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 here for beginners and advanced sim racers too, so you will definitely be able to find one to suit your playstyle. However, before you do, it is useful to know what you should be looking for.
What You Should Look For In A Good 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 there are 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 driven wheels, Fanatec are not the brand to go for. However, there are still beginner friendly options on this list that make use of a belt-driven system. 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 really powerful wheels 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. However, it is not just the power that you need to think about, but also the quality of the actual force feedback generated. Belt-driven wheels can provide less torque, but also have a very smooth and realistic amount of force feedback.
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.
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.
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.
With that being said, sometimes you need to stick to a budget. That is why we have included options on this list for different budgets. So, whether you are a beginner or an aficionado, there will be a Fanatec wheel base for you. So, what are the best Fanatec wheel bases?
The 4 Best Fanatec Wheel Bases
1. Fanatec Podium DD2
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 25 Nm | Compatibility: PC, Xbox One
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.
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 regards 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 tune 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 F1
Rotation: Unlimited | Torque: 20 Nm | Compatibility: PC, Xbox One and PS4
A PlayStation First
Next we have another Podium wheel base, but this time it is the F1 edition made specifically for the PS4. This is the first direct drive wheel base for the PS4, and thus brings the power of direct drive to a wider audience of sim racers. Not only is this wheel base highly compatible with consoles, but it can also be used with a variety of Fanatec’s wheel rims.
This wheel base offers the second highest amount of torque of any systems on our list, coming in at 20 Nm. This is more than enough for even advanced sim racers, and it can provide an extremely high level of force feedback. Once again however, it is not just the strength of the force feedback that makes this wheel base great, but it is also the high level of detail too.
The Podium F1 also comes with the unlimited range of rotation that makes it compatible with every driving style. It also contains a lot of the same internal parts as the DD2, and it is just as easy to set it up and get started using it. The wireless wheel rim connection makes for more efficiency and fewer cables too.
F1 Fans Will Love It
What is unique about this wheel base is that it comes with the fully licensed F1 ClubSport wheel. This wheel not only looks great, but it is packed with excellent features as well. There are 11 buttons on the wheel, along with 12 other switches and toggles that can be fully customized. This makes the F1 wheel one of the most functional wheels on the market.
The Fanatec Podium F1 wheel base and wheel is the perfect choice for fans of Formula 1, but it is also ideal for any advanced sim racer that wants some of the best in performance capabilities. It is a pricey option, however it does include a highly functional steering wheel and is packed with excellent tech.
- Great wheel included
- High level of torque
- Excellent, detailed force feedback
- No option to buy the base on its own
3. Fanatec ClubSport V2.5
Rotation: 900°| Torque: 8 Nm | Compatibility: PC, Xbox One
Next up we have the Fanatec ClubSport V2.5. This wheel base is our pick for the best belt-driven wheel base, and thus is aimed at the beginner to intermediate sim racer. The ClubSport is not quite at the lowest end of the price scale, however it has so much quality packed into it, and serves as the ideal upgrade to a beginner setup.
Decent Amount Of Torque
The wheel offers a fairly standard range of rotation of 900°, which is enough for most situations. The relatively high level of torque for a belt-drive system of 8 Nm makes for some powerful force feedback, with a high level of detail that will make driving feel even more realistic. For the price of the wheel, that is a lot of power, and is ideal for even fairly advanced racers.
This wheel is also compatible with PC and Xbox One, which is good news for console racers. The base comes with Fanatec’s signature quick release system, making it compatible with many of their existing steering wheels.
As the ClubSport V2.5 is a belt-drive system, it does produce a fair amount of heat in the motor. This is where the two internal fans and large heat sink come into play, which help to preserve the longevity of the base. All of the inner mechanisms are made from high-quality materials, with a focus on precision that will make for an ultra-smooth racing experience.
Some of the additional features of the ClubSport V2.5 that set it apart from other racing wheel bases include the ability to update the system with new firmware, and the ability to save up to 5-wheel setups. This means you will be able to quickly select a fully customizable setup for each game that you play, saving you time and helping to streamline your racing experience.
Overall, the ClubSport V2.5 is definitely aimed at beginners looking to upgrade their setup, or for the more advanced sim racer on a budget. The relatively large amount of torque to be harnessed for a belt-drive system makes this wheel base a great choice for those that value realism.
- Packed with features
- High torque for belt-drive system
- Xbox One compatible
- No wheel included
4. Fanatec CSL Elite
Rotation: 1080°| Torque: 6 Nm | Compatibility: PC, Xbox One and PS4
Finally, we have the Fanatec CSL Elite. This is the cheapest option on our list and is geared more towards the beginner sim racer. That is not to say that this wheel does not provide a lot of quality, as it is packed with excellent features that set it apart from a lot of entry level wheels on the market.
The first thing that the CSL Elite has that most entry level wheels don’t is the 1080° of rotation. Most entry level wheels have 900° or less, and so the CSL Elite allows you to turn it even more. Along with that, you will also be able to benefit from 6 Nm of torque, which is quite high for a belt-driven system.
The detail in the force feedback from the belt-driven motor is exceptional, and this detail is delivered in a smooth manner. This gives it the edge over a lot of gear-driven alternatives. The materials used to make the CSL Elite are all high-quality, so you can enjoy all of the power that this wheel has to offer, while feeling like you are handling a real steering wheel.
The CSL Elite is also compatible with all major platforms, and so is a good choice for those getting into sim racing on PC and on consoles too. Aside from the console compatibility, the button caps on the wheel are also interchangeable, and there is an optional handbrake feature as well. The compatibility of the CSL Elite is unmatched by a lot of other wheel bases available.
The customization of the CSL Elite is another aspect that makes this wheel great for casual racers and absolute fanatics at the same time. You can create 5 of your own presets, which means you can change things like force feedback strength and even the steering angle on the fly, and can create easily accessible configurations to be used when you need them.
Great For Beginners
The Fanatec CSL Elite is the ideal addition to any beginner or intermediate racing rig. It is a great choice for those that want a bit more force feedback but are not quite ready to take on the power of the direct drive options.
- Lots of customization
- Highly compatible
- Less torque than the others on this list
Our list of the best Fanatec wheel bases contains options for every kind of racer at every level of experience. Now that you know that you should be looking for in a sim racing wheel base, it should be much easier to make an informed decision to ensure that you pick an option that best suits your own playstyle.
If you are a beginner, our recommendation would be the CSL Elite for its ease of use. However, beginners could also try out the ClubSport V2.5, while this base is also suited well to intermediate racers too. But if you are looking for even more power and detail in the force feedback, the Podium DD2 and F1 edition will both provide an extremely realistic and immersive driving experience.