At first glance, sim racing can seem pretty expensive to get into. However, a lot of manufacturers are now providing cheaper alternatives. I’ll be offering some advice about what you need to look for when buying cheap, as well as helping you find out which are the best cheap sim racing pedals.
The best cheap sim racing pedal set is the ThrustMaster T3PA Racing Pedal Set. This set includes three adjustable pedals, which allows for the use of a stick shifter, and the pedals are entirely metal, guaranteeing weighty, satisfying pedal pushing.
The 4 best cheap sim racing pedal sets are:
- ThrustMaster T3PA Racing Pedal Set
- ThrustMaster Wide Pedal Set
- Logitech Driving Force Adjustable Floor Pedal Unit (Part of Bundle)
- Subsonic Drive Pro Pedals (Part of Bundle)
By having a collection of sets laid out and reviewed, I hope that there’ll be something for everyone! Before getting to the list of pedals, however, I want to outline some pretty vital things you should be looking for in a good set of sim racing pedals, so keep reading!
What To Look For In A Sim Racing Pedal Set
Especially when buying cheap, you want to be informed in your purchase beyond knowing that you’d like a bargain set of pedals!
The best way to go about this is to spend some time reading through online reviews of the product you want to buy. For example, if you decide that after reading this article, you want a set of T3PA pedals from ThrustMaster, fire up Amazon in your browser and check out the product reviews.
I don’t mean spend hours trawling through every single one, of course, but try to get a decent overview of peoples’ personal feedback of the features and overall build quality where possible. This isn’t as important when you’re looking at big brand products, because you’ve got a better chance of getting a great buy. Where you need to be careful is smaller brands.
Use your trusty search engine and type something like ‘Subsonic SA5156 reviews’ to check those out if Amazon isn’t very helpful. I’ve also taken to bookmarking varied Reddit boards for extra information when all else fails! The sim racing community board is very active and helpful, with people sharing details of their rigs and experiences with specific products or brands.
And if the info isn’t available on Reddit, ask questions and start new threads! There’ll 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.
Beyond generally cheap products, the best features in a pedal set for optimum sim racing enjoyment boils down to build material and stability. Plastic is fine for quick, casual sessions and everyone typically starts out with pedals made of that flimsy material, but the pedal sensitivity is oftentimes lacking. That, and it just doesn’t feel real.
Obviously, we aren’t driving real cars in our living rooms, but aspects of realism are what makes sim racing so exciting! Especially since many of us can’t race real cars. That’s where metal pedals really shine, because they feel weighty and realistic.
As for stability, well… I’m sure you can understand why that’s pretty important! You don’t want the pedals slipping out from under you when you brake late for the parabolica corner at Monza, right?
As long as you take time to check reviews and try wherever possible to pick up some well-built, stable pedals, you will have succeeded in finding a great buy. Sometimes, just stretching a budget a little bit further can mean the difference between disappointment and absolute joy, so keep that in mind, too.
The 4 Best Cheap Sim Racing Pedal Sets
1. ThrustMaster T3PA Racing Pedal Set
| Compatible with: ThrustMaster T300, T500, TX, Ferrari 458, T150 | Adjustable: Yes | Usable systems: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One |
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’ll produce some pretty great products and the T3PA Pedal Set is definitely no exception.
They offer two versions; the standard add-on, and the T3PA Pro Pedal Set. For the purposes of discussing affordable options that balance greatness, I’ll be looking at the T3PA add-on in this review, but feel free to check out the Pro version! Now, let me go over just some of the reasons why this pedal set is the best bang for your buck.
First and foremost, the T3PA’s pedals and all the inner workings of the set are made of 100% metal. So not only will you be getting weighty, satisfying pedals to push for races on any track, but you can feel assured in knowing that the inner workings of this set are solid and reliable.
They’ll last you a long time, and you often have to make a compromise when buying cheap where what you buy just won’t be sticking around for very long. I recently upgraded from a T3PA pedal set and let me tell you, it wasn’t because anything broke! I still have the set in my closet for if I ever need them again.
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 raise or lessen the feedback per pedal will raise your game to the next level and then some!
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.
The greatness doesn’t stop there, either! As well as every pedal having individual pressure settings, you can also adjust the spacing, angle and height of the whole set for maximum driver comfort. Trust me when I say that I’ve been there when it comes to cheap sim racing rigs and feeling too stretched out or cooped up, so these pedals were a welcome addition to my arsenal.
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. Who knew that a rubber insert could be so powerful and change an experience so much?
You can find these pedals brand-new on websites such as Microsoft and Amazon, all the way through to Walmart. However, the cost of the T3PA set may not seem like the cheapest option out there when you may be able to buy sim racing bundles for cheaper.
That said, the features you’ll get for a relatively affordable price (especially when looking at the other sim racing pedals out there!) are totally worth that spend. Even if you aren’t a competitive sim racer and are simply looking for a bit of fun, the realism and immersion you’ll experience from the T3PA will be worth every cent.
- Full metal pedals and inner workings
- Individual pedal pressure settings
- May not be the cheapest set
- Requires a ThrustMaster wheel to use (unless on PC)
2. ThrustMaster Wide Pedal Set
| Compatible with: ThrustMaster T80, Ferrari 458 | Adjustable: Yes | Usable systems: PS4, PS3, Xbox One |
Another ThrustMaster product, I hear you ask? Absolutely! This time, I’m going to look at the otherwise unnamed set of pedals that come as standard with two budget bundles in particular; the T80 Racing Wheel (PlayStation) bundle and the Ferrari 458 Racing Wheel (Xbox One). Cheap and cheerful is the motto here, with absolute focus on price and how much you’ll be getting for your money!
Looking at this pedal set, it matches exactly what you’d expect a two-pedal set to look like. They’re made out of plastic, but unlike some other models out there, they’re pretty firm and don’t have the comparable composition of construction paper. As the name of these pedals might give away, they’re very wide which makes for easy, relaxed maneuvering.
Another nice aspect of this pedal set in particular is the large footrest section. It isn’t exactly as big as the T3PA, of course, but you’d be surprised how roomy it is to give your feet a break after gunning down a long straight!
Something you also won’t find in most pedal sets of such a reasonable price is that both the accelerator and brake are adjustable. You can set the pedals to whichever position is the most comfortable. There isn’t a lot of room for adjustment like the set’s metal T3PA cousin, but being able to raise or lower the pedals even a bit is something pretty essential for a comfortable sim racing rig.
As I mentioned before, this wide pedal set comes as standard with the T80 and Ferrari 458 bundle. There are varied special offers that can lower the bundle prices, but you can expect to pay an affordable price for either of them. That means you’ll get a racing wheel plus a set of functioning pedals for an absolute steal!
Considering that you’ll need either of those wheels to even use the pedals, the bundle purchase is pretty much essential. Because ThrustMaster made this base set of pedals to be bought with either of these wheels, you can’t actually use the wide pedal set with any other racing wheel. It doesn’t really matter, all things considered, when you can get the bundle for so cheap.
This set of pedals is ideal for those of you out there who are starting out with building a sim racing rig, because they can only be purchased within the racing wheel bundles outlined above. And honestly, they’re functional and fun to use!
I wouldn’t recommend the pedals to anybody else except people on a budget wanting to get started, though. That’s why they’re ranked highly on this list regarding cheap sim racing pedal sets, but wouldn’t be ranked highly on a list where I made a definitive judgement on the best of the best.
- Great value pedals + wheel bundle
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Plastic build makes them feel pretty cheap
- Cannot be purchased separately (unless bought second-hand)
3. Logitech Driving Force Adjustable Floor Pedal Unit (Part of Bundle)
| Compatible with: Logitech Driving Force G29, G920 | Adjustable: Yes | Usable systems: PS4, PS3, Xbox One |
The Logitech Driving Force Adjustable Floor Pedal Unit is another bundle purchase when you buy brand-new. You can find sets second-hand separately, and if you have a Logitech Driving Force wheel, these pedals are an absolute must!
They offer a lot of the same nice features and boons as the ThrustMaster T3PA pedals, making them the best alternative if you don’t have a compatible rig for that set. Sleek-looking and sturdy, the Driving Force pedals are definitely worth a look!
These pedals come as standard whenever you buy a Logitech Driving Force G29 (PlayStation) or a Logitech Driving Force G920. Bundles are always attractive options to those of us on a budget, because you simply get more product for better value. You can also guarantee that everything will work as intended because the manufacturer bundled them for a reason, after all!
The pedals themselves have metal faces on them, giving them that extra touch of stability and firmness when pressed. And unlike the previously mentioned Wide Pedal Set from ThrustMaster, this set comes with three pedals; unlocking the door to using a gear stick shifter (check out our article on the Best Cheap Sim Racing Gear Stick Shifters).
If the name of this pedal set didn’t already give the game away, all three pedals are also adjustable. Logitech specifically mentions that they can be maneuvered for easier heel-toe movements; pretty high-level driving skill!
There is also a set of rubber feet on the bottom of this pedal set to keep it in place if you have a hardwood floor, and a retractable carpet grip system for, you guessed it, carpet flooring. These added features will help the overall stability of the pedals so that they won’t be slipping and sliding everywhere during tricky gear changes and the like.
A nice extra of a three-pedal set is the wider footrest afforded, allowing for greater comfort than when you use a two-pedal set. There’s nothing worse than foot fatigue over long gaming sessions!
Both the Logitech Driving Force G29 and G920 can be bought online at the pricier end of the budget range, bundle or not. You’ll probably be able to buy the pedals alone for cheaper if you search second-hand stores or browse eBay, but your best bet is to buy the bundle unless you already have one of the aforementioned wheels.
Although it may be less affordable, you’ll be getting a lot more quality in place of a basic arcade-like experience. The pedals having metal faces and sensitive, realistic resistance put them closer to being on par with the T3PA set.
They don’t, however, allow you to set resistances unique to each pedal and they lack a lot of other features that the T3PA has, so the Driving Force pedals definitely aren’t the most cost-effective of the bunch. They are definitely well-made and if you’re a Logitech lover, they should be your go-to buy!
- Metal pedal faces offer realistic resistance
- Adjustable to accommodate for heel-toe technique
- Only available in a bundle
- Doesn’t offer the same features as the T3PA set
4. Subsonic Drive Pro Pedals (Part of Bundle)
| Compatible with: Subsonic SA5156 Drive Pro Sport Racing Wheel | Adjustable: No | Usable systems: PS4, PS3, Xbox One |
If you’re a fan of sim racing anytime, anywhere, the Subsonic Drive Pro bundle is definitely the one for you! The biggest selling point of the bundle in particular is the unique wheelbase also functioning as a sort of lap-sitting desk with how the base is curved to accommodate for maximum comfort, and it can also be mounted to a desk with ease.
It comes with a set of Drive Pro Pedals; a sleek, black two-pedal set with straight lines and edges that actually look pretty cool for something pretty budget in terms of quality.
As the last item on this list, it isn’t exactly the worst of the worst, but it’s definitely lower-quality than the rest of the pedal sets I’ve reviewed. However, the concept overall is very novel and I appreciate being able to sit on my couch with a wheel in my lap and set of movable pedals at my feet.
As you might expect from something that’s designed to be moved around with ease, the pedal set itself is very lightweight. There are some small grips on the bottom which help keep it stable, but it certainly isn’t the most grounded bit of kit. It has an extendable tray-like function which pulls out of the pedal set, and this becomes your foot rest with some tread pressed into the plastic to avoid your feet slipping around.
The pedals are chunky yet with notable differences between them (like in a real car’s cockpit), so you’ll know which one is which even if you aren’t looking at them.
Because it’s a two-pedal set, it isn’t the most spacious or forgiving piece of equipment in terms of foot placement, and you aren’t able to realistically use a stick shift due to the lack of a clutch pedal. The plastic is notably cheap-feeling and flimsy, something you really wouldn’t expect when looking at the wide, chunky pedals themselves.
And no matter what, the small grips under the set just won’t cut it very well; if you have a carpet floor, you’ll be losing your brakes and acceleration at every corner as the pedal set slides around! It’s better on hardwood, funnily enough, and if you have any non-slip mats, keep them handy if you decide to buy this bundle in particular.
Of the whole bunch, this set of pedals feels exactly like the amount of money you’ve paid; maybe even less. And that isn’t a particularly good thing…
The Subsonic Drive Pro Pedals can be bought in a bundle with the matching wheel for an affordable price, and when you compare it to other bundles, the novel, portable selling point really isn’t worth it.
You can just feel that the set will give out if somebody steps on it wrong, and the whole set-up feels cheap to use. Buying cheap doesn’t mean the stuff has to feel cheap, if you get my meaning! I’d recommend the set for those of you out there who’d enjoy maximum comfort and some casual fun, but otherwise, the novelty isn’t worth the price when you can buy ThrustMaster products for cheaper.
- Portable, designed to be used anywhere
- Funky-looking set
- Feels cheap and flimsy to use
- Not much foot space
So there you have it! A comprehensive list of the best budget pedal sets out there on the market right now. And don’t worry if any of these don’t win you over; as long as you follow the tips I mentioned for what to look for in a pedal set, you can strike out on your own and find something different!
Now, I think that’s high-time that I take a trip down memory lane and break out my T3PA pedals for a race or two… maybe three…