This is why you should trust our listing of the best racing wheels
Trusted Reviews has been supplying expert purchasing advice since 2003. Our team of experienced reviewers has analyzed all of the significant racing wheels on all of the current big e-sports names to discover the best available on the market. We do not get paid by firms for reviews. All product reviews are fair and impartial.
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If money is no object and you are looking for a top end wheel which won’t look weird for an e-sports championship, the Fanatec CSL Elite is the best overall wheel you can get. If you are on a budget, or just want a casual wheel for house use the Thrustmaster T150 is the best-value racing wheel around.
How we test racing wheels
Our expert reviewers examine every wheel on all of the large e-sports names, such as Project Cars 2, Forza 7 and GT Sport. During operation we gauge build quality, features, usability and functionality. We assess for the smoothness of the wheel turn, the strength of the force feedback, and the travel of the pedals. Where possible, we examine three-pedal setups using compatible gearsticks.
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Fanatec CSL Elite
- Very powerful force feedback
- Extremely smooth
- Excellent pedal board
- Vinyl base home
- Non-luxury wheel structure
- Wheel updates are costly
You may not think it from the purchase price, but the CSL Elite is easily the most available wheel and pedal mix the Fanatec has released since 2009.
In a fairly steep #586 (in the time of our whole review) for the cheapest wheel and pedals, most people will instantly be priced from the Fanatec ecosystem. However, those looking to step up their sim racing career (and who may possibly have another wheel that they could sell when their Fanatec arrives), it is a very tempting prospect.
It is the best racing wheel we have ever tested, with a sleek, strong force feedback action, wonderful styling, super-customisable configurations and a modular wheel hub that lets you update the wheel without changing the foundation. The force feedback is driven by one belt attached to a brushless motor, so there is none of the notchy feel you would get from a more affordable wheel. Additionally, it is super quiet, although its inner lovers will kick up after some usage.
Better yet, the pedals have customisable texture, with three distinct brake weight settings available for all strengths and tastes (up to 90kg).
Do not worry if you do not have a proper cockpit installation; there is a desk bracket in the box so that you can get top-quality sim racing activity without needing to devote an entire room to your new kit.
It is extremely expensive, but the CSL Elite is the best racing wheel you can purchase for under #1,000 and a worthwhile upgrade for any hardcore hobbyist.
Buy now: Fanatec CSL Elite for #549. 95 from Amazon
- Good value
- Strong force feedback
- Feels well-made
- Low-rent pedals
- Slightly notchy feel to wheel twist
The Thrustmaster T150 is your best affordable “serious” racing wheel. It’s a excellent wheel for those who need strong, realistic force feedback but without needing to pay a fortune for it. There are no new wheels on the industry at the moment with force feedback that cost less money.
Before we get into how this is a lesser wheel compared to the T300, let us tackle the fantastic stuff. It is hardy, the force feedback has serious pull to it, and the rubbery wheel coating means it is quite grippy and will stand up to years of abuse. It is also less notchy-feeling compared to Logitech G29.
Now for those reasons why the T150 is less costly than Thrustmaster’s top wheels. The pedals are basic — a two-pedal plastic setup that is not as striking as the wheel. These could be updated, however, and there’s a version, the Thrustmaster T150 Guru, that includes a three-pedal board for individuals who wish to use a gear stick.
Secondly, the wheel is not as easy as the T300. This is because it uses a “gear and belt” transmission system instead of being purely belt driven. Given the price tag, however, these sacrifices are rather easy to swallow.
Buy now: Thrustmaster T150 for #135 from Amazon
- Outstanding drive feedback, especially with GT Sport
- Great PS4 controller mapping
- Quality texture and sturdy construction
- Great pedal set
- Stick change is a costly extra
- Wheel is not full-size
Is Gran Turismo Sport your racer of choice? Then this is the wheel for you. The Thrustmaster T-GT was designed together with GT Sport’s programmer, Polyphony, to provide addition ‘depth’ feedback for a greater feel of the street. And it works. This is the best racing wheel you can get for Gran Turismo. And it is pretty decent with other games, too.
The wheel has a gorgeous texture, with smooth, grippy leather stitched around it, and the comments from the dual-belt driveway is super-strong. There’s an superb three-pedal included, with metal arms and adjustable plates. Thrustmaster has thrown in an optional ‘conical brake mod’ which can be screwed in to provide a more progressive feel to the brake, which is definitely worth fitting.
The T-GT is not cheap — particularly if you add the optional equipment stick — but it’s the best set-up you can get for GT Sport.
- Leather-topped wheel feels great
- Decent pedals
- Strong force feedback
- Spinning and feedback feels ‘notchy’
- Very similar to the old G27
For many years Logitech’s G-series wheels were our go-to recommendation for driving-game fanatics. The G29 takes what Logitech made with the G25 and G27 and provides PS4 support.
If you see scathing reviews of the Logitech G29 online, they are more than likely from former lovers angry that their older (G25/G27) wheel does not utilize current-gen consoles. The wheel itself is as great as ever, however, with strong force feedback, an ultra-reliable engine mechanism and a top-quality, leather-topped wheel.
Of the sub-#200 wheels, the G29 additionally gives the best bundled pedals; they are far better than the standard Thrustmaster ones, and that you get a clutch pedal.
What holds back the Logitech G29 slightly is the sense of its force feedback, which can be “notchy” compared with the more expensive Thrustmaster T300 RS. This is because it uses gears to deliver its force feedback as opposed to rubber belts.
Still, for the cash, it is among the best-value complete wheel and pedal places around.
Buy now: Logitech G29/G920 for #178. 80 from Amazon
- Strong force feedback
- Clear PS4 mappings
- Complete 1080 level rotation
If you’ve got a nice chunk of cash to invest and need the maximum advanced-feeling wheel which comes in under #500, our top recommendation is the Thrustmaster T300RS.
Its highlight feature is extremely smooth and strong force feedback, giving it a more realistic sensibility than the Logitech G29 or the more economical Thrustmaster T150. This is all down to the way the motors inside deliver that unmistakable pull from the turns. It employs a brushless, complete belt-driven system, which has a not as clunky feel and is comparatively silent.
In the T300RS’s early days there have been some concerns about its reliability, stemming from the new belt system. However, it seems that Thrustmaster has mostly fixed these problems in later batches.
There are only a couple reasons why some of you may want to take into account the Logitech G29, besides the most obvious of it being considerably less expensive. The rubbery wheel does not feel as luxurious as the leather one that Logitech uses, and the included pedals are not fantastic. Even though they have metal foot-plates, the remainder of the set is plastic.
There is loads of scope to update, however. Fall in love with racing wheels and you may add the exceptional T3PA metal pedals, another gearbox, and even change the wheel for a leather or Alcantara one.
Buy now: Thrustmaster T300RS for #347. 55 from Amazon
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition
- Great force feedback
- Strong build
- Fundamental pedals
- Plastic/rubber wheel outer lacks luxury feel
If you possess an Xbox One instead of a PS4, the wheel to appear for is the Thrustmaster TX. In the end, it’s very much like the T300RS, but was made to look like a slightly shrunken Ferrari car wheel. It has the engine starter button.
The Thrustmaster TX wheel also has all of the buttons of an Xbox One pad, but because there is no D-pad, you will want to maintain a controller handy as you play. It works with PC also, naturally.
With the identical excellent force feedback as the Thrustmaster T300RS, the Ferrrari 458 Italia Edition feels quite eloquent, and has the capability to make controlling your car a satisfying struggle. The one drawback over the T300 show is the TX has just 900 degrees of rotation, in contrast to the whole 1,080.
As can be the case with another higher-end Thrustmaster wheels, some of you might wind up wanting to update the rubbery wheel and the just-okay two-pedal board. But it all depends upon how serious you need to get; for most, the Thrustmaster TX will be more than adequate to satisfy.
Buy now: Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition for Number 298 from Amazon
Those are our top picks of the best racing wheels. If you wish to find out more about what to look out for if purchasing a racing wheel then continue reading.
What is a sim racing wheel?
What separates a “proper” wheel out of toys is “force feedback” technology. Powerful motors within the wheels simulate exactly what you would feel if driving a real car.
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You will have to fight the wheel as you take a corner, and feel that the split-second your tires lose grip. The growth in immersion is immense. Not only that, each time you choose a kerb, touch another car or nail a corner better than you have ever done before: you will know all about it.
It is important to consider which games are actually suited to a racing wheel, however. True arcade racers frequently feel better with a gamepad with their drifty, larger-than-life managing at odds with a racing wheel. Whereas games with exacting handling models that react to minute movements gain from a wheel. On PS4 this means names like Project Cars, Dirt Rally and DriveClub. On Xbox One, Forza Motorsport 6, Assetto Corsa and F1 2016 are worth checking out.
PC players have a number of the above titles to test, and some nerdier racing sims from which they may choose — such as iRacing and rFactor 2.
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Thrustmaster and Logitech wheels compose most the roundup, though hardcore race fans might want to check out Fanatec, which generates some excellent wheels, but could easily cost over #1,000. We have not ventured that far; our priciest recommendation comes in at #586.
You have additional possibilities, also, if your budget will stretch. SimXperience makes wheels that utilize a “Direct Drive” force feedback system, where the wheel is on the motor with no belts or gears in-between. But this costs $1,748 with no pedals — out of reach for most people, then. If you win the lottery, then look it up.
Things to consider
First, make certain to check compatibility. While all featured wheels operate on PC, you need to choose between Xbox One and PS4 support.
With regular bundles there is also often a trade-off involving the character of the force feedback and the pedals. Would you rather have stuttery force feedback, or pedals that last a fantastic couple of years?