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Fanatec is one of the most recognizable manufacturers of gaming peripherals in the world of simulation racing games. They are one of the global leaders for high-end input devices for PCs and game consoles. Their racing wheels are sought out by a lot of gamers due to their quality and innovative performance. In this article, we’re listing 10 of the best steering wheels from Fanatec’s line-up so you can make an informed decision for your wheel of choice.
The Podium Racing Wheel F1 by Fanatec doesn’t need a lot of introduction. It’s the first-ever Direct Drive Force Feedback system on consoles, and it’s officially licensed by Formula 1 as well as by Sony for use on their latest consoles such as the PS4 and PS5. It also works for PCs, which is great for PC gamers. The racing wheel is made from durable metal and carbon fiber while the grips are made of genuine Italian-made Alcantara leather. The materials are surprisingly easy to clean and provide racers with exceptional grip, which is important in all racing games.
The racing wheel is loaded with a lot of buttons to help you win your races. There are 11 buttons, 12-way multi-position switches, thumb encoders, rocker switches, and more. It also utilizes multiple LEDs to indicate motor RPM, optimal shifting point, tire slip, fuel level, or incoming radio. The paddle system meanwhile uses 2 magnetic shifters to give you a solid, tactile feel to every shift. They’re made from real carbon fiber plates and an aluminum cage and are the most authentic paddle system you can use on a gaming wheel. Everyone knows Direct-Drive is second to none when it comes to delivering realism on racing games so you’re getting your money’s worth with this incredible racing wheel from Fanatec.
Are you a fan of the automotive company Porsche? If so, then this racing wheel is definitely for you. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede steering wheel is a full-scale replica of the actual Porsche 991 GT3 R Wheel made from brushed and anodized aluminum and covered with genuine pure suede leather. It has 10 buttons, a 2-axis analog stick, two 2-way toggle switches, a 7-way funky switch, and two 12-position switches that are highly configurable as rotary encoders for multiple inputs at your fingertips.
The 2.7” customizable OLED display also provides racers with enhanced display capabilities through ITM (Intelligent Telemetry Mode) to assist you on the racetrack. The display can switch between 5 different game data that you can change manually or automatically as triggered by the game you’re playing. They’re arranged within the wheel rim with instant access to Force Feedback adjustments via the tuning menu button.
The paddle shifter of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede steering wheel meanwhile gives a sensational feel with every shift. It features magnetic hall sensors that allow for rapid shifting. The paddles allow for 4 different modes depending on your need which is great to know in any situation. Overall, this racing wheel doesn’t just pay homage to Porsche, it’s a great regular racing wheel for fans of sim racing and is compatible with Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
The CSL Elite Steering Wheel by Fanatec is perfect for racing on the most demanding rally stages. It’s officially licensed by the World Rally Championship (WRC) for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. It’s also the steering wheel of choice often used in WRC Esports competitions worldwide. The steering wheel is made from brushed aluminum spokes and covered with genuine Alcantara leather. The rim diameter is 300mm which is suitable for a lot of vehicle types and is ideal for quick inputs required in rally driving. The orange stitching to the wheel adds color and the integrated 3-digit LED screen lets you see useful data in compatible games at a moment’s notice. It makes for a bold visual statement to the design of the racing wheel.
The paddles beneath the steering wheel are also bright orange for a striking visual appeal. They’re easily removable and can be replaced with other shifter paddles for a more comfortable experience when playing racing games. This steering wheel is compatible with the latest consoles such as Xbox Series S|X as well as PS5 but you’ll need a PlayStation-licensed wheelbase in order to use this on Sony’s console. Surprisingly, this is one of the more affordable steering wheels you can buy online given the quality you get. Nevertheless, it’s a great buy especially for fans of rally racing but this steering wheel works just as well on other racing sims.
The Fanatec CSL Steering Wheel Flat 1 is recommended for racers looking for the perfect steering wheel for open-wheel racing due to its compact and lightweight size. It integrates the CSL Universal Hub to pack it with features and give it a nice and unique appearance. The button layout is optimized for racers to develop muscle memory that you’ll immediately become familiar with as you play. There is a 3-digit LED display at the center for Tuning Menu functions that work well for compatible games or other third-party software. The universal hub also has a lot of input at your disposal such as 8 standard buttons with snap-dome activation, a 2-way rocker switch, two 2-way toggle switches, and a 7-way Funkyswitch with rotary encoder functionalities.
Like the other Fanatec racing wheels on the list, it’s made from anodized aluminum and is covered with genuine suede leather. It’s 275mm in diameter just like in a real race car so you’ll get to experience driving in one at the comforts of your own home. The racing wheel is reinforced with a honeycomb structure and the paddles are shaped to fit most wheel rims. The snap-dome activation gives a really nice tactile feel with every shift so you know you’re on the right track during intense gaming situations. The only drawback of this steering wheel is it only works for PC and functionality can be limited to the PlayStation. It’s not compatible with Xbox systems so you’ll have to get the other Fanatec racing wheels if you race on this platform.
The Podium Steering Wheel R300 is covered in high-quality leather and gold stitching. It’s constructed with real carbon fiber for a solid and reliable wheel for racing sim gamers. The anodized bolts are also brushed with gold for that elegant and premium look that’ll definitely earn second glances. This high-end multi-purpose wheel is a good all-rounder for a lot of racing games and works well with many vehicle types. The diameter of this racing wheel is 11.8” making it the ideal racing wheel for a lot of racers. The frame design surrounds the electrical components for protection and to make it as light as possible. The central hub meanwhile is created from a single piece of anodized aluminum for added durability.
Buying this steering wheel from Fanatec comes with an included advanced paddle module, button cluster pack, and a Podium Hub. The paddle module allows for rapid shifting that handles both small and large steering wheels without any hitch. The button clusters meanwhile can be aligned and adjusted on the Podium Hub to match your preferences. Sadly, this steering wheel is not compatible with Xbox and you’ll need a PlayStation-licensed wheelbase if you want to use it for the PS4 or PS5. Its full functionality is guaranteed to work for PC so if you’re racing on this platform you’ll definitely enjoy it right away.
The ClubSport NASCAR V2 steering wheel from Fanatec is the officially licensed NASCAR steering wheel for use on Xbox One as well as their latest consoles Xbox Series S|X for the ultimate oval racing experience. This 11” 3-spoke wheel rim is specifically designed for driving modern NASCAR vehicles. It’s made from automotive-grade aluminum and is covered with genuine Alcantara grips straight from Italy. The preinstalled magnetic paddle shifters are very tactile and provide racers with rapid shifting. The ‘click’ gives you a solid magnetic resistance to every shift so you’ll always feel positive on your maneuvers on the racetrack. There is also a comprehensive array of buttons that’s integrated into the hub so all the controls are always within your reach.
The button clusters are highly adjustable, and you can position them wherever you want them. If that’s not your thing and you just want to drive, they’re easily removable for an entirely clean compact appearance. The price of this steering wheel is beginner-friendly so it’s a recommended buy for racers that wish to invest in quality steering wheels for their Xbox racing games. Keep in mind that this item also works on other platforms like the PC and PlayStation but you’ll need licensed wheelbases, and the full functionality may be dependent on the game you’re playing.
The ClubSport Formula V2.5X steering wheel is another steering wheel by Fanatec officially licensed for Xbox. It’s compatible with Xbox One as well as the latest consoles such as Xbox Series S|X. The steering wheel has a perfect size and shape at a compact diameter of 270mm for fast movements and incredible reactions. It’s recommended specifically for Formula 1 games and single-seater race cars to raise your game to the highest level. It’s made from metal and carbon fiber and has a 5mm thick front plate. The handle is covered with genuine Alcantara grips and the surfaces are all rubber-coated including the button framing and thumb encoders.
This steering wheel also has a preinstalled CNC-machined aluminum magnetic paddle module for ultra-crisp shifting every single time. There are 11 buttons, 12-way multi-position switches, toggle switches, thumb encoders, as well as a 7-way FunkySwitch. The eye-catching LEDs meanwhile are fully functional and not just for show. It has 9 multi-color LEDs that can show your motor RPM, optimal shifting point, tire slip, flag warnings, pit limiter, and so much more. The Formula V2.5X can also be set up for use on the PC and PlayStation but the capabilities can be limited on the console. While the full functionality is guaranteed on PC, the full array of options you can do will still be game-dependent.
Do you want to play racing games in their purest form? Then the Podium Classic 2 steering wheel is the best wheel to showcase that type of feeling for a stripped-back and no-nonsense gameplay experience. It doesn’t have the button clusters and shifter modules you’re accustomed to with most racing wheels which create the authentic realism of driving a classic car. The steering wheel is 13.7” in diameter and is made from polished and anodized aluminum. It’s also covered in genuine leather with a smooth finish like other Fanatec steering wheels on the list. The frame design also surrounds the electrical components to make it as light as possible, making it ideal for vintage road cars and historic racing cars you want to try out in the game.
This racing wheel is supported by optional modular elements if you want to add other peripherals such as the ClubSport Button cluster pack, Advance Paddle Module, or the Podium Button Module Endurance. Buying this product includes the Podium Hub which is the strongest and most compact way to mount your wheel rim to a wheelbase. The price is really affordable for such a quality steering wheel. Suffice to say, you’ll definitely have a unique experience when racing using the Podium Classic 2. It’s not compatible with Xbox consoles but will be a treat for PC and PS4 and PS5 gamers.
Like the Podium Classic 2, the ClubSport Drift V2 steering wheel caters specifically to racing games heavy on drifting and rally driving. The steering wheel is 12.5” in diameter and 3mm thick with paddle plates made with brushed and anodized aluminum. It’s also covered with genuine leather to get that smooth finish like from a real rally car. With a deep dish and round shape, this makes the Drift V2 the perfect steering wheel for drifting. It’s one of the lightest steering wheels from Fanatec and is packed with features to make you feel totally in control as you race to the finish line.
The ClubSport Drift V2 is equipped with detachable racing-style button caps, 16 integrated buttons on top of the hub, 4 button clusters with 3 buttons each, and a 7-way FunkySwitch. There is also a 3-digit LED that can be installed either upright or flat. The display shows telemetry data from compatible games as well as third-party software. Another reason to get this steering wheel is that it’s super affordable and works for both PC and PS4 and PS5. This steering wheel can be upgraded easily to the next generation Quick Release system ClubSport is prepping soon so it’s also ready for the future of video game racing.
Last on our list of the best Fanatec racing wheels available right now is the ClubSport GT Forza Motorsport V2. It’s designed and developed for the Forza series of games for Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X. The rim is made from brushed and anodized aluminum and is covered with genuine leather with white stitching. It is 12.9” in diameter and feels just like a real race car wheel. This steering wheel is also packed with features you expect from a Fanatec product. It has magnetic shifters, adjustable button boxes, and a lot of customizable buttons integrated into the hub that you can easily set up.
The button caps with Xbox symbols are detachable and interchangeable with the included racing-style button caps. There are also 16 integrated buttons on top of the hub which are customizable to fit your driving style. Toggling the Tuning Menu button meanwhile lets you access the Force Feedback system to fine-tune it instantly. You’ll be able to see telemetry data on the 3-digit LED display which you can position upright or flat. What makes the GT Forza Motorsport V2 steering wheel a great buy is not only does it work really well for Xbox, it also works on other platforms like the PC and the PlayStation. While the functionality will be game-dependent, this steering wheel will become compatible with Sony’s system with a PlayStation-licensed wheelbase.
Most Fanatec steering wheels are interchangeable, adding more variety and versatility to your racing experience. They’re all within the same price range save for the ones with Direct Drive Force Feedback systems. Fanatec is known to be more expensive than other brands that sell steering wheels but beginners and pro-racers alike should delight in the fact that there are a lot of options available at differing price ranges that you’ll surely find one fitting your racing style and budget.
There are a lot of steering wheel designs available online that it’s easy to lose track of what you need. F1 style wheels are different from PlayStation-licensed NASCAR and Rally style wheels and they all come in different shapes and configurations. Some steering wheels also have button layouts while some are stripped down like a vintage steering wheel. Take particular note of the grip material of the style that you want as it’s the part you’ll be holding in your hands the most.
After selecting your steering wheel, it’s best to accompany it with a pedal set and maybe even a shifter to complete the realism of your racing games. Having stands and mounts handy is also recommended for beginners and pro racers alike. This is so that you can properly set it up in your living room or game room and then properly store them to lengthen their life when they’re not in use.
Games and Platform
Fanatec has a wide array of steering wheels that cater to all platforms. However, due to the different specifics of console manufacturers and video game developers, this may sometimes be an issue when it comes to compatibility. Xbox owners have racing wheels that are exclusive to them while PlayStation and PC gamers are somewhat flexible on the compatibility. PlayStation-licensed wheelbases make most steering wheels work for Sony’s console while PC gamers can use just about anything they want so long as they can configure the software.
What is Direct Drive technology?
Direct Drive Force Feedback is the most recommended effect out of all drive types out there. This is because the system connects directly to the motor shaft ensuring there is no loss of torque, no gears to maintain, and no delay or lag to hinder your gameplay experience. Steering wheels that use Direct Drive Force Feedback are expensive so belt and gear-driven wheels are still popular in sim racing games.
What are Belt and Gear-driven Force Feedback Direct-Drive systems?
These two types of Force Feedback are the more common of the three because of their affordability. Belt Driven Force Feedback uses a small motor connected to a belt generating Force Feedback to simulate the feel of real-world driving. Gear Driven Force Feedback meanwhile connects to a system of gears to produce a lifelike experience when racing.
Do Fanatec Steering Wheels work across all platforms?
PC gamers shouldn’t have a problem using Fanatec steering wheels on the platform as they’re optimized for PC. Console gamers from Microsoft and Sony meanwhile need licensed wheelbases from the manufacturers for some wheels to be compatible on their platform. The compatibility is also game-dependent for Xbox and PlayStation so full functionality of the wheels is only guaranteed on the PC. Thankfully, Fanatec’s marketplace is intuitive and you’ll know which steering wheel works on your platform before checking out.