When you first get into sim racing, it can be tough to find cheap equipment like pedals and steering wheels that still offer an immersive experience. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best budget sim racing pedals on the market.
The 3 best cheap sim racing pedal sets are:
Below, we’ll go through each of these pedals in more detail, and we’ll also discuss the cheapest load cell options too. But first, let’s talk about what you should look for when choosing a set of sim racing pedals.
Note: We cover some of the cheapest load cell pedal options at the end of this article for those that want to take their sim racing up a notch
The 3 Best Cheap Sim Racing Pedal Sets
1. Thrustmaster T3PA Pedal Set
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Adjustable: Yes | Pedals: 3
What’s not to love about sim racing excellence being delivered in an affordable package? Thrustmaster is an instantly recognizable brand for all elements of sim racing, so you know that they produce some pretty great products and the T3PA pedal set is definitely no exception.
First and foremost, the T3PA pedal faces and all the inner workings of the set are made of 100% metal. So not only will you be getting weighty, satisfying pedals, but you can feel assured in knowing that the inner workings of this set are solid and reliable. The base itself is made from sturdy plastic, which helps keep the cost down without sacrificing its structural integrity.
They’ll last you a long time, which is more than can be said for many non-brand pedal options out there. I recently upgraded from a T3PA pedal set and let me tell you, it wasn’t because anything broke!
Stable & Adjustable
Another fantastic feature of these pedals is the individual pressure settings you can program per pedal. Personalizing your race experience is definitely one of the best parts of sim racing, and having the option to tweak the sensitivity and dead zones of your pedals will help you raise your game to the next level.
And if you remember what I said about stability being important, you probably won’t be surprised to know that these pedals are weighted to keep them planted in one place. Well, you know, until you want to move them somewhere else! They’re lightweight enough to make portability a key feature, but stable too for those important moments on the track.
Easy To Find The Perfect Position
As well as every pedal having individual pressure settings that you can tweak on your PC, you can also physically adjust the spacing, angle and height of the whole set for maximum driver comfort.
For no extra cost, you’ll also receive Thrustmaster’s Conical Rubber Brake Mod. It’s a really fancy name for a piece of industrial-grade rubber that you can fit behind the brake pedal, and the result will be realistic resistance at the end of the pedal’s travel. It’s not quite load cell level obviously, but it’s a nice cheap way to offer a reasonably realistic feel for beginners or those on a budget.
The features you get for a relatively affordable price are totally worth it with the T3PAs. They’re the ideal starting point for sim racers on a budget, and you can upgrade to something like the load cell T-LCM pedals later down the line.
- Full metal pedals and inner workings
- Individual pedal pressure settings
- Great for beginners
- Not the absolute cheapest set
- Requires a Thrustmaster wheel to use (unless on PC)
2. Fanatec CSL Pedals
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Adjustable: Yes | Pedals: 2
Up next we have the cheapest pedals on our list. The CSL pedals are Fanatec’s truly budget friendly option, but that doesn’t mean they skimp out on quality. You get a solid 2-pedal set here, and they’re an ideal starting point for absolute beginner sim racers.
These are the cheapest pedals Fanatec has to offer, but they still offer lots of immersion and are made from high-quality materials. They're also upgradeable, so they can grow with you as you improve as a sim racer.
The (almost) all-metal construction of the CSL pedals is likely the first thing you’ll notice. While the pedal faces aren’t metal, you can upgrade them if you wish at an extra cost. However, the steel construction of the pedal base and the pedals themselves ensures that this set is built to last.
Another thing that will ensure the longevity of these pedals is the Hall effect sensor technology that relies on magnets to measure pedal position. This contactless system eliminates wear and tear and guarantees the performance of your pedals for years to come.
This is a 2-pedal set, which may deter some racers. However, if you’re an absolute beginner, you might not have a shifter yet, which means you’ll have no use for a clutch anyway. But if you want to be able to add one in the future, don’t worry, as Fanatec also offers a standalone clutch kit too.
Speaking of upgrading, you can even take the next step and move on to a load cell brake if you wish later down the line. As this section is about cheap pedals, we’ll go into more detail about them later on. But it’s good to know that you have options for when the time is right to take your sim racing to the next level.
These pedals are compatible with Fanatec’s long line of products, and if you use them on PC you may even be able to use them with other sim racing gear too. Overall, these are arguably the cheapest quality pedal set you can buy, and they’re only pipped by the T3PA pedals because this is a 2-pedal set rather than offering a clutch as standard.
- Superior build quality
- Excellent feel
- Highly upgradeable
- No clutch pedal
3. Thrustmaster T3PM Pedals
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Adjustable: Yes | Pedals: 3
In at third place we have the T3PM pedals from Thrustmaster. This is a 3-pedal set that relies on magnetic technology for its pedals, and it offers a great entry level pedal set for sim racers looking to build their first setup.
A Very Cheap Option
These pedals can cost a little less than the T3PA pedals depending on where you buy them, and they do use a different system for the pedals that makes them slightly less immersive. But for absolute beginners, these can be a good way to learn the ropes of sim racing.
They are made mostly from plastic, although the pedal faces themselves have a nice metal finish. They offer 12-bit resolution for some realistic braking precision, and the magnetic technology ensures they don’t wear down over time. They can also withstand up to 440 lbs (200 kg) of braking force!
You can make use of 4 different pressure modes on the brake pedal, and you can adjust the pedal faces to ensure they sit in the optimum position for your sim racing preferences.
These pedals weigh a bit more than the T3PA pedals, which helps to make them a bit more stable. However, they’re really designed to be usable by those without a dedicated rig, and they’re not going to require the same forces that a load cell pedal set is capable of withstanding anyway.
Ideal For Beginners
Overall, this is a great budget 3-pedal set for beginners that want a good starting point on their sim racing journey. They won’t last you long once you start outgrowing the magnetic sensors and start craving more precision from your brake pedal (see the next section), but they’re still an option worth considering.
- Very budget friendly
- Durable construction
- Ideal for beginner sim racers
- Not as immersive as other options
- Not upgradeable
Summary Of The Best Cheap Sim Racing Pedals
|Thrustmaster T3PA Pedal Set||Value for money choice|
Great introduction to sim racing
|Fanatec CSL Pedals||The absolute cheapest choice (2 pedals)|
An upgradable choice
|Thrustmaster T3PM Pedals||The cheapest 3-pedal set|
Great for kids or absolute beginners
What To Look For In A Sim Racing Pedal Set
Do Your Research
You need to spend some time reading through online reviews of the product you want to buy and checking out the forums to see what people think of them. Try to get a decent overview of peoples’ personal feedback of the features and overall build quality where possible.
And if the info isn’t available on places like Reddit, ask questions and start new threads! There will be people out there to help you, and if nobody has a clue, the product probably isn’t worth the gamble in the first place!
Plastic is fine for quick, casual sim racing sessions, and everyone typically starts out with pedals made of a flimsier material, but the pedal sensitivity is oftentimes lacking with these options, and they don’t usually offer much immersion. However, keeping within a budget means that a bit of plastic is usually a must, but the pedals still need a bit of weight to them.
You don’t want the pedals slipping out from under you when you brake late into corners, or at crucial moments when you’re balancing your throttle on the exit. So, opting for something stable – and ideally that you can hard mount to your rig – is key. You’ll definitely need stability with load cell pedals, and I’ve listed a few of the cheapest options below.
The 4 Cheapest Sim Racing Load Cell Pedal Sets
1. MOZA SR-P Pedals
Relatively new on the scene, MOZA have not slowed down since introducing their first sim racing equipment within the last few years. One of their cheapest offerings comes in the form of the SR-P pedals, which are a great entry-level set of load cell pedals that are ideal for beginners, or those already in the MOZA ecosystem.
With a 75 kg load cell, 16-bit resolution, and solid steel construction, these pedals sure feel premium, but they’re actually some of the cheapest pedals on the market, and they’re the most cost-effective load cell option. You can adjust the pedals to suit your setup, and you can get the cheaper 2-pedal set or go for the 3-pedal set with a clutch for a bit of extra cash.
MOZA does offer a Lite version of these pedals, but they’re only available as part of the R5 bundle that comes with a wheel and wheel base.
2. Fanatec CSL Pedals LC
Some of the cheapest load cell pedals on the market are an upgraded form of the CSL pedals we discussed earlier. You can buy them with the load cell upgrade kit included, and this creates a 3-pedal set that is just a step above its 2-pedal baby brother in the CSL pedals.
Featuring a strong load cell brake that will add a new dimension of realism to your sim racing rig, this is the next step up for beginners that want to experience a more lifelike braking experience. Plus, you get all the build quality of the Fanatec CSL pedals too, making this a true value for money choice.
3. Thrustmaster T-LCM
The T-LCM pedals from Thrustmaster aren’t the cheapest pedals on offer, but they are some of the cheapest load cell pedals you can buy. They’re designed to be super easy to use, and the 220 lb (100 kg) load cell ensures no matter how hard you’re braking, your car responds properly in the game.
These pedals are heavy, and that means they’re stable too. They need to be to withstand all that braking force! That means you will want to bolt these down to a dedicated rig if you can, and once you do, you’ll be able to take advantage of some of the best pedals that you can buy for under $300.
4. Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals V2
One of Fanatec’s newest additions to their product lineup is a revamped version of their CSL Elite pedals. These are a step up from the CSL pedals, and they offer a load cell brake and a solid, fully metal design for extra durability and stability.
These pedals are easy to adjust to tune them to your specific sim racing requirements, and you can even tweak things electronically with a compatible wheel. These pedals are a bit pricier than the previous two, but they’re still fairly budget friendly considering the sheer quality that you get with them.
The best cheap sim racing pedals are the T3PA pedals from Thrustmaster. They offer a great price to performance ratio, and they’re highly adjustable too. Another budget choice would be the CSL pedals from Fanatec, but if you want the cheapest load cell pedals, the CSL LC pedals from Fanatec are the ones to choose.
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