If you are looking to take your sim racing to the next level, a direct drive wheel is the way to go. They provide exceptionally accurate force feedback and can lead to some incredible immersion. However, it can be tough to know which direct drive wheel base is best.
The 10 best direct drive wheel bases are:
- Simucube 2 Ultimate
- Simucube 2 Pro
- SimSteering 2
- AccuForce Pro V2
- Fanatec Podium DD2
- Simucube 2 Sport
- MOZA R21
- Logitech Pro Racing Wheel
- Fanatec CSL DD
- MOZA R5
Each of these wheel bases has their own advantages and disadvantages, and they are the best on the market for those that want to get the most realistic sim racing experience possible. Below, we’ll go through each one in more detail, and we’ll also discuss what you should look for in a DD base.
The 10 Best Direct Drive Wheel Bases
1. Simucube 2 Ultimate
Max Torque: 32 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 11.3 kg / 24.9 lbs
The Simucube 2 Ultimate really lives up to its name, and that’s why it takes the top spot on our list of the best direct drive sim racing wheel bases. It offers an immense amount of torque, but the big numbers aren’t the only reason it tops our list. It comes from one of the absolute best brands in the business, and so you can be sure you’re getting nothing but quality with this wheel base.
Let’s start with the 32 Nm elephant in the room. This is the most torque you’ll likely ever come across as a sim racer, and the truth is that it’s way more than enough for most people. The wheel base really is aimed more towards the competitive sim racing market, and the price tag of this beauty will probably illustrate that too!
This means the Simucube 2 Sport and Pro wheel bases are likely the better choice for beginner to intermediate sim racers, but for those that want the ultimate wheel base, you have to go with the Ultimate itself!
Nothing But Quality
Simucube is one of the best brands in the game, so besides the incredibly high amount of torque and the huge 9.5 Nm/ms slew rate (essentially how fast the level of torque can change), you’re also getting solid build quality throughout. Built from precision-machined solid metal, the only plastic in it according to Simucube is for parts like the wireless wheel receiver.
On that note, it’s worth pointing out that this is a wireless-compatible wheel base, meaning you can connect lots of different sim racing wheel rims without needing to run any cables between the two. This is one of Simucube’s selling points across their range of wheel bases, and it makes it a very versatile choice.
Note: One excellent thing all of the Simucube wheel bases on our list have in common is their user-friendly True Drive software, which allows you to quickly access a range of driver profiles to tune your setup to your liking.
Overall, this is by far the best sim racing wheel base around, but it really is catered towards professional racers with big budgets. It’s not a beginner choice, but we had to give it the top spot on our list as it simply outshines everything else on the market. If you’re a beginner or more experienced sim racer that doesn’t need the most competitive wheel base there is, our next options are for you!
- Huge amount of torque
- Incredible build quality
- Wireless rim compatibility
- Extremely expensive
- Aimed at competitive/professional sim racers
2. Simucube 2 Pro
Max Torque: 25 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 11.1 kg / 24.5 lbs
Up next we have the Pro edition of the Simucube 2. With the joint second-highest maximum torque available of any direct drive sim racing wheel setup on our list, the Simucube 2 Pro offers a completely unique experience for advanced sim racers. This wheel base is guaranteed to give you a super immersive experience, and the detail you will feel as you race is unbelievable.
Superior Build Quality
Like the Ultimate base that took the top spot, the Simucube 2 Pro is made from high-quality materials, and it has an anodized metal finish. This does mean that if you are looking for something that is highly aesthetically pleasing, this could be the wheel base for you. However, it is a heavy one, coming in at just over 11 kg, so you will need to make sure that your rig can handle the weight and the power.
Also like the ultimate wheel base, this one is aimed mostly at experienced sim racers (although definitely not just professionals), and most beginners won’t need 25 Nm of torque (most sim racers in general likely won’t need that). However, it is much cheaper than the Ultimate base, and this makes it one of the most popular direct drive wheel bases on the sim racing market.
Along with the wireless functionality that is shared by the Ultimate and Sport wheel bases, another of the other selling points of the Simucube 2 Pro is the excellent built-in quick release system. This allows you to quickly take off your racing wheel and replace it with a new one if need be, such as when changing between F1 racing and rallying.
The Simucube 2 Pro is the ideal choice if you want a huge amount of torque for a reasonable price point, and so it comes in second place on our list of the best direct drive wheel bases.
- Huge amount of torque on offer
- Great looking design
- Simple process to change rims
- Quite heavy
3. SimSteering 2
Max Torque: 20.5 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 7.5 kg / 16.5 lbs
Next up we have the SimSteering 2 from Leo Bodnar, which is a truly magnificent piece of sim racing machinery. This wheel base will offer 20.5 Nm of torque, which is a huge amount, even though it’s slightly less than our top two options. The base is only compatible with PC setups and is definitely geared towards more advanced sim racers. However, it far exceeds many other direct drive wheels in terms of quality.
The force feedback resolution of the SimSteering 2 wheel base is exceptional, and the detail that you will feel when using this base is unlike anything a gear or belt-driven wheel can provide. Although that is a given with direct drive wheels, the SimSteering 2 provides more detail than many of its direct drive counterparts as well, thanks to its Kollmorgen AKM53 servo motor.
In terms of setup and compatibility, the SimSteering 2 is actually ideal for a lot of beginners to intermediate sim racers. This is due to the lack of drivers or plugins required, as all you need to do is plug it into your computer and you are ready to go. It works with DirectX, a system used in a lot of racing simulators, meaning you shouldn’t need to go through much in terms of setup.
The high range of rotation of 1500° is less than some of the others on this list, but still much higher than most gear and belt-driven wheels. You can actually contact the manufacturer if you require higher ranges of rotation though. If you require less torque you can choose a 16 Nm version, or the 26 Nm one if you need even more.
Lighter Than Most
The SimSteering 2 wheel base weighs just 7.5 kg, making it one of the lightest bases on our list. Even when combined with the 4.5 kg control box it is still several kilos lighter than most of the other wheel bases here. This makes it convenient for less sturdy racing setups, but it still requires a strong support for the torque that it provides.
In terms of price, it is very expensive, and it’s a little hard to find. However, for the quality of the build and the detail of the force feedback that you get, the SimSteering 2 is definitely one to consider if you’re a competitive sim racer.
- Highly detailed force feedback
- Plenty of torque
- Very light for the torque on offer
- Extremely expensive
- Only compatible with PC
- By default it has a relatively low range of rotation
4. AccuForce Pro V2
Max Torque: 13 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 16.3 kg / 35.9 lbs
Next up we have the AccuForce Pro V2. This wheel is slightly on the lower end of the torque scale with just 13 Nm on offer, but if power isn’t your main driving force then this could be the option for you. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s below the $1,500 mark, which is impressive for what you get.
The AccuForce uses a servo-stepper hybrid motor, which essentially combines two uniquely engineered motors into one for a very efficient torque generation process. It also utilizes an integrated motor controller/PC interface, which allows for lower latency and a more rapid response time. This means that your movements can be even more precise.
The AccuForce could arguably be one of the more beginner-friendly wheel bases on our list, as it comes with several easy-to-select modes of use. These modes allow you to have fine control over your experience with just the touch of a button. There is even a child mode, which really turns down the torque, making it ideal for younger sim racers (although you’d be better off with a beginner sim racing wheel).
Useful Extra Features
There are also some useful quality-of-life features such as automatic firmware updates and highly optimizable force feedback that really make this wheel base a good choice for those that want some extra control over their sim racing experience.
- Good value for money
- Huge range of rotation
- Lots of customizability
- Less powerful than the rest on our list
- Very heavy
5. Fanatec Podium DD2
Max Torque: 25 Nm | Platform: PC / Xbox | Weight: 13 kg / 28.7 lbs
Next we have the Fanatec DD2, which is the first option on this list that is compatible with a console. Although only compatible with an Xbox – and PC of course – the Fanatec DD2 brings direct drive to those that can only, or prefer to, play racing games on their Xbox.
This is Fanatec's best direct drive wheel base thanks to its immense torque output and high compatibility with their range of products. It's PC and Xbox compatible, and it's just a great looking piece of sim racing equipment.
Fanatec is one of the biggest names in sim racing, and in true Fanatec style, this direct drive wheel base provides users with something truly above and beyond the capabilities of any belt driven wheel. Offering up to 25 Nm of torque, the DD2 is up there with the most powerful direct drive wheels on the market.
The wheel base is designed with a carbon fiber finish, which makes it look stunning as part of any setup. The base also offers an unlimited range of rotation, which makes it appropriate for any style of racing you can think of. It also utilizes a wireless data transfer system, which helps to keep the surrounding area tidy and also eliminates the possibility of cables falling out or becoming damaged.
The DD2 also comes with a simple setup procedure, which makes it highly accessible for beginners, while also being ideal for anyone that doesn’t want to spend ages setting their system up. Other nice features include a handy quick release system that is compatible with all of Fanatec’s existing and future rims, and a nice OLED display built-in as well.
The Fanatec DD2 weighs in at 13 kg, which means it is quite a heavy piece of machinery. However, it needs to be to offer the huge amount of torque that allows for some of the most realistic force feedback available, with the best FF on consoles at the moment. The DD2 is a little expensive, but well worth it for the power and compatibility.
- PC and Xbox compatible
- Plenty of torque on offer
- Looks great
- Quite pricey
6. Simucube 2 Sport
Max Torque: 17 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 8 kg / 17.6 lbs
The Simucube 2 Sport is the third Simucube base to appear on this list, and it’s also the cheapest one the brand has to offer. It provides plenty of torque an an excellent price to performance ratio that makes it a truly great option for those looking to upgrade to their first direct drive setup. However, it’s also good enough for the pros too!
Excellent Force Feedback
As with all of Simucube’s products, you get absolute quality with the Sport wheel base. Offering 17 Nm of torque, it’s more than enough for beginners, but it’s also going to be plenty for those with experience as well. Many will likely never need the full 17 Nm it can provide, but even cranked up all the way you get smooth, responsive force feedback that’s hard to beat at this price point.
The wheel base has a simplistic design, and it’s not quite as heavy as some of the other options on this list, meaning it will fit into most dedicated sim racing rigs with ease. It’s built from solid metal that’s been precision machined, and there is very little plastic to be found inside the wheel as well, other than on the wireless receiver, which we’ve mentioned with the Pro and the Ultimate too.
A Great Experience
The Simucube 2 Sport also works with the brand’s excellent True Drive software for a smooth and highly customizable sim racing experience, allowing you to download and tweak countless profiles from the cloud. This makes it very beginner friendly as you can easily find a setup that works for you and quickly switch between profiles.
Overall, while not the most powerful wheel base on the market, the Simucube 2 Sport is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to get into sim racing at the direct drive end of the spectrum, or if you’re looking to upgrade from your previous wheel.
- Powerful but smooth force feedback
- Superb build quality
- Works wirelessly with wheel rims
- Not the cheapest option
7. MOZA R21
Max Torque: 21 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 8.9 kg / 19.6 lbs
Up next we have the most powerful wheel base that MOZA has to offer. MOZA are quickly taking the sim racing world by storm, setting themselves up to be a major Fanatec competitor. Their R21 wheel base is definitely one to consider if you’re in the market for sheer power!
A Fanatec Competitor
21 Nm of peak torque is something to take seriously – that’s a lot of torque! But that’s not the only thing that matters when picking a direct drive wheel, as you also need to think about the quality of that force feedback. And MOZA have certainly hit the mark here, offering smooth, responsive force feedback that feels great no matter how high you crank the power.
The slick “Supercar-inspired” design of this wheel base certainly makes it stand out from its competitors, as does its incredibly effective quick release system. That means this wheel base work seamlessly with all of MOZA’s wheel rims, and you can connect some third-party wheels with adapters (although functionality may be limited), with one of the best non-aftermarket quick releases around.
Features Of The Wheel Base
The base is made of tough aluminum alloy, which means it’s built to last. It uses fully wireless communication, offers high resolution force feedback, and can be customized using MOZA’s Pit House app. This means you can adjust various aspects of your racing experience from your phone!
Overall, this is one of the best value for money direct drive wheels on the market, considering the power you have at your fingertips and the overall build quality. However, it’s not one beginners should think about buying, as MOZA have a better wheel base for that – see the last product on this list!
- Incredible peak torque
- Great quick release system
- Can tweak settings from your phone
- Not compatible with consoles
8. Logitech Pro Racing Wheel
Max Torque: 11 Nm | Platform: PC / Xbox / PlayStation | Weight: 7 kg / 15.4 lbs
The Logitech Pro racing wheel is the latest addition to Logitech’s relatively small range of racing wheels, and it’s their first foray into the world of direct drive. The wheel and wheel base combination appeared on the scene in 2022, and it took many by surprise. And when you realise just how good this wheel base is, it’s no wonder that heads have been turning since its release.
The Logitech Pro is a direct drive wheel with integrated Trueforce technology. This means that, while the powerful base can achieve a reasonable 11 Nm of peak torque, it’s combined with internal vibration motors to provide even more immersion. When playing a compatible game, this Trueforce technology will accentuate the textures of the road surface and make you feel like you’re really in the car.
The 11 Nm of torque will definitely be enough for most sim racers, especially if this is your first direct drive wheel. It’s also definitely enough to mean you’ll want to have a dedicated sim racing setup with this wheel base, even though you do get a table clamp included. 11 Nm of torque is just going to be too much for a table clamp to handle in most cases, although some sturdy tables might be strong enough.
Accessible Tuning Menu
You also get a nice settings menu built into the base, which makes changing the level of the force feedback and Trueforce a breeze, along with various other settings. This is also great for tweaking settings for the dual clutch paddles on the back of the wheel rim that comes included with this base.
It’s worth mentioning the wheel rim, as you can’t currently buy the base on its own. This means you need to make use of Logitech’s Pro wheel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even though there is a quick release system, this is the only rim that currently works with the wheel. So, if you’ve got a few Fanatec rims lying around already, this might not be the wheel base to go for.
The wheel base makes use of active cooling, so you might hear the fan come on during heavy sessions, but it’s not too noticeable. The plastic construction on the external components may be a let down for some potential buyers, but it’s definitely solid where it counts. The bulk of the plastic construction (and the overall wide shape) is really to accommodate the active cooling system.
Overall, this is a really impressive system from Logitech. It is on the pricey side all things considered, but it’s still a cheaper option than some of the more powerful wheel bases, and it’s compatible with consoles, so it’s a good choice for PlayStation or Xbox sim racers.
- Great force feedback
- Trueforce for extra immersion
- Easy to adjust the settings
- Quite expensive for what you get
- No other compatible rims
9. Fanatec CSL DD
Max Torque: 8 Nm | Platform: PC / Xbox / PlayStation (with DD Pro) | Weight: 5.5 kg / 12.1 lbs
The CSL DD is the Fanatec equivalent to Logitech’s Pro base in that it’s their newest wheel base, and it’s a console-compatible direct drive option. It’s available in a few different flavors, but for the sake of this article we’ll only be considering the 8 Nm bundle of the CSL DD. If you’re on PlayStation, it’s the DD Pro you’ll want to check out.
This is arguably the best direct drive wheel base for console users, thanks to its compatibility with other Fanatec equipment and its simple setup. It's a fairly powerful and budget friendly base that's great for beginners.
Strong Enough For Most
This wheel base is capable of 8 Nm of torque with the included 180 Boost Kit, which means it’s technically the weakest wheel on this list. However, this is still likely to be enough for the average racer, and even for some more advanced players too. The clarity of the force feedback is excellent, which you might expect from a brand like Fanatec.
The real selling point of this wheel base is the price point, given that it comes in at close to the $500 mark. This makes it the ideal choice for those already in the Fanatec ecosystem, as if you already have a rim you can attach it to this wheel base for a fairly budget friendly (relatively speaking) direct drive setup.
It’s designed to be beginner friendly, from the setup to the tuning menu that you can access through an attached wheel. It’s also fairly small and lightweight, which although reflected in the lower torque output means you can use this wheel base with lighter setups.
Note: Some sim racers have found the CSL DD to be a little ‘notchy’ as a result of the magnets inside the wheel base. This won’t totally ruin your sim racing experience, but it may be something you’ll come across. It can often be tuned out with the wheel base/in-game settings.
The CSL DD isn’t the most powerful wheel base on the market, but given its console compatibility and beginner friendly design, it’s a great entry point for sim racers that are looking to break into the realm of direct drive.
- Brilliant force feedback
- Simple setup and easy to use
- Console compatible
- Relatively low peak torque
10. MOZA R5
Max Torque: 5.5 Nm | Platform: PC | Weight: 7 kg / 15.4 lbs
Finally, we have another offering from MOZA, with their cheapest wheel base. The R5 offers 5.5 Nm of peak torque, which should be enough for beginners looking for their first direct drive wheel. While more advanced racers may seek something with a bit more power, this is the cheapest introduction to direct drive that you’ll find.
Why It’s Last On Our List
Just because it’s the cheapest option, it doesn’t mean that MOZA have skipped the quality aspect. It’s still an incredibly high-performance wheel base, and honestly, putting it toe-to-toe with Fanatec’s cheapest option (the 5 Nm CSL DD – not the 8 Nm one discussed above) makes for a tough choice.
They’re both priced very similarly, and so for the absolute entry-level choice, a lot of it will come down to personal preference and what’s in stock at the time. However, Fanatec’s CSL base will work with console (although you’ll need the Pro version for PlayStation), and with many beginner racers playing on console, the 8 Nm offering slightly edges out the R5 on our list.
Why It’s So Good
The R5 wheel base is built from “aeroplane grade aluminum” for excellent durability, and it’s quite lightweight too. This means it shouldn’t be too much hassle to fit into your rig, although it will still require a sturdy one given it’s direct drive. It also comes with a brilliant quick release that makes swapping out wheel rims a breeze.
Overall, if you’re a beginner racer on PC looking to make your first steps into the world of direct drive, the R5 wheel base from MOZA is going to be hard to beat. You’ll also be joining an exciting, growing ecosystem of MOZA products, and if you want to get your hands on a decent beginner setup, consider opting for the R5 bundle that comes with a wheel and pedals too!
- Great for beginners
- Lightweight but powerful
- Can be tuned from MOZA’s Pit House app
- Not compatible with console
Summary Of The Best Direct Drive Wheel Bases
|Simucube 2 Ultimate||Incredible 32 Nm of torque|
Superb Simucube build quality
Only for the most serious sim racers
|Simucube 2 Pro||Plenty of torque available|
Simple design and great software
|Quite a heavy choice|
Also quite expensive
|SimSteering 2||Very detailed force feedback|
Fairly lightweight for the amount of torque
|An expensive option|
Also aimed at the most serious sim racers
|AccuForce Pro V2||Good value for money|
Lots of room for customization
|Not the most powerful|
Very heavy considering the lower torque it offers
|Fanatec Podium DD2||The most torque on offer for console players|
It looks awesome
Also very heavy
|Simucube 2 Sport||Great value for money|
17 Nm is plenty of torque for most people
|Only loses out to the DD2 as it’s not console compatible|
Quite a heavy wheel base
|MOZA R21||Lots of torque|
Brilliant quick release
|Long delivery times|
Not fully compatible with lots of rims
|Logitech Pro Racing Wheel||Decent amount of torque|
|Very expensive for what you get|
It’s also very large
|Fanatec CSL DD||One of the cheapest direct drive wheel bases|
Ideal starting point for beginners and console racers
|Low peak torque|
There can be some notching/cogging when turning the wheel
|MOZA R5||The cheapest direct drive wheel on offer|
Lightweight and great force feedback
|Not compatible with consoles unlike the CSL DD|
Can be long delivery times
What To Look For In A Direct Drive Servo Base
You need to consider compatibility when it comes to direct drive steering wheels, as if you are playing on a console you are quite limited in terms of choice. Most direct drive wheels are catered towards PC gamers, and a lot of them require extensive setup that consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox just cannot support.
This brings us onto the setup of the wheel base, which is a very important factor that relates to your experience level. Some of the bases on this list require some complex setup in order to get the most out of them, so if you are a beginner you might want to go for an option that is a bit more on the basic side of things. However, complexity often means the base offers you more control.
The weight of the direct drive wheel base is also worth considering. This is important for two main reasons, the first of which is due to the force that direct drive motors can offer, and the heavier the base the more power they tend to produce. So, if you are looking for a high level of force feedback, a sign of a powerful motor can sometimes lie in the product’s weight.
The second reason that the weight is important ties in with the general size of the base. You need to have somewhere to put it. The power of these bases can be immense, so you need to make sure that your rig can support the weight of the base. Your rig also needs to be big enough, as some bases are quite large and need a big, solid platform to support them.
This leads onto the power of the motor, which is often quoted instead in terms of the torque that it produces. These values can range from single digits up to the high 30s, and which one you choose depends on your experience level and how realistic you want it to feel. A high amount of torque will be difficult to master as a beginner, but low values might not be enough for more experienced racers.
Note: Something else to consider at the high end is slew rate, which is essentially a measure of how fast the torque of the wheel can change. It’s typically quoted in Nm/ms, and isn’t too important for beginners, but more expensive wheel bases tend to offer higher slew rates.
The first thing that a lot of people consider when buying any product for their sim racing rig is the price. Price should never be the defining factor for your equipment, as you definitely want to prioritize quality. Nonetheless, prices vary a lot between brands and between types of equipment. Direct drive wheels in particular can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand.
Another aspect that some people might consider when choosing a direct drive wheel base is whether or not it comes with a rim. This is similar to the price aspect, as it should definitely not be the driving force behind your choice. Only one of the options on our list come with a wheel as is (the Logitech Pro wheel), but they are almost all compatible with a wide range of rims on the market.
The beauty of a direct drive wheel base is that you are not limited to just one rim and you can choose which one you like best after you choose your base. This is in contrast to many belt and gear-driven sim racing wheels out there that do not allow for interchangeable rims. This means that if you buy one and don’t like it, you can just swap it for another one without needing to buy a new base.
Of course this will add to the overall cost, but there are lots of different options to choose from and many are compatible with the best direct drive wheel bases on the market. Just be sure to double check the compatibility before you spend any money, as some may only work wirelessly for example, requiring a wheel base that offers wireless compatibility, such as the Simucube 2 Sport, Pro, and Ultimate bases.
There are a few other aspects you might want to consider when choosing a direct drive wheel base, including the way the base looks. For the purposes of our list, we value the functionality far more than the aesthetics, although we have brought it into consideration for a few of the options.
Nonetheless, you might want to pick one that fits in aesthetically with your current setup, and you might be interested in the finer details of the wheel’s capabilities. You can bear these in mind alongside all of our other considerations to make sure that you pick a wheel base that suits you the best.
KEY POINTS• Compatibility is key to consider when choosing a direct drive wheel base, both in terms of platform and wheel rim choice
• The torque the base can offer is also important, and more torque generally comes with a higher price tag
• Price is obviously key too, but overall functionality and quality is more important
Our list of the best direct drive servo wheel bases contains options for those on consoles and even for those on a budget. For the best quality of racing experience and the best force feedback, we recommend the Simucube 2 Ultimate wheel base as our top pick. For those on console, the Logitech Pro or the Fanatec CSL DD are the best available.
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