🔥Fanatec DD Ready to Race bundle -Price just reduced🔥 You can now grab the perfect entry level bundle by Fanatec: - A direct drive wheel with 5Nm or 8Nm - A quality steering wheel - A set of pedals (without loadcell) Check out the 5Nm version for 399.95$/€ on Fanatec Check the 8Nm version for 499.95$/€ on Fanatec
LAST UPDATE: June 2023
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This guide was made with one thing in mind, pick the best of the best affordable sim racing wheel on the market, doing so without compromising on performance, quality, or level of fun, our goal is to put you on track so you can make the best buying decision, but on a budget.
We know sim racing products aren’t cheap, we put this together so you can grab the best that your money can buy, but without breaking your bank account.
During the last few years, in light of the massive expansion of the sim racing market, a lot of innovations came into the market, and many new manufacturers emerged.
A sim racing wheel that would have been considered at the top of the list only a few years ago has probably declined a lot in its position, having been replaced by much more expensive and advanced peripherals. The rise of the direct drive technology has improved realism and helped sim racing making a step closer to become real simulations.
if you are new to racing games, we hope this list will help you. It’s important to consider that we are looking at the entry level for sim racing wheels, therefore you should be ready to accept some compromises to save budget.
We think you could have fun as a beginner without spending too much: after all, you would want to make sure sim racing is really for you before committing to higher expenses. Don’t worry, you can be fast even with a beginner wheel: talent makes the difference, not money (at least for beginners)
If budget is not an issue, of you want to check more advanced solution, you can easily check all the other guides on our website.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- What kind of hardware do you have? Before making any purchase, please check that compatibility. Most of the wheels are working with PCs, if you have a console you might need to search for the “edition” related to it
- Pedals and shifter? Most of the beginners wheels come with a set of pedals included, to make you racing-ready. You also often have paddle shifters (behind the wheel). While some older models had hand-shifters next to it, you’ll now probably have to buy it separately
- Mounting: most of the basic wheel bases can be table mounted: should you want to buy a racing cockpit in the future, please check that you have some way to mount the pedal set (even in a DYI way with cable ties or something similar)
Wheels Buyer’s Guide for beginners
1. Logitech G29/G920
Let’s begin with one of the most famous and recommended Racing Wheels for beginners, as it has two versions, the one compatible with XBOX (G920) and the other one compatible with PlayStation (G29), being both versions compatible with PC systems.
Both Logitech G29 and G920 features a robust body with Dual Motor Force Feedback technology, the wheel rotation reaches 900° like in a real car, stainless steel shifter paddles, and is covered in high-quality leather that gives them good comfort, reliable grips, and an immersive racing experience.
This racing wheel includes full control buttons, where depending on the platform the user has the possibility to control every aspect of the game and the car. The main difference other than compatibilities are that G920 is a bit more minimalistic while the G29 has a LED indicator lights are positioned just above the center of the wheel indicating the RPMs, and a few additional button and wheels that might be helpful to use.
As an extra, this wheel includes throttle, brake, and clutch pedals which makes it a perfect candidate when it comes to starting in the Sim Racing world due to most of the brands sold them separately.
Logitech has experience in the racing market, if you want all the functionality combined with a good-looking steering wheel and an easy installation, this wheel is a great option.
If you want to know more, you can also check out more in depth review of the Logitech G29 Sim Racing wheel.
- Rotation: 900 degrees lock-to-lock
- Dual-Motor Force Feedback
- Nonlinear brake pedal
- Shifter paddles made in stainless steel
|The wheel has a good feeling and grips
|The Force Feedback may feel poor in some occasions
|Don’t lack on functionality
|Based on the platform, you may buy one or the other
|Includes a good set of pedals for the price
Where to buy the Logitech G920?
2. Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel
This racing wheel from Thrustmaster is a level-entry game changer option, at a very affordable price, the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel is compatible only with XBOX systems.
The Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel features an optimized bungee cord mechanism that produces a linear resistance, in simpler words, the force feedback is always linear no matter the rotation angle of the wheel.
It also has automatic re-centering and a 240° rotation angle, it may sound limited, but it is enough to accomplish its purpose, the steering sensitivity is customizable, and the central clamp system delivers solid stability.
The Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel includes two 100% metal paddle shifters and a set of two pedals to complete the setup. The pedals have an adjustable inclination and the brake pedal comes with progressive resistance.
The Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel is officially licensed by Ferrari, at a very competitive price of $129.99, this wheel won’t disappoint you if you are just beginning in the Sim Racing world. Take a look at the official product page here.
- Rotation: 240° rotation angle with Automatic wheel re-centering
- Optimized bungee cord mechanism: resistance is linear
- Large adjustable pedals “Brake pedal with progressive resistance”
|No clutch and not upgradeable to add one
|Rim feels cheap and plastic
|Progressive resistant brake
|Only compatible with Xbox One
Where to buy the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider?
- Buy Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider on Amazon
3. Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition
But what if you liked the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel and you don’t have an XBOX console? Do not worry bout it, Thrustmaster brings this version for you, the T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition is all that you are looking for.
The T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition features a 28 cm diameter wheel with textured rubber cladding grips, being an 8:10 scale replica of the Ferrari 488 GTB wheel, It comes with the Bungee Cord Mechanism System as well as the Ferrari 458 Spider wheel, featuring the linear resistance, the automatic centering, and the 240º rotation angle.
On the face of the wheel we found a well-loaded control button, the official buttons for PlayStation 4 (“PS”, “SHARE” and “OPTIONS”) made navigation easier in the PS4 game menus and interface. The wheel is also compatible with Windows 7/8/10 PC systems.
The 11 action buttons, the 2 large, metal wheel-mounted sequential paddle shifters and the D-pad give you total control of the car you are driving, plus the 2 large adjustable pedals sets with progressive resistance and individual adjustments that complete the realistic linear resistance delivered by Thrustmaster.
The T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition is officially licensed by Ferrari and PlayStation 4, so you have a solid background in quality manufacturers besides the Thrustmaster experience. You can find it at just $129.99, take a look at its official site to know more about it.
|Automatic re-centering system
|Average quality wheel
|Reinforced rubber-coated grips for easy gaming
|Wide foot-rest that offers comfortable acceleration and braking
Where to buy the Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488?
- Buy on Amazon Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488
4. Hori Racing Wheel Apex for PlayStation 4/3, and PC
This is the most interesting and cheapest option of the list, this racing wheel from Hori is a game changer, its popularity hasn’t stopped growing for years, it brings good features and quality for the price.
The Racing Wheel Apex features a full range 11-inch steering wheel, the extended 270º turn-ratio gives you a more wide angle to steer, with the possibility of changing the steering angle on the fly, reaching 180º turn-ratio for a quick handling rotation, the wheel has a fully adjustable sensibility. The textured rubberized grips deliver comfort and control in your hands.
The Racing Wheel Apex comes with all the PlayStation buttons, working as well on PC to control every aspect of the car. The wheel has a vibration motor to give a much more realistic driving sensation. It has sequential paddle shifters attached to the wheel too and a set of two pedals with customizable input sensitivity and a retractable footrest.
The Racing Wheel Apex is compatible with PlayStation and PC systems and for just $99.99 it is hard to find a product with similar characteristics, you can find the Racing Wheel Apex in the official Hori website.
|You’ll miss the force feedback
|Potent rumble feedback
Where to buy Hori Racing Wheel?
- Buy on Amazon Hori Racing Wheel
5. Logitech G923 Trueforce
The most expensive option of the list, but the most complete for its price. This racing wheel delivers exceptional next-gen force feedback and control over the game, combining all the platforms, XBOX, PlayStation and PC, the wheel is a shot if you are planning to use it with different systems.
The Logitech G923 Trueforce features hand-stitched leather grips, aluminum paddle shifters, and a pressure-sensitive brake system, resulting in a more advanced racing wheel for entry-level users. The next-gen force feedback technology connects directly to in-game simulation engines and physics to produce higher fidelity responses.
The Logitech G923 Trueforce constantly bonitos the current flowing through the wheel motors, continuously adjusting the voltage to match outputs from game physics. The wheel also features a programmable dual clutch launch control assist in supported games.
The racing wheel comes with a set of three pedals, throttle, clutch, and brake, covered in polished to give them a professional finish and fully adjustable pressure from an integrated dial that you control. The brake pedal features a progressive spring that simulates the pressure-sensitive of a real brake system.
The wheel includes XBOX and PlayStation controls at the tip of your fingers. With a built-in colored LEDs that indicate the RPM range will help you improve your response time in every shift.
|Solid entry-level wheel
|Not a huge improvement over old G29
|Design looks modern
|Same torque output as G29
|Truefroce adds extra Force Feedback
|Slightly pricey for an entry-level wheel
|The price is really good
Where to buy the Logitech G923 Trueforce?
- Buy on Amazon Logitech G923
6. Fanatec DD Ready to Race bundle -Price just reduced🔥
The last entry in our list is a bundle by Fanatec, the new CSL DD ready to race bundle. Have you heard about the Direct drive technology? This was quite a key innovation that came (also) into sim racing in the last few years.
Direct drive motors power the steering directly, without any intermediate part – in our case most of the times it is a belt. The advantage is a much more precise force feedback, more precision and detail, less space required and generally a lower manteinance or risk of failure. As you can see, a huge improvement!
Up to a couple of years direct drive wheelbases where completely off-category for people on a budget but recently things have changed. With the launch of the CSL DD, Fanatec was the first company to “bring DD to the masses”.
The CSL DD has 5Nm of torque (power), and beat any other product we listed so far, but has a slightly higher price.
With a recently slashed price of 399,95$/€, you will now be able to save further 100 Dollars or Euros, and have a complete sim racing setup including a set of (non-loadcell) pedals without clutch. A nice add-on to the Bundle is that you will have the option to upgrade it to 8Nm by buying a booster kit, a separate power adapter, now or in the future. And, with 8Nm, you would be at the entrance of the semi-professional sim racing wheels. And, don’t worry, you can always updgrade at a later time if you don’t want to spent too much right now.
The pedal set comes with a 12-bit Contactless Hall sensor on both pedals for high precision and durability. The brake pedal has a PU foam damper to add additional resistance for a progressive braking feel. Both of the pedals have height-adjustable faces and the pedal position can be adjusted sideways along the heel rest.
You can also just buy the base and the wheel, without pedals, but you would end up spending more than the whole bundle, as you would lose the discount applied to the bundle
Check out our ad-hoc review for the Fanatec CSL DD wheel base
Are you a Bmw fan? You can also opt for the Bmw Ready to race bundle, which is basically the same but with a Bmw themed design, at the same price!
Gran Turismo DD Pro – For PlayStation users
If you are convinced about Direct Drive but are a playstation user, you can opt for the more expensive Gran Turismo DD Pro (5Nm) The official Direct Drive Wheel for Gran Turismo® combines the performance of the PlayStation®5 with the Direct Drive Technology from FANATEC®. Technology wise, you would have the same base as the CSL DD, but a more advanced steering wheel and PS, PC and Xbox compatibility
The Gran Turismo DD Pro features 11 buttons optimized for PlayStation Interface, four 5-way directional sticks, a 5-way directional stick for menu navigation, two ergonomic paddle shifters, an OLED display, and a diffused RevLed strip for RPMs. Additionally, the two-pedal set is made in heavy steel, while the option to upgrade the pedals and add a third one is possible.
The Gran Turismo DD Pro can be found starting at $/€ 699.95. Read more useful information on the Fanatec official website.
Where to buy the Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro?
- Buy on Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
What is the best Sim Racing Wheel for beginners?
It’s hard to say, it depends on your needs, which game you play, your budget and many other factors. In general, we recommend picking a high rated brand
What should you consider when buying a beginner sim racing wheel?
There are many important things to consider:
– Force feedback: how much maximum torque can the wheel deliver? The more, the better
– Brand: is it compatible with your platform (Pc, Playstation, Xbox) and with your game?
– Materials: is the wheel made by leather or plastic?
– Pedals: is it including a bundle with pedals and gearbox?
– Is it using the belt-driven or direct drive (more advances) technology?
Will it work with my favourite game?
Generally yes if it’s a recent game and the wheel is compatible with your gaming device (Pc, Xbox, Ps). Please always check on your game manual or website.
Can i buy wheel and pedals from different brands?
This (almost) always work with pc, if you can plug them separately via usb, almost never to our knowledge for console
What is the ideal torque for a sim racing wheel?
It depends on the budget, if you have 20-25Nm you always have the chance to not use it but such a wheel will be quite expensive. With 5-8Nm you can already get a nice gaming experience but you will probably miss something in the “simulation” aspect
Can i change the steering wheel for my base?
This is generally possible for “more expensive” solutions such the ones from Fanatec or Moza Racing. Cheaper ones such as Logitech g29 come with a “fixed” steering wheel that cannot be upgraded
I think if you really want to start sim racing the right way, the Logitech G923 is your best option, This bad boy is the latest addition to the Logitech ecosystem, and brings from the factory everything you need to have fun on the track, a nice pair of good pedals and a mid-range racing wheel that will last for a long time, full of features and compatibles games to play with. Otherwise, if you are really on a budget, the Logitech G29 is a good option as well.
If you are just begging in the Sim Racing hobby, you may evaluate how much you can spend on your setup, Sim Racing is a big world of features and E-Sports, there are different price ranges, and many brands to choose from.
Are you up for spending a bit more? Then we’d go for the newer Fanatec CSL DD ready to race bundle, that would open you up to the game-changing direct drive technology.
We strongly recommend that not just stay with what you read on blogs, (including us), always check the official manufacturer’s site of the product you like, read the full specifications and compatibilities, and be sure you are buying what you need.
Hope this list help, let us know in the comments!!!
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