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Gran Turismo 7 can turn the DualSense into a steering wheel – and it’s brilliant

Gran Turismo 7’s optional motion controls aren’t a gimmick, they work well enough to provide an alternative to a dedicated racing wheel....
Photo by geralt

Gran Turismo 7 is out now, and it’s simply brilliant. In my review, I say the racing sim is the best PS5 exclusive to date. It looks beautiful, the cars feel incredible to drive, and it’s brimming with content, including hundreds of cars and loads of tracks to race them on.

But GT7’s ace in the hole, as it was with PS5 exclusives Returnal and Demon’s Souls, is the haptic feedback and adaptive trigger functionality offered by the DualSense Wireless Controller. GT7’s arguably the best use of the controller’s vibrations, too, with you able to feel every bump in the road, every gear change, even the sweeps of the windscreen wipers.

But Gran Turismo 7 showcases the capabilities of the DualSense controller even further. Tucked away in the controller options menu is the choice to use motion controls in place of the analog stick, emulating the feeling of turning a steering wheel. It might sound like a gimmick, and I thought it would be, too, but upon trying out the DualSense’s motion controls for myself, I was shocked at just how well they actually work.

Makes complete DualSense

(Image credit: ff)

What struck me immediately was how responsive the DualSense’s motion controls are. They remind me of the Wii Motion Plus peripheral Nintendo released for its Wii over a decade ago. Motion Plus almost completely eliminated lag from controller to screen, and considerably improved the accuracy of the motion controls.

The DualSense Wireless Controller is remarkably accurate when playing GT7. With the motion controls option enabled and holding the controller head-on in front of you like a steering wheel, you can tilt the controller ever so slightly in either direction to perform fine adjustments to your car’s positioning on the track, or to navigate past easier corners.

Rotating the controller to 90 degrees or beyond will let you cruise through tighter corners as well, and the motion controls blissfully have no issues with advanced circuit sections like slaloms, chicanes or hairpins.

The DualSense’s motion controls are incredibly fun to play with when you’re racing on one of GT7’s off-road tracks, too. Oddly, I found it easier to drift this way than with the analog sticks, so much so that I’m tempted to tackle at least some of the brutally hard off-road challenges at the Licence Center with motion controls turned on.

Wheelin’ and dealin’

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Gran Turismo 7 supports a wide range of racing wheel setups, but they can be very expensive, and so aren’t an option for everyone, especially if you’ve only recently bought a PS5 and a copy of GT7.

GT7’s motion controls offer an experience close to that of a racing wheel. They may not be quite as accurate or tactile as a racing wheel, but they’re a solid alternative that’s both fun to use and free. 

I’m glad developer Polyphony Digital took the time to implement the control option into GT7. I’ve genuinely not had this much fun with motion controls since the inclusion of the Wii Wheel peripheral all the way back in 2008 with Mario Kart Wii, and if that’s not a shining heap of praise then I don’t know what is.

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