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Playseat: The best sim-racing cockpits in your living room

Sim Racer

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

Video games in the automotive world are constantly evolving, each with its own approach, some more realistic, others more arcade. Every year, more and more games are released on the market, all of them hyper realistic in terms of image or experience and, with the evolution of the sector, accessories are democratized to make the experience more immersive, even going towards the integration of virtual reality.

Nowadays, if you want to feel the best possible sensations during the game, there is nothing better than to equip yourself with a cockpit. In this field, the manufacturer Playseat is the number one brand in the field of gaming and racing simulation seats. That’s why we decided to tell you everything there is to know about this brand!

In this article we will tell you about the history of Playseat, its qualities andwhat makes it the current leader in the cockpit market. But we will also help you to choose which model is best for you, what criteria to consider before choosing your Playseat and we will of course offer you a selection of the best models of the brand.

 

The best Playseats at a glance

The history of the Playseat brand

The founder and current president of Playseat Company, Dr. Fernando Smit, is a big fan of motorsports. He drove karts at a professional level and was Dutch enduro champion in the 125 cm³ categories in 1997 and 1998.

One day, he had an idea and mounted one of his old Sparco seats on a metal frame. He attached a steering wheel and pedals to the frame and it was all there: the ultimate racing sensation. That’s how the first Playseat was born.

He soon found himself building frames for friends and the business began to thrive and continued to grow. In 2002, production shifted from the Netherlands to China.

Today, Playseat is a well-known concept in the gaming world, a worldwide registered trademark with numerous patents, a manufacturer and a well-established international company. The Playseat concept is unique because of its patented seating system for easy storage and small packaging.

Is it really necessary to buy a cockpit?

Buying a cockpit can be a big investment and you’re probably wondering if it’s really worth it. If you’re a sim-racing enthusiast, using a simulator seat has only advantages for you. Here’s why:

It improves the gaming experience

The cockpits greatly enhance the gaming experience, it’s much more immersive and fun, that’s obvious. This allows us to enjoy the games more, especially if they are racing simulation games. In addition, most models offer a driving position that is virtually identical to that of a race car.

It can be stored and folded

Not all of us have enough space at home to let the seat constantly take up space. The good news is that the vast majority of seats can be folded in at least two parts and also offer the possibility of folding the backrest so that we can store it taking up much less space.

It improves your performance

An ergonomic, fixed position allows the brain to better memorize your movements, so for competitive Sim-racing, having a fixed position (excluding the problems of rolling office chairs) and static references improves our long-term performance. They also help you get into the atmosphere of the game and immerse yourself more in what’s going on.

It improves comfort

Thanks to its ergonomics, it is more comfortable to play from the cockpit than from a chair. Also, if we have bad postural habits – like maintaining a forced posture – it can help us prevent back pain, especially if we usually play long sessions, because our back will be supported evenly with the help of the seat.

It can be adapted to our size

Cockpits don’t work by size, they give us the opportunity to adapt them to our size and make some adjustments to get the most out of them. Some have adjustable backrest tilt, the vast majority have longitudinal adjustment, ideal for legs and arms, especially if you’re playing with a simracing wheel and pedalboard.

 

Why choose Playseat?

The vision of the brand is to be able to feel the true emotion of professional drivers during a race with the Playseat racing seats. And she is doing everything possible to make it happen.

Playseat works with real racing drivers to test their products, and we are not talking about just any drivers, but world famous stars like Daniel Ricciardo and Maz Verstappen (F1 drivers).

Playseat’s ecosystem of products is wide, there is something for every taste and every budget, which makes it possible to delight all audiences. You’re bound to find a model that suits you!

In addition, they use top-quality materialsin the manufacture of their various models to guarantee robust and long-lasting seats.

Their simulation seats are almost fully compatible with all video game consoles. Whether you have a PlayStation, an Xbox, a Mac or a PC, it doesn’t matter, you will have the choice among all the Playseat models and you will inevitably find one compatible with your gaming platform.

Playseat is an ever-evolving company that never stops surprising us with more realistic models and the best possible technology.

And if you have any questions about their cockpits, you can always count on the very good customer service that will be happy to help you.

 

How to choose your Playseat cockpit?

To properly choose a simulation cockpit, there are certain factors to consider to make sure the model best fits your needs, budget and specific situation. We will explain what these factors are.

Compatibility

There is no point in buying a super cockpit model for F1 if it is not compatible with your console, pedalboard or steering wheel, as you will not be able to install it. Most have universal adjustment features built in to ensure that you can adapt it to your simulation equipment, but be sure to check that this is the case to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Construction and materials

It is important to look at the structure of the frames, the legs and the layout of the articulated arms to ensure that they are completely stable. We recommend that you purchase Sim-racing cockpits made of very strong materials such as steel and aluminum. This way, they stand up well to the weight and long play sessions.

Additional features

Additional features and components are very important when purchasing a cockpit. For example, some incorporate recliners, height adjustments and the incorporation of lever stands, monitors and more. Keep in mind that each of the additional features adds an additional cost to the purchase.

The available space

Before deciding on a particular model, it is necessary to take into account the available space you have to install it in your home. Some cockpit models are foldable and allow you to save space, or even to store them in a closet. Check the dimensions of the model you are interested in to make sure it will work for you.

The price

Prices for sim-racing cockpits vary widely and depend greatly on their functionality. It is important to determine what your budget is and what minimum features you want to achieve to help you select the category that best meets your needs.

 

What should a good cockpit have?

There are various cockpit designs and not all of them are very good. In our opinion, a good cockpit should have the following elements:

Stability

All drivers will agree that a racing simulator is usually a very extreme experience, with sudden changes and movements. That’s why you need to find a stable cockpit that can handle all these movements without moving to avoid accidents.

A non-slip base

Although some sim-racing cockpits have wheels on the base, we recommend that you purchase one with a non-slip base, which may have lockable wheels, metal feet with rubber tips, or a silicone coating on the bottom of the structure.

A good fit for the pedals and steering wheel

It’s important that your pedals and steering wheel fit snugly into the frame to avoid all kinds of unexpected movement. So we recommend a universal frame that you can adjust as much as necessary to hold the rest of your equipment in place.

 

The best cockpits of Playseat

To help you choose the ideal Playseat cockpit model for you, we have prepared a selection of their best models in order of price.

 

Playseat cockpit models for less than €350

In the entry-level category and for less than 350 €, the Playseat brand offers cockpit models that are among the best-selling on the market.

The Playseat Challenge

The Playseat Challenge cockpit is the least expensive model in our selection of the best from the PlaySeat brand. But just because it’s the cheapest doesn’t mean it’s not a good option.

The seat of this chassis is very similar to a semibucket, as it has holes in the upper part for seat belts and its structure is padded. It is not a completely rigid chair, so you can move it in and out of the structure.

The Playseat Challenge is adjustable in both tilt and depth on the steering wheel, pedals and seat. The cockpit supports up to 120 kg, and although it states that the maximum height of the person is 220 cm to use the cockpit, the reality is that if you are 190 cm tall, you may be a little cramped in this model.

This versatile and comfortable seat is a perfect option if you have limited space in your racing area, as this cockpit can be folded with the included steering wheel, avoiding the need to assemble and disassemble everything, being able to store it in a convenient and simple way.

Its technical characteristics:

  • This cockpit is compatible with all currently available steering wheels and pedals, including Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec.
  • It is compatible with PlayStation 3, 4 and 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC and Mac.
  • Recommended pilot size: 120 – 220 cm
  • Recommended pilot weight: 20 – 122 kg
  • Dimensions: 136 x 54 x 96 cm
  • Weight : 9 kg

Its Advantages

  • Wide compatibility.
  • Foldable and easy to store.

Its Disadvantages

  • It is not a rigid seat, it can move.

The Playseat Evolution Alcantara

playseat evolution alcantara

The Playseat Evolution Alcantara is a solid choice for beginner sim players and more experienced racers.

This cockpit hasa sturdy, well-builtmetal construction with an adjustable position for both the seat and the steering wheel. It is more expensive than the Playseat Challenge, but makes up for that with its build quality and adaptability.

This model has high quality Alcantara upholstery, which is the material used in real racing cars. Its black lacquered frame is robust and fully adjustable.

This is probably the best mid-level cockpit available on the market today. One of its only drawbacks is that the seat does not recline, which can be awkward for tall users. A shifter bracket is also available for the cockpit but is unfortunately sold separately.

Its technical characteristics:

  • It is compatible with all steering wheels and pedalboards currently available on the market, including Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec.
  • It is also compatible with all consoles and PC.
  • Recommended pilot size: 120 – 220 cm
  • Recommended pilot weight: 20 – 122 kg
  • Dimensions: 130 x 50 x 98 cm
  • Net weight: 19.8 kg

Its Advantages

  • Very good quality-price ratio.
  • Robust and high quality construction.
  • Adjustable seat and wheel position.

Its Disadvantages

  • The seat does not recline.
  • The manual shifter bracket is sold separately.

Playseat cockpit models for less than €600

Here we have selected for you our two favorite Playseat cockpit models in the mid-range category.

The Playseat Gran Turismo

playseat gran turismo

This cockpit is an official licensed Gran Turismo simulation seat, designed and developed for fans of the game of the same name.

The Playseat Gran Turismo has been designed in cooperation with professional racing drivers. It has openings on the headrest that are reminiscent of Sparco bucket seats. It also has lateral reinforcements at the head, shoulders and thighs.

Its black lacquered frame is really robust and it is also fully adjustable.

The material used for the Playseat Gran Turismo is alcantara, which is of very high quality and is very often used for luxury cars.

For a perfect design, the simulation seat is covered withofficial Gran Turismo logos that are located on the front, back and sides.

The Playseat Gran Turismo is built to a high standard, as is its stability and comfort.

The Playseat Gran Turismo is very easy to assemble and adjust. It has a patented folding system that allows you to move and store it when not in use.

Its technical characteristics:

  • It is compatible with all steering wheels and pedalboards of major brands such as Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec, but many others.
  • It is compatible with PC and Mac OS operating systems and the following consoles: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U.

  • Recommended pilot size: 120 – 220 cm
  • Recommended pilot weight: 20 kg – 122 kg
  • Dimensions: 130 x 50 x 98 cm
  • Net weight: 19.8 kg

Its Advantages

  • The seat is very comfortable.
  • High quality materials and workmanship.
  • Top design.

Its Disadvantages

  • Its price is quite high.
  • Quite cumbersome.

The Playseat Trophy

playseat trophy

The Playseat Trophy was created with input from real passionate drivers and e-sports competitors and is a truly remarkable piece of design.

Developed after more than 20 years of involvement and scrutiny, the Playseat Trophy has truly changed the game. With this seat, you can feel and experience the best of Sim-racing thanks to the open seating position and the durable housing that supports Direct Drive steering wheels.

The Playseat Trophy is the first model to offer a frameless seat structure but very stable in which the seat adapts to the pilot’s bodyThis is the first time that a car has ever been fitted with a seat, allowing all users to enjoy exceptional comfort for all ages and sizes, and a true gaming experience that is so realistic that you will feel like you are sitting in an authentic race car seat.

The technology built into this model also enhances full-body sensation, allowing you to get to feel all the force feedback signals throughout your body.

Its technical characteristics:

  • Compatible with all Direct Drive steering wheels on the market (Fanatec, Heusinkveld, Simucube, etc.).
  • Compatible with all steering wheels and pedals on the market (Logitech, Thrustmaster, Fanatec, etc.).
  • Compatible with all consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc.), PC and Mac.
  • Its dimensions: 80 x 60 x 29 cm
  • Its weight: 16 kg

Its Advantages

  • Extremely adjustable and comfortable.
  • Compatible with Direct Drive.
  • Very high quality materials.

Its Disadvantages

  • The gear lever holder is not included.

Playseat cockpit models at more than 1000 €.

In this category, we offer you the top of the top Playseat cockpits with two high quality models.

The Playseat Formula PRO

playseat formula pro

If you are a Formula 1 fan, the Playseat Formula Pro is the perfect cockpit for you.

Designed to mimic the sitting position of a F1 car or other open-wheel car, this racing cockpit is the preferred option for the F1 Esports series and is perfect for those looking to drive open-wheel cars or play officially licensed F1 games like F1 2022.

It is very expensive, but its price is justified by its excellent build quality, attractive design and realistic seating position. This is one of the few cockpits on the market that offers a true F1-style seating position and is best paired with an F1-style steering wheel and pedalboard for maximum immersion.

The Playseat Formula PRO is made of leather-look vinyl which is of extremely good quality. It has a frame with a look that is revolutionary. The seat and frame are fully patented.

It is fully adjustable to allow you to achieve an ideal and truly comfortable riding position.

This seat has a ForceLock system that allows for extreme forces and really easy adjustment of the pedals and steering wheel.

Its technical characteristics:

  • It is compatible with all the steering wheels and pedalboards of the brands Fanatec, Logitech, Thrustmaster, etc.) that are currently sold on the market.
  • It is also compatible with all the following platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox and Playstation and it is even compatible with the Wii.
  • Recommended measurements of pilots: 120 cm – 220 cm
  • Recommended pilot weight: 20 kg – 122 kg
  • Its dimensions: 140 x 88 x 58 cm
  • Its weight: 29 kg

Its Advantages

  • A fully adjustable model.
  • Wide compatibility.
  • Extreme comfort and high quality construction.

Its Disadvantages

  • Its high price.
  • Quite bulky.

The Playseat Sensation PRO

playseat sensation pro

The Playseat Sensation Pro is Playseat’s top-of-the-line product. This model breaks with the typical structure of the other seats of the brand sinceit does not have a central bar (except for the Playseat Challenge which does not have one either because it is folding). It is built with a much stronger structure than its smaller brothers, which translates into a much higher price.

The seat is made of polyester, in a black alcantara-like material, the frame is made of industrial grade black lacquered steel and the frame is made of ultra-strong and versatile steel with an excellent power-to-weight ratio.

The seat can be adjusted with four bolts. This allows you toeasily adjust the seat tilt, distance to the pedals and steering wheel and change the angle of the screen.

In addition, it has a hydraulic adjustment device under the right side of the seat to allow the user to make various adjustments.

The Playseat Sensation PRO offers great build quality, stability and alsoincredible comfort. In addition, this model includes the option of an interchangeable seat and a screen mount for screens up to 55 inches (curved screens up to 48 inches).

Its technical characteristics:

  • It is compatible with PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC and Mac.
  • It is also compatible with all steering wheels and pedals.
  • Recommended measurements of pilots: 120 cm – 220 cm
  • Recommended pilot weight: 20 kg – 122 kg
  • Its dimensions: 150 x 63 x 94 cm
  • Its weight: 38 kg

Its Advantages

  • Extremely well thought-out design.
  • Quality materials
  • Hydraulic adjustment of steering wheel and seat.
  • Monitor stand included.

Its Disadvantages

  • Its high price.
  • It has no keyboard support and is therefore not ideal for PC gamers.

Conclusion

As we explained above, what will determine the choice of your Playseat model is first of all your budget. But it is also based on the style of games you like to play.

Indeed, if you are a F1 racing fan, we recommend you to turn to the Playseat Formula Pro which will meet all your expectations since it was designed for this style of racing. If, on the other hand, you are more of a GT enthusiast, we obviously recommend the Playseat Gran Turismo.

For those who are new to Sim-racing and don’t want to be burdened with a seat that takes up all the room in their living room, the Playseat Challenge is an ideal model that doesn’t require a large investment.

In any case, you will have among the Playseat cockpit models the best on the market today.

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