Arozzi Velocitá Racing Simulator Review: Crossing the Finish Line

So, you’ve gone out and bought yourself a fancy racing wheel for your favorite driving games. It’s amazing! You’ve never felt so involved in a race before in your life. You’re living the racing simulation dream. Except… it just doesn’t feel complete.  Maybe you’ve strapped the wheel to your desk and you’re getting that little bit of wiggle as your fight the force feedback. Maybe you’re pulling out another piece of furniture to strap it to, are holding it in your lap, or are considering building something for yourself. Wait! Just because you’ve made the jump to a nice wheel doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend another $500+ on a custom cockpit. Today, we’re looking at one of the most cost-effective solutions you can find to take your racing to the next level. This is our Arozzi Velocita Racing Simulator review.

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This year, I was lucky enough to pick up my first force feedback racing wheel with the Thrustmaster TS-XW.  I dreamed big about finally experiencing that “real” racing experience I’d been reading about online for years.  To the credit of all those forum posters, force feedback racing really is a game changer. The problem is, I didn’t realize just how strong the force feedback would be.

Your experience will vary, but here’s what happened to me. I picked up this very expensive wheel expecting to do one of two things depending on my platform. At the PC, I’d use the included vice grip to strap it to my desk. With my Xbox Forza sessions, I’d tighten it down onto a small folding table. Clean-up would be easy and I’d be able to keep that tray tucked behind the couch, out of sight and out of (my wife’s) mind. The first one might have worked except no matter how hard I’d tighten it down (and risk damaging my desk) it would always come loose. The second option was a comedy of naivety. Even with my feet planted on the bottom of that little wood table, I still managed to flip it almost immediately. Force feedback is real, my friends and a light piece of furniture isn’t going to cut it for a high powered wheel.

So what’s a budding race enthusiast to do? Spending $500 on a cockpit that we frankly didn’t have room or budget for wasn’t an option.  Building something seemed like a more of a hassle than I could justify. That’s when I remembered the Arozzi Velocitá.

The Velocitá is a low-cost alternative to the massive and massively expensive competition. It offers a full metal frame, support for the wheel, pedal, and gearshift accessories, and lots of single and angle customizability to achieve that perfect fit. What it doesn’t offer is a built-in chair, which is how it pulls of its $199 price point. But fear not! Thanks to some clever design on the part of Arozzi, the Velocitá is compatible with any office chair. Or, as you can see in the picture below, you can simply pull it up to your couch or recliner and use it stand-alone.

Using it like this does require some sacrifice since the intention is to use it with an office chair. This picture above shows the complete build but to use it comfortably on a couch, I had to remove the gear shift and compress it to its smallest size, pulling it as close to me as possible. With a chair, this is unnecessary but I much prefer to play Forza sitting on a couch.

Rewinding a touch, the Velocitá comes in a big box but actually turns out to be quite small. Once it’s fully assembled, it can be compressed down to about the size of my son’s first bike. Assembling it is straightforward using the guide to walk you through the steps but mostly self-explanatory. All told, I spent about 25 minutes piecing it together with 10 of those spent on pictures. The frame feels heavy duty and durable thanks to all that metal, and the chrome accenting is a nice touch that gives it a nice style that’s not purely utilitarian. Thanks to its size, it’s a lot easier to slide of our the way but you should still plan on it taking up some space once the wheel and pedal set is attached.

As you can see here, the rear of the unit features two angle-adjustable legs with pegs meant to fit the base of most office chairs. Simply pull off the two front wheels of your chair and press it into place and you’re off to the races – pun intended. This does mean either dedicating a chair to the Velocitá or adding a fairly annoying set to both setup and tear down, so Arozzi has also included a set of velcro straps you can lace through brackets on each arm to secure your chair that way. This leads to more wiggle, so it’s a less ideal option, but for the sheer convenience of not pulling off my wheels every time (I don’t have a spare chair to dedicate), I found it to be perfectly serviceable.

Mounting your wheel and pedal kit is very easy. Each plate is rife with cutouts for wide compatibility. You’ll need to pick up a pair of screws to match the thread of your kit and then it’s as simple as tightening it down to lock it into place. I understand that Arozzi isn’t able to plan on all of the different threads and sizes that users might need but it would have been nice to see a small assortment included and possible save a trip to the hardware store.

Theoretically, you shouldn’t need to mount it at all but reality, at least in my case, demanded it. Arozzi thoughtfully included matching rubber mats for each plate to keep the different pieces from slipping around. The problem is that these mats aren’t adhesive, so – for the pedal set in particular, once it was angled it would immediately slide out of place. Saving a little bit on money on adhesive I’m sure helped keep the cost down but this is really something that would have made a big difference in that first hour before I realized I’d need to run out to buy a set of M6 screws.

Once that was settled and the pedals and wheel were screwed into place,  I started my first race only to find too much play in the frame. Even after cranking the fastening knobs down as tight as I could, they’re still flat bolts pressing into a rounded surface and never get perfectly tight. That said, that was all the retention system allowed: a little bit of wiggle. Even with force feedback turned up all the way and really pushing at the pedals in heated races, it never shifted out of place and needed a readjustment.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that Arozzi wanted to corner the market on an affordable racing cockpit. On that level, they’ve succeeded. Except for the pair of minor issues I discussed above, the Velocitá is about the perfect simulator for racing sim newcomers. It’s affordable, easy to set up, easy to tuck away, and doesn’t demand arduous mounting of a chair to use. There’s room for improvement in a Velocitá 2, like pre-mounting those rubber pads and pre-drilling retention holes in the frame, but for $199 this is a very solid offering that not only completely solved my racing wheel dilemma but thoroughly makes racing sims more enjoyable all around.

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

Summary
The Arozzi Velocitá is an affordable entry-level option for racing sim newcomers.
Good
  • Affordable compared against the competition
  • Compatible with most chairs and racing wheel setups
  • Doesn't require hard-mounting chairs to use
  • Lots of adjustability
  • Heavy duty metal frame
Bad
  • Friction mats are non-adhesive (you're better off mounting with screws)
  • Retention system allows some play in the parts
Written by
Chris cut his teeth on games with the original NES. Since then, games and technology have become a passion. He currently acts as the Hardware Editor for MMORPG.com and GameSpace.com. You can reach him at Chris@MMORPG.com.

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