Asetek Forte Steering wheel


  • Quick release integration vision
  • Crisp and tactile steering wheel
  • Strong potential with future firmware
  • Easy wheel changes in seconds
  • Contactless data and power transfer
  • FFB nuance and detail with enough power


  • Default profiles needed for better initial FFB
  • Installation process has couple hiccups
  • Some lower quality materials for the price
  • Exposed wiring risks on mount buttons
  • Shift paddles feel a bit plastic-y
  • No LEDs directly on the buttons

Now let’s get into the details across the major aspects of this wheelbase and steering wheel package.

Asetek Forte Wheelbase and Steering Wheel

As a long-time sim racing enthusiast, I’ve tested a wide range of gear over the years. Recently, I had the chance to extensively evaluate Asetek’s new Direct Drive setup – the Forte wheelbase and steering wheel. As a new entry to the high-end consumer DD market, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation around this product. After putting the Asetek setup through its paces across various racing titles, I’m ready to give my in-depth take on how it performs.


For those unfamiliar, Asetek is a company known for their top-notch CPU and GPU cooling solutions. They have a proven track record of quality and reliability, which gave me high hopes for their inaugural sim racing products. The Forte wheelbase offers 18Nm of torque, putting it right in line with the mid-range DD bases from competitors like Simucube, Simagic, and Moza. I’ll be comparing it directly to those throughout this review. The complete package with the Formula style steering wheel comes in at around 1,750 EUR. That’s quite pricey, but aimed squarely at serious sim racers and even real world drivers.

My first impressions upon unboxing the equipment were overwhelmingly positive. The packaging is truly premium and unboxing each component felt special. The wheelbase itself has a sleek yet slightly retro design flair, accented by fully customizable RGB lighting. It makes a bold statement on any sim rig. The force feedback felt extremely powerful right from the get-go. However, some tuning would be required to really dial in the details.

Installation – Straightforward with Some Caveats

Installing the equipment was relatively straightforward, though not without some caveats. I went with mounting the wheelbase to the front of my rig using Asetek’s bespoke front mounting bracket. It looks great, but lacks some height adjustability that competitors offer. The built-in power and kill switch buttons are awesome, but their exposed rear wiring poses a risk of damage. It’s a quite premium looking package overall, but the installation process itself could be refined.

The helpful installation videos provided by Asetek made getting up and running a breeze software-wise. The wheelbase firmware updates seamlessly over USB. However, the force feedback settings menus have room for improvement. I would have loved to see some default profiles based on popular sims. The advanced adjustment options are extremely comprehensive, but default profiles would help novices dial in the forces more easily.

Build Quality – Premium Yet Polarizing

In terms of materials used and overall fit and finish, the Asetek Direct Drive elicits somewhat polarizing reactions. There are premium materials like metal and carbon fiber throughout which feel rock solid. But disappointingly, some components like the shift paddles and thumb wheels use cheaper plastic materials. This may have helped keep costs down, but is disappointing for a package approaching $2,000 USD.

The quick release mechanism is brilliant in concept, allowing tool-free wheel changes in seconds. But the issues around rattling and play when affixed to the base are worrying for such a premium-priced product. This seems like an area where quality control could be improved. But the sturdy carbon fiber and metal steering wheel construction itself if fantastic, and the unit has no slop or flex when attached to the base. So overall, the package leaves me with mixed impressions on the use of materials and overall quality.

Quick Release – Brilliant Concept, Finicky Execution

The quick release mechanism itself is a true joy to use. Removing and attaching the wheel takes literally seconds and can be done single-handedly thanks to the brilliant spring-loaded lever design. There’s no fiddling with pins or screws. The contactless data and power transfer completes the convenience package. No wires or batteries to mess with in the wheel itself.

This proprietary QR system also holds massive potential for Asetek’s ecosystem vision via custom adapters for third party wheels. This could be a huge selling point allowing the use of popular rims from other brands on Asetek bases.

However, the aforementioned rattling issues when the QR is affixed to the base persist. There is also some clunky play on the version Asetek provided for non-formula style wheels. This seems unacceptable for such a premium product. If Asetek can sort out these quality control issues, their QR could be a true industry leader. But as it stands currently in my testing unit, it feels finicky.

Steering Wheel – Highly Capable Yet Lacking Some Refinement

The Formula style steering wheel itself exudes quality, simplicity, and a clear focus on the essentials you need as a driver. At 29cm wide, it strikes a nice balance between formula and GT style wheels. The grip handles provide a very comfortable feel, though they do attract dust and lint a bit easier than some competitors.

Asetek ticks all the boxes in terms of inputs – an ample array of buttons, rotaries, scroll wheels, paddle shifters and more. I’m a huge fan of the crisp detents and positive clicks on the rotaries and buttons. The magnetic paddles work well, but have a hollow plastic feel to them that left me wanting a bit more. The fully customizable RGB effects don’t appeal to me personally, but offer loads of customization options for those who want that level of bling.

My main gripe with the steering wheel is the lack of any LEDs on the buttons themselves. As someone who frequently races in low light, backlit buttons are a must-have. Having the LEDs only as accents beside the buttons takes some adjustment. But besides that omission, the wheel performs admirably and gives you every control you could need within easy reach.

Force Feedback – Moments of Brilliance, Needs Refinement

Here’s where we get into the meat of any high-end racing wheelbase – the force feedback. Simply put, the Asetek DD provides moments of sheer brilliance, but lacks the refinement and out of the box usability of some competitors. Make no mistake, with 18Nm of torque on tap, the power and overhead is here in abundance. This wheel can crank out some seriously stout forces. But it’s the nuance and detail that left me wanting more on my unit.

In titles like iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione, the forces felt superb after properly dialing them in. The detail and dynamic range is evident, and the wheel comes alive with small vibrations and textures from the virtual road. However, I struggled to achieve a comparable level of fidelity in rFactor 2 and the original Assetto Corsa. The default profiles definitely need some work here as the forces felt vague and unrealistic no matter how much I tweaked the abundant settings. There’s clearly room for improvement in the software interpretation of force feedback.

With refined firmware and software updates, I have no doubt Asetek can get the fidelity up to the class-leading standard. For now, it’s brilliant in some titles and lacks polish in others. But the overhead for nuance is readily apparent in the wheel’s strong dynamic range.

Conclusion – Shows Promise but Work Needed

Stepping back and looking at the big picture, I believe Asetek is truly onto something promising with their new DD offering, but refinement and attention to detail is still needed. The fundamentals of excellent force feedback, quick release convenience, and an open ecosystem are here. But the finicky issues around installation, some lower quality materials, and lack of force feedback finesse hold the Asetek package back from being a home run.

For hardcore sim racers demanding the pinnacle of realism, I’d recommend waiting for further firmware updates and testing before pulling the trigger. However, for those seeking a powerful and highly adjustable DD with tons of overhead, the Asetek Forte bundle represents a compelling high-end offering at a relatively affordable price. If the rough edges get smoothed out over time, Asetek could become a major player in the DD wheel marketplace. For now, it’s a promising work in progress for the discerning sim racer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the Asetek compare to other mid-range DD wheelbases?

A: It competes directly with the Simucube Sport, Simagic Alpha, and Moza R16. It beats them all on paper with higher peak torque at 18Nm. But some competitors edge it out in terms of fine-tuned force detail.

Q: Is the steering wheel interchangeable with other brands?

A: Not directly, but with Asetek’s third party QR adapters coming soon, many other wheels will work on Asetek bases.


Asetek Forte Steering wheel