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The 8 Best Sim Racing Wheels (Ultimate Buyer’s Guide)

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:

  1. Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel
  2. Precision Sim Engineering GT1 Steering Wheel
  3. Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
  4. MOZA ES Steering Wheel (Bundle)
  5. Fanatec ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
  6. Ascher Racing F64-USB Steering Wheel
  7. Thrustmaster T300 RS
  8. 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 Best Choice
Cheap Direct Drive
  • PROS:
    • • Budget friendly direct drive option
    • • Excellent for console racers
    • • Good bundle for beginners
Best For Beginners
  • PROS:
    • • Very beginner friendly
    • • Decent force feedback
    • • Good-looking wheel
The Best Choice
PROS:
  • • Best for F1 games
  • • Highly functional wheel
  • • Powerful force feedback
Cheap Direct Drive
PROS:
  • • Budget friendly direct drive option
  • • Excellent for console racers
  • • Good bundle for beginners
Best For Beginners
PROS:
  • • Very beginner friendly
  • • Decent force feedback
  • • Good-looking wheel

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, 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.

Top Tip: 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 below 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.

What To Look For In A Good Sim Racing Wheel

Key things to look for in a good sim racing wheel include:

  • Force feedback
  • High-quality materials
  • Design
  • Realism

Force Feedback

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.

High-Quality Materials

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.

Design

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.

Realism

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

The 8 Best Sim Racing Wheels

1. Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel

Compatibility: PC / PlayStation / Xbox | Wheel Base Included: Yes | Pedals Included: No | Buttons: 12

The Podium F1 Racing Wheel by Fanatec was the first ever direct drive wheel that offered cross-platform functionality. This means this is one of the only direct drive wheels on the market that you can use with PlayStation and Xbox, although there is now the cheaper DD and DD Pro from Fanatec too. However, this is definitely one of the best wheels that money can buy.

The Best Choice
Fanatec Podium F1 Racing Wheel
This racing wheel is ideal for those that love F1 games, but also just any racer looking for the ultimate immersive experience. It offers incredible force feedback, lots of functionality, and a great overall aesthetic.
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Ideal For Console Racers

Unfortunately, consoles have somewhat lacking processing power compared to PCs, which leads to somewhat lacking availability in the sim racing world. Fanatec decided to truly act on the pleas and recommendations from consumers, and they found an amazing way to integrate high-level tech that plays seamlessly across all platforms.

A partnership with Sony has guaranteed that this wheel base will keep working with new game releases and its full potential is properly realized in PlayStation systems.

Force Feedback & Direct Drive

Direct drive is the more refined, sophisticated relative of force feedback. Almost everything is wirelessly transferred for instantaneous, realistic force feedback tested by real racing drivers to confirm the validity of how the car responds.

This cutting-edge wheel offers 20 Nm of direct drive torque and is endorsed by F1, the most recognizable and prestigious motorsport entity in the world. This wheel is used by real racing drivers and lots of popular sim racers on YouTube and other streaming platforms, and it’s easy to see why.

The immersion and absolute quality of the F1 Podium wheel is unmatched by most out there. The wheel base is built by hand, and everything is contained within the sleek lines of this far-from-simple box. This is achieved with a remarkable level of wireless data transfer, making for simple setup and reliability over time.

The Design

You’ll be transported straight into an F1 cockpit with the wheel rim’s appearance alone. There are 12 buttons, all with functionality you can program for the ultimate setup, along with a whole host of toggle switches, thumb encoders, and rocker switches, designed to be used without taking your hands off the wheel.

Although designed for the aesthetic and feel of an F1 cockpit, it is a highly competitive, technologically advanced wheel that will work wonders in any racing sim.

Using high-powered, highly sensitive magnets, the paddle shifters will never lag or lose responsiveness. Every shift will feel positive, complete with a satisfying ‘clack’ sound! And to truly top off the immersive F1 experience, you get a set of clutch paddles for perfect launches off the line when the five red lights go out.

Overall

I could just keep writing, but I’m sure you get the picture by now. A short review can’t properly capture all of the amazing features of this wheel! If you can afford it, this is the best wheel available on console, but it’s also one of the best choices for PC racers too, thanks to its superb direct drive and amazingly immersive F1 wheel rim.

PROS:

  • Excellent direct drive system
  • Incredible F1 aesthetic
  • Highly functional

CONS:

  • Specifically designed for F1 games

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.

Unique Shape

Typically, a wheel’s shape is rounded or designed to replicate those of specific vehicles, such as F1 cars, much like the Podium F1 wheel mentioned above. The benefit of this somewhat oval-shaped wheel is that you gain the benefits of both formula-style wheels and regular rounded wheels.

As an example of the Podium F1’s shortcoming, 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.

Materials

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.

Features

Much like Fanatec’s, 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.

Overall

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 Podium F1 Direct Drive wheel 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.

PROS:

  • Hand-crafted by Sparco
  • Highly versatile
  • Excellent build quality

CONS:

  • 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.

Cheap Direct Drive
Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro

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.

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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 Wheel

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

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!

PROS:

  • Excellent wheel and wheel base combo
  • Pedals included
  • Lots of functionality and great force feedback

CONS:

  • 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!

MOZA R5 Bundle
This bundle is the perfect choice for beginner PC racers looking for a direct drive option. You get a high-quality wheel rim, 5.5 Nm of torque, and even a set of pedals as well.
Check Price

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!

PROS:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Great entry-level direct drive option
  • Strong upgrade path

CONS:

  • 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.

Fanatec ClubSport V2 GT Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel

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.

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High-Quality Materials

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.

Accessories

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.

Universal Hub

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

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.

PROS:

  • Highly functional wheel
  • Great Forza branded aesthetic
  • Brilliant overall feel

CONS:

  • No wheel base included
  • No pedals included

6. Ascher Racing F64-USB Steering 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.

Design

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.

Features

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.

Additional Accessories

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 Podium F1 and 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.

Overall

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.

PROS:

  • 64 potential inputs
  • Incredible build quality
  • High level of immersion

CONS:

  • 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.

Best For Beginners
Thrustmaster T300 RS
This wheel is the best choice for beginners, as it combines a simple interface with excellent force feedback. The wheel offers everything you need, and the bundle comes with a set of pedals too.
Check Price Our Full Review

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

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 Pedals

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

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.

PROS:

  • Excellent force feedback
  • Fairly budget friendly
  • Looks and feels great

CONS:

  • 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.

Close Second
Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition Racing Wheel
This sim racing wheel offers a great aesthetic and brilliant feel. It's comfortable to use, and the wheel base offers some excellent force feedback as well.
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Design

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.

Materials

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.

Features

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.

Overall

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.

PROS:

  • Brilliant wheel and wheel base included
  • Amazing build quality
  • Immersive force feedback

CONS:

  • Quite pricey for what you get

Final Thoughts

With lots of amazing wheels that offer an immersive sim racing experience, you’ve got quite the decision ahead of you! Our personal recommendation is the Fanatec Podium F1 racing wheel, 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.