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The best steering wheels for Sim-racing

Sim Racer

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

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of online racing, or you’re already an expert in Sim-racing, chances are you’ll want to play with a steering wheel, or if you already have one, you’ll want to upgrade it at some point.

Every good sim-racing driver knows the importance ofa good steering wheel. The sensations you can feel when using them are unique, and depending on the type of configuration you use, you can feel very, very realistic sensations.

Over the years, the hardware and software of these devices have improved considerably, especially with the development of Direct Drive technology. That’s why it’s become even more complicated to determine the best steering wheel for our personal needs and tastes.

So we decided to present you with a guide to the best sim-racing wheels available today, to make your decision easier. In this article you will find everything you need to know before buying a sim-racing wheel, what are the most important criteria to keep in mind and we will also detail our favorite models by category.

 

Fanatec Ready 2 Race Bundle
#1
9.6

Thrustmaster T300RS
#2
9.5

Logitech G29
#3
9.1

How to choose your steering wheel model?

The amount of choice that exists in terms of Sim-racing wheels can be quite daunting. How do you know what makes a racing wheel objectively good?

While the choice of each piece of equipment depends a lot on each person’s taste, there are a few key things you should definitely keep in mind before deciding to buy your simulator wheel.

Price: It is important to establish what your maximum budget for your steering wheel will be in order to know what range of models you can go for. Don’t forget that the steering wheel you buy will necessarily involve a console or PC if you don’t already have one, as well as a screen. Other accessories can also be added. The total budget can therefore quickly become substantial, which is why you should think carefully before buying your steering wheel.

Features: Learning about the specific features and characteristics of a steering wheel before you buy is essential. The angle of rotation, the type of force feedback, the gear paddles, what type of technology is built in, where the buttons on the steering wheel are located, whether pedals are included or not, all of this information will help you decide which model is right for you. Of course, the more features the wheel offers, the more expensive it will be.

Build quality: keep in mind that in a Sim-racing wheel, the strength of its materials is very important as well as the feel. Materials such as stainless steel, aluminum or leather are synonymous with quality, especially if they are present on the steering wheel, the gearshift and the pedals. Plastic is a lower grade material that is best avoided, although some plastic steering wheels may still offer other advantages.

Design and size: the most recommended diameter for a steering wheel is 27-28 centimeters, as it fits the dimensions of a real steering wheel, allowing you to hold it comfortably and turn it freely. Both the size and design of a steering wheel depend mainly on individual preferences. There are many different styles of steering wheels to suit all tastes, some of which have even been designed in partnership with major car brands.

Compatibility: it is clearly important to buy a wheel that works with your gaming platform, which may not be the case for everyone. Some wheels work only on PC, or only on console (Xbox or PlayStation), some with both. The same goes for the games and for most of the Sim-Racing accessories. Make sure that the steering wheel model you are interested in is compatible with all the equipment you are going to use to avoid unpleasant surprises.

The best entry-level simulation wheels

Here we present two entry-level steering wheel models, which we believe are the best in this category today.

Logitech Driving Force G920, G29

The Logitech Driving Force G290-G29 steering wheel is, without a doubt, an excellent model and very popular among beginners.

It’s made of anodized aluminum and features paddle shifters and a pedal board that is both sturdy and comfortable for a more complete simulation experience. It also uses a simple gearing system that does not incorporate belts of any kind to simplify its use.

The Logitech G920 (for Xbox) and the Logitech G29 (for Playstation) features a dual-motor force feedback and helical gearing system for smooth, quiet steering and the most realistic driving experience. This allows you to feel the tires at every turn and simulates the effects of vibration in a very realistic way so you can react accurately.

Besides, its rotation angle is 900 degrees and it has a 14-button panel, optimizing its function specifically for PlayStation for the G29 and for Xbox for the G920.

The Logitech G920-G29 continues to be the model that we feel offers one of the best value for money, with features that guarantee a very realistic driving feel.

Its Advantages

  • Good value for money
  • Successful design and ergonomics
  • Very good pedalboard included

Its Disadvantages

  • Mechanism a little noisy
  • Return of force a little abrupt

Thrustmaster T150 – TMX Force Feedback

The Thrustmaster T150 – TMX Force Feedback is probably the best entry-level wheel you can find on the market today.

The Thrustmaster TMX is designed to be compatible with Xbox One and PC while the Thrustmaster T150 is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.

This is a model that is perfect for beginners but is also great for more regular players.

The Thrustmaster TMX-T150 steering wheel has a diameter of 28 cm with a rotation and turning range of 270° to 900° and features large all-metal sequential paddles.

This model is equipped with a force feedback with a brushless motor that offers many power settings. It also features a unique belt pulley system that channels engine sounds while providing a smooth feel.

It also includes a large two-pedal pedal set with three adjustable pedal angles.

The Thrustmaster TMX-T150 is convincing on both PC and console and promises to deliver incredible sensations during racing and long game sessions.

Its Advantages

  • Its price
  • His return of strength performing
  • The steering wheel is very realistic

Its Disadvantages

  • The wheel is not removable
  • The engine is a bit noisy

The best mid-range simulation wheels

If you’re looking to step up to the next level with a mid-range steering wheel, here are our two favorite models in this category.

Thrustmaster T300RS

The steering wheel Thrustmaster T300RS has a 28 cm detachable wheel with an adjustable rotation angle from 270° to 1080°.

It is equipped with a force feedback that is precise and powerful, thanks to its brushless motor and its double belt system. The sensations felt during the race are incredibly realistic.

In terms of construction and design there is almost nothing to complain about, the steering wheel is mainly made of black metal and the finish work is really clean.

The Thrustmaster T300RS steering wheel is very versatile and you can use it for rally, GT or even F1 racing.

It also has the advantage of being equipped with H.E.A.R.T (Halleffect Accurate Technology) and a quick and easy steering wheel change system.

This steering wheel model also has the advantage of being PlayStation licensed and therefore compatible with PlayStation 4 and PCs and works with PlayStation 5 games.

With the Thrustmaster T300RS, you have the best steering wheel in its class at a price that is certainly very reasonable.

t300rs GT

Its Advantages

  • Incredible responsive and powerful force feedback
  • Quality construction and materials
  • Beautiful design and finishes

Its Disadvantages

  • The handbrake works with a button
  • The engine heats up a bit

Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel

Those who know a little about Sim-Racing already know that Fanatec is one of the best brands on the market. Its CSL Elite Racing Wheel is part of its least expensive series.

Its design is impeccable and very realistic with a size of 30 cm in diameter. Its coverings are made of leather with aluminum on the rear part. The paddle shifters deliver a powerful and realistic sound thanks to Fanatec’s Snapdome technology.

This steering wheel features Clubsport technology, which provides an incredible sense of feedback from its intelligent servo motor. This technology will give you a more realistic return experience with a 1080º turn. It also includes an LED display on top of the wheel, where you can see the speed and gears.

The Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel is also compatible with PlayStation 4 and PC.

The Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel is therefore an excellent option if you want to get into the world of sim-racing on the right foot and with a relatively low investment, enjoying one of the most prestigious models on the market.

fanatec csl elite

Its Advantages

  • Incredible fluid force feedback
  • Very realistic sensations
  • LED displays on the steering wheel and quick settings stored in 5 profiles

Its Disadvantages

  • No pedals included
  • No Xbox compatibility

The CSL Elite is currently out of stock, but you can use the link below to configure your setup on the official Fanatec website

The best high-end simulation wheels

In this price range, we find the so-called high-end steering wheels, which for the most part include the new Direct Drive technology, which is the best in the world of Sim-racing.

Thrustmaster TS-PC RACER

The Thrustmaster TS-PC RACER has all the makings of the best PC steering wheel by providing the ideal driving experience for F1 games thanks to the style of the wheel.

This model is a Proto type steering wheel with a metal base and two large suede-covered grips for comfort during long play sessions. It also features 2 sequential metal and polished brushed aluminum paddles.

The Thrustmaster TS-PC RACER features an industrial-grade (40 watt FFB), 2ᵉ generation brushless motor, rotation up to 1080 degrees, and the use of H.E.A.R.T (HallEffect AccuRate Technology) which offers 16-bit resolution.

This model also incorporates an external TURBO power supply with which it delivers maximum power peaks to the flywheel, as well as a patented MCE (Motor Cooling Embedded) system.

This steering wheel is robust, of high quality construction and offers both comfort and great ergonomics that allow an incredibly realistic immersion in the race.

If you can afford this little Sim-Racing gem, don’t hesitate and buy the Thrustmaster TS-PC RACER steering wheel, you won’t be disappointed.

thrustmaster ts pc racer

Its Advantages

  • Powerful, flexible and responsive force feedback
  • High quality of manufacture
  • Top comfort and ergonomics

Its Disadvantages

  • Sold without pedals
  • Compatible only with Windows

Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1

Needless to say, the last and therefore best product on this list of the best Sim-racing wheels is in a category of its own! Fanatec offers the first Direct Drive system for PlayStation 4, and it does it big.

Inspired by Formula 1 wheels and created in collaboration with Sony, the Podium Racing Wheel F1 has a diameter of 27 cm and is made of metal and carbon fiber. It features two F1 type aluminum rotating paddles with a fiber reinforcement at the rear.

The Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 is equipped with a Direct Drive motorized force feedback system that is both powerful and precise. Its rotation angle is from 90° to 1080°.

The ergonomics of this model is excellent since it offers a large amount of settings, in real time and which can also be managed directly from the wheel, such as a 2.7-inch OLED screen that allows you to receive feedback during the game.

This wheel is compatible with the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and potentially the Xbox One and Xbox Series as well, depending on the Fanatec wheel base you use for gaming.

In our opinion, the Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1 is a real gem and the best in terms of performance on the market today.

Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1

Its Advantages

  • Direct Drive Steering Wheel
  • Best force feedback available
  • Excellent finish and ergonomics

Its Disadvantages

  • Its price
  • Difficult to grasp for beginners

In brief – Conclusion

In our opinion, the best sim-racing wheel available today is the Podium Racing Wheel F1, equipped with Direct Drive technology. So yes, it’s very expensive since it’s a high-end model, but it’s definitely worth saving some time to be able to afford it. In the same category, the Thrustmaster TS-PC RACER is also a very high quality steering wheel that convinced us.

For those with a slightly smaller budget, the mid-range Thrustmaster T300RS and Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheels are a very good compromise. You won’t be disappointed with their functionality and the incredible sensations they provide.

But if you’re looking for a cheap and efficient steering wheel, we recommend the Logitech G920-G29 or the Thrustmaster T150-TMX. With these models, we get good performance at a much more affordable price.

We hope that this article and our review have been helpful to you and that this guide to the best sim-racing wheels will help you choose the model that best suits your tastes and budget.

gt dd pro

Fanatec Ready2Race Bundle

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