In the global sim-racing market, many brands exist and coexist together, sharing different segments. Of course, we have manufacturers who focus on the “budget friendly” segment with devices that are aimed at the smaller end of the market and whose performance and immersion are not top notch. We also have manufacturers who are mainly pre-mium, but who touch on several segments in order to satisfy a wider customer base.
If you’ve been sim-racing for a while, you’ll know brands like Fanatec , Simucube , Logitech or Thrutsmaster or even Moza Racing . These brands do make quality sim-racing devices, but they focus on different segments. For example, Fanatec touches a bit of everything with quality products (especially premium). Moza does the same. Simucube is a very high-end manufacturer that aims to satisfy the professional pilot.
But there are also other players who fly under the radar. Moza for example is a very young brand, with barely 2 years of age. In reality, that’s not really the case because Moza is part of the Gudsen Moza company, founded in 2012. And this is also the case for Simagic : a little-known Chinese manufacturer of premium sim-racing devices.
In the following, I will tell you about Simagic, a little bit about its history, its products and tell you what I think about the brand which has some good peripherals, and why it is under the radar since its birth.
The history of Simagic
The Simagic brand was started in 2018 by Barry Lee, who is an engineer working in the electric motor industry. Barry’s team also included race car drivers who were talented but did not have the financial means to support their passion. Everyone knows that motorsport is a ton of money industry, and that you either have to have an innate talent to be spotted by teams at a young age, or you have to have a well-filled bank account to train, improve, and be scored.
Except that at the time, the Chinese drivers Barry knew didn’t have the money and were looking for ways to improve their skills on the cheap, especially through sim-racing. Simagic’s first product was a Direct Drive base, the M10. The power provided by the engine was 10 nm, as its name indicates, the materials used were very noble (carbon fiber, metal and so on), and Simagic had developed the first QR directly inspired by those used in motorsport.
To complete its product catalog, Simagic had to develop its ecosystem. Moreover, the brand is one of the few manufacturers of sim-racing peripherals to offer a complete catalog of products, including bases, steering wheels, pedals, shifters and hand brakes.
Simagic has made a grand entrance into the world of sim-racing, with products that have quickly become popular. The watchword was “quality”, and I must say that this has not changed since. Since Simagic has racing drivers on its staff, it is only natural that the manufacturer focuses on producing high quality products to meet the needs of drivers.
Simagic’s target segment
As I said above, Simagic is a premium brand that tries to satisfy the needs of racing drivers looking to train on a simulator. It is often said that “premium” goes hand in hand with “expensive”, and in the case of Simagic, it is relative. The Chinese manufacturer’s products are by no means intended for a public with a limited budget, but they are still less expensive than those offered by other players such as Simucube.
Simagic is a manufacturer of premium, even high-end peripherals. For the brand, the entry-level and mid-range segments are not interesting, as these are reserved for beginner and amateur sim-racers. The brand is looking to acquire a portfolio of professional customers, whether they are real race drivers or hardcore sim-racing fans; esports drivers in fact.
The Simagic product catalog
Simagic is one of the few brands to have a complete catalog of sim-racing devices, like Fanatec. Simagic products include chainstays, steering wheels, shifters, handbrakes and other products such as hubs. It’s nice to have a complete ecosystem, but is it worth it? Well, yes! Simagic’s products are excellent, far superior to the competition.
The basics of Simagic
Simagic Alpha Mini
The Alpha Mini base from Simagic represents the entry-level base of the manufacturer. This one replaces the very first commercialized model, the M10. This base is rather beautiful and has in its sights the CSL DD of Fanatec, the 8 nm version to be precise. It must be said that the German manufacturer has changed the game by offering a powerful and communicative DD base at low cost, and so Simagic has followed suit.
The Alpha Mini develops 10 nm, just like the base it replaces. It is sold at 525 €, a little more expensive than a CSL DD of 8 nm. As far as I’m concerned, it’s excellent in terms of price. The materials used are carbon fiber and metal, in order to have a quality product, beautifully finished and designed to last.
In terms of sensations, we are spoiled. This base is ultra communicative, precise and powerful. Immersion is pushed to the max, especially if you opt for the entire Simagic ecosystem. It must be said that the brand has racing drivers in its ranks, and its products are clearly intended for pro and semi-pro sim racers. I take my hat off to them for the Alpha Mini, really.
Simagic’s Alpha base occupies the mid-range of the Chinese manufacturer by developing 15 nm of torque. Already, in this segment, there is little competition. Fanatec is absent and Moza is present with his R16. Anyway, the Alpha uses the same design as the mini in a very compact, but surprisingly heavy case. The beast weighs nearly 8kg on the scale, and that’s just the base!
On the level of sensation, we are superbly well served. The 15 nm of torque makes this base a marvel for sim-racing, even if the sweet spot is between 8 and 10 nm for good sensations. The good thing about the Alpha is the slight sensations, the little details that the base engine provides, and that’s where the difference between this base and the competition becomes a little bit bigger.
I have to say that this device is the best in this power range. You have enough torque, well, you have enough torque margin to have excellent sensations, a perfect communication on what the car is doing without clipping. Except that all this has to be paid for. The Simagic Alpha can be exchanged for a hefty 775 €, without the QR, and the latter must be purchased separately. It’s cheap from the manufacturer, especially since the piece is a little over 60 €.
Simagic Alpha Ultimate
Simagic’s Big Daddy, the Alpha Ultimate. This base represents the top of the range of the manufacturer and competes with Fanatec and Simucube on their own ground. TheAlpha Ultimate in a few figures is: 23 nm of torque, 14 kg on the scale, 1 ms of response time, 3 CPUs for data calculation and 40 000 Hz for the force feedback refresh rate. A dinguery if you ask me.
The design does not change, as it is on all Simagic bases. You just have the size that differs between one base and another. What also doesn’t change is the fact of having a QR sold separately, and it still looks cheap on a base that is more than 950 €.
Where it changes is the feeling. It must be said that it is not an easy task to compete with the Fanatec DD2 and Simucube Pro 2, both with 25 nm of torque. But the Simagic Alpha Ultimate is doing pretty well. Simagic has a great experience in the world of DD bases and offers us a very well finished product that meets our expectations.
The feel is very realistic, no matter what title you’re looking at. The force feedback is surprisingly communicative, transcribing everything the car does and everything it experiences in terms of force. Honestly, we never get tired of doing sim-racing sessions with it. In addition, this base is significantly cheaper than the competition, within 500 € below the prices of others, and this is not negligible at all.
Simagic’s steering wheels
So, Simagic’s steering wheels are not as numerous as Fanatec’s, and the range is divided into two big categories: Rally/Touring and single-seater/GT. Each category currently includes three steering wheels: GT1 (with its R and D variants), GTS and GTC for the former, and GT4, FX and FX Pro for the latter.
I will present you two wheels from each category, because you have similarities in the Simagic range
The GTS is a mid-range steering wheel that replaces the GT1 from which it takes many elements. This steering wheel is 30 cm in diameter, which makes it the perfect size for rallying or touring, or even GT. The wheel is round, with an aluminum structure and leather or alcantara covering. It’s beautiful and premium, especially with the red stitching and the top band in the same color.
In terms of functionality, we have 2 joysticks, 7 buttons, 2 carbon paddles and 2 rotary encoders. In addition, the GTS incorporates a RevLED above its center, which helps a lot when it comes to seeing the engine speed.
Overall, this steering wheel is excellent and is priced at €374. It’s more expensive than Fanatec’s, but it’s a good product.
The GTC is a new addition to Simagic’s product line. Its shape is semi-open (C-shaped) and is 32.5 cm in diameter, which makes it larger than the GTS. Clearly, this wheel is for GT racing fans and enthusiasts. The structure uses aluminum and leather or alcantara for the finish.
In terms of functionality, there is a hub on the back of the steering wheel with 8 buttons, 2 paddles, 4 rotary knobs, a RevLED and even the possibility to have Clutch Paddles. It’s very well finished, and the steering wheel is very ergonomic, with the buttons falling right under your fingers.
As for the design, it’s super beautiful and very sober. The steering wheel features a brushed aluminum color and a choice of leather or alcantara finish. Regarding the price, the GTC is sold at 365 €, which is a bit more expensive than the GTS, but it’s a much better deal for GT racing fans.
The GT4 is a F1 and GT style steering wheel and represents the entry level of Simagic’s top of the range. This wheel is 30 cm with a rectangular shape and a construction combining aluminum, carbon fiber and silicone. Aesthetically speaking, the GT4 is a beautiful and sober steering wheel. The controls are located at the end of the wheel, very close to the hands, which gives it excellent ergonomics.
The rear paddles, 2 in number, are magnetic and you can add Clutch Paddles if you wish (optional of course). Overall, the GT4 is a very good wheel for those who want to have both a GT and F1 setup, with a retail price of 390 €.
The Simagic FX Pro
The Simagic FX Pro is the F1 steering wheel of the Chinese manufacturer and this for several reasons. First of all, its shape is directly inspired by single-seater steering wheels, with silicone handles, a carbon fiber structure, 6 carbon paddles, a lot of buttons and controls, a large screen for telemetry, all in a very ergonomic shape for F1.
This steering wheel is, in my opinion, the best the brand offers in terms of immersion for F1, far superior to the FX which represents the first real step in single-seater steering wheels at Simagic. However, all this comes at a price, and it is rather high. The FX Pro is priced at 732.5 €, and that’s really expensive for an F1 wheel, but it’s definitely worth it.
Why is Simagic not very popular in France?
To sell products, especially those that target a specific segment, you need to be in the spotlight, to be visible, in addition to having excellent products. Except that Simagic has one trump card up its sleeve, and that is its products, which are clearly superior to the Chinese competition such as Moza Racing.
Simagic’s biggest problem is its brand image: it is almost non-existent, and this is what penalizes its products which are exceptionally good in their segment. Simagic knows how to make peripherals, but not how to sell them. Or at least doesn’t give itself a great image to sell them.
On top of that, Simagic uses distributors to sell its peripherals all over the world, and the one chosen to represent France does not have the visibility necessary to raise this brand to its rightful place. And it’s a real shame to see market share slipping through Simagic’s fingers for problems that can be erased by a big marketing and communication push.
What I think of Simagic
As far as I’m concerned, Simagic is an excellent alternative to the big names in sim-racing that we’ve all known for a long time. The Chinese manufacturer offers very well thought-out, high-performance products with a quality of manufacture that would make the competition pale in comparison. If you can afford Simagic’s peripherals, whether it’s a base, a steering wheel or a shifter, I suggest you do so. You won’t regret it at all.