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. But if you’re looking as a beginner or a more experienced racer, you’ll want to know more about the best sim racing wheels Fanatec has to offer.
The 7 best Fanatec sim racing wheels are:
- Podium Formula Racing Wheel
- Gran Turismo DD Pro
- Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R
- ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
- ClubSport Steering Wheel F1 Esports V2
- CSL Steering Wheel Flat 1
- Podium R300 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. Below, we take a look at the criteria you should consider, before diving into each of the options above in more detail, and discussing MOZA as a cheaper alternative.
The 7 Best Fanatec Sim Racing Wheels
1. Podium Formula Racing Wheel
Compatibility: PC / Xbox | Buttons & Switches: 12 | Wheel Base Included: DD2
The Fanatec Podium Formula 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 bundle with base and rim, and the force feedback is honestly staggering.
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.
Massive Force Feedback
I found that using the wheel at its highest setting for torque at 25 Nm started to hurt my wrists, and it’s more than most beginners (and many experienced racers) will ever need. 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, the wheel lets you save various profiles that you can easily switch to. The wheel also has a quick-release system that makes transport and storage incredibly easy and convenient.
An Ergonomic Option
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 you’ll be able to reach all the face buttons without lifting your hands off the wheel – and there are a lot of them!
The wheel also comes with a quick start guide, which explains very well how to reprogram the various buttons on the wheel. It has an Alcantara finish and aluminum construction throughout the rest of its components. The Fanatec Podium Formula racing wheel may hurt your wallet, but given it comes with Fanatec’s DD2 wheel base, it’s truly one of the best options out there, especially for those on Xbox.
- Direct drive offers high immersion and realism
- Adjustable torque & reprogrammable buttons
- Very high-quality materials
- Full torque may be uncomfortable for some
- Very expensive
2. Gran Turismo DD Pro
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Buttons & Switches: 16 | Wheel Base Included: Gran Turismo DD Pro
The Gran Turismo DD Pro from Fanatec is an incredibly good direct drive wheel that was designed, manufactured, and sold specifically with the console market in mind. It has 5 Nm of torque right out of the box, but an optional boost kit can be purchased with the DD Pro that unlocks its full potential, offering a powerful 8 Nm of torque. There is also a bundle that comes with this boost kit.
You Should Get The Boost Kit!
I highly recommend getting the boost kit, as without it, force feedback can feel muted and higher frequencies are lost. With the 8 Nm boost kit, higher frequencies like changes in terrain and the vibration from driving over rumble strips are all far more noticeable, and it allows you to get the most out of the direct drive system.
The ability to feel this information, with little to no latency due to the direct drive mechanism inside, makes it an incredibly enticing option for those looking to dip their toes into competitive sim racing. It’s also the cheapest direct drive option available for console players.
The wheel itself features 11 buttons that match the PlayStation controller layout. The front faceplate on the wheel features an OLED screen that can display real-time telemetry data, such as what gear you are in, and it’s also where you can access the tuning menu. The usual stuff like a RevLED strip sits above the OLED screen, helping you time your shifts perfectly.
Cheap Feeling Pedals
The pedals that come with the DD Pro aren’t anything particularly special out of the box, but optional upgrades for the pedals include a clutch kit, load cell kit, and a tuning kit. I highly recommend opting for the load cell kit, unless you go for the bundle mentioned above that includes that as standard.
You can’t currently pick up the wheel rim itself, or the GT wheel with the DD Pro wheel base without the pedals, so that’s worth considering if you don’t need them. In this case, we recommend getting the CSL DD wheel base on its own and pairing it with a rim of your choice, or getting the CSL DD that’s bundled with a WRC wheel – the ideal alternative for Xbox users.
However, if you’re a PlayStation player and a fan of Gran Turismo 7, the GT DD Pro wheel is one of the best options out there!
- Excellent upgrade path
- Force feedback is detailed and responsive
- Great value for money
- Pedals feel cheap without upgrades
- Force feedback can feel muted without 8 Nm boost kit
- You’ll need to buy separately if you play on Xbox
3. Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Buttons & Switches: 16 | Wheel Base Included: No
Fanatec have outdone themselves here with this amazing (and official) replica of a Porsche 911 steering wheel. If you are a collector or you perhaps adore the coveted Porsche 911, this is definitely the wheel for you. The wheel rim is made from aluminum and is covered in genuine suede or leather (there are two options), offering excellent grip and giving the wheel an overall feeling of luxury.
The Button Box Module
The button box module on this wheel features 10 buttons, two 2-way toggle switches, a 2-axis analogue stick, 7-way FunkySwitch, and two 12-position switches which can also be used as rotary encoders. Needless to say, in terms of multi-functionality, this wheel has you covered.
Sadly, this wheel does not come with a wheelbase, but when combined with a good direct drive wheelbase and some load cell pedals like the Clubsport pedals V3 Inverted set, this wheel’s true potential is allowed to shine, and an incredible racing experience is there for the taking.
Some more features present on the wheel are an OLED screen that can display real-time telemetry data and also allow you to access the onboard tuning software to change settings mid-race. A nice RevLED strip is just above the OLED display, as expected from most high-end wheels from Fanatec, and this of course will show you your revs and aids in shifting gears at the perfect time.
The wheel itself also features an impressive set of paddles that are magnetic, making them fast and snappy, ideal for any competitive racing. The Advanced Paddle Module included with this wheel offers extra functionality for clutch paddles should you need them. For any fan of the Porsche 911, I highly recommend this Fanatec wheel for its impressive set of features and immersive design.
- Automotive-grade replica
- Unique features like a dual clutch system
- Excellent build quality
- Very expensive
- No wheelbase or pedals included
4. ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
Compatibility: PC / Xbox | Buttons & Switches: 29 (most are duplicates) | Wheel Base Included: No
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 an easy to use 7-way FunkySwitch to fine-tune features on the fly, such as force feedback or steering dead zones.
The wheel comes with shifter paddles for easy and comfortable sequential gear shifting. Just like the Fanatec Podium Formula wheel, the GT Forza ClubSport wheel is very ergonomic and feels great in your hands, and all the face buttons are within easy reach.
Buttons & Paddles
The buttons themselves are adjustable, as well as the shifter paddles, and they are certainly not obtrusive in any way when using the wheel. The wheel has a quick release system too, which is fairly standard with Fanatec, so transporting the wheel or storing it away for use later is a quick and painless process.
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 other telemetry data. While there is a massive number of buttons thanks to the Universal Hub the wheel comes with, most of them are actually duplicates.
This means you can benefit from extra functionality, but many of the buttons on the top of the hub may not be easy to reach while racing, so you’ll probably mostly be using those on the front of the wheel. Nonetheless, this is an excellent wheel choice for fans of the Forza Motorsport series of games.
- Customizable and adjustable
- Ergonomic features and quick-release system
- High quality build materials
- A little expensive
- Some of the buttons aren’t that well placed
5. ClubSport Steering Wheel F1 Esports V2
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Buttons & Switches: 13 | Wheel Base Included: No
Just looking at this wheel is enough to transport you into a Formula 1 car’s cockpit. 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!
Although the rest of the wheel is made with lightweight metals to really replicate the steering wheels found in real formula racecars today, the side grips benefit from the Alcantara material that allows for sensational grip. However, to keep it in top shape, we recommend wearing a pair of sim racing gloves to protect it from sweaty hands during intense racing sessions.
The Tech On This Wheel
All of the buttons on the face of the wheel can be programmed to perform whichever function you wish, so you can see all manner of information about your car in-game. An LED screen can display real-time telemetry on the wheel itself, so you can react accordingly to everything from tire degradation to track temperatures.
The design and functionality of this wheel make it perfect for F1 games, but it may suffer in other racing series as a result, so you should consider the games you play most before you buy this wheel. 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.
The LED light bar found above the screen display will show your RPM and optimal shifting points while you’re driving, but you can also use this to show other telemetry and use it to tune various functions of your attached wheel base of choice. You will have to purchase a compatible wheelbase separately, which is more expense on top of the already pricey wheel itself.
But if you’re a competitive sim racer with a focus on formula racing, and you’re looking to take your racing to the next level, this could be the perfect choice for you.
- A great value wheel for the F1 games
- Highly immersive and full of outstanding tech
- Fairly simplistic design makes it quite accessible
- Doesn’t come with a wheelbase
- Only really suited to formula racing
- Not compatible with Xbox
6. CSL Steering Wheel Flat 1
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Buttons & Switches: 12 | Wheel Base Included: No
The CSL Steering Wheel Flat 1 by Fanatec immediately catches the eye with its minimalist design and genuine suede leather covered, brushed and anodized aluminum wheel. The button box module on the wheel rim features 8 standard buttons, a 2-way rocker switch, two 2-way toggle switches, and a 7-way FunkySwitch with rotary encoder functionality.
This wheel looks great, and it features all the buttons you need as a sim racer. The minimalistic design will fit in with any racing rig, and it's made from very high-quality materials.
There is also a display that can show you real-time telemetry data as you race. Needless to say, the wheel is very multi-functional, and you’ll have more than enough functions available for any motorsport. The snap-dome shifter paddles ensure a nice snappy click with minimal latency so that every gear change is purposeful and, most importantly, quick.
Paddles & Quick Release
The paddles have also been reinforced with a honeycomb structure, ensuring that they will last the years of heavy use you’ll likely put them through! The quick-release system featured on this wheel is tool free and the wheel can easily be put on a wheelbase or removed with ease. The size of the wheel has been carefully chosen to match that of a real race car’s wheel.
If immersion is what you’re after, the CSL Flat 1 Steering Wheel is a great choice. There is no wheelbase or pedals included with this wheel, but when combined with a direct drive wheelbase and a good set of load-cell pedals, you’ve got yourself a top tier sim racing rig that can compete with even the best of the best from Fanatec.
- Beautiful minimalistic design
- Extremely high build quality
- Comfortable to use
- Doesn’t come with wheelbase or pedals
- Not that many buttons and switches
7. Podium R300 Steering Wheel
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Buttons & Switches: 6 | Wheel Base Included: No
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.
This wheel rim is simple yet effective. It offers a sleek racing aesthetic, combined with Fanatec's button and paddle modules for excellent functionality.
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 300 mm diameter making it fantastic for almost any type of vehicle. It’s also compatible with all the main Fanatec wheel bases, including the Podium models and the CSL DD base too.
Excellent Build Quality
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 you’re after 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. You also get Fanatec’s Advanced Paddle Module.
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.
You can configure the paddles to one of four different modes:
- Advanced clutch bite point
- Mappable axis
If this elite, luxury wheel is feeling like the one for you, be warned; it’ll set you back quite some money. Much like a lot of other Fanatec wheels, you also don’t get a wheel base with this one. Although this means you have more control over which wheelbase you want, it’s another added expense to an already pricey wheel.
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 and the Advanced Paddle Module, you’ve got a great wheel!
- Doesn’t come with a wheelbase
- Configuring the settings isn’t very PlayStation-friendly without a tuning menu screen
Summary Of The Best Fanatec Wheels
|Podium Formula Racing Wheel||Those looking for Fanatec’s best force feedback experience (and an F1-style rim)|
|Gran Turismo DD Pro||PlayStation sim racers looking for a direct drive option (and Gran Turismo fans of course)|
|Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R||Porsche fans that play a lot of GT/endurance racing sims|
|ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel||Forza fans and those seeking a larger (330 mm) D-shaped wheel rim|
|ClubSport Steering Wheel F1 Esports V2||F1 fans that want a cheaper wheel rim than the Formula V2|
|CSL Steering Wheel Flat 1||Those looking for a smaller wheel rim that still packs plenty of features|
|Podium R300 Steering Wheel||Anyone with a larger budget looking for a simple but high-quality wheel rim|
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!
Belt and gear driven motors found in most low to mid-tier wheelbases can offer good force feedback but won’t have much detail within the vibrations. Turning can also feel “notchy” as the belt turns. Direct drive wheel mechanisms offer the best experience and are the most immersive options available on the market, as the wheel is directly mounted to the motor.
This means they can be far more powerful than your average belt or gear driven wheel. On the other hand, direct drive wheels are also far more expensive. Fanatec only offers direct drive options now, and not all of their wheel rims come with a wheel base, so bear this in mind when choosing your wheel.
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.
Rubber coated wheel rims often give the best grip, and having a good grip of the wheel is extremely important in high levels of play. I highly recommend using racing gloves, not just to protect your hands from blisters, but to protect your wheel from oils and sweat from your hands. This is especially true for Alcantara/suede coated wheels.
Again, this is something very much based on personal preference. 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 Porsche logo! You may prefer a formula style wheel if you race primarily in F1 games, or a GT wheel if that’s where you spend most of your time.
Price should never be the driving force behind your decisions above all else. Use it as more of a tiebreaker 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.
KEY POINTS• Consider the force feedback capabilities of a sim racing wheel before you buy it
• The materials used and the design of the wheel are also important
• Price should never be the driving force behind your sim racing purchase decisions, but having a firm budget is key
MOZA: A Fanatec Alternative
MOZA ES Steering Wheel
It’s worth mentioning that Fanatec aren’t the only entry-mid-level sim racing manufacturer on the block with some excellent direct drive wheels, as MOZA has also taken the space by storm in recent years. Their cheapest wheel on offer is the ES steering wheel which, when paired with a wheel base in the R5 bundle, is one of the cheapest direct drive setups around.
This wheel is a great choice for beginners looking for an alternative to Fanatec, and it offers a decent amount of functionality combined with high build quality. You get a nice array of buttons and customization, and the wheel rim itself looks great too.
MOZA FSR Steering Wheel
For those that need an F1-style wheel and can’t get their hands on Fanatec’s Podium line, the FSR from MOZA is an excellent alternative. It looks great, is built to last, and it’s packed with features and functionality that really go beyond its price point.
This wheel features a nice big screen in the middle, plenty of buttons and encoders, and a nice set of paddle shifters on the back. It combines with any of MOZA’s wheel bases to offer a direct drive, formula-style racing solution that really does an excellent job of matching the offerings of some of the biggest brands out there, including Fanatec.
The Podium Formula Racing Wheel is one of the best Fanatec sim racing wheels on the market. Its multi-functionality, incredible force feedback with the included DD2 wheel base, and commitment to the F1 aesthetic make it very enjoyable and immersive to use.
The Podium R300 Steering Wheel is a close second, with its automotive grade build quality, stunning design, and great adjustability. For PlayStation users, the Gran Turismo DD Pro is a fantastic choice, offering everything you need to start racing competitively.
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