OS X Racing Games, Wheels and Wheel Upgrades for Mac Racing Fanatics

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by JaguarGod, May 30, 2017.

  1. JaguarGod macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2010
    While FFB and racing wheels do not pertain only to Mac racing fans, I am directing this toward them as us Mac Racing Game Fanatics don't have many choices in the steering wheel department if we want to utilize steering wheels to their fullest potential especially with Force Feedback. Force Feedback is essential in my opinion if you want to get that last tenth out of your lap times and have the most realistic experience possible.

    Note: Also realize that not every button on every Logitech wheel is supported under MacOS either. A while ago, Feral Interactive created the “FreeTheWheel” application that unlocked access to all of these buttons along with 900 degrees of rotation, but it negates the FFB kext needed in many of the older games. But recently Feral Interactive has added support for FULL wheel configurations with Grid Autosport and F1 2016 in which FFB works along with all of the buttons without the need for the kext!!!

    Not All USB Wheels Are Created Equally For MacOS
    There are many USB racing wheels that will work in MacOS. There are many Mac racing fans who use racing setups varying from a steering wheel clamped to a desk in front of their monitors to more elaborate setups using racing seats such as those from Playseats or Simroom’s VR3, which is what I use. Getting the most out of your wheel is something that Windows players have enjoyed for a very long time while Mac racers have been lacking ever since Immersion introduced FFB into Mac racing games back in the early 2000’s. Hey, I still have a PowerMac G5 that runs F1 CS 2000, VGP2 and Total Immersion Racing with a Logitech G27!

    Many USB wheels work on MacOS just fine and, for the most part, will give you better results than a keyboard or gamepad even without the use of FFB. But wheels outside of the Logitech brand will not have the opportunity to allow FFB. This is due to the fact that companies like Fanatec and Thrustmaster will not bother to add FFB Support for their amazing wheels while Logitech created an actual driver long ago for their wheels that, while no longer being included in versions of MacOS after 10.6, can still be installed on everything up to 10.12.5. Now, Feral Interactive have been awesome enough to start incorporating FFB and full button support directly into their more recent games, Grid Autosport and F1 2016, without having to install the Logitech FFB kext. But if you want to play older games like F1 2013, Grid, Grid 2, Dirt 2/3, etc., which are all still great games for MacOS, you will still need to install the kext.

    Logitech Wheels I Have Personally Tested For FFB Over The Years
    G27 - Best wheel for Mac in my personal opinion
    G25 - A lot like the G27, but older and not as nice looking IMO
    Momo Force - Works well and is quite a bit cheaper than the G series wheels
    Driving Force GT - Again, works well, but the FFB is a bit weaker

    To Kext Or Not To Kext
    There are now and have been in the past, great racing games released for the Mac contrary to what many may tell you. Yes, many of them were released many months or even years after their PC counterparts, but released nonetheless. These are some of my personal favorites that have FFB coded into them that work well with the Logitech Wheels I listed earlier either using the Logitech Kext installed or without it.

    No Kext Needed And Full Wheel Support
    1. F1 2016
    2. Grid Autosport

    Kext Needs To be Installed
    1. F1 2012 and 2013
    2. Dirt 2 and 3
    3. Virtual Grand Prix 3
    4. Grid 1 and 2
    5. Auto Sport Driving
    6. iRacing

    Upgrading Your G27
    The Logitech G27 has been my go-to wheel for my Mac Racing needs for many years and is still a great wheel. The best wheel for the Mac platform by a long shot in my opinion. It also provides FFB along with a few other wheels from Logitech. There are those racing game fanatics, like myself, who are always looking for something to add to their setups and unfortunately, we have very little to look forward to. But thanks to the efforts of people like Mateusz Karpeta of Polsimer, there are G27 wheel rim upgrades that are fairly simple to install and work great. His “F27” mod is a beautiful wheel rim that simply replaces the original G27 wheel and the Mac has no idea it has been changed. Works perfectly and makes the wheel look much more race-engineered, especially if you are an F1 fan.

    I ordered the F27 and it is quite amazing. Looks beautiful and feels like an actual racing wheel. The lights are big and bright too making them much easier to see without having to look down. I ordered the Alcantara grips instead of the Leather grips along with the 6 buttons being red to match the rest of the G27. Couldn't be happier.

    You can find out more on his Facebook Page Here!

    Here's my F27 Wheel Mod from Mateusz "Polsimer". It is an amazingly awesome mod and is beautiful also.


    In Summary

    With the efforts of great companies like Feral Interactive and good people like Mateusz Karpeta of Polsimer, proper racing with more than just a keyboard or gamepad on the Mac platform is not dead yet. Hopefully in the future, things will change and the Mac will be able to rival Windows when it comes not just to performance, but to accessories as well. But I won't hold my breath. ;)
  2. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for that, JaguarGod!

    I have some questions, maybe you could help me:
    Does the FF Kext work in macOS Sierra?

    I have the G27, attached to an old '08 Mac Pro (with AMD 7950 Mac Edition) and kept the OS to Mavericks for many reasons, one was the working Logitech FF Kext.

    But, I am (very soon) going to give an iMac 27" (2012) running macOS Sierra to my step son, and I also have a Logitech MOMO Force which I would love to attach to that... Or, rather, he would love it be attached... Grid2, DiRT3, F1 2013 will be the favourite games..

    Any idea?

  3. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yes, the Kext works in Sierra.
    Jaguargod, I have been a racer for many years on Windows and Mac, and I like your summary of Mac recent history.
    Over the last few years, I have bought every Feral racing game, and their efforts to help the Mac racing community are to be applauded.
    However, my experience with F1 2016 has not been good with my G27.
    Compared to GRID Autosport or F1 2013, the steering is loose and oversteery, and I can’t get within 2 seconds of my Windows F1 2016 lap times. On Windows, the steering is perfect.
    I have been in contact with Feral, but nothing has come out of the useful discussions of any note. It’s a shame, as it means I have to use the Windows version because of this. I hope they will fix it, but I’m not hopeful.
  4. JaguarGod thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2010
    Unfortunately, I have heard the same. But I have not played the Windows version myself so I can't compare the FFB and that is probably a good thing! Lol!
  5. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Actually, I've been experimenting a bit today, and I can get the steering working pretty well by adding a few saturation points in settings on the Mac side. I'll just have to remember to change them back when (if!) I use the Windows version!
  6. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Cool, thx for that. Will be trying this evening.

Share This Page