Turtle Beach VelocityOne Race Review

A newcomer to the grid that's guilty of rookie mistakes.

For a genre of gaming that’s quickly going from strength to strength in both popularity and the number of titles available, sim racers have never been spoiled for choice when it comes to hardware, particularly those playing on consoles. If you’ve got the budget to spend you’ll find plenty of top end options, but newcomers or those looking for a more wallet friendly price to performance ratio have been left with just a couple of brands offering basic wheels and little more to choose from.

Turtle Beach is a familiar name in the gaming world but the VelocityOne Race lands as the iconic brand’s first entry into the sim racing space. This £629/$649 direct drive wheel joins the VelocityOne range of controllers that previously focused on flight sims and slots into a gap in the market. Splitting the low-end Logitech G923 and more expensive, advanced options like the MOZA R12 and Logitech G Pro; an all in one direct drive bundle at a mid-tier price could be just what gamers need.

simply put

The Turtle Beach VelocityOne Race has a lot of good ideas but sadly fails to execute on a lot of them. This is the basis for a strong racing wheel but right now it’ll struggle to score points.

the good bits

Punchy 7.2Nm direct drive motor
Comfortable leather wheel
Built-in display
Includes wheel, wheel base and pedals

the not so good bits

Force feedback is unreliable and lacking at times
Button box feels like a gimmick
Poor plug and play compatibility
RMD currently has limited uses

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Turtle Beach VelocityOne Race Racing Wheel and Pedals


It feels like brands only get to choose from one of two design options for direct drive wheelbases. They can make it a cube or they can stretch everything out into an oversized wedge. Like the Logitech G Pro, Turtle Beach has bolted down the wedge route and produced a wheelbase that is an almighty lump. The main construction is all plastic but feels high end with a solid build quality overall, there’s also a cute viewing window that’s gently backlit when turned on to let you peak in and see the K: Drive motor at work.

Experienced racers may look to bolt the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Race to a sim racing seat like the excellent Playseat Challenge X or Playseat Trophy and there’s all the usual pre-drilled holes to support this, but the VelocityOne Race is also hiding an inbuilt desk clamp for more DIY setups. Two flaps on either side of the wheelbase lift up to reveal a clever tool storage and hex bolts that lower gripping arms from the base of the unit. It’s a very neat, tidy solution that allows for secure mounting onto just about any surface. I clamped it to my SmartDesk Pro and despite rattling everything else on my desk, the VelocityOne Race itself stayed perfectly put and never needed tightening or adjusting.

Sitting proudly on top of the VelocityOne Race is the ‘Race Management Display’, a nicely sized coloured screen that plays a couple of roles both in the pits and on the track. The screen itself is sharp and bright enough for what it’s designed to do but I did see a number of display issues during testing. Large amounts of distortion and artefacts were present throughout and a recent firmware updated caused huge white blocks to dominate the screen across all menus. As these were dynamic from firmware updates I’ll assume they’re easily remedied and may even have been isolated to my unit, but it’s a concern to see issues like this pushed to public firmware.

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Turtle Beach has gone with a pretty standard 30cm diameter, D-shaped wheel on the VelocityOne Race that’s wrapped in hand stitched leather and topped off by striking yellow stitching. The upholstery feels great to hold and unlike the Logitech G Pro the internal stitching isn’t irritating and prickly. It’s also nicely moulded with grips that kept it comfortable across driving styles and games. It’s not perfect though as some inputs are questionable in both quality and placement. The six thumb buttons are clicky and responsive but too small and too close together to be reliably used mid-race. The four silver cogs feel noticeably lightweight and cheap with one permanently locked to solely interacting with the RMD which feels like a bit of a waste.

The back of the wheel features a quick release system that’s a little stiffer to use than others I’ve tried like the MOZA R12, but it hints at the start of a wider ecosystem which is a promising sign. That said, the Logitech G Pro also features the same and more than a year on we’re yet to see any kind of expansion there, so who knows. The two magnetic gear shifters are tactile but on my unit the left one could be pulled to what felt like full distance without actually triggering an input, again this could just be an oddity of my specific wheel but its another QA query.

The most eye-catching feature of the VelocityOne Race at first glance is the button box that hangs off the side. It’s a nice idea and very nice to see included at this price point but the execution is lacking and half-baked. Build quality here falls well short of the rest of the bundle with buttons that feel tacky and toy-like. The protected nuclear launch switch is cool and all but I’ve never felt the need to fire an intercontinental missile down the back straight at Silverstone so I’m curious to know what its doing on a racing wheel.

Heading to the floor, the VelocityOne Race pedals are another case of a real mix of good and bad that perhaps highlights Turtle Beach’s inexperience in this area. The large overall footprint mirrors the style of the Logitech G Pro in offering plenty of heel space and unlike the G Pro there’s no runoff behind the pedals and I found the VelocityOne Race’s entire tray was prone to lifting up at the front under braking when not secured to a racing seat. Turtle Beach does include pads to aid with grip for both hard and carpeted flooring though sadly I found these didn’t do a lot and couldn’t combat the lifting issue. This is only made worse by the frankly baffling decision to have the USB cable stick straight out of the back of the pedal box meaning you can’t butt the unit up against a wall for support.

It’s nice to see a three pedal set included at this price and there is a small amount of adjustment available however only the middle brake pedal can make any kind of meaningful side to side movement. You can fully flatten the clutch pedal to tuck it out of the way which is a neat solution but there’s no way to remove it entirely like on other units.


In theory Turtle Beach has joined the track in clear air with the VelocityOne Race, particularly for console racers. There aren’t many direct drive complete wheel and pedal combos in the market at this price point and even fewer for the Xbox so it’s nice to see a brand recognising not all racers have a dedicated gaming PC. That should make the VelocityOne Race an enticing option for racers looking to step up from or bypass a more basic gear-driven option like the Logitech G923 but in its current form Turtle Beach haven’t quite got things right.

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The difference between a belt or gear driven wheel and one that’s direct drive is stark but it also offers fewer places to hide. Direct drive wheels should offer more realistic sensations, stronger power and immediate, detailed force feedback and at times the VelocityOne Race did deliver this, the problem is all the times that it didn’t.

For most racers 7.2Nm of torque is going to be more than enough and there were occasions where the VelocityOne Race used this power to good effect. Through slow speed corners in particular the K: Drive motor packs a punch with impressive, detailed force feedback. At higher speeds or around sweeping corners in F1 23 however, the force feedback fades away. It’s in these situations a wheelbase can really shine too, offering a connection between what you can feel and what is going on in the car beneath you but the VelocityOne Race becomes twitchy, floaty and weak in high speed sections and offered no sense of the road or forces involved.

In games like EA WRC however the experience was much better. Not only is WRC one of a very small handful of games that arrives pre-configured and didn’t require fully mapping each input, it was also the game that best showed what the VelocityOne Race is capable of. Through these rough, winding courses the force feedback remained locked in, fighting me through each gravelly hairpin. It’s hopefully a sign of things to come as through a number of the firmware updates I received during testing the experience did always get a little better. The hardware is there, Turtle Beach just needs to dial in how to take advantage of it.

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The same is true of the button box which I ended up ignoring after a few initial minutes of monkey-like curiosity. Most of these inputs are mappable, however the two most prominent buttons are reserved for powering on and off the wheel and can’t be bound to anything else. It’s a strange choice given how easy accidentally fire off they are and made all the more peculiar when you discover a second set of power buttons tucked away on the side of the wheelbase itself. Some inputs defy their physical choice too, the four three-way toggle switches on the bottom row will only register an input when flicked to the up position, that’s it. Which begs the question, why are they three-position switches in the first place?

And again, the pedals follow a similar trend of having quirks that can only be explained as rookie errors or teething issues. There’s a strange lack of correlation between physical travel on the accelerator pedal and what is translated as full throttle. Both games and the RMD were showing maximum beans a cm or two before the pedal was hitting the stopper. It’s an inverted problem with the load cell brake pedal which offers a noticeably short travel distance and never quite felt right to use as a result. That 50kg load cell is also more than the all-plastic pedal tray frame is happy to deal with as there’s an alarming amount of flex in the frame itself under heavy braking. A metal bracing plate would have gone a long way here. Even when bolting the VelocityOne Race pedals to the Playseat Challenge X I had to quickly loosen the screws off as the bottom plastic panel was actually distorting and pulling the entire screw assembly down rather than locking off when things are tight and secure.

Every now and then a Formula 1 team brings an upgrade to a race weekend that turns heads, sometimes they work and sometimes like Lewis Hamilton’s brake magic in Baku; they don’t. Sadly the Race Management Display needs more time in the wind tunnel. This onboard screen should be Turtle Beach’s unique appeal, particularly for console racers, but right now it’s undercooked.

The screen does allow for onboard configuration of a handful of settings along with multiple profiles to dial in setups for different games and racing types but very few options seemed to have a meaningful impact on the actual feel of the wheel on track. The RMD should also act as a real time telemetry readout, something you’ll find as a premium paid extra on other wheels, offering information on revs, lap deltas and gears but at the time of writing no Xbox title officially supports telemetry and the limited number of PC games listed to support it didn’t work for me.

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