iRacing is by far one of the best racing sims you can play on the PC right now. The multiplayer community is amazing, and the game supports just about any bit of hardware you have to spare.
However, by far the most important piece of hardware you’ll need to go sim racing as serious as iRacing is a wheel and pedal set. In this article, we’re going over the top 7 steering wheels money can buy.
iRacing officially supports all the wheels in this list. For more options, check out the iRacing wheel page.
Manufacturer: Logitech | Price: $500
The G293 is the latest and greatest from Logitech when it comes to steering wheels. It’s the 2020 refresh of the already very popular G29, a wheel which is perhaps the easiest wheel to suggest to anyone starting a sim racing career.
You get dual-motor force-feedback, called Trueforce by Logitech, a bunch of buttons and a rotary encoder. The wheel also supports a stick shifter which can be bought as an add-on. There’s a built-in launch assist feature too that can help you get off the line quickly.
Not all games support the Trueforce and Dual-clutch launch assist(iRacing does) that the G923 boasts but you’d still get a great wheel that’d let you get in feel with the car.
Manufacturer: Logitech | Price: $299
The predecessor to the G923, the G29 is still a solid wheel to buy if you’re looking for a splash of colour on your wheel and don’t mind missing out on the Trueforce force feedback and dual-clutch assist.
Besides, it’ll save you roughly $200. On a sale day, this can sell for half the price of the G923. The wheel has two versions, the G29 which is compatible with PC and Playstation has more controls and is the more popular of the two.
The other one is the G923, which is the Xbox/PC version. Both wheels are identical except the G29 gets more colour and a rotary encoder.
The wheels also share their pedals with the G923. Logitech’s pedals aren’t exactly great, but get the job done.
Manufacturer: Thrustmaster | Price: $199
The T150 RS is probably the cheapest force feedback wheel out there and it shows. The wheel is made entirely out of plastic, with rubber grips on each side and the pedals are just absolute crap.
However, if you’re on a budget, the wheel itself is not bad at all. You can also keep the wheel and upgrade the pedals to just about anyone from Thrustmasters exquisite lineup. The wheel is also compatible with the TH8A shifter.
The force feedback is a bit on the softer side, and the wheel is belt-driven, so there’s some of that internal friction as well. Still for the money, you’re getting a wheel that’ll tell you everything between the track and your screen, and ultimately, that’s all you need.
Manufacturer: Thrustmaster | Price: $450
The elder sibling to the T150, the T300 adds more in every regard. The wheel is bigger in size, is built better, has more buttons, slightly more powerful force feedback and pedals that aren’t trash.
The T300 also comes in a ‘Pro’ version that packs in an upgraded set of pedals, which is much better than the standard ones and slightly better than the Logitech pedals.
However, the best part about the T300 is that it has a quick-release wheel system. That means that you can swap out wheels as and when you like. Feel like racing F1 while driving a GT3 car? No issues, swap the steering out, and you’re good to go.
Now sure you can use just one wheel for racing all sorts of disciplines but having the option to swap wheels is just a cherry on the top. It is convenient and can actually be helpful down the road.
Manufacturer: Thrustmaster | Price: $499
Another wheel from Thrustmaster is the TX and its one of the best that they have to offer. The wheel is adequately sized and has a dual-belt force feedback system that ensures you get the most feel from the car without your wheel jittering all over the place.
The pedals that ship with the wheel are actually quite good, and even though they are potentiometer based, you can use them even at the highest level of sim racing if you so desire.
Once again, the wheel is detachable, which means compatibility with the rest of the Thrustmaster ecosystem, including other rims and the TH8A shifter.
Also read: 7 ways to get faster in Sim racing
CSL Elite F1 set
Manufacturer: Fanatec | Price: $699.95
The CSL Elite series from Fanatec counts towards the cream of the crop for sim racing hardware, and the CSL Elite is no exception.
You get an F1 licensed wheel with by far the best belt-driven force feedback you’ll ever experience. The pedals are made out of aluminium and are individually adjustable.
If you want you can even remove the base plate for the pedals and mount them to your rig individually. There’s an option loadcell kit also available that can take up to 90 kg of pedal pressure.
Fanatec Podium F1
Manufacturer: Fanatec | Price: $2000
The Podium F1 is a direct drive wheel that, as the name suggests, comes in with an F1 style rim. Now since we’re in the direct drive category here, wheels and pedals often ship separately unless you buy a combo and that’s exactly what happens with the Podium F1.
The wheelbase is plug and play, which means you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up a direct drive motor and the wheel itself is officially licensed by Formula 1. There’s a neat little display on the wheelbase that you can use to show any information you’d like.
Do keep in mind that direct-drive wheels are considerable investments. Not only you’re investing in an expensive wheel, but you’re also going to need a cockpit to mount the wheel itself. Then you have to consider getting pedals as well.
The force feedback on direct-drive wheels is the best you’ll get anywhere in sim racing, and it’s true for the Podium F1 as well. However, the force feedback is so strong you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful.
Also read: iRacing vs Assetto Corsa vs DiRT Rally 2.0
Someone who writes/edits/shoots/hosts all things tech and when he’s not, streams himself racing virtual cars. You can reach out to Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.