If you are looking to add something unique to your sim racing rig, a simple and cost-effective way to do so is by implementing one of the many sim racing dashboard apps on the market. But you may be wondering what the best sim racing dashboard apps are.
The 3 best sim racing dashboard apps are:
- SIM Dashboard
All of these apps come with some excellent features that will help you to take your sim racing to the next level, and all within a small budget. Below, we’ll go into more detail about dashboard apps in general, and these ones specifically, and provide a few alternatives too.
A sim racing dashboard app is an app you download on your mobile or tablet that allows you to display data and telemetry from your sim racing game. You can display things like RPM, fuel mixtures, lap times and brake temperatures on a sim racing dashboard app, and they’re also highly customizable.
If you are an avid sim racer, you probably already have yourself a good sim racing setup. This most likely involves a steering wheel, some pedals, and maybe even a gear shifter and a decent racing chair. If you are a beginner, you may just have one of these or perhaps you are just using a controller. No matter what level you find yourself at, you can benefit from a good dashboard app.
They are essentially a way to display information that you don’t want on your main screen on an external one instead. They are downloaded onto your mobile device or your PC and shown through an external monitor, and they link up with the game you are playing to display information like speed, tire wear and myriad other pieces of data.
Some apps are free, while others offer premium functionalities as well. They can be used purely for practical purposes, but they can also add to the racing aesthetic of your rig. They tend to add an element of realism to your racing setup, while also looking quite cool. It’s one thing to know what a sim dashboard app is, but before you pick one, you should also know what aspects make one better than others.
What Makes A Good Sim Racing Dashboard App?
There are plenty of dashboard apps on the market, and you can find them on the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and on Steam. They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all work in roughly the same way. The first thing you might consider is the price. There are many free options to choose from, and if you’re looking for additional functionality, the premium versions usually don’t cost much.
More important than price is the functionality of the dashboard app. You may already know what data you want your app to display, or you might want to experiment and see what works best. Regardless, you want to choose a dashboard app that can show you lots of different, useful pieces of data, rather than just one or two things that don’t add much to your experience.
A lot of the better apps out there will allow you to edit not only what data is shown on the screen, but also precisely where it appears. This can be very useful if you want your speed to be displayed quite large in the middle of the screen, and perhaps your fuel level in smaller print down in one of the bottom corners.
Customization extends beyond the data shown, and into the actual aesthetics of the dashboard app. Many apps allow you to create multiple custom dashboards, usually with variations of dials and displays. This is ideal for those that want to find just the right dashboard setup for their particular rig, and it can go a long way to ensuring that any dashboard app fits in with your setup.
Compatibility & Support
Compatibility is another thing to look out for, as you need to ensure you can run the dashboard app on your chosen device. There are several platform-specific options, but most work on iOS and Android devices, as well as Steam. Most apps work via a LAN connection to your game, with some offering cable connections too.
Finally, you want to consider the support available for the app. Although this is less important than the functionality of the app itself, it can put your mind at ease if there is an easy-to-reach support team for potential issues. A lot of the apps on the market are created by developers passionate about sim racing, and so they can often offer effective help if you need it.
Another benefit of having a solid team behind the app is that they’ll likely keep it up to date to work with the latest games and equipment on the market.
KEY POINTS• Sim racing dashboard apps can add some extra immersion to your setup
• There are lots of options on the iOS, Android and Steam marketplaces
• Look for dashboard apps that offer lots of customization and functionality
First on our list of best sim racing dashboard apps is DashPanel from PyroFrog Studios. This app is compatible with iOS, Android, and PC, making it ideal for sim racers on any platform. You can get the app for free on all these platforms, but in order to get the full experience with certain games you will need to pay for in-app purchases.
Starting with the functionality of DashPanel, the free version is rather limited. It offers compatibility with all its supported games for free, but it will only display your speed, RPM, and what gear you are in. This is great if you are just looking for a better place to display each of these than the in-game heads-up display (HUD), but given that these are displayed as standard in racing sims, it is quite limited.
However, if you opt to pay the small fee for the game-specific premium versions, you will be able to make use of the full functionality that DashPanel has to offer. With the paid versions you will be able to display much more information, from lap times to track temperatures, as well as brake bias and tire wear.
These data points tend to be hidden away within the in-game options, and your main screen can become cluttered if you try to find a way of fitting them all into your HUD. For the relatively small price, the amount of useful data that DashPanel can display is truly impressive. The dials and other instruments look great too, giving it extra points on the aesthetic side of things.
Plenty Of Customization
In terms of customization, DashPanel really does it well. It has a powerful editor built into the app, which allows you to change the data it displays and where on the screen it displays it. You can modify existing dashboards created by others or create your own from scratch. You can even share your own dashboards with other users of the app too.
The amount of customization available within DashPanel means you can create your own dashboard to suit any sim racing rig and any game. There are some good-looking options within the app, and with the amount of data that can be displayed, DashPanel tops our list of best sim racing dashboard apps.
SimHub is second on our list and it’s a sim racing dashboard app that is only available for download via your browser. However, if you want to use it on your mobile device, you can use your mobile browser and activate it from there. This does make it slightly more time-consuming to set up if you don’t have a spare monitor, but the app is packed with useful features.
One of the best things about SimHub is its licensing arrangement. This allows you to apply for a license for a fee of your choosing, and then you will gain some extra perks as well as be able to contribute towards further development of the app. This means there is a very useful and knowledgeable community of sim racers behind the app.
Lots Of Customization
You can download dashboards from the community for free, or you can create your own instead. One of the unique features of SimHub is that the customization extends out from the device itself, and they allow you to implement other devices as well.
One such device is an Arduino, which is essentially a small computer that you can link to SimHub and connect to real gauges and other instruments not on the screen. You can add things like fans that will make you feel like you are in an F1 car, while you can also connect it to components such as bass shakers and feedback pads for a truly immersive experience.
The scope for customization within the dashboard itself also helps to secure SimHub’s place on our list, as there are hundreds of options in terms of data to display. Aside from just showing different data on your screen, you can also customize the ins and outs of that data, such as the sensitivity of the instruments and what increments the data is displayed in.
Finally, SimHub offers a 24/7 discord live chat, which is very useful for beginners that might have a lot of questions. With the huge range of customizability within SimHub, the discord chat can be very useful to learn how to get the most out of the app. This makes SimHub our second favorite sim racing dashboard app.
In third place, we have SIM Dashboard. This is available on both Android mobile devices and PCs, and it puts a focus on compatibility. The app is free to use, but there is also a pro version that comes with some additional features. The pro features are useful, but you can make use of this app without spending any money, which makes it ideal if you are a sim racer on a budget.
The app is compatible with the best racing simulators on PC, but compatibility varies if you’re on console. Another great thing about this sim racing dashboard app is its community area, where you can share your dashboard designs with other sim racers and take advantage of what the rest of the community has to offer as well.
The app works wirelessly, but you can also connect via USB if you don’t have a strong internet connection. Another great feature of SIM Dashboard is the team behind the app. The app is updated very regularly, and they are always looking for ways to improve it. This makes it a very reliable option, which is reassuring if you are opting for the paid extras.
The app boasts over 200 customizable widgets, which really makes SIM Dashboard the ideal choice for those that want as much data in front of them as possible. One of the especially handy widgets is the track map, which can display the full track on the screen, so you always know when corners are coming up ahead. You can even use the dashboard app as a button box too.
The app allows for a lot of personalization, with you being able to move your widgets around on the screen and change their sizes. You can also change the colors of the widgets, and each widget has its own set of options built into it as well. You can even opt to add your own graphics if you want to really make it your own!
There are some extra features, such as pre-made templates to help you design your dashboard, as well as the ability to change the units of the data. This can help to further customize your dashboard to really make it your own. SIM Dashboard is an ideal choice if you want maximum customization for little to no cost.
But what if you want a dedicated sim racing dashboard, rather than just an app?
Note: The options below are pretty pricey, and they're only compatible with certain ecosystems of products. We wanted to include them to give some additional options for those that want more than just an app, but making a digital dashboard yourself may be a cheaper option - and a fun project!
3 Great Sim Racing Digital Dashboards
1. MOZA RM Digital Dashboard
The first of our dashboard app alternatives is the RM Digital Dash from MOZA. This is a stunning display, capable of more than 16 million colors in a sharp 800×480 resolution. It’s compatible with most big sim titles (double check it’ll work with your favorite games), and you can only use it with MOZA’s R16 or R21 wheel bases. But if you’re in that ecosystem, this could be a slick addition to your rig!
2. MOZA CM Digital Dashboard
Next up is a cheaper version of the RM from MOZA, and this one works with their R5 and R9 wheel bases instead. This digital dashboard features much of the same tech as the more expensive option, with a brilliant 60 Hz, 5 inch display capable of showing everything from your speed and RPM, to lap deltas, fuel remaining, and tire pressures.
3. Thrustmaster BT LED Display
Okay, so this one isn’t really a true digital dashboard, but it is an option for those in the Thrustmaster ecosystem that want to enhance their sim racing experience. You get a nice, simple LED display that can show you lap times, flags, when to shift, and more. You also get a few rotary dials too that you can map to various functions, and this one is even compatible with PlayStation!
If you are looking to enhance your sim racing experience, a sim racing dashboard app (or even digital dashboard) could be for you. There are lots on the market, but you need to know how to pick the right one to ensure the reliability and quality of the app itself. Doing so will allow you to make the most of your sim racing experience. For the best sim racing dashboard experience, DashPanel is the top choice.
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