- Solid force feedback performance
- Great build quality
- Unique wheel base design
- Easy to mount and setup
- Out-of-the-box Xbox compatibility
- Includes a table clamp
- Steering wheel a touch small
- Some buttons feel a little vague
- The pedals really need the upgrade kit
Ever since MOZA released their first direct drive wheel base a few years ago. It seems we’ve all been waiting for a console-specific racing wheel.
And MOZA Racing has finally delivered exactly that with this Xbox-compatible R3 racing wheel bundle. In this review, I’m going to look at exactly what you get in this R3 bundle. How well each product in the bundle is designed, how easy it is to use with your Xbox, and just how well it performs.
Now, I am lucky enough to have been sent this unit by MOZA to review. But I do want to say that this won’t affect my thoughts and final feedback in this review.
Check out our MOZA R3 video review
Below is our full video review. If you’d rather read our review continue scrolling past the video.
What is the MOZA Racing R3?
So, let’s jump into what this R3 racing wheel bundle is all about and what you get. The MOZA R3 is an Xbox-compatible direct drive racing wheel and pedal bundle that is compatible right out of the box.
That means all you need to do is hook the pedals to the wheel base, mount the steering wheel, connect the power and then connect the wheel base to your Xbox via the USB cable.
Once that is done, you can turn everything on and it should just work. Oh and don’t forget you do have to mount this racing wheel to a sturdy platform. It is a direct drive racing wheel so bolting it down should be a priority. And it’s pretty easy to do thanks to the included table clamp. But more on that later.
The wheel base produces a peak torque figure of 3.9Nm meaning it is slightly detuned from the R5 wheel base that MOZA produce. This is the smallest torque figure that we’ve seen from MOZA, but it still beats out many console racing wheels in a similar price range.
What’s included in the MOZA R3 bundle?
Inside the box, you get MOZA’s ES steering wheel. This is MOZA’s entry-level steering wheel that retails for around $129 if purchased individually. The wheel in this bundle is almost identical to the version found in the R5 bundle, other than a tweaked hand grip material and the Xbox-branded buttons.
You also get the R3 wheel base itself, which is even smaller than the already small R5 wheel base. And this time around MOZA has gone with a pretty out-there design.
Then there are the pedals. Again, these are the same pedals that are found in the R5 bundle, and they can’t actually be purchased individually.
This is a 2-pedal set, although there is an optional third pedal which you can add to complete the set. You can also buy a small brake kit which improves the feel of the brake pedal which I’d highly recommend you do. Again, I’ll touch on that a bit more later.
Finally, you get all the bits needed to go racing. A power supply, cables, bolts and the table or desk clamp.
Overall, this is a pretty baller kit that you get here. Especially considering the price. This whole bundle costs £399 for me in the UK, $399 for those in the States and €439 for mainland Europe.
Now, considering we’re getting a completely Xbox-compatible direct drive racing wheel, that is pretty good value. The PC-only R5 bundle which is very similar to this retails for $/€100 more.
To give a little perspective on how that price stacks up against the competition. Here are a few other Xbox-compatible racing wheels within the same price range.
|Racing wheel||FFB Technology||FFB Strength||Price|
|Thrustmaster T248||Belt & gears||3.5Nm||£299.99 / $399.99|
|MOZA R3||Direct drive||3.9Nm||£399 / $399|
|Fanatec CSL DD Bundle||Direct drive||5Nm||€/$399.85|
The MOZA Racing R3 wheel base
So let’s jump into each part of this bundle, break down its design, build quality and performance. And I’m going to obviously start with the most important part, the wheel base.
Looking at the MOZA R3 wheel base, you’ll notice right away that it strays away from MOZA’s normal design trend quite considerably.
The design is a huge throwback to the original design of the Xbox. I’m not sure if that was a coincidence or a planned move, but I kinda like it. The small fins on each side also replicate the Xbox’s design pretty closely, making me think this was an intentional choice. Nice work MOZA.
It’s great that MOZA are open to different designs. What is really impressive is the size of this wheel base. It is tiny. I thought the small R5 wheel base was already small. But this R3 wheel base is considerably smaller than that.
Here is the R3 along side the R5 to show you the size comparison. You’ll see this is the smallest wheel base and the design does fit in well with the traditional MOZA styling and brand identity dispite being pretty different.
It reduces its size in every area, width, height and depth. Getting a direct drive motor and all components inside this chassis must have been a challenge.
The body itself is constructed from aluminium which is a nice touch. Many lower-cost racing wheels heavily utilise plastic. So I’m glad to see that MOZA has steered clear of this and are keeping the build quality high.
Although, the metal parts of the R3 wheel do have a slightly grey hue to them. This stands out alongside the black plastic on the rear of the wheel base and the jet black quick release.
On the back of the wheel base you have a range of ports. When you’re using this racing wheel with and Xbox console, you’ll need to connect all peripherals to the wheel base for them to work.
That is fine though as you’ll find plenty of ports. You have the power input and the USB out port, plus the power button. Under these, you’ll see individual ports for various peripherals. For now, we’ll just be using the pedal port.
The quick release
On the front of the wheel base you’ll find the quick release. And this R3 wheel uses the same quick release concept that MOZA has been using from day 1.
This NRG-style quick release uses ball bearings to lock the steering wheel in place. This makes it very sturdy. And removing or attaching a steering wheel is incredibly quick and simple.
If racing on PC, you can use any of the V2 steering wheels that MOZA sell with this base. However, if you’re racing on Xbox, only the ES wheel that comes with the wheel base will work for now. I imagine MOZA will start to release more Xbox-compatible wheel rims over time.
Mounting the R3 wheel base
Flipping the wheel base upside down, you’ll find the pre-drilled mounting holes. Much like the R5 these are very close together. So if you’re planning on mounting to a cockpit or sim rig, you may need to drill additional holes in your mounting plate to accommodate such a close mounting pattern.
On the other hand, you could use the table clamp that is included. This lines up perfectly with the wheel base and mounts it at a slight upwards angle. You can then very quickly attach the wheel to your desk or a table.
The table clamp is very stable as it is also constructed from metal. So it can easily withstand the strength of the direct drive motor. As long as you tighten it enough, you shouldn’t have any issues with wobbling or flex at all.
My biggest issue with the table clamp is the metal screws that attach to the underside of your table. They are constructed from metal and have no padding.
This can leave marks on your desk or table if tightened too much. This issue is the same as on the R5 table clamp. All that is needed is a little piece of foam on both metal clamps.
ES steering wheel
Moving on to the steering wheel, this wheel is the ES steering wheel which is what you get with the R5 bundle. It features a metal faceplate on the front with a plastic body at the rear.
The overall build quality is pretty high thanks to the metal construction. The push buttons on the front of the wheel feel pretty good to use with a short throw and a nice click.
Although the two larger buttons towards the bottom feel a little more squishy. There is a bit of play in these buttons. Combine this with the short throw, and sometimes it can be hard to know if you definitely pressed the button or not, especially in the heat of a race.
Across the top of the steering wheel is a customisable LED rev bar. This worked flawlessly on PC and can be customised via MOZA’s Pit House software. However, I couldn’t get it to function correctly on Xbox.
Flipping the wheel over, on the rear you’ll find two shifter paddles. These are constructed from metal and use a spring mechanism. The resistance is relatively good considering they aren’t magnetic shifters. And they produce a nice satisfying click, albeit a little on the loud side.
If you race with the TV volume turned up loud, the clicking won’t be an issue. Although if you race with headphones on, your partner in the next room might get a little sick of the constant clicking noise.
The hand grips feature a nice moulded shape and use PU leather. This feels pretty nice and comfortable in your hands. It is worth noting that this material is different from the leather material found on the ES steering wheel in the R5 bundle.
The hand grip materials in this Xbox R3 bundle feel a bit cheaper and more rubbery which is a little shame.
There is also now some perforation on the hand grips, but this isn’t real perforation like you get on the Logitech G923. Instead, the hand grips feature small indents to give the impression of perforation.
For a budget steering wheel, this ES wheel does stack up relatively well to wheels from other brands. Although my biggest issue with the wheel is the smaller diameter. The wheel comes in at 280mm across which is too small for a circular steering wheel in my opinion.
This size is common for entry-level wheels, so it isn’t a huge negative when compared to its competitors. There is also a formula-style wheel rim upgrade that you can attach to this steering wheel if you race F1 23 or other open-wheeled games.
SR-P Lite pedals
To complete this bundle you get the SR-P Lite pedals. This is a 2-pedal set with a brake and a throttle pedal. And I’m going to start by saying these are about as basic as you can get with a sim racing pedal set.
They’re fine to use, but really nothing special. Both the throttle and brake are pretty easy to push with very little resistance, with the brake being a little stiffer than the throttle. And this is where the problem lies in particular with the brake pedal.
To be consistent under braking, you’ll want to learn the correct muscle memory while braking. How hard you brake and how you release the brake pressure as your car slows are vital to maximising your braking performance and not locking a wheel.
And I really struggle to do that with such a light brake pedal. Now, you can buy an upgrade kit for about £/$15 which does include a much heavier spring. This is a must buy to improve this pedal set. And at such a low cost, I’d recommend anyone buying the R3 bundle to opt for the brake accessory kit.
You can also buy a third pedal for around £/$40 which turns this into a full 3-pedal set. The optional third pedal is a clutch pedal which features the same resistance as the original brake and throttle.
There is no load cell option for this pedal set which is a bit of a shame. But at this price range, the quality is pretty good even without the more professional feature set.
The entire pedal set is constructed from metal which is an improvement over most budget sim racing pedals. And there is adjustability in where you mount each pedal.
If you’re using these pedals on the floor unmounted, there are some rubber grips although I found they would occasionally slide about. I would recommend either mounting them or punishing them up against a wall to stop them from moving.
Moza R3 Performance
Now I want to move on to how this whole bundle performs, as really that is about as important as any other part of this review.
Being a direct drive racing wheel, the internal motor is directly mounted to the steering shaft which is a good thing. This allows for the highest level of force feedback detail to be sent to the steering wheel. There are no belts or gears for force feedback to get lost in.
And you can really feel the detail in this wheel. The force feedback is incredibly crisp and quite easily outperforms the competitors from Logitech and Thrustmaster.
You can really feel the change in track surface, and thanks to the light steering wheel. The wheel can really dance around in your hands thanks to the fast response times.
At 3.9Nm of peak torque, the maximum performance available is lower than other MOZA wheel bases. The R5 creates up to 5Nm of torque, while the pick of the bunch, the R12 produces up to, you guessed it, 12Nm of torque.
In comparison, this makes the R3 look on paper quite underpowered. However, it feels far from it. The force feedback feels strong with enough weight for you to be able to feel the car’s weight balance shifting around from corner to corner.
You can certainly tell that you’re using a lower powered wheel when coming from MOZA’s other wheels. The R5, R9 and R12 are all improvements over this R3. But this wheel base does its best to try and keep up with those bigger, stronger wheels.
The R3 does beat both the Logitech G923 and Thrustmaster T248 in the power department though. Being direct drive is always an advantage, but the MOZA R3 puts the technology to good use to feel really solid.
Internally, there are no fans making this wheel very quiet during use. Instead, the outer casing is designed to be a heat sink. This draws heat from the internals and out via the case.
The case itself does get warm during use, but never to a point where it feels too hot. The heat sink works well allowing for long races. I spent around 7 hours racing with this wheel base almost consecutively one evening, and the performance was flawless throughout.
Should you buy the Moza R3 Xbox racing wheel?
That brings us nicely to whether this is a racing wheel bundle that you should consider buying. And simply put, if you’re an Xbox sim racer who fancies an upgrade over a tiring Logitech or Thrustmaster wheel, then this R3 bundle is a solid choice.
The performance is much better than other gear or belt-driven wheels on the market. And that instantly puts it up there as one of the best budget racing wheels on Xbox.
The fact that all inputs on the steering wheel and the rev bar function correctly when racing on a console is nice. It’s so often the case that Xbox racing wheels lose functionality compared to when connected to a PC. But that isn’t the case here thankfully.
The negatives of this bundle mainly lie with the pedals. But they can be somewhat fixed by the addition of the relatively cheap accessory kit.
However, if you’re a PC sim racer, I wouldn’t be as quick to recommend the R3. MOZA already sell the R5 bundle, which is an improvement over this R3 right away. So I’d be more inclined to recommend that. Or stretch to an R9 or R12 if possible.
Overall, seeing Xbox compatibility on a MOZA product is exciting right away. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what products MOZA produce to work alongside this new part of their impressive portfolio.