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Having the chance to race like a professional F1 driver has been a dream for many gamers around the world. It’s been made possible by popular games nowadays as well as peripherals that offer a genuine experience like that on the race track itself. Professional racecar drivers even attest to these gaming rigs as it’s often their training ground during the offseason. If you’re a fan of F1, we’ve provided 10 of the best steering wheels you can buy right now so you can start your journey of becoming the best sim racer in the world of eSports.
Fanatec has always been at the forefront when it comes to giving gamers the best driving experience money can buy. The Podium F1 Racing Wheel is bundled with the Podium Direct Drive Wheel Base to fully immerse racers, giving them total control and feel like that of a genuine F1 driver. This racing wheel is officially licensed by Sony for use on their current and next-gen consoles. Moreover, it has been granted the stamp of approval of F1 itself to bear its name. If that doesn’t give you a vote of confidence, then we don’t know what will.
This racing wheel has absolutely no lag as it utilizes direct drive technology. Professional racecar drivers often use this gaming rig because it’s essentially training equipment for them during the off-season. Fanatec provides a fantastic 5-year warranty as a standard on their products which makes this racing wheel a great buy if budget is not a concern for you. It’s entirely plug-and-play and shouldn’t give you an issue during setup, making it one of the best steering wheels you can order right now for your favorite F1 games.
Another great product from Fanatec is the GT3 V2 CSL Elite Steering Wheel. This time, it’s officially licensed by McLaren Automotive limited. It is a full-size and exact reproduction of the steering wheel used in modern McLaren GT3 race cars. Even the shape, switch sizes, paddles, and dials are based on the original McLaren CAD data to bring the thrill of Formula 1 right in the comfort of your own home.
It has a new and improved 12-way switch for advanced multi-position modes and rotary encoder functionality for wider compatibility between different racing simulators. The price is very budget-friendly so if your wallet is a little tight, you won’t go wrong with this one. Every input is intelligently designed to make you focus more on the game. This steering wheel works great on the Xbox but is also compatible with PC and PlayStation systems when combined with a PlayStation licensed wheelbase.
The Clubsport Formula Carbon steering wheel is made from 100% metal and real carbon fiber. It is a replica of steering wheels used by Formula cars and has a compact diameter of 27 cm. This realistic size allows for fast movements and reactions during intense gaming moments. The front plate also has a sublime 3D look while the grips are made of genuine Italian made Alcantara. This gives gamers an exceptional grip and feel, making it perform like a real race car and not a toy. The grips are also easily replaceable and are easy to clean if needed.
This steering wheel also has advanced displays to assist you and help you win the race. The tuning display shows telemetry data like speed, current gear, remaining fuel, and many other parameters. They’re shown on a big LED display and can be changed during gameplay. The only drawback of the Clubsport Formula Carbon is the fact that it is not compatible with the Xbox and only works on PC and PlayStation consoles.
The Formula V2.5X is an officially licensed steering wheel for Xbox if you own one of their systems. Like the other peripherals on the list, this racing wheel has a perfect size and shape for all Formula 1 race cars and other single-seater race cars to raise your game to the next level. It is made from solid carbon fiber with aluminum shifter modules, and the grips are made from genuine Alcantara giving it the premium look that gamers would love.
The pre-installed paddle module really makes this steering wheel shine. It provides crisp shifting so you’ll be able to change gears with confidence every time. This accessory is packed with 11 buttons, 12-way multi-position switches, thumb encoders, toggle switches, and more. It is also compatible with the PC and PlayStation as long as you have their licensed wheelbase to make this the total wheel for all your gaming needs.
5. Thrustmaster F1 Racing Wheel
The Thrustmaster F1 racing wheel is a precise, realistic, and full-sized replica of the Formula 1 Ferrari 2011 racing wheel. It’s officially licensed by Ferrari and is made from reinforced scratch-brushed metal to ensure optimum durability and movement. This racing wheel also features rubber-textured grips and the F1 “push-and-pull” sequential shifters in true F1
The rotary knobs, switches, and action buttons are all of professional quality. These enable each gamer to have accurate adjustments according to their race style and according to the conditions of the track. This racing wheel has two rotary encoder switchers for direct and on-the-track optimization, eight pushbuttons, three 4.5 N metal switches with 3 positions, and an automatic centering feature. All of these extensive buttons allow racers to make lightning-fast adjustments when knee-deep on the race track.
6. Thrustmaster TS-XW Racer Sparco P310 Competition Racing Wheel
The TS-XW racing wheel from Thrustmaster is an official replica of the P310 competition wheel. It is officially licensed for Xbox and automatically syncs with the console for ease of use. This racing wheel is also compatible with the PC by downloading the drivers available on the Thrustmaster website. The 1:1 scale replica is 31cm in diameter that’s designed for racing fans and casual gamers alike. The wheel rotates for up to 3 full turns for optimal inertia and extreme force feedback sensations.
This bundle includes a pedal set and a conical rubber brake mod. The pedal set is fully adjustable to fit your needs. There is also a Turbo Power power supply to deliver constant power to your games. The attachment systems also in the box are compatible with all kinds of desks, tables, and more. The unit is quite pricey due to the contents but since it includes all the necessary bells and whistles to start your journey on racing games, you should definitely check this out.
The Flat 2 V2 steering wheel by Clubsport has a polished silver and red color scheme that evokes a nod to classic Formula cars. It is compact and lightweight which is perfect for tight races that require lightning-fast steering outputs. Buying this product from Fanatec includes a bundle of the ClubSport Universal Hub V2 and the ClubSport Wheel Rim Flat 2 so you can start your games right away.
The rim of the Flat 2 V2 is made of polished and anodized aluminum and is covered by high-quality synthetic suede. The diameter is 275mm, perfect for most race cars. The magnetic shifter paddles are preinstalled and are well-suited to a lot of wheel sizes. The paddles are solid and have a positive tactile feel to every shift. There are 16 integrated buttons on the hub that you can position wherever you want. This is especially helpful if you prefer a cleaner and compact appearance. The Flat 2 V2 is a great product for its price point as the wheel can be upgraded easily to the next-gen systems that Fanatec will be releasing soon.
The Formula V2.5 steering wheel by ClubSport is another great peripheral for Formula 1 racing sims whether you’re playing on consoles or the PC. It has a similar build and feel with the Formula 2.5V X which allows you to raise your game. It has the perfect size and shape as that of a real formula-style race at 270mm. The steering wheel is protected by a 5mm-thick solid carbon fiber plate while the shifter modules are made of aluminum. The grips meanwhile are made from smooth perforated leather.
This racing wheel is loaded with Fanatec innovations like multi-colored LED bars, an OLED display, magnetic shifters, and more input options when compared to other F1 gaming wheels on the market.
9. Logitech G923 Racing Wheel
The Logitech G923 racing wheel is fully compatible with current and next-gen consoles as well as the PC. It utilizes the game’s physics engine as it connects directly to the wheel for pure force feedback responsiveness. The G923 has improved realism and precision allowing gamers to feel every moment of the race in the comforts of their own homes. This racing wheel is crafted from premium materials like aluminum, steel, and leather.
This racing wheel is bundled with a progressive brake pedal that accurately mimics the performance of a real race car for an authentic experience. The pedals have a retractable carpet grip and rubber feet to support it on any surface so that it stays in place during intense racing situations.
10. Thrustmaster Open Wheel Add On
Last on our list of the best steering wheels for F1 games is the Open Wheel Add On by Thrustmaster. It is compact at 28 cm in diameter, ensuring versatility and better sensations when driving. This racing wheel is optimized for force feedback and is the lightest wheel in the Thrustmaster racing ecosystem. It mimics effects as close as possible to real-life racing conditions for a fun experience.
The faceplate of this steering wheel is made from durable aluminum while the wheel grips are made from suede. The shape and hand positioning of the Open Wheel Add On is perfectly adapted for F1 racing to keep you ahead of the pack. Lastly, this gaming peripheral is compatible across all systems like PC, PS4, and PS5, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Degree of Rotation
Formula 1 games are a little bit different from other racing sims. Since F1 is basically at the top of the racing world, it is important to find the best steering wheel that is able to compete at the highest level. Steering wheels for your F1 games should be capable of up to 900 degrees of rotation or more so you don’t have to waste precious time and effort turning your steering wheel more than you have to.
Racing games rely on force feedback to replicate the feel of driving a real race car. If you’re using a steering wheel with weak feedback, this will put you at a disadvantage as not only does it feel unnatural, you’ll also be taken out of a supposedly immersive experience. Playing racing games on your consoles or PC doesn’t have to feel like you’re playing with a toy, so having a quality steering wheel is essential to have a realistic driving experience.
If you’re going to factor the degree of rotation and force feedback on your purchase, then the price is definitely not going to be cheap. You don’t have to worry about it much though as there are a lot of manufacturers that offer these two somewhere around $200 and up. These are considered budget-friendly for a steering wheel that’s not going to break the bank but also provide you with a genuine Formula 1 experience.
Buttons and Switches
The first thing you’ll notice if you search for Formula 1 steering wheels online is the number of frontal buttons and switches loaded on the racing wheel. It may look confusing for some, but know that these buttons and switches help with an authentic F1 cockpit look, and they’re important not just for looks but for drivability as well. Knowing the different features these buttons do is essential to be the best F1 gamer, especially when you’re competing with friends or online.
What is a gaming wheel/racing wheel?
A steering wheel specifically for gaming consists of a steering wheel, wheelbase, mounting equipment, shifters, and pedals. They are all sold separately or in a bundle. Complete kits are better as they are basically plug-and-play but if you know what you’re doing, you’ll have more customizations if you buy them in separate pieces.
What makes a good racing wheel?
There are three things to consider when choosing and using a steering wheel for your racing games. It should be comfortable, the price should not break the bank, and most importantly, it should provide force feedback for a genuine driving experience.