MOZA Racing R3 vs Fanatec CSL DD: Best Small Xbox Racing Wheel

I'm comparing the newly released MOZA Racing R3 and the Fanatec CSL DD to find out which Xbox racing wheel is the best choice for those looking for direct drive sim racing.

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MOZA Racing has recently entered the world of Xbox sim racing with the launch of their R3 racing wheel bundle. This new direct drive racing wheel is compatible with all current Xbox consoles and comes with a pedal set and steering wheel.

This really opens up the question of what is the best small direct drive racing wheel for Xbox. Previously, the Fanatec CSL DD had held this crown for years. But has the MOZA R3 become the new starting point for direct drive on Xbox?

In this comparison guide, I’m going to compare both the MOZA R3 and Fanatec CSL DD. The aim is to find out which racing wheel is the best pick for an entry-level direct drive racing wheel on Xbox.

MOZA vs Fanatec

In years past, Fanatec has dominated the sim racing space. They were the first brand to release a direct drive racing wheel for console. They have a huge ecosystem of products from steering wheels to pedals and much more. And they have had years of experience under their belts.

Recently, MOZA Racing have been giving established brands like Fanatec a run for their money. MOZA Racing is one of the newer sim racing brands. But they have spent the past few years releasing new products at an impressive rate.

MOZA’s lineup of wheel bases now challenges Fanatec’s with different strength wheel bases compatible with multiple platforms. Fanatec still has the edge with a wider array of steering wheels.

This makes this battle between Fanatec and MOZA Racing a hotly contested one. And it’s one that will only get hotter as time goes on.

The two racing wheels compared

Below is a quick overview of both products that we’ll be comparing in this guide. MOZA Racing currently only have the R3 wheel base that is Xbox compatible, and that is only available in a bundle at the moment.

Fanatec has the CSL DD and GT DD Pro which are both Xbox-compatible. However, the GT DD Pro is over $100 more than the CSL DD, putting it firmly in a mid-range category.

I’ll be using the Fanatec CSL DD in its base 5Nm form as that is the cheapest Xbox-compatible Fanatec racing wheel you can currently buy.

Fanatec CSL DDMOZA Racing R3
Individual Price$/€349.95N/A
Bundle PriceFrom $/€479.85$/€399.99
TechnologyDirect DriveDirect Drive
CompatibilityPC, XboxPC, Xbox
Where to buyBuy from FanatecBuy from MOZA

Fanatec CSL DD

I’ll start by taking a look at the CSL DD and how it performs. This is a wheel base that changed a lot in sim racing. It was the first small form factor direct drive racing wheel across any platform.

And it also bought direct drive to Xbox for the first time at this price range. Before this, you had to opt for a much more expensive DD1 or DD2 if you wanted an Xbox-compatible direct drive racing wheel.

This wheel base comes with 5Nm of peak torque in its base form. You can then purchase an upgrade kit which increases the strength to 8Nm of peak torque.

Normally, I would recommend buying the upgrade kit as the extra strength makes a big difference. However, for this comparison, the boost kit makes the Fanatec much more expensive and more powerful than MOZA’s racing wheel. So I’ll be sticking with talking about the 5Nm wheel.

Racing Wheel – Fanatec CSL DD
Compatibility – PC, Xbox Series X|S
Price – From €/$349.95
Where to buyBuy from Fanatec EU / Buy from Fanatec US

Available bundles

With the MOZA R3 only being available in a complete bundle. I thought I’d look at comparable bundles that Fanatec sell. They have a few bundles for the CSL DD, but two stand out.

There is the Ready2Race McLaren bundle and the WRC bundle. Both of these use the 5Nm CSL DD wheel base and both are completely Xbox compatible. There are also bundles available that include the boost kit but these cost a fair bit more.

Below are a few bundles that Fanatec offer.

Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Bundle$/€479.85
Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race WRC Bundle$/€479.85
Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle$/€799.80

MOZA Racing R3

The MOZA Racing R3 is a pretty exciting bundle from the Chinese sim racing brand. MOZA’s PC-only wheel bases from the R12 to the smaller R5 are all impressive. They offer great performance within their price range and are all priced competitively.

The R3 continues that trend and is now the cheapest Xbox-compatible direct drive racing wheel bundle available. For just $/£399 it includes the wheel base which is a 3.9Nm direct drive wheel. You also get a steering wheel, pedal set and table clamp.

The wheel base itself is even smaller than the already tiny R5. However, despite its size, it produces impressively detailed force feedback. This is thanks to the direct drive technology.

Both the steering wheel and pedal set that are included are decent and are comparable with similarly priced Xbox racing wheels.

Racing Wheel – MOZA R3
Compatibility – Xbox, PC
Price – £399/$399
Where to buyBuy from MOZA

MOZA R3 vs Fanatec CSL DD racing wheel performance comparison

I want to jump into the comparison of both the MOZA R3 and Fanatec CSL DD wheel bases. Both are fairly comparable in terms of peak strength with the Fanatec CSL DD beating out the MOZA R3.

The R3 produces a peak torque of 3.9Nm, while the CSL DD produces a peak torque of 5Nm. That doesn’t sound like much of a difference but a 1.1Nm difference is an increase of around 30%.

You may think 3.9Nm is a strange number but it’s actually been very well thought out. The famous Thrustmaster T300RS produced around the same peak strength as this. And it is just low enough compared to the MOZA R5 to make the R3 a great entry point for sim racers.

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In terms of a force feedback strength comparison, with both racing wheels set to 100% force feedback strength. You can notice a decent enough difference between the R3 and CSL DD.

The CSL DD’s force feedback does have a bit more weight to it and larger forces have a bit more impact compared to the R3. I tested the force feedback performance across iRacing on PC, Assetto Corsa Competizione and F1 23 on Xbox Series X.

When it comes to force feedback fidelity and smaller details, the two wheel bases are more evenly matched. The MOZA R3 really allows the wheel to dance around in your hand. It picks up on fine details pretty well.

The Fanatec CSL DD has a slight advantage due to its extra power. This allows for a wider range of details to be present. Many of the details felt very similar to the R3, but just a little more pronounced.

I would have to give the win in the performance category to the CSL DD. It has more strength to play with which results in slightly more dynamic force feedback with a larger range of details.

WinnerFanatec CSL DD

Steering wheel design and build quality comparison

The steering wheel of any racing wheel is important. It’s the part of the whole racing wheel setup that you’ll interact with the most. You’re always holding it, and it’s always right in front of you. So it needs to feel and look the part. It also needs to function well.

MOZA Racing ES wheel

MOZA Racing has utilised its ES steering wheel in this R3 bundle. It is their entry-level steering wheel and provides a relatively entry-level experience. Much like other budget racing wheels, it is pretty small at 280mm across.

It does utilise a metal faceplate which increases the premium feel a touch. There are a variety of push buttons on the front of the wheel which all feel nice to interact with. The throw is short and you know when you’ve activated a button.

The hand grips on the MOZA ES wheel have been changed for this Xbox version. They are a PU material which feels a little underwhelming. Compared to the leather used on some MOZA steering wheels, this is a step-down. But given the low price tag, it’s pretty par for the course.

The two shifters on the rear of the wheel are constructed from metal and feel good to use. They aren’t magnetic but they still have a nice resistance and feel positive to engage.

Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 wheel

Fanatec has included the McLaren GT3 V2 wheel in their Ready2Race bundle. It is an officially licensed partnership with McLaren and carries their branding. In fact, it’s actually a replica of the real-world GT3 McLaren steering wheel.

The design is pretty nice, faithfully recreating the real wheel. It’s slightly larger than the MOZA wheel at 300mm in diameter. This makes it feel slightly heavier, but that isn’t an overly bad thing.

The hand grips are rubber which feels nice when using racing gloves. However, in your hand, it can feel a little harsh. Across the front of the plastic body are a series of push buttons and rotary encoders.

It’s important to say that the rotary encoders and screen do not work on Xbox consoles. They only work on PCs.

The push buttons do function though and feel pretty stiff to use. This ensures you don’t accidentally push a button mid-race though so isn’t a bad thing. Although the larger “N” and “P” buttons do feel a little too stiff for my liking.

On the rear of the wheel is a push-pull shifter paddle that is constructed from metal. This is nice to use and can be activated one-handed if required. There are also a couple of plastic dual clutch paddles which is a really nice addition.

Which steering wheel is better?

Choosing between these two steering wheels is tricky. The Fanatec wheel looks nicer thanks to the McLaren branding, and it includes some features missing on the MOZA wheel.

However, the MOZA wheel has slightly better build quality and the hand grips feel nicer than the rubber grips on the Fanatec wheel.

Ultimately, I’ll have to call this category a tie, with both steering wheels doing the job well.

Winner – Tie

Pedal comparison

The last part of this comparison is the pedals. Both bundles include a 2-pedal set that consists of a brake and throttle. Both of these sets can be upgraded, although, only the Fanatec pedal set can be upgraded to include a load cell brake pedal.

MOZA SR-P Lite pedals

The SR-P Lite pedals are the ones included in MOZA’s bundle. Both pedals in this set feature contactless hall effect sensors and a spring for resistance. These pedals measure the distance the pedal is pushed to dictate the input amount.

MOZA Racing SR-P Lite Pedals

The brake pedal is slightly stiffer than the throttle, although both pedals feel a little too soft. This is more noticeable in the brake pedal. You’d ideally want a stiff brake pedal to help you better modulate the pressure.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with the included MOZA pedal. However, you can purchase an additional brake upgrade kit which stiffens the brake pedal considerably. This is relatively low cost at around £/$15 and I’d highly recommend it.

The upgrade kit includes a stiffer spring and damper layout which greatly improves the feeling under braking.

Fanatec’s CSL pedals

Fanatec’s pedals also offer just two pedals. Although the two pedals on this set are stiffer than on the MOZA pedal set.

The brake in particular has a progressive two-stage feel thanks to both a spring and foam damper. And this works pretty well. You can attain a better feeling under braking with the standard Fanatec CSL pedals compared to the MOZA SR-P Lite pedals.

Fanatec CSL Pedals

You can also purchase a load cell brake upgrade which works on Xbox. This will replace the brake pedal entirely with a load cell unit. This will measure the braking force rather than the distance travelled and is much more realistic. However, this does cost over £/$100.

Both pedals use a similar design and layout, although the Fanatec pedals feel a little sturdier than the MZOA pedals. The pedals are a little chunkier and metal is thicker in places. This, combined with the better brake pedal and the ability to upgrade to a full load cell brake makes me give the win to Fanatec in this category.

WinnerFanatec CSL Pedals

Overall winner

With all comparisons complete, it’s time to move on to recommending one Xbox racing wheel over the other. Looking at each category, Fanatec won two of them, while the third category was a tie.

This would lead me to recommend the Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race bundle over the MOZA R3 bundle in terms of performance. However, it’s worth noting that the CSL DD bundle does cost around £/$70 more than the MOZA R3.

Despite this slight price increase, I would still recommend the Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race bundle over the MOZA R3 bundle.

The MOZA R3 bundle is a brilliant low-cost Xbox racing wheel and is a product I’d still recommend considering. However, the Fanatec CSL DD is a better-performing racing wheel and has a wider ecosystem of steering wheels and peripherals currently.

Whichever Xbox racing wheel you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Both are great options.

Overall winner

Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren bundle
Compatibility – PC, Xbox Series X|S
Price – From €/$479.95
Where to buy – Buy from Fanatec

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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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