheel dead-on every time we rolled out, allowing us to corner easily in Gran Turismo 4. Logitech’s Driving Force force feedback produced the customary rumbles, rattles, and jolts with adequate number and severity. However, force feedback is far inferior to the Driving Force Pro. Fighting Driving Force force feedback was easy. Winning over the wheel’s motors usually caused unanticipated free motion, spinning the wheel swiftly in the direction turned.

Pedals

After evaluating the wheel unit, we stomped the pedals and found them satisfactory. The Driving Force’s pedal construction is lighter than the Driving Force Pro’s, but it didn’t move much under regular driving circumstances. We wish Logitech had supplied more than four rubber pads to stick the structure to the carpet better.

Value and Buyworth

We accept that more money buys a better racing wheel. Good wheels exist, but the Driving Force costs $50 to $75, about half as much. Logitech Driving Force offers the finest value in the pricing class, blending control, build quality, and functionality.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

  • Limited Stability

The Driving Force Shifter lacks mass, so vigorous shifting can cause it to rock or move. Using the clamps on a desk may only eliminate some wobble. Mounting it securely is important for stability.

  • Toy-Like Feel

Some users report the shifter has a toy-like plastic feel rather than a refined performance feel. The light action and hollowness reduce how realistic it feels for some.

  • Clunky Shifting

While improved from the G27 shifter, some still find shifts feel clunky and imprecise compared to higher-end shifters. The notchy feel needs more smoothness.

Recommended Use Cases

Logitech Driving Force Shifter

  • Beginner Racers

The Logitech shifter adds manual shifting at an entry-level price for those starting in sim racing. It helps learn without a huge investment.

  • Arcade-Style Racing

The shifter excels when used for more casual, arcade-style racing games that benefit from manual control but do not demand ultra-realism.

  • Rally Racing

The short throws and definitiveness suit rally racing well. Quick shifting between gears is important for navigating turns on loose surfaces.

  • Vintage Cars

Older race cars often used H-pattern shifters similar to the Driving Force. It helps capture the vintage driving experience.

  • Console Gamers

Console players who want to shift manually have limited options. This provides an affordable shifter solution for Logitech wheels on PlayStation or Xbox.

Tips for Improving the User Experience

  1. Mount the shifter securely using screw holes or a rig adapter to reduce wobble during shifting.
  2. Adjust shifter sensitivity settings in games to find the optimal balance of smoothness and precision.
  3. Use lubricants like lithium grease in the mechanism to improve shifter slickness if needed.
  4. Consider shifter mods like short-shift kits to reduce throw distance for quicker shifts.
  5. Add weight inside the shifter case to give it more mass and a planted feel for ultra stability.
PROS CONS
Fits new G29 and G920 Not included with Driving Force pedals and wheels.
Hard-mountable It seems like a toy and the shifts lack solidity.
PC and next-gen console compatible
At $60, affordable

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Logitech shifter compatible with non-Logitech wheels?

No, the Driving Force shifter is designed exclusively for Logitech wheels like the G29 and G920. It is not compatible with other brands.

Does the shifter work on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC?

It works on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs when connected to a compatible Logitech wheel.

Can you mount it to a racing rig or seat?

Yes, the shifter can be mounted directly to rigs and seats using the included clamps or screw holes. Many rigs also have pre-drilled mounting points.

Does the shifter include cables to connect to the wheel?

Logitech provides the necessary shifter cable in the box for a plug-and-play connection to supported wheels.

How many gears does the shifter have?

The shifter has 6 forward gears plus a reverse gear for 7 shiftable gears. It uses an H-pattern layout.

Does the shifter work for American or European truck simulators?

It can improve the manual shifting experience in Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator, and other trucking games.

Is the shifter made of plastic or metal?

The knob and boot are leather/plastic, while the internal mechanism is metal. The case is plastic. Overall, the construction is quite solid.

Will the shifter work with non-racing games?

The shifter is designed for racing titles but may work in other driving games, like truck simulators that support manual shifting.

Does the shifter ever go on sale below the $59.99 MSRP?

Yes, it periodically gets discounted by $10-20 on sites like Amazon. Black Friday and holiday sales may offer lower prices.

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