With the release of Forza Motorsport, all we’ve been thinking about is cars and car racing. If you feel the same way, you might find that regular console controllers limit your experience when it comes to racing games. If you’ve been wanting to really get into these games more, there’s no better way to enjoy them than switching from a traditional controller to a racing wheel.
A racing wheel is a controller specifically designed for racing games (though it can be used to play different genres too). It enhances the experience by giving the player a steering wheel and a set of pedals to replicate the feeling of driving an actual car on their PC or console.
Even if you don’t have your license, being able to put yourself in the metaphorical front seat of a supercar or Formula 1 car is an electrifying experience.
There’s a fleet of racing wheel controllers out there, so whether you prefer to race on console or PC, we have recommendations for every driver.
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What racing wheels do we recommend?
Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Edition
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5.
This officially-licensed Gran Turismo racing wheel has a 28cm diameter steering wheel and features 1080-degree Force Feedback for accurate turning precision. the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Edition racing wheel is specifically designed for PlayStation and PC, but it’s compatible with consoles as far back as the PS3.
The steering wheel can also be detached from the base, which is compatible with other Thrustmaster T300 racing wheels. So you can switch out your wheel depending on the game you’re playing, or depending on the kind of controller you need for specific cars or races.
You can buy the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Edition here:
Logitech G Pro Racing Wheel
Platform: PlayStation, PC | Xbox, PC
If you’re a dedicated racing game fan, this racing wheel from Logitech is a worthwhile investment. It boasts Direct Drive and TRUEFORCE technology for less latency between controller input, as well as in-game physics and vibrations that can be felt through the controller for an accurate driving simulation experience.
Here’s what we had to say about the Logitech G Pro Racing Wheel:
“I recommend the Logitech Pro Racing Wheel if you love racing games, but keep your price point in mind.
Although this wheel feels premium and it has a higher torque response than the rest of the Logitech wheel range, you’re already an enthusiast if you’re considering a wheel like this.”
The Logitech G Pro Racing Wheel is one of the most expensive, but if you’re a true racing game aficionado, this wheel is ideal if you’re looking to perfect your technique.
You can get the Logitech G Pro Racing Wheel here:
Thrustmaster 458 Spider Racing Wheel
This 7:10 replica of the Ferrari 458 Spider’s steering wheel is a good entry-level controller, and certainly the cheapest way to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari. This wheel uses a “bungee cord” mechanism to provide force feedback, with up to 240 degrees of rotation. This steering wheel also includes a two-pedal set, which uses progressive resistance to replicate braking.
You can buy the Thrustmaster 458 Spider here:
Logitech G923 TrueForce Racing Wheel
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC | PS4, PS5, PC
The Logitech G923 might be a bit pricey for some, but there’s a reason it frequently appears on lists for recommended racing wheels. With its premium build quality, which includes brushed metal and stitched leather, this gaming wheel makes use of Logitech’s TrueForce to provide one of the most realistic driving experiences possible. Here’s what we had to say about the G923 in our review:
“The controls are extremely responsive, with the dynamic Trueforce system making every race feel like a pulse-pounding struggle, particularly when you lose control of your car. Expect flailing limbs, frantic wheel turning and desperate braking if you’re on the more inexperienced side of things. As they say, practice makes perfect and you’ll need a lot to conquer the G923.”
This Logitech steering wheel also has a 24-point selection dial that will let you adjust traction, torque and brake force, along with a programmable dual-clutch to help you get off that starting line faster.
There are two models of the G923 steering wheel, one that’s compatible with Xbox consoles and one that works with PlayStations (both work with PC). Make sure you’ve chosen the right one before buying.
Buy the Logitech G923 for Xbox here:
Buy the Logitech G923 for PlayStation here:
Logitech G29 and G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel
Platform: PS4, PS5, PC (G29) |Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC (G920)
If you haven’t noticed yet, when it comes to steering wheels, Logitech has firmly established itself as the go-to gaming brand. The G29 steering wheel uses a dual-motor system to help provide precise feedback, so you’ll feel every tire slip, change in terrain or impact while you’re gaming. We absolutely loved the dual-motor Force Feedback for its precision:
“Not too jerky, not too light. The dual-motor force feedback on the G29 might not be as powerful as the Thrustmaster T300… it makes up for that slight deficiency with precision. You know what road surface you’re on with the G29. You know well in advance of spinning out that you’re taking a turn too fast.”
The wheel has a 900-degree lock-to-lock rotation and uses helical gears that are modelled off the ones used in automotive transmissions to help create smoother feeling steering.
The G920 is to the Xbox as the G29 is to the PlayStation. It features a lot of the same mechanics, minus some buttons on the steering wheel’s face. Like the G29, the G920 also uses a pressure-sensitive brake system, while providing a more accurate performance by replicating the response and feel of braking.
While the boxes of these steering wheels may only list the Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 as compatible consoles, Logitech has confirmed that the G29 wheel will work with the PS5 and that the G920 will work with the Xbox Series X/S. Both of these steering wheels are compatible with PC, so take your pick if that’s your preferred gaming system.
Buy the Logitech G29 Driving Wheel here:
Buy the Logitech G920 Driving Wheel here:
What do you need to know before buying a racing wheel?
Before you commit to buying a racing wheel, make sure it’ll actually work with your gaming platform of choice, as some of these peripherals are only available for specific consoles. Most steering wheels come in separate PlayStation and Xbox models, which also usually have some form of cross-compatibility with PCs.
If you take a quick look at the range of racing wheels, one thing will become instantly apparent: these things are expensive. If you’re a big racing gamer, then it’ll be a worthwhile investment, but if you’re maybe a bit more casual, dropping a few hundred dollars might be a bit harder to validate. Most of our recommended racing wheels sit within the $400 to $500 range, so budget accordingly.
What you want is a good steering wheel that doesn’t fly off while you’re gaming. Most racing wheels come with a clip that allows you to secure them to the edge of a table so they won’t move when you use them, but that also means you need an available table for your set-up. This is a bit easier if you’re a PC gamer because you’ll already have a desk at the ready, but maybe a bit trickier if you’re using a console. Do your back a favour and don’t just clip the wheel to a low coffee table that you need to hunch over to use.
Depending on how advanced you want to go, you’ll also need to factor in space for a gearstick. There are dedicated cockpit frames that you can buy for your racing wheel, but again, you’ll need to account for available space to set one up.
You’re buying a racing wheel because you want to replicate the actual experience of driving a car, and the accuracy of that experience firmly rests on the controller’s ability to provide force feedback. This feedback is designed to pull against you while you’re driving, which will allow you to better understand the road you’re on and help stop you from over or under-steering through corners and bends – just like a real car.
Not all force feedback is equal, however. The overall accuracy and price of the racing wheels depend on the complexity of the internal mechanics.
Lead Image Credit: Logitech