The 5 Best Sim Racing H-Pattern Shifters: Ultimate Guide

H-Pattern shifters are a fantastic choice for someone looking for responsive gear changes in a design that you simply can’t go wrong with. The gated outlets of the H-pattern provide an authentic and immersive experience like no other.

So, what is the best sim racing H-pattern shifter? I found the best H-pattern shifter to be the Fanatec ClubSport Shifter. It has an extremely satisfying gear change due to its ramped gate outlets and has a very adjustable, premium feel.

Here are the 5 best h-pattern shifters:

  1. Fanatec Clubsport Shifter
  2. Pro Sim H-Shifter
  3. ThrustMaster TH8A Shifter
  4. SHH Newt Shifter
  5. Logitech Driving Force Shifter

This is the shortlist of great H-pattern shifters that I think you will love. We’ll take a look at their features, pros, and cons to help you choose what’s right for you. So, keep reading and we’ll jump right in!

What To Look For In A Good Sim Racing H-Pattern Shifter

Build Quality

Build quality is an important part of a good H-pattern shifter. If the product is of poor build quality then it most certainly won’t last as long as a similar gear shifter of metal construction or better-quality plastic. Luckily all of the products on this list are of excellent build quality so any of these would be a great choice in that regard. I would recommend a shifter of metal construction as it provides not only the assurance it won’t break, but also the immersion necessary for a great racing experience. There are of course very strong and sturdy ABS plastic designs out there

Affordability

Unless you are set on purchasing a gear shifter from the company website, I would recommend try looking for secondhand options or cheaper deals on Amazon or eBay. The company website will at least give you the assurance that your product is of perfect condition and usually with a warranty included. If you don’t mind as much then I recommend looking for cheaper deals so you don’t break the bank.

With most technology these days, if it’s cheap, then it’s of cheap quality but a lot of the products on this list are of excellent quality and can be found on Amazon for much cheaper than on the company websites.

Compatibility

You will want to make sure that the H-pattern gear shifter you decide on purchasing for your setup is compatible with your setup. Some gear shifters are an add-on for specific setups that aren’t compatible with others. This makes researching the product you are considering purchasing invaluable.

For instance, the Fanatec ClubSport shifter is compatible with all racing wheels and racing peripherals when used on a PC, but when used on a console, it is only compatible with a Fanatec wheel.

Stability

It’s important that the gear selector is stable when stationary. If it is wobbly when in the neutral position then that’s a sign of terrible build quality. Of course, all gear selectors will have a teeny tiny bit of wiggle room but if it’s flopping side to side with no form of tension control or adjustability, then that is awful and you should immediately get a refund.

Metal shifters are generally heavier and more stable. They are also much more immersive, which brings us to our next point.

Immersion

Gear shifters of metal construction, whether it be sturdy stainless steel or simple zinc alloy, will always feel more realistic and keep you more immersed during your race. H-pattern shifters are generally more immersive by design than sequential shifters as most manual transmission vehicles in the real world have H-pattern gear shifters fitted.

Most sim racing enthusiasts will agree that an immersive experience is more beneficial for competing and winning races.

Ease Of Set Up

Shifters that use clamps to mount onto a desk or any surface are usually much easier to set up than a shifter such as the Pro Sim Shifter that requires you to hard mount it. Hard mounting a shifter can sometimes involve drilling holes, tapping holes to make a thread for your screws to fit into, and even purchasing some materials you may not have at hand.

Generally, when a device is hard mounted it is as stable as it could be, so there are definitely some positives and negatives to hard mounting.

Adjustability

A gear shifter with adjustable tension on the throw is very convenient as it allows you to personalize your setup in ways that could seriously increase your performance in your races. If you’re the type of person to frequently suffer from mis-shifts, then an adjustable tension could fix that issue as increasing the tension limits the possibility of a mis-shifts by forcing you to be more precise and deliberate about your movements.

Other things can be adjusted too such as the length of the gear stick, or the length of the throw.

For example, the Pro Sim H shifter features adjustable gear stick length by screwing an extender to the top of the stick. Other shifters have interchangeable knobs that you can screw on to make the throw shorter, meaning you have to move the gear selector a shorter distance in order to switch between gears.

The 5 Best Sim Racing H-Pattern Shifters

1. Fanatec ClubSport Shifter

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Compatible with: PC – all wheels; PS4/3 & Xbox One – Fanatec Wheels | Shifter type: H-pattern/sequential

The Fanatec Clubsport Shifter is the most sturdy and reliable shifter on this list. It is made of a metal construction both on the inside components and outside casing. The shifter stick is also made out of metal. This is not a gear shifter that will break easily. Its metal design provides a great level of immersion.

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The shifting feel is significantly better than most H-pattern shifters out there today and is responsive.

It has a short-throw meaning you don’t have to move the stick as far to select each gear. This may be seen as a good or a bad thing but it depends on what you, the consumer, want out of your racing experience.

While the throw is short, it has adjustable resistance which for some may resolve the issue of having a short throw. This shifter can also be used in sequential mode with the flick of a switch for those who want to change it up on the spot while racing.

Unfortunately, where it lacks is in its appearance. It does look very sleek but it looks just a bit too ‘out there’. Needless to say, it doesn’t look like anything you will actually find in a vehicle and that can be an issue for those who are passionate about realism and immersion like me. Overall, it is very responsive, direct, and will definitely meet most people’s needs.

The retail price is fairly steep for just a gear shifter. Most of this price comes from the fact it’s completely made out of metal and therefore has a far superior build quality and lifespan than most shifters on the list.

If you are on a budget and you aren’t too fussed about your shifter being made out of metal, maybe the Logitech Driving Force shifter is for you.

PROS:

  • Great build quality
  • Sequential at the flick of a switch
  • Adjustable resistance

CONS:

  • On the more expensive side
  • More futuristic design; might not fit with all set-ups in terms of aesthetics

2. Pro Sim H-Shifter

Compatible with: PC only – all racing wheels that support multi-USB and gearboxes | Shifter type: H-pattern

Now, this is one of the most amazing shifters I have ever seen. Unfortunately, its price tag makes it unattainable for most people looking to upgrade their setup. However, there’s no doubt about this shifter being up there as one of the absolute best!

The Pro Sim H-shifter is a six-speed shifter with a reverse gear that you can access by pushing down on the gear stick and moving either forward or backward depending on your preference.

The whole device is made of anodized metal so it’s particularly durable. The shifter has a very mechanical feel and feels like a real shifter and gearbox.

The shifter comes with an extender (which gives you a very generous amount of extended length) that you can screw the shifter knob onto. The tension on the shift rod, the main shaft that runs through the device, can be fully adjusted for your preferred resistance when shifting gears. The tension when moving the gear shifter from side to side through neutral can also be adjusted separately.

Learning how to adjust the tensions can be quite tricky but there is a good manual included that explains it all and there are plenty of online video tutorials on how to adjust the tension easily and effectively.

The pro sim H-Shifter does not have clamps so you must hard mount it to a surface of your choice or a mounting bar. Mounting it isn’t too difficult for someone new to hard mounting shifters. If you have hard mounted a shifter before then it shouldn’t be an issue at all and only takes about 10 minutes if you know what you’re doing. The shifter itself is constructed and assembled in a factory that makes actual gearboxes for cars so all the components are chunky, solid, and sturdy.

The immersion this shifter gives you crazy. Pro Sim truly did pay a lot of attention to detail when they made this shifter and it shows. The mechanical clunk of each gear shift is very satisfying and it captures you in the moment every time.

In my opinion, the price is steep but for those who can afford it, this is a must-have as it truly is the king of H-pattern shifters. Overall, it’s a brilliant shifter and does everything, and more, than what you could possibly want from a H-pattern shifter.

Its build quality is impressive and so are the internals. If you can afford it, get it. If not, then don’t fret as the next few shifters on this list are also fantastic and much more affordable.

PROS:

  • Impressive build quality & adjustable tension
  • Immersive and realistic
  • Comes with a stick extender

CONS:

  • On the expensive side
  • Very large & has to be hard-mounted

3. ThrustMaster TH8A Shifter

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Compatible with: PC – compatible with all racing wheels; PS4/3 – T300, T500, T150 racing wheels; Xbox One – TX Racing wheel | Shifter type: H-pattern/sequential

This shifter will always have a special place in my heart. Its incredible build quality and durability is almost unmatched for its price point. That durability paired with its stability, ease of use, realism, and satisfying gear changes make it one of the best H-Pattern shifters out there in circulation today.

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Firstly, it has a steel gate with ramped edges on the outlets so that when you change gears you simply roll from gear to gear with no hassle whatsoever. This greatly prevents mis-shifts and makes its preferred H-pattern mode a dream to use.

There is a large amount of room – around two and a half inches – for the clamps to mount onto any surface that fits. The mounting system also has a rubber grip so as to prevent the clamps from damaging your furniture.

If you want to, you can also use three screws to hard mount it to a desk or mounting bracket of your choice. This shifter also has the ability to be used in sequential mode. The sequential mode feels great but of course, lacks the realism and immersion of an H-pattern shifter.

The sequential mode is a pain to set up and takes about 5 minutes to change from H-pattern to sequential so don’t expect to be changing this on the go very quickly in-between races.

The cable used to connect the shifter to your setup is threaded and guarantees that the cable will absolutely not slip out under any circumstances. The steel H-pattern gate has an inner plastic gate that takes most of the stress and abuse when shifting gears and prolongs the life of your shifter.

The instructions manual is great, easy to understand, and very informative. In the package, you also get a generous amount of spare screws which was excellent for me as I have a tendency to lose screws.

The TH8A shifter has a premium feel and feels super stable and sturdy when mounted correctly. This shifter can be found for a fair price on Amazon, but I’m sure you can find a cheaper deal if you search around.

The quality is phenomenal, the shifting feel is unreal, and the immersion you get as a result is what puts it up there with the other amazing shifters!

PROS:

  • Incredible build quality
  • Easy to mount & optional sequential mode
  • Great shifting experience

CONS:

  • Not easy to switch to sequential

4. SHH Newt Shifter

Compatible with: PC only – most popular racing wheels | Shifter type: H-pattern/sequential

The SHH Newt shifter is amazing. Most of the shifter is made of 3D printed ABS plastic, but it is extremely durable, sturdy, and solid. This H-pattern shifter can be easily turned into a sequential shifter with the flick of a switch which is very convenient. The shifter comes with easy-to-install plates which allow you to use it as a 7-speed with reverse gear, a 6-speed with reverse gear, and also as a sequential shifter.

The shifter stick is made of aluminum and is not likely to break easily under stress. The resistance when shifting gear is fully adjustable and the device comes with a sequential knob and H-pattern knob which can be easily screwed down. Mounting the shifter is very simple and the instructions manual is easy to follow.

When shifting gears, it’s a very smooth experience going from one gear to another. The shifter comes in 4 different colors: Black, white, red, and grey. Once mounted, the shifter can move around a little bit – as the housing is made of ABS plastic it’s not surprising.

The SHH Newt shifter can be found online for a fairly cheap price given that it’s a great shifter. Overall, I think this would be a great choice for people looking for a premium product with premium features and accessories that don’t want to spend a premium price.

The only reason this doesn’t make it higher on the list is because of the housing. I feel that, while 3D printing the housing may save costs in development, it was a poor decision as it sacrificed build quality in the process, and allows the housing to wobble quite a lot once mounted.

PROS:

  • Not too expensive
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Sequential at the flick of a switch

CONS:

  • Tendency to wobble
  • Plastic housing

5. Logitech Driving Force Shifter

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Compatible with: PC/PS4/Xbox One – G29/G920 Driving Force racing wheels only | Shifter type: H-Pattern

The Logitech driving force shifter is an excellent piece of kit. It is a six-speed shifter with reverse gear. It is made of an injectionmolded plastic throughout its construction with a steel shifter arm and faux leather trim. Although the majority of its components are made of plastic, it feels like a premium product to the touch. This shifter has built-in clamps that make it very easy and approachable when it comes to mounting it on to a desk or shifter mount.

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Unfortunately, my experience with this gear shifter was quite disappointing. Gear changes felt sloppy and miscalculated, no matter how perfect the gear change was. Overall, the feel of shifting gears with the Logitech driving force shifter was very poor and certainly the least immersive compared to the others on this list.

This shifter is being sold second hand online at a very affordable level. While the price you can find it for is phenomenal, it lacks in quality and fails to give the greatly immersive experience you would usually expect out of a Logitech product. But, at its price point there is no reason to complain as you get what you pay for, and it certainly does the job if nothing else.  

PROS:

  • Affordability
  • Easy to mount
  • Nice appearance

CONS:

  • Poor build quality
  • Loose and sloppy gear changes

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of great H-pattern shifters out there. If you are on a budget then the one I would recommend to you for sure is the Logitech Driving Force shifter as it can be found very cheaply online. The Logitech Driving Force shifter is actually a great little piece of kit but unfortunately, it just didn’t cut it compared to the other shifters on this list.

If durability is what you’re looking for in a H-pattern shifter then the Fanatec Clubsport shifter is definitely the one for you. It’s all-metal design practically makes it indestructible. It’s certainly worth the spend if you want durability!

I believe that the Thrustmaster TH8A is the perfect middle ground. Very affordable, steel in most of its construction, great realistic shifting experience, optional sequential, easy to mount, and it just feels right when you use it.

Not to mention the little details they added like a plastic guard below the steel gate to protect the metal and gear selector from fatigue or any abuse when shifting over time.

Research is so important when deciding what to purchase for your setup. Take note of what the shifter is compatible with in regards to systems and peripherals as you don’t want to spend hundreds just to find out its incompatible with the rest of your gear.

Find out what you really want out of a shifter. Are you looking for a shifter superior in its durability? Then go for the Fanatec on this list. If it’s immersion that you’re after, the TH8A is definitely for you.

Before making any purchase from the company’s main website, make sure you check out other places for a potential better deal. Don’t be afraid to check out third-party sellers who are offering the products second hand, especially for the more expensive options you see on this list.

I hope that you found something that’s to your liking on this list, or you at least got a better idea of what you really want as part of your racing experience.