Thrustmaster is a household name in the virtual aviation industry. From flight sticks to throttle quadrants to rudder pedals, Thrustmaster makes it all and its products are widely regarded as some of the best in the business. With reference to rudder pedals, Thrustmaster offers two options: the unparalleled TPR pedals and the much more affordable T Flight Rudder Pedals. Both frequently feature in the lists of the best rudder pedals for flight sims. In the following article, we review the T Flight Rudder Pedals with regards to build quality, design, functionality, customizability, compatibility, and comfort.
Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals
Verdict: Thrustmaster’s T Flight Rudder Pedals show a lot of promise but are held down by a weak spring and poor lubrication.
Reviewed By: Simulator Hardware
Review Date: 13th August, 2022
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
|The value proposition is almost unbelievable||Plasticky: feel a bit too cheap|
|Affordable||Almost impossible to make fine adjustments|
|Top-notch brakes||Lack spring tension|
|Durable||Do not support macOS|
|Compatible with Windows, PS, and Xbox|
Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Specifications
Measuring 13.62 x 21.42 x 15.83 inches and weighing a mere 4.88 pounds, the T Flight Rudder Pedals are one of the most compact and lightweight products on offer. The pedals are compatible with a number of operating systems, namely Windows Vista and onwards, PS4/5, and Xbox X/S/One. They can be used in a host of AAA titles as either rudder input for airliners or throttle for cars.
Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Review
For this review, our editorial team tested Thrustmaster T Flight Rudder pedals across MSFS 2020 and X-Plane 11 for 25+ hours spread across 3 weeks. This section of the article presents our review of the product with respect to design, build quality, functionality, customizability, compatibility, comfort, and convenience.
Design and Build Quality
When I first saw Thrustmaster’s T Flight Rudder Pedals, the first thing I could think of was how incredibly cheap they looked. Sure, the plastic is sturdy and the rails are cast straight out of industrial-grade aluminum, but the Thrustmaster offering still feels tacky to the eyes. While the quality could definitely be improved, it would be incredibly unfair not to point out that all-metallic construction is expensive and metal-clad rudder pedals cost well north of 200 dollars. T-Rudders Mk. IV and VPC ACE Collection Pedals are two such examples and cost twice and thrice as much as Thrustmaster TFRP.
A rather interesting design choice, I may add, is TFRP’s exposed bottom. If you flip the Thrustmaster offering, you can access most of the product’s innards. While this allows you to service your pedals better, it also makes them significantly more susceptible to pet hair, dust, and dirt.
That being said with respect to design and build quality, Thrustmaster’s TFRP Rudder is far from the worst product on the market. It is durable and shall serve you well for a good couple of years, fetching it a decent 3/5 on our scale.
The two most distinctive features of Thrustmaster’s TFRP are the Sliding Motion Advanced Rail Track slide rails system colloquially referred to as S.M.A.R.T, and differential braking. While differential braking enables each pedal to have its own brake, S.M.A.R.T is aimed at ensuring smooth motion alongside the rudder axis. The motion isn’t all that smooth, however, as the rails have noticeable friction, leading to jerky motion. It is almost impossible to make fine adjustments. Sure, a bit of grease helps but Thrustmaster should have known better!
The lack of spring tension and the absence of adjustable spring tension further exacerbate the problem, making it even more difficult to make precise adjustments. Maybe, I am just being a Karen at this point given the TFRP rudder’s cost, but the Thrustmaster offering really has you appreciating Logitech’s G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals for their adjustable spring tension mechanism. While you may never be able to achieve G Pro’s realism, you can still make Thrustmaster’s pedals work for you by swapping out the built-in spring for a stronger one. That’s exactly what we did, and the results were promising to say the least.
If you can look beyond the aforementioned flaws, the Thrustmaster offering is a fine peripheral. It has a slider travel distance along the lines of what you’d find on a Cessna. The brakes are top-notch, offering greater travel distance than the costlier Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder. Overall, I’d give it a 3.5/5 for functionality.
Thrustmaster T Flight Rudder Pedals come with a hex key that can be used to remove the heel rest, allowing you to only place the top half of your feet on the pedals. The feature came as a pleasant surprise and made a huge difference to my simulation experience. This way, I was able to make precise movements much more easily.
While the pedals are pretty well-calibrated, Thrustmaster allows you to customize the peripheral’s performance through its Advanced calibration software. You can download the software from Thrustmaster’s website and use it to adjust the dead zones on all 3 axes.
That being said, the rudder pedals lack the most important feature with regard to customization: the adjustable spring tension. So, anything north of 3.5/5 for customizability is off-limits.
The rudder pedals are compatible with Windows Vista and above. They also work with Xbox X/S/One and PS 4/5, albeit with a few caveats:
- For Xbox X/S/One, you need either of T Flight Hotas One or the Boeing Yoke to use these pedals. They do not work directly with the aforementioned consoles.
- For use with PS4 and 5, you first need to connect the pedals to a PC and update them.
The pedals, unfortunately, do not work with macOS.
As far as games are concerned, the pedals provide plug-and-play functionality with a host of AAA titles, including, but not limited to, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, X-Plane 11, Elite Dangerous, DCS, and SWG Legends.
Overall, I’d give the Thrustmaster offering a solid 4.5/5 for compatibility.
Comfort and Convenience
Thrustmaster’s T Flight Rudder pedals are so compact that they should be advertised as bannermen of the anti-manspreading movement. In all seriousness, though, the pedals are far too close for my liking. Sure, they are closer to reality if you are flying a small GA aircraft but that feels like the remotest of Thrustmaster’s priorities. By designing the pedals to be angled towards users, Thrustmaster has shown it is happy to sacrifice realism if it improves user experience. Hence, the only logical explanation behind the proximity of the two pedals is that they serve a dual purpose: as rudder pedals for aircraft and throttle for cars. That being said, the pedals need some getting used to, but they are not necessarily uncomfortable unless you are a big guy and/or have been going at it for hours on end.
Besides the proximity of the pedals, there are no size issues. The pedals are 10-inches long and can support most shoe sizes. I am a size 12 myself and had no trouble using the Thrustmaster T Flight Rudder Pedals. Sure, my toes were hanging off the end, but that had no effect whatsoever.
A major gripe I have with Thrustmaster TFRP is that they are lightweight and only have rubber feet, making them susceptible to slippage, especially on hard floors. Possible workarounds include but are not limited to using a rubber mat or weights. Having already experienced the same problem with Logitech G Pro Flight rudders, we were prepared this time around, so it didn’t prove to be much of a hassle.
All in all, I would give the Thrustmaster offering 3/5 for comfort and convenience.
Thrustmaster T Flight Rudder Pedals Ratings
Throughout the preceding review, we have been rating various aspects of Thrustmaster’s TFRP on a scale of one to five. The table below summarizes these results and also features the overall rating for the product derived by averaging out the results.
|Design and Build Quality||3/5|
|Comfort and Convenience||3/5|
I stand to be corrected here, but Thrustmaster’s TFRP rudder is the cheapest set of rudder pedals available on the market. It is infinitely better than twist axis on joysticks and the value proposition is downright unbelievable. That being said, the pedals have their fair share of flaws. Go for them only if you can look beyond these shortcomings. If you can’t, add up a few bucks and opt for Logitech’s G Pro Flight Rudder instead which are objectively superior rudder pedals.