Finding great products at an agreeable price is always a challenge; especially in sim racing! So, to take all the pressure off and leave you more time behind the wheel we have compiled a list of 7 of the best budget sim racing wheels to suit every racer.
So, what is the best cheap sim racing wheel? The best cheap sim racing wheel is the G29/G920 Driving Force racing wheel by Logitech. They are compatible with Xbox One, PS3/4 and PC. The wheel offers great value with a lot of high-quality specifications, offering gamers all those great features at a reasonable price.
The 7 best cheap sim racing wheels are:
- Logitech G29/G920 Driving Force
- Thrustmaster T150/TMX Force Feedback
- Hori Apex/Overdrive
- Thrustmaster T300/TX
- Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider
- Speedlink Drift O.Z.
- Logitech MOMO
So, what exactly was it that made these the best, and what features should you be looking out for when you’re searching for your own racing wheel? Well let’s show you the different wheels and see how they stack up against each other.
What To Look For In A Sim Racing Wheel
How did we judge these wheels, I hear you ask?
Well, we used a wide range of categories, from price and features, to looks and performance, but every player has their own wants and needs. It’s important to figure out what exactly you want from your racing wheel, so that you get the greatest amount of enjoyment.
Here are some things for players to be thinking about before they take the financial plunge:
- Price. This goes without saying but is an important point to make: Wheels are an accessory to games. The game, the console and monitor are all things you will have to buy first, as well as other additions like chairs, gear stick shifters, plus any downloadable content you may wish to buy; the price for everything can quickly add up. Budget well and accordingly, so that you aren’t short the $60 that would have gone on the game!
- Compatibility. This covers a few areas. Clearly it is important to buy a wheel that works with your system; not all do, so make sure you check the specifications. Also, though, if you have got your heart set on a racing sim seat, make sure it will fit on the rig you buy!
- Features. How much rotation does the wheel have? Does it come with pedals? Do those pedals come with a clutch? Does it have force feedback? Are all the buttons available on the wheel and are they placed appropriately? Does it have flappy-paddle gears? All these questions should be considered when you’re looking at what wheel you want to buy, as well as any specific features you may want.
- Build quality. Will it last a long time before you have to go out and buy a new one, or does it run hot after long periods of gaming? There is only so much we can do ourselves to look after products, so making sure that the company has produced a good-quality wheel is paramount.
- How does it look? Does it look like the wheel of your dreams? With sim racing becoming a huge market now, there are lots of different companies offering many designs. There really is something out there to suit every taste.
The 7 Best Cheap Sim Racing Wheels
1. Logitech G29/G920 Driving Force
Coming in at number 1 on our list is the Logitech G29/G920. This wheel offers amazing value with a range of features and a great build quality one would normally associate with a more expensive wheel.
The Logitech G29 is compatible with PC, PS3 and PS4 with the G920 version being available for the Xbox One. Both models are available with specifically designed pedals that are made from stainless steel, and a wheel made from steel and aluminium with a hand stitched leather cover.
All materials that are of premium quality. The stitching though can sometimes rub on your thumb which can be painful after a while. Force feedback and rumble are both included to give one of the most realistic driving experiences available on the market (especially at this price point).
The wheel has 900 degrees rotation lock-to-lock, which gives greater control in-race. It also comes with flappy paddle gear shifters and should you prefer a stick shifter, there is a clutch pedal in the pedal set – but there is no stick shifter included in the bundle.
Beautifully designed in all-black leather and metal, it really looks like a wheel one would find in a real racing car, and fits really well in your hands to keep you in control while gaming.
- Lots of great features
- Excellent build quality
- Great value
- No stick shifter
- Can run a little loud and hot
2. Thrustmaster T150/TMX Force Feedback
Coming in second but could have easily shared top spot, the TMX/T150 is the offer from ThrustMaster. It’s generally around the same level as the Logitech wheel, but it does somewhat compromise on build quality.
The TMX is designed to be compatible with Xbox one and PC whereas the T150 is available for PS3/4 and PC. Although, not as nice to look at as the Logitech G29/920 it offers a lot of the same features.
These wheels come with great force feedback, and for the price you won’t find anything better. Also comes with rumble, 900 degrees lock-to-lock turning and included pedals.
The pedals though only have braking and accelerating inputs, so should you want a stick shifter you may have to use a third party add on for a realistic clutch (alternatively you could map one of the wheel buttons to function as the clutch).
The included pedals aren’t the best quality, feel a little plasticky and don’t offer great resistance. The wheel itself is also made from steel and plastic and doesn’t feel as well made as our number 1 pick. It does however come with a Ferrari design option for those who want that.
Flappy paddles are included, and for those racers that like the basics and don’t want to spend too much but want genuine force feedback, this is the perfect model for you.
- Force feedback
- Build quality
3. Hori Apex/Overdrive
The first of the ultimate budget options. The team at Hori racing have designed a beautiful racing wheel, although it comes without some of the higher end features. For racers who are looking for a cheap way to get behind the wheel, look no further than Hori.
The 2 wheels (Apex and Overdrive) like the other offerings on this list are designed to work with specific consoles. The Apex with PS3/4 and PC, and the Overdrive with Xbox One.
The wheel itself has a great build quality, made from higher end materials that are comparable with more expensive wheels. It is USB powered and the 2-pedal board that it comes with, although basic, does a good job.
The look is absolutely outstanding, feels great and comes with a lot of buttons and extras you may not find with wheels in the same price bracket.
The biggest issue with the wheel is the features that are included. No force feedback is a big issue, although it does have rumble feedback. Also, with only 270 degree turning it doesn’t offer the best control. The pedals are not of the highest quality and don’t include a clutch pedal, so those that want one will have to buy an add on.
Overall it is a great entry-level accessory for those that aren’t looking to break the bank.
- Build quality
- No force feedback
- Limited turning rotation
4. Thrustmaster T300/TX
The T300/TX from ThrustMaster are wheels of high quality. It’s at the higher end of the budget range, and they are designed in line with the Logitech G29/G920.
The T300 is compatible with the PS3/4/PC and the TX is designed to work with the Xbox. It connects using USB, with all the bells and whistles one would expect. The only thing apart from the price that could be improved on is how it looks. There are some better feeling and looking wheels out there, so for those looking for that, maybe look elsewhere.
They come with force feedback, 1080 degrees of rotation and pedals all included as well as the option to add on third party accessories should you wish. The force feedback itself is extremely high quality, making sure you feel all the bumps of the track, giving a realistic racing experience.
It is weighty enough to be stable on any surface, and the included pedals have good weight with a clutch pedal included (if you buy the right version – make sure to check before purchase). Another small downside is that the wheel has is that the handbrake is mapped to a button you use with your thumb, making rally games fiddly.
You can buy a separate shifter and use that as the handbrake with the paddles for changing gear, but that isn’t ideal. So, you’ll have to compromise between handbrake and stick shifting sometimes.
Definitely for the more serious sim racing enthusiast, the wheel will offer those that want a more realistic experience great value.
- Build quality
- Lots of great features
- Runs a little hot for long sessions
5. Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider
In the fifth position is the specialist entry on our list. Some manufacturers have taken advantage of brands of cars to help decorate their wheel, and this one offered by ThrustMaster in conjunction with Ferrari is one of the best.
Coming in at the lower end of the budget range, again this is a beautifully designed wheel with less of the thrills of some of the higher end models. Only compatible with Xbox One, the wheel also comes with the same pedals available with the T150 and TMX only, so you cannot expand your set up around it without considering how you will overcome the lack of a clutch pedal.
There are of course a lot of draw backs.
No force feedback is a real issue, and the 240-degree turning rotation is one of the worst on this list. It has a good clamp however, causing the sliding issue of other budget wheels to be less of a problem. Finally, who hasn’t wanted to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari? This wheel may be the only chance some of us will ever get!
Definitely for a more casual racer, the extras on this wheel are too limited to be taken seriously by any veteran sim racer but for those looking for something cheap and cheerful, look no further.
- It’s a Ferrari!!!
- No force feedback
- Build quality
6. Speedlink Drift O.Z.
This is the ultimate budget option on the list. This really is a wheel for those that just want to plug in and play.
The wheel comes with a brake and throttle pedal set up and looks pretty good for the price. The colour really stands out and would look good in any setup.
Of course, it has no force feedback and only 180 degrees of rotation, which is the worst on this list. Also, you must check if this wheel works with the games you want to play. There have been issues with compatibility with some games.
By far the biggest issue though is the suction cups that will give out should any overzealous driving occur, and with only 180 degrees of turning rotation that is very likely to happen.
Keep in mind that for its price it is pretty good value for what you get: a wheel controller that works well and offers you a driving experience at a low price.
- Looks pretty cool
- No force feedback
- Bad turning rotation
- Moves about a lot
7. Logitech MOMO
Finally, we come to the Logitech MOMO. Sad to see it so far down, but it has started to become a little dated, though it is a great option for those looking for something second-hand, as it has been around for years.
It’s a great option for those looking at entry level sim racing wheels and it can be bought for a good price if you search for second-hand models.
For the latest model, the body, flappy paddles, and pedals are now plastic instead of steel and aluminium which does take away a little bit from the build quality, and the wheel wrapping is rubber instead of leather.
There is however a sequential style shifter that none of the other models have, so should you want to get something in your hand while moving through the gears then have a look at this offering.
Designed initially for PS2 it has now run its time with a lot of other more updated models now available. It still does work on PC and is compatible with most games, but always check.
It looks a little dated and the feel isn’t of the highest quality but if you are looking for a cheap entry level option (with some rudimentary force feedback), or something that has stood the test of time this is a good option.
- Cheap model with force feedback
- Shifter included
- Feels cheap
- Doesn’t look great
Racing wheels offer gamers the best way to really connect with racing sims. It is important to find the right product to really get us into the games. Wheels are also the best way to control the cars; far better than any pad controller.
It is of course no wonder then why racing enthusiasts want to get the best wheel they can to both improve the way they play and how they feel while playing.
Not all wheels are made equal, and also many needs are different, so always keep in mind what you want from a wheel before making a purchase. Hopefully this list will go some way to helping you with your choice and get you behind the best wheel for your requirements.