It’s hard to ignore Fanatec when you’re shopping around for new sim racing hardware, be it pedals or a wheel, as they continue to produce some of the best equipment on the market. With a strong range to choose from, it can leave many wondering what the best Fanatec pedals are.
The 4 best Fanatec pedals are:
Fanatec aren’t the only manufacturers making high-quality sim racing pedals, with brands like MOZA, Heusinkveld and Thrustmaster providing strong competition. In this article we will discuss the best pedals that Fanatec has to offer, as well as listing three of the best alternatives.
What To Consider When Buying Fanatec Pedals
Choosing a sim racing pedal set is a big decision, especially if you’re planning on shelling out a small fortune for the best option on the market. If you are, then you’re in good hands with Fanatec, as they currently produce market-leading pedal sets with an abundance of high-end features and customization options. Here are some things to consider before you buy.
Compatibility is mainly an issue for console users, as licensing issues and the reduced processing power of consoles mean that it isn’t easy to mix hardware brands without the use of third-party adapters. If you are on console, then you will have to pair your Fanatec pedals with a racing wheel in the same ecosystem.
The adjustability of your pedal set is an important factor to consider, as it will determine whether you can adjust the pedals to suit your preferences. Common adjustability features are the ability to change the positions of the pedals on the board, changing out springs and dampers to adjust pedal resistance, as well as the ability to remove pedals entirely, such as the clutch if you don’t use it.
It’s important to consider the features that set the pedals apart from the rest, for example the vibration motors on the ClubSport V3s, which provide a force feedback style experience. Each pedal set has its own unique elements that you should consider before buying.
Ease Of Setup & Use
Unlike cheaper pedal sets, which are usually ready to use straight out of the box, Fanatec’s products can be set up in multiple different ways to provide you with a more tailored experience. Despite this, they are far from difficult to set up, especially if you are satisfied with their original configuration.
Fanatec pedals tend to be packaged well without many detached parts, so you won’t have to assemble much of the pedal set yourself. The process of making adjustments is also simple across their range, with tools and spare springs for the ClubSport V3s and the CSL Elite V2s provided in the box.
Your Level Of Experience
Fanatec’s range of pedals offers something for everyone, with the cheaper CSL pedals being ideal for those purchasing their first pedal set due to their upgradeability and ease of use. The features included in the CSL Elite V2 Pedals and the ClubSport V3s are aimed more towards intermediate and experienced sim racers, but they’re still perfectly usable for beginners too.
There are three main mechanisms used in sim racing pedals. These are potentiometers, Hall effect sensors, and load cells. Fanatec no longer use potentiometers in their pedals, as they have opted for more consistent and durable magnetic Hall effect sensors. Load cell brake pedals will cost you a bit extra as they provide the most immersive and realistic braking experience.
Great build quality is vital, as it will determine the durability and sturdiness of your pedals. Fanatec don’t tend to cut corners in terms of build quality, keeping the use of plastic to a minimum, and crafting the main bulk of their products out of high-quality metals. The only real build quality issues with Fanatec pedals come with their cheapest offering, the CSL pedals.
Finally, upgradeability is also important, especially if you’re buying your first set of pedals. The best example of upgradeability in Fanatec’s range comes with the CSL pedals, where you can originally buy them as a set of two, with the option of separately buying a load cell brake to integrate into the setup. This means you won’t have to completely overhaul your setup to upgrade as your racing skills improve.
Note: We have ordered our list in terms of quality, rather than price. If you want to learn more about the cheapest Fanatec pedals, check out the CSL 2-pedal set.
The 4 Best Fanatec Pedals
1. Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3
Pedals: 3 | Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Mechanism: Load Cell / Hall Effect | Materials: Aluminum / Steel
The ClubSport Pedals V3 are Fanatec’s top of the range pedal offering. They have a professional look and feel, made entirely out of strong, sturdy metals. Their black brushed metal look makes them stand out from the rest, making them a focal point of any sim rig. One of their most exciting features is the immersive vibration motors, which add a new layer of immersion.
Pedal Feel & Customization
The ClubSport V3s use Hall effect sensors in the clutch and accelerator pedals, which make them accurate and consistent. These pedals now have four times the resolution that they did on the ClubSport V2s. The showpiece pedal is the load cell brake, which can handle up to 90 kg (198 lbs) of force. Fanatec have got the balance between stiffness and usability spot on!
There are two different spring resistances provided to suit those who enjoy stiffer pedals and those who like a softer option. The stiffness of the load cell is far easier to adjust than it is on most load cell pedal sets, simply requiring users to tighten a metal ring behind the pedal. None of the resistance adjustments require any tools (you can also adjust it on your PC too).
There are two sets of pedal faces included in the box, with one set being flat and metal and the other being curved and made of strong plastic. The plastic faces may not look as sleek as the metal option, but they feel comfortable underfoot and won’t slip if you’re not wearing shoes. Both faces screw on and off with ease, making them changeable in between races.
The feature that sets these pedals apart from the rest is the vibration motors inside the brake and gas pedals. These will react to situations in game such as lock ups and wheelspin, giving subtle force feedback style vibrations for added immersion and realism. This is unfortunately a rare feature in sim racing pedals, which adds to the intrigue surrounding the ClubSport V3s.
Inverted Edition & Other Add-ons
The ClubSport V3s also come in an inverted form, where the clutch and brake pedals come from the top of the setup rather than being on the same level in a line. Both sets have the same technical specifications, but the inverted pedal set comes with the ClubSport Damper kit pre-installed. The Inverted ClubSport V3 pedals are a premium option and cost substantially more.
The ClubSport Damper Kit is available for separate purchase if you have the non-inverted V3s. The kit is designed to make your pedals feel like hydraulic pedals, which will add even more realism and immersion to your experience. You can also purchase a Brake Performance kit, which reduces the brake pedal travel distance, increasing brake pressure capability.
Overall, the Fanatec ClubSport V3 pedals are the most expensive item on the list, but they provide the most immersive features. They’re also the best pedals for PlayStation and Xbox users too, thanks to their console compatibility.
The vibration motors are a fantastic touch, setting these pedals apart from not only the other Fanatec options, but most pedal sets available on the wider market. It’s no wonder these are some of the most popular sim racing pedals around!
- Professional look and feel
- Vibration motors for added immersion
- Upgradeable add-ons available
- Quite expensive
2. Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals V2
Pedals: 3 | Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Mechanism: Load Cell / Hall Effect | Materials: Aluminum
The CSL Elite Pedals V2 occupy a space somewhere between mid-range and high-end pedals, offering some excellent features for a reasonable price. While not much changed in an aesthetic sense compared to the previous CSL Elite pedals, Fanatec made some effective technical upgrades, which has seen the CSL Elite V2s become a great choice for those that don’t have the budget for the ClubSports.
The most obvious change that Fanatec made with the CSL Elite Pedals V2 from their predecessor was swapping out the ageing potentiometer system for Hall effect sensors. This has increased the consistency and accuracy of the pedals, as they now use magnetic sensors to convert electrical signals to in-game inputs. This also increases the durability of the pedals.
Using magnets reduces the amount of metal-to-metal contact within the mechanism, causing less wear on the internal components. Fanatec have further increased the consistency of the pedals by repositioning the load cell on the brake pedal, moving it from behind the arm of the pedal to just behind the elastomer stack.
Previously, because of the positioning of the load cell, the braking force would have been partially determined by where your foot was placed on the pedal, instead of being fully dependent on how much force you put into the input. Consistency is the main theme of the CSL Elite V2s, making them a highly effective choice if you want to increase your performance levels.
The CSL Elite V2s are easy to customize, containing three sets of springs and elastomers in the box. No tools are required to swap out these components, with everything you need included in the package. This means you can change the resistance from a minimum of 10 kg (22 lbs) to a maximum of 90 kg (198 lbs) without breaking out the old toolbox!
The clutch pedal is removeable, and the spaces between the pedals are adjustable, so you will have a personalized pedal board as well as customized resistance levels.
The pedals come preset with the softest sets of springs and elastomers, which will provide a nice level of resistance, but it won’t feel as immersive as when the stronger two springs are used. One of the best features of these pedals is the progressive resistance they offer, meaning that the pedals will become stiffer the more pressure is applied, like in a real car.
The curved metal pedal faces feel comfortable to use but will likely require some form of rubber grip on your footwear as they may feel slippery without. The pedals will require some form of mounting, whether it be a full sim cockpit or a DIY wooden block, as the resistance they provide will tip them over if they are not secured.
Quiet Pedal Action
Fanatec have eradicated the possibility of the thudding issue reported with the CSL pedals (see below) by installing rubber stoppers between the back of the pedal arms and their casings. This will not only prevent damage in the long-term, but it will make the pedals sound less annoying for you and whoever may be around you when you’re using them.
Overall, the CSL Elite V2s outperform their price tag and provide worthy competition for the more expensive ClubSport V3s. The technical upgrades have elevated the status of this pedal set, making it a huge improvement on its predecessor. The CSL Elite V2s are consistent, durable and immersive, as well as unlucky to have missed out on the top spot on our list!
- Multiple spring and elastomer resistances
- Progressive resistance for realism
- Easy to adjust
- Not as feature-rich as the ClubSport V3s
3. Fanatec CSL Pedals LC
Pedals: 3 | Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Mechanism: Load Cell / Hall Effect | Materials: Steel
The CSL Pedals LC offer a good introduction to load cell braking and how it can enhance your sim racing experience. The product is an extension of the two-pedal CSL set (see below), with the addition of a separate load cell brake, so technologically and aesthetically there is no difference between the two products, just an additional pedal on the board.
When you add the load cell brake pedal to your setup, the previous Hall effect brake pedal will automatically become the clutch pedal. If you don’t want a clutch pedal in your setup, you can easily remove it without the need to reconfigure anything.
You can also easily change the pedal positions, giving you the ability to place the pedals closer together or further apart, without having to unscrew the whole pedal board. While positional adjustability is good, you are unable to adjust the resistance of the individual pedals without purchasing third-party mods.
This is unfortunate, as the Hall effect clutch and accelerator pedals don’t offer too much in the way of resistance. This contrasts with the stiff load cell, which creates a bit of a disparity in the quality of experience you get between each pedal. While it would increase the price, it would be worth paying more to be able to improve these resistances.
Hall Effect & Load Cell Pedals
The fact that Fanatec have opted for Hall effect pedals in their cheapest pedals is a nice bonus, and this will ensure you feel enhanced accuracy in-game. It will also add durability as there is less metal-to-metal contact inside the pedal set’s mechanism. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the thudding of metal when the back of the pedal arm touches its casing.
The main selling point for this pedal bundle is the load cell brake pedal. It is capable of handling 60 kg (132 lbs) of force, which isn’t the strongest in its category, but the pedal does feel stiff underfoot. For the price of the pedals, Fanatec are offering a decent introduction into load cell braking, but it is likely that you’ll want to upgrade eventually.
Buyer’s Tip: These are only really ideal for those upgrading from the CSLs (see below), as if you’re entering the Fanatec ecosystem and want a load cell brake from the start, we recommend the CSL Elite V2s instead.
Overall, the CSL LC pedals provide buyers with a nice introduction into load cell pedal sets, for a fraction of the price of some top-end products. The pedals lack any standout high-end features, but they do use Hall effect sensors, which will provide you with tip-top accuracy while racing.
- Fairly good value for money
- Pedal position adjustment
- Hall effect pedals rather than potentiometers
- No resistance adjustability
- Metal-to-metal thudding
- Best for those upgrading from the barebones CSL pedals
4. Fanatec CSL Pedals
Pedals: 2 | Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Mechanism: Hall Effect | Materials: Steel
The CSL Pedals are Fanatec’s cheapest option and they are aimed at those who are building their first sim racing setup. They feature two Hall effect pedals, rather than potentiometer pedals, giving them the upper hand over many other entry-level pedal sets on the market. This makes them accurate and consistent in-game, making up for a lack of high-end features.
With a silver steel finish, the CSL pedals look the part, with the only plastic elements being the pedal faces. You can swap out the pedal faces for a metal alternative, which is a nice touch (although you need to buy them separately). Even though these are the cheapest pedals that Fanatec have ever sold, they wouldn’t look out of place if added to a full sim racing cockpit.
The all-metal body of these pedals does present some slight issues, including a thudding sound that comes from metal-to-metal contact being made between the pedal arm and its mount. You can solve this issue by adding a strip of rubber in between the two components, but it is a problem that Fanatec should never have allowed to happen.
The two pedals do feel weak, which can make it difficult to find true consistency around the track. Unfortunately, Fanatec haven’t added any stronger springs in the box, so you’ll have to go for third-party modifications if you want to make the pedals stronger.
The pedals can be repositioned on the board, which is a useful adjustment feature, so you can place them further apart or closer together. This will help you to make room for the load cell brake should you choose to upgrade in the future.
Buyer’s Tip: If you’re an absolute beginner, we recommend these over the LC version, as you may be better off upgrading to the CSL Elite V2s when you’re ready instead of adding the LC brake.
Overall, the Fanatec CSL pedals are a good beginner’s option, providing accurate and consistent performance, just without any special features to get too excited about. It is hard to argue against the value for money of these pedals, as they are cheap, and with the load cell as a potential future option, they are upgradeable.
- Very cheap
- Load cell can be purchased separately
- Hall effect sensors make them consistent and accurate
- Thudding sound due to metal-to-metal contact
- No resistance adjustability
3 Alternatives To Fanatec Pedals
1. MOZA CRP Pedals
The MOZA CRP pedals are a high-end pedal set featuring a strong load cell brake pedal and two Hall effect pedals. They have a high precision pressure sensor, offering accurate in-game feedback. The set comes with a range of springs and dampers for full resistance customization. With customizable pedal angles, the CRP pedals are great in terms of adjustability.
2. Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals
The Heusinkveld Sprints are the company’s entry level pedal option, but they perform above the level of most mass-market pedals. They are priced highly but have three load cell pedals, which is unusual but impressive. They are designed purely for realism and feel brilliant to race with. These pedals push the boundaries between sim racing as a hobby and professional simulator systems, without breaking the bank too much.
3. Thrustmaster T-LCM Pedals
Thrustmaster’s T-LCM pedals are a mid-range option, and they feature H.E.A.R.T technology, which is essentially an enhanced Hall effect system. They have a load cell brake that can handle up to 100 kg (220 lbs) of force. Most of the set is made from plastic, but the pedals have been crafted using metal. There are 6 sets of springs included, making them highly adjustable.
Fanatec’s range of sim racing pedals caters to a wide range of sim racers, from those starting out with the CSL pedals, to those who want to fully upgrade their setup to include the ClubSport V3s. Fanatec are one of the leading names in sim racing hardware technology, and it will be exciting to see how they continue to improve their already impressive lineup in the future!