Fanatec Compatability Explained: Console & Other Brands
This guide takes a deep dive into Fanatec compatibility. I'll look at compatibility between Fanatec product ranges, console compatibility and compatibility with sim racing products from other brands.
Fanatec is one of the major brands within sim racing, and they boast one of the largest ecosystems of sim racing products. This ecosystem includes a variety of direct drive wheel bases, and a large number of steering wheels, some of which are officially licensed by brands such as BMW and Porsche.
With such a large ecosystem of sim racing products, a common question to ask is just how compatible is each Fanatec product. Do they all work seamlessly with each other? Are all Fanatec products compatible with Xbox and PS5 consoles? And can you combine Fanatec products with other hardware such as Logitech or Thrustmaster?
In this guide, I’ll look to answer the most common Fanatec compatibility questions. Hopefully, this will be helpful if you’re planning on buying a Fanatec racing wheel or upgrading part of your sim racing setup.
Are all Fanatec products compatible with each other?
The first question often comes when looking to buy a complete sim racing setup from Fanatec. And that is, which Fanatec products are compatible with each other?
Trying to figure out which Fanatec products are compatible with each other isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to. However, the general rule of thumb is that all Fanatec products that are currently sold on their website are compatible with one another, as long as both products are compatible with the same console.
That last part is vitally important. If you try to connect an Xbox-compatible steering wheel to a PlayStation-compatible wheel base, the wheel base simply won’t recognise the steering wheel.
If, however, you are sim racing on PC, then every single Fanatec product that is currently sold is compatible with each other. Every Fanatec product is PC compatible regardless of additional console compatibility. And therefore, every single Fanatec product will be compatible with others on PC.
When shopping for either an Xbox or PlayStation-compatible Fanatec setup, you do need to match console compatibility.
- All current Fanatec products are compatible with each other on PC.
- On Xbox and PS4/PS5, you need to match products that are all compatible with your console of choice.
Fanatec’s product ranges explained
While all Fanatec products can be combined with each other regardless of product range, it is important to know the difference between each of Fanatec’s different product ranges.
Some products perform better with products within their own product range. For example, to unlock the high torque mode on the high-performance DD1 and DD2 wheel bases, you require a quick release that is capable of withstanding the high levels of torque.
The CSL range is Fanatec’s entry-level product range. Any product that has the CSL tag within its name sits within this product range, and they will generally be more affordable.
CSL products are more accessible for many sim racers and make a great starting point for anyone buying a Fanatec product for the first time. The wheel bases within the CSL range aren’t as powerful as others, and some products such as steering wheels use more budget-friendly materials in their design.
The ClubSport range is the mid-tier range of Fanatec products. Here you will find sim racing products that are generally higher performing than CSL products, but not quite the highest-performing products that Fanatec produce.
For many sim racers, the ClubSport range of products is the perfect blend of performance and budget. It is often within this range that you’ll find products that represent the best bang for your buck due to increased build quality and performance over the CSL range.
Fanatec’s Podium sim racing products are the most premium that the German sim racing company sell. Within the Podium range, you’ll find the most expensive products that are capable of the best performance.
Wheel bases such as the DD1 and DD2 sit within this range and are currently the strongest wheel base that Fanatec sell. You’ll also find premium steering wheels that carry BMW and Porsche branding within the Podium range.
Are Fanatec products compatible with Xbox?
When it comes to Fanatec console compatibility, things start to become a little trickier. While every Fanatec product is compatible with each other on PC, only certain products are Xbox compatible.
There are also two forms of Fanatec Xbox compatibility to look out for, “Xbox compatible” and “Xbox ready”. And both of these types of products behave differently.
- Xbox compatible: Dictates that the product is directly compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles.
- Xbox ready: This product is only compatible with Xbox consoles when connected to an Xbox-licensed steering wheel.
The term “Xbox ready” is generally applied to Fanatec products such as pedals. “Xbox ready” products can’t be directly connected to your Xbox, instead, they need to be connected to an “Xbox-compatible” product such as an Xbox-compatible wheel base like the CSL DD.
While shopping for a Fanatec racing wheel or product, you’ll generally notice that each product is compatible with either Xbox or PlayStation. Only a few products are compatible with both consoles.
It is important that you ensure that all parts of your sim racing setup carry the “Xbox-compatible” logo otherwise your setup may not work. This includes the wheel base, steering wheel, pedals and any additional peripherals such as a shifter or handbrake.
Are Fanatec products compatible with PS5?
Much like the Xbox-compatible products mentioned above, only some Fanatec products are compatible with PS5 and PS4. These products carry a PlayStation logo in the Fanatec store, and much like Xbox, there are two forms of PlayStation compatibility, “PS compatible” and “PS ready”.
- PS compatible: The product is directly compatible with PS4 and PS5.
- PS ready: This product is only compatible with PlayStation consoles when connected to a PlayStation-licensed wheel base.
Unlike Xbox products which use the steering wheel as the main compatibility item, Fanatec’s PlayStation-compatible products use the wheel base as the main hub.
For this reason, you’ll find that all PlayStation-compatible Fanatec wheel base have the “PS compatible” tag. And all PlayStation-compatible steering wheels have the tag “PS ready”. This just indicates that the steering wheel only works with PS4 and PS5 when mounted to a PlayStation-compatible wheel base such as the GT DD Pro.
Currently, every single Fanatec steering wheel is PlayStation compatible as long as they are mounted to a GT DD Pro wheel base. The GT DD Pro is the only PlayStation-compatible Fanatec wheel base currently.
Are other wheels compatible with Fanatec?
Most sim racing brands don’t open up their ecosystem to be compatible with other brands, and that is kind of true with Fanatec.
If you are racing on a PC, you can mix and match your sim racing products as each one will have a direct connection to your PC. This means you can use a Fanatec racing wheel with pedals and a shifter from another brand. Or you can use Fanatec pedals with a racing wheel from another brand.
However, when it comes to console sim racing, every product has to be connected to your wheel base, which then gets connected to your Xbox or PlayStation via a single USB.
This means that all of your products including your pedals, shifters and steering wheel are all directly compatible with your wheel base. And this is where Fanatec’s compatibility with other brands is limited.
You cannot use sim racing products from different brands with your Fanatec racing wheel on Xbox or PS4/PS5.
Compatibility with other brands
Fanatec does not directly support other sim racing steering wheels to be compatible with a Fanatec wheel base. You will require a third-party adapter if you wish to use a different branded steering wheel with a Fanatec wheel base.
Fanatec’s wheel bases and steering wheels communicate through the quick release. There are pins inside the driveshaft that physically transmit data from the wheel base to the steering wheel and vice versa. If the wheel base doesn’t find this connection, it simply won’t function.
Fanatec Universal Hub
The two options to get around this are to use the Fanatec Universal Hub. This allows for third-party wheel rims to be mounted to the hub, which house all of the electronics to make the wheel base work. This lets you mount third-party wheel rims to your Fanatec wheel base.
Or, you can look for a third-party adapter such as a Collectiveminds DriveHub. These adapters aren’t officially supported by Fanatec but do allow you to combine products from different brands and use them together on a console. This will allow you to use Thrustmaster pedals and a Fanatec racing wheel on Xbox or PS5 for example.
The DriveHub is essentially a hub to which all of your different products connect to. From there, the DriveHub connects to your console via a USB and its in-built software allows all connected products to function correctly.
Are Fanatec products compatible with Logitech?
Fanatec products can be compatible with Logitech products on PC only. To make both products work with each other, both individual products will need to be connected to your PC directly. This means, your Logitech racing wheel or pedals will require a direct USB connection to your PC.
On Xbox or PS5, Fanatec and Logitech products are not compatible with each other. That is unless you use an adapter such as the DriveHub I mentioned earlier. This will let you connect pedals, shifters and racing wheels from both Logitech and Fanatec and allow them to work together.
Are Fanatec products compatible with Thrustmaster?
Much like the answer above, Thrustmaster and Fanatec products are compatible with PC. Each product should be connected directly to your PC via USB for cross-compatibility to function correctly.
On Xbox or PS5, Thrustmaster and Fanatec products are not compatible directly, unless you use an adapter like the DriveHub which opens up Thrustmaster and Fanatec compatibility on Xbox and PS4/PS5.
Read our complete guide to Fanatec and Thrustmaster compatibility for more detailed information.
Are Fanatec products compatible with Simucube?
Simucube have recently released their own range of sim racing pedals. Much like all other Simucube products, these are only PC compatible. This means that you can use the Simucube ActivePedals with a Fanatec racing wheel on PC.
You can also use Fanatec pedals or shifters with a Simucube wheel base.
You cannot natively use Fanatec steering wheels with a Simucube wheel base, however, you can purchase a conversion kit for your Fanatec wheel. This will allow you to convert the connection on your Fanatec steering wheel to become compatible with a Simucube wheel base.
The conversion kit is offered by SimRacingMachines, and takes around an hour or so to install. This will open up additional compatibility between these two sim racing brands.
Are Fanatec products compatible with MOZA?
Much like Simucube, MOZA Racing products are only PC compatible currently. This allows you to use a combination of MOZA and Fanatec products while sim racing on PC. You can mix and match pedals, racing wheels, shifters and handbrakes from both brands to create your perfect sim racing setup.
MOZA Racing has also recently released a quick release adapter. This lets you mount third-party steering wheels to the quick release adapter and then use them with a MOZA wheel base. If you mount a Fanatec steering wheel to the MOZA adapter, only the steering function will work, but you will get true force feedback from the wheel base.
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This isn’t an ideal scenario as none of the inputs on your Fanatec steering wheel will work using this method. However, if you really like the ergonomics of your Fanatec steering wheel, this is a possibility.
Fanatec quick release compatibility
The last part of Fanatec compatibility I wanted to touch on was the Fanatec quick releases and hubs. There are a variety of different quick releases available from Fanatec, with each QR or hub catering for different scenarios.
The QR1 is the current generation of Fanatec quick release and is compatible with all Fanatec wheel bases and steering wheels. This can be mounted to any Fanatec steering wheel to mount it to your Fanatec wheel base.
It’s important to note that the QR2 is in development and is expected to be released soon. This will utilise a different form of quick release technology to ensure better fitment and accessibility.
The QR1 Lite is a plastic version of the QR1 and is included with some steering wheels such as the McLaren GT3 V2 steering wheel. This is similar to the QR1, but not quite as sturdy.
The construction is completely plastic and there is some wiggle between the QR1 Lite and the Fanatec wheel base which isn’t ideal. When using the QR1 Lite, you cannot access the high performance modes on the DD1 and DD2 wheel bases as it simply wouldn’t be strong enough to cope with the high torque demands.
CLS Universal Hub
Fanatec hubs are different from quick releases. They’re designed to include all the electronics that are normally found in steering wheels. This allows the wheel base to recognise the hub and function correctly with a hub mounted.
The purpose of Fanatec hubs is to allow third-party wheel rims to be connected to the hub, which then mounts to the wheel base, and everything works as intended.
The CLS Universal Hub features a selection of button inputs and a couple of paddle shifters which can all be used to control your car in-game.
ClubSport Universal Hub V2
The ClubSport Universal Hub V2 is a more premium hub compared to the CSL Hub. This hub features even more button inputs and upgraded magnetic shifter paddles.
The button clusters are positioned to sit well with Fanatec steering wheel rims that do not come with any inputs. On the top of the hub is a screen which can show your telemetry and a series of additional buttons that can be used to tune the force feedback and more.
The Podium Hub sits above the ClubSport Universal Hub V2 in terms of build quality and comes with a QR1 attached.
The electronics inside the Podium Hub allow any steering wheel or wheel rim to be mounted to the Podium Hub, and the Fanatec wheel base will still work.
The electronics inside the Podium Hub will not make inputs from different branded steering wheels work, however, if those steering wheels can be connected to your PC via a USB like Cube Controls wheels can, all inputs will work well.
The Podium Hub is the only Fanatec hub to come without shifters or buttons included. This decision allows for more complex steering wheels to be used with it. Using a USB steering wheel such as a Cube Controls wheel allows for full force feedback from the Fanatec wheel base, and all inputs on the steering wheel to work as intended.
Hopefully, this Fanatec compatibility guide has helped show all possibilities when it comes to using Fanatec products with various consoles and other products.
The important thing to remember when shopping for Fanatec sim racing gear is that on PC, pretty much everything will work with one another, including products from other brands.
However, if racing on console, ensure all of your products are from the same brand and all are compatible with your console of choice.
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