- Adjustable shift resistance strength
- Great build quality
- Two shift modes supported
- Designed to replicate a Porsche 911 shifter
- Very heavy
- Can’t mount directly to a table without an addon
- Weight can put strain on weaker sim rigs
The first thing you notice when you finally reveal the Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 from its box, is that this one hefty shifter unit.
It is probably the largest shifter on the market today, both in terms of size and weight. This is both a good and a bad thing. It’s great as it shows you just how well-built this shifter unit is. the quality of materials is outstanding.
Yet, it can cause a bit of a problem when mounting it to a cockpit. Mounting it via the pre-drilled holes on the bottom isn’t a problem. Yet it can put a lot of extra strain on your cockpit. The weight of this shifter can add a few creaks to your gameplay!
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The design of the Fanatec ClubSport Shifter
The Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 is a premium shifter add-on, and that is obvious by the price. But we are happy to report that for the fairly sizeable investment, you get a fantastically designed and well-put-together piece of hardware.
As mentioned above it is rather large, yet uses the most premium materials throughout. The whole unit is made from metal, inside and out, and oozes premium quality.
As this shifter comes with both sequential and H-pattern modes, it also comes with two shifter knobs, which is a great touch. This simply screws on and off, allowing you to change your shifting mode on the fly.
And also on the subject of switching shift modes, one of the great design features of this shifter is the ability to switch from sequential to H-pattern with just a flip of a switch. There is a button on the side of the base, which allows you to instantly switch between the two modes. It really is that easy.
Both H-pattern and sequential shifting are designed to feel realistic, yet both have a few minor shortcomings. The sequential action utilizes a rather long throw. A little too long for our preference.
And the H-pattern has slightly weak left-right motion. But we’ll look at this in our next section when we review the feeling of this shifter.
While we’re on the subject of the H-pattern. It is superbly designed with eight gears. You have seven forward gears and a push-down reverse gear. This is great to see, especially the push-down select-able reverse gear.
A lot of modern-day cars are running seven gears, meaning they are playable with this H-pattern shifter. The locked reverse gear means that you won’t accidentally select reverse while shifting through your gears.
This will feel familiar if you are driving a Porsche, as this shifter is modelled after modern-day Porsche 911s. A nice touch that adds to the realism and immersion.
How good does this shifter feel?
The mechanical nature of the shifter throw is outstanding. This is one very well-designed shifting mechanism. Whether you are using this shifter in a sequential or H-pattern mode, all of your shifts feel great.
If you still fancy a little extra clunk and weight to your shifting, Fanatec has you covered. This shifter is supplied with an Allen key, which allows you to tighten or loosen the shifting.
Simply put the Allen key in a hole on the base. You can turn it left to loosen the shifting resistance, or right to tighten it. This is fantastic to see in a product that costs as much as this.
For the investment that you will be making to add this shifter to your sim rig, you want as much flexibility as possible. And that is exactly how it has been designed. It should, in theory, be able to cater to every sim racer’s desired shifting feeling.
One slightly negative note regarding the shifting which is prevalent with only the H-pattern shifting mode. The resistance when shifting side to side, so second to third for example, isn’t overly strong. And this isn’t adjustable via the Allen key.
This can lead to a couple of missed shifts, where you accidentally shift across, rather than into the gear you intended. This isn’t a big issue, and as you learn the behaviour of this shifter, you can adapt, and concentrate a little more so you don’t do this regularly. But it would have been nicer to be able to adjust the left, and right resistance, as well as forward and backward.
As with most Fanatec peripherals, they are compatible with all of the Fanatec wheel base range. And they work with all consoles, as long as you have a console-supported wheel.
However, if you don’t currently have a Fanatec wheel, you will need an adapter to allow it to work as a stand-alone, plug directly into the PC shifter.
When you connect it to a compatible wheel base, it is automatically recognized and should work out of the box. Some games will require you to calibrate it, but set up across the board is very easy.
Should I buy the Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5?
This Fanatec shifter is a pricy unit, but is it worth it?
Well, we would recommend it to anyone who is looking to expand their Fanatec sim rig. It is extremely well-built and offers versatility across a range of driving styles. The adjustments that you can make to the resistance strength are great.
A word of warning, if you currently mount your racing wheel to a table, you won’t simply be able to attach this. The unit is large so bolting onto the top of your table would be impractical. You’d be constantly reaching up to shift and simply wouldn’t work.
Fanatec do offer a table clamp which allows the shifter to sit lower in a more natural position. However, that comes at an extra cost of around $40.
If you already have a sim cockpit setup, and don’t own a Thrustmaster TH8A, then this shifter will mount straight onto your base, as long as you have the relevant place to mount it. And it makes a fantastic addition to any sim rig.
The immersion that it brings, along with the adaptability and build quality, make this a must-have addition to any sim rig.