There are plenty of ways to start sim racing, safe to say at the beginning all you need is a wheelbase and a steering wheel, they are the heart of any system, but if you want to take your game experiences to the next level you will need to add some serious gear on play.
The addition of pedals, a cockpit, and some extra add-ons like shifters or handbrakes will definitely take your e-sport career to an all-new level.
If that sounds to you you are in the right place, with this list we try to put together a “complete setup” wrapping up with everything you will need depending on your level of experience and budget.
So let’s jump into the action and review what in our opinion are the best sim racing setups to buy right now!
1. Budget option
We wanted to make things simple with this one, by putting together the cockpit and the chair, we can save some money and still have a very decent and optimized sim racing setup, which not only will have a good look in your room, it will also take up little space.
The Playseat Evolution is the perfect seat for those who want to experience the thrill of racing in their living room, it’s fully adjustable, so you can get in the perfect position to get the most out of your driving experience. This seat is also super-easy to store, so you can take it out when you want to play and put it away when you’re done.
But that’s not all: this seat is compatible with all steering wheels and pedals, so you can use whatever setup you want without having to worry about compatibility issues.
It is recommended for drivers up to 220 cm tall and 120 kg in weight, but it’s not suitable for direct drive systems, the seat is not suitable for direct drive systems, so you may want to check out other models if that’s what you’re looking for.
Fanatec DD Wheel Base
For the wheelbase, we selected the Fanatec DD (8Nm), this small but powerful wheel base has Direct Drive technology and reaches a peak of 8Nm of torque, this is a big feature given its size. The body of the base is made in CNC machined aluminum which makes it very solid and firm when the force feedback is at max.
The Fanatec DD (8Nm) counts with multiple ports, allowing the connection of gear shifters, handbrake, and pedals, so you won’t lack connections in the future when you decide to step up and acquire more accessories.
Fanatec CSL Pedals LC
In the case of the pedals, our recommendation for this setup are the CSL Pedals LC, these pedals has a full metal construction making them very resistant to quick and hard inputs. The electronics of the pedals included a contactless hall effect sensor that measures the travelled distance of the pedal with magnets, resulting in a consistent performance. The brake pedals features an elastometer stack on top of the load cell system to deliver a more realistic sensation of braking and a better control over the car.
Fanate CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC
And last but not least, the CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC is a professional-grade gaming wheel that will make you feel like you’re driving the real thing. It’s got a genuine Alcantara® grip, and orange stitching around the rim that looks just like what you’d find in a rally car. The 300 mm diameter is perfect for many vehicle types, and it’s lightweight enough to handle quick inputs required in rally driving.
The integrated three-digit LED screen shows useful data in compatible games, so you can keep track of your lap times and other stats as you race. This steering wheel is officially licensed by WRC and is compatible with PC, Xbox and PlayStation systems son it’s perfect for any gaming setup.
You could spend around $1200 building this setup, but we are sure it totally worth it, besides it is still cheap compared to more advanced ones. We strongly recommend read more about each product and not only stay with the information we provide.
- Reasonable price for the whole setup
- Multi-platform compatibility
- High-quality construction materials
|You will spend less than $1500||Is not suitable for professional simracing|
|Good force feedback feeling||Entry-level home cockpit|
Where to buy the parts for this setup?
- Buy at PlaySeat Evolution
- Buy at Fanatec CSL DD 8 Nm
- Buy at Fanatec CSL Pedals LC
- Buy at Fanatec CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC
2. Mid-Range Option
ATR Simulator Cockpit
If you’re looking for a way to take your setup to the next level, but don’t have the budget for one of those super-expensive setups, we’ve got you covered. We built this setup thinking to take you to a higher place from the entry-level and still being affordable for what it offers. We made sure that every item in this bundle is high-quality, durable and reliable.
Are you ready to take your racing game to the next level?
Then this GT Omega ATR Simulator Cockpit is for you. With a premium steel framework and adjustable frame, you can be sure that it has been built to last. It’s also suitable for users up to 200KG, so no matter how big or small you are, this is the best option for you.
With its multi-adjustable frame, perfect for children and adults, this cockpit provides maximum stability and strength for more powerful wheels. You’ll be able to reach new levels of speed with complete control over your gear shifter and pedal positions.
Thrustmaster T-GT II Pack
For the steering wheel, we looked at the T-GT II PACK, this is the pinnacle of gaming wheels. It’s a combination of brand-new technologies like T-LIN, T-DCC and T-DFB, with a 40-watt motor that helps the perception of force feedback. The 40-watt motor is extremely powerful and provides an extra massive power of 400 watts with the Turbo Power Supply, to ensure your racing experience is smooth and enjoyable.
PlayStation interface control has been integrated into this wheel and allows you to play your favorite games on both PC and PS4/PS5 systems with a simple button press.
Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3
What about the throttle and brake control? The Clubsport Pedals V3 are the perfect solution, these pedals are custom-made with a 90 kg load cell sensor, which means you’ll be able to trust that what you’re seeing on your screen is real and not just a simulation. You can also adjust their brake stiffness and travel without tools—and if that’s not enough, they offer 12bit resolution (4096 values) on all axis.
But these pedals aren’t just about performance; they’re also about comfort and durability. The full metal construction of CNC-machined aluminum means you won’t have to worry about breaking them on your next race. And the hydraulic dampening resistance can easily be adjusted with a knob so that you can get exactly the feel you want when pushing down on the pedal.
The Clubsport Pedals V3 are compatible with PC, Playstation and Xbox. They will work with any racing wheel, and any other brand. If you connect the pedals to your PC via USB and the game supports a second controller, you can use them for all of your gaming needs.
Fanatec Clubsport Shifter SQ V1.5
Don’t miss on shifts! The ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 is a fully metal constructed shifter with a 7 gear H-Pattern mode, reverse gear with inhibitor to prevent accidental shifts, and exchangeable gear knob compatible to popular automotive standards.
Fanatec Clubsport USB Adapter
In order to use this shifter with your PC, you need an adapter that is sold separately. However, we think it’s totally worth it. The ClubSport USB Adapter is what allows you to connect your shifter to your computer without having a fanatec base. It’s a small investment that can make all the difference in how you game.
For around $1800 this racing setup is ready to race, a complete solution that will deliver the best feeling in all type of games from rally to F1 or even NASCAR or other styles. It comes with the best feeling wheel, a true real-feeling shifter and a very comfortable seat to race hours on end totally focused.
- Good price for what it offers
- High quality materials
- All the components in the setup are a step above the entry-level
|Offers multi-platform compatibility||Steering wheel not compatible with XBOX|
|Shifter is included in the setup price||USB adapter is necessary to connect the Shifter|
|Multipurpose racing styles|
Where to buy the parts for this setup?
- Buy at GT Omega ATR Simulator Cockpit
- Buy at Thrustmaster T-GT II PACK
- Buy at Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3
- Buy at Fanatec ClubSport Shifter V1.5
- Buy at Fanatec ClubSport USB Adapter
3. Professional Option
F-GT Elite Front & Side Mount Edition
Starting with the F-GT Elite Front & Side Mount Edition, the ultimate cockpit for all your sim racing needs. It’s the only cockpit you’ll ever need, because it can be configured to accommodate whatever driving position you want to use — from true Formula to GT, from hybrid to truck or tank. The quick adjustments make it easy to switch between driving positions, and the rigid, highly adjustable mounting support ensures that your seat, wheel, pedals, shifter, and handbrake will be right where they need to be.
The mounting supports are also made from rigid aluminum profile and coated with premium carbon steel powder coating to ensure maximum durability.
ERS1 Elite Reclining Seat
The ERS1 Elite Reclining Seat is designed and constructed with breathable racing suede fabric, so your bottom will stay cool as you’re driving at high speeds. The double locking seat recliner allows for maximum rigidity and angle adjustment, so you can adjust the angle of your seat to your exact preferences. This seat is suited for comfort and endurance racing, so it’s perfect for those long-distance races where you need to be comfortable for hours on end.
The ERS1 Elite Reclining Seat is universally designed to fit most bottom-mounted aluminum cockpit chassis—so no matter what kind of vehicle you’re in, this seat will work for you!
Fanatec Wheel Base DD1
Fanatec’s DD1 Wheel Base is an impressive piece of equipment, that’s designed to give you the most realistic gaming experience possible.
The ultra-low torque ripple ensures minimal mechanical distractions while you’re in the game, and its outrunner-type motor achieves outstanding peak torque of 20Nm, matching the torque output in most real race cars using power steering.
This wheel has an integrated 2.7” 256×64 resolution OLED display that allows you to see exactly what’s going on while you play. Additionally, you can adjust the rotation to 2520 degrees (electronically limited), giving you plenty of room for movement as you break the ground on the track.
This base comes with support for advanced dual clutch bite-point mode, which lets you set two separate bite points for braking and downshifting, so you can get every ounce of performance out of your car when you need it most.
Cube Controls Formula Sport
The USB version of the Cube Controls Formula Sport will take your gaming experience to the next level.
With a 28 cm steering wheel diameter, this racing wheel is sure to be comfortable for all-day gaming sessions. The CNC machined aluminum body is lightweight and durable, while a pure carbon fiber front plate keeps weight down while making it look as cool as possible.
The two rotary encoders mean you can customize every aspect of your gaming experience, and the magnetic shifter paddles allow for quick changes in gear without having to remove your hands from the wheel. Finally, there’s a multi-directional joystick with integrated encoder for precision control over your vehicle.
Fanatec Podium Hub
In order to make the Formula Sport compatible with the Fanatec DD1, you need to acquire the Podium Hub from Fanatec, that will let you attach both with maximum precision and stability.
Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint
The Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint are the ultimate cockpit simulation pedals, made with all the precision, durability, and beauty you’d expect from a product that’s been carefully crafted by hand.
These pedals are made in CNC precision laser cut steel, with all metal profiles covered in RAL7016 anthracite gray fine-structure powder coat or a bead blasted semi-gloss metallic look, resulting in strong and highly adjustable pedals that will stand up to years of use.
The Sim Pedals Sprint features a new concept for bearings and pivot points, in order to minimize unnecessary play. The load cells measure throttle and clutch position and force applied to the brake. The dual stage brake system consists of an adjustable initial coil spring, and the 120 kg load dell measures up to 65 kg of maximum actual brake force, while the clutch has a regressive spring mechanism to simulate a typical concave clutch.
All new electronics are integrated in the brake pedal to bring a clean setup with a minimum of wires. The included SmartControl software allows a full customization of the three pedals.
Additionally, if you want to turn this setup into a GT style setup, you can add the Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 and the Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 and be even more pro with all the needs covered for different driving styles.
The complete setup is around $4000, but we ensure you that is an inversion that will last for years and will let you live your hobby at it max, allowing you to shift between formula style to GT to any driving style you like the most with just a few adjustments.
- High quality components construction
- Ready for future upgrades
- Top products from every brand
- Direct Drive ready
|The setup is ready for direct drive||Expensive setup|
|Allows multiple accessories connections||Not compatible with consoles|
|Multiple driving styles just making a few adjustments|
Where to buy the parts for the setup?
- Buy at Next Level Racing F-GT Elite Front & Side Mount Edition
- Buy at Next Level Racing ERS1 Elite Reclining Seat
- Buy at Fanatec Wheel Base DD1
- Buy at Fanatec Podium Hub
- Buy at Cube Controls Formula Sport USB
- Buy at Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint
Our Final Opinion
With so many options, how to start? That is the tricky question all sim racers face at some point.
We strongly recommend starting with the budget option if you are a beginner so you join the hobby the proper way without breaking your bank account.
If you’re comfortable enough to change things around then feel free to make any adjustments that work for you, always checking the compatibilities and specifications of the products before buying anything you read here.
We hope that you enjoyed our list and that some of this information may help you with your final choice, remember to take your time to read these guides and think about what you really need and most importantly what best fits for you in terms of budget and level of experience you want to get.