Console manufacturers are taking gaming to the next level with the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. For this guide, we will be talking exclusively about the former, which is set for release on November 12.
But what does the PlayStation 5 bring to the table, exactly? Does it even make sense to get a PS5? Well, for starters, this next-generation console sports new processing technology courtesy of AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon lineups, along with faster memory and storage components for seamless 4K gaming. Moreover, Sony claims that the console is backwards compatible with the majority of PS4 titles. It also retails around the same range as the competing Xbox Series X, making it a viable option for those who want high-resolution gaming on a budget.
Racing simulators are one of the most popular genres in the gaming scene right now, so it’s safe to assume that the PS5 will be supporting the latest racing games upon release. With this comes the need for an efficient controller that not only makes the game enjoyable but lives up to its name of being a “racing simulator” – hence, racing wheels.
|Product||Key Features||Our Rating|
|Logitech G29 Racing Wheel||* 900° rotation range|
* Pedals are smaller than regular size
|Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit||* 1080° rotation range|
* High-grade aluminum pedals
|HORI Racing Wheel Apex||* 270° rotation range|
* Arcade feeling
|Thrustmaster T150 Pro||* 1080° rotation range|
* Option to tweak feedback motor
|Thrustmaster T300 RS GT||* 1080° rotation range|
* Immersive force feedback motor
What Are Racing Wheels?
While the new DualSense controllers are more than enough for most games, racing simulators require racing wheels for one to fully immerse in the experience. Racing wheels are basically steering wheels that come bundled with pedals and a shift stick – all intended for gaming usage.
A good racing wheel not only provides the basic turning motion of an actual steering wheel but also has the ideal rotational range and force motor feedback needed for a realistic recreation of an actual driving experience – all in the comfort of your gaming crib. Accessories like pedals and shift sticks also add to the feeling of breaking and gear shifts as one would in a real racing rig.
Sony has announced that the PlayStation 5 will be supporting most PS4-compatible racing wheels, making for a wide pool of choices available. Worry not, however, as we’ve narrowed down the search for the best PS5 racing wheels one can buy in 2020!
Best PS5 Racing Wheels of 2020 – Recommendations
We’re starting off our list strong with one of the big names in the peripheral industry – Logitech. Though the brand is known for its premium offerings – which in all fairness, are their money’s worth – the Logitech G29 Racing Wheel is a great bang for the buck choice for those who want the most value out of their dough.
The Logitech G29 Racing Wheel boasts a high-quality construction with a wheel design that matches most aftermarket racing rigs nowadays. It doesn’t feel premium in any way but still feels legitimate to the touch. This is all thanks to the robust build quality and the smooth, plush finish on the hand-stitched leather grip that is comfortable on the hands, especially on the bottom of the palms making it easy to use for extended periods of gaming.
Other testaments to this racing wheel’s ruggedness are the heavy-duty solid ball bearings and stainless steel shifter (should you opt for the package that comes with the stick). These parts are designed to provide longevity without sacrificing consistency in operation, especially since these are moving parts.
As for ergonomics, the Logitech G29 Racing Wheel has an intuitive button layout that has the usual controller jazz going for it. Apart from easy access to controller buttons, it also has a paddle shifter that is neatly situated at the back of the wheel for efficient shifting no matter your hand size.
For the steering wheel itself, it has a 900° rotation range to mimic real-world operation while the powerful dual servo motor tandem provides force feedback to emulate the real-world sensations of terrain, drifting, steering phenomena, and more – allowing you to respond with precise movements as a result. Moreover, the responsive floor pedal unit is pressure-sensitive to provide actual feedback experiences of a real car. You can even adjust the pedal faces to suit your driving style.
Do note that the pedals are held in place by rubber feet, making them a bit unstable if you don’t put them up against a solid surface. They are also a bit smaller than regular pedals, so people with bigger feet might want to look somewhere else. All of that aside, the Logitech G29 Racing Wheel offers unhindered driving performance and quality on a budget.
Another great steering wheel option for your favorite racing sim games is the Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit. Fanatec is known for its high-end offerings in the racing simulator industry and will continue to be so as the brand’s PS4 racing wheels are also compatible with the upcoming PlayStation 5. The Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit comes with a steering wheel and pedal combination to get you started on your racing sim journey, sporting a premium construction and sleek design that takes you behind the cockpit in an instant – all at the comfort of your gaming cave.
The Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit belongs in the midrange racing wheel bracket and provides decent functionality that is sure to serve your controller needs well. The wheel rim has a brushed aluminum finish with genuine perforated leather, suede fabric, and crossed-stitched seams that adorn the grip. This doesn’t only exude that professional-looking cockpit setup but also adds to the comfort of the user, especially for those planning to run laps for hours on end.
Added ergonomics come with the ultra-lightweight steering wheel that clocks in at only 970 grams to improve response times and prevent fatigue. Moreover, the steering wheel has a rotational range of 1080° along with a single belt drive mechanism for that enhanced level of feel, minimal lag and cogging, and an overall enjoyable steering experience.
Furthermore, the Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit’s wheel is attached to a powerful brushless motor that delivers up to 6 Nm of torque for that realistic emulation of bumpy terrain or oversteer, among other steering phenomena. As for the pedals, they are made from high-grade aluminum with brushed spokes and a fiber-enforced back cover for added ruggedness without sacrificing realism in terms of pressure response. These pedals can also be removed from the heel rest and installed on custom cockpits or stands for added convenience in achieving your desired setup.
Stat readouts are also supported by the Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit out of the box. This includes an integrated rev light bar at the wheelbase called the RevStrip – a combined center stripe and rev meter consisted of multicolored LEDs that help with nailing gear change timing. Below it is a 3-digit LED display that can output vital telemetry data like speed or gears, although it will still be determined by compatible games or third-party software. And lastly, the Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit still has the basic PlayStation controller buttons laid out on the racing wheel’s face for easy navigation and selection in the PS5 environment.
On the other side of the peripheral spectrum, HORI boasts its offerings of affordable gaming solutions that can get the job done for a whole lot less. The HORI Racing Wheel Apex is their representative in the racing simulator field, intended to be an entry-level option for those who want to try their hands on the genre without having to shell out as much cash, but still end up with an enjoyable driving experience.
The HORI Racing Wheel Apex is a full-sized racing wheel with an 11-inch diameter to mimic real steering wheels of racing vehicles, although the charm is definitely lost upon knowing that the chassis is mostly made up of plastic. For something that retails relatively cheap, this is an aspect that HORI had to compromise in order to keep production costs down. This makes the racing wheel incredibly lightweight – to the point that it feels somewhat unnatural and arcadey. It is quite resilient, however, and can take a beating from rough usage despite its flimsy feel.
Moreover, the HORI Racing Wheel Apex isn’t really up to par with pricier racing wheels in terms of performance. This is due to the very limited rotational angle of up to 270°, which is the absolute maximum that the brand dubs as its Immersive mode. You can even go lower than this with the 180° setting called Arcade mode, but in all honesty, even the full range of motion feels like playing an arcade game from the start. That being considered, however, this racing wheel isn’t too shabby when it comes to vehicle control. Another factor that sets it apart from the more serious racing wheels in the market is its lack of force feedback. This will mean missing out on one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of racing simulators.
The pedals on the HORI Racing Wheel Apex aren’t the greatest, either. Sporting only two pedals with minimal pressure response, you’ll have to practice restraint on your pedal force so as to not overshoot, though there is an option to customize the sensitivity to your desired levels. Other than that, the RWA unit has all the usual features like standardized button layouts, a comfortable non-slip grip, and even an adjustable dead zone so as to avoid any accidental steering whenever unintended.
All in all, while not the best in terms of performance and immersion, the HORI Racing Wheel Apex is still a convincing option for those who are just new to racing simulators and want something to get them by and enjoy games without costing an arm and a leg.
Besides, this particular racing wheel also made our list of the best PS5 gift ideas.
For those who want to get as close as possible to the real deal, the Thrustmaster T150 Pro doesn’t disappoint. First of all, the steering wheel’s dimensions are tailored to be an exact 1:1 scale simulator counterpart of a real steering wheel. Not only does this mimic the way you position your hands on the wheel but also how you operate it – smaller racing wheels don’t always provide the best degree of realism when it comes to racing sims. Apart from that, the unit also has a robust build quality that not only adds heft but also ensures that it stays functional for the years to come.
The Thrustmaster T150 Pro boasts a 1080° range of rotation to provide you with the needed level of accuracy and sensitivity when it comes to crucial bends and curves. It is operated by a belt-pulley force feedback system that’s super silent to provide a smooth and seamless response to in-game factors such as terrain and steering phenomena such as over and understeering. You can even tweak the power adjustment options so you get the most or least amount of feedback desired. The brushless motor trades blows with more premium options in terms of its ability to emulate actual driving conditions, making this racing wheel one of the most capable units available for PlayStation 5 use.
As for accessories like throttle and transmission control, the Thrustmaster T150 Pro comes with a 3-pedal array with an excellent amount of pressure response for improved immersion, while you can choose to use the flappy-paddle shifter for transmission or purchase the separate metal shifter if you’re more comfortable with the traditional stick. Called the TH8A, this all-metal shifter has a removable shift knob and can be configured between two different shifting styles.
One “downside” to the Thrustmaster T150 Pro, if you consider it as such, are the rubber grips that line the racing wheel. These tend to be rather uncomfortable when in contact with the skin for extended periods, although this can be remedied by wearing driving gloves. All in all, the Thrustmaster T150 Pro offers a great deal of immersion and reliability no matter what racing sim you’re playing.
If you can’t get yourself to like the hyper-realism offered by the Thrustmaster T 150, you can go with the more ergonomic Thrustmaster T300 RS GT. Of course, not only is it better in terms of comfort and convenience, but it also bumps up its cousin with improved design and features. Build quality is top-notch on this racing wheel, with its dead-serious construction, feel, and aesthetics transporting you into the real world once you put your hands on the wheel.
It has an 11-inch diameter steering wheel for that realistic feeling as you weave in and out of the asphalt, and has a reinforced textured rubber cladding around the entire circumference for added grip. This helps improve control, especially when doing critical curves and drifts, although we must say that the rubber is a make or break factor that will depend entirely on user preference.
Just like most premium racing wheels, the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT has an equally responsive and immersive force feedback motor. This racing wheel’s feedback motor is an industrial-grade brushless unit that boasts a frictionless performance. The servomotor is ultra-silent so you can focus on matters at hand – e.g., dominating that lap – while providing the best amount of feedback and effects at the same time. This racing wheel makes use of a dual-belt drive system and has a rotational range of 1080°, ensuring that you get the most realistic amount of driving emulation at the comfort of your own home.
The seamless performance of this brushless servomotor replicates in-game terrain situations and steering phenomena with real-world accuracy, which in turn allows you to respond with the needed force and maneuvers without that disappointing arcade feel. Thrustmaster takes pride in its H.E.A.R.T. or HallEffect AccuRate Technology, which improves the dialing precision of the motor thanks to a contactless magnetic sensor, resulting in an amazing 16-bit resolution or up to 65,563 values for the wheel’s steering performance.
As per usual, the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT comes with a pedal set in the form of the T3PA -GT Edition Pedals that sport 100% metal construction for maximum resilience as they are frequently engaged and disengaged. For response, these pedals have progressive resistance to mimic real-world pedals and comes with a conical rubber brake mod.
You can even adjust the height and spacing to your liking for the accelerator and clutch, while a footrest keeps things comfortable during extended gaming hours. For gear switching, the racing wheel comes with two metal paddle shifters that are equipped with a high-end tact switch with a service lifespan of around 10 million actions. The Thrustmaster T300 RS GT also allows you to switch between different steering wheels thanks to its quick-release system, making for a customizable racing rig that you can modify on the go.