Review: Asetek Forte Direct Drive Wheelbase (2023)

I always say that starting an analysis is difficult, especially when we have to face a product that has so much competition, like Direct Drive bases. Fortunately, I have tried many of them, and although they are very similar, each one still has its own personality and provides a slightly different experience. The great thing about almost all of them is that the technology is so good that it manages to meet the expectations placed on the purchase. That is already wonderful, and this time with this Forte base, we can go a little further.


Asetek is not new to the peripherals business. It has been in the market since 1997 and operates worldwide, manufacturing its own liquid cooling systems and for other major brands like Corsair or NZXT. It has temporarily partnered with many others such as HP or Asus and has always focused on creating more and better cooling products while avoiding what is known in the financial world as bad or meaningless diversification.

Since mid-2020, they have embarked on a small but dedicated adventure. Their CEO is a big fan of motorsports and believed that great things could still be done in the simulation peripherals market. Therefore, the company created an exclusive branch for simRacing-related products. From then until now, they have populated their ecosystem with virtually everything needed to enjoy the hobby, and they have done it brilliantly.


Once again, impeccable. Same style as with the Forte pedals, with foam packaging (that doesn’t leave any residue) keeping everything well organized for possible repackaging in case of moving or relocating. If I had to mention a downside, I don’t like the printed cover that makes it difficult to put in or take out the cardboard box, but it looks very nice once everything is closed.

We must consider the space and weight (8.5 kg) these motors occupy, so everything needs to be well protected.


The front and rear ends are made of plastic, which are actually decorative covers. For the front assembly, I needed to remove the front cover as the brand itself indicates in its videos. The rear cover protects the electronic part that serves as the motor controller. The technology comes from the Finnish company Simucube and is housed along with the rear connections. It eliminates any USB that is not a Type-C factor, which tends to be more expensive depending on the use. The central part that constitutes the motor and its housing is made of steel and aluminum.

It features longitudinal LED strips that are customizable through the RaceHub application and serve to indicate different states of the base. The Asetek Forte Direct Drive has a design that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent and matches the rest of the peripherals that are being released. Perhaps it’s not the most beautiful, but it remains pragmatic when it comes to accommodating a servo, which is ultimately what most users are looking for.


Speaking of motors and specifications, we have the licensed controller technology from Simucube with a multimillion-dollar agreement reached in late 2020. If Granite Devices is involved, we know we can trust it. And of course, the other essential element of any respectable OSW (Open Sim Wheel) is not missing; the Mige motor.

With these fundamental ingredients, we can only expect good things. This is a pair of elements that have been extensively tested in the simRacing universe over the past few years, with a reliability close to 100%. They have been assembled in numerous conditions and improved and optimized by different manufacturers to squeeze out every last meter per second.

Optimization is precisely what we’re talking about because Asetek has incorporated the best components for these motors. They have equipped them with a 22-bit encoder with over 4 million steps, optimizing the maximum torque of 18 Nm for a duration of 40 seconds and with a slew rate of 6.7 N/ms. All of this has been achieved through collaboration with engineers from Mige, Simucube, and Asetek themselves.


Asetek offers three mounting options, but most of them require the acquisition of a new mount. For the writer, perhaps this is the only downside of this ecosystem, as until now, both Simucube and Simagic, as well as the traditional Mige, maintained a form factor that could be carried over from one product to another, allowing external manufacturers to offer their own mounts.

In this case, you can choose a front mount (which is the one I have chosen), a side mount similar to Fanatec’s, or a bottom mount where, if you’re lucky, you may not even need the most basic mount. For the latter option, there are pre-installed nuts on the bottom of the base to screw it into different positions.

Asetek may justify the installation of emergency or power buttons, but I understand that if you choose not to use a brand-specific mount, each user will have to attach them to their cockpit as best they can, as has been done until now. In Asetek’s option, everything fits perfectly, but it does come at an additional cost.


When we tested the Forte pedals, we could already see in RaceHub that there was a section for bases and another for wheels. Asetek has never hidden information about this. In fact, it is one of the most transparent companies I have seen regarding its products and internal processes. So we all suspected that the rest of the ecosystem would arrive based on the clues in RaceHub.

RaceHub is a simple application that is lightweight and follows Scandinavian design philosophies. It is practical and does what is expected of it without unnecessary frills. In this case, we have the necessary configurations for degrees, inertia, damping, forces, slew rate, hardness, and travel of bump stops, all spread across several customizable profiles.

Furthermore, as is common nowadays, it allows the creation of our own profiles for each game, which can be saved or automatically executed. As we do in these cases, everything is set to the maximum and smoothing filters are kept to a minimum to experience the full potential of the base and the “raw” sensations it can provide.


With the front mount sold by Asetek, the usage is very straightforward, and it looks great in any cockpit. In case you’re wondering, the front mount is adjustable and can adapt to almost any design, both externally and internally, with a maximum opening of 64 centimeters.

The power and safety switches are illuminated in blue and green LEDs. With a simple and satisfying touch to the power button, we are ready to use the base, which will go into standby mode automatically after a period of inactivity indicated by the blinking of the start button. To restore force feedback, we simply touch the button again, and voila, we regain activity.

In terms of heat, I have noticed a higher amount of heat compared to a small Mige in an OSW setup when it’s running, but nothing to be concerned about. It doesn’t get hot enough to burn and there is absolutely no noise. The power supply also remains silent throughout, something that was already overcome years ago, and we don’t experience any oscillations to set an index at the beginning. Everything feels very natural and aims for simplicity.

Although it’s more related to the wheel rim, which we will discuss shortly, the simplicity of the quick release (QR) and its operation is worth mentioning. It is as consistent as the Simucube’s QR but with built-in electronics and without getting “stuck.” I’m eager to see it in action with other wheel rims.

Behind the wheel

Looking at other reviews, we have mentioned that we have the natural ingredients of what would be a mid-range OSW but optimized to the extreme. So the least we can expect is that its performance is as good and accurate as the other designs based on Mige and Simucube that we have tested.

And for those who don’t know, that’s a lot and very impressive. This base could easily compete with more expensive Simucube models while offering exclusive features. To have built-in electronics, top-notch safety and power buttons, a 22-bit encoder, a 400W power supply, and a QR with open electronics for other manufacturers at this price point are undeniable achievements.

And once we get behind the wheel, it doesn’t disappoint at all. It is as smooth as the most refined Direct Drive systems we have tested and as powerful as bases that cost much more. The slew rate value allows us to detect even the slightest imperfection, feel it, and react to it. It offers immediacy, but also a tremendous amount of fidelity without any strange artifacts or peculiar behaviors. At times, it may even feel like it operates with overly conservative settings and lacks a certain aggressiveness… until we push it to the limit and find ourselves trying to tame a wild young stallion.

Each car, simulator, wheel rim, and configuration provides a new and different flavor and handles the force feedback (FFB) in its own way, while maintaining astonishing precision and reliability at all times. The wheel rim and base give a high-end sense of weight and solidity, something that I would have hardly thought possible at this price point with these extras just a year ago.

Final Verdict

We’ve reached the key point where it’s time to speak clearly about this base. Just by looking at the specifications, you can see that they have included everything good that we have known since the beginning of Direct Drive, optimized it, and packaged it beautifully at a price lower than what we were accustomed to. That should give you an idea of what I think.

While the analysis of the Forte wheel rim, which is the best one available so far, is still pending, I can say that everything has positively surprised me. Each detail I have come across is better than the previous one, and the only thing I can fault it for is not satisfying my darker and more subjective quirks.

Asetek Simsports entering the world of bases with this mid-range proposition should leave other companies trembling in fear. If the Forte pedals already seemed fantastic to me, there is no doubt that the experience provided by the entire Forte lineup is outstanding and makes the market very exciting with these new competitors.

All the combined Forte products, with the centerpiece being this base, possibly offer one of the most consistent and solid experiences currently available in a virtual cockpit. The feeling of peace that everything fits in its place and works perfectly at a very reasonable price is extraordinary.

If this is the case, I can’t imagine how intense the showdown between the Asetek Invicta Direct Drive Wheelbase and the Simucube 2 Ultimate can be. It will surely be memorable.

The base can be purchased individually or in a pack with a wheel or with a wheel and pedals.

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