Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 Review: GTB Edition Racing Wheel

Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition Racing Wheel (PS4, PC) Works with PS5 Games

The steering wheel for PC and console Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB is neither more nor less than a variation, in the colors of the Italian brand, of the T80 model. In the world of steering wheels, competition is fierce and the price is often a guarantee of quality and above all of the sensations contributing to immersion.

Presentation and Design

Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition is a faithful reproduction of the said Ferrari’s steering wheel. Compared to the T80, no change has been made at the technological level, apart from the design of the brand with the prancing horse! So, despite its high-end appearance, make no mistake, we are of course still entry-level; so don’t expect to find brushless motors, a vibration system, or dynamic force feedback. Here the force feedback is done via a simple elastic belt! I will come back to this a little later.

We can not take away from him that, in terms of design, he looks good! In particular with the Ferrari logo on the hub or the pretty red button “Engin Start” as on the real one!

Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488

Image Source: amazon.com

If the wheel is all plastic, there is still a textured rubber-type coating that makes you think of leather, while strengthening the grip in these places. Likewise, the pallets are coated in silver paint to make them look like they are aluminum and not plastic. But the rendering is realistic and clearly deludes. We are on a Thrustmaster product so, despite everything, well designed and with impeccable finishes.

  • Compatibility: PC / PS4
  • Steering amplitude: 240 °
  • Number of pedals: 2
  • Number of buttons: 11 including official PS4 buttons
  • Force  feedback: yes
  • Gear  shifting: paddles
  • Steering wheel diameter: 28 cm
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Its wheel with a diameter of 28 cm will be large enough, even for the largest hands. The wheel on which we find all the buttons of the PS4 controller, with the Share, PS, and Option keys.

As always on entry-level steering wheels, the part that suffers the most from this low price positioning is the crankset. Indeed, if it is rather well finished and even offers an adjustable inclination, as it does not have any internal metal frame, it is very (too) light. Being the same model as on the T150, it, therefore, suffers from the same faults, namely a problem of tilting forward when you put the brakes on hard and a non-existent grip on the carpet for example, hence the importance of fixing it.

Moreover, Thrustmaster, being surely aware of this defect, has provided bases under the crankset to facilitate its fixation on support, failing to prick your grandmother’s collection of encyclopedias to wedge it!

Overall, the steering wheel benefits from good materials and good finishes which prevent it from having a toy side. The ergonomics are also at the rendezvous with very accessible buttons.

Fixing and Use

Thrustmaster has designed a fastening system that is among the best and above all the easiest to use. Even on glass, this system keeps its promises by keeping the steering wheel perfectly in place and even has the luxury of being discreet. If the Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 does not have any base to fix it on a playset, its system is so powerful that it will still be able to adapt very well to it.

Where the shoe pinches, it is rather a in use in real simulation games. First by its force feedback which is very primitive: a simple elastic belt! Basically, as soon as the flywheel is no longer in its basic position, the belt will oppose its tension force to return the flywheel to its original position. So don’t expect to feel the breaking point, in a turn for example. But if this system is primitive, Thrustmaster is among those who make the best use of this process.

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Indeed, the tension will be linear and smooth, giving the feeling of weight behind the wheel, which is clearly a plus for immersion. And above all, it allows it to be accessible to both adults and children, without fear that the too violent force feedback will break their wrists.

For the pallets, which are assigned to L1 and R1, Thrustmaster has been able to erase two problems: their positioning and their size. If, on the basic Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 model, they are too set back and a bit too small, here they have benefited from an increase in their size and, as a result, find a more accessible positioning.

So certainly, it will allow you to improve your performance compared to a simple controller, but it will not provide you with any feedback. By that I mean that being devoid of any vibration system, it will not be able to make you feel the type of surface on which you are riding, a collision with a competitor, or the slippage of the driving wheels for example. Suffice to say that this will considerably limit your feeling of immersion in simulation games. This steering wheel will be more suitable for arcade-type games like Dirt 2 to name but one.

Being under a PS4 license, of course, this wheel will be immediately recognized by the console but will also be compatible on PC with Windows 7/8/10. And despite its flaws, we must admit that it knows how to be efficient and precise and will undoubtedly allow you to do better times than with a simple controller.

Conclusion

With a price slightly above $100 at Amazon, this Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition is necessarily more expensive than its little brother the T80 and above all exceeds the $100 mark. But at this price, this flywheel does not suffer from any manufacturing or finishing defects and even its ergonomics are good (except for the rocking effect of the crankset). Admittedly, the lack of force feedback is really a big downside, but better a well-designed system like the Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 than a bad force feedback system.

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This steering wheel, given its price, can be seen as a first experience for those who hesitate to take the step from the joystick to the steering wheel and can provide some good sensations in-game, especially in arcade-type games. But for realistic simulation, make no mistake, the lack of feedback will really be a flaw for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the virtual world of motor racing.

Only its perfect PC / PS4 compatibility can make you buy this steering wheel, especially if you are a casual gamer and a fan of Ferrari!

And if this steering wheel does not meet your expectations, I invite you to consult our buying guides for steering wheels for PS4 and steering wheels for PC.

Summary

The Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition is the Ferrari version of the T80 but only for design. For the rest, we are still on an entry-level steering wheel without dynamic force feedback or feedback. Compatible with PS4 and PC, given its low price, it will do the trick for anyone who is a Ferrari fan and hesitates to switch from the controller to the wheel. But its good build quality and precision make it a decent steering wheel for arcade games but much less so for real simulation games.

Strong Points of Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488

  • Price / design ratio
  • Comfort and ergonomics
  • Simple and very well thought-out fixing system
  • Compatibility
  • Quality of manufacture and finish

Weak Points of Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488

  • No dynamic force feedback
  • Crankset which will need to be fixed
  • Rather limited sensations
  • No feedback

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