The Playseat Challenge is a great piece of equipment. It accomplishes what it set out to do and it does it well. That said, it’s expensive, and while its portability is a pro, it lacks in comfort. I did some research and gathered a few alternatives.
So, what is the best Playseat Challenge alternative? After much research I found the best to be the X-Rocker XR Circuit. It is easy to setup and has a practical manual. With variable height, angle, easy portability, padded fabric, and good price.
If that alternative wasn’t exactly what you were after, don’t worry! Read on to see other alternatives that may be more to your liking and some criteria to consider when choosing a good sim racing seat overall.
The 5 Best Playseat Challenge Alternatives
So, here are the 5 best Playseat Challenge alternatives:
What To Look For In A Sim Racing Seat Similar To The Challenge
Part of the Playseat Challenge’s whole appeal is the fact that it is a portable sim racing seat with adjustable mounts and varied set-up options for an affordable price. The reason why I have chosen the XR Circuit from X-Rocker by comparison is that it does all of this and more!
It is made with a padded fabric material (which doesn’t feel too different from Alcantara) and when used in a prolonged gaming session it provides a comfortable and realistic experience; qualities that weren’t provided to me from my use of the Playseat Challenge.
When looking for a solid alternative to the Playseat Challenge you must consider the following:
1. Do you want it to be portable in design?
Portability is important for when you want to pack up your sim racing setup and store it for later or if you want to transport it somewhere in the future. Usually with portability comes a sacrifice to comfort as a thinner material is required in order to fold the seat.
2. Does it have the desired mounts for your setup?
It’s important that the seat that you choose has the correct mounts in order to make your gaming setup the best it can be.
Make sure that it has the appropriate mounts i.e. pedal mount, steering wheel mount, and if you want a gear shifter mount, make sure that is a feature of your chosen seat as some seats are only designed with paddle gear shifting in mind.
3. Is it comfortable?
Comfort is a big thing to take into account when choosing your Playseat alternative. You don’t want to be uncomfortable while enjoying long gaming sessions in your racing seat as it ruins the whole experience and breaks your immersion.
Not only that, but an uncomfortable chair can seriously damage your health due to improper posture, caused by a lack of sufficient support.
Make sure there is sufficient padding and that the height and angle is adjustable. If it’s not adjustable then make sure its dimensions are suitable for your own.
4. Is it affordable?
No one is made of money. Be vigilant when making a purchase and be certain that the seat that you select is really the one that is best for you.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is appropriate when it comes to seats for sim racing but there are plenty of very affordable ones out there that are comparable, if not even better, than the Playseat challenge.
Don’t be afraid to look around for cheaper deals. Don’t immediately go to the company’s online store. Instead, check out third-party sellers or browse Amazon or eBay for cheaper deals.
You will almost always find what you’re looking for on Amazon for far cheaper than on the maker of the seats online store. But don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a better price. If you can afford it and you really want it then go ahead, you deserve it!
5. If it lacks in one quality, does it exceed elsewhere?
What I mean by this is for instance, if it isn’t portable and if it isn’t foldable in any way then make sure that there is some aspect of the seat that makes up for this lost feature.
For example, maybe the seat that you are currently looking at isn’t portable but one which provides much more comfort than say the Playseat Challenge.
In order for a seat to be portable it usually has to be made using much thinner materials and is therefore lacking in comfort so keep note of this.
Now that I’ve gone over some pretty key points of reference for what makes a sim racing seat objectively good, and oftentimes better than the popular Playseat Challenge, let’s take a look at a collection of seats that can fit the bill as suitable replacements!
1. X-Rocker XR Circuit
Its convenient portability is similar to what the Playseat challenge offers. But the X-Rocker offers a sleek, sturdy body in a much more comfortable package.
With a more stable design and padded backrest, long gaming sessions are no longer a struggle. The X-Rocker XR Circuit has all the mounts that you need in order to start racing.
It is compatible with almost all racing wheels and pedal sets. It’s easy to assemble, folds for easy storage, and the easy-to-follow instructions manual is a godsend. As well as including all the fasteners you need in order to setup the seat, it also includes all required tools you’ll need for assembly.
Once it is assembled, it is a bit on the heavy side, especially after fitting the racing wheel, pedals, and gear shifter.
- Easy to assemble and fold for storage
- Compatible with almost all racing wheels and pedal sets
- Padded, ergonomically-designed seat
- Quite heavy once fully assembled with racing wheel, pedal set and gearshift attached
2. Playseat Revolution
The Playseat Revolution is a fantastic chair. Both comfortable and portable, it’s an all-round great piece of kit. It is fully adjustable and foldable which makes storage a fast and easy process. It’s coated with vinyl to make it look and feel like a premium leather chair.
It’s very comfortable, easy to assemble, and is compatible with almost all steering wheel and pedal sets that are available on the market.
The currently selling price of the Playseat Revolution on their website is a bit too expensive for my comfort, but the seat sells itself. The Playseat Revolution comes with a steering wheel mount and pedal mount.
If you wish to have a shifter mount as part of your setup then you will have to purchase that separately. Overall, it is a great chair and it checks all of the metaphorical boxes.
It is simple yet comfortable and doesn’t lose its portability as a result.
- Fully adjustable
- Sturdy, stable, and easy to set up
- Feels like a premium product
- On the higher end of the budget range
- Doesn’t come with stick shifter mount
3. The Openwheeler Gen 2
Next up, we have the Openwheeler Gen 2. It is not only fully adjustable but also fully reclining.
The wheel and pedal mounts are also adjustable meaning that this chair can fit anybody regardless of height. Freakishly long legs? That’s okay. Tiny T-Rex Arms? Well the Openwheeler Gen 2 doesn’t give a hoot.
It is a bit on the heavy side at 65lbs (about 29kg) but it doesn’t have many parts and is therefore very easy to disassemble and store out of the way.
This seat isn’t covered head to toe in leather like Playseat products; rather, it is made from fabric. The result is a soft, comfortable seat that doesn’t stick to you after a long gaming session.
Unfortunately, the use of fabric instead of leather means it doesn’t feel as premium as the other products on this list but rest assured, it is very comfortable.
Unlike the Playseat Revolution, this seat comes with a stick shifter mount included in the package, as well as the steering wheel mount and pedal mount. Once set up, the seat is almost level with the floor. This can be a con for some people but in my opinion, it gives the seat an F1 cockpit feel.
- Fully adjustable in every aspect
- Very comfortable
- Simple to setup
- Low seating position
4. The GT Omega ART
The ART simulator cockpit by GT Omega features complete adjustability, stable and sturdy design, and has a modular frame that can be upgraded by purchasing parts on GT Omega’s website.
Just like the name suggests, it is a work of art with a premium leather feel and solid steel framework.
It sports a steering wheel mount, pedal mount, and gear shifter mount which can also be mounted on the left or right side and is adjustable. There are a variety of models to choose from on their website, all with different colors and patterns to choose from. The Art simulator cockpit also is compatible with many cockpit add-ons for sale on their website.
For example, a single monitor stand, floor mat, as well as an articulating keyboard and mouse tray, or even a triple monitor stand that will fully immerse you from all sides. This is an awfully heavy seat due to the solid steel framework.
As well as being upgradable, comfortable, solid, sturdy, and actually quite beautiful, it also can be folded down and easily moved around for easy transport or storage by removing two bolts from its frame.
The only reason this isn’t what I would consider as the best Playseat challenge alternative is because of less value for money.
I believe it is absolutely worth it if you can afford the price, but there are certainly cheaper alternatives out there that provide the same end result.
- Solid steel frame, premium look and feel
- Comfortable and portable
- Completely adjustable
5. Playseat Forza Motorsport Pro
The Forza Motorsport PRO is made using high quality leather textured vinyl upholstery and is designed with comfort and practicality in mind. It’s very easy to assemble and disassemble, and its foldable design and removable seat cushions make it perfect for storage and transport when necessary.
It’s fully adjustable and comes with a steering wheel mount and pedal mount.
It’s very easy for one person to assemble this seat and it comes with many Velcro tabs and cable ties to assist you with cable management. There is no wobble at all in the entire construction of the solid and sturdy framework as a result of the premium materials used in its construction.
It is very comfortable but it lacks lumbar support which is something to take in account when having long gaming sessions in the seat. Not only is the seat adjustable, but the steering wheel height and also angle is adjustable as well as the pedals. This means almost anyone of any size can hop into this chair and start racing like a pro.
It’s one of those chairs that you can just sink into and it feels right. It’s a shame though that the seat does not come with a stick shifter mount but I suspect it was designed with paddle gear shifting in mind.
It’s at the higher end of the budget range, but for such a premium product it’s expected.
It looks like a genuine racing seat made of premium materials on a strong stable frame. But like I said previously, don’t purchase products on the company’s main online store straight away.
I’m sure if you were to search online, you would find a great deal. If you’re worried about receiving a product that is not authentic, that’s understandable. Rest assured the chances of that happening are extremely slim but regardless, always be cautious.
- Solid, sturdy seat with a premium feel
- Comfortable and fully adjustable
- Portable folding design
- No gear shifter mount included
In conclusion, it’s completely up to you which seat is to your liking.
While a lack of portability might seem like a deal breaker for some of these products, comfort plays a much larger role in your gaming session. Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot more time sitting in the chair than you are folding it and putting it away.
Before making any impulse purchases, make sure it has all the mounts that you need to make your perfect setup.
Also consider the appearance of the seat. Otherwise, what’s the point in buying something for $350+ if you don’t even like the look of it in your room? Always check for a better price online and check out third-party sellers.
Don’t always go straight to the company’s website as they will usually charge a much higher price than anywhere else selling the product, but be careful. Most importantly, do your research.
I hope this helped you in some way and gave you an understanding of the ever-growing market of Playseat Challenge alternatives that are out there.