There are more than a few hundred racing wheels to consider. They each come in their size, with a particular design and with a set number of buttons. But choosing the best one is both exciting and terrifying for those who haven’t used one before.
But how can a new gamer choose PC gaming wheels without compromising on quality? There are a few technologies and materials known for the best responsiveness. New gamers need to be aware of them.
Considerations Choosing PC racing wheels
When going for the best, it is important to find the best options for this particular platform. However, some setups come with multi-platform construction. Today, they work on PCs, PS4s, or even smartphones. Here’s what to look out for.
- Vibrations system
The vibration system or the force feedback is often referred to by the most experienced players. They don’t simply like to turn left and right. These players want the best results whenever something happens in the game. They seek physical responsiveness. This is the sole reason manufacturers have heavily focused on delivering the most realistic vibrations to these gaming accessories.
- Direct drive vs. belt drive
Direct drive steering wheels are mounted straight on the motor. They enjoy the best responsiveness. But belt-drive alternatives are also popular. While they are more affordable, they are not as fast to respond as direct drive alternatives.
Build materials normally include plastics. But for the best racing wheels, metal is also needed. It is specifically pleasant on sequential gear paddles or the foot pedals. It is these areas that benefit from the extra strength as well. The cover of the steering is also important. It varies from synthetics to Alcantara leather. However, natural leather options are also known to cost a bit more.
- Console compatibility
Playing games on the PC is fun. However, some gamers also own consoles such as Sony’s PS4. This is why these users need to choose wheels that work on all platforms. This leads to considerable savings. Furthermore, as seen from the examples below, they don’t need to come with drops in quality and responsiveness. Some of the best racing wheels are made under Sony or Microsoft’s license.
10 Top Racing Wheels for PC
- HORI Racing Wheel
The gaming tool is made under a Sony license. It has to pass rigorous testing to make it to the final consumer. This is seen it its build quality and list of functions. Without a doubt, its solid grip offers the impression of quality. The rubberized grip also ensures the 270-degree rotation is going to be without any slips.
There are various paddles and pedals to configure on the setup as well. Part of its appeal is this versatility. Semi-automatic gear changing is very useful to many PS4 releases. However, this PS4 steering also comes with programmable buttons right on the grip. It is here that users have the quickest access to various vehicle functions
2. Thrustmaster TS-PC Racer for PC
Based on an industrial brushless motor, this is Thrustmaster’s nest attempt at a PC steering wheel. Some see it as a superior option to Xbox One steering wheels. But for most, it’s the realist response it offers in its long list of technologies that matters most.
Before getting into the details of these technologies, users need to know the setup is made with professional cooling mechanisms that prevent overheating. There’s a dynamic cooler response depending on the intensity of use which saves the setup from overheating.
The design of the product is purely competition orientated. It’s here that racers find all their customizable buttons under various colors for quick access. But the rotation of the handles l that reaches 1080-degrees makes it a plausible option for all types of simulators. The added suede grips are only going to enhance the comfort regardless of how much the it turns.
3. Logitech G27 Racing Bundle
luxurious feel. For many, it bears a close resemblance to Subaru designs. However, the setup is ready to offer one of the best response times seen in PC gaming.
lt holds the semi-automatic gear change paddles. However, a gear shifter is also included in the pack. It’s here that Logitech integrated an LED system that indicated when to change gears. Of course, this function has to be supported by the chosen game itself.
But the 6-speed shifter is not the only advantage to this setup. Force feedback offers realistic sensations when driving off-road or when hitting various obstacles. Furthermore, the steel foot pedals offer responsiveness which may be hard to match by other brands.
4. Logitech MOMO Racing
The MOMO PC-ready gaming solution is an affordable path towards high-speed PC racing It works for all types of games. However, it primarily targets the most dedicated racers. As it only comes with a manual stick shift control, it requires users to pick up driving skills fast.
Those who don’t mind driving in manual mode certainly find this set appealing. There are only 6 programmable buttons on the front panel. This is the main reason this is a setup made for beginners. While many others intimidated gamers with many more buttons, the MOMO design is simply just to plug and play. There’s a simple red marking on the top of the ciruclar grip as well. Inspired by the motorsport world, it helps the user better estimate steering angles at high speeds.
5. Serafim R1+ Racing Setup
This is one of the most innovative products on the list. Its multi-platform compatibility recommends it as a PS4 solution or as an Xbox On steering wheel. However, while it runs on PCs as well, it also integrates smartphone motorsport games.
As a result, this setup is the first steering wheel in the world to work with smartphone racing. Pairing it to the gamer’s smartphone is made via the Serafim R1+ app. It is here that users get to connect to their favorite mobile games. For many, it’s a clear change to experience a more immersive style of playing never seen on smartphones before.
However, some of its features are only available on PC games. Among the vibration feedback seems to be the most important. Otherwise, all options plus customization remain at a high standard. Among the customization options, the 4 buttons on the grip impress the most. Possible drawbacks may include the limiting manual gear changing as there are no paddles for semi-automatic gears.
6. Thrustmaster Ferrari GTE F458
Inspired by Ferrari racing, the GTE wheel is one of the true motorsport classics. It resembles the real deal very well. This is why Ferrari fans are still buying it today, even if its design is of an older generation. Made with a detachable design, it includes 6 action buttons that can be accessed without removing the hands off the grip.
A multidirectional D-pad is also included in this thin circular grip. But the large sequential paddle shifters are among its biggest strengths. Some racers are particularly limited by short paddle shifters, which are only accessible in the upper part of the circular grip. However, on this Ferrari design, the paddle shifters are long and they can be quickly accessed both in the upper and in the lower part of the cicular grip.
Among its drawbacks, users not the thin stitched leather. While it looks good, it may have been thicker, especially for those who like a more serious grip. However, given the circulr grip is made with brushed metal center spokes, it is a durable release. It is also considerably more robust than most of its all-plastic alternatives.
7. Thrustmaster T150 RS Racing Wheel for PlayStation4
The PS4 steering wheel also works for PC gaming. Users playing on both computers and their PS console might find this deal appealing. The thin setup is made with metal spokes. Around them, it holds PS4 specific controls. For example, with a click of a button, users can revert to the operating system while in the game.
With leather-padded grips, the setup is also durable. The small perforations in the leather improve breathability. Drivers with sweaty hands are particularly interested in this design characteristic. Gear changing is entirely sequential, much like in Ferrari cars.
But the foot pedals are not bad either. There’s a large footrest to rely on as well. Among its strongest characteristics, users not the responsiveness of the brake pedal. Made with sequential stopping, it calculates braking power according to how hard the pedal is being pushed.
Other considerable benefits include the 1080-degree rotation. With such levels of freedom, the driver can consider various truck simulators that are notorious for rotating it a few times.
8. PXN V3II PC Racing Wheel
With 12 action buttons, this setup is one of the most customizable of all. At first glance, it resembles Mini Cooper or older generation BMW wheels. But it has design originality which makes it hard to forget.
It simply connects to the PC using a USB connector. Once connected, it’s ready to be used in games where the turning point doesn’t need to be higher than 270-degreed. While it doesn’t turn the most, it certainly has great versatility. When done playing at the PC, drivers can pair it with PS4 consoles or Xbox One console for different user experiences.
But this affordable setup is also capable of the vibrations and feedback department. It features variable vibrations. The way they work is by simply enhancing vibrations depending on what happens in the game. Running off track is certainly going to increase vibrations closer to the maximum level.
9. DOYO 270 Degree Motor Vibration Driving Gaming Racing Setup
DOYO’s PC racing wheel comes with a modern classic gear level. Drivers simply push it up to change speeds or push it down to reduce speed. It also smartly supports various gaming platforms such as Nintendo or PS4. For example, users push the PS4 button to change the mapping on the keys which then turns into a more suitable experience for a certain platform.
With 270-degree realistic turns, it feels very similar to the one in any car or SUV. An added contour grip also ensures the grip doesn’t slip off by mistake when turning the most. But the floor pedals are not bad either. They are made with an adjustable angle. This is why the pedals sit the highest at 0 degrees and the lowest at 100 degrees. It’s up to the user to select an appropriate pedal angle depending on the race.
10. PXN V900 PC Racing Wheel
This setup includes self-adjusting liner pedals. They adjust resistance with gas according to how hard they are pressed. This is one of the reasons why the setup is among the best when it comes to simulator games, especially those involving trucks or other large vehicles.
It also includes automatic vibration levels. The 11-inch design starts to vibrate according to game events. For example, when a truck hits a pole, it l starts to vibrate. The same happens when another vehicle hits the vehicle drive by the ciruclar grip.
On the PC, it has solid performance in truck simulators. Among its preferred games, users can find Euro Truck 2, Dirt Rally, CTS, Forza Horizon 4, or Need for Speed 17. All of these games have different responsiveness levels. But the toy shifts from 270-degree turn to 900 degrees turn easily. This is why it can handle such a diverse range of driving games
Best overall Racer
The 40W dynamic torque design offers solid performance on both stalls and fast zig-zag driving.
Best budget Wheel
As a Sony-licensed product, this setup offers some of the most responsive controls which can be adapted to PC gaming.