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. These apps sync with your game and display extra in-game information on an external phone or tablet screen.
So, what are the best sim racing dashboard apps? The 3 best sim dashboard apps are:
- SIM Dashboard
Each of these apps comes with some excellent features that will help you to take your sim racing to the next level, and all within a small budget. Some of them can even be used for free, but the price is not the only thing you should consider when picking the right sim dashboard app.
What Is A Sim Racing Dashboard App?
A sim racing dashboard app is an app you download on your mobile or tablet on which you can 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 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 are perhaps just using a controller. Regardless, no matter at what level you find yourself, 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, or for aesthetics. They tend to add an element of realism to your racing setup, while also looking quite cool as well. It is one thing to know what a sim dashboard app is, but before you pick one, you should know what makes one better than the 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 and the Google Play Store, and on Steam too. 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. A lot of dashboard apps are free, but premium versions don’t tend to cost too much, and can add a reasonable amount of functionality.
More important than price is the actual functionality of the dashboard app. You may already know what data you want your app to display, or you might want to wait and see what works best. Regardless, you want to choose a dashboard app that is capable of showing you lots of different pieces of data, from speed to RPM, and everything in between. The more customization the better.
That brings us onto the actual customizability of the dashboard app. 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 any dashboard app fits in with your setup.
Compatibility And Support
Compatibility is another thing to look out for, as you will 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 also work via a LAN connection to your game, but some offer cable connections too.
Finally, you want to consider the support available for the app. Although this is definitely 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 should you run into any 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.
The 3 Best Sim Racing Dashboard Apps
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 of these platforms, but in order to get the full experience with certain games you will need to pay for in-app purchases.
So, starting with the functionality of DashPanel, the free version is rather limited. It offers compatibility with all of 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 data points, but given that these are displayed as standard in racing sims, it is quite limiting.
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 heads-up display (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. There are some really 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 is 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 just 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 that there is a very useful and knowledgeable community of sim racers behind the app, which tells a lot about the app’s quality.
Lots Of Customization
This leads on nicely to the customization that is available within the SimHub app. Firstly, 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 just 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 for the data displayed. Aside from just showing different data on your screen, you can customize the ins and outs of that data, such as the sensitivity of the instruments and in what increments the data is displayed.
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 make the most of the dashboard app. This helps to make SimHub our second favourite sim racing dashboard app.
3. SIM Dashboard
In third place, we have SIM Dashboard. This is available on both Android mobile devices and PCs and puts a focus on compatibility. The app is free to use, but there is a pro version too which comes with some additional features. The pro features are useful, but you can definitely 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 biggest racing simulators on PC, but some games are not compatible on consoles. 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 can also be used via a USB connection 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 really handy widgets is the track map, which can display the full track on the screen, so you always know which corners are coming up ahead. You can even use the dashboard app as a button box too.
The app also 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 will have 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 also some extra features, such as premade 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.
If you are looking to enhance your sim racing experience, a sim racing dashboard app could be the right choice for you. There are lots on the market, but you need to know how to pick the right ones to ensure the reliability and quality of the app itself. Doing so will allow you to make the most of your sim racing experience.
This list will hopefully have narrowed your choices down, as well as give you an insight into what some of the top sim racing dashboard apps have to offer. If you want the best sim racing experience and want to add a dashboard app into your setup, DashPanel is your best option, however SimHub and SIM Dashboard are strong choices as well.