What is a Fanatec CSL Elite?
The CSL Elite is a many permitted gaming round Fanatec has brought to marketplace given a 2009 Porsche 911 model, done for a final era of consoles.
Fanatec doesn’t make inexpensive products, however, and this is still a many costly racing round we’ve reviewed. Our gold costs 689 euros, or £586 during Dec 2016 sell rates. This is some-more costly than an Xbox One; in fact, we could even make a decent entry-level gaming PC for that money. However, a CSL Elite is rather special.
Before we run divided screaming, a cost disproportion between this and a allied Thrustmaster setup competence not be as good as we think. Add a £329 Thrustmaster TX racing round to a T3PA-PRO pedals and you’re looking during £478, RRP.
Fanatec CSL Elite – Design and Setup
The Fanatec round complement is rarely customisable. There are a integrate of round bases, 4 sets of pedals, some-more than 10 wheels, and detached handbrakes and shifters.
All this isn’t granted with a CSL Elite package, yet we do get all we need. It includes a CSL Elite round base, a CSL Elite Pedals LC pedals and a Xbox One P1 Steering wheel. This round edge costs 150 euros on a own, and that it’s a cheapest Fanatec provides some denote about how high-end a complement goes.
There’s one round that costs 479 euros, yet bottom or pedals. Ouch.
Having used many of a renouned racing wheels on a market, a Fanatec CSL Elite’s impression is clear as shortly as we lift a object out of a box. It’s many reduction elementary than a Thrustmaster TX or Logitech G920, yet is also a lot some-more customisable and flexible.
This doesn’t meant we need a pro-quality racing chair to buy one of these, however. The Fanatec CSL Elite comes with a concept clamp to let we insert it to a list or stand. I’ve been regulating an aged Speedblack Evo wheelstand. There are tough ascent points if we have a higher-end rig, however.
The some-more advanced, less-friendly impression comes from a wheel’s UI. Unlike a Logitech or Thrustmaster, a Fanatec CSL Elite has an on-wheel menu system. This lets we change an array of settings on-the-fly that you’d routinely have to conduct into menu systems or even motorist settings to tweak.
The downside: it’s primarily baffling. This isn’t a round we usually block in and forget about, generally when fewer games yield dedicated profiles for it than a Thrustmaster model.
Here’s a discerning outline of what’s on offer in a menu system.
Sensitivity: alters a branch round of a steering wheel. The round bottom has 1,080-degree rotation, yet this isn’t suitable for all forms of cars. You have fine-grain control, or can let a motorist select a revolution by environment this to Auto.
Force Feedback: customise a strength of a force feedback motors from 0-100%.
Shock: fiddle with a strength of a rumble motors from 0-100%.
ABS: simulates a feel of ABS when we stop hard.
Linearity: alters how supportive a round spin is towards a centre. Increasing this (0-100) creates a centre partial of revolution reduction sensitive, giving we some-more control over unequivocally glorious round movements.
Deadzone: change how many of a deadzone there is during a centre of a wheel.
Drift: augmenting this lets we revoke a round insurgency to make flapping reduction of an arm-tiring struggle.
Force/Spring/damper: (PC only) lets we fine-tune a feel of a several components of force feedback.
Brake Force: change how many stop pedal vigour is indispensable to strech 100% braking force.
These on-wheel controls let we fine-tune how a round operates, major what a diversion “tells” a CSL Elite to do.
For a initial few days we found myself incidentally entering this menu all a time, yet it’s a good underline for a hardcore crowd. And if you’re deliberation spending £600 on a wheel, we should during slightest be a bit of a racing diversion enthusiast.
You enter this menu by dire a symbol denoted by a tool idol on a steering wheel, creation a menu options pop-up in an LED arrangement during a top. The Xbox P1 round afterwards has a tiny joystick that lets we crack by a several parameters, and there are even 5 opposite profiles that we can programme in for opposite games/cars.
This isn’t your normal console wheel. However, a rest of a blueprint is many reduction intimidating, holding a buttons from a normal Xbox One pad, to let we crack by menus yet wanting to keep a gamepad by your side.
Using a P1 steering round a set boots adult to a Xbox One mode, yet switching to a PC one is usually a matter of dire a Mode symbol on a base.
Like all of a stream racing wheels, there’s no support for PS4. Plug it in and zero happens. Fanatec also says there’s no support for any PlayStation console, yet we had a go with a PS3 usually to experiment.
The round is purebred and a buttons do let we crack by a system’s menus, yet as shortly as we press down on a joystick, a CSL Elite ceaselessly scrolls downwards. Game over. Don’t buy this for anything yet PC and Xbox One use.
Fanatec CSL Elite – P1 Xbox One Steering Wheel and Base
Let’s take a closer demeanour during some of a hardware, starting with a P1 wheel. Since this is a sincerely tech-heavy wheel, a build is some-more boring than what Thrustmaster sells during a identical price.
For £149 we can get an Alcantara or leather steering round from Thrustmaster, yet a P1 has a rubbery coating. Similarly, a executive image is steel yet a outdoor partial of a mainstay that plugs into a bottom is plastic.
You competence settlement a some-more lush feel for £600, yet remember this is Fanatec’s entry-level setup.
It seems Fanatec has nude down a shimmer to get we high-end components during a pretty lucid price. Take a bottom as an another example: a housing is plastic, and doesn’t feel as heavy-duty as a wheel.
The base’s settlement is also uncharacteristically showy, with a multi-shade settlement of tiny grey tiles on a front. we utterly like it, yet a gibberish online is mixed.
I found a Fanatec CSL Elite unequivocally easy to mount, and it feels unequivocally stout even trustworthy to a elementary round stand. It also has a multi-colour rev arrangement on a base’s front, used with concordant games. I’d disagree that a elementary cosmetic housing shouldn’t matter too many when it’s a inner skeleton that takes all a force of a wheel’s torque.
One partial that does lift an eyebrow, though, is a span of gear-shifters on a P1 wheel. They’re plain aluminium spokes, yet distinct roughly any other high-end round I’ve used, they don’t have clicky feedback. A smoother feel is a clear depart from a norm. Again, we rather like it, yet some won’t given rigging changes feel reduction pronounced.
Fanatec CSL Elite – Pedals
The customary Fanatec Elite bottom and round aren’t all that adorned in some respects, yet a pedal set is distant improved than a one Logitech and Thrustmaster embody in their packages. Its house has a full clutch/accelerator/brake contingent and is immensely sturdy.
All steel detached from a rubber tops used on a pedals, it has an industrial-grade feel. The pedals are also large, ostensible many some-more critical than mostly toy-like, entry-level racing pedals.
Just like a round base, it’s hugely customisable too. The brake’s on-going feel can be tailored to your tastes. It can go firmer than any other set I’ve used; unequivocally it’s distant too unbending unless we have a supply that lets we screw down a board.
Thankfully, altering a movement is unequivocally simple. Behind a pedal you’ll see a set of rubbery buffers that subdue as we pull down on a brake. In a box we get 3 opposite sets, any requiring a opposite spin of force to depress. The hardest to subdue need 90kg of force, for a unequivocally unbending feel. we finished adult regulating a lightest rings, that I’d suggest unless we have a super-sturdy setup and are unequivocally after a loyal sim-like feel.
You can also pierce a pedals around, creation a accelerator lay closer to a stop for an easier heel-toe action. It’s a bit of a pain to do, however.
Finally, we also get a set of opposite covers for a pedals. The rubbery tops are indeed usually covers on tip of plain steel bases, and can be transposed with stick-on sandpaper-like grippy pads.
Fanatec CSL Elite – Performance and Force Feedback
Force feedback is a many sparkling partial of any racing round – yet it, we competence as good usually use a inexpensive model.
The Fanatec CSL Elite has by some domain a many absolute force feedback engine I’ve used, including those of a Logitech G29 and Logitech TX. At 100% power, with a diversion that unequivocally creates use of force feedback – such as Project Cars – a knowledge can be equivocal unpleasant.
Despite carrying used many of a racing wheels now on sale, we still onslaught when things get tough core. Trying to control a Pagani around a Nurburgring while fighting with a force feedback engine feels like a genuine struggle. It’s a spin or dual adult from a brushless engine complement that a best Thrustmasters use.
If we adore a unequivocally heated knowledge while gaming, you’ll adore a Fanatec CSL Elite. we finished adult environment a force feedback to around 55%, that gets we a additional soak of feedback yet behaving as a consistent sign that a sports automobile is unequivocally a carbon-fibre genocide machine.
Looking a tiny deeper into a feedback, a Fanatec CSL Elite uses a singular belt expostulate brushless motor. Thrustmaster’s stream tip models use dual belts; Logitech’s latest still use a geared system.
The disproportion this creates is that a Fanatec is significantly smoother than any Thrustmaster or Logitech round – radically some-more so than a Logitech G29/G920. Thrustmaster models are closer in terms of smoothness, yet still humour from a larger “gnawing” when you’re pulling opposite a feedback engine on a turn. There’s nothing in a Fanatec; it’s a smoothest racing round I’ve used.
It’s also unequivocally still – a brushless complement is roughly silent. However, after a brief event you’ll hear a fans start up. These live in a round bottom and keep a engine cold adequate to equivocate blazing out.
From memory, a fans during max spin seem a bit louder than a Thrustmaster RS300’s, roughly a same volume as a desktop PC’s box fan. It’s reduction distracting than rigging or belt noise, though, and more-or-less consistent once they’ve dismissed up.
I have few complaints about a CSL Elite’s force feedback. However, a one misdate we did notice was that, distinct some models, there is no “rumble” of a round itself, with all feedback supposing by a categorical bottom motors.
Fanatec gets divided with it since a categorical engine is so well-spoken and effective, yet it does impact a impression of unequivocally tiny pieces of feedback – such as pushing over highway lines a little. However, we do get in-wheel rumble with Fanatec’s some-more costly wheels regulating this unequivocally base.
Should we buy a Fanatec CSL Elite?
The Fanatec CSL Elite is a best racing round I’ve used. It’s smoother, some-more absolute and a pedal set is excellent.
Would we buy one? I’m not so sure. There’s a genuine risk of upgrade-itis with a Fanatec, as we competence finish adult wanting a new steering round after 6 months or so, and a cheapest Alcantara/leather denote costs 229 euros (around £200). I’m not certain my bank comment can hoop Fanatec CSL Elite ownership.
However, if practical racing is one of your categorical hobbies, a upgrades over a Thrustmaster TX and a brothers are real. To get something better, you’ll have to save adult even some-more for a approach expostulate round such as a $1,299 SimXperience AccuForce or Thrustmaster’s elusive, arriving GT Sport. And who knows afterwards that competence arrive.
The best PC and Xbox One racing round we can get for underneath £1,000.