Are you fond of racing games? Did you buy a game console such as a PS4 or Xbox One or did you even build your own gaming PC just to play such games?
If so, you would know that the only way to really enjoy playing racing games is to get a racing wheel kit.
Nothing can beat the experience of using racing wheels because of the force feedback they provide. When you’re using them, it feels as if you’re really the one driving the car that you use in-game.
Furthermore, Racing wheels come in sets which include some racing pedals, a wheel base and the racing wheel itself. Also, you may want to get those racing-style gaming chairs while you’re at it.
If you’re on the lookout for great racing wheels, then you’ve come to the right article. I am going to talk and recommend some of the best racing wheels that you can get.
I am going to separate them into categories depending on the game console so that it will be easier for you to browse my racing wheel recommendations.
It is important to note that while I’ll categorize them based on two popular game consoles, all of the racing wheels on this list are compatible with the PC.
With that being said, here are some of the best racing wheels that you can buy. Let’s start with the Playstation 4 console.
Note: All of the Racing wheels recommended in this guide also works on PC.
All Featured Top 5 Racing Wheels
|Best Racing Wheel||Price $||Compatibility|
|Thrustmaster T150||195||PS4 / PC|
|Thrustmaster T300RS||339||PS4 / PC|
|Logitech G29||309||PS4 / PC|
|Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition||350||Xbox / PC|
|Fanatec CSL Elite||589||Xbox / PC|
Best Playstation 4 Racing Wheels
Best cheap Racing Wheel – Thrustmaster T150 Review
Pros: Great wheels for the price, Good force feedback, 1080-degree wheel
Cons: Build quality is subpar, Pedals are not that great
Racing wheels can be very expensive. But, what if you just want to simulate the experience of racing a real car and you don’t want to dole out a lot of money just to get a racing wheel?
Well, fear not! There is a racing wheel that caters to people who do not have a huge budget on a racing wheel, but also want a good experience nonetheless.
Enter the Thrustmaster T150! This racing wheel comes from a reputable brand and it is arguably one of the best budget-oriented racing wheels on the market.
The Thrustmaster T150 is predominantly made of plastic, but it is hard plastic at that. From the wheel to its base, it is made of plastic. But, despite its material of choice, the feel of the T150 is not akin to those low-quality products; in fact, it is far from it.
On the face of the wheel likes some controls like the D-pad, the PS4’s face buttons, the L2, R2, Option, and Share buttons.
You can see on the left and right-hand portion of the wheel that there is a blue rubber material which helps you grip the wheel even if your hands get too sweaty from all of the action.
There are two versions of the Thrustmaster T150: the original and the Ferrari edition. The former sports a blue-colored grip while the latter sports a red-colored grip with the iconic Ferrari logo at the center of the wheel.
The Thrustmaster T150 also comes with a 2-pedal set; one pedal for the accelerator and one for the brakes.
Well, there’s nothing really great about them. They are just as plain as it can be. The pedals feel low-quality in the sense that it doesn’t have that much resistance when you step on them.
But, given that this is a budget racing wheel package, it is to be expected. The good thing is that you can upgrade to a much better pedal set in the future, so there are no worries in that regard.
The biggest feature of the T150 is its force feedback. In fact, it has been highly regarded as one of the best, even competing with the higher-end racing wheels.
For those of you who do not know, force feedback, in the context of racing wheels, is what simulates real world driving experience.
For example, if you’re going to perform a strong turn, the force feedback will give you that resistance just like you would experience driving a real car.
Other than the great force feedback, the Thrustmaster T150 is as basic as it gets. But, for the price of only $195, you’re getting a pretty good entry level racing wheel.
If you just want to start out and enjoy the experience of playing racing games to its fullest without breaking the bank, the Thrustmaster T150 is the best choice.
Top Racing Wheel for PS4 – Thrustmaster T300RS Review
Pros: Impressive Force Feedback, More professional design
Cons: Pedals could be better, expensive
If you want a more robust racing wheel than the T150, then the company’s T300RS should give you an upgrade to the experience.
The Thrustmaster T300RS is another popular racing wheel from the company and it works for the Playstation 3, 4, and the PC.
What differentiates the T300RS from the T150? Well, first it has a much better design with more premium materials.
Build quality is solid and you will have no problems with the material just chipping off when you’re using the wheel.
Force feedback is also pretty good. In fact, a lot of gamers dial down their force feedback options because of it being too strong for others.
Its force feedback is a step higher than the T150 and it is pretty good. Do remember that some games offer more force feedback than others. But, I do have to say that the T300RS is able to handle them pretty well.
Just at the back of the wheel are paddle shifters which have a pretty nice tactile feel to it. Some gamers even commend the company for putting in such an incredible paddle shifter as it is easy to operate and at the same time, it doesn’t feel cheap at all.
Like the T150, the Thrustmaster T300RS also comes with a two-pedal board. It doesn’t have a clutch which might disappoint some people.
Well, the pedal board is a bit disappointing. Given the racing wheel’s price tag, it could’ve been better. It still feels a bit cheap despite its metal foot pedals (as opposed to the T150’s plastic ones).
Though the durability has been further improved thanks to its steel foot pedals, the resistance and the feel of a nice set of pedals isn’t there. But, it is an improvement if you’ve used the T150; it just doesn’t have that premium feel given its asking price.
On the front of the wheel comes the same button layout found in the T150; the main difference being that it sports a predominantly black color scheme with white accents for that sexy and premium look.
The performance of the T300RS is pretty good. It has a 1080-degree rotation and whenever you use it, the wheel will calibrate itself so that you will have a perfect performance each and every time you use it.
It uses a standard USB 2.0 cable which is convenient because, in the event that the cable gets lost, you can just buy one from the computer store for less.
Aside from the pedal board not performing up to par with other competitors, the T300RS doesn’t come with a clutch, which is indeed surprising given its price.
But other than those two quirks, the Thrustmaster T300RS is one of the best racing wheels for the Playstation 3, 4, and the PC.
Logitech G29 Racing Wheel Review
Pros: Comfortable, Different mounting options, Pretty good force feedback
Cons: Strong wheel turns doesn’t feel smooth, bright-colored buttons may not appeal to many, no stick shift
Logitech is a huge gaming peripherals company and they’ve been around for so many years. What this means is that they know how to create amazing gaming peripherals and they’ve even created a great racing wheel as well.
The Logitech G29 is a pretty good racing wheel from the aforementioned company and it is the direct successor to the G27.
The two previous racing wheels all have plastic rims with some improved grips on the side, but many people say that it feels a bit “plasticky”.
This racing wheel from Logitech, however, has a leather material wrapped around the rim to give that premium feel and look. Not only that but the leather material also provides not only grip, but comfort as well.
On the front of the racing wheel comes the usual buttons that you can find on a conventional PS4 controller, with the side buttons colored light blue and a red circular knob is for the various car controls that you can tweak in-game.
Logitech does a fine job with the overall design, but I don’t think that many people would find the brightly-colored buttons appealing.
The pedalboard of the G29 is also a big improvement over the G27. It has three pedals; one for the accelerator, one for the break, and one for the clutch. Despite having a clutch pedal, the G29 doesn’t come with a stick-shift by default; you have to purchase it for an additional $50.
Anyway, one of the biggest improvement with regards to the pedals is the brake pedal. It now has increased tension over its predecessor and all of the pedals actually have a much better feedback when you step on them.
Furthermore, the pedalboard has some spikes that improve its grip on the floor. It works perfectly well on carpets, so if you’re using one, the G29 will never budge.
In terms of performance, the Logitech G29 performs admirably well. There is also a nifty feature, one that is not present in the Thrustmaster racing wheels I’ve highlighted above.
What is that feature? Well, it is the LED lights that you can see at the top of the rim. These LED lights are actually rev indicators which help you see if you need to shift to another gear for maximum performance.
This is a very good feature because it allows you to time your gear shifts perfectly. And, couple with the good performance from the paddle shifts, and you’re in for a nice treat.
The Logitech G29 only has a 900-degree turn as opposed to the 1080 turn from the Thrustmaster rims. Despite this fact, you would rarely need to fully turn the wheel anyway, so this isn’t too big of an issue.
Force feedback, a feature that a lot of racing wheel buyers look into, is pretty good in the Logitech G29. However, if you’ve owned its predecessor, the Logitech G27, you might be surprised that there isn’t a marked improvement in terms of the force feedback. On the newer one.
And that is actually true; the Logitech G29 is just a bit of an improvement over the G27. The G29 was released so that it can support the newer game consoles.
The G27, at the time of writing this article, is more than 7 years old. So given that time, Logitech needed to release a version that can handle the newer platforms.
So, what are the cons for the G29? Well, first is its price. Second, its lack of a stick-shift will probably dissuade potential buyers. This is a bummer considering that the previous G27 comes with it by default. If you do want the stick-shift, again, you need to dish out an additional $50 premium to get it.
And lastly, the bright-colored buttons might not appeal to many. Certainly, it didn’t appeal to me, but to each his own.
The Logitech G29 is a premium racing wheel, one that people should consider if they own a Playstation 4 game console.
Best Xbox One Racing Wheels
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition Review
Pros: Smooth steering performance, Strong force feedback
Cons: Rim feels toy-like, Brake pedals are a bit stiff
As you may have noticed, the list is populated with a lot of products coming from Thrustmaster. What can I say? Well, they make really good racing wheels for various gaming platforms, so it is hard to argue that.
Now, if you want to somehow emulate the experience of driving a real formula one racing car, then you might like this next racing wheel.
The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition, a handful of a name, has a pretty good performance and it also has the aesthetics as well.
As you can derive from the product’s name, the rim is inspired by the Ferrari 48 Italia. The actual racing wheel has the real car’s design which can pretty much entice every Ferrari fan out there.
It has that Ferrari logo at the center, the Start Engine button (which happens to be the D-pad), and some additional buttons that are mapped to the different functions of a conventional Xbox One controller.
Aside from its design, the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition has another great feature, and that is its force feedback.
I’ve mentioned many times in the article that the Thrustmaster racing wheels offer some of the best when it comes to force feedback performance, and the Ferrari 458 Italia edition is no different.
To further complement that impressive force feedback, the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition has a smooth racing wheel that is able to turn at a maximum of 900 degrees.
Whether you’re making a tight turn or those minute changes in your car’s direction, the racing wheel provides you with a smooth performance that is not found in other racing wheels.
It comes with the usual two-pedal board with the usual accelerator and brakes mapped on them. It still has that same plastic base, but it now comes with metallic plates for the actual pedals, providing an improved aesthetic and improved performance.
There is something to be said about the brake pedal, however, in that it is a bit stiffer than the accelerator. As is the case with other pedals, but the one that comes with the 458 Italia edition is just stiffer for my tastes.
If you do not like the 900-degree limitation of the wheel, the cool thing about the Ferrari 458 Italia edition racing wheel is that you can pretty much swap it with another racing wheel from the company that has the ability to turn to a maximum of 1080-degrees. Note that you will have to spend more money if you want to change it, though.
One last thing to note here is that the actual racing wheel feels a bit toy-like. It is still made of sturdy plastic, but I guess you know what I mean.
The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition should not only fulfill the desires of Ferrari fans, but it also provides a nice peripheral for people who are looking for a racing wheel for the Xbox One game console.
PC steering wheel with clutch and shifter -Fanatec CSL Elite Review
Pros: Great pedalboard, Customizable, Really Good Force Feedback
Cons: Expensive, Wheel doesn’t feel premium, Upgrades are highly expensive
Now, most of the racing wheels on this list cost below $300, but the Fanatec CSL Elite actually costs more than that. In fact, it costs nearly twice as much than the previous recommendations.
But, why did I recommend it given its much higher price point? Well, it is because it has the performance to back up its asking price.
Fanatec has been known to create lots of racing wheels that are not cheap, but they provide limitless customization options and their basic kits are pretty good.
Anyway, the Fanatec CSL Elite has that premium aesthetic. I do have to point out that its wheel base is a bit smaller, at least, when compared with the other racing wheels.
This is actually a good thing since you won’t be needing a larger desk just to mount the racing wheel.
The wheel base is “busy” in terms of its design. On the front of the wheel base, you can find the “digital” aesthetic; on the sides, you will find the glossy finish, and at the top, you will find a matte black and gray finish.
Now, I am going to talk about the rim itself. The Fanatec CSL Elite’s wheel comes with an LED screen at the top to indicate certain settings you can tweak on-the-fly. This is somewhat a unique thing because you can set the parameters on the wheel itself without going to the actual menu settings of the game.
The feature is a hit-or-miss, however, since it is a bit cumbersome to cycle through the different settings on such a small LED screen.
On top of that, the front of the wheel base provides a set of LED lights that act as the gear-shift indicator.
Fanatec also provides a nice trio of pedals in the Fanatec CSL Elite kit. The three pedals, as you’ve probably known by now, comprise of the accelerator, the brake, and the clutch.
It important to note, though, that the stick-shift is not part of the basic package; again, you need to spend another price premium if you want to get it.
Back to the pedals. The pedals’ resistance and the force it requires to activate is actually customizable; a feature that is not found in any other racing wheel on this list.
At the back of the pedals are some buffers that you can replace depending on the stiffness that you want the pedals to have.
There are three of these buffers offering different stiffness in the kit and replacing them can be easy, you just have to follow the instructions to the tee.
I love the fact that you can tailor the pedals according to your liking. But, I’ve expected such a feature considering the product’s high price.
Now to the performance. The force feedback of the Fanatec CSL Elite is nothing short of amazing. It has one of the best force feedback implementations on the market.
It is pretty good, in fact, that setting it at a constant 100% will leave a lasting unpleasant feeling after playing.
As for the racing wheel’s performance, it is on par with some of the Thrustmaster racing wheels in this article. It is smooth and it provides a maximum of 1080-degree turn, which is pretty nice.
The Fanatec CSL Elite is pretty silent as the fans will not kick in until you’re about 20-30 minutes in. Also, even if the fans spin, its noise is akin to that of a light desktop fan spinning at around 50%, which is still whisper quiet.
In terms of aesthetics, performance, and feature set, the Fanatec CSL Elite is definitely one of the best out there. But, given its price tag and the fact that the upgrades would require you to reach out for your wallet again, this racing wheel might not be for many.
But, if you have the money to spend, the definitely consider getting the Fanatec CSL Elite racing wheel kit.
Important Terms related to Racing wheels
Now, when shopping for a gaming peripheral such as Racing wheels, you might come across some terms that you might not know about.
Below are the most commonly used terms when referring to the racing wheel:Force Feedback- probably the most marketed term when it comes to racing wheels, force feedback refers to the wheel’s ability to give you various information about the conditions of the car just like you would in a real-world scenario. For example, force feedback allows you to feel the resistance and the rumble when you’re driving on, say, a rough road.
Probably the most marketed term when it comes to racing wheels, force feedback refers to the wheel’s ability to give you various information about the conditions of the car just like you would in a real-world scenario. For example, force feedback allows you to feel the resistance and the rumble when you’re driving on, say, a rough road. Stick-shift- stick-shift is the same as that of a real car and it allows you to change the gear. In all of the racing wheels on this list, the stick-shift is not part of the bundle and is only available via a separate purchase.
This kind of system is where a servo and a belt is attached to a motor to provide the wheel’s shake and rumble feature. The downside to this is that it doesn’t provide that strong feedback that people love in a racing wheel.
This kind of system is where the racing wheel is connected directly to a motor. This translates to better force feedback and is more “realistic”. Direct drive systems cost more because of this.
What to look for when buying a Racing Wheel?
To get the best PC racing wheel for you, you need to be aware of a few key things
Some racing wheels are marketed as “force feedback racing wheels” and for good reason; it is probably one of the things that you need to truly consider when buying one. Most budget-friendly wheels come with the belt drive system that although gives you a force feedback response, it is not that robust or realistic. If you can dish out the money, get some higher-end wheels that have the direct drive system built-in.
Now, racing wheels are compatible with the PC platform, and that is a given. But, if you’re looking to use it for a specific game console, you need to look at the fine print. There are racing wheels that are specifically only for a particular game console. That’s mostly because of licensing and that the product is tailored for a particular console. Again, make sure that the racing wheel you’re going to buy is for the game console that you’re using.
Next is wheel rotation. Most of the racing wheels on this list sport a 900-degree wheel rotation, which in most cases, is pretty good for most people. But, if you play racing games or racing simulators wherein you will drive a huge vehicle, then having a 1080-degree rotation on the racing wheel is preferred.
The Racing wheel is just half of the total racing experience; the other half is the pedalboard that comes with it. Most of the affordable racing wheel sets come with a pedalboard that is predominantly made with plastic. Even though that is usually the case, some plastic pedalboards offer good resistance which really simulates the real experience. Read up on reviews online about the pedalboards that come with the racing wheel. In most cases, the more expensive the racing wheel, the better the pedalboard. If you happen to stick with a budget racing wheel, there are third-party pedalboards that you can purchase the next time you have money to spend on your racing kit.
Also referred to as the “stick-shift”, the clutch really improves your racing experience. In today’s racing wheels, the clutch is not included in the kit and is part of a separate purchase. This is where you should think about getting it or not? If you ask me, I would get a clutch system as it makes racing games all the more realistic, but it can also prove to be challenging in some titles. Also, a good clutch system is also a bit expensive, so that is a point to ponder as well.
Racing Wheel Tips
Racing wheels vastly improve your experience when playing racing games and simulators, but not a lot of people know how to maximize its full potential.
In this part of the article, I will talk about the different racing wheels tips in order to truly improve your overall experience when using the peripheral.
Update the Firmware
The first thing you need to do in order to maximize the use of the steering wheel is to actually update its firmware. Most steering wheels are a couple of months or even years’ old and it may already have a number of firmware updates during that span. Firmware updates not only have bug fixes and improvement, but it may also come with new features as well.
The second thing you need to do is to practice. Most people think that by getting a racing wheel, that their gameplay experience will improve immediately. That is really not the case. You still need to practice and practice a lot. That is because you might be too accustomed to a controller and your muscles will also require time to acclimate to the new gaming peripheral. So in order to get better in using a racing wheel, always practice.
Some racing wheels already have superb compatibility on a lot of games which means that the racing wheels work right off the bat. But, for some games, you will still need to tinker with the settings to make it work just fine. Before starting a race, head on over to the controls page and make sure that the buttons are mapped correctly.
Get a racing seat
To further improve your racing experience, get a racing-style car seat. Most gaming chairs have a racing-style format, but there are also some chairs that are built for racing car simulators. If you have some more money, get one of the said racing car seats. Set things up properly. And by this, I mean that you adjust the hardware just perfectly for your needs. This includes the proper placement of the pedals as well as the correct spacing of the racing wheels from your position.
Talk to the community
There are plenty of forums on the internet that are dedicated to people who own racing wheels. You can learn from their experiences and you can also get pro tips from a lot of racing wheel enthusiasts as well. If you have the time, talk to the community to gain some insight.
The last tip is to upgrade your racing wheel setup overtime. There are plenty of upgrades you can get such as a clutch system, a better pedal board, a better rim, among others. Be sure to upgrade your setup if you have the money to do so as this will further improve your racing experience.
Racing wheels vastly improve your racing game experience by providing a simulation of real-world driving.
All of the racing wheels nowadays come with a “force feedback”, a response that can give you that feeling of driving a real car when playing your games.
Getting the right racing wheel will require you to tick some items on a checklist. What is your budget? What platform are you using the racing wheel for? What specific racing games are you playing? These are just some questions that would-be buyers need to answer before getting a racing wheel.
As mentioned in this article, a racing wheel truly gives you the experience of riding an actual car and racing it through the tracks.
The more expensive the racing wheel, the better the experience because of its better construction, better force feedback, etc.
Hopefully, this article has helped you get the best racing wheel for your setup. Make sure to get a racing wheel that is suited for the game console you’re using.
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