The Project Cars series has been really successful had reinvigorating the racing genre. They offer a decent starting point for beginners and plenty of challenges even for seasoned simmers. The latest entry, PC3, takes thing to a whole new level.
To properly enjoy these sims though, you need the right hardware. Keyboard just don’t cut it because of their 0 or 1 input. Gamepads fare slightly better but there is a reason real car use a steering wheel. Only a wheel can provide the analog input necessary to make fine adjustments to your velocity vector.
The choice when buying a wheel/ pedal set is simple – the more expensive ones are usually better. They just have better components and build materials. Which is why this guide breaks down the choices based on your budget. Decide how much you want to spent and pick the best one from that segment.
1. Best Mid-Range
- Wheel: The definitive sim racing wheel for Xbox One: Realistic steering and pedal action for the...
- Wheel: Responsive floor pedal unit: Accelerate, brake and change gears with the feel of an actual...
The Logitech G920 is the undisputed champion in this price range. It’s one of the most popular steering wheels on the market right now and Logitech has built upon decades of experience and previous bestsellers. I have owned Logitech wheels for over two decades now starting with the MOMO, the G27 and the G920 for the past 4-5 years. Never had any issues with any of them.
The best part about the G920 is its excellent build quality. The wheel feels premium – definitely better than the car I used to drive as a kid. Its premium leather and it still looks brand new after all these years. The paddle shifters also have a nice metallic feeling to them.
The accuracy and feel of the wheel is quite good. Force feed back can be pretty strong and is pretty decent for this price point. In fact, I had to cut back the force feed back on some games because it was too strong! That makes it really immersive for off-roading too, if that is your jam.
The pedals feels pretty realistic. The accelerator is smooth and has a large range. The brake feels like it should. The only issue is that it tends to slip if you place it on a non-carpeted surface. You would need to prop it against something to keep it from sliding. But to be fair, that would happen to almost anything that you are pushing with your legs.
2. Best Budget/ Entry Level
- The First PlayStation 4 officially licensed Racing wheel, for all racing games on PlayStation 4;...
- Wheel grip with rubber texture coating; Two on-wheel sequential digital gear shift paddles
There are not many quality options at the lowest price range but the T80 might just be the exception. It’s pretty decent for the asking price. You should not expect any miracles at this price point, but this one gets the job done. I recommend it for first timers or if you are looking for something for the kids.
The steering wheel is decent with rubber coating and even comes with paddle shifters. The clamping is adequate for normal use and the bungee cords do provide decent resistance. The two-pedal pedal-set is also decent with adequate foot support and the brake pedal does offer progressive resistance.
3. Best Premium
- The TS-XW Racer is a 1:1 scale replica of the Sparco P310 Competition wheel, and is officially...
- Works on Xbox Series X/S, XBOX One and PC
The Thrustmaster TS-XW is the King of the Hill when it comes to premium racing wheels that don’t break the bank. It’s a scale replica of the Sparco competition wheel and it really does feel like the real thing. The build quality, the size, the feel of the material, the grip, the notches – its everything you want a racing wheel to be.
The star of the show is the force feedback mechanism which is a beefy 40-watt brushless servomotor delivering significant torque. It really takes the immersion to a new level and in fact, leads to better lap times compared to other wheels.
The pedal set is also excellent with metal structures and fully adjustable pedals. You can adjust height, inclination, spacing, and they provide smooth travel throughout.