With some sim racing formats giving penalties to paddle shifters, there’s an easy and still highly competitive way to avoid penalization. Using a sequential gear stick shift, of course! Quick, low-lag shifts and ergonomic designs, they’re the best for serious sim racers out there.
So, what is the best sim racing sequential shifter? My pick for the best sim racing sequential shifter is the PSL Sequential Shifter V2 due to its versatility, high-quality materials, and a car manufacturing company at the helm of development to recreate a realistic, immersive shifter.
The 5 best sim racing sequential shifters are:
- PSL Sequential Shifter V2
- Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential
- Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5
- ThrustMaster TSS Handbrake+ Sparco Mod
- Aiologs Sim Sequential Shifter
But knowing the top pick isn’t knowing the full story! There’s a whole host of amazing sequential gear stick shifters out there that will enhance your whole sim racing experience, and I’ve collected the 5 absolute best ones for you to consider. Without any further ado, let’s jump into it!
What To Look For In A Good Sim Racing Sequential Shifter
How would you even start looking for a good sim racing sequential shifter, let alone choosing one?
This process will be personal to everybody who reads this guide, because at the end of it all, we’re looking for different things to be taken away from our individual rigs. However, with the focus being on the best of the best, I do have a few things to consider when choosing a stick shifter that works for you!
Think about how much time you spend sim racing. Are you hoping to compete with Esports folk, topping leaderboards consistently on most days of the week? Or are you an excitable enthusiast looking for realism when you have chance to sit down and race on the weekends?
Determining this will be a huge deciding factor in how you go on to pick a gear stick shifter, because it has a lot to do with budget.
If you’re the former person who wants to get competitive, money shouldn’t really be an object because you want a premium drive and the stick shifter will need to hold up to that. And if you’re the latter enthusiast in it for the fun, you should probably consider cheaper gear stick shifters without compromising on features and longevity.
Aside from budget, there’s another very practical factor to think about before committing to a particular stick shifter. In short, you need to consider what equipment you already have and whether it will be compatible with the shifter of your dreams!
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.
If you’re yet to buy anything for your rig, this process will be easier because you can build around that gear stick shifter if you want.
And something that’s not as important but definitely something you’ll be thinking about; which stick shifter and other sim racing gear will you like the look of? After investing the better parts of $1,000 for the full rig, the least you can ask for is something that’s aesthetically pleasing!
Part of sim racing is replicating the look of a racing car’s cockpit without actually being able to sit in one, after all. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should be scrutinizing every shifter based on what color it is, but I would recommend picking something that will look cool within your setup.
And truthfully, it gets pretty easy to do that because sim racing stuff looks pretty cool by default!
What I consider to be the most important feature in a stick shifter, however, is the material it’s built from and the overall build quality. Plastic just won’t cut it when looking for realism and longevity; it’ll feel too flimsy and before you know it, you’ll have to replace the shifter because the stick shift arm has snapped.
The best materials for stick shifters are metal-based, even the lightweight kinds, because it feels closer to a real car. It’s harder to accidentally break metal by down-shifting too hard into tricky hairpins, so by default you’ll have something that’ll last longer.
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 in the track, after all! A large part of a stick shifter’s stability comes from its build material, and of course heavier shifters made of metal will help with this aspect a lot.
Lastly, as a general tip going forward when looking at all parts of your sim racing rig, make sure to browse social boards such as Reddit to get a better idea of what the community hails as good.
Everyone from pro sim racers on Esports circuits all the way to casual weekenders can be found there, and they all have valuable experiences with different sim racing products that can often be enlightening or something you never thought about.
The 5 Best Sim Racing Sequential Shifters
1. PSL Sequential Shifter V2
Coming in at the top spot, we have the pinnacle of sequential shifting technology and innovation from Pro Sim: the PSL Sequential Shifter V2. As the name might suggest, this is an improved version of a previous product they made, the V1, with improvements in all the right places.
Pro Sim are a UK-based company who specialize in high-quality sim racing products developed for streamers, YouTubers and other professionals who want to best replicate the feeling of driving in a real cockpit. If you want the best possible drive with outstanding realism, there are no better products out there than what Pro Sim offer!
The PSL of this sequential shifter stands for Pro Sim Lite, and it was created to be more ergonomic for most sim racing rigs. Their standard sequential shifter is, in my opinion, far too large to properly fit into any normal-sized space or mount; a sentiment shared by a lot of the community who use Pro Sim products. That’s why I chose the PSL as opposed to the standard-sized one they make.
It’s more compact without being tiny or too fiddly for use, and it will easily fit into most gear stick shifter mounts without the need to buy larger ones.
In spite of being the ‘lite’ model, there’s nothing small or delicate about the real-feel drive it produces! Pro Sim works alongside a professional automotive engineering company called Quaife in order to deliver realistic products based on real cars that are in race circulation.
It’s because of this partnership that they’re able to create such high-impact, satisfying shifting in the PSL. Its internal workings are based on real shifters that Quaife have created for race cars in the past, allowing for a fantastic feel without adding lag or otherwise detracting from being competitive in sim racing.
The biggest improvement in the V2 is the fact that noise has been greatly reduced, something which was addressed due to consumer feedback. Pro Sim wanted to make the best possible products for the sim racing community, after all, and took all of this customer feedback very seriously.
Everything is CNC machined and heat treated throughout for the ultimate level of reliability and longevity, also ensuring a high-quality finish. The interior also boasts electronics for consistently reliable sensing, also aided by magnetic switches that won’t degrade over time.
Upon purchasing this shifter, you have the choice to pick between two gear stick knobs which will truly define the experience of racing. You can choose a standard nylon variety which is lightweight and smaller, or an upgraded aluminum knob which is longer and provides more heft behind every shift.
The PSL Sequential Shifter V2 comes in at £415 which is approximately $480. It’s a price truly worth its salt for the huge array of benefits you’ll be getting, and the true-to-reality engineered shifter. Compatible with PC using a USB connection and PS4 using a keyboard emulator, it’s truly in a class of its own.
- CNC precision machined and heat treated for superior build quality and longevity
- Perfect size for any sim racing rig
- Engineered in partnership with Quaife to accurately replicate a real race car’s sequential gearbox
- Not compatible with Xbox
2. Heusinkveld Sim Shifter Sequential
Almost every sim racer posting videos on YouTube or streaming on Twitch possesses items made by Heusinkveld, and it’s with good reason. They design products specifically for PC sim racing; unlocking the highest level of potential due to the huge processing power of a PC.
Due to the powerful products they make, Heusinkveld has become a huge supplier of sim racing rig parts and such for racing drivers during off-seasons to help them train under the most realistic circumstances possible.
Probably the most striking visible feature of this shifter from a glance is how compact it appears. This was a purposeful design decision from the Heusinkveld team in order to make it more accessible to be fitted into any sim racing rig; no matter how little space would be available.
The Sim Shifter Sequential has been engineered to replicate short throw shifters, something typically found in junior formula cars. As the term might imply, a short throw shifter reduces the distance you have to move the stick in order to achieve a gear change; making it ideal in competitive environments where you don’t want to waste a single second.
It specifically employs a ball spring resistance system which Heusinkveld found to be the best in order to mimic real race cars. This is due to how you require an early input of higher force to activate a shift, and this drops away to remove resistance once the shift has been achieved; thereby saving the driver yet more precious time.
Upon buying the Sim Shifter Sequential, you’ll also be getting a choice of three distinctly different levers and gear stick knobs in order to personalize your configuration. The shifter’s resistance is fixed at one level, so using different levers can adjust this factor depending on your personal preference.
In all, with three different levers and three different knobs, you can configure this shifter in nine possible ways!
Another nice boon of this shifter specifically is the fact that it comes with its own mounting system as standard, and this can be attached to any desk-like surface with ease. And if you have a cockpit which accommodates for hard-mounting, there are M4 bolt holes on the bottom of the shifter with which it can be attached securely.
All of Heusinkveld’s products are PC-only, due to the high-level electronics and varied systems found within, but the Sim Shifter Sequential does offer two different types of connectivity depending on your personal rig. You can connect it directly via USB into a PC, or by getting a 4×1 2.54mm female Molex cable, you can connect the shifter via a pedal set.
Such power can be found in even the most compact packages! That’s what the Sim Shifter Sequential truly shows. For those of you out there who run PC rigs and require something smaller than average, I can’t recommend this shifter highly enough. Its realism and smart tech are amazing!
- Short throw shifter makes gear changes smoother and quicker
- Comes with three different levers and gear knobs to configure a truly personalized, competitive sequential shifter
- Compact size is redundant if you have a lot of space available in your rig
- PC-only makes this off-limits to console gamers
3. Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5
It should come as no surprise that the innovators within sim racing have secured a place on this list of the best sequential stick shifters! Fanatec continues to develop outstanding products across all of their lines to deliver excellence to every kind of sim racing fan, and the SQ V1.5 is no exception to that rule.
Originally when assessing the best sequential gear stick shifters, I wasn’t quite sure whether or not to include this product due to its ability to switch between sequential and H-Pattern. Would it still be considered a true sequential shifter?
After using the product for myself and hearing from friends who would swear by this beauty, I decided that the variety afforded by this shifter wasn’t a detriment in the slightest.
As part of the ClubSport line that Fanatec offers, you can guarantee on amazing reliability and high-end technology. It is made entirely of metal which provides that winning realism and weight behind every shift, and the inner components will be more resistant to wear.
Fanatec wanted to make a shifter that would last, and the SQ V1.5 is the newest iteration of that wish after numerous improvements on older models.
As I mentioned previously, this shifter can switch between sequential and H-Pattern with seamless precision and accuracy. Instead of rebooting the software or unplugging or manually adjusting settings, you can simply flip a switch and everything will be smoothly transitioned ready for a new realm of play.
When purchasing this shifter, you’ll also be getting two distinctly different gear stick knobs which serve differing purposes. The H-Pattern one is designed for quicker shifting whereas the sequential one is made to provide more driver comfort.
The whole aesthetic of the shifter is timeless, elegant and just the right amount of simple. Its looks will blend well with any pre-established rig without compromising an otherwise seamless theme you might be trying to build.
What truly sets this shifter apart from others is the strong haptic feedback you’ll get while in sequential mode. This is what provides the realism that everybody is looking for without flinging your hand away from the knob and lever. Some companies can get a bit overzealous with the feedback provided on sequential shifters!
Not only that, but you can adjust every aspect of shifting resistance and feel to match your personal preference. This can be achieved using Fanatec’s tuning menu which is simple and streamlined.
You can mount the shifter every which way, with mounting options on all four sides and bottom. This makes it very attractive for uniquely-designed rigs that might replicate different driving styles!
If you get this, you’ll be getting a hyper-realistic, sleek and exciting sequential shifter which has the capability to switch into H-Pattern configurations with ease. It’s worth the price for the sequential mode alone! Fanatec is a very reliable, reputable manufacturer whose products easily outlive their 5-year-warranties, meaning that it’s an investment built to last.
- Strong haptic feedback in sequential mode provides outstanding realism
- Capable of being mounted using all of its sides for ultimate flexibility
- More features specific to the H-Pattern configuration
- Requires ClubSport USB adapter add-on to be used with other sim racing wheels not Fanatec-made
4. ThrustMaster TSS Handbrake+ Sparco Mod
Next up, we have a pretty remarkable product made by ThrustMaster in direct collaboration with Sparco, one of the biggest motorsport equipment manufacturers in the world. This flexible piece of hardware can be programed as either a handbrake or a sequential shifter and set up in a variety of ways for the ultimate racing experience!
There are two versions of this product: the TSS Handbrake+, and the TSS Handbrake. I have chosen the former to review due to the Handbrake+ having a wider amount of compatibility whereas the standard Handbrake Sparco Mod can only be used with PC.
When you first get this add-on product, you can choose its configuration between a rally-sensitive handbrake or a highly responsive, realistic sequential shifter. But not only that! You’ll be able to choose whether to have it in a rally-like position or a GT position, further personalizing your experience.
All of these switches are easy to do, as well. You can switch from playing racing sims like DiRT, which is very rally-orientated and as such would benefit from a shifter/ handbrake specifically made for it, to Gran Turismo where the race cars available are supercars to the nth degree.
The whole piece of hardware is engineered of 90% metal, giving it the realistic weight and heft that I’ve spoken about a lot already. It’s part of what makes a shifter so satisfying to use. And with being made by Sparco, every piece of it has been hand-made in Germany with industrial-grade materials.
The gear knob you can see as standard is a 1:1 replica made of aluminum; pulled straight from the cockpits of Sparco’s Rally and Drift range. You know, the real-life motor racing kind.
Adding to the potential for customization, you are able to adjust the lever height whether you have it in the handbrake or sequential shifter modes. This will tailor it to fit properly in any kind of sim racing rig!
The TSS Handbrake+ also benefits from ThrustMaster’s H.E.A.R.T technology, which stands for HallEffect AccuRate Technology. All equipment worth its salt with benefit from Hall; contactless magnetic sensors that won’t degrade over time. This is bolstered by the lack of a tact switch and potentiometer, features which have a limited lifespan. Without them, the TSS Handbrake+ will last a lifetime!
It can be hard-mounted using M6 screws; a widely available specification which will fit with most sim racing cockpits.
Sure, this is another multi-purpose product which is off-putting if you’re looking for a sequential shifter only, and I understand that. But between Sparco’s precision-made engineering and the top-line technology dedicated to this hardware from ThrustMaster, both the sequential shifter and handbrake functions are top-notch without compromise.
No matter which version you choose for your own rig, you can rest assured in knowing that this exciting product will do its job and then some!
- Can be switched between handbrake and sequential shifter, plus has two different lever positions (rally and GT)
- Precision-engineered by Sparco in Germany for superior build quality and reliability
- Compared to Fanatec, ThrustMaster products aren’t quite as reliable
- Standard gear stick knob gets uncomfortable after long racing sessions
5. Aiologs Sim Sequential Shifter
Last but certainly not least, we have Aiologs’ answer to sequential shifters; the Sim Sequential Shifter! In spite of being a tiny company based out of Russia functioning on pre-order only, they hand-make every product with excellence and functionality in mind.
Googling Aiologs will bring you to a very minimalistic, somewhat basic-looking (yet very clean) website where they offer the two products they make: the sequential shifter and the handbrake.
There aren’t lists of features or materials or anything that you might typically find on a website selling its products (look at Fanatec or Heusinkveld by comparison), and instead there are some basic technological bits of information and graphs to showcase initial force applied when shifting.
Instead, you’ll find a lot of YouTube URLs which provide huge playlists of consumer reviews. In this case, those videos speak far louder than any fancy webpage might!
As I mentioned previously, Aiologs functions entirely using a pre-order system due to the fact that they hand-make every item with care. The whole process takes a long time, and as such, they need to have a filtered system to keep orders tracked and easy to follow. They found that pre-orders are the best way to achieve this.
Although it will result in a longer time to get your desired product, due to a couple of months minimum in terms of wait time, it provides a higher level of quality assurance. You can rest easy knowing that your sequential shifter is being built, tested and finalized with the utmost rigor.
The shifter is made entirely from stainless steel; something which really adds to its feel of luxury and amazing craftsmanship. It is relatively compact but doesn’t feel small due to this noticeably weighty, high-quality feel.
You’ll be rewarded with a durable, exciting product! The shifter feels very responsive to use, and the push force follows a non-linear pattern. All this essentially means is that you don’t have to absolutely throw the lever to reach a faster gear change; smooth force will net you the same results, giving you a reliable drive every time.
With the high-level tactile feedback you’ll get from special ball-bearings found within, the high tension and resistance will stay the same no matter how much you use it. And with it being entirely mechanical, the shifter feels somewhat homely and novel.
No electronic components that can short-circuit or give up on you. Just clean, well-made mechanics that are built to last!
If you go for it, you’ll get a hand-made sequential shifter that you can rely on time and time again. Its primary compatibility is with PCs, but it can be rigged with a DriveHub attachment to work with consoles.
This extra step can be a large turn-off for console gamers out there, especially considering the fact that there are other shifters on this list which don’t need such extra set-up devices.
- Hand-crafted and made to order; guarantees product quality
- Mechanical gear shifter; less to go wrong
- Lack of electronic components doesn’t give it adjustability in resistance, etc.
- Clamp adds a lot of weight and can unbalance some wheel stands
And there we have it! A huge collection of knowledge centered around sim racing sequential shifters, and reviews of the 5 best sets on the market today.
I hope that one of the 5 I described above matches your needs and your rig because they’re all amazing pieces of equipment that’ll enhance your driving experience tenfold!