HORI Racing Wheel Apex Review For PS4 | $99

HORI Racing Wheel Apex Review For PS4 | $99

The $99 Hori Apex wheel for PS4 and PS3 isn’t a bad option if you are a casual racing gamer. The performance is not gonna set the world on fire, but the price won’t break you in the bank.

In this review I will cover everything you need to know about the Hori Racing Wheel Apex for PlayStation 4/3, and PC. We will talk first impressions, features, how it feels to drive, the drawbacks, and of course my review rating.

If you are not familiar with Hori they are a gaming peripheral manufacturer. They are known for making affordable (cheap in price and sometimes quality) accessories for consoles and PC’s. Some of their recent wheel and pedal sets in the past were down-right hot trash…so let’s dive in and see if the Racing Wheel Apex can buck the trend.

Looks Promising Out of the Box

Hori Steering Wheel ReviewWhen you first unpack the box and get a look at the wheel its impressive. Despite the fact its comprised out of plastic and rubber, the black color really strikes you.

The wheel overall has a sport car look it (although much smaller in scale) with a 3 spoke design and a D shaped wheel rim. The PlayStation buttons look like the same quality you would find on a Dual Shock controller and they are laid out in the traditional PS pattern.

Like most steering wheels at this price point, like the Thrustmaster T80, the pedal set is clearly where Hori skimped a bit. There isn’t much to say about them other than they work. They do have a weird black foot rest extender that doesn’t serve to much purpose.

Hori Apex Review

Does Not Have True Force Feedback

For an inexpensive wheel you shouldn’t have high expectations for force feedback and resistance. The resistance feels very linear which points to the fact it is driven by a bungee cord. You can tell by the way the rim snaps back to center. To keep things in perspective at this price point bungee cord technology is what racing wheel manufacturers typically use.

Two Mounting Options

Hori Table ClampThis wheel can’t be hard mounted and your two options are suction cups or table clamp. Depending on what you are trying to stick the suction cups to it might not work. The table clamp for the Apex is the better option, but its built a flimsy so you don’t want to over tighten it. If you were looking for an option other than a desk, the Ultimate Steering Wheel stand be a solid choice to go with this wheel.

The pedals on the other hand don’t offer anything in the way of mounting. You just drop them in the floor and hope they don’t move. There isn’t even much grip on the bottom to hold them in place on a carpet.

Settings for Driving

The first thing you will want to do is determine if your games needs to be in PS4-N mode (Normal Mode) PS4-S switch to PS4-S (Steering Mode). If you start a game and it feels crazy you will most likely need to switch the mode. From my experience F1 2016 was best in PS4-S mode and Assetto Corsa was best in PS4-N mode.

You also may want to glance at the manual which is rather robust for a $99 wheel. There are a lot of different settings available such as navigation mode, DOR (degrees of rotation), deadzone, sensitivity, and button configuration mapping. These settings seem to have the most effect when in PS4-S mode and PS4-N felt fine with the baseline default settings.

All of these settings can help you make the Hori Racing Wheel Apex feel more customized to your driving style. These settings may vary from game to game.

How Good is the Hori Apex Steering Wheel for Racing Games?

So it was time to test it out and take it for a spin. Overall it is more immersive than driving with a controller, but not nearly as good as driving with a force feedback wheel.

The key point here is that it works and you can control the cars as you would with a steering wheel; turning left and right. From a feel perspective, it doesn’t emulate a real driving experience. You feel very dis-attached from the car and the wheel feels kind of lifeless in your hands. It really lacks the immersion you might get from a force feedback wheel which helps you determine how your car is behaving.

The reason for the lifelessness is because of the internal bungee cord mechanism. This mechanism provides linear resistance; meaning the resistance is the same constant weight no matter how much you turn the wheel. To successfully drive with this wheel, you can’t depend on your natural driving abilities, you have to rely on your eyes and ears to see and hear what the car is doing, because you can’t feel it.

The Hori Apex wheel does have vibration built-in and is advertised as “multi-level vibration feedback,” but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference from one type of vibration to the next.

For $99 wheel though the driving experience is acceptable providing you get this with reasonable expectations regarding the performance. If you are just looking for a little fun with a wheel and not so concerned with the “feel of the road and the car”, then this could be a viable option.


Features, Buttons, and Specs

Light Weight Wheelbase and Rim

Rubber Grip RimWhile the 28 cm rim is the same size as the standard rims from Logitech and Thrustmaster, this one feels a lot smaller. It doesn’t affect the performance, but it feels toyish in your hands. There is also a max limit on DOR of 270 degrees which can also be dialed down to 180. If you do drop it down that low you will find the cars are much harder to control and you will get a significant amount of understeer.

The wheelbase is encased in plastic and is light weight. The 3 spoke wheel center is made of plastic, while the rim is made from plastic and wrapped with rubber for drip. It also features a red strip in the center top of the rim for checking your centering configuration.

Lots of Buttons

The Apex has 10 action buttons (including a share, assign and options button), 2 plastic paddle shifters, and a d-pad. All of the buttons are placed well for easy access while driving. The best placed buttons are the inlayed L2/R2 buttons on the rim itself, that you can press quickly for options like DRS when playing F1 2016.

Plastic Paddle Shifters

The paddle shifters are a bit on the cheap side, but won’t prevent you from missing and shifts. They do make a nice “click” sound when they are engaged. You can easily access them with your fingers while gripping the rim, but they are mounted a bit too close to the rim for my taste. The way they are mounted makes your hands feel cramped.

The Table Clamp Does the Job

The table clamp is serviceable, but like most clamps need to be continuously retightened after some heavy racing and beating on your wheel. I wouldn’t even recommend using the suction cups as a mounting option, because it causes some wiggle in the wheel base when you turn.

Pedals Serve Their Purpose

The pedals don’t offer much in the way of resistance, but there is a small amount. They do not feel like immersive like real car pedals and simply just serve the purpose of gas and brake. The pedals surprisingly didn’t slide around the carpet, which was simply because they don’t take much effort to press.

Changing the Settings and Parameters

If you want to make fine tuning adjustments to the wheel performance it is done with a combination of button presses. For example, if you want to change the deadzone, you press and hold the “Assign” button, and then the wheel cycles through different settings.

A lot of the settings are really over kill and I would suggest sticking with the basics. Playing with all of the parameters will throw the wheel out of whack and make most driving games nearly impossible to control.

To get the most out of your wheel, my best recommendation is to use the settings with the highest response. Set your sensitivity parameters to the white colored LED light and your deadzone to the blue color. For the pedals the middle sensitivity (the purple color) seemed to work best, although its pretty hard to tell the difference with the pedals.

Video Review

Hori Apex Review Verdict

For $99 dollars this wheel isn’t all that bad. I certainly would consider it over the Thrustmaster T80 at the same price point. However, there are some annoying things about it like why are there so many settings to tinker with on an entry level racing wheel. It’s almost like Hori wanted to offer advanced setting of high end force feedback steering wheels, but didn’t stop to consider how those settings apply to a bungee cord mechanism.

The Hori Apex is definitely a much improved wheel from their driving peripherals I have used in the past. The price point is also super consumer friendly and the product delivers a significantly better racing experience than using a controller.

This wheel is not gonna fool you into thinking you are a pro driver or even a sim racer, but it will help you crank out faster lap times. Ultimately, you will get a better experience, a better feel for the road and car, and more consistency from a force feedback wheel like the Logitech G29 or the Thrustmaster T150, which are a little bit higher in price.

With the price point though at $99 it is at least worth a look if you are trying to scratch that driving itch that you’ve been getting!

PSRP 3.5
Buy Now

Get the Hori Apex Steering Wheel or Related Products

Have your tried theHori Apex Steering Wheel? Let me know in the comments.

Hori Racing Wheel Apex

Rated 3.5/5 based on 1 review

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