The 6 Best Fanatec Sim Racing Wheels – The Ultimate Guide

For the investment of Fanatec, you’ll enjoy the pinnacle of sim racing technology and materials for one of the most immersive experiences on the market! So, if you’re looking for the best Fanatec wheels, don’t go anywhere!

So, what is the best Fanatec racing wheel? My personal choice would be the Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel due to its endorsement by the most elite motorsport in the world, and the complete focus on quality performance shown in the wheel features.

Here are the 6 best Fanatec sim racing wheels:

  1. Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel
  2. Fanatec ClubSport V2.5 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
  3. ClubSport F1 Esports Steering Wheel
  4. CSL Elite Racing Wheel
  5. Podium R300 Steering Wheel
  6. CSL Elite P1 Steering Wheel

Probably some of the most important things to remember when buying a wheel is what you should be looking for in a potential product. Let’s take a look at the criteria I used to select the products I’ll be reviewing in this article!

What To Look For In A Good Sim Racing Wheel

Purely and simply, I selected six amazing wheels from Fanatec based on a set of criteria that range from logical, all the way to performance of the actual product. When looking at wheels, the following points need to be considered carefully:

  1. Range of Rotation: Across every sim racing game, there’s a magic degree of rotation which is what sets the amount that the wheel needs to be turned. Anything less than 900 degrees of rotation will mean that you have to turn the physical wheel more than what the in-game sim wheel requires. In short, you’ll be wasting precious time turning far more than you actually have to!
  2. Force Feedback: Simply put, this is the factor that replicates driving a car in real-life. A wheel without force feedback or with weak force feedback won’t feel satisfying to drive, and you’ll actually be at a disadvantage when feeling how much wheel input is required. For full immersion, force feedback is a must!
  3. Material: This is primarily down to personal preference and experience. If you’ve driven a lot of cars with leather steering wheels, you’ll probably feel the most comfortable with a leather-clad wheel. However, a fabric-covered wheel can actually provide you with more grip and will allow you to race for longer without potentially sweaty palms interfering. This can also be negated by wearing racing gloves.
  4. Design: Again, this is something very much based on personal preference. Personally, I think that most wheels look sleek and sophisticated to own. If you’re after a specific badge to appear in the middle of your wheel, that can sometimes come with an extra price tag attached but otherwise, you can simply shop for that McLaren logo! There are two types of wheel typically, with some taking a racing appearance and others being far closer to the standard wheel as seen in cars.
  5. Price: Probably the biggest thing I take into consideration, primarily out of habit. I’ve raced karts for a long time and growing up, we weren’t made of money. As such, I’ve turned into a real bargain hunter! But price should never be the driving force behind your decisions above all else. Use it as more of a tie-breaker if there are two wheels that provide everything above in good measure, and you’re simply stuck on whether to pay for the cheaper or more expensive one.

This is by no means a definitive list of things to consider when looking at racing wheels, but it covers all of the main factors that should be under consideration. All of the choices I’ve made as the four best wheels that Fanatec offers have been judged dependent on the above factors, plus a few other things that I’ll go into in more detail below.

Are you suitably excited to see just which wheels have earned a place on the top list? Then read on!

The 6 Best Fanatec Sim Racing Wheels

1. Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel

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Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Max Rotation: 1080 degrees | Force Feedback: Yes | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 12 | Expandable: Yes

The Fanatec Podium F1 racing wheel is an amazing addition to anyone’s sim racing setup. This wheel is possibly as close as you can get to feeling like you’re operating a real single-seater racing car. It is a direct drive wheel and the force feedback is honestly staggering.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The force feedback system has no equal currently in the market and is by far the most realistic and immersive experience a person can have while sim racing.

Setup is also a breeze as this racing wheel is fully certified to be plug and play although you may want to adjust some of the settings upon first use. The wheel comes with a torque key which allows the user to either lock or unlock the full performance of the wheel.

I found that using the wheel at its highest setting for torque at 20Nm started to hurt my wrists. 20Nm is the torque of most racing cars with power steering and is therefore extremely realistic and is extremely fun for a while, until I was forced to lower it to about 30% of its power.

This was a comfortable setting for me. As well as having adjustable torque, you can adjust the strength, dampening, and a whole load of other features on the wheel. If you find yourself switching these settings when you play a different game than before, luckily the wheel lets you save 5 profiles that you can easily switch to.

The wheel has a quick-release system that makes transport and storage incredibly easy and convenient.

Unfortunately, I found the quick release system to be very stiff and the wheel to be quite difficult to pull off the base but either way, it’s a whole lot easier than having to unscrew 5 bolts. The wheel is also very ergonomic and I can reach almost all the face buttons without lifting my hands off the wheel.

The wheel’s maximum angle of rotation is 1080 degrees which is excellent for almost all sim racing games out there but this wheel was definitely made specifically with F1 simulation games in mind, and is also endorsed by F1 themselves.

The wheel comes with a quick start guide which explains very well how to program the reprogrammable buttons on the wheel. It has an Alcantara finish and aluminum construction throughout the rest of its components.

The Fanatec Podium F1 racing wheel may hurt your wallet, but overall, it is an immense wheel to use and feels very premium.

PROS:

  • Direct drive, high immersion and realism
  • Adjustable torque & reprogrammable buttons
  • Very high-quality materials

CONS:

  • Full torque can be very uncomfortable

2. Fanatec ClubSport V2.5 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel

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Compatibility: PC, Xbox One | Max Rotation: 900 degrees | Force Feedback: Yes | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 16 | Expandable: Yes

This wheel is stylish, premium-feeling, and very adjustable. It features an Aluminum wheel rim with genuine smooth leather for an incredibly comfortable driving experience. It’s a hugely adjustable wheel with easy to use dials to fine-tune features on the fly such as the force feedback or the dead-zone on the wheel.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The force feedback on this wheel is one the smoothest I have ever used with a torque of 7Nm. Fanatec has used a brushless servo base with this wheel that allows the wheel to run with little to no noise; something that is common with other force feedback wheels.

The wheel doesn’t feature direct drive like Fanatec’s Podium F1 wheel but it feels very close to the real thing. The wheelbase itself is made of aluminum construction with an anodized finish which not only makes the wheel feel very premium but also makes it a very durable product.

The wheel comes with shifter paddles included on both sides for easy and comfortable sequential gear shifting. Just like the Fanatec Podium F1 wheel, the GT Forza ClubSport wheel is very ergonomic and feels great in the hands. I can reach all the buttons with minimal movement necessary.

The buttons themselves are adjustable, as well as the shifter paddles, and are certainly not obtrusive in any way when using the wheel. The wheel and wheelbase have a quick release system so transporting the wheel or storing it away for use later is a quick and painless process.

This also gives you the option of interchangeable wheels and swapping them on the fly for specific situations or races. The wheel features an LED display for tuning or adjusting telemetry functions and can display information of your choosing such as what gear you are in and much more.

This wheel also has a drift mode and adjustable dampening or strength which makes this one of the most customizable wheels both in terms of aesthetics and settings. The shape of the wheel also makes it more approachable when racing in rally sims, on circuits, or even while F1 racing. Whereas, the F1 podium wheel was designed purely with F1 racing in mind.

Fanatec is currently selling this wheel on its website for a fair price for the number of features this premium wheel has. Overall, I think you really will get the right bang for the buck when you purchase this wheel. It feels ergonomic and premium. The force feedback is buttery smooth and responsive.

There is a wide variety of adjustable features and it has a quick-release system with compatibility for interchangeable wheels.

If you want a great wheel that will last longer and works well with all types of racing that you may want to do, then this is the wheel for you.

PROS:

  • Customizable and adjustable
  • Ergonomic and feels premium with a quick-release system
  • Very smooth force feedback

CONS:

  • A little expensive
  • Settings can seem complicated

3. ClubSport F1 Esports Steering Wheel

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Compatible with: PC, PS4 | Weight: 1.2kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees | Pedals Included: No | Expandable: Yes

Just looking at this wheel is enough to transport you into a Formula 1 car’s cockpit; everything from its shape to all of the interface you can see on the face of this amazing piece of kit.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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As with everything they produce, Fanatec makes this wheel by hand and with clear care. Everything from the aluminum front plate to the Alcantara side grips are present to provide ultimate ergonomics and that fully immersive feel.

For the price, you’ll be getting a whole lot of racing wheel that’ll stand the test of time and keep you highly competitive in the sim racing scene.

Simply put, the force feedback of this wheel is without compare. When you consider that Fanatec make more expensive wheels, it blows my mind that this particular model feels as if it’s the premium product in their line-up.

The F1 Esports wheel benefits from its compact size because it allows the driver to react far quicker and make inputs with the same speed, something which you’ll immediately see on the screen as you’re racing.

And if you’re not familiar with Alcantara as a material, it’ll be your best friend on this wheel! Although the rest of the wheel is made with lightweight metals to really replicate the F1 wheel found in all their cars today, the side grips benefit from the Italian-made fabric-like material which allows for sensational grip.

Alcantara’s amazing grip will allow for consistent competitive racing without hand fatigue! As well as being easy to clean and overall a long-lasting, well-made compound, it’ll stay looking great to match the wheel itself.

And that isn’t even to mention the bells and whistles of technology that the Esports wheel comes with. All of the buttons on the face of the wheel can be programed to perform whichever function you wish so you can see all manner of information about your car in-game.

An LED screen can display all of that info right in front of you on the wheel itself, so you can react accordingly to everything from tire degradation to track temperatures. Its compatibility with F1 games is simply without rival, making it one of the best if not the absolute best wheel for playing this challenging sim game.

The gear shift paddles on the rear of the wheel are easily adjusted and moved to whatever position you find the most comfortable, and they feel incredibly reactive and satisfying to use.

And if the whole wheel can’t get any cooler, the LED light bar found above the screen display will show motor RPM and optimal shifting points while you’re driving! All of this tech simply puts the wheel head and shoulders above other competitors.

For all its benefits and amazing material, technology and every other fantastic thing, it’s worth remembering that this wheel is quite the investment in terms of price.

Sure, if you’re spending a lot of time racing on your PC or PS4 you’ll see immediate improvements and soon get your money’s worth, but it simply isn’t a casual-friendly piece of kit. The buttons and interface can be a bit much for people who aren’t used to this style of racing wheel, so it definitely isn’t something I’d recommend for somebody first getting into sim racing.

That, and unlike a lot of other brands, Fanatec don’t include the means to mount their wheels without a specific bundle. You have to purchase a compatible wheel base which is more expense on top of the already pricy wheel itself.

If you’re a competitive sim racer looking to take your game to the next level and price isn’t an object, this wheel is hands-down the best I could recommend.

PROS:

  • A great value wheel for F1 racing sim games
  • Highly immersive and full of outstanding tech

CONS:

  • Doesn’t come with a wheel base, making it pricy for only a wheel
  • Intimidating to new sim racers

4. CSL Elite Racing Wheel

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Compatible with: PC, PS4, XBOX 1 | Weight: 0.97kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees | Pedals Included: No | Expandable: Yes

Next on the list by only a small margin is the CSL Elite, officially licensed for the PS4 but able to be connected to literally any medium you wish. This wheel is something far more familiar to the majority of sim racers, being a circular composition and reaching a realistic 30cm diameter for a much more immersive experience for a wider range of cars.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Not everybody dreams of being an F1 driver, after all! So as much as I love the previous wheel and it’s my most-recommended, I understand that it isn’t for everyone. As such, this beauty meets the needs of a wider variety of drivers of all experience levels, and is far less intimidating to look at when compared to the F1 series that Fanatec offers.

One of the biggest boons of this wheel is the ClubSport technology that comes as standard, which contains high-end servo motors that truly define the pinnacle of force feedback. If you’re looking for a sleek, sophisticated interface on a wheel, don’t look any further than the CSL Elite!

The buttons are all clearly labelled on the brushed metal front, and although they all possess PS4 symbols, you can easily re-program it for if you want to utilize the wheel for an XBOX. That, and for a little extra cash you can buy button caps that match which input you use the most, meaning you can exchange the PlayStation button caps with XBOX ones easily.

And with a highly sensitive sensor mounted directly on the steering axis, all steering inputs will be utterly precise. The force feedback provided by this wheel ensures that you’ll receive realistic reactions through the wheel, allowing you to adjust quickly and react to what’s happening; giving you, the driver, a far more competitive edge.

Not only does the included wheel base provide a strip of LED lights showing optimum gear shift parameters, but the attached Fanatec Tuning display allows you to set and save multiple driving profiles.

You can adjust everything from force feedback levels and steering angles all the way up to brake sensitivity independently from the game you’re playing, and you can easily switch between up to five of these saved pre-sets. No more guesswork in the settings screen on racing games!

The true value of this wheel is simply the versatility one can have with it. You can easily set this wheel to work with a PS4, XBOX or PC, and you can use it seamlessly with all manner of sim racing games without losing any of your competitive edge or spending hours having to finetune everything to what you want to play.

And with the easy, nonsense-free USB ports for a pedal set, handbrake and even a stick shifter, the CSL Elite will make the ideal base for an amazing sim racing rig.

Unlike the F1 Esports wheel, the CSL Elite comes with a wheelbase as standard which reflects the higher price. It also comes with a well-made table clamp which you can use to attach the wheel plus its base into a cockpit you’ve previously made, a wheel stand or even your desk!

The purchase will, however, set you back quite a bit for only the wheel and its base plus all the necessary tools to set it up. Its versatility and flexibility plus all the fantastic tech that comes as standard can feel a little hard to justify at such an expensive price level, especially since you won’t get anything else to make a rig such as pedals or a stick shifter.

This wheel is amazing for any sim racer, no matter your experience. If you don’t mind making a big investment, this wheel will give you consistent benefits down the line and if you race a lot, the purchase will be worth every penny.

PROS:

  • Phenomenal force feedback, fully adjustable
  • Lot of scope for customization and expanding your rig

CONS:

  • A lot of cash to spend on only a wheel and its base
  • Not officially XBOX-branded, meaning the set-up can be long and tedious to make it compatible

5. Podium R300 Steering Wheel

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Compatible with: PC, PS4 | Weight: 1.7kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees | Pedals Included: No | Expandable: Yes

If you’re looking to make a statement with your sim racing wheel, this is definitely the model for you! The Podium R300 is sleek as can be with its striking black leather and gold metal accents; giving you a real look and feel of luxury for your whole rig.

Although it doesn’t offer connectivity to XBOX, Fanatec describe this wheel to be their high-end multi-purpose wheel, and this is primarily because of the 30cm diameter making it fantastic for almost any type of vehicle.

It comes standard with a dataport connector to allow for many other components to be added, including but not limited to a stick shifter, handbrake and full set of pedals. It’s a great and luxurious base to build around for your rig!

Every part of the R300 has been made with automotive-grade materials, making it a great steering wheel if you’re looking for absolute realism. You can fully customize the wheel to whatever look and control it however you wish due to the adjustable button clusters.

Unlike many wheel models, the buttons aren’t located on the front panel and are instead found on protruding separate little panels, and these panels can be moved along the rails of the Podium Hub to suit your personal preference.

Due to you already having your hands in place on the wheel to drive, reaching the buttons will be far easier due to this special design, as you won’t have to fully remove your hands to press the desired button you’re looking for.

Another notable benefit of having this wheel is the Podium wheel hub allowing compatibility with a collection of other wheels if they have bolts matching 6x70mm or 3x50mm patterns. This way, you can keep the high-grade wheel hub and use different wheels if you so please for a multitude of different purposes. And to put the absolute cherry on top of the Podium R300, let’s take a look at the advanced paddle module.

Not only are the paddles magnetic, which provides a very realistic and satisfying ‘click’ every time you shift through gears, but they allow for rapid shifting, too. Two sets of paddles are included when you buy the wheel too, so you can switch them out depending on whether you prefer the smaller or larger ones respectively.

But no, that’s not all! You can configure the paddles to one of four different modes: advanced clutch bite point, clutch/ handbrake, brake/ throttle and mappable axis.

If this elite, luxury wheel is feeling like the one for you, be warned; it’ll set you back quite some money. And, much like a lot of other Fanatec wheels, the wheel base doesn’t come as standard.

Although this means you have more control over which wheel base you want specifically and they offer all wheel bases that are compatible on their website, it’s another added expense to an already pricey wheel.

That, and it simply isn’t available to be used on XBOX, which is bad news for you XBOX owners out there. Unlike the previously mentioned CSL Elite wheel, which does come with a wheel base, the R300 doesn’t come with a tuning menu you can access through the wheel itself.

You have to plug it into a PC and configure things as you wish using that medium, which is fine if you’re a PC gamer and well-versed in mapping wheels like this, but if you’re a console gamer, this is something quite intimidating to consider. You’ll have to adjust settings per game otherwise, which is simply time-consuming and fiddly.

Overall though, this wheel is perfect for sim racers who game on PC or PlayStation and value being both competitive, and stylish. The sleek looks of this wheel can’t be ignored, and when you couple that with all of Fanatec’s amazing technology, you’ve got a great wheel!

PROS:

  • Responsive, competitive force feedback
  • Highly customizable and expandable to build an elite rig

CONS:

  • Doesn’t come with a wheel base as standard, extra expense for an already-expensive wheel
  • Configuring the settings isn’t very PlayStation-friendly

6. CSL Elite P1 Steering Wheel for XBOX One

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Compatible with: PC, PS4, XBOX 1 | Weight: 0.97kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees | Pedals Included: No | Expandable: Yes

XBOX gamers, rejoice! This part of Fanatec’s Elite product line brings all of their awesome sim racing tech and combines it with a sleek, awesome-looking wheel that won’t break your bank. Even though it’s one of the cheapest wheels they offer, they definitely didn’t spare any expense in making this a great piece of kit.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s hassle-free, with a plug-and-play feature that a lot of their wheels don’t offer, and the design is both elegant and just the right amount of minimalistic. And with it being officially licensed for the XBOX, there won’t be any complicated re-mapping you need to do for it to work perfectly with your console!

This wheel isn’t called Elite for nothing. The wheel rim is covered all round with automotive-grade Alcantara, that magical fabric that gives a driver fantastic and reliable grip even after racing for hours. The stitching on the inside is not only striking in its cool red color, but it’s smooth and won’t give you any irritation unlike a lot of wheels that are covered with fabric.

Fanatec have included their winning Snapdome shifter technology which, simply put, gives the driver an intensive click feeling that’s very reminiscent of magnetic shifters without the huge price tag. They’re very long yet ergonomic, making it easy to reach them no matter where you place your hands on the steering wheel itself.

Button caps are the standard XBOX controller buttons, but a set of racing caps come with the purchase of this wheel so you can mix and match however you please. Having XBOX controller buttons on the wheel if you’re using it on a PC can be a tad confusing, after all!

The racing button caps actually have symbols of what function the button will perform when you press it; a simple feature that can prove invaluable in stressful race situations. This lightweight build is nothing to sniff at, either, and with its 30cm diameter, it’ll feel every bit as real as driving a real car would.

At the top center of your wheel, you’ll see a pretty awesome piece of kit called the RevStripe. It’s an integrated 3-digit LED screen which will show you vital details about the car you’re driving in-race, giving you a real taste of luxury wheels without the insane price tag.

The display also features the famous Fanatec tuning menu, which means you can make tweaks and adjustments to how the wheel handles mid-game rather than having to switch to the in-game menus.

For a fair price, this wheel comes in far cheaper than the other wheels I’ve reviewed thus far, and there aren’t any compromises on absolute performance, either. The official XBOX branding makes it fantastic for gamers with that very console, and you won’t have to spend hours setting things up, either.

The main downside to this wheel in particular is the lack of included wheel base, so you’ll have to order a compatible one separately. Although the wheel is compatible with PC and PS4, it’s possible to lose a lot of the functionality due to its specific gearing for XBOX consoles. There might not be all of the controls available if you try to hook it up to a PlayStation, for example.

And although this wheel does possess force feedback, it isn’t as strong as on other wheels that Fanatec offer. The RevStripe functionality also doesn’t provide as detailed information as other LED screens that come installed in the front-face of other wheels, which isn’t a huge detriment to those sim racers among you who aren’t looking for Esports quality competitiveness.

I’d recommend this wheel to XBOX gamers any day of the week, especially with the great and official compatibility with this console, and also because it’s just a solid racing wheel without a lot of the intimidating controls that can come on wheels designed by Fanatec. It’s hugely competitive and just the right level of complex!

PROS:

  • Simplified tech yet not ‘simple’
  • Adjustable force feedback

CONS:

  • Very complicated to set up for PC and PS4
  • Not as competitive/ intuitive as other wheels on this list

Final Thoughts

Choosing a Fanatec wheel is no easy task! Every product they offer comes with a huge range of technology and it’s essential to see which one is the best fit for you.

If you’re just looking for a wheel that’s immersive and has decent intuition in its design and features, something like the CSL Elite P1 is perfect. But if you’re seeking a brand-new wheel which will peak your competitive edge in Esports races, the Podium F1 is definitely more within your ballpark.

Remember that a fantastic racing wheel will be an investment, and there isn’t much about Fanatec that says ‘budget’. Now, knowing all of this, I’m sure you’ll be able to make the choice which is best for you!