The world of sim racing wheels can seem daunting and expensive. Many sim racers who stream online appear to have incredible sim racing setups. Many do, and these can easily cost thousands of dollars.
But if you want to get started in sim racing, or even just improve your enjoyment of regular racing games, there are several beginner’s sim racing wheels you can try out.
So, here are the best beginner’s sim racing wheels for PS4 and Xbox One. These sim wheels are compatible with your PC, too.
How to Choose a Sim Racing Wheel?
The biggest question is budget. How much do you want to spend on a sim racing wheel? Although sim racing wheels start at a very low price, you definitely get what you pay for. There are a few considerations, such as the sim racing wheel turn radius, force feedback, pedal and shifter combinations, integrated buttons and gear shifters, and so on.
The entry-level sim racing wheels have a small turn radius, which affects your in-game driving precision. Similarly, a wheel lacking force feedback makes steering accurately that bit more difficult. It’ll be better than the jerky movements you get from a gamepad (in most cases), but still not completely accurate.
In that, you don’t want to break your budget. But ensuring your sim racing wheel does tick those boxes will provide much greater enjoyment. You should also note that you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest sim racing wheel to have an incredible experience. Some of the best beginner’s sim racing wheels hit the market years back but are still excellent options.
Now, onto the best sim racing wheels for beginners for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
1. Logitech G29
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PC | Turn Radius: Up to 900° | Force Feedback: Yes | Clutch Pedal: Yes
The Logitech G29 is one of the most popular sim racing wheels, period. Many sim racing pros point to the Logitech G29 as their ideal beginner’s racing wheel, with many using it as the start point for their online racing career.
The Logitech G29 is popular for a few reasons. First, it has an excellent build quality that combines a leather steering wheel with anodized aluminum gear shifters and an overall solid base for a sim racing wheel. Buttons are plentiful, customizable, and easy to press.
Then there are the steel pedals, complete with a manual clutch, allowing you extra control and immersion in your sim racing world. There’s also the option of expanding your sim racing setup with a G29 stick shifter.
Another major plus for the Logitech G29 is its force feedback and drive, which uses a dual-motor system (known as helical gears) to provide a much smoother driving simulation than most other sim racing wheels in this price bracket. Oh, and the 24-way directional dial is a super handy car and race management feature, too.
Overall, the Logitech G29 remains one of the best beginner’s sim racing wheels available, providing some serious racing bang for your buck.
Platforms: Xbox, PC | Turn Radius: Up to 900° | Force Feedback: Yes | Clutch Pedal: Yes
The Logitech G290 is the Xbox version of the Logitech G29 racing wheel. So, that means they’re the same, right? Not quite. There are some differences between the PlayStation and the Xbox versions, which make the G290 slightly inferior to the G29.
For instance, the Logitech G290 doesn’t have as many buttons as the G29. It isn’t a massive loss, but those buttons do make for considerably easier in-car management during a race. Similarly, the G290 doesn’t have an RPM light like the G29. Again, it isn’t a huge loss, but the visual cue to change gear is handy at times.
That aside, the G290 uses the same helical gear force feedback system, comes with the same sturdy steel pedals, and uses the same aluminum gear shifters. Visually, the Logitech G290 is sleek and looks smart, giving a strong luxury sim racing cockpit vibe (it looks better than the G29, in my opinion).
You can expand your driving experience with the Logitech Driving Force Shifter, which works with both the G29 and the G290. The integrated gear shifters are perfect for sim racing beginners, but if you do want to expand your setup, this is the official shifter option.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PC | Turn Radius: Up to 1080° | Force Feedback: Yes | Clutch Pedal: No
The Thrustmaster T150 is an excellent entry-level sim racing wheel for the PS4, PS4, and PC. It comes with dual-pedals, adjustable force feedback, and a customizable turn radius up to 1080 degrees.
The sim wheel uses a combination of gears and belt-pulleys to provide force feedback, which can feel a little janky at times. However, as you can adjust this system, you can find a suitable level of feedback that enables smooth gameplay.
As a beginner’s sim racing wheel for the PS4, the build materials do feel somewhat cheap in places. Still, with the adjustable pedals, integrated PS4/PS3 buttons, and decent mount system, the Thrustmaster T150 is a great starting point for sim racing wheels.
Platforms: Xbox, PC | Turn Radius: Up to 900° | Force Feedback: Yes | Clutch Pedal: No
The Thrustmaster TMX is the Xbox equivalent of the Thrustmaster T150. You’ve probably noticed by now that each manufacturer launches hardware for each console—but one console usually ends up with slightly better hardware. In this case, the Thrustmaster T150 is a slightly better proposition as a beginner’s racing wheel.
However, the Thrustmaster TMX is a great option for Xbox users regardless. The major difference lies with the turn radius. The Thrustmaster TMX has a maximum turn radius of 900 degrees but otherwise uses the exact same internal hardware as the T150. Of course, the button configuration for the Thrustmaster TMX matches the Xbox, too.
Platforms: Xbox One | Turn Radius: 270° | Force Feedback: No | Clutch Pedal: No
If you’ve never used any sim racing wheel, the HORI Overdrive makes an interesting entry-level option. So, why is it interesting?
Well, for starters, the HORI Overdrive’s pedals are very soft, lacking serious resistance to help you gauge your acceleration and braking. You definitely have more precision than with a gamepad, though, so that’s a positive.
The wheel lacks force feedback, although there is a bungee cord resistance system and a rumble which provides some feedback when turning through corners or changing driving surface. Also, the Overdrive only turns through 270 degrees. However, you can mitigate the latter using in-game sensitivity settings, adjusting the wheel turning rate and the steering dead zone until you find a happy medium.
The HORI Overdrive reviews are full of positive experiences, with many users believing the HORI Overdrive is a great choice for the price, and the perfect option to try out a wheel controller without breaking the bank.
6. HORI Apex
Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC | Turn Radius: 270° | Force Feedback: No | Clutch Pedal: No
Where the HORI Overdrive is for Xbox One users, the HORI Apex is for PS3, PS4, and PC users. Like the Overdrive for the Xbox One, the HORI Apex is an officially licensed sim racing wheel for the PlayStation.
This lets you know that it’ll work with PlayStation sim racing games (and heaps on the PC, too). The HORI Apex’s specs are the same as the Overdrive, albeit with PlayStation buttons rather than Xbox.
Second-Hand Beginners Sim Racing Wheel
If you don’t want a massive outlay when purchasing your first sim racing wheel, you can try the second-hand sim racing wheel market. There are always sim racing wheels for beginners available on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Carousell, and the numerous other online selling sites.
Some sim racers believe beginners should buy higher-end second-hand hardware rather than lower-spec new hardware. The reasoning is that although the second-hand sim racing wheel is already used, the wider range of functionality and potential for a better experience is a better introduction to sim racing wheels for beginners.
What Is the Best Sim Racing Wheel for Beginners?
Your budget for an entry-level sim racing wheel dictates your options. If you can spring for a beginner racing wheel with more features, a larger turn radius, and so on, you should because it will absolutely impact your experience positively. But if not, don’t worry!
You can have an incredible time using almost any sim racing wheel, be that for beginners or not. I used an Xbox 360 gamepad in sim racing games for years before upgrading to a very basic sim racing wheel and had a fantastic time.
If you’re new to PC gaming, check out our list of the essential PC gaming accessories you should have!
Read the full article: The 6 Best Beginners Sim Racing Wheels for PS4, Xbox One, and PC