An ode to a cheap wheel - Review Thrustmaster 458 Spider

I’ve been playing Forza since FM2 and always had used the MS Wheel. Got an XBox one for Christmas w/FM6 and decided I really needed to learn to drive with the controller. I do play plenty of other games with the controller and do ok. I knew it would be a learning curve and I needed to take my time. I practiced at least 30-40 hours over a period of two weeks, tried every combination of cars, classes, and assists, and still just could not control my car at anything approaching a competitive speed in multiplayer. I use an Elite controller too, so lots of stick and trigger options.
Was looking to buy a wheel like a G920 / Thrustmaster TX but was hesitant to spend that much. Read very mixed reviews about the $90 Thrustmaster 458 Spider, but decided it might be better than a controller for ME.
Retrofit it to my old Wheelstand Pro and sat down to give it a whirl. First let’s get this out of the way, from a materials standpoint, it’s a toy, about on par with standard xbox controller, not a high qualtiy piece of hardware, like an elite controller or like the $350 wheels mentioned above. That said, its not horrible, feels fairly sturdy, and the paddle shifters are aluminum and have a nice click when shifting.
Installing was so easy, its hard to say I installed anything, plug it in, go. There are 4 sensitivity levels 1-4 in decreasing level of sensitivity (1 highest, 4 minimal), and you have to reset your preferred level every time you power up ( but really easy to do at any time). The instructions recommend setting it at 3 or 4. Tried that, but it does some wonky non-linear progressive input that I found frustrating. I settled on setting 2, and while very sensitive with only 240 degrees of rotation possible, it was pretty linear and I adjusted my inputs to the twitchy tendencies. There is no FFB, just bungie cords for resistance and centering. Also, I left steering on “normal”. Pedals are decent and both offer a fair amount of resistance ( way better than old 360 wheel, that I added the sponge mod to).
Sat down for my first drive, chose Road Atlanta and my best (using a controller) car. I like Road Atlanta as there is a lot of space between curves so you can set up and make each approach carefully. Immediately I felt way, way, way more in control. With no FFB, your ears/tire noise becomes your feedback and the resistance provided by the bungie system really allowed my to hold a steady line in the sweepers. My braking improved dramatically and I was able to remove ABS immediately. Ran a few laps and felt sure I was doing better so I went into rivals C class attack to set a time on Road Atlanta. On my second lap I SHAVED 4+ SECONDS OFF MY BEST CONTROLLER TIME! Joined an online lobby, and where I had been often DNF’ing, I finished 3rd in one race.
I fully admit this probably speaks more to how bad I was with a controller, but I wanted to share this with others, especially the old folks, who may be like me and just can’t do a driving game with a controller. Everything just feels right and natural about pushing pedals, and steering a wheel. I know this isn’t anything near a sim setup with the nice wheels, but it is kind of a middle ground; controller level inputs with with familiar wheel and pedal controls.


I am interested in this wheel and was wondering if you ever tried it with Forza horizon 2? Thanks.

Hi, I was just wondering if you had the problem of it not working at all. When plugged in the led light is on, but nothing on the wheel works. I have hard reset, unplugged everything, also disconnected my Kinect. But nothing, it seems to work only when it wants to work. This all seemed like it happened after last Friday, 4//22/16.

make sure theres not a controller switched on when you load up forza i found this solved this problem for me

I agree with what you say about the sensitivity settings. I bought the wheel last weekend and started out with 3 then 4. On these settings steering input seemed pretty linear for the first 30 degrees or so of wheel turn, but then seemed accelerated. So I checked the telemetry and sure enough that’s exactly what was happening. I switched to 1 and the steering ratio was linear but driving this way seemed twitchy, as you mentioned. So I switched to 2. It’s close to linear according to telemetry but not as twitchy. Small movements at high speed are amplified, but this is how an actual car would react. So I found my sweet spot: setting 2.

I also flipped the pedals over and mounted the pedal base at a slight angle. BIG improvement in pedal feel. I’m still playing with the dead zones but I’m getting there. I took Senna’s MP 4/4 for several laps around Spa to get used to setting 2. At first I was all over the place but soon got very comfortable with the steering inputs, especially at speed. I easily beat my previous best laps, although I’m still about 2 full days slower than Senna was :-). Overall I’m quite happy with my $90CDN wheel. That’s about $20US for my American friends. :wink: Sure, I’d like to have FF and more rotation, but for the price I’m a happy racer.


After having the TX pack up after a week.
I was looking at these and wondering if it is worth spending £65. just for a temp. wheel but it sounds like it could last a bit longer after reading this thread

Well I wen’t down this road and am impressed with it.
As stated no FFB but I can live with that at the moment.
Generally a worth while investment.