Best Fanatec Black Friday Deals 2023: Deal Roundup
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Sim Racing Product Guides » Best Racing Wheels 2023: Ultimate Buyers Guide
One of the best investments you can make to improve your sim racing immersion is a great racing wheel. In this guide, we'll look at the best racing wheels you can buy in 2023.
Sim racing wheels come in various shapes, sizes and budgets. But the very best should look to serve a few key purposes, and that is to increase immersion, enjoyment and control. This can be achieved by utilising great force feedback technology such as direct drive, and combining that with a great looking and functional sim racing steering wheel.
Racing wheels are a fantastic way of increase your immersion while sim racing. They allow you to site behind the wheel and feel much more of how your car is behaving on track, very useful when you’re flying through Eau Rouge at over 100mph!
When it comes to racing wheels, there is a huge number to choose from. In this guide, I’ll look at the very best racing wheels in 2023, and bring you our recommendations across a range of categories such as price, performance and compatibility.
The things that you may look for in a racing wheel may differ from other sim racers. But there are some key points you should always consider when buying a new racing wheel. These core staples will ultimately lead to a good racing wheel, regardless of its price and position within the market.
Sim racing wheels come in various shapes and sizes, each performing differently. There are some racing wheels that have a low price point, creating a small barrier to entry. These are fantastic for those taking their first steps into sim racing, and don’t want to commit to an expensive racing wheel right away.
Then there are racing wheels that utilise higher-end technology to create a more powerful and immersive sim racing experience. Generally, the larger the motor, or more advanced the technology, the higher the cost, but this isn’t always the case.
Below are our recommendations for the very best racing wheels on the market in 2023. Each of these racing wheels is great in different ways. Across all of these racing wheels, you should find one that is just right for you. Keep on reading if you want to see why we rated these wheels as the best, and to view more recommendations.
Best All Round Wheel
Fanatec GT DD Pro
Best Budget Wheel
Best High End Wheel
Fanatec ClubSport DD+
PS4, PS5, PC
Xbox, PS4, PS5, PC
Xbox, PS4, PS5, PC
The Fanatec GT DD Pro has been held in high regard since its launch. Its a highly capable, small direct drive racing wheel that is directly compatible with PlayStation 5 and PC, as well as featuring extended compatibility with Xbox consoles.
It followed the successful launch of the Fanatec CSL DD a year before and is very similar to what that racing wheel offers. The Fanatec GT DD Pro differs from the CSL DD with the addition of PS5 compatibility. It also included a partnership with Gran Turismo, leading to this racing wheel’s name (GT stands for Gran Turismo).
When it launched, the Fanatec CSL DD was the smallest direct drive racing wheel available, and the GT DD Pro continued that trend. Externally, the GT DD Pro features a new design with accents of blue across the wheel base itself.
Internally, the GT DD Pro is incredibly similar to the CSL DD. It creates the same strength force feedback which is 5Nm in its base form. This can be boosted up to 8Nm with a boost kit, which is highly recommended.
The technology inside the GT DD Pro is also the latest that Fanatec has created, making the force feedback every bit as detailed as the high-end DD1 and DD2 wheels that Fanatec offer. While the GT DD Pro can’t compete with the 20Nm+ DD1 and DD2 racing wheels, its performance on a detail and fidelity front often beats out the high-end models.
You can purchase the GT DD Pro with a Gran Turismo steering wheel and pedals included, creating a complete console-compatible direct drive racing wheel. This is ideal for sim racers who are looking to upgrade from a budget wheel and would like a complete sim racing setup that is plug-and-play.
And those who prefer modular upgrading can purchase the GT DD Pro wheel base individually and combine it with any Fanatec steering wheel they like. Overall, the GT DD Pro offers insane performance from such a small design, and the flexibility to use this racing wheel in whichever scenario you prefer.
If you are looking for the very best budget racing wheel, the Logitech G923 has you covered. Logitech has been kinds of the budget sim racing market for over a decade, with sim racing heritage stretching back to the G25 wheel and earlier. So it is no surprise that their most recent budget racing wheel, the G923 is so good.
The Logitech G923 racing wheel differs from the Fanatec GT DD Pro above, in that it is not modular. It is a racing wheel which includes the wheel base, steering wheel and pedals as a single product. This makes the Logitech G923 completely plug-and-play and it’s compatible with Xbox, PS5 and PC.
The force feedback created by the Logitech G923 is powered via a small motor that translates the force feedback to the steering wheel via a series of gears. This technology isn’t as good as direct drive which is found in more expensive racing wheels, but it has been the standard across all of Logitech’s recent wheels.
The force feedback output is around 2.3Nm of peak torque which is around average at this budget price point. But the Logitech G923 has a very neat party trick, and that is its own Trueforce technology.
Trueforce allows the steering wheel to vibrate independently of other force feedback to portray the feeling of sitting in a car. The steering wheel picks up on audio cues such as revving the engine, or riding over kerbs, and it will vibrate the steering wheel. This adds to the immersion when sim racing by adding subtle details.
We started sim racing with Logitech racing wheels, so have a little sweet spot for them, but if you’re looking for the best budget racing wheel you can find in 2023, the Logitech G923 has to be a strong consideration.
When you start to enter the world of high-end racing wheels, a product that you’ll come across time and time again is the Fanatec Podium F1. This racing wheel is officially licensed by Formula 1, and features the F1 branding across the steering wheel. But more importantly, it produces some of the very best force feedback from any racing wheel in 2023.
The Fanatec Podium F1 can be tricky to find in stock. Check our Fanatec stock tracker to see if the Podium F1 is in stock in your region.
The Fanatec Podium F1 is a combination of well-loved Fanatec products, amalgamated into a single bundle with a reduced price. At the heart of this racing wheel is the DD1 wheel base. This wheel base features direct drive technology and creates up to 20Nm of peak torque.
It is one of the very best direct drive racing wheels in 2023, despite being around for a good number of years now. The force feedback is incredibly detailed, and you have numerous options to tweak and adjust it to fit your own preferences.
The steering wheel included in this racing wheel bundle is the Fanatec Formula V2 with a new colourway to the standard wheel. This wheel is one of the best formula-style steering wheels, and features a whole host of inputs to increase immersion and help you adjust your car settings mid-race.
There are a range of buttons, rotary encoders, thumb encoders and joysticks. Each of these inputs can be mapped to control a different function of your car in game. And they are all positioned to closely replicate a real-world formula-style steering wheel.
The final benefit of this racing wheel is the inclusion of the Fanatec Podium Advanced Paddle Module. This is the name given to the paddle shifters that are attached to the rear of the steering wheel. These features upgraded contactless magnetic shifters, with a combined 6 paddles in total. Two of these paddles are designed as shifter, while the other four can be used as a dual clutch, accelerator and brake and more.
As a whole racing wheel bundle, the Fanatec Podium F1 is incredibly hard to beat and it doesn’t have many other competitors that offer such an all-inclusive package. If you are looking for the creme-de-la-creme of sim racing wheels, the Podium F1 is an incredibly strong offering.
The next racing wheel that I want to recommend is a direct competitor of the Fanatec GT DD Pro that took our top recommendation spot. This MOZA R9 racing wheel is very similar to the GT DD Pro in many ways. It’s a similar shape, produces similar force feedback strength at 9Nm of peak torque, and it costs roughly the same, although the R9 is roughly £/$100 cheaper than the GT DD Pro.
MOZA Racing are relatively new to the sim racing space compared to some of the other big names in this guide, but that hasn’t stopped them making a big impact in the past couple of years.
The R9 wheel base really marked the introduction to MOZA as it was incredibly well received by the sim racing community. The impressive performance combines the 9Nm peak torque with incredibly detailed force feedback.
The included software, Pit House allows a huge amount of customisation. You can adjust every part of the force feedback that the R9 wheel produces.
There are a range of basic and advanced settings for you to tinker with, and you can even jump into a frequency visualiser. Here you can boost the force feedback of specific frequencies. This will allow you to really tailer each and every part of how your wheel feels during different situations on track.
The MOZA R9 really made the decision to opt for a Fanatec GT DD Pro a bit harder thanks to its incredible performance and lower price tag. It is tricky decision to make, but a good problem to have. More competition leads to better products, so we are happy to see new companies like MOZA joining the sim racing community.
Racing Wheel – MOZA R9
Compatibility – PC
Price – £409/$439
Where to buy – Buy from MOZA
I wanted to recommend another high-end direct drive racing wheel as our next entry. After this, I’ll move onto more budget friendly racing wheels.
Simucube are a well known brand within the high-end sim racing space. The wheel bases they produce are right at the top end of performance, with the mighty Simucube 2 Ultimate producing an eye watering 32Nm of torque.
That isn’t the wheel base I’m going to recommend here though, as only the most hardcore sim racers will opt for a racing wheel that powerful. Instead, I’d like to recommend the Simucube 2 Sport.
The Simucube 2 Sport is the entry-level Simucube wheel base, however, it still produces a whopping 17Nm of torque. I’d always recommend around 15-16Nm of torque as the sweet spot before the wheel becomes too powerful for longer race distances.
In terms of price, the Simucube 2 Sport sits around the £/$1000 mark. This again is the sweet spot in terms of price for high end racing wheels. The more powerful you go, the higher the cost, but in our opinion you will face diminishing returns. The extra cost isn’t always replicated in the extra performance on offer.
This is why we rate the Simucube 2 Sport so highly. It offers a great balance of performance and price.
Simucube produce some of the most reliable wheel bases in the sim racing sphere, and are compatible with a whole range of sim racing steering wheels from different brands including their own Tahko GT-21 steering wheel. It is important to note though, that the Simucube 2 Sport is only compatible with PC, and not with any consoles.
Racing Wheel – Simucube 2 Sport
Compatibility – PC
Price – €1028
Where to buy – Buy from Digital Motorsports
While Logitech has been the master of budget-friendly racing wheels over the past decade, the Logitech Pro Racing Wheel marked the introduction of Logitech to the direct drive wheel market. The Logitech Pro Racing Wheel is a medium-powered direct drive racing wheel capable of up to 11Nm of peak torque.
The Logitech Pro Racing Wheel came as a surprise product announcement due to Logitech owning the budget racing wheel space for so long. It had long been rumoured that they were designing a direct drive wheel, but no one expected it so soon.
The Logitech Pro Racing Wheel features a direct drive motor which produces detailed and strong force feedback. It also reintroduces the Trueforce technology from the G923 in a much higher capacity.
Trueforce in the Pro Racing Wheel has evolved to be much more immersive. Little moments such as surface changes in the track, through to wheel slip are now all intertwined with the Trueforce technology.
As your wheels slip across the track and as the track surface changes, you’ll feel vibrations in the steering wheel which works alongside the force feedback. This adds to the immersion on offer from the Pro Racing Wheel, creating a well-rounded sim racing experience.
If you are after a solid budget-friendly racing wheel and don’t fancy the Logitech G923, Thrustmaster has you covered. The T248 marked the introduction of Thrustmaster’s next generation of wheels. It was the first new wheel since iterations to the older tried and tested Thrustmaster generation of wheels.
The newer T248 racing wheel is more aggressive in its appearance, looks completely different from Thrustmaster wheels of old, and introduces some new quirks.
The Thrustmaster T248 features some pretty nice new features. There is a screen on the top of the steering wheel which acts as a live rev counter or speedo. In total there are over 20 different displays that can be viewed on the screen. And it can also be used to change and tinker with the force feedback settings directly from your wheel.
Around the back of the steering wheel are magnetic paddle shifters which are really a good step up in quality from the older Thrustmaster shifters. These feel crisp and positive to use, ensuring you don’t miss a gear shift while you’re racing at over 100mph!
Much like the Logitech G923, this T248 comes with an included pedal set to ensure you have a full sim racing setup, ready to use out of the box. It is compatible with Xbox and PlayStation as well as PC. Although be sure to purchase the correct console-compatible version, as the Xbox and PS5 versions are two different versions.
The force feedback itself is a self-named hybrid system. It combines belts and gears to translate the force feedback from the motor to the steering wheel, but it does a very good job, creating around 3.5Nm of torque.
If you have a small budget but still fancy picking up a racing wheel, there are a few options available. You can opt for non-force feedback wheels such as the Hori Apex, but I would highly recommend avoiding those.
Instead, Thrustmaster has their own super-budget racing wheel, the Thrustmaster T128. This racing wheel includes force feedback capable of around 2Nm of peak torque. In fact, this is possibly one of the cheapest racing wheels that features force feedback.
The force feedback is created via a hybrid system, similar to that found in the more powerful Thrustmaster T248 wheel. This allows the force feedback to be very respectable and it can portray your car’s connection with the road to a decent level.
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of very good racing wheels available in 2023. Your choice will depend on your budget and which console you are racing on, but the list above should have a racing wheel that meets your individual requirement. And hopefully this guide has been helpful.
Below are a range of questions that we get asked often when we talk about racing wheels.
There isn’t an easy answer to who is best, Logitech or Thrustmaster. Logitech has long been king of the budget racing wheel, but the new Logitech Pro Racing Wheel shows that Logitech can also produce very good high end racing wheels. Thrustmaster has a huge product lineup, with all of their sim racing products being very good quality. The choice comes down to preference.
Direct drive force feedback is categorically the best technology for sim racing. Direct drive links a large motor directly to the driveshaft, allowing all of the force feedback to be felt in the steering wheel.
A complete sim racing setup consists of a racing wheel which includes a wheel base and a steering wheel. Then you’ll need a set of pedals to accelerate and brake and a way of mounting all of the items such as a sim rig.
If you are looking to increase your immersion when sim racing, then a racing wheel is definitely worth buying. It will also increase the amount of detailed control you have over your car while racing at high speed.
You can use the links below to shop for your favourite sim racing products, or for any products that we may have recommended. These links are affiliate links, and will earn us a small commission, with no additional cost for you.
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