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The Best Driving Wheels & Set up for Any Budget

Posted on26/04/2021

Wheels and Add-Ons for the best Racing Experience

Nothing beats a racing wheel for full on immersion in racing simulation games! It’s no wonder then that they have become one of the most popular gaming peripherals. Newer technology has enabled even more improvements to existing technology allowing for better control and customizability, even if you are on a budget! In this article, we will look at the best starter racing wheels available and some more advanced models and options. For this article, we will explore options available for the PC and Playstation.

The Brands: Thrustmaster vs Logitech

Thurstmaster

Thrustmaster is one of the most well-known racing wheel brands that have been producing quality gaming wheel systems for over thirty years. With superior technology and product collaborations with F1, their products span a wide range of models and budgets to suit everyone. From the basic bundles with just a simple racing wheel and pedals, to parts that can be purchased separately and then put together for the ultimate customizable experience, Thrustmaster’s ecosystem is sure to be any racing fan’s dream. However, more research is necessary due to the large amount of products they have.

Logitech

Logitech too, needs no introduction. Since their ever-popular G25 racing wheel hit the market in 2006, various updated iterations have spawned and their racing wheel systems are now available for virtually every platform. Logitech wheel models are simpler and provide a more “all-in-one” solution. Their current model this year is the G923, which core bundle includes a racing wheel and 3 pedals for either the Playstation or Xbox (1 different model for each console). Both versions are compatible with the PC as well.

So, which is the right racing wheel for you? This would depend very much on several factors including budget and purpose of the wheel. To help in your decision, we have prepared some recommendations!

Starter Level: Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 vs Thrustmaster T150 Pro

At this level, you are probably just starting out and would like to try a basic set up that will provide the “feel” of racing without too much investment. For this, we will recommend a straightforward solution that won’t break the bank.

For those just starting out, we recommend a straightforward solution that can provide all you need right out of the box. For this, Thrustmaster has 2 wheel bundless that come in a bundle with pedals, namely the Thrustmaster T80 Ferrarri Edition (SRP $199) and the Thrustmaster T150 (SRP $439). While it seems like quite a large jump between the two models, the T150 does offer some significant upgrades as well. Both these sets are compatible with PS3/PS4 and PC.

Both of these sets come with the same Pedal based which is Thrustmaster terms “large optimized pedals’. It is essentially a 2 pedal base with large footrest that can be adjustable in inclinations for a comfortable position to suit each user. The brake pedals also offer progressive resistance which is similar to a real vehicle.

The real difference between the two sets are in the driving wheels. Not only do they look different, they utilize different technology as well.

T80 vs T150 Pro

As can be seen from the comparison table, both wheels have many similar features such as the same paddle shifter set-up. However, the T150 Pro wheel’s improvements are mainly in the force feedback system used (the more advanced pulley-belt and gears hybrid system) which also allows for a much more realistic wheel rotation of up to 1080°. Furthermore, the T150 Pro is natively compatible with Thrustmaster’s T3PA pedals and TH8A shifter, which means upgrading to better parts in the future is much easier. Despite this, the T80 is still a solid bundle for those looking to try a racing wheel set up and a very reasonable price point. The T80 wheel which is a replica of the Ferrari 488GTB looks and feels good and the whole bundle comes with everything you need to start out.

Hence, we recommend the T80 for those who just want to value-for-money starter bundle and who do not mind changing the whole set up when looking to upgrade in future. The T150 Pro is thus recommended for those who want a slightly more advanced driving wheel, with upgradeable add-on options without having to re-purchase a new wheel.

More Advanced Options: Thrustmaster T300RS GT Edition vs Logitech G923

For those who do not mind spending more and want a more complete package, there are many wheels available. At this stage, both Thrustmaster and Logitech have wheel bundles that can be used standalone, and also can be upgraded with add-on options.

Thrustmaster T300RS GT Edition (SRP $649)

For the Thrustmaster, the T300RS GT Edition is a great mid-level racing wheel set-up which comes packed with Thrustmaster’s signature technology such as Brushless servomotor technology, dual belt system and HallEffect AccuRate Technology (HEART). The wheel is also easily detachable from the wheel base, and can be outfitted with Thrustmaster’s range of replica wheels for a customizable driving feel.

The pedals provided in this bundle are Thrustmaster’s T3PA pedals featuring 3 pedals and 100% metal internal structure for durability. The accelerator and clutch pedals and adjustable in height and spacing while the brake pedal provides progressive resistance and comes with a Conical Rubber Brake mod to adjust the feel and resistance of the brake pedal.

Logitech G923 (SRP $699)

The G923 is Logitech’s latest driving wheel rendition of the original G25 driving wheel. Each upgrade of the G-series wheel is usually released together with a new console for compatibility concerns, and the G923 too is slated to be compatible with the latest Playstation 5 and Xbox X|S consoles. Confusingly, the G923 now comes in 2 versions, one for the Playstation, which is compatible with PS4 and PS5 while the Xbox version is compatible with the Xbox X|S series and Xbox One series. Both versions are also compatible with the PC. In Singapore, currently only the Playstation version is available.

Thrustmaster T300RS GT Edition vs Logitech G923

Both the T300RS and the G923 pack powerful technology under the hood, so to speak however both the technology differ quite a fair bit which make the two wheels difficult to compare between the two. Thrustmaster’s technology is tried and true and has been a fan favourite for a long time due to its responsiveness and smooth feel. Logitech’s newest wheel however, has the Trueforce technology which is described as an advanced software monitoring system that precisely controls the amount of electrical current to the motors. This allows the G923 to mirror every aspect of the racing sim, from road bumps to turnings providing realistic force feedback (read: vibrations).

With its easily detachable wheel, the T300RS is the better choice for those looking to customize their driving experience. Thrustmaster’s ecosystem offers interesting add-ons like the Ferrari F1 wheel add-on which is a replica of a genuine F1 wheel and also the popular Sparco brake mod which is both a progressive handbrake and sequential shifter add-on. Additionally, the T3PA pedals included in the T300RS GT Edition is also customizable as the accelerator and clutch pedals can be adjusted in height and spacing.

On the other hand, Logitech only has one other add-on of note, the Logitech G Driving Force Shifter which essentially adds a manual shifter to the set-up.

Ultimately choosing between the two is practically like comparing Nike and Adidas – it comes down to personal preference and whether you really need customizable options, or if you want to experience the new Trueforce technology.

Complete Experience Add-on - Wheelstand/Racing Seat

Aside from the wheels alone, the other add-on of note would be a wheelstand/racing seat set-up to have a complete experience. For this, there are also many choices available in the market, from a basic wheelstand to use with your own seat, to a full racing cockpit. Prices for these start as low as $120 for the wheelstand alone to $1299 for Next Level Racing’s GT Ultimate racing cockpit. Check out our recommendations below:

EG-01 Wheelstand - $120

Simple to set up and compatible with Logitech and Thrustmaster’s wheels, this wheelstand is extremely sturdy and adjustable. Almost all its parts are adjustable – the wheel height & depth and shifter attachment (right/left/depth) are easily adjustable with sturdy screws. Velcro strips are also provided for cable management. At this price, it is a must-buy for budget set-ups.

Next Level Racing F-GT Lite - $429

The Next Level Racing F-GT Lite is a great complete racing seat set-up. With 2 seating positions available and an easily compatible design at reasonable pricing, this seat is the best of all worlds.

Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit - $1299

Described as “the ultimate cockpit for serious sim racers”, this racing seat offers complete adjustability in a true race car seating position. It is manufactured from ccarbon steel with the highest manufacturing methods of laser cutting and robotic welding and is built to be both strong and rigid and also adjustable for all. Pedals are adjustable in distance and angle to ensure an accurate representation of a race car while the wheel plate allows both height and angle adjustment, completed with seat distance and angle adjustment to ensure an immersive racing experience. This cockpit is also upgradeable with additional mods to become a flight sim set-up and can also be outfitted with the Next Level Racing Motion Platform for a full motion simulator build. At this price range, expect the best!

Conclusion

The 4 wheels recommended above would serve as a good baseline for those looking to start in this genre and also for those looking for complete set-ups at reasonable pricing. There are of course, even more advanced options available in the market however for most users, any of these set ups would provide a great racing sim experience!

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