The 5 Best Sim Racing Gear Shifters For Pro Buyers

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There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right sim racing gear shifter for your rig, and as it’s an accessory for many rather than a necessity, you want to ensure you’re getting value for your money. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favorite sim racing shifters.

The 5 best sim racing gear shifters for pro buyers are:

  1. Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 Shifter
  2. PSL Sequential Shifter V2
  3. Thrustmaster TH8A Shifter
  4. Aiologs Sequential Shifter
  5. Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential

Below, I’ll go through each of these sim racing shifters in more detail so that you can make the right choice. Then, I’ll discuss the key things you should consider when you’re in the market for a new sim racing gear shifter.

The Best Overall
A Close Second
Value For Money
The Best Overall
  • • Great value for money
  • • H-pattern & sequential modes
  • • Solid build quality
A Close Second
  • • High-quality construction
  • • Realistic feeling sequential shifter
  • • Automotive grade design
Value For Money
  • • Sequential & H-pattern modes
  • • Reasonably priced for what you get
  • • Console compatible

The 5 Best Sim Racing Gear Stick Shifters

1. Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 Shifter

Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Shifter Type: Sequential & H-Pattern

If you’re familiar with sim racing products in any capacity, you’ll have heard of Fanatec, a company renowned for their ingenuity and technological advancements within this exciting esport. Both an amazing luxury and hugely practical product, their SQ V 1.5 shifter ticks every box you should be looking for.

The Best Overall

Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 Shifter

This is the ideal shifter for those seeking a balance between price and performance. It's a high-quality 2-in-1 shifter, meaning you get both H-pattern and sequential modes.
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A Great Looking Shifter

Beyond its stunning appearance, the quality of this shifter is clear to see and feel. It is entirely constructed of metal, inside and outside, so you can rest assured that there won’t be any early failures due to lacking quality of build materials. This also provides the shifter with a satisfying heft, adding to the realism of your sim racing experience.

Fanatec have spared no expense when building this shifter, and not just in the looks department. All of the materials, from the smallest screws to the shifter handle itself, have been chosen to ensure the maximum durability of the SQ shifter.

Sequential & H-Pattern

It also caters to two hugely different types of sim racing fans, due to the ability to switch between sequential and H-pattern gearbox modes.

In its H-pattern configuration, there are 7 gears and a reverse gear. This was purposefully designed to replicate a Porsche 911’s gearbox, which further adds to the feeling of excitement you’ll get when shifting gears with this product!

And to switch from the standard H-pattern mode to sequential, all you have to do is flip a switch on the base of the shifter. There’s no reboot or tricky process required, just more time spent racing to find your preference between the two modes!

Designed With Comfort In Mind

I mentioned before that this shifter comes with two gear knobs. The H-pattern shifting knob is designed to accommodate quick shifts through the gears, whereas the sequential shifting knob is made for comfort. And if neither of those are the grip you’re looking for, the shifter is made to automotive grade. This means you can buy any automotive gear knob and screw that onto the shifter lever!

It’s Customizable

With the ability to mount the shifter on all of its sides or the base, you’ll be able to achieve the ideal setup you really want using whatever rig you currently have. Couple that with the functionality to adjust the shifter’s feeling and resistance with ease, and you’ve got a versatile, exciting sim racing gear shifter right at your fingertips!

It comes with everything you’ll need to plug and play with minimal effort. You truly can’t beat the quality of this shifter, and when you add in all of its other features to best replicate a race car, it’s an incredible choice for sim racers of all abilities.

Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 Shifter

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PROS:

  • Can switch between sequential and H-pattern modes with ease
  • Full-metal, weighty construction
  • Console compatible

CONS:

  • 7th gear isn’t accessible with all setups

2. PSL Sequential Shifter V2

Compatibility: PC | Shifter Type: Sequential

Pro-Sim, the ‘PS’ of the ‘PSL,’ are a well-established and competitive sim racing manufacturer based in the UK. Part of what separates them from the crowd and why I’ve placed this shifter so high on the list is due to their partnership with Quaife, an automotive engineering company. All of their products replicate racing down to all the fine details, including their PSL V2 sequential shifter.

A Close Second

PSL Sequential Shifter V2

This shifter offers an incredibly realistic experience for more advanced sim racers. It's designed by automotive experts, and it's built to last.

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They Listened To Feedback

The V2 of this PSL shifter has been improved from its V1 iteration based on customer feedback. Reading through the product notes is a very reassuring process, knowing that Pro-Sim have taken comments made by their buyers very seriously. It makes for a great new and improved product!

All of the internals are based on a real Quaife gearbox, which is the reason for the satisfying, responsive ‘thump’ feeling you get when shifting up or down the gears. Part of this comes from the weighty, high-quality materials used in the shifter’s construction, and part of it also comes from the advanced electronics used to bring the shifter to life.

The box and all mechanical components are made of hardened steel, providing that coveted long lifespan and reliability. It weighs 2.8 kg (6.2 lbs), which is pretty heavy, but this helps to offer more stability.

A Quieter Experience

Pro-Sim worked on making the shifter quieter after a lot of customers mentioned how loud shifting could be with the previous version. It obviously isn’t silent (where’s the fun in that?), but it’s nice to know that a 3am gaming session won’t wake the whole house as you shift down the gears!

For absolute precision, everything in the PSL shifter is machined and heat treated throughout. A Leo Bodnar electrical board is installed within the shifter, with magnetic switches that’ll never lose their accuracy.

All of the materials have been chosen to provide the best quality finish possible, and this reflects even in the hard-wearing silicon rubber employed to reduce some of the noise from the shifter. We definitely like to see brands revisiting the designs of their products based on customer feedback.

Automotive Grade

A huge part of the PSL V2’s success is due to Quaife engineering it from scratch. As I mentioned before, they create a huge collection of motoring products for vehicle manufacturers, and even motorsport competitors.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this shifter is worth the cost and/or wait to snag yourself one, although it is a pricey choice. For PC, it’s a true gold standard in technology and realism!

PSL Sequential Shifter V2

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PROS:

  • Designed in partnership with Quaife
  • Weighty, realistic feel to every shift
  • Solid build quality

CONS:

  • Not natively console compatible
  • Quite expensive

3. Thrustmaster TH8A Shifter

Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Shifter Type: Sequential & H-Pattern

As one of the most prominent sim racing manufacturers in the world, of course Thrustmaster was going to make an appearance on this list of the best shifters! This all-metal shifter is very fairly priced, and you’ll be getting a lot of long-lasting sim racing immersion for that price tag.

Value For Money

Thrustmaster TH8A Shifter

This shifter is a 2-in-1 option, offering both H-pattern and sequential shifting modes. This makes it extremely versatile, and it's also compatible with consoles as well.
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Highly Compatible Shifter

Because Thrustmaster make racing wheels and products across every platform, you’ll easily be able to attach this gear shifter to whatever rig you’re using. For the PC gamer, you’ll be thrilled to know that this bit of kit can be used with every wheel on the market, not just Thrustmaster ones!

If you’re a PlayStation sim racer, you can attach it to Thrustmaster’s range of compatible wheels. For Xbox gamers, there’s only one wheel which this shifter works alongside on your platform, but it’s easily the biggest and most accessible one that Thrustmaster makes: the TX racing wheel.

H-Pattern & Sequential Functionality

This versatility in compatible consoles and wheels makes it a favorite of the sim racing community at large, but the shifter’s bonuses don’t end there. Unlike some of the other shifters on this list, the Thrustmaster TH8A can be switched between H-pattern and sequential shifting, allowing for a highly personalized driving experience.

Racers who want absolute realism driving fully manual cars can have a highly satisfying H-pattern shifter, while those looking for sheer speed can switch to sequential mode, which changes gear as you move the stick away and towards you – also perfect for rally games.

Note: It does take a bit more effort to switch between H-pattern and sequential modes than with the likes of the Fanatec SQ V 1.5 shifter

High-Quality Construction

Another huge boon of this gear stick shifter is the fact that everything is made of metal, making for a satisfyingly weighty shift and a very reliable, long-lasting product overall due to its magnetic sensor. The TH8A also allows you to program different shifting resistances across all your favorite racing games.

You’re essentially buying two shifters in one neat package, and it’s far easier to handle than a lot of the other complicated products out there. You can even detach the shifter knob and buy a personalized one to screw onto it if you want, which is a common theme on this list. The shifter is automotive grade and sized, so even road or race-car gear knobs can be used with it.

Overall, it’s the perfect choice for a more beginner or intermediate buyer, although it’s definitely a premium product that will last well into your sim racing career.

Thrustmaster TH8A Shifter

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PROS:

  • Highly immersive, realistic-feeling shifter
  • 2 different shifter modes allow for great versatility
  • Durable build quality

CONS:

  • Only works with TX wheel on Xbox
  • Switching between modes is a bit cumbersome

4. Aiologs Sequential Shifter

Compatibility: PC | Shifter Type: Sequential

Next up is a company that functions from a small, very skilled workshop in Russia: Aiologs. They design and hand-make two products specifically designed for sim racing, with the products being this sequential shifter and a handbrake. Of course, I’ll be talking about the former, and the high attention to detail you’ll find packed into every square inch of the sequential shifter!

Only Available From Their Website

When browsing through the Aiologs website, you’ll find it to be rather minimalistic. You can find basic information on both the shifter and the handbrake, but there isn’t much by way of feature lists or other such exciting stuff you want to know when purchasing a new piece of equipment.

They seem to find that actions speak louder than words on a page, and provide URLs to multiple YouTubers who have reviewed the shifter. From start to finish, everyone sings the praises of this compact piece of kit, so let me go over why that is.

Not The Easiest To Get

Every item that Aiologs makes is hand-crafted, which explains the pre-order system they have. They open pre-orders a couple of months in advance, cut them off by a certain date, and ship out the products they make. Everything is made to order.

This gives a huge level of quality guarantee, especially since there’ll be a long period of time spent working on each shifter individually. This craftsmanship is shown in the stainless-steel shifter, which gives the compact unit a very satisfying weight.

Excellent Feel

The shifter feels very responsive to use, and the push force follows a non-linear pattern, offering a very realistic feel. While you wait for the Aiologs shifter to arrive, you can watch a video found on their website which shows the whole crafting process. That kind of transparency is something I appreciate, and they’ve also replicated it in the product by utilizing a see-through panel on top!

There’s a high level of tactile feedback due to special ball bearings that keep high tension in the lever. No fancy electronic components, just a purely great shifter that gives you a realistic feeling without any unneeded frills!

Different Mounting Options

You have the option of whether you’d like to hard mount or clamp the shifter to your desired rig, giving a nice element of flexibility. Not everyone has the option to use a hard mount, but if you’re buying this shifter, you probably do have a dedicated rig.

For console gamers out there, you’ll need to buy a DriveHub connector separately to use this shifter, which will set you back a bit extra and it may not always be compatible. It sits in the middle of the price range, and for what you get, it’s incredible value for money!

PROS:

  • Hand-crafted and made to order
  • Excellent responsive feel
  • Durable build quality

CONS:

  • You can’t adjust the resistance

5. Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential

Compatibility: PC | Shifter Type: Sequential

And last, but certainly not least, is a product from the much-loved and renowned Heusinkveld, a company that YouTubers and professional sim racers swear by. A lot of racing drivers in the off-season use products designed by this manufacturer, and that quality is clear to see in all of their products, not just this gear stick shifter!

Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential

This is a high-quality sim racing shifter from one of the best brands in the industry. It comes with 3 different attachments, making it a versatile choice that offers a realistic feel with every gear change.

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A Compact Shifter

One of the first things you’ll notice about this particular shifter is the very compact size. This was a design decision to allow it to be mounted in even the tightest sim racing setups, which is quite the economical, somewhat novel choice.

But don’t be fooled by its small size! The Heusinkveld Sim Shifter has been designed to replicate a short throw sequential system, commonly seen in junior formula racing cars. But there’s nothing really ‘junior’ about the feedback and gear shift feeling.

It packs a powerful punch that smacks of reality, something we’re all searching for in our sim racing rigs. Heusinkveld have implemented a ball-spring resistance system, very similar to the satisfying one found on the Aiolog shifter we discussed previously, which has a very reliable, mechanical feeling to it.

Realistic Feel

You’re required to shift with some force at first, and then the resistance will drop. This simulates manual shifting in a real car. It also has some padded end-stops installed to cut down on the clunky, loud noises that sequential shifters can produce.

A very specific boon to this shifter is the selection of three different levers you’ll receive alongside the shifter itself. You can also choose between three differently-shaped plastic gear knobs, depending on which provides the most comfort.

Not Console Compatible

It all connects with ease to your PC, but Heusinkveld has yet to integrate a way for their products to be used with consoles. It sells for a very reasonable price for a highly responsive piece of kit that guarantees real racing immersion and solid build quality

Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential

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PROS:

  • Reliable, mechanical construction
  • Small size makes it very versatile
  • High level of immersion

CONS:

  • No console compatibility

Summary Of The Best Sim Racing Shifters

ShifterNotes
Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 ShifterHigh-quality shifter that’s console compatible

H-pattern and sequential modes
PSL Sequential Shifter V2Incredibly high build quality

Very realistic feel
Thrustmaster TH8A ShifterA cheaper option

Also compatible with consoles
Aiologs Sequential ShifterHand-crafted design oozes quality

Very responsive feel
Heusinkveld Sim Shifter SequentialCompact design will fit many rigs

Very immersive choice

How To Choose A Sim Racing Gear Stick Shifter

How Often Will You Use It?

Think about how much time you spend sim racing. Are you hoping to take part in competitions, topping leaderboards consistently on most days of the week? Or are you an excitable enthusiast looking for a bit of extra realism when you have chance to sit down and race on the weekends? This will affect what you need from a sim racing shifter.

Think About Your Budget

If you want to get competitive, your budget is going to need to be on the high side. But if you’re only interested in adding a bit of manual shifting realism to your existing rig, consider checking out our list of the best cheap sim racing gear shifters, to save some hard earned cash without compromising on quality.

Consider What You Already Have

Aside from budget, there’s another very practical factor to think about before committing to a particular stick shifter. You need to consider what gear you already have and whether it will be compatible with the shifter you plan to buy.

PC gamers will be able to mix and match their sim racing gear to make a rig, so it isn’t as crucial for them to think about. But for console gamers, a Thrustmaster stick shifter will only work with Thrustmaster racing wheels, and Fanatec shifters will only work with Fanatec racing wheels. Also consider if you’ll be able to mount your shifter to your rig as well.

The Aesthetics

Part of sim racing is replicating the look of a racing car’s cockpit without actually being able to sit in one. So, I would recommend picking something that will look good within your setup.

What To Look For In A Gear Stick Shifter

Build Quality

What I consider to be the most important feature in a stick shifter is the material it’s built from and the overall build quality. Plastic just won’t cut it when looking for realism and longevity, as it’ll feel too flimsy. The best materials for stick shifters are metal-based, even the lightweight kinds, because it feels closer to a real car’s shifter.

Stability

Another key feature to look for is stability. The last thing you want is a stick shifter that tilts or falls off its mount at crucial points on the track! A large part of a stick shifter’s stability comes from the materials it’s made from, and of course heavier shifters made of metal will help with this aspect a lot.

H-Pattern vs Sequential

I’d suggest choosing a sequential shifter over the H-pattern variety, unless you need the latter for your specific games. Simply pushing or pulling a lever to change up or down gears is easier and faster than manually selecting gears, and it reflects how you’d do it in a rally car or even a NASCAR car for example.

But if you’re seeking absolute, fun realism in a classic car, an H-pattern shifter is the true gold standard because you’ll feel fully immersed as if you were in a race car’s cockpit! Obviously neither will really be much use for fans of F1 games, as they use paddle shifters, so bear in mind whether you’ll actually get much use out of either type of shifter before you make a purchase.

Find Out What Others Think

Lastly, as a general tip going forward when looking at all parts of your sim racing rig, make sure to browse forums such as Reddit to get a better idea of what the community thinks of your chosen shifter. Also check out product reviews too, and combining these resources can unlock a lot of information about products that you might not find on the manufacturer’s website.

KEY POINTS

• Consider what you need from a sim racing shifter before you start browsing products

• Always opt for the best quality shifter you can afford

• Check out reviews and forums to see what real sim racers think of each one before you buy

Final Thoughts

The best sim racing shifter is the Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5, as it offers an excellent balance between price and performance. A close second is the V2 shifter from PSL, but if you want a more budget friendly option, the Thrustmaster TH8A is a great choice.