- Fantastic form factor & ergonomics
- Unprecedented amount of buttons
- Surprisingly improved our lap times
- Feels great in the hand
- Lively force feedback
- Can’t use most functions on Xbox
- Slightly expensive
The Formula V2 wheel design
When you first open the box to reveal the Formula V2 wheel, there isn’t much of a reveal. Instead, the wheel is surrounded by packing foam, and is encased in a Fanatec bag. Only once you open the bag up do you see this racing wheel in all of its glory.
And boy is it a mean looking piece of hardware. From the sleek and sexy carbon fibre body to the Alcantara hand grips, this wheel oozes quality. I never thought I’d call a steering wheel sexy… But it is.
Despite being constructed of carbon fibre this formula style racing wheel still carries a little extra weight. This doesn’t affect the overall feel of the wheel, which feels great in your hand. But our first thoughts were that it might put a little extra strain in your wheel base, as it has to use more power to move the wheel.
If you haven’t used a Fanatec formula wheel before, this steering wheel will feel small in your hand. That is a good thing when it comes to driving formula cars, as it allows for quick movements and direction changes.
But the absolute main thing I think I like about the design of the Formula V2… Are the elements that Fanatec have carried over from the old Formula Carbon.
The shape and layout of the old Formula Carbon were so spot on perfect, that Fanatec didn’t need to change them. And they didn’t. Yay Fanatec!
On track performance
Time to step out on track and take this Formula V2 steering wheel for a spin. We have used this steering wheel for quite some time, and tested in on numerous games acros both Xbox and PC platforms.
The main games we have played are F1 2019 on console, and iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione on PC. With a little sprinkling of Automobilista for good measure.
When jumping from a more traditional round or GT style wheel rim to this Formula V2 wheel. The force feedback feels surprisingly electric. The overall sensation of force feedback that comes through the wheel feels like it has been turned up to 11.
This is in part due to the small size of the wheel. Its size allows it to feel sharp, and by having your hands closer together, you feel more connected to the car. Everything feels very direct with this wheel rim.
Due to the energy of this steering wheel, you start to feel a lot more detail in the force feedback itself. This added detail allows you to feel the road a little more than with other wheels. This is handy if learning a track, or simply throughout a race.
When racing the Formula V2 on PC, where the rev lights actually work. (Spoiler. They don’t work on Xbox, we cover this further in to the review) They are blindingly bright. This is both a good and bad thing.
You will be able to see when to shift in your peripheral vision, even if you are looking up from the wheel. Although if you dare to look at the wheel itself, you will almost certainly be blinded. The rev lights are bright. You have been warned.
One of the main selling points of this steering wheel are all of the rotary switches, thumb encoders and buttons. These give you multiple ways of adjusting your car on the fly, and they impact your gameplay a lot.
On PC, you can program the thumb encoders to adjust elements such as fuel mix and ERS usage. When playing games such as F1 2019, this solves having to go in to the multi-function display.
You can spend much more time concentrating on the track ahead, rather than flicking through multiple menus to increase your fuel mix.
It sounds like a small change to the way you race, but the effect is huge. Before the Formula V2, I almost always lost time in every race by navigating the menus to change engine mode. That lost time is a thing of the past.
With a simple flick of the thumb, and without having to take a hand off the wheel. You can change your car’s behavior on the fly.
As with all Fanatec steering wheels, you can adjust all of the force feedback wheel settings from the wheel directly. You do this by using the sticks on the front of the wheel to scroll through each force feedback setting and programming each individually.
Once you have created a complete force feedback setting setup, you can save it to the wheel itself as a preset. You can save up to five of these presets at once. This allows you to quickly switch up you force feedback depending on which car or game you’re driving.
Fanatec have finally come through and pleased Xbox gamers.
Up until the launch of this ClubSport Formula V2, Xbox gamers and Formula 1 fans have been shown zero love from Fanatec. Not a single version of Fanatec’s formula range of wheels was compatible with Xbox consoles.
Why this was the case we don’t know. More than likely due to Xbox One’s restrictive architecture in terms of additional inputs. But that problem is a thing of the past.
This Formula V2 steering wheel is completely compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles. Sort of… There is a huge caveat.
Because of Xbox’s restrictive architecture, most of the additional inputs on this steering wheel can’t actually be used! That is right. Only native Xbox inputs can be used, meaning that only twelve inputs can be programmed at once.
Unfortunately these inputs are limited to physical buttons only. That means that none of the rotary dials or thumb encoders actually work on Xbox. Neither do the lovely LED rev lights and flag lights.
That is a whole lot of the overall functionality of this wheel to not be supported.
But despite this, the core elements of the wheel work, and boy do they work well.
One nice touch that Fanatec have included is mapping the two red toggles on the face of the wheel rim to the throttle and brake. Any Xbox sim racer will know that to travel through certain menus you have to use the LT and RT buttons.
On all sim racing wheels, these are mapped to the accelerator and brake pedals. This means that with most wheels, to move left and right through some menus you have to push the throttle and brake. Not ideal.
But by Fanatec mapping the red toggles to the throttle and brake, you can use these to move through menus. This is a nice comfort to have, and a nice touch by Fanatec.
Will the Fanatec Formula V2 make you quicker?
Typically a change in steering wheel rim wont make much difference in your speed on track. Most wheel rims handle largely the same, as in essence it is the wheel base that affects performance more than a wheel rim.
However certain wheel designs, sizes and weights do have an impact on how much you have to turn the wheel, and how you feel the force feedback.
Jumping in to a play session with the Fanatec Formula V2, as mentioned above, bought out an immediacy in everything we were feeling. It felt like the car was more alive, and we felt more connected to the car as a whole.
This was especially prevalent in Assetto Corsa Competizione. That extra level of connection with the car, did actually improve our lap times. We weren’t expecting this at all, but in fact we certainly gained a few tenths on most games we played.
So, surprisingly. Yes. The Fanatec Formula V2 does actually make you a faster driver. I did not expect to be saying that going in to this review!
Is the Fanatec Formula V2 worth it?
The cost of the Fanatec Formula V2 sits up at over $369. That, in the grand scheme of things is a relatively large amount to spend on a wheel rim alone. However, this is a Fanatec product, meaning it is in the upper echelon of sim racing gear.
When compared to other Fanatec wheels, this ClubSport Formula V2 is well priced. Some wheel rims from Fanatec stretch upwards of $600!
But let’s forget the Fanatec comparisons. Is this steering wheel worth the price for a sim racer.
If you are solely an Xbox sim racer, it is a tricky one to call. Yes, this is the only formula style wheel rim available for Xbox and Fanatec owners. But almost all of the glorious functionality isn’t compatible with Xbox.
It is such a disappointment that Fanatec and Xbox can’t get this wheel working to 100% of its potential. Despite this, we would say it is worth the investment for console owners and PC owners alike.
This wheel rim offers further levels of immersion when racing open wheel cars. Much more so than any round wheel can offer. Plus, the improvement to lap time and force feedback output make this a superb racing wheel.
What’s included in the box
- ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2
- Racing-Style Button Caps
- Quick Guide
- Safety pin for long storage
- Safety screw for permanent mount on wheel base
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Formula V2 compare to the Formula Carbon?
The Fanatec Formula V2 is the new and improved formula wheel by Fanatec. It replaces the Formula Carbon, and adds features such as; new rotary dials, improved screen, new thumb encoders and more buttons and LEDs.
Is the Fanatec Formula V2 compatible with Xbox and PS4?
The Fanatec Formula V2 is compatible with all three consoles, Xbox, PS4 and PC. It is confirmed to be compatible with the new Xbox Series X.
Is the Formula V2 better than the F1 Esports steering wheel?
The Fanatec Formula V2 has much more functionality than the F1 Esports wheel rim. There are extra buttons, and dials which aren't on the F1 Esports wheel rim. This makes the Formula V2 a much better wheel rim.