Lead foot! 8 good racing game steering wheels for PS4, Xbox One and PC

Lead foot! 8 good racing game steering wheels for PS4, Xbox One and PC

Racing games and especially racing simulations are even more fun with the steering wheel. But which models are good? Which features are important? What do fun racers need, what simracing nerds? Our guide with eight good options in 2020 will help you!

If you play your racing games with the controller or even the keyboard, you miss half. A steering wheel controller may even be worthwhile for casual racers, the accessories are available for less than 100 euros. The price scale is open at the top, but you can already find very good steering wheels in the middle segment. But which features are important when buying?

Note

In this guide, we focus on steering wheels that are advisable for hobby and everyday use. If you want to tackle digital racing professionally, you need appropriate and expensive equipment. If you fancy a steering wheel upwards of 500 euros, we recommend the comprehensive simulation buying advice from Simracingpaddock.com .

Quality, rotation angle, accessories

The build quality of the steering wheel is an important factor. Ideally, the wheel and the additional pedals feel stable and not like cheap plastic: you shouldn't have the feeling of breaking the axle on the first hard curve or breaking the brake pedal. You should also pay attention to the maximum rotation angle: the higher it is, the further you can turn the steering wheel in one direction. Most controllers offer 900 or 1,080 degrees, with some the angle is also adjustable.

Not unimportant: accessories. Most steering wheels have a pedal element, but sometimes only the gas and brakes are on it, the clutch for the gear shift is missing. If you want a third pedal, this affects the model choice. You usually have to buy a gear stick and other elements (such as a handbrake for rally games).

Force Feedback: There are these steering wheel types and these are their advantages and disadvantages

Good force feedback is essential, especially for Sim Racing. Put simply, the steering wheel should tell you precisely how your car behaves on the track with back pressure. There are primarily three different techniques here:

  • Gear drive: Most steering wheels rely on this variant, in which a system of gear wheels in conjunction with a motor ensures that you feel changing resistance when steering. The solution is cheap and sufficient for many applications, but quite loud and not as precise as other variants.
  • Belt drive: With this technology, a V-belt ensures the transmission between the engine and the steering wheel. The steering feel is softer, the possible feedback stronger, and the system quieter than with the Gear Drive.
  • Direct drive: The steering wheel is screwed directly onto the axle of a large, heavy servo motor without transmission. You get the most precise and strong instant feedback, but you also pay a lot for it. Such a beefy electric motor is not cheap, and direct drive steering wheels are therefore only recommended for simulation fanatics and professionals.

Some cheap steering wheels use makeshift solutions such as vibrations or rubber bands instead of real force feedback, which at least make the steering resistance a bit palpable.

Important: note compatibility!

ps4-vr-gran-turismo-sport

© Sony 2017

Do you want to play "Gran Turismo Sport" with PlayStation VR? Then be sure to buy a PS4 compatible steering wheel.

Console owners in particular should take a closer look when buying a steering wheel: Not every steering wheel works equally well on PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, most manufacturers have two different variants with often very different names for the Sony and Microsoft console in their range. If this is the case, we will list both variants together in our list, since the features usually hardly differ. PC players are fine: Almost all models work with Windows computers as standard.

Favorable for beginners: Thrustmaster T80 / Ferrari 458 Spider

thrustmaster-t80

© Thrustmaster 2020

Inexpensive but useful: the Thrustmaster T80.

Yes, there are steering wheels for less than 100 euros. No, they don't get along without proper compromises – but Thrustmaster model T80 for PS4 and PC as well as the Ferrari 458 Spider for Xbox One and PC are still recommended in the lower price range. You get a stable, inexpensive steering wheel without a lot of frills and an equally straightforward 2-pedal set. You have to do without proper force feedback – the models make do with a simple elastic band solution. That's enough for beginners and undecided, everyone else should rather spend a little more.

  • Scope of delivery: steering wheel + 2-pedal
  • Force Feedback: No.
  • Maximum rotation angle: 270 °
  • Compatible with: PS4, PC (T80), Xbox One, PC (Ferrari 458 Spider)
  • Suitable for: occasional racers with a passion for arcade

Price-performance miracle: Thrustmaster T150 RS / TMX (Pro)

thrustmaster-tmx

© Thrustmaster 2020

Amazingly good for its price: the Thrustmaster TMX

For less than 200 euros you get the Thrustmaster T150 RS for PS4 and PC or the Thrustmaster TMX for Xbox One and PC, a robust steering wheel with a mixed drive consisting of belt and gearbox, which provides surprisingly good force feedback. Licensed controls for PS4 and Xbox also bring the two variants with you, you only cut back on the pedal, which is rather cheap. But: The steering wheels are also available in a Pro version, which is a little more expensive, but comes with a more stable 3-pedal.

  • Scope of delivery: steering wheel + 2-pedal (Pro: 3-pedal)
  • Force Feedback: Gear / belt drive
  • Maximum rotation angle : 1,080 °
  • Compatible with: PS4, PC (T150 RS), Xbox One, PC (TMX)
  • Suitable for: Price-conscious beginners with ambitions

Gold standard for PS4: Thrustmaster T300 RS

Thrustmaster T300

© Thrustmaster 2020

Makes PS4 drivers happy: the Thrustmaster T300.

If you are serious about steering wheel racing and are looking for a suitable controller in the medium price range, you can get the all-round carefree solution with the Thrustmaster T300 RS for PS4 and PC. The Force Feedback is very strong and of high quality, the steering wheel itself feels stable and real. The whole system is pleasantly quiet, the pedals are made of metal. Nice for Playstation racers: the official PS4 buttons, with which the controller fits flush into the Sony setup. If you want to spend more, the T300 is also available as a GT Edition – officially licensed for the PS4 simulation "Gran Turismo Sport" and with a 3-pedal instead of a 2-pedal.

  • Scope of delivery: steering wheel + 2-pedal
  • Force Feedback: belt drive
  • Maximum rotation angle : 1,080 °
  • Compatible with: PS4, PC, PS3
  • Suitable for: Racing game enthusiasts who mainly play simulations

Gold standard for Xbox: Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel

thrustmaster-tx

© Thrustmaster 2020

For Xbox and Ferrari fans: the Thrustmaster TX.

The Xbox version of the T300 is called Thrustmaster TX and is in no way inferior to the PlayStation version. The biggest differences are the somewhat smaller, but adjustable steering angle and the fact that the controls do not correspond to those of the corresponding console. If you want to spend a bit more, the TX Racing Wheel is also available as a leather edition with a hand-sewn leather cover and 3-pedal instead of a 2-pedal as in the standard edition.

  • Scope of delivery: steering wheel + 2-pedal
  • Force Feedback: belt drive
  • Maximum rotation angle: adjustable (270 – 900 °)
  • Compatible with: Xbox One, PC
  • Suitable for: Racing game enthusiasts who mainly play simulations

Buy Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel from SATURN

The good alternative: Logitech G29 Driving Force / G920 Driving Force Racing

logitech-g29

© Logitech 2020

Logitech is the first choice for racers who love a little luxury.

Logitech's G29 for PS4 and PC and the G920 for Xbox One and PC play in a price range similar to Thrustmaster's T300 and TX models. A high-quality hand-sewn leather cover and a 3-pedal are standard here. For this, Logitech does not use a quiet belt drive for the force feedback in the controllers, but the somewhat louder and less smooth transmission solution. Ultimately, it's a matter of taste – it's best to try it yourself.

  • Scope of delivery: steering wheel + 3-pedal
  • Force Feedback: gear drive with two motors
  • Maximum rotation angle: 900 °
  • Compatible with: PS4, PC, PS3 (G29) or Xbox One, PC (G920)
  • Suitable for: racers who want to be comfortable and play with headphones anyway.

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