It wasn’t long ago that Recaro entered the gaming chair market. The German company has been around for more than 100 years, but is actually known for building airplane seats and as an expert for premium car seats. Since these also need to be comfortable for hours and suitable for many different backs, there’s no need for a detailed explanation as to why now suddenly gaming chairs.
In 2018, Recaro eGaming presented its first chair at Gamescom 2018. The orientation of the company offshoot was clear: high-quality premium gaming seats for e-sports, but also for the home. In 2019, the market launch followed with the Exo Platinum and in 2020, the Recardo Exo FX made its debut. For a proud 899.00 euros, the price also settles in the premium range; thus also surpasses the prices of the top dogs Backforce, Noblechairs and SecretLab.
We’re curious to see what a gaming chair can do for so much money, whether it can really stand out positively from the other manufacturers in relation, and whether it just doesn’t just look good. To find out, we put the Recaro Gaming Exo FX in Sunset Orange through its paces.
|Fabric cover||100% polyester|
|Caster type||Universal plastic castor|
|Total height||1,356 – 1,453 mm|
|Dimension seat||405 x 450 mm|
|Seat height||490 – 590 mm|
|Load capacity||150 kg|
|Colors||Pure Black, Sunset Orange, Lime Green, Iron Grey, Racing Blue|
|Price||Price not available*|
Unpacking and assembly are child’s play
Now if you think the box is like any other and the chair is packaged like any other, you are completely wrong. The Recaro Exo FX arrives in a cardboard box about 130 cm high, with the appropriate inscription “First of its kind”. Translated, this means something like “The first of its kind”, which could well be true in the end – but let’s wait for the test and dedicate ourselves to the unboxing for now.
This continues with the opening on the side. Awaiting us was some paperwork and another cardboard insert. This contains, among other things, the chair cross, which we can simply pull out. After that, the chair is already almost ready in front of us. While you have to assemble the backrest and seat of many other gaming chairs, this is not necessary with the Exo FX. Only the base, the gas pressure spring, the castors and the armrests still need to be attached.
Alone or in pairs, this takes about 15 minutes. The detailed instructions with self-explanatory pictures explain all the necessary steps. For the price, we think it’s to be expected that you don’t have to do much more during assembly and that shipping is included. So far, however, Recaro only ships in Germany and to Austria.
Big, but not clunky
Even the design of the Recaro Exo FX differs from that of other well-known gaming chairs. Although at first glance you can see the obligatory holes in the backrest and that it is particularly high, but in terms of design, the Exo FX is just a different number. Recaro relies on internally proven looks inspired by decades of work in the sports seating sector. Accordingly, the gaming chair differs from Noblechairs and co. in another respect in that it wears a sporty design and Noblechairs Hero or Backforce One go more down the classy route. If anything, the Exo FX resembles a DXRacer.
In the end, it’s always the user’s taste, but we think it’s good to see a new look come to the gaming chair market for a change and increase diversity.
As soon as we took our first seat in the Recaro Exo FX, it was immediately a very special feeling. The chair really hugs your spine, you immediately get a confidence to gamble in the chair for hours and you are completely isolated so your focus can also be on the game. Now we’re excited to see what features the Exo FX has in store
Only the highest quality materials are used at Recaro
First, however, we will of course briefly go into the materials; 899.00 euros should, after all, not only pay for the features.
The Exo FX from Recaro is completely covered with breathable fabric, which meets the highest quality standards. The German company has simply helped itself in their own fabric warehouse, which has already held their racing seats for so many years. In addition, the fabric can do something else: It has grip! No matter how long you sit on it or what you wear, you won’t slip an inch if you don’t want to. In addition, the anti-submarining mounds also ensure this. These also come from car seat construction and normally prevent slipping away under the lap belt in the event of a collision. In keeping with the shell shape, some might be bothered by the side bolsters.
The fabric selection ensures that you don’t sweat a bit even after very many hours of playing. In addition, the Exo FX relieves you of the need to get up because sitting becomes tiring. This is an added benefit that only very few gaming chairs offer. Let’s hear it for now!
Recardo also draws on his experience for the foam used in the upholstery. Anyone who knows how people can sit comfortably for hours in a car or on a plane also knows how to do it on a gaming chair. And indeed: the Exo FX provides a long-lasting feeling of comfort with its special foam contour under the seat of the pants.
Really every screw, every component, every textile is of outstanding quality in the Recaro Exo FX, which promises the chair an exceptionally long service life. This is also supported by optimal workmanship “Made in Germany”.
Armrest supports and the base are also made of lightweight but very robust aluminum. This is one reason why the chair weighs only 26 kilograms in total.
It’s like sitting in a race car – only without seatbelts
This wouldn’t be a good review if we didn’t separately discuss the imposing backrest. We’ve already explained what it’s covered in, but not yet what’s behind it. Recaro has given the Exo FX a proper bucket seat, the kind you only see in race cars.
The backrest is thereby stabilized from behind by high-quality and strong plastic. For optimal ergonomics, the lumbar support brings the rest; however, this is fixed and thus not individually adjustable. Very much did not miss this flexibility in the Exo FX, as it offers a great seat feeling to almost any body size.
The Recaro Gaming Chair brings some useful features to the table. However, we were most impressed by the smoothly functioning swing function. As if lubricated, this can be activated with a flick of the wrist on the left and lets us swing back and forth as if lying in a cradle. On the right side, the resistance of the rocker can be adjusted so that it is suitable for both light and easy users. This way, you can celebrate active gaming or let yourself slide backwards to watch your favorite streamer.
The lever for the swing function is located on the left side under the seat. Pulling it up locks the chair into one of four “pre-programmed” seating positions. So a free adjustment as in other chairs is just as little present as a synchronous mechanism.
Four different seat positions are “pre-programmed”
According to Recaro, these were selected during development through testing. In the process, gamers and e-athletes were surveyed, which also showed on the prototypes which positions they occupy the most.
Out came the following four basic positions that can be adjusted:
Attack position: This is about the typical posture you take as a gamer when you want to display the highest concentration and mindfulness – mostly “essential for survival” for players in the competitive field. The chair leans forward so that you are still supported by the backrest.
Core Focus Position: This setting is relevant when seconds do not matter, but concentration is an important companion. This is the optimal sitting position, which is also appropriate in the home office.
Core Relax position: Now things start to get a little more relaxed. You are slightly reclined, assuming a relaxed posture, but still have your focus on what is happening on the monitor. This is the longest sitting position that can be adopted.
Recharge position: Gambling is not really done in these positions anymore. Comfortably leaning back and putting the chair in the rearmost swing position, it lends itself to watching movies, YouTube and Twitch.
While the Recaro Exo, i.e. the base model, only has 4D armrests, owners of an Exo FX or Exo Platinum can look forward to one more dimension. Accordingly, the armrests can be rotated fully through 360°. But that’s not all, of course.
First, the armrest stands under the seat can be pushed further from the seat or pulled further towards it. So no matter how wide the cross is, the arms will definitely hit the armrests. However, this requires loosening the screw under the seat each time.
Of course, these can also be maneuvered up and down and the supports can be moved back and forth. Those who are bothered by the armrests can also turn them away to the back with the push of a button. Folding them away completely, however, is not possible.
Recaro has also done a great job with the armrests, which are comfortably padded with soft rubber. Except for the lack of folding away, we have not yet come across armrests of greater value and flexibility.
What else the Exo FX can do
Now we’ve tested the essential features extensively and are thoroughly satisfied. However, Recaro has also thought of details, so the backrest can be adjusted backwards and forwards, the spring force can be adjusted as well as the swing function can be optimized to the body weight. Of course, the gaming chair can also be adjusted in height by means of a gas pressure spring.
Another thing worth mentioning about the backrest is that it is not adjusted with a spring mechanism, but with a rotating wheel located on both sides of the chair.
The chair’s casters are suitable for both hard floor and flat carpet and are very smooth.
On the whole, the Recaro Exo FX offers all the features a gaming chair needs to sit in comfortably for a long time, without exception.
Yes, it is the first of its kind. Yes, the price is justified, although it exceeds those of competitors. However, when you consider what you may fork out if you want to purchase an ergonomic chair away from gaming, the price is no longer that surprising. The workmanship, the materials and the smoothly acting functions justify the 899.00 Euros. On top of that, the Exo FX has a really good design, which was rightly awarded the German Design Award 2020.
Whether one spends so much for a gaming chair is up to everyone. For e-sportsmen, who sometimes train 10 to 15 hours a day in it, an absolutely acceptable price. For hobby gamers who play a few rounds after work, the sum might be too much of a good thing – unless the gehaltscheckt says “take my money”.
In our opinion, Recardo has really done an outstanding job with the Exo FX and will cause a lasting revolution on the gaming chair market. The question is in which direction the competition will go: will there be more high-quality seats for a lot of money coming in the future, or will Recaro form its own price range?
Although Recaro has created a really high-quality chair, we do have a bit of criticism. The lumbar support isn’t adjustable, there’s no synchro mechanism, and the armrests don’t fold away completely. In addition, you have to pay extra for a headrest, and cushions are not included. So Recaro could have added a little something here. After all, Backforce already offers these features on a gaming chair that costs almost half as much.