Racing WheelSource: Windows Central

Best Racing Wheels for PC Windows Central 2020

Sim racing has exploded in 2020, and the beauty is that literally anyone can get involved. All you need to join in with some of the top titles like iRacing and Raceroom is a PC and a wheel. So, if you're out shopping for a wheel to get yourself racing, here's what to get.

Best Overall: Thrustmaster T300 RS GT

T300 RS GTSource: Thrustmaster

The T300 RS GT isn't the most expensive wheel, nor is it the most feature-packed or advanced when it comes to the tech inside. But what it is, for most people, is a fantastic all-rounder that balances all of these things. It's approachable for newcomers with an attractive price, yet still delivers a quality experience.

Ignore the fact it's a Gran Turismo branded product, it's as good, if not better on PC than on PS4. The wheel rim itself is 11-inches in diameter but is also detachable and replaced by several alternatives, including a replica Ferrari F1 effort. Thrustmaster also has an extensive ecosystem of accessories that will work with the T300 RS GT.

The T300 RS GT also boasts an adjustable rotation up to 1080-degrees, and force feedback is delivered by a frictionless dual belt-driven system powered by an industrial-class brushless motor. That means it'll also last, and with a high-resolution magnetic sensor, you can be sure it's accurate and responsive.

Pros:

  • 1080-degree rotation
  • Brushless motor
  • Interchangeable rim
  • Attractive price

Cons:

  • Rubber trim not leather
  • Quite plasticky

Best Overall

Thrustmaster T300 RS GT

A perfect balance of performance and price

An all-round wheel good that's good for beginners and more experienced drivers alike that boasts a beautiful asking price.

Runner-up - Logitech G920

Logitech G920Source: Windows Central

The Logitech G920 is, as traditionally with Logitech wheels, excellent. And part of that is based on its longevity; you can often find it at a handsome discount. But it's not good only because of its price. Logitech doesn't churn out new wheels that often, but when they come, they're excellent.

The G920 is a well-built wheel with all the creature comforts you need to go racing. That includes a built-in vibration motor that provides accurate force feedback to feel the surface you're driving on, a 900-degree rotation, a leather grip, and a full three-pedal setup.

This means you can use the optional gearshift with it if you prefer, though it is an additional purchase. For most, though, the metal paddle shifters will be plenty. It's also worth highlighting the location of the buttons because they're placed perfectly for easy access without the need to take your hands off the wheel. The G920 is the Xbox/PC version, but if you prefer there's also a PS4/PC version that's called the G29.

Pros

  • Excellent design and construction
  • Attractive price
  • Three-pedal setup
  • Great force feedback

Cons

  • Stick shift additional purchase
  • No changeable rim

Runner-up

Logitech G920

On balance, an excellent wheel for all

The Logitech G920 is well made, well priced, and performs to such a high standard any virtual racer will be happy with it.

Best Budget: Thrustmaster T150

Thrustmaster T150Source: Windows Central

Thrustmaster doesn't just cater to the super-serious sim racers out there, the company has a whole range of different wheels, and the T150 is particularly useful for those making their first steps onto the virtual tarmac or those looking for a good wheel on a tight budget.

The T150 retains features you'd find on more expensive wheels, such as a 1080-degree adjustable rotation and large paddle shifts, but cuts back in some areas such as being mostly plastic and trimmed in rubber. But with 12-bit resolution and Thrustmaster's Immersion TouchSense technology, it still feels superb and has fantastic accuracy.

The T150 is a comfortable wheel to use. It's also a high-quality product designed to appeal to the newer sim-racers or those on a tighter budget. But neither of those things means you should miss out on features, and with really nice force feedback too, it's genuinely an excellent budget wheel.

Pros:

  • 1080-degree rotation
  • Large paddle shifts
  • Good force feedback
  • Amazing price

Cons:

  • A lot of plastic
  • Only two pedals as standard

Best Budget

Thrustmaster T150

A good wheel for little money

Perfect for beginners or budget buyers, the T150 keeps the price low without hindering the overall experience.

Higher-end: Thrustmaster TS-XW

TS-XWSource: Windows Central

If you're searching for a higher-end racing wheel to go with your PC sim racing, this is a top choice. Thrustmaster's epic TS-XW is pricey, but it's one of the closest things you'll get to reality without having to put a helmet on.

A big part of what makes it so good is the partnership with Sparco, which makes the TS-XW's rim an actual recreation of a real-life racing wheel, the P310, right down to the authentic Alcantara trim. If you'd prefer something else, though, it supports Thrustmaster's quick-release system, and there are several replacements available.

The force feedback on this wheel is incredible, paired with a dual belt-pulley system and metal ball-bearing axle with 1080 degrees of rotation. The companion three-pedal setup also allows for an optional stick shift. The TS-XW also supports the Xbox One, but Thrustmaster has a dedicated PC version as well as a similar model, the T-GT, which supports PS4 and PC.

Pros

  • Excellent design and construction
  • Modeled on a real-life wheel
  • Three-pedal setup
  • Incredible accuracy from force feedback

Cons

  • Quite Pricey
  • Heavy!

Higher-end

Thrustmaster TS-XW

As close to real as you can get

This wheel from Thrustmaster is about as close as you can get to the real thing without having to go outside and put a helmet on.

Best Direct Drive: Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1

Fanatec Podium F1Source: Fanatec

If you want to get really serious about your sim racing, then you're going to want to jump up to a direct drive wheel at some point. Where everything else on this list relies on a system of belts and gears, direct-drive wheels attach the rim directly to the motor. The benefit here is the best quality force feedback, unlimited rotation, and the absolute best accuracy. It's the closest you can get to a real race car in your own home.

Fanatec now has a direct drive wheel that fits into its extensive ecosystem of products. The Podium also supports console, with both PS4 and Xbox One support possible, and the bundle here has a licensed F1 style wheel to get you going. What you get with the podium is smooth, accurate, highly realistic racing.

It boasts a peak torque of 20nm and a holding torque of 15nm, a built-in hub, carbon fiber and alcantara in its construction and a built-in OLED display on the base for easy tuning. You've got a host of buttons to map and an integrated display on the actual wheel. All you need to do is get some pedals, and you're off.

Pros

  • Ultimate realism
  • Superb build quality
  • Also supports console
  • Ecosystem of accessories

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Pedals aren't included

Best Direct Drive

Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1

Like driving the real thing in the comfort of your home

Direct drive wheels require a significant investment, but the realism is worth it, and with Fanatec's ecosystem, you're in safe hands with the Podium.

The finish line

When it comes to sim racing, the PC is the place to be, with the biggest support of both games and accessories. If you're looking to get into it for yourself and want to start with a good wheel, then the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT is an excellent place to start.

For one, it won't run away with your wallet. Sim racing can be a very expensive hobby, but the T300 keeps the price down while still offering a high-quality product and experience.

The force feedback is on point; it supports PS4 as well if you're also looking to dabble in a little GT Sport, and the rim is interchangeable if you're in the mood for something a little different. It's not the fanciest around, but when you balance everything together, it's certainly one of the very best choices.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming,

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