Fanatec Universal Hub for the Xbox one (review)

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by HoiHman, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    [​IMG]

    The new Universal Wheel Hub works with Fanatec’s CSW & CSW V2 wheel bases and the company’s choice of wheel rims, including:

    • GT for supercars and road racing
    • Oval for NASCAR and similar series
    • Drift for rally, off-road and drift simulations
    • Classic for vintage race cars
    • Round1 for vintage open wheelers
    • Flat1 for modern open wheelers, F1, LMP1 or DTM series
    Furthermore, users can of course mount any third-party steering wheel thanks to the wheel hub’s modular design.

    Also compatible to the PC, Playstation 3 & 4, the new Xbox One Universal Wheel Hub guarantees complete cross compatibility across all of today’s relevant platforms.

    Features

    • A connected wheel base will become Xbox One compatible
    • Fully assembled and pre-configured to mount the GT rim (or similar). Just attach a wheel rim with 6 screws.
    • Detachable button caps with Xbox One symbols
    • 16 integrated buttons on top of the hub
    • 4 button boxes with 3 buttons each
    • FunkySwitch(tm) with 4-way direction pad, 2-way turning function and push button. Comes with a metal knob
    • Small or big shifter paddles for different rim diameters.
    • The big shifter paddles are fully adjustable in distance, width and angle
    • Shifter paddle units can be taken off to save weight.
    • LED display for Tuning or telemetry functions. It can be installed in two positions: Standing or flat
    • USB port to charge a smartphone. No data
    • An additional 5th button box unit can be attached (not included)
    • Data port for future feature upgrades


    Here's my review of the Universal Hub for the Xbox1 with the CSWv2 wheelbase

    As a former ower of a Porsche 911 Turbo S wheel, a CSR wheel and a CSR Elite i was very much looking forward finally having XB1 support for my CSWv2.

    As soon as heard that Fanatec was developing a solution for the XB1, i rushed to the store and bought a XB1 with Forza Horizon 2 and Forza Motorsport 5. While waiting for the Hub actually being anounced i already played some FH2. Never really got used to driving with the controler and was thinking about those happy racing days in Forza Horizon 1 on the Xbox360. When i got to the first finale, i stopped playing the game and promised myself the first big finale (15 minute race through the map) would be with a good wheel.

    Offcourse i was disappointed by the delay when i heard that the hub was shipping a couple of days later. I just recieved new direct drive wheel (the AF), so it didn't bother me that much.

    Last friday the UVHXB was delivered. I already had a rim ready and anticipated at least to spend an hour of installing the button boxes and fiddling with all those tiny cables. When i opened the box, i saw to my supprise that all the boxes where already installend and i only had to mount the rim.

    [​IMG]

    So 5 minutes later i was ready to go. So i thought :)

    I first read the entire manual, how to connect the CSWv2 to the Xbox One. I even used CTRL+F with the word "connect", but couldn't find anything. I pushed the connect button on the XB1 and tried all the buttons in different configurations. I finally gave up and picked up the phone and called Fanatec support. I spoke with Johannes, who was very kind, but didn't know the answer either

    He promised to ask a collegue and mailed me back within in the hour.

    Turns out you have to connect the CSWv2 with the XB1 through USB.


    After having 3 Fanatec wheels that connect wireless, i assumed this would be the case with the XB1 wheel too. Johannes promised me that they would update the manual, because the USB connection wasn't mentioned in it.

    I bought the Hub for the Forza Horizon and Forza series. I will not cover any other racing sims, like Pcars because i have them on the PC.

    When you turn the CSWv2 on with the XB1 hub connected the wheel automatically goes into Xbox mode and the lights around the start button light up green

    [​IMG]


    When the CSWv2 is connected with the XB1 a white light turns up on the top of the hub. Here you can also see the green quick release. Although i understand the why they picked this colour, it looks ridiculus on my wheel base.

    [​IMG]

    So i turned on the Xbox and the CSWv2 and fired up Forza Horizon 2. First impression: disappointment :(

    I immediated checked the settings on the wheel and turned it off and on again. Things got even worse.
    Now the arms and steeringwheel weren't moving, but i could still steer. Thirth time of shutting the wheel down and restarting it and now my pedals weren't working any more.

    So i closed the game and turned of the XB1. I turned of the CSWv2 and decided to give it another try.

    When you press the start button on the wheel, the XB1 automatically start up too: Great stuff :tup:

    Fired up Forza Horizon 2 and the FFB was much better, but still too weak for my liking. At first i thought it was because i have driven the AccuForce for over a week, but i knew what the CSWv2 was capable of and this wasn't it. After searching in the controler menu again, i noticed that if you hit the X button in the controler settings you get the advanced settings. Here you can adjust the FFB strength and the vibration strength. The FFB was set a default on 50%. I turned up to 100% and got back into the game.

    Much much better :tup::bowdown:

    [​IMG]


    The available FFB in FH2 was now more than enough and i jumped in the first finale. The experience of playing the finale with the Lamborhini LP700-4 and have real car controle with a wheel and the CSPv2 is awesome. The CSWv2 does a great job and it makes racing on the XB1 so much more fun. The vibrations when going off track were so strong that i had to turn them down to 50%.

    Forza Horizon 2 force feedback is a bit strong around the center, which causes some oscillation on the straight. My idea was going into the tuning menu of the wheel and add a little bit of damper. In the tuning menu i noticed that the damper, spring and force settings are not available when the wheel is in Xbox mode. Besides the small amount of oscillation, the wheel is great in Forza Horizon 2. I prefer this above the FFB in Forza Horizon 5. In FH5 the FFB is great too, but in my opinion the wheel is too light around the center.

    Edit:
    After driving multiple cars in Forza Horizon i found that the osillation doesn't occur with all cars. I also noticed that, with simulation steering on, you can clearly feel the difference between the various cars. The FFB from different surfaces is real good and nothing beat going through traffic over 300kph and having complete contole over the car.


    Over the experience was great, but i did find a couple of bugs:
    - If you turn the wheel off/on while ingame things tend to go wrong and some functions can stop working
    - If use the sequential shifter and the paddles on the wheel together you can run into some troubles.
    The shifters remember their last shifted gear, so if you shifted down to second gear sequential and then continue using the paddles. You will in trouble when you are in fifth gear and now start to the shift down with the sequential again because next you shift back with the CSS it goes back to first gear.
    -
    I couldn't get the Club Sport Handbrake to work in Forza Horizon 2 and in Forza Horizon 5
    - After a couple of hours driving i started to hear a strange noise. After investigation i found out the 5 hex bolts in the quick release were loose (AGAIN FANATEC :confused::censored:) Tighting them solved it, but this shouldn't happen.




    Pros and cons

    Pros

    - Great quality hub with adjustable shifters and the ability to create your own wheel for the consoles
    - The best FFB for console now available in combination with the CSWv2
    - The ability to use all your Fanatec gear on the consoles
    - Compatible with : PC / XBOX one / PS4 (selected games)
    - Navigating in the menu's works great
    - Turning the XB1 on with your wheel

    Cons
    - Expensive
    - You still have to buy a rim
    - FFB will be less fantastic on the CSWv1
    - Couldn't get the Handbrake to work on 2 games


    Conclusion

    The Universal Hub for the Xbox One has brought me great pleasure. A week ago i got one of the best wheels available for the PC (the accuforce), but i haven't touched for 2 days now. I'm having too much fun in Forza Horizon 2.:lol:

    When i got my new wheel, i could have easily sold my CSWv2. But i decided to keep it just for playing on the Xbox One. After using the XB1 hub for a couple of days, i can say i'm very happy with it. Yes it's expensive, but (sim)racing is an expensive hobby :D

    With the CSWv2 you have the best force feedback available on the console and the ability to choose your own high quality wheel. You can use all your Fanatec gear to have the most realistic console racing experience possible. With the Forza series, Pcars and even Assetto Corsa now comming to the consoles it's a great investment. Yes it's expensive. Is it worth it?

    That's up to you :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  2. 12thgear

    12thgear Premium

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    Thanks for the review! You get extra credit for this. I hope we see more Xbox One impressions from others soon. It wouldn't surprise me if we discover more options to improve FFB in the Forza games. Perhaps even firmware updates from Fanatec.

    A couple of quick questions. How are the button caps? Are they easy to remove and rearrange? I'd love to see Fanatec offer a button cap accessory pack with numbers, letters, PS icons, common racing functions, and maybe even clear ones so you can create your own labels. Second, did you have to update the firmware on the wheel for Xbox One support? I saw a new driver just came out and presumably it may include a firmware update.
     
  3. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    Thx

    -The button caps are not easy to remove or rearrange as far as i could see.
    -I updated my CSWv2 to the latest firmware / driver before i even received the hub. But taking in account that the release of the driver/firmware is one day before shipping the new UVHXB1 i think it's mandatory.
     
  4. Blue028

    Blue028

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    Nice write up, I Definately agree with the colour though. I recon they should have just made it black (like the console) and had the tuning menu LEDs in green like the base power button

    quick tip, I have seen a few issues with Kinect sensor making wheels act a bit funny, I would recomend disconnecting it if you have issues with the wheel not functioning properly

    Can't wait to finally get my hands on a good xbox one wheel
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  5. wpmicro

    wpmicro

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    How do the button caps come off? It's not in their manual nor is mentioned anywhere. I can't get them off.
     
  6. wpmicro

    wpmicro

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    How do the button caps come off?
     
  7. wpmicro

    wpmicro

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    Sorry, double post.
     
  8. poumpoum

    poumpoum

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    417
    You can remove them with your fingers if you have enough strength or you can use a small screwdriver but be gentle if you don't want to damage them
     
  9. nanotone

    nanotone

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    Is it also possible to remove the terrible "X-Box" button cup on the funky switch?
     
  10. DomB_Fanatec

    DomB_Fanatec

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    112
    Not without a physical modification. However, we include stickers in the package that allow you to cover the Xbox logo with the Fanatec logo.
     
    nanotone likes this.
  11. PzR Slim

    PzR Slim Premium

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    First world problems right there...