Thrustmaster GPX & GPX LightBack (Ferrari F1) – Hardware Review
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Developer: Thrustmaster
Publisher: Thrustmaster
Platform: PC, 360

Thrustmaster GPX & GPX LightBack (Ferrari F1) – Hardware Review

Good: Great alternative for the original controllers
Bad: Haven't really found any
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(12 votes)
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Rating: 9.4/10 (12 votes cast)

Third party controllers tends to be a term which brings up a reasonable amount of doubt when people are looking for that extra (cheaper) controller they can buy for multiplayer purposes. We’ve all been in the situation when being presented with a cheap hunk of plastic when visiting a friend’s place for some good old fashioned multiplayer action. Or maybe you’re that guy who loves to win and tends to give your friends a controller which makes the game unplayable rather than enjoyable. Will these controllers prove to be different?


When being presented with the Thrustmaster GPX and the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1, I had my doubts it would become a pleasant test, even though both controllers look quite awesome. I can change the negative note of this review to a positive one: I was pleasantly surprised. Over the years we’ve built op some prejudice when it comes to third party hardware and this might be a turning point. Let’s start out with some basic information about both controllers.

The Thrustmaster GPX is a wired controller for Xbox 360 and PC and has been made to be lighter than other Xbox/PC controllers currently on the market. The shape has been slightly adjusted with handles that are a bit thinner than it’s Microsoft counterpart. The D-Pad is an actual D-Pad and not the actual circular shape of crappyness we’ve come to hate when playing with our beloved Xbox 360 controller. Seeing the GPX series aims for precision they made the sticks lighter and the specially curved triggers have a little more resistance when pressing them down, which makes sure you are able to excercise more control when playing race games.

The GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 is the GPX’s sexier bigger brother and it shows to be honest. The GPX LightBack (be it the Ferrari F1 edition or the normal one) has a system that gives ‘Light feedback’ when certain actions are happening ingame, meaning your sticks will light up and there are 2 seperate vibration engines that will start to work seperately depending on how much action is happening ingame. Then maybe one of the most cool looking features on the LightBack are the speed indicators that each have 4 LED lights connected to each of the triggers. They will show how hard you’re pressing the trigger. In a way more a gimmick than a real useful feature, seeing when playing a race game for example you will not look at your controller that often. The creators however made sure when you are pressing it to the max the last LED will light up red which is still pretty visible when not watching your controller directly. All of these features can be turned off. The LightBack also has a special soft ‘padding’ at the bottom of the controller to make it feel a lot more comfortable than most controllers.

Both controllers are created in a substance that really prevents you from getting sweaty and clammy hands – which is quite delightful when trying them out for several hours in a row.

The Ferrari F1 edition is a limited edition controller which has the autograph of Fernando Alonso which is a bit pricier than the regular LighBack version but surely a fun collectible for those F1 fans out there. If you’re not really that interested it’s best to just go for the Regular LightBack version.


Own opinion:

Personally I loved both controllers but I tended to lean more to the pricier LightBack version which felt a lot more comfortable than the regular GPX model. The thinner handles were also a plus for me because I have hands the size of a leprechaun which means people with large hands might get a little cramped after using the controller for several hours. Also being able to practise more control when driving racegames is very noticeable but pretty much only with very realistic racing games.

Even though the controllers aim for racegames you’d expect a fun experience aswell when playing other games. Which was ofcourse a great test seeing a lot of games came out this month that were not really part of the racing genre. Both controllers live up to the expectations of what you’d actually want of a decent controller and again no complaints here.

I find a controller with cable still something pretty handy, because my set-up involves me sitting close enough to my TV when playing games.(the cable is 2.5metres) This makes the controller a ‘lot’ less heavy which is also very pleasant when gaming for long periods of time.

Overall if you’re looking for a simple and solid controller which is a little cheaper than a normal controller the GPX is certainly a great way to go. If you’re looking for that little extra the LightBack will feel a lot more comfortable than most controllers.

Simply put – Faith in third party hardware: Restored

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (12 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
Thrustmaster GPX & GPX LightBack (Ferrari F1) – Hardware Review, 9.4 out of 10 based on 12 ratings


  1. […] controller even offer a little more resistance than this one. And when you’re used to the Thrustmaster GPX (lightback), this really isn’t the most comfortable feeling ever. Then again, this might just be me […]

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    […] than a year ago we concluded that Thrustmaster’s GPX controllers were top notch in terms of quality, comfort and design. Today we have the chance to […]

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