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Fanatec Univeral Hub for the Xbox One (review)

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

  1. [​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.


    • 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.


    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


    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.


    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 :thumbsup:

    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 :thumbsup::D


    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.

    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 :mad::thumbsdown:) Tighting them solved it, but this shouldn't happen.

    Pros and cons

    - 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

    - 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


    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
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  2. nice review mate!
  3. I guess biggest problem with F5 and FH2 is that so many ppl say that those games ffb is very bad when compared to other games. Btw, did you tried XOne's pCars?

    Plan to buy this 'cause I'm anyway buying universal hub for my CSW v2 so it would be silly to not buy this XOne-compatible version. And it seems that we still are going to get CSW-compatible games for PS4 in the future.
  4. I received mine on Friday and I've been rather impressed. The FFB in Forza 5 is average at best compared to the best PC sims right now, but I always thought Horizon 2's FFB was better than Forza 5. That being said, I hated the FFB so much in Forza 5 with my Thrustmaster TX that I refused to play it with a wheel. The Fanatec CSW v2 is much better and actually enjoyable other than driving FWD cars which I believe the physics or FFB is completely backwards in Forza 5. Its a real shame I've already finished the entire career mode in Forza 5. I would have loved to play through it or even finish it with the Fanatec CSW v2.

    I'll just state that the Fanatec CSW v2 is a huge improvement over the Thrustmaster TX in Forza 5. That's not a knock against the TX as I think its a great wheel, especially on the PC.
  5. The FFB in FH2 with the CSWv2 is pretty good for a console game. Like mentioned in the review i haven't played Pcars because i run Pcars on the PC......... with

    - tripple screen
    - 7 channel simvibe
    - GS-4 Seat
    - AccoForce wheel
    - a full dashboard with button and dashmeter pro like this


    Comparing the same game on the console just would not be fair :)

    @bklout : I'm very glad that i stopped playing FH2 with a gamepad and save the game for my CSWv2. It makes the game so much better. Great fun.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. @HoiHman

    I also finished the career mode in Horizon 2 before getting the Xbox One hub however there's still a lot left to do in Horizon 2 that I will try to finish that now. I haven't had time to use the Xbox One hub yet on Horizon 2, been mostly playing Forza 5 with it. I should have some time today to play around with Horizon 2. I'm glad I have it in my hands now though before Forza 6 drops later this year.
  7. Got some Horizon 2 time in using the new hub and its good, but not quite the jump in feel I got in Forza 5 going from the TX to the CSW v2.