Best Sim Racing Handbrakes: Complete Buyers Guide 2024

Here is the ultimate guide on the best sim racing handbrakes in 2024. All of these handbrakes are incredibly good and versatile, with options across a range of budgets.

MOZA Handbrake Performance

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Growing your sim racing setup is one of the joys of having sim racing as a hobby. While the actual racing is fun, there is also enjoyment in choosing which peripherals and racing wheels you want to use.

Adding additional peripherals such as a handbrake or shifter can increase your immersion while sim racing. And that is where a lot of the added enjoyment comes from. The more realistic your sim racing setup, the more control you have and the higher your immersion.

In this guide, I’m going to be looking in detail at sim racing handbrakes. I’ll look at the reasons why adding a handbrake to your sim rig is beneficial, and I’ll also recommend the very best sim racing handbrakes.

Why use a handbrake when sim racing

With the recent release of EA Sports WRC, adding a sim racing handbrake to your sim rig can prove to be an incredible addition. Of course, not every sim title will require a handbrake, and it can be one of the least used peripherals. After all, you’re not going to be handbrake turning around Silverstone in the RB19 in F1 23, at least I hope not!

However, if you’re rallying or drifting, a handbrake will almost always be beneficial. It can be hard to activate the handbrake using a button on your racing wheel, especially if you’re throwing your wheel about.

A handbrake isn’t a requirement in these titles, but they do increase the fun factor, can help to improve your control over the car, and add to that ever-important immersion factor!


Our top picks for the best sim rigs in 2024

TL;DR – Before I jump into the details about each handbrake and why I’d recommend it, I wanted to show you a summary of the best sim racing handbrakes. If you’re short on time, the table below should help you quickly search for a handbrake based on your budget.

HandbrakePriceCompatibility
Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5€/$129.95Xbox, PS5, PC
MOZA HBP Handbrake£99PC
Sim-Lab XB1 Handbrake€/£175 / $219PC
Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake V2£339PC
Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+£239Xbox, PS5, PC
Simagic TB-1 Handbrake£158PC
Aiologs Sim Handbrake$170PC
Meca Evo Handbrake€/$248PC

What to look for in a good sim racing handbrake

Many handbrakes on this list look quite different from each other. From the size and design, to how they can be mounted, there are some important factors that make a good handbrake.

Design & functionality

The overall design and configuration of a sim racing handbrake is one of the most important factors. A handbrake is quite unlike a racing wheel in that it can be mounted in so many ways.

You can mount it horizontally to your side to replicate a real-world car handbrake. Alternatively, you could mount it high up to replicate a rally or drift-style handbrake. And then you could even mount it to a vertical part of your sim rig.

Buying a handbrake that can be adjusted to accommodate all of these mounting methods can help you use your handbrake in various scenarios without compromise. Handbrakes such as the Fanatec ClubSport and MOZA HBP can be adjusted in numerous ways to accommodate whichever handbrake configuration you desire.

Compatibility

When buying any sim racing gear, compatibility should always be checked. This is most important when racing on a console like an Xbox or PS5. In these scenarios, you need to ensure that your handbrake can be connected to your wheel base as you cannot mount multiple peripherals to your console via USB like you can a PC.

If you’re sim racing on PC, this is much less of a concern. You can pretty much use any handbrake you like and connect it directly to your PC without any compatibility requirements with your other sim racing gear. You will need to check that it is supported in your game of choice though.

Budget

Another big consideration with any sim racing purchase is your budget. Sim racing can be expensive, and some handbrakes can stretch up over £300-£400! This doesn’t need to be the case though.

If you are sim racing on a modest budget, handbrakes such as the MOZA HBP and even the Sim-Lab XB1 handbrake cost considerably less than other options. As with most sim racing gear, there is a handbrake for all budgets.


Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5

The first handbrake I would almost always recommend to any sim racer is the Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5. This handbrake has been around for a long time, yet it remains one of the most popular sim racing accessories.

Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5

The pros list is much longer than the cons which is why this is a great choice. Out of all the handbrakes I’m recommending in this guide, this Fanatec handbrake is the second lowest priced. Yet it has one of the most versatile designs letting you mount it horizontally or vertically. It can even be mounted directly to your Fanatec shifter to make setting it up even easier.

One of the real benefits of this handbrake over the others is that it is compatible with both Xbox and PS5. The only other handbrake in this list that boasts that is the Thrustmaster Sparco Handbrake.

As long as you are running a Fanatec wheel base, you can connect this handbrake to your console. This is ideal for console sim racers who enjoy rallying in EA Sports WRC with a Fanatec wheel.

Handbrake – Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5
Compatibility – PC, Xbox, PS5
Price – €/$129.95
Where to buy – Buy from Fanatec


MOZA HBP Handbrake

Following on from the Fanatec handbrake, MOZA Racing has released its own budget-friendly handbrake, the HBP Handbrake. This is the cheapest handbrake that I’ll recommend in this guide, however, it is also one of the most customisable.

The MOZA HBP Handbrake has been designed to be mounted in a variety of ways, much like the Fanatec handbrake. Although, unlike the Fanatec handbrake, the HBP splits in the middle of the lever. This lets you rotate the top section of the lever to sit horizontally if you would rather this style of handbrake.

Thanks to the split in the middle, you can also make small adjustments to the angle of this handbrake. There are a series of pre-drilled holes that allow you to choose between six different angles when mounting vertically. These pre-drilled holes also let you adjust the height of the handbrake which is ideal if mounting it as a rally or drift handbrake.

Despite its low price tag, the MOZA HBP Handbrake is constructed from pretty high-quality materials. It utilises a CNC-machined aluminium construction to ensure the physical parts are incredibly resistant to wear.

There is also a non-contact 16-bit high-precision angle sensor to detect activation. Being contactless, you can expect this handbrake to last an incredibly long time without any worry about physical parts failing.

The only real downside of this sim racing handbrake is its lack of compatibility with Xbox or PS5 consoles. However, with MOZA releasing the Xbox-compatible R3 wheel base, there is hope that this handbrake will become Xbox-compatible over time.

Handbrake – MOZA Racing HBP Handbrake
Compatibility – PC
Price – £99
Where to buy – Buy from MOZA


Sim-Lab XB1 Handbrake

Dutch sim rig manufacturer Sim-Lab has made its reputation producing some of the very best sim racing rigs and cockpits around. However, they also produce sim racing peripherals including pedals and a very good handbrake.

Sim-Lab XB1 Handbrake

The Sim-Lab XB1 is the first load cell handbrake in this guide. That means that measuring the force of any activation is a 150kg load cell. Much like load cell brake pedals allow for much more realistic braking, incorporating a load cell in a handbrake allows for extra control.

While there aren’t as many options for mounting the XB1 handbrake horizontally as you get with the Fanatec and MOZA handbrakes. You do get the benefit of being able to make adjustments to the overall resistance and pre-load.


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These adjustments let you configure your handbrake to be set up perfectly for your own style. You can then build up muscle memory thanks to the load cell sensor. This gives you much finer levels of control over your handbrake inputs, as the activation is much more than a simple on or off.

Inside the main handbrake mechanism is a dual-stage damper which allows for an incredibly unique and realistic feeling. This is much more like a handbrake that is found in a real rally or drift car and gives you much more progressive control over each activation. This dual-stage damper can be replaced if you prefer a more direct application.

The build quality in this XB1 handbrake is also incredible thanks to a full aluminium construction. There are a range of elastomers included to give you control over how soft or stiff your handbrake feels. Overall, this is an incredibly high-end handbrake at a respectable price point.

Handbrake – Sim-Lab XB1 Handbrake
Compatibility – PC
Price – €/£175 / $219
Where to buy – Buy from Sim-Lab


Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake V2

The next handbrake that I want to recommend follows on from the Sim-Lab XB1 in terms of being a more premium handbrake that utilises a load cell. In terms of appearance, I think the Heusinkveld sim racing handbrake looks a lot like the Sim-Lab XB1 in its overall design.

They both feature a tall vertical handbrake with a 2-stage system located at the rear. The load cell sensor in this Heusinkveld handbrake is a 120kg sensor which relates to around 22kg of force at the lever.

The big difference between this handbrake and the Sim-Lab handbrake is that the Heusinkveld handbrake V2 includes additional adjustments. You can change the orientation of the lever from vertical to horizontal to give the handbrake a more real-world road car feel.

In fact, not only can you change between vertical and horizontal configurations. There are actually 26 degrees of adjustment that can be made in the overall position of the lever. This ensures that you can get the perfect position when setting up this sim racing handbrake on your rig.

Going back to the 2-stage system, this handbrake uses a spring system with replaceable elastomers. There are 3 elastomers in total which let you choose between a soft, medium and stiff handbrake feel.

The default measurement provides a very linear and progressive feeling. Although there are a tonne of further adjustments that can be made using Heusinkveld’s SmartControl software. In SmartControl, you can change the input curves to really adjust how much force is applied in-game.

Handbrake – Heusinkveld Handbrake V2
Compatibility – PC
Price – From €/$240
Where to buyBuy Heusinkveld Handbrake


Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+

Winning the title for the longest and most convoluted name is actually one of my favourite handbrakes in this whole guide. The Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+ is an incredibly versatile handbrake that has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod

In terms of true value for money, the TSS Handbrake offers incredible value despite its higher than some price tag. And that is because you are essentially getting a handbrake and a shifter with this sim racing product.

The Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+ can be configured as either a handbrake or a sequential shifter. This means that you have more versatility than any other product in this guide. When you aren’t throwing your car through a rally stage, you can switch over to using this as an incredibly good shifter.

Unlike the two recommendations above, the Heusinkveld and Sim-Lab shifter, this Thrustmaster shifter doesn’t use a load cell sensor. Instead, it is an analogue shifter that still offers a progressive feeling.

There is 4kg of resistance thanks to the springs that are in use, and the sensor is a contactless sensor which means your inputs won’t deteriorate over time.

Much like other handbrakes that I’ve recommended, this Thrustmaster handbrake is constructed from high-quality materials including 90% metal. It does look slightly bulkier than some other handbrakes which is mainly due to its internal components being hidden inside a case.

One last really good positive thing about this Thrustmaster sim racing handbrake is its compatibility with Xbox and PS5 consoles. This is only the second handbrake in this guide that can boast that extra compatibility.

Handbrake – Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+
Compatibility – PC, Xbox, PS5
Price – £239
Where to buy – Buy Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake


Simagic TB-1 Handbrake

One of the most realistic handbrakes that I can recommend is the Simagic TB-1 Handbrake. It comes in at a mid-range price point but offers a lot of functionality that other more premium handbrakes on this list offer. This combination makes the TB-1 handbrake a fantastic choice if you’re sim racing on PC.

Simagic TB-1 Handbrake

The TB-1 Handbrake features a two-stage design to simulate a similar feeling that can be found in a real-world car. This system utilises both springs and an elastomer to provide realistic resistance. Much like other premium handbrakes, there are additional elastomers included which can be swapped in to adjust the overall resistance.

Measuring your inputs is a 100kg load cell sensor to accurately translate your movement to in-game pressure. At 100kg, this load cell isn’t as strong as the ones found in the Heusinkveld or Sim-Lab handbrakes, however, this is the cheapest of the three handbrakes.

Another feature that some premium handbrakes are actually missing that can be found in this Simagic handbrake is the ability to switch between horizontal and vertical modes. You can pretty easily change the orientation of the lever to swap between track and street style.

When you pair this TB-1 Handbrake with the Simagic Q1S sequential shifter, you’ll have an incredibly realistic sim racing setup, ready to attack those rally stages.

Handbrake – Simagic TB-1 Handbrake
Compatibility – PC
Price – £158
Where to buy – Buy Simagic TB-1 Handbrake


Aiologs Sim Handbrake

Aiologs is a pretty unknown sim racing brand, however, they create one of my favourite sequential shifters on the market today. But what about their handbrake, is it just as good?

Aiologs Sim Handbrake

Out of all of the handbrakes that I’ve recommended, this Aiologs sim racing handbrake is easily one of the most industrial-looking. There is bare metal on show everywhere you look, but in actuality, this simply shows the precision on offer that much better.

When buying an Aiologs sim racing product, including this handbrake, you don’t tend to get as much customisation as you can find elsewhere, however, the price reflects this by being lower than others. Instead, you get a very well-built sim racing product that excels at performing.

Some adjustments can be made that include alternate knobs and levers which let you adjust the height and overall throw from the handbrake motion. Increasing the height of the lever lowers some of the resistance and tension.

One really great thing about this Aioogs handbrake is that it includes a desk or table clamp as standard. This lets you mount it to any surface without worrying about hard mounting. This is something that is often overlooked by many brands, so it’s nice to see that little accessibility feature here.

Handbrake – Aiologs Sim Handbrake
Compatibility – PC
Price – $170
Where to buy – Buy Aiologs Sim Handbrake


Meca Evo Handbrake

The Meca Evo Handbrake is a sim racing handbrake that looks like it means business. It follows similar design cues that the Sim-Lab and Heusinkveld shifters use with its open design showcasing the mechanism.

Meca Evo Handbrake

Like both of those handbrakes, there is a load cell included in the design of this Meca Evo Handbrake. Although the load cell is a whopping 200kg putting it at the top of this list in terms of pure strength.

The rest of the construction is extremely high quality with the use of 4mm thick steel that has been treated. There are swappable polyurethanes that allow you to adjust the throw length of each activation, and the lever head is fully replaceable as well.

One thing that really strikes me about this handbrake that isn’t overly obvious in images is the sheer size of it. At 416mm tall, this is easily the largest handbrake I’m recommending. This lets you mount it fairly low down on your sim rig whilst still giving it a high reach much like a rally or drift handbrake.

If you want to achieve the maximum amount of immersion whilst sim racing, this Meca Evo Handbrake will make you feel like you’re sitting behind the wheel of a real race car. You can pair it with the Meca sequential shifter as well to achieve the same height across both your handbrake and shifter.

Handbrake – Meca Evo Handbrake
Compatibility – PC
Price – $170
Where to buy – Buy Meca Evo Handbrake


How to choose a sim racing handbrake that is right for you

Any of the sim racing handbrakes that I recommended in this guide would make fantastic additions to most sim racing setups. However, you do need to choose a handbrake that is suitable for your own circumstances.

For example, if you race exclusively on a PlayStation 5, many of the handbrakes above simply won’t be compatible. There are definitely some things to consider when buying a handbrake. The main things I would really look for when choosing a handbrake for a sim rig are;

  • Design – Choose a handbrake that lets you achieve your goals. A rally handbrake won’t be good if you want to replicate a road car for example.
  • Customisation – Moving on from the design, being able to adjust and customise your handbrake is important. You need to be able to mount it in the way you are after.
  • Budget – Your budget is always important when buying any sim racing gear because sim racing equipment can be expensive. I’ve recommended a variety of sim racing handbrakes across a range of different budgets for this exact reason.

Once you’ve considered all of the points above, you should have narrowed your search down to just a few handbrakes from our recommendations above. Ultimately, every handbrake I recommended is very good. Whichever you choose, you can’t really go too wrong.


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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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