There are lots of sim racing wheels out there, so it can be tough to know which is best, especially if you’re a beginner. In this article, we’ll be looking at the best sim racing wheels for every budget.
The 8 best sim racing wheels are:
- Simucube 2 Pro Tahko Bundle
- Precision Sim Engineering GT1 Steering Wheel
- Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
- MOZA ES Steering Wheel Bundle
- Fanatec ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
- Ascher Racing F64 V3 Wheel
- Thrustmaster T300 RS
- Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition Racing Wheel
You might know the best sim racing wheels now, but there’s a lot more to consider when buying a new one, and you need to know what to look for in a wheel before spending any of your hard-earned cash. We go over the main things to consider and take a closer look at each of these wheels below.
The 8 Best Sim Racing Wheels
1. Simucube 2 Pro Tahko Bundle
Compatibility: PC | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 13
Up first we have a bundle from one of the best brands in the business. Simucube’s Tahko bundle combines their most popular wheel base – the Pro – with their recent venture into the wheel rim market, the Tahko GT-21. This makes for a durable combination that could very well last you for as long as you are sim racing!
Immense Force Feedback
Starting with the Pro wheel base, it really is one of the best options on the market. It provides direct drive force feedback that is highly detailed, powerful, and reliable, thanks to Simucube’s endeavors to providing a latency-free experience with zero cogging or notching. It’s smooth but intense, and it’s hard to beat at its price point.
You get 25 Nm of peak torque, putting it on par with the likes of the Fanatec DD2. However, the fidelity is just higher than the DD2 and a lot of other powerful direct drive wheel bases out there, and that makes this a tough one to compete with. The 25 Nm peak torque is impressive of course, but pairing that with the quality of the force feedback is really what makes this wheel base shine.
Note: There is a cheaper version with the Sport wheel base instead, but we recommend the Pro as it costs less than 10% more but you get far more peak torque.
The Pro wheel base is also of solid construction, as is to be expected with Simucube products. It’s made from precision machined metal, with little to no plastic, other than on the wireless antenna. This allows you to connect to wheel rims wirelessly, which makes this a very versatile sim racing setup (the included Tahko rim is also wireless).
The Tahko Rim
The wheel rim also oozes quality, thanks to being primarily made of CNC machined metal. It has a suede finish, which may divide the room, but there’s no doubt it’s high quality and offers a comfortable racing experience – although we do always recommend wearing sim racing gloves with suede or Alcantara rims.
Note: If you don’t like the orange color scheme, there is a black edition bundle as well
In terms of features, the wheel rim has 10 push buttons that offer a satisfying click, and there are also two rotary encoders on the front as well, one of which works as a 7-way switch. There’s also a Simucube button on the back, which when pressed gives you access to plenty of force feedback tuning options on the fly.
Also on the back are the two metal paddle shifters (which are magnetic) along with two analog clutch paddles. These are a nice touch, and they really allow you to nail your race starts as you launch off the line. As we mentioned above the wheel is wireless, and given it’s a Simucube rim, it’s fully compatible with the Pro wheel base and its quick release.
Overall, this isn’t a beginner option, but it definitely is one to consider if you’re looking to enter the realm of direct drive or upgrade to something that’s built to last. The wheel rim is excellent for a variety of racing disciplines, and the wheel base could very well be the last one you ever buy!
- Incredibly immersive force feedback
- High quality construction in every aspect
- Super wireless wheel rim
- Pretty pricey
- Not for beginners
2. Precision Sim Engineering GT1 Steering Wheel
Compatibility: PC | Wheel Base Included: No | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 8
Coming in a very close second on this list of the best sim racing wheels, the GT1 Steering Wheel made by Precision Sim Engineering lives up to the brand name and then some! It’s described as being the ultimate all-around wheel due to the realistic 31 cm diameter and high level of personalization.
Typically, a wheel’s shape is rounded or designed to replicate those of specific vehicles, such as F1 cars. The benefit of this somewhat oval-shaped wheel is that you gain the benefits of both formula-style wheels and regular rounded wheels.
F1-styled wheels are pretty specific to a select number of racing sims. Driving regular road circuits breaks the immersion typically afforded when you load up F1 simulators. Not only that, but the whole driving style and how you hold a wheel are different when racing on regular tracks in a typical race car.
With the GT1 steering wheel, you won’t have this issue. You can accurately adjust your hand positioning and have a lot more wheel to hold, making it great for all kinds of sim racing, whether it’s endurance racing or even driving on ovals.
In terms of material quality, there aren’t many wheels out there on the market that can truly compete with this one. The GT1’s base is hand-crafted by Sparco, one of the world’s leading racing manufacturers, for absolute precision and excellence.
The whole wheel rim’s base is made of weighty (but not cumbersome) metal, giving it a realistic weight and satisfying feel. It is then covered with a high-quality carbon material, giving it the unique ‘brushed’ look, which also adds extra grip, especially when used with sim racing gloves.
The shifter paddles are magnetic, which ensures that there is no degradation over time and that you get a satisfying click with every shift. They are also made of carbon, providing the driver with yet more high-quality materials that enhance the tactile experience.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this wheel is the full-color LCD display mounted between the center panel and top of the rim. This screen can be programmed to display vital information about your car and performance.
Unlike some of the other premium wheels out there, the GT1’s buttons are rather minimalistic and all included in separate brackets protruding from the center. This keeps the center a clear, uncluttered area and the buttons will be easier to reach while driving as they are closer to your hands on the wheel rim.
Amazing quality, amazing adaptability, and peak excellence are combined in this wheel for sim racers who are at the top of their game! It will cost a lot for the wheel though, with no wheel base included.
Compare this to the Simucube 2 Pro Tahko bundle in the top spot, which comes with a wheel base and immediate ability to plug and play, and you’ll see why the GT1 is ranked that bit lower on the list. However, it’s still one of the best wheel rims on the market.
- Hand-crafted by Sparco
- Highly versatile
- Excellent build quality
- No wheel base included
- Can only be used on PC
3. Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: Yes | Buttons: 16
Fanatec’s latest offering comes in the form of a relatively affordable (compared to the competitions) direct drive wheel, which itself takes various forms. The Gran Turismo DD Pro is our top pick of the options, and we’ve gone for the 8 Nm of torque option too. This wheel is just an excellent all round package for beginners and intermediate racers alike.
This is an excellent wheel for those looking for a budget friendly direct drive racing experience. It's a powerful wheel with a very versatile wheel rim to boot.
The Wheel Base
Let’s start by looking at the included DD Pro wheel base. This offers 5 Nm of torque as standard, but with this version of the bundle you get the 180 Boost Kit, which takes that number up to a phenomenal 8 Nm given the price point. This is more than enough power for beginners, and even for those with a fair bit of experience too.
Its small form factor and simple design ensure this wheel fits into any sim racing setup, but as it’s direct drive, it’s best to have a dedicated sim racing cockpit if you want to get the most out of it. It’s console compatible too, making this package a great choice for PC and console racers that want to get the edge over their competition.
The Gran Turismo wheel that comes included with this bundle is another selling point. Not only does it look and feel good, but it has plenty of functionality as well. With an OLED strip and RevLEDs, you’ll have lots of customization and information at your fingertips while you’re racing.
There are plenty of buttons as well, with some being super easy to map to in-game menus like traction control and brake bias. While the wheel is obviously designed with Gran Turismo in mind, you can make use of all of this functionality in your other favorite racing games too.
The pedals that come with this bundle aren’t the best, but for beginners, they’ll definitely get you by. However, the real stars of the show are the wheel base and the wheel itself, and you’ll likely want to upgrade these pedals in due course. We suggest upgrading with Fanatec’s Load Cell Kit to improve the feel and functionality of the brake pedal.
Overall, the players that will get the most out of this wheel are beginners that want to dive into the world of direct drive, or more intermediate racers looking for a cheaper alternative to some of the other direct drive wheels on the market. Obviously, if you’re a Gran Turismo fan, this is the perfect wheel for you!
- Excellent wheel and wheel base combo
- Pedals included
- Lots of functionality and great force feedback
- Pedals probably need upgrading
4. MOZA ES Steering Wheel Bundle
Compatibility: PC | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: Yes | Buttons: 22
Up next is a direct competitor for Fanatec’s DD line, and it comes in the form of MOZA’s R5 bundle. The wheel you get here is very good, but the value for money with the wheel base is the main selling point. For a lower price than the cheapest DD offering from Fanatec, you get a 5.5 Nm wheel base, a sturdy, highly functional wheel, and a set of pedals too!
Value For Money
While this wheel base is limited to 5.5 Nm of torque, and the Fanatec DD Pro can be upgraded to 8 Nm depending on the option you go for, you still get a very good deal here. It’s definitely entry-level in the world of direct drive, but for beginners on a budget, you’ll struggle to find a better value-for-money set than this bundle.
The Wheel Rim
The ES steering wheel that comes with this bundle is excellent, featuring an aluminum body and a hand-stitched leather rim. It looks sleek, without going over the top on the buttons and switches. We would liked to have seen some rotary dials here or maybe a small screen, but the 22 programmable buttons should do the trick for most racers, and at this price point it’s understandable.
You also get some nice tactile paddle shifters on the back, and the layout overall will be fairly familiar for most racers. There are also some rev indicator lights on the top of the wheel, and overall it’s a good looking, albeit a little basic, steering wheel. If simplicity is what you want, it’s definitely what you get here.
Note: You can create your own MOZA bundle with their other wheel rims and wheel bases if you need more power or a specific style of wheel, and we’d recommend the FSR rim paired with the R9 wheel base for F1 fans that want 9 Nm of torque at a comparatively low price.
A Brief Word On The Pedals
There’s not much to say about the potentiometer pedals that come with this bundle, other than that you’ll quickly outgrow them. It’s common for bundles to include a wheel that’s a step or two above the pedals in terms of overall quality, so this is nothing specific to MOZA (see Fanatec’s cheaper CSL pedals that come with the DD Pro above, or Thrustmaster’s T3PAs that come with the T300 RS below).
Another caveat to bear in mind is that this wheel will only be compatible with PC, whereas Fanatec’s DD wheel bases can work on console. So, if you’re a PlayStation or Xbox racer, this isn’t the one for you. But if you’re a beginner on PC that’s looking for a cheap direct drive setup with plenty of room for upgrading in the future, definitely check out this bundle!
- Excellent value for money
- Great entry-level direct drive option
- Strong upgrade path
- Not compatible with console
- Included pedals aren’t the best
5. Fanatec ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
Compatibility: PC / Xbox | Wheel Base Included: No | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 16
Not only is this next wheel directly sponsored by and developed in partnership with Microsoft and the makers of Forza, but it is part of Fanatec’s ClubSport line of products, designed for excellence and competitive racing.
This is a great choice for those racing on Xbox and for fans of the Forza series of games. The wheel comes with Fanatec's Universal Hub for some excellent functionality to go along with the brilliant racing aesthetic.
Unlike a lot of other wheels, the GT Forza model boasts a realistic diameter of 33 cm. It feels weighty to the touch yet not undrivable, nor does it feel like a chore to get any wheel lock due to the perfectly lightweight aluminum rim. It’s also covered in genuine leather, which is a highly luxurious touch, and completed with stylish white stitching to contrast the sleek black colors elsewhere.
This wheel comes with both regular-sized and long shifter paddles that can be switched out at your leisure, allowing for yet more personalization. If you compare this to Thrustmaster, whose wheels come with shifter paddles as standard that can’t be switched out, the GT Forza has a great advantage.
The included Universal Hub allows you to make use of the adjustable button cluster and magnetic shifter paddles. This offers plenty of functionality of course, but it also adds to the immersion offered by this wheel through the tactile feel of the shifters and the flip up tuning menu.
At the price point of this wheel, it’s a very reasonable selection of features. Some of the buttons on the hub are duplicates though, so you should be aware of this before picking it up. If you’re already in the Fanatec ecosystem, this hub can be transferred to some of your other wheels too for extra functionality.
Overall, this wheel is a great choice for those already in the Fanatec ecosystem that enjoy racing on Xbox in particular (and already own a compatible wheel base). While it’s obviously going to be suited to Forza fans, it’s a good option for those that like the simple aesthetic combined with the universal hub.
- Highly functional wheel
- Great Forza branded aesthetic
- Brilliant overall feel
- No wheel base included
- No pedals included
6. Ascher Racing F64 V3 Wheel
Compatibility: PC | Wheel Base Included: No | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 12
Quality, precision, and high-tech solutions – those are words that I think sum up Ascher Racing in a nutshell, and especially their F64-USB Steering Wheel! No expense has been spared to bring this high-quality rim to the market for an amazing sim racing experience.
In terms of its appearance, the F64-USB is designed to be reminiscent of F1-styled wheels and it will certainly turn heads with the bright, functional buttons, switches, and toggles scattered on the wheel face. It measures in at 28.5 cm in diameter, specifically designed to replicate the size of steering wheels in an F1 car.
The base is machined from automotive aluminum, which provides the realistic weight and feel of a real steering wheel without making it feel cumbersome to rotate.
For having only 12 push buttons, the wheel has up to 64 inputs that a driver can make. These come from having multi-way joysticks, encoders, and 12-position rotary switches. The very name of the product is inspired by the huge array of inputs you can make when driving.
This makes it perfect for F1-style sim racing games of course, where the driver needs precise, complicated inputs to get the best out of their car. But it’s certainly beneficial in other sim racing games as well.
The paddle shifters, much like Fanatec’s Podium and ClubSport lines, are magnetic, ensuring that the shifting won’t degrade in terms of responsiveness over time. They are designed to have a strong ‘snap’ for the ultimately satisfying shift every time!
You can adjust every aspect of the driving experience of this wheel, and bite-point for gear shifts and all other inputs can be programmed by 1.0 and 0.1 increments, giving you precise control over your inputs.
For the ultimate experience of using this wheel, you’ll want to look at adding one of Ascher Racing’s Quick Release systems to your basket. The F64-USB doesn’t come equipped with one as standard, but having one will mean that you can switch wheel rims with ease, and it will give you access to more programmable buttons.
If you compare this to Fanatec’s Forza GT and Precision Sim Engineering’s GT1 wheels, which all come with Quick Release mechanisms, this is a bit of a let-down on the F64-USB’s part.
In all, it’s an amazing wheel that gives experienced sim racers a huge opportunity to develop their skills. However, it doesn’t come with a wheel base, so it’s ideal for more advanced racers that already have a compatible wheel base and that are looking to upgrade their wheel rim.
- 64 potential inputs
- Incredible build quality
- High level of immersion
- No wheel base included
7. Thrustmaster T300 RS
Compatibility: PC / PlayStation | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: Yes | Buttons: 13
The Thrustmaster T300RS is truly one of the brand’s best products. The wheel itself is well designed and comfortable to use, the wheel base offers excellent force feedback, and the bundle comes with a set of pedals too. This makes it a great choice for beginners, but it can suit more advanced racers as well.
The Wheel Base
The wheel base that comes with the T300 RS is excellent, and it produces a good amount of force feedback thanks to its belt drive system under the hood. It can get a little warm, and it doesn’t compete with a direct drive wheel, but for beginners or for those without the budget for a DD base, this is a great one to go for.
The smooth force feedback and up to 1080 degrees of rotation make this a very immersive wheel base, but it is quite a heavy one. This means you’ll likely need a dedicated sim racing rig in order to make the most of this wheel. But let’s look at the wheel rim itself now.
The wheel rim of the T300 RS is brilliant, offering a decent selection of buttons and features that are ideal for beginner sim racers. The metal paddle shifters at the back are particularly satisfying to use, and the fairly minimalistic look on the front makes this a beginner friendly choice.
It feels good to use thanks to the high-quality materials Thrustmaster use in their products, and you’ll have no issues with the comfort of this racing wheel even over long racing sessions.
The included pedals are worth mentioning here, but not necessarily for good reason. As is common with many bundles, the focus is on the wheel and wheel base, meaning the pedals take a bit of a back seat. The T3PA pedals are fine for beginners, but more experienced racers will quickly outgrow them.
We suggest upgrading to the T-LCM pedals if you have the budget for them, as they will simply offer a far better experience than these ones.
Overall, the T300 RS wheel is a great choice for console racers, be they beginners or more experienced racers. The wheel base offers excellent force feedback, and the wheel rim itself provides plenty of functionality and an overall brilliant look and feel.
- Excellent force feedback
- Fairly budget friendly
- Looks and feels great
- Included pedals aren’t the best
- Not compatible with Xbox
8. Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition Racing Wheel
Compatibility: PC / Xbox | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: Yes | Buttons: 11
If you’re looking for something that screams sophistication, look no further! Thrustmaster never ceases to amaze me with its range of excellent sim racing products, and even though the TX Leather Edition is last on our list, it doesn’t mean it lacks anything in the quality department.
Just take one glance at this wheel and you’ll agree that its looks are eye-catching to say the least, what with the brushed black metal front plate and complete leather covering. It looks luxurious and could easily be a display piece!
Unlike some other wheels out there, the face of the wheel is also lacking a lot of complicated-looking buttons. It keeps everything simple without taking any immersion away from the experience.
I’ll actually give a nod to Thrustmaster’s attention to detail and comfort to begin with, by looking closer at the leather-clad wheel. All of the seams are hand-stitched, which is far better than machined stitching, and is testament to the care put into the design of this wheel.
Genuine leather feels especially luxurious, and much like the GT Forza wheel we discussed earlier, you’ll benefit greatly from using sim racing gloves for added grip with this rim.
Now, looking at the tech offered in the TX wheel, its force feedback is very impressive despite being belt-driven. You won’t encounter any latency or delay in your inputs thanks to the contactless magnetic sensors that power the wheel base, which is something typically only really seen from brands like Fanatec or Precision Sim Engineering.
Unlike the GT Forza wheel that Fanatec offers, you can’t create numerous wheel profiles using the wheel itself. However, if you hook it up to a PC, you can program different levels of force feedback, rumble, and button functions without spending hours tweaking it on racing sim games themselves.
For a bit of a steep price, you’ll be able to buy the TX Leather Edition bundle that includes the wheel and wheel base. The wheel rim oozes quality, and the force feedback from the wheel base is incredible considering it’s not direct drive.
- Brilliant wheel and wheel base included
- Amazing build quality
- Immersive force feedback
- Quite pricey for what you get
Summary Of The Best Sim Racing Wheels
|Simucube 2 Pro Tahko Bundle||People that need a direct drive bundle that can last their entire sim racing career|
|Precision Sim Engineering GT1 Steering Wheel||Those looking for the absolute best in build quality and functionality that also have a large budget|
|Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro||Beginners in need of their first direct drive wheel (and PlayStation racers too)|
|MOZA ES Steering Wheel Bundle||Beginners looking for the cheapest direct drive option|
|Fanatec ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel||Forza fans (obviously) and anyone on Xbox or PC that wants a highly functional Fanatec rim|
|Ascher Racing F64 V3 Wheel||Anyone looking for an excellent wireless (or wired) formula style wheel rim|
|Thrustmaster T300 RS||Beginners that are upgrading their setup but can’t yet afford a direct drive option|
|Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition Racing Wheel||Xbox players looking for an equivalent to the T300 RS|
How To Choose A Sim Racing Wheel
Do Your Research
You need to do some research into the big brands that we’ll cover in this article to see which one is right for you. These include Fanatec, Precision Sim Engineering, Simucube, Ascher Racing, MOZA, and Thrustmaster. Within the realms of sim racing, they’re considered to be the peak in terms of performance and choice of products.
Note: Checking out forum sites like Reddit and looking at product reviews are great ways to find out what real people think about the wheels, rather than relying on the product info pages on the brand’s website.
As your sim racing wheel essentially creates the basis for your whole rig, it’s important to not only do plenty of research, but also remember that budget shouldn’t really be an object if you’re looking for the best of the best. We’ve included options for all budgets on our list, but we always recommend going for the best quality that you can afford to avoid disappointment in your experience.
Note: Our list above contains wheels that come with and without wheel bases, so there are options for those that need a full setup, and for those just looking to upgrade their wheel rim.
Key things to look for in a good sim racing wheel include:
- Force feedback
- High-quality materials
Simply put, force feedback is the factor that replicates how it feels to drive a car in real-life. A wheel without force feedback or with weak force feedback won’t feel satisfying to drive, and you’ll actually be at a disadvantage when feeling how much wheel input is required. For the best experience, shoot for direct drive, but good belt-driven feedback can still be highly immersive.
When buying a sim racing wheel, you want to choose something that’s built to perform well over time. Ideally go for metal wheel bases and wheel rims, covered in Alcantara material or leather if you prefer that. Try to avoid wheels that are primarily plastic, but a little plastic is okay as it does help to keep the weight down, but you don’t want it to make up the bulk of the wheel.
What specific design of wheel you want really comes down to personal preference. If you’re into formula racing and enjoy the F1 games, you’ll likely opt for a more rectangular, formula-style rim. If you’re a rally fan, you might choose a larger, round wheel instead. If you’re after a specific logo to appear in the middle of your wheel, such as Porsche or Ferrari, that can raise the price too.
You want to keep an eye out for any extra features on the wheel that provide added realism. These can vary from magnetic paddle shifters, dual clutch systems, easily reachable buttons on the wheel’s front panel, and highly adjustable force feedback.
KEY POINTS• Always do your own research before buying a sim racing wheel
• Opt for one with good force feedback, with direct drive being the ultimate choice
• You want to pick a wheel that’s built to last, and that will offer an immersive racing experience
With lots of amazing wheels that offer an immersive sim racing experience, you’ve got quite the decision ahead of you! My personal recommendation is the Simucube 2 Pro Tahko bundle, but if you want something cheaper that’s still direct drive then the DD Pro from Fanatec or the R5 bundle from MOZA are your best bets.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.