Fanatec is one of the biggest names in the sim racing business and has some of the best wheels on offer for entry level racers and advanced racers alike. They have equipment for any kind of rig, but some of their best items are wheels and wheel bases. With so many wheel bases on offer, it is hard to know which is the best.
The 4 best Fanatec wheel bases are:
Each of these wheel bases is made to provide an extremely immersive racing experience. There are options for beginners and advanced sim racers too, so you will be able to find one to suit your playstyle. We go into each one in detail below, before discussing Simucube and MOZA as Fanatec alternatives.
- • 25 Nm of peak torque
- • Carbon fiber construction
- • Packed with features
- • 5 Nm of peak torque
- • Amazing value for money
- • Compatible with Xbox
- • Excellent wheel rim included
- • Designed for Gran Turismo fans
- • Ideal for beginners
Note: This list used to include the Podium F1 wheel, but that was sadly discontinued at the start of 2023. If you’re on PlayStation, the best option now is the GT DD Pro.
The 4 Best Fanatec Wheel Bases
1. Fanatec Podium DD2
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 25 Nm | Compatibility: PC / Xbox
Up first we have the Fanatec Podium DD2, with the DD standing for direct drive. That makes this wheel base one of the more expensive options on our list. However, you really do get some of the best quality with this wheel base, and it is targeted at those with a decent amount of experience with sim racing.
Fanatec Podium DD2
Large Range Of Rotation
The key features of the DD2 that separate it from a lot of other direct drive wheel bases on the market include its range of rotation and the torque it produces. In terms of the former, you can benefit from an unlimited range of rotation, which means you will be able to tune it to your liking for whatever game you are playing, giving plenty of customizability.
Massive Amount Of Torque
With regard to the amount of torque that the Podium DD2 can produce, it is one of the most powerful wheel bases in its class. Offering a maximum of 25 Nm, this wheel base provides sheer power through its brushless motor that will make for some of the strongest force feedback possible. Not only that, but the detail you will feel is truly immense, making for a lot of realism.
Fanatec have put a focus on usability with the DD2, and you can enjoy wireless power and data transfer to the wheel that you decide to use. This makes for convenience and less mess with the absence of cables. The intuitive system means you can just plug it in and get started, without the need to perform extensive setup before you can start racing with the DD2.
The wheel base looks great, and it comes with some nice extra features as well, such as an OLED display that you can use to tune the base to your liking. It can be used to display key metrics about the wheel base, such as force feedback strength, temperature and even things like torque curves. This gives advanced sim racers even more tools to customize their sim racing experience to the max.
The Fanatec Podium DD2 is also fully compatible with all of their existing wheels and is future-proofed to be compatible with their new releases as well. You will have to choose your own wheel rim to go with the base, but Fanatec has plenty on offer. Designed for the more advanced sim racer, the DD2 is our number one pick for the best Fanatec sim racing wheel base.
- Plenty of torque
- Unlimited rotation
- Handy extra features
- Doesn’t come with a rim
- Quite expensive
2. Fanatec Podium DD1
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 20 Nm | Compatibility: PC / Xbox
Up next we have what is essentially the Xbox compatible version of the now-discontinued Podium F1 but without the wheel rim. This means it’s a fair bit cheaper than the Podium F1 was, with all the great features of the wheel base itself. If you already have a rim in mind, this could be the choice for you.
Fanatec Podium DD1
Lots Of Torque
The DD1 offers the same peak torque as the previous option on our list at 20 Nm, which is definitely more than enough for beginners and should keep even the most advanced sim racers happy too. That torque is delivered through Fanatec’s high-quality motor, and it’s all encased in a solid piece of metal.
This means the DD1 looks as sleek as you’d like in a direct drive wheel base, and it’s a weighty piece of kit too. This does mean that, like the other two before it on this list, it’s going to need a solid rig to withstand even just its weight, never mind the high forces you’ll experience through the corners.
Ideal For Xbox Players
As it’s compatible with PC and Xbox, it serves as a great direct drive option for the other half of the console market. It’s designed to be super easy to set up, and you can use the OLED display to tune the wheel base to your liking as and when required.
It’s highly compatible with Fanatec’s large lineup of wheel rims, and the quick release system is built to be compatible with those that come in the future too.
An Excellent Piece Of Kit
So, who’s the DD1 for? Well, if you’re an Xbox racer that needs a huge amount of direct drive torque, you won’t find a better option. If you’re on PC, it could still serve as a brilliant wheel base for your setup, and at this price point, it’s hard to find something with the same build quality that offers the same amount of torque.
- Huge amount of torque
- Highly customizable
- Xbox compatible
- Quite expensive
- No wheel rim included
3. Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
Rotation: 2520° | Torque: 8 Nm | Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox
Up next we have another standalone wheel base that offers an incredible amount of value for money. It’s one of the first entry level direct drive wheels on the market, and it’s the best choice for PlayStation players that want to experience high torque on a budget.
Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
This is the best choice for PlayStation racers on a budget. It offers 8 Nm of direct drive torque and is highly customizable, and it's compatible with Fanatec's wide range of wheel rims too.
Cheap Direct Drive
Okay, so cheap might not be the best word for something that costs more than $500, but in the direct drive world, that is cheap! You get 8 Nm of direct drive torque, and this is the ideal number for beginners that want a taste of what sim racing really has to offer.
It’s obviously nowhere near the torque levels of the first three wheel bases on this list, but this is far more than a belt or gear driven wheel can offer, and it’s way more detailed too. It’s Fanatec remember, so build quality was clearly at the top of the priority list along with a high level of immersion.
Ideal For Beginners
This wheel base is ideal for beginners and racers on console that want a simple direct drive experience for far less than the other choices out there. The GT DD Pro is compatible with Fanatec’s ecosystem of wheel rims, so you can customize it for any sim racing experience imaginable.
You get a tuning menu to tweak specific aspects of the force feedback, from the strength to the smoothness, all while you’re racing if you fancy some multitasking! Overall, if you’re on PlayStation, this is the best direct drive option under $1,000. If you want the option with a great wheel rim, check out the DD Pro Premium Bundle.
- Good beginner direct drive option
- Highly customizable
- Console compatible
- Not as much torque as the Podium series
4. Fanatec CSL DD
Rotation: 2520° | Torque: 5 Nm (8 Nm with boost kit) | Compatibility: PC / Xbox
Finally, we have the cheapest direct drive option that Fanatec has to offer: the 5 Nm CSL DD base. This is arguably the best direct drive option out there for beginners, as it offers a decent amount of direct drive torque for a very reasonable price. Plus, it’s compatible with Xbox too!
Fanatec CSL DD
Some Great Force Feedback
We should be clear right off the bat that this is an option for beginners rather than more experienced racers. The 5 Nm of torque is more than you’ll get from a similarly priced (or even more expensive) belt driven wheel, but it’s nowhere near the level of the other wheel bases on this list.
However, it is direct drive, which means the quality of that force feedback is going to blow any belt driven wheel out of the water. The 5 Nm is definitely enough to take advantage of the direct drive motor, but you can always upgrade it to 8 Nm with the Boost Kit 180 later down the line too.
Good Choice For Beginners
Like the GT DD Pro at number 4 on our list, this is a console compatible option that is ideal for beginner sim racers looking for their first taste of direct drive goodness. It’s not compatible with the PlayStation though, so you will need to opt for the Gran Turismo version if you’re on the PS4 or PS5.
You get all the same customization options here, with a basic and advanced tuning menu to tweak the force feedback, and it’s compatible with Fanatec’s range of wheel rims, so you can further customize your sim racing experience. Overall, the CSL DD is a good choice for a first direct drive wheel base, and its price to performance ratio is the true selling point.
- Budget friendly direct drive
- 5 Nm of detailed torque
- Compatible with Xbox
- Weak torque compared to others on this list
Summary Of The Best Fanatec Wheel Bases
|Wheel Base||Best For|
|Fanatec Podium DD2||Competitive sim racers that need lots of torque|
|Fanatec Podium DD1||Those that don’t need quite as much torque as the DD2, but want more than 5-8 Nm|
|Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro||Sim racers on PlayStation|
|Fanatec CSL DD||Xbox racers or beginners on PC looking for their first direct drive wheel base|
What You Should Look For In A Good Sim Racing Wheel Base
The Drive Mechanism
One of the first things that you should consider when choosing a sim racing wheel base is what kind of drive mechanism it contains. There are three options to choose from, and each one is generally suited to different levels of experience and budget. The first choice is gear-driven, which is on the low end of the price and force feedback scales, and so is ideal for beginners.
None of the options on this list are gear driven, but Fanatec used to offer a few belt-driven wheel bases, which are the next step up in terms of quality. Belt-driven wheels use an internal belt and pulley system to drive the wheel mechanism, and so generally provide a smoother force feedback. A bit more expensive than gear-driven, but much better quality, these wheels suit beginners and intermediate racers.
Finally, there are direct drive steering wheels. These are the most powerful options on the market, and they provide the best force feedback at a higher price. They contain strong motors, with no system other than the motor driving the actual steering wheel. These are targeted at more advanced sim racers, as they can be difficult to get the hang of for beginners.
If you are looking for gear and belt driven wheels, Fanatec are not the brand to go for – they now only offer direct drive options (although you might be able to find others on the second hand market). If you are looking for the most realistic experience however, and don’t have a strict budget, then a direct drive mechanism is an absolute must.
The next thing you might want to consider in a wheel base then is how much power it can generate or, more specifically, the amount of torque. This is a good measure of the quality of a wheel base, but only to a certain extent. Some of the most powerful wheels out there can provide torque upwards of 30 Nm, which is way more than even an advanced sim racer will need.
If you are looking for a realistic racing experience, a direct drive wheel is the way to go. This is usually because they can provide very high levels of torque.
Does It Come With A Rim?
You might also want to consider whether or not the wheel base comes with a wheel rim. Wheels themselves can quite expensive, so you might want to try and find a bundle that comes with both a base and a wheel. The options on this list are compatible with all of Fanatec’s racing wheel rims, which means you can interchange them as you need, but not all of them come with a rim.
The compatibility of the wheel base is also important. We have options on our list for all of the major platforms, but it is important that you pay attention with your choice. If you are on PC, every option on our list is compatible. However, if you are a console gamer, you need to make sure to pick one that is compatible with your specific console (i.e. the GT DD Pro).
Aesthetics & Price
The way that the wheel base looks might also be an important factor if you want to maintain the aesthetic of your sim racing rig. However, this goes along with the price, as they should definitely not be the deciding factor when choosing a wheel base. Instead, you should focus on the quality of the wheel base first.
Note: If you do want the absolute cheapest choice, check out the Fanatec CSL DD base
With that said, sometimes you need to stick to a budget. That is why we included options on our list for different budgets, and we’ll dive into some alternatives below.
Simucube As An Alternative To Fanatec
Simucube 2 Ultimate Wheel Base
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 32 Nm | Compatibility: PC
The Ultimate base from Simucube is arguably the best wheel base on the market, and it’s also one of the most powerful. It’s definitely not an option for beginners, and is targeted at competitive sim racers. It offers an unbelievable level of fidelity in terms of force feedback, and the overall design and construction is well above most of Simucube’s competitors. It’s one to consider as an alternative to Fanatec’s DD2.
Simucube 2 Pro Wheel Base
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 25 Nm | Compatibility: PC
The Pro wheel base is Simucube’s most popular offering, and it’s an ideal choice for anyone in the market for a powerful wheel base that doesn’t need quite as much as the Ultimate’s 32 Nm of peak torque! The Pro is a step up from the Sport (see below) in terms of overall performance, and it’s only a few hundred dollars more expensive too. It’s a good alternative to Fanatec’s DD1 or DD2.
Simucube 2 Sport Wheel Base
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 17 Nm | Compatibility: PC
The Sport is Simucube’s cheapest wheel base, and while still not cheap compared to the likes of the CSL DD or MOZA’s offerings (see below), this does serve as arguably the best option for those looking for their first direct drive wheel base that offers more than just 5-10 Nm of torque. It’s a great alternative to Fanatec’s DD1 (albeit a bit less powerful), or for those that need more than the CSL DD.
MOZA As A Cheaper Alternative To Fanatec
MOZA R5 Wheel Base
Rotation: “Limitless” | Torque: 5.5 Nm | Compatibility: PC
If you’re in the market for a cheaper wheel base, then MOZA is a brand you should consider. They have several wheel bases on offer, and their cheapest option is the R5, which you can also get as a bundle with a wheel rim. This wheel base is ideal for beginner sim racers, and it’s highly upgradeable too, with MOZA continuously bringing out new wheel rims and other accessories. It’s a good alternative to the CSL DD.
MOZA R21 Wheel Base
Rotation: “Limitless” | Torque: 21 Nm | Compatibility: PC
At the other end of the scale, and for those that want something that can compete with the likes of Fanatec’s DD1 wheel base, there is the R21. This is a super-powerful, high-quality wheel base that offers a durable and highly tunable option for those that need 21 Nm of peak torque! This makes it a good Fanatec DD1 competitor.
The best Fanatec wheel base is the Podium DD2, thanks to its immense amount of torque and incredible build quality. The best option for PlayStation players is the Gran Turismo DD Pro, but for the cheapest option for those on Xbox or PC, the CSL DD is the one to go for. If you want the cheapest direct drive option though, turn to MOZA’s R5 wheel base, but Simucube’s Pro and Ultimate bases are also worth checking out.