With full-motion Sim Racing systems becoming more accessible for your home sim rig, there are now a number of different systems worth looking at.  One of them is the Next Level Racing Motion Plus, which is a very neat and tidy package that will not look completely over the top in your living room or bedroom.  It is still a substantial investment, so let’s take a close look at this unit to see if it might be the best choice for you!

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The Next Level Racing Motion Plus in a single unit configuration is a 2DOF (Two Degrees of Freedom) full cockpit mover providing pitch and roll movements to your entire cockpit).

You have an active motion module on one end of your cockpit providing independent up and down movements from the left and right sides.  On the opposing end of your cockpit, you’ll have a non-active rocker stand which will allow your cockpit to tilt from side to side and front to back.  The active module can be installed on either the front or back of the cockpit, both of which have their benefits.

If a second module is purchased, this will give you a 3rd Degree of Freedom. Heave, which is the up and down movement of the entire cockpit in unison, will double your cost and provide another layer of immersion which is particularly good for feeling a loss of weight over a crest or bouncing over curbs etc. For this review we are just looking at the single module configuration.

Reasons we like it:

  • Relatively easy to install and start driving, especially if you have an NLR Rig.
    Being specifically designed for seamless integration with the Next Level Racing Elite series cockpits makes for a very easy installation on those rigs.  You should not run into many issues installing this on any aluminium profile rig, but be sure to check the dimensions of your cockpit and the Motion Plus system to ensure compatibility.
  • Tidy once installed. Only a USB and Power cable, and a very small footprint.  Particularly compared to 4 actuation 3DOF systems such as the D-Box or Sigma Integrale DK2 which we recently reviewed, where you need multiple cables running around the cockpit, and a separate control module mounted on or near your rig.
  • Overall Excellent software with a variety of extra features such as Tactile feedback and OBD-II Emulation.
  • Great game support with little to no hassle getting things to work.
  • Simple yet powerful controls for tuning.
  • In-built motion compensation for VR and fixed monitors (although we didn’t find we needed it).
  • Consistent experience across sim titles.
  • High-Quality Hardware with a compact footprint.
  • Provides more than enough range of movement for the vast majority of drivers from trucks to Formula cars.
  • Relatively quiet at idle.
  • Provides 70-80% of the immersion you get with a DBOX (would be 80-90% with engine vibration), etc 3DOF for less money than some (no heave was noticeable but less detrimental to the overall experience as I expected it may have been.

Room for Improvement:

  • Noisy in operation compared to alternatives, loud enough to hear through headphones.
  • There is a slight robotic nature to the feeling of this motion system compared to the 3DOF systems we have tested. The motion plus is still very detailed with a quick response and no latency, however, we have had a slightly smoother feel from other systems.
  • No engine vibration effects at the time of filming. This should be easy for NLR to add through a software update, so hopefully it is something we will see soon.
  • Have to switch between games manually, if you forget to do this, you will not have any motion in your game and need to alt-tab out to get it going (hopefully) before your race starts.
  • Rig moves a lot when not driving due to lash in gears. Other alternatives have no movement when not driving. This can look weird on stream if your seat is bouncing around while talking, etc and could be a dealbreaker for anyone who does other tasks from their rig. Gear lash makes me question longevity compared to alternatives.
  • Power switch is in an inconvenient location and no physical emergency stop (general complaint with most motion systems).
  • Adds a lot of weight to your rig which makes it hard to move around (as do all full-motion systems).  If you need to wheel your rig out and hide it away every time you use it, this could be an issue.

Conclusions:

The Next Level Racing Motion Plus is a high-quality product that will bring a lot of fun and immersion to your sim rig.  it is a significant step up from a seat mover, but would be much easier to recommend if it were cheaper.  While you will absolutely love driving with this on your rig, At this price point there are some other strong alternatives worth considering.

It’s important to remember that motion systems like this are purely about adding more immersion to the simulation experience.  They aren’t going to make you faster, and in some cases may actually make you slower if you really crank them up to their full potential.

If you know you want motion and are looking for a simple to use and easy-to-integrate system, this is a very strong option and ultimately, if this is your first experience with motion, you’ll likely be absolutely blown away!

We go in to a huge amount of detail on this product in our full video review, so make sure you check that out to find out all there is to know about the Next Level Racing Motion Plus.