The way it’s meant to be played.
Updated: October 2017
Racing games occupy a unique lane in the world of gaming, as they can put you behind the wheel of a supercharged race car in a frenzied street race or on the track in Formula 1. Or a go-kart filled with banana peels. Sure, you can use a gamepad, but you’re not getting the full experience. With a proper racing wheel setup you can realistically steer around other cars, shift into a higher gear, and slam on the accelerator for an experience that is way more awesome than just lounging on the couch with gamepad.
Add-ons such as pedals can put all the essentials right in your living room. Here are five of the best options that’ll let you transform your next race into the real thing… or at least as close as you can get in your living room.
Logitech Driving Force G29
Many of the best options include not just a wheel, but also shifters and pedals for the full racing experience. The Logitech Driving Force G29 offers this, with editions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
It includes steel ball bearings and stainless steel pedals, giving you the look of a true racing beast. The dual-motor force feedback is built to give you the sensations that you’d actually experience while driving a car. It won’t fully make up for the real thing, obviously, but there’s a reason that feedback has been built into the standard controllers that come with your console – it adds just the right dash of realism to the experience.
Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Racing Wheel
With a name like Thrustmaster, you expect a product that will deliver some real power and force when it comes to racing games. But you’ll notice the looks first, as this model includes a brushed metal steering wheel with central spokes and a rubber grips. The pedals also look as if they could be part of any classic car setup.
This kit, however, costs almost as much as auto repair. It’s also only for the PlayStation 4, 3, or PCs. However, its PlayStation exclusivity pays off since the console’s button layout is right on the steering wheel.
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: Leather Edition
If you like the look of the Thrustmaster T300 but want to get a model that works with your Xbox One, then this is the one to check out. There are six buttons on the wheel, a control pad, and thumbstick. As for the build, this controller setup includes a three-pedal set and a “central attachment system” that’s designed to make it compatible with just about any desk or table. The controls also include the Xbox guide button, so you’ll have full functionality to interact with your console.
This is a solid middle-of-the-road option if you don’t want to spend a small fortune, but you still want a respectable setup. You can get a version specifically for PS4, Xbox One, and there’s even one with an optional shifter.
The dual-motor force feedback is designed to send vibrations to your hands so that it feels like you’re physically on the track. The metal pedals sit atop a large floorboard that reviewers say is sturdy and able to handle slamming on the gas. This model doesn’t have some of the same visual flourishes as more expensive alternatives, but it will be a treat for your next race or police chase.
HORI Racing Wheel
A good racing wheel doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, and in fact this one just costs $100, so it’s one of the more affordable options. The HORI comes in two different configurations: one for PS4 and another for Xbox One. It only includes two pedals (many others have three, and the vibration feedback is going to be slightly pedestrian compared to more sophisticated setups. But if you want the driving experience in a decent controlling setup without dropping too much cash, this is a great option.
Thrustmaster VG T300 Ferrari Alcantara Edition
The Ferrari Alcantara version of the Thrustmaster VG T300 is compatible with the PS3, PS4, and PC, and hoo boy does it looks sweet. Dubbed a “force feedback racing simulator” it’s the whole kit and kaboodle, and has a replica steering wheel from the Ferrari 599XX EVO. The wheel is wrapped in patented Alcantara material, just like the Ferrari, and it provides a grippy and soft feel without sacrificing durability. The three pedals are made from solid metal and are adjustable too. All in all this might be as close as you’ll ever get to driving a real Ferrari, at just a fraction of the price.