Thrustmaster TH8S shifter review - a fun addition to your racing wheel setup

1 week ago 29

The Thrustmaster TH8S cogwheel shifter add-on is simply a amusive mode to adhd an other furniture of realism to your racing instrumentality setup. It’s champion utilized connected PC, wherever it enjoys compatibility with each racing wheels connected the market. It’s besides usable connected PS5 and Xbox Series X|S with a scope of Thrustmaster wheels.


  • +

    Excellent look and feel

  • +

    Very casual to acceptable up

  • +

    Compatible with PC and consoles


  • -

    Shifting tin consciousness dense and awkward

  • -

    Quite noisy

  • -

    Not suitable for F1 games

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If you bask utilizing manual transmission and the benefits it brings to your favourite racers, past the Thrustmaster TH8S is worthy considering for your racing instrumentality setup. Its sturdy physique prime and easiness of setup are 2 notable highlights, and if you’re connected a reasonably strict budget, you’ll beryllium gladsome to cognize that it won’t outgo the earth, either.

The Thrustmaster TH8S’s 7 guardant gears - and 1 for reverse - marque it a versatile shifter, and it’s besides compatible with galore of the best racing games retired there. If you’re into PC sims similar Assetto Corsa Competizione or iRacing, the tactility offered by the TH8S goes a agelong mode to immerse you successful the simulation facet adjacent more. Sim-lite titles similar Gran Turismo 7 and Forza Horizon 5 are besides supported connected console, though you whitethorn find it isn’t champion suited to F1 23, as the shifter is simply a cogwheel abbreviated of the open-wheelers’ eight.

While wide a precise amusive add-on to use, we can’t rather urge the shifter for beginners conscionable starting retired with the best racing wheels. Shifting tin consciousness a small cumbersome arsenic the instrumentality is reasonably weighty and without a dedicated basal to equine it on, it tin origin your setup and monitors to shingle if you’re connected PC. Overall, though, racing instrumentality aficionados volition get overmuch retired of the other immersion it provides.

Price and availability

The Thrustmaster TH8S shifter add-on tin beryllium bought close present for $69.99 / £59.99. You tin bargain it from Thrustmaster’s authoritative store page, oregon astatine notable big-box retailers similar Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and Argos.

Comparatively, the TH8S is somewhat pricier than the Logitech G Driving Force shifter ($59.99 / £49.99). However, the trade-off present is that the TH8S features 7 guardant gears arsenic opposed to Logitech’s six, making Thrustmaster’s shifter a spot much versatile.

Design and features

Thrustmaster TH8S

(Image credit: Future)

The Thrustmaster TH8S’s chassis is mostly built from sturdy plastic. And portion it does deficiency a premium feel, it surely isn’t poorly built. There’s a bully magnitude of value that helps fastener the shifter firmly successful spot erstwhile clamped to your table oregon setup, too. The shifting instrumentality itself features a metallic shaft, which is perfect for resisting deterioration and teardrop that’ll travel from shifting it betwixt gears repeatedly. With precocious durability, then, the TH8S is cleanable for semipermanent use.

The shifting instrumentality defaults to neutral position, conscionable to the near of center. It tin past beryllium moved upwards done 7 guardant gears (one done seven), and there’s a dedicated reverse gear, utile for games that necessitate careful, calculated driving similar Euro Truck Simulator 2 and MudRunner.

One of the champion aspects of the Thrustmaster TH8S is its wide easiness of setup and use. The clamp tin scope arsenic acold arsenic 1.6 inches (4cm) and is easy secured into spot by rotating clockwise. No request for other tools similar a screwdriver to get the occupation done. For connectivity, the TH8S tin beryllium plugged into your PC oregon console of prime via USB-C oregon DIN, and cables are included for some options.


Thrustmaster TH8S

(Image credit: Future)

The Thrustmaster TH8S works perfectly arsenic intended, with a precocious grade of responsiveness meaning in-game cogwheel shifts are registered instantaneously. However, determination are a fewer things to support successful caput present that whitethorn hinder the wide acquisition for you.

For one, the enactment of shifting with the TH8S takes a batch of getting utilized to. As you are physically shunting the instrumentality betwixt cogwheel changes frequently, keeping a intelligence representation of wherever each cogwheel is located is vital. During testing, it was each excessively casual to displacement into a suboptimal gear, particularly erstwhile needing to dilatory down to instrumentality connected peculiarly choky corners. There whitethorn beryllium a learning curve progressive for you, particularly if you’re presently utilized to swapping gears via paddles connected a racing wheel.

Another facet that took immoderate getting utilized to was conscionable however weighty the shifter feels. And this is simply a spot of a double-edged sword. On 1 hand, the information that instrumentality shifts necessitate a spot of heft lends a precise satisfying feeling to changing gears. On the different it often felt similar a conflict to execute what is different a reasonably elemental task connected controllers and racing wheels. It surely meant that I, personally, couldn’t usage the shifter for much than a fewer races without feeling somewhat worn out.

Additionally, the instrumentality generates a just grade of sound erstwhile shifting, which isn’t a woody breaker successful and of itself. But it whitethorn beryllium thing you privation to instrumentality into information if you person roommates oregon peculiarly skittish pets.

The wide sim driving acquisition is enhanced with a TH8S added to your setup, though I recovered it to beryllium astir businesslike with slower-paced titles similar Euro Truck Simulator 2. That’s due to the fact that the comparatively little apical speeds made cogwheel absorption overmuch easier, and helped with the wide enjoyment factor, arsenic good arsenic being capable to instrumentality corners much accurately. In comparison, I fared little good successful titles similar Dirt Rally 2.0; its changeless changes to terrain, grip and speeds made managing gears a high-octane effort that rapidly wore maine down. Still highly fun, mind, conscionable a bully woody much taxing. 

Should I bargain the Thrustmaster TH8S shifter?

Buy it if...

You privation immersive manual transmission
If gearing up and down with paddles connected a racing instrumentality doesn’t rather bash it for you, past the TH8S provides a much tactile and realistic feel.

You play a scope of racing and driving simulators
The TH8S is perfect for racers similar Assetto Corsa and Automobilista 2, but besides slower-paced games similar Euro Truck Simulator 2, BeamNG Drive, and MudRunner. 

Don't bargain it if...

You chiefly play F1
The TH8S is an awkward acceptable for F1 23, given the crippled emulates its cars’ 8 guardant gears. The TH8S lone has seven, positive 1 reverse cogwheel truthful falls abbreviated of replicating the acquisition of an F1 car 

How we reviewed the Thrustmaster TH8S

I tested the Thrustmaster TH8S connected PC successful a setup that besides made usage of the Thrustmaster T128 racing instrumentality and pedals. A wide scope of games were tried retired utilizing manual transmission, including Dirt Rally 2.0, Euro Truck Simulator 2, MudRunner, and Assetto Corsa Competizione, to guarantee the shifter was tested crossed titles of varying paces.

Prefer to contention connected console? Be definite to person a look astatine our usher to the best PS5 racing wheels for apical setups tailor-made for Sony’s current-gen system. 

Rhys Wood

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been portion of the TechRadar squad for much than 2 years. Particularly passionate astir high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, arsenic good arsenic the latest and top successful combat sticks and VR, Rhys strives to supply easy-to-read, informative sum connected gaming hardware of each kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is particularly keen connected warring and racing games, arsenic good arsenic soulslikes and RPGs.

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