How Compatible is Fanatec With Xbox? Buyers Guide 2024

There are lots of discussions around whether Fanatec wheels work with Xbox consoles. I'm going to debug the myths and show you exactly what Fanatec peripherals do work with Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Fanatec Xbox Compatibility Guide

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Although Fanatec does clearly state on their products, which console they work with. It can sometimes be confusing to understand the difference between Xbox compatible, and Xbox ready.

Throwing into the mix the likes of the universal hubs, which allow added compatibility with non-compatible products. And finally, there is the added complexity of when you do find your perfect Xbox Fanatec setup. Despite being fully Xbox compatible, you plug it in to find that half of the buttons don’t work.

With all of these different elements in the mix, it can be very hard to fully get your head around Fanatec and Xbox compatibility.

In this guide, I’ll run through the actual difference between Xbox compatible, and Xbox ready Fanatec racing wheels. And I’ll show you just how you can expand your Fanatec wheel collection and use non-compatible products with Xbox consoles. I’ll also debug why some inputs don’t work on Xbox consoles.

Fanatec – The difference between Xbox compatible vs Xbox ready

Jumping straight in, Fanatec has two methods of listing their compatibility on their website. On some products, you will see a green circle with just the word “Xbox” in it. And on other products, you’ll see a green icon with “Xbox Ready” inside.

Fanatec Xbox Ready vs Xbox Compatible

Xbox vs Xbox Ready

If a product has the green “Xbox” label, then this means it is fully compatible with both Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. Simply connect the product to your console via USB, and it will work straight out of the box. You may need to toggle between Xbox and PC mode on some wheel bases such as the CSL Elite wheel bases.

Whereas if you see a Fanatec wheel or product labelled with “Xbox Ready”. This means that this product gains Xbox compatibility when connected to another Xbox-licensed product.

For example, take the Podium DD1 wheel base below. This wheel base is labelled as PC compatible, and “Xbox Ready”.

Fanatec Podium Wheel base Xbox Ready

This means to be able to use it on an Xbox console, either Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S. As long as you connect a steering wheel that is licensed for Xbox, dictated by the green “Xbox” label.

This means that you can successfully connect any steering wheel that has the label “Xbox”. Just like the Formula V2 steering wheel below. And your whole setup will become fully compatible with your Xbox console.

Fanatec Formula V2 Xbox Compatible

You will typically find the “Xbox Ready” label on wheel bases which can work with Xbox consoles. You’ll also see it on other peripherals such as shifters and handbrakes which also require an Xbox-licensed steering wheel to work.

So think of it this way. Any Fanatec product that has the label “Xbox Ready” will be compatible with an Xbox, as long as you have an Xbox-licensed steering wheel.

With this in mind, I’ve shown two examples below.

Fanatec setup 1

ClubSport Wheel Base (Xbox Ready) + ClubSport BMW GT2 Steering Wheel (PC+PS5 Only) = Not Xbox compatible

Fanatec setup 2

ClubSport Wheel Base (Xbox Ready) + ClubSport Formula V2 Steering Wheel (Xbox) = Compatible

With Xbox consoles, Fanatec uses the steering wheels to dictate other products compatibility. Therefore, as long as you have an Xbox-licensed steering wheel, you’re good to go.

Strangely, Fanatec does the opposite with their PlayStation products. And they use the wheel base to dictate compatibility. This means you will only see “PS Ready” on steering wheels, which is the opposite of Xbox products. Fun fact!

How the Fanatec Universal Hub works with Xbox & adds extra compatibility

Just to throw in another way of allowing Fanatec products to be compatible with Xbox consoles, I’d like to talk about the Universal Hub.

The Fanatec Universal Hub allows you to connect almost any steering wheel to your Fanatec wheel base. And it will all work on Xbox consoles. That includes using real-world wheel rims!

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The Universal Hub itself sits as an intermediately between your wheel base and your wheel rim. It essentially carries all of the compatibility of an Xbox-licensed steering wheel. This means that the Universal Hub will do all of the heavy lifting.

Because the Universal Hub is handling all of the technical compatibility elements. This means that any wheel rim connected to the Universal Hub is fully compatible.

The Universal Hub itself features a selection of buttons, integrated shifter paddles, and an LED display. Everything you need to go racing.

You do however need to ensure that your wheel base is “Xbox Ready”. A Universal Hub won’t make non-Xbox-compatible wheel bases compatible.

Buy the Fanatec Universal Hub from your region below;

I’ll quickly run through a few examples to show you how the Universal Hub allows for extra Xbox compatibility.

Fanatec setup 1

ClubSport Wheel Base (Xbox Ready) + ClubSport BMW GT2 Steering Wheel (PC+PS5 Only) = Not Xbox compatible

Fanatec setup 2

ClubSport Wheel Base (Xbox Ready) + Universal Hub + ClubSport BMW GT2 Steering Wheel (PC+PS5 Only) = Compatible

Fanatec setup 3

ClubSport Wheel Base (Xbox Ready) + Universal Hub + Momo Real World Steering Wheel = Compatible

Why do LED’s and some buttons not work on Xbox?

If you have recently purchased a Fanatec wheel, or seen a Fanatec wheel in use on Xbox consoles. You’ll quickly notice that some elements such as the LED lights, and some buttons don’t work. Don’t worry, your wheel isn’t broken!

This is due to Fanatec’s compatibility with the Xbox architecture. For a third party peripheral such as a wheel or joystick to be compatible with Xbox consoles, the manufacturer of the peripheral needs to create a custom SDK (software development kit).

If the manufacturer doesn’t create a custom SDK for their product when attached to an Xbox console. The peripheral will use the default SDK available. In this instance, Microsoft’s default SDK.

Microsoft’s default SDK is only really designed for peripherals such as controllers. This means that the only inputs that are included are those found on a regular Xbox gamepad.

F1 2019 Force Feedback Settings

Therefore, when you connect a third-party peripheral which doesn’t have a custom SDK, only the button inputs found on an Xbox controller will work. This, we believe is exactly what is happening when you connect Fanatec devices to an Xbox console.

This would explain why that when you connect a Fanatec wheel to an Xbox. Only certain inputs such as the shifters (Typically LB and RB on a controller), the throttle, brake and clutch (LT and RT), and some face buttons work.

Microsoft’s default SDK simply doesn’t allow for custom inputs or readouts such as an LED screen, rev lights, toggle switches.

There hasn’t been any official word from either Microsoft or Fanatec on this issue. So the above is only the thoughts of us sim racers, who believe that the SDK is the main issue.

Hopefully, over time Fanatec will work on this issue, allowing full use of their wheels with Xbox consoles. After all, currently Fanatec wheels work completely with PlayStation consoles, meaning there isn’t an SDK issue with Sony. Fingers crossed!

Read our complete guide on how to set up and calibrate your Fanatec steering wheel with Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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