If you’re looking to play the latest racing simulators, you might be in search of the best racing wheel that’s reliable and functional. Racing wheels can make your gaming experience incredibly immersive, realistic and smooth. With the right controller designed specifically for racing games, you can literally go behind the wheel for a truly first-person experience.
When looking to buy the right racing wheel for your style, platform and budget, there are a few things to keep in mind. Read on for tips on how to choose the best racing wheel for PC, Xbox or PlayStation that’s worth your investment.
How to Choose the Best Racing Wheel for Your Gaming Needs
Vibration and Force Feedback
Similar to real life situations, virtual racing isn’t always smooth sailing. There are bumps in the roads, impacts with other cars, tire grip slip and road relief – all of these sensations can be physically experienced with a racing wheel that’s optimized for force feedback.
Good racing wheel will have vibrations and effects that simulate what you’re seeing and doing in the virtual race, making your struggles and victories feel like you’re actually driving in a real car. For an optimally simulated racing experience, look for racing wheels with two force feedback motors (as a side note, these usually come in at a higher price point).
Wheel Size and Rotation
Most racing wheels are not exact replicas of a steering wheel for specific cars. Instead, they have a balance of size, function and rotation to imitate the feeling of driving a variety of car models while keeping the device as portable and gamer-friendly as possible. The standard for racing wheels is about 11 inches in diameter, but some may be slightly larger or smaller depending on the model.
To find a racing wheel with the best size and rotation, consider your budget and preferences. More expensive racing wheels are usually bigger with a larger range of rotation (up to 1080 degrees). Others may be more affordable but with less of a “real car feel”.
Clutch and Pedals
What’s a good racing wheel without a durable clutch and pedals to complete the package? To deliver a truly engaging racing experience, many racing wheels come with a set of pedals so you can drive with more natural control. The best gaming clutch and pedals will be durable, adjustable and have a balanced connection with the user and the console. If you enjoy driving virtual manual cars, you may also consider investing in a manual gearbox with a clutch. This can make things more challenging for gamers who prefer automatic simulation, but there’s nothing like shifting gears to make for a more sensational manual driving experience.
When discussing racing simulators, there are three primary platforms that you can purchase racing wheels for: Xbox, PlayStation and PC. In general, both Xbox and PlayStation racing wheels can also be used for PC games. It all comes down to which platform you play on and whether or not you care about cross-platform compatibility. It’s also important to remember that buying wheels, pedals and shifters separately from different brands and platforms can result in an incompatible gaming setup. If you’re looking at products from different sellers, be sure to check that all the pieces will work together on your chosen platform.
The Best Racing Wheels in 2019
Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Racing Wheel
The Best Racing Wheel for PS4
One of the major goals of gaming wheels is to recreate the realistic racing experience and make the gamers feel like they’re behind the wheel of a true racing car. Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Racing Wheel, with the help of H.E.A.R.T technology and the quality 1080 degree force feedback, does exactly that, which makes it a perfect tool for pleasant racing.
Its smooth wheel performance and adjustable metal pedals allow for easy control over the direction of the car, along with proper control over the brakes and gas. Also, thanks to its 13 action buttons, Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Racing Wheel has the ability to cover all the needed functions in order to make the game racing an ultimate experience.
Officially licensed for PS3 and PS4 and generally attractive-looking, with a great performance, this premium racing wheel is a good choice for people looking for a quality option for their racing simulations.
- Three pedals included in the package
- Quality force feedback
- Not that great improvement over the previous generation
- Clutch cannot be used without a gearstick
Logitech Driving Force G29
An Excellent Racing Simulation Wheel
Logitech Driving Force G29 is a quality wheel that raises the racing simulations to another, higher level. Thanks to its metal base, leather coating and premium finish, this device looks great and creates a sense of a real steering wheel at the same time. Although it is not as smooth as the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT, it still recreates a more realistic feeling, which may not be decisive for your purchase, but is still a pretty important aspect of a simulation wheel.
G29 possesses 900-degree wheel rotation and is equipped with the Helical geared force feedback that will surely deliver a satisfying driving experience. The package also contains a decent three pedal base that, according to performance and quality, isn’t any worse than the wheel itself, but lacks a proper grip which can be pretty annoying in decisive moments, when you push the acceleration or break and the whole base moves away from your legs.
The device itself is compatible with PS4, PS3 and the PC, comes with a plug and play function and offers high durability with a capacity to accept serious punishment, which makes it very pleasing for exploitation.
Overall, although it delivers a breathtaking racing experience, Logitech Driving Force G29 still can be a bit better – among other things, because it looks like the slightly improved G27, not a completely new device.
- Nice design
- Good force feedback
- Pretty similar to G27
- The pedal grip must be much better
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition
A Decent Gaming Wheel that Needs a Bit of Tuning
If you are looking for a quality wheel that offers a possibility for an upgrade and wheel changing, Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition is the product for you.
With the same brushless force feedback motors, as the more expensive T300 versions, and thanks to the decent 900-degree rotation and the H.E.A.R.T technology, this wheel delivers an equally good, if not better, performance as the other high-end devices.
Unfortunately, its plastic two-pedal set is its weakest spot, but luckily it can be replaced with another pedal type. Also, if you are looking for a decent gearstick, you will have to purchase it additionally.
What is the best about this device is definitely its force feedback which can match the leading wheels of the class. The outer part of the wheel is predominantly made out of plastic and rubber, while the wheel itself comes with 10 action buttons and is equipped with cooling fans. Also, it is designed to be a replica of the real Ferrari 458 wheel.
Therefore, if you are a Ferrari fan and are playing games on your PC or Xbox, this is the wheel to own. Unluckily, it is a bit too expensive for what it offers. If the pedals were better, the price would be fair, this way it is slightly over the top.
- Excellent force feedback
- Quality build
- High price
- Poor pedals
Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel
One of the Best PC/Xbox Wheels
For all those looking for a device that offers a ton of customization options and premium racing experience, Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel is an excellent solution.
It is compatible with PC, PS4 and, if you purchase the P1 rim, even with the Xbox. Also, it is relatively easy to set up and offers great flexibility which, along with its great performance, fully justifies its high price.
If you are looking for a device that gives you the opportunity to adjust the force feedback, ABS, drift, break force, deadzone and many other criteria that can help you fully make the wheel to suit your needs, Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel is the thing to own.
1080 degree wheel rotation, a single belt brushless motor for a smooth force feedback action, small weight, and quality build are just some of the features that this great wheel brings along.
What isn’t that great about this wheel is the lack of pedals and a more luxury feeling that would be appreciated for this price range. However, this can be explained by the fact that Fanatec wanted to offer the premium performance wheel for the least possible price. For that reason, they decided to take off all the fancy stuff and peripherals and leave just the essentials that would guarantee for a supreme high-end experience. Luckily, they succeed!
- Great force feedback
- Smooth performance
- Expensive upgrades
- No pedals
Thrustmaster T150 RS
An Affordable, yet Great Performing Gaming Wheel
Finding a decent-quality gaming wheel that is affordable at the same time is never an easy task. Fortunately, there are always a couple of them waiting to be spotted, such as Thrustmaster T150 RS.
Of course, this price category usually means that some of the more advanced features are either cut off or reduced, and that is also the case with this one. T150 RS basically presents a cheaper version of T300 RS GT, with a slightly reduced force feedback and stripped off of some of the fancy features.
That, on the other hand, doesn’t mean this wheel is bad, on the contrary. This is a great entry-level device that will satisfy the majority of racing enthusiasts without going too deep into their pocket. There is a 1080 degree wheel rotation, PS4, PS3 and PC compatibility, great force feedback and all the buttons you can find on a PS4 pad.
On the other hand, what isn’t that great is the plastic two-pedal set that lacks the clutch and comes without a progressive break action, giving a completely non-realistic feeling to the driver.
Altogether, Thrustmaster T150 RS isn’t a perfect set, but considering its price and very good performance, it is more than a recommended option for gamers looking for a good-quality, but cheap racing wheel.
- Great value
- Powerful force feedback
- Cheap pedals
- Notchy during wheel turns
Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel
An Affordable Solution for Your Xbox Racing
Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback racing wheel is a cheap, but decent performing wheel, visually pretty similar to the Thrustmaster T150 RS, with a few differences. Among others, a smaller 900-degree wheel rotation, support for PC and Xbox, instead of PS3 a PS4 and the progressive action brake pedal.
Although it’s made out of plastic, this wheel has a sturdy construction and looks pretty durable. Its force feedback feature comes as a result of the mixed belt and gear system, producing a more than pleasing performance for the majority of users. The wheel itself is equipped with 12 action buttons and a D-pad, while the pedals, although sturdy, are basic with the already mentioned progressive brake action.
Altogether, Thrustmaster TMX is a good entry-level device with proper force feedback that will perfectly suit any Xbox fan. If you own a PC, T150 RS would probably be a better choice, but you surely won’t be disappointed with this one either.
- Powerful force feedback
- Great racing experience
- Low-quality pedals
- Isn’t as smooth and subtle as premium models
HORI Racing Wheel Apex
A Low-cost Wheel, Perfect for Arcade or Casual Racer Fans
First of all, inexpensive, HORI Racing Wheel Apex is a device made for weekend racers or fans of the arcade gaming. This wheel doesn’t have force feedback and it comes with a limited turn radius of only 270 degrees. In other words, forget about the realistic racing experience with this one.
That isn’t its purpose, in the first place. Its role is that its rumble motors offer a better gaming experience than gaming pads, delivering some sort of sensation to the gamer, but without going too much into the matter.
HORI Racing Wheel Apex is fully compatible with PS3, PS4 and PC (HORI Overdrive is available for Xbox One), it comes with a simple, plastic two pedals set and offers USB connectivity. It is made out of quality plastic and rubber and has durable buttons that guarantee years of exploitation.
Overall, HORI Racing Wheel Apex isn’t spectacular and lacks a realistic aspect of other, more expensive, wheels, but on the other hand, if arcade or weekend racing is your primary goal, it is more than a good option.
- Quality build
- Poor pedals
- No force feedback
Thrustmaster TX RW Leather Edition
A Simply Amazing Racing Wheel That Will Satisfy Even the Most Demanding Racers
If you are searching for a great wheel that will deliver a realistic performance and suck you into the racing world, Thrustmaster TX RW Leather Edition should be your purchase.
This wheel simply doesn’t have a weak spot. It comes with smooth and consistent force feedback thanks to its dual-belt motor. TX RW offers high precision and responsiveness without latency and allows for wheel rotation of up to 900 degrees. In other words, for realistic racing enthusiasts, there is no better wheel than this one. If you want an experience that is as realistic as possible during your Xbox or PC racing, this is the device to have.
With Thrustmaster TX RW Leather Edition, everything seems to be in the perfect place, from TX Servo Base to detachable leather wheel or T3PA 3-pedal set – everything is where it should be.
The whole set looks and feels amazing and makes the racing an unforgettable experience.
- Exceptional force feedback
- Very realistic
- Nice pedals
- Needs adjusting for every game separately
A Racing Wheel that Doesn’t Accept any Compromise
Another Great High-End Racing Wheel for PC and Xbox
For anyone looking for the most realistic racing experience, no matter the cost, Fanatec Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel and Pedals Bundle comes as a dream coming true. This set is simply amazing. Yes, it costs a small fortune, but if you want the best, you have to pay for it… and this set certainly is that.
Future-proof, with unlimited customization options and made out of durable high-quality materials, this wheel is built to stay your racing companion for quite some time. Thanks to the incorporation of numerous premium features such as the DirectSensor technology (responsible for supreme precision), or brushless servo motor (creates unmatched force feedback), this wheel is unique on the market, without any real competition.
When talking about its other characteristics, it must be mentioned that it comes in a package with a metal-made three-pedal set that delivers a high versatility and exceptional responsiveness. Also, the wheel itself is equipped with 31 buttons, constructed out of anodized aluminum and covered with leather, while it is able to perform a 1080 degree rotation.
Overall, Fanatec Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel and Pedals Bundle is a top of the line product, with amazing features and unparalleled racing experience. Altogether, one hell of a wheel.
- Much above every competition
- Amazing user experience
- High customization
Driving in a racing simulator with a keyboard, mouse or gamepad can sometimes feel unnatural or frustrating. With a racing wheel, you can master virtual races with an ultra-responsive steering wheel and pedal set with force feedback.
If you’ve already invested in the best gaming mouse, joystick and controller for PC games, choosing a powerful high-quality racing wheel might just complete your ultimate gaming setup. Whether you’ve built your own gaming PC or you prefer to use consoles, there’s plenty of racing wheel options to suit your gaming style.