Turn Your Xbox Controller into a Racing Wheel With This Clever, 3D-Printed Upgrade

Gif: Reddit

Mastering a racing game is a lot easier with your hands on a steering wheel instead of a tiny thumbstick, but after shelling out hundreds of dollars on a console and $60 on a game, do you really want to cough up another c-note for a racing wheel? If you’ve got access to a 3D printer, you could make this cheap rack and pinion mechanism instead and add a tiny thumb-steered wheel to your controller.

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Illustration for article titled Turn Your Xbox Controller into a Racing Wheel With This Clever, 3D-Printed Upgrade
Photo: Pixel2 (Thingiverse)

This brilliant, goofy little add-on was created by Thingiverse contributor Pixel2, who shared all the requisite source files as a free download for anyone who wants to print their own.

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Is it the perfect alternative to a full-size racing wheel? No. It only works with Xbox One hardware, you’ll probably want to slip some felt in behind the gearing mechanism so the plastic doesn’t scratch up your controller, and it blocks the buttons that you’d normally use for switching gears when driving in manual mode. But it’s a cheap, unusual way to try to improve your simulated driving experience—adding an option that may feel less clumsy than thumbsticks to some, so you can shave a few precious seconds off your lap times.

[Thingiverse via Make]

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DISCUSSION

urambotauro
Urambo Tauro

Never really noticed it before now, but... When you mentioned how this blocks the buttons for shifting, I suddenly started to marvel at how modern video game controllers have such a long history of putting the D-pad (and/or analog stick) on the left side. It seems so natural to have it there, like keeping your left hand on the steering wheel while using the right hand for shifting or using other controls in the car.

Or at least, it feels natural for those of us who live in LHD countries. Japan, who pioneered (or at least popularized) the modern video game controller with the original Famicom, is a RHD country. So maybe there’s not such a direct influence from cars to controllers after all.