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Asetek SimSports: the ideal choice for simracers 2024?

Sim Racing FR

E-sport driver & Sim Racing enthusiast, I decided to share my passion on this website.

Even though there are many brands in the sim-racing world, we have players who have been around for a long time and still can’t innovate, and we also have brands that are literally 4 years old and still manage to bring us peripherals that are bursting with sensations and realism.

Among the major players in sim-racing, we have Logitech and Thrustmaster who have just entered the world of Direct Drive bases, despite the fact that both brands have been around for over 20 years. And in the completely opposite spectrum, actors like Moza Racing or Simagic who were “born” at the end of the 2010s, are bringing us some of the highest-performance DD engines in the world.

What I’m saying is that, sometimes, brands attack a segment just to make money and gain market share. But, fortunately, there are also actors who are there out of passion, as is the case with Fanatec Simucube and Asetek SimSports. Gaming fans will find the last one, Asetek, rather familiar, especially if you’re into overclocking and watercooling. Well, to put it simply: it’s the same brand of blocks for CPUs and GPUs, but it’s been tackling sim-racing since 2021.

In what follows, I’m going to introduce you to the brand, or rather its sim-racing division, tell you about its flagship peripherals and give you my opinion on them.

The Asetek story

Asetek was founded in 1997 by André Eriksen, a Dane. At the very beginning of the brand’s history, and this is still the case today, the company focused on watercooling and gaming innovation. If you’ve ever seen a YouTube video or read an article about overclocking a PC, you’ve almost certainly heard of Asetek and its block designs.

It has to be said that the company has always been an innovator in the watercooling game, researching and developing new designs, patents and so on. Virtually everything to do with watercooling these days is by Asetek design, and that means the company carries a lot of weight.

As for sim-racing, it turns out that André Eriksen has been racing cars for some years, and his son is currently racing in GT World Challenge. Seeking to diversify its activities, Asetek first entered the sim-racing segment with pedalboards. Since then, we’ve had a whole ecosystem of the Danish brand, and some of the best on the market today.

The Asetek ecosystem

The best way to win market share is to have a complete ecosystem of products, and to have product diversity. Asetek knows this very well, as the brand has been present in the watercooling segment for over 20 years.

At present, the Danish manufacturer’s ecosystem is rather complete, with a Quick Release that allows other brands’ wheels to be used with Asetek bases, cranksets, bases and wheels, all spread over 3 ranges: La Prima, Forte and Invicta. All Asetek peripheral ranges include a base, a steering wheel and a pedalboard, thus reaching every purse and every sim-racer in the world. But I have to warn you right away: the brand is positioned in the premium segment, and Asetek products don’t come cheap.

Unlike brands such as Fanatec , which offers a wide catalog of sim-racing products and peripherals, Asetek is rather shy, with only 3 entries per range. In all, Asetek offers 3 bases, 3 flywheels (including 1 under development) and 3 cranksets. Honestly, that’s not a lot of products, but I can tell you in advance that they’re excellent.

The La Prima range

The Prima represents Asetek’s entry-level range, with high-performance peripherals for everyone. This range includes a Formula-style steering wheel, a 12 nm Direct Drive base and a Load Cell crankset.

Asetek sells peripherals from its La Prima range as a bundle, and you can have them in exchange for €1135.

asetek bundle la prima

La Prima crankset

asetek pedalboard la prima

The La Prima pedalboard is Asetek’s entry-level pedalboard, just like the other La Prima peripherals. This crankset consists of 2 basic Load Cell pedals, but you can also add a clutch pedal.

Metal construction, with several customization options for the pedal plates. Design-wise, it’s very handsome, with black dominating all the colors and a few orange accents. I love the design of this crankset, especially the point where you can change the plates. This gives the setup more customization than other sim-racing brands with fairly standard products.

For feel, the brake is a Load Cell MLCPC (Mechanical Load Cell Powered Cylinder), an in-house technology. The feel is there, providing powerful and above all genuine resistance. Underfoot, the pedal is hard with a rather linear stroke. If we compare this pedalboard to the Load Cell competition, it’s clearly better than what the others are doing, except for Heusinkveld perhaps.

La Prima steering wheel

asetek volant la prima

This steering wheel is also Asetek’s entry-level model, made from metal, carbon fiber and plastic. First of all, this wheel is typically Formula, so it won’t appeal to everyone. Asetek is clearly targeting an audience of pro sim-racers who are GT and single-seater fans.

On the steering wheel, you’ll find a RevLED, switches, normal and rotary buttons and paddles. The finish is excellent, with a good grip for those used to Formula steering wheels. For the handles, a silicone coating comes on top to ensure a better grip for the hands. What’s more, the material is very comfortable, so you won’t have to wear gloves for long sim-racing sessions.

La Prima base

asetek base la prima

Here again, we’re talking entry-level, with a base that develops 12 nm of torque. The design is quite successful, with a fairly compact metal case. In fact, all Asetek bases look alike, the only differences being the logo (La Prima, Forte and Invicta) on the front and the size: the more powerful, the bigger.

In terms of sensations, we’re superbly well served. What’s amazing is that Asetek has just launched its sim-racing business (in 2021), and its engineers have come up with one of the best bases in the world, competing with Fanatec and Simucube. The force feedback is well measured, precise and highly communicative. You’ll feel everything the car does, down to the smallest detail.

The Asetek QR is one of a kind. Inspired by those used in motor sports, the steering wheel slides into place without the slightest force, but holds securely once in position. What’s more, Asetek has developed a QR that allows wheels from other brands to be used with its bases, which is pretty cool, especially when you see that the manufacturer’s wheel catalog is thin nonetheless.

The Forte range

Forte represents Asetek’s “mid-range”, even if these products are really up against the competition’s top-of-the-range. Once again, we have a Load Cell crankset, a Formula-style steering wheel and, this time, an 18 nm base. If you’re a fan of sim-racing, you know very well that the competition at the top end of the market runs in the 20 and 25 nm range. And then, out of the blue, Asetek hands us a mid-range 18 nm base on a silver platter.

The Forte range is sold as a bundle for €1,681. It’s homey, but it’s quality.

asetek bundle forte

The Forte crankset

asetek pedalier forte

The Forte crankset is very similar to its entry-level brother. In terms of resistance technology, we have a Load Cell with MLCPC to provide feel, a force that resists the pressure of your foot and several adjustments to the pedals and their plates.

This crankset’s Load Cell MLCPC is just like La Prima’s: precise, reliable and durable. You’ll experience a whole host of sensations on the track, which will help you improve your times. Another plus: you can add a clutch pack to get the most out of this sim-racing device in 3-pedal mode.

The Forte steering wheel

asetek volant forte

The Asetek steering wheel in the Forte range is also very similar to its little brother. To be honest, it’s more or less the same, with a few extra controls and a carbon-fiber finish.

All in all, this steering wheel is very easy to handle, just like those in the La Prima range. The controls (buttons, switches, etc.) are quickly and easily accessible, and the RevLED is also present.

For the structure, we use carbon fiber, forged carbon and plastic. On this steering wheel, you can customize the handles to suit your needs. Choose from material, hardness, diameter and color.

The Forte base

asetek forte base

Design-wise, this base is identical to La Prima, with only the size, weight and logo changing. The engine now develops 18 nm of torque, 50% more than the base La Prima. The sensations are even more intense, and you’ll feel every detail of what the car is doing, without having to deal with clipping. In other words: there’s plenty of time before you saturate the engine with this base.

This base also features Asetek’s QR, so you can attach any of our competitors’ wheels to it, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. Although the Danish manufacturer’s shuttlecocks are beautiful and excellent, they won’t suit everyone.

The Invicta range

Asetek gets down to business with its Invicta products, and the competition has only itself to blame. On the menu: 27 nm Direct Drive base and hydraulic crankset, with a top-of-the-range steering wheel in the works, according to information leaked on the net. It’s clear that Asetek has Simucube in its sights, and the Danish brand isn’t kidding around.

The Invicta crankset

asetek invicta crankset

Here, it hits hard. The Invicta crankset is made entirely of metal, and features Asetek’s patented T.H.O.R.P . system. On this system, instead of having two pistons like the competition, there’s just one, but with two stages. The first stage covers the piston stroke between the first 20 and 25 millimeters and includes an adjustable elastomer to simulate pressure build-up.

Once past this floor, you come face to face with a rock in the form of a mechanical stop (hydraulic pressure). Here, the harder you press on the pedal, the greater the pressure registered, giving you the impression of hammering on a car’s brake pedal, without the Invicta pedal actually moving.

That’s all very well and good, but to put it simply: this crankset is ultra-realistic with its 200 bar pressure, equivalent to 185 kg per foot. It’s just huge. And it’s clear that Asetek isn’t kidding around with its sim-racing peripherals.

What’s more, you can add a clutch pack to the pedalboard for a total of 3 pedals. Price-wise, this device costs around €750 for the 2-pedal version and just over €1,000 for the 3-pedal version, with a pair of sim-racing shoes and other accessories included in the package.

The Invicta base

That’s all there is to it. Asetek brings us a 27 nm Direct Drive base, putting itself up against the very top of the range from Simucube and Fanatec. Like Asetek’s other bases, the Invicta uses the same design, but differs in size and weight. It’s beautiful, it’s big and, above all, it’s heavy.

In terms of sensations, it’s pure bliss. According to some sim-raceurs, it’s simply the best base available on the market in terms of sensations, communication, realism and immersion. As far as I’m concerned, the Invicta base is excellent, far surpassing the competition in every respect.

As for the price of this little jewel, expect to pay just over €1,300 excluding tax on the manufacturer’s website.

The Invicta steering wheel

So, for Asetek’s top-of-the-range steering wheel, it’s all a blur so far. We know that the brand is developing a top-of-the-range wheel with screen and all, but we don’t have any more information on it. Some have been able to see it and try it out, but most have not. All we can do now is wait for its release. In any case, and given what we’ve seen with the Danish manufacturer’s other products, this steering wheel will certainly be exceptional.

Console compatibility

Like many high-end sim-racing manufacturers, Asetek’s peripherals are not compatible with consoles from either Microsoft or Sony. In reality, the problem lies not with Asetek, but rather with the console manufacturers.

If you haven’t already heard, to offer a peripheral that runs on an Xbox or Playstation, the console manufacturer must supply a chip that acts as an interface between the peripheral and the platform. And to get this chip, there’s a long list of criteria to meet, as well as a certain seniority in the game. Let’s face it: Asetek is just entering the world of sim-racing, and neither Sony nor Microsoft is going to favor this new brand over the old ones.

But Asetek’s boss has not closed the door on consoles, and foresees compatibility in the future. We only hope that this future will be close at hand, so that our console colleagues can benefit from the brand’s exceptional products.

Read also: The best Fanatec steering wheels for Playstation and The best Fanatec steering wheels for Xbox

Is the Asetek brand really worth the detour?

Although the Danish manufacturer of sim-racing peripherals focuses on the high-end, even the very high-end, there’s no denying that its products are expensive, but of excellent quality, and even the best in some categories.

With its passion, mastery of manufacturing and well-established brand image in the gaming world, Asetek is definitely worth a visit. And if you can afford a setup with all Asetek peripherals, whatever the range, you won’t regret your decision. This brand’s sim-racing products are exceptional, premium, immersive and ultra-realistic.

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