We’ve already put together a list of the best racing games. With next-gen games such as Gran Turismo 7 and Forza Horizon 5 now here, you will want the most authentic possible experience. In this article, we’ll list the best racing wheels we’ve tested, for those who want a more realistic, engaging drive. Keep reading if you fancy sharpening up your skills for esports – or just want a boost against the usual online competition.
Should I buy a racing wheel?
Before we go through the best racing wheels you can buy, it’s worth explaining who they’re for and who will get the most out of them.
Of course, you don’t need a racing wheel – but if you’re particularly interested in racing games, they’re worth a look. Simply put, they unlock another dimension to most good racing games, giving you increased feedback from – and control of – your virtual ride.
For those who prefer realistic racers such as iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione, or those who aspire to be competitive at GT7, a wheel is almost essential. They offer more control and provide more information than a pad, and that translates to more precise inputs, and ultimately, quicker lap times. Even if you’re an arcade racing fan, but want to experience another level of interaction, a racing wheel is still worth a look.
Compatibility with PS5 and Xbox One X series
The next PlayStation and Xbox are now on sale (if you find one in stock), so you'd be forgiven for holding back on a PS4 or Xbox One compatible wheel right now. However, Sony has previously revealed that PS4 peripherals – including racing wheels – will be 100% compatible with the PS5. The entry reads:
'Speciality peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.'
That means your GT Sport setup will work on Gran Turismo 7, as well as every other racing game on PS4 and PS5; there's no need to wait.
Microsoft too have announced that almost all peripherals that work on current Xbox consoles will work on the new Series S and Series X consoles.
Finally, it’s best to work out where you’ll put your wheel before you buy it. To get the most out of a racing wheel, you’ll ideally want a racing chair – so you’re in the correct driving position – but wheels can also be clamped on to coffee tables or desks. Although, pricier wheels can be clamped onto existing furniture, we’d strongly advise getting a racing seat to get the most out of your investment.
What platforms will a racing wheel work on?
Sadly, there isn’t a racing wheel that works on every platform – so take care checking the wheel you choose is compatible with the products you want to use it with. Typically, wheels will be compatible a PC and one console – either Xbox or PlayStation.
Those who like to switch between Xbox, PlayStation and PC won’t be able to use a single wheel for all three – although third-party products such as the Drivehub promise universal compatibility. We’ll review one of those at a later date.
With that out the way, here’s a look at the best racing wheels.
The best racing wheels in detail:
Heard of esports? Heard of Gran Turismo? Heard of Igor Fraga, or Mikal Hizail? If so, then you'll already know what this wheel is, and the pedigree it comes with. Simply put, this updated version of the T-GT is the official wheel of PlayStation 5 and Gran Turismo. And by extension, the official wheel of the FIA-approved GT Sport championship. The T-GT II is purpose-built for the latest version and future versions of Gran Turismo. The TGT II is expensive – but you get a lot for your money.
Thrustmaster has effectively thrown the kitchen sink at this collaboration with Polyphony Digital, and it shows after just a few minutes use. Take a look at the wheel and you'll see it features the same buttons as your standard DualShock 4/5 pad, but it also adds four rotary dials for parameters such as traction control and brake bias.
A 40W, industrial-class brushless motor is able to directly convey what's happening in-game, while remaining 100% proportional to the intended forces. In addition, a technology called T-DFB adds vibration effects along with suspension feeling to the steering column, giving you even more information about the road.
Throw in three sturdy and adjustable pedals, two metal paddle shifters, along with the ability to upgrade the wheel rim – though we can't see why you'd want to – and this is an impressive bit of kit.
Thrustmaster T300 RS (PS5/PS4/PS3/PC)
Best for beginners on PlayStation or PC
The first official force feedback-enabled wheel for the PlayStation 4, and still one of the most popular, the T300 RS remains a bargain. Take a look at the stats and it won't be able to compete with some other big hitters on this list, but the T300 RS is a heavyweight at this price.
A smooth brushless motor will be a revelation to wheel newcomers, and it's also very precise for the money. Like other wheels on this list, you'll find dedicated buttons on the front of the rim, along with solid paddles on the rear, and you also get metal pedals to go with it. Plus, it has 1080 degrees of rotation.
Of course, this T300 RS also serves as platform for further upgrades; a range of rims can replace the eleven-inch, 1.2kg one supplied, and you can add a gear shifter.
Logitech G29 (PS5/PS4/PC)
Handy features and sound build quality
Those familiar with PC peripherals will already be aware of the Logitech name u2013 for everyone else, it's a very established brand in the accessory market. Simply put, the Logitech G29 is a solid piece of kit: well-built, packed with features and priced favourably.
It'll only rotate 900 degrees but uses a dual-motor for strong force feedback, and there's also a neat wheel-mounted rev-counter – so it'll never be blocked by the position of the wheel.
Elsewhere, metal pedals along with a non-linear brake pedal – and you'll find all the PS4 buttons on the wheel face, so you can zip through menus. It'll work on PC too, by the way.
Logitech G920 (Xbox One/Xbox Series X/PC)
A version of the G29, but for the Xbox One and PC, the G920 is pretty much identical to the G29. There's only one real difference: the G920 loses the nifty shift lights we enjoy on the PS4 and PC wheel. Pity.
There are currently two FIA-approved esports championships, GT Sport and the F1 championship. The former uses the Thrustmaster T-GT II and the Formula One esports championship uses the Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1.
Today, Fanatec is all about custom setups. You can buy individual pieces to upgrade your set or create your own setup via Fanatec's configurator. Fanatec has largely moved away from generic bundles.
Anything else? Pedals and racing seats
Pedals are just as important as a wheel, and the bundles here tend to use more basic ones. If you want something a little more exotic, we’d suggest load cell pedals. These emulate the feel of racing car brakes, trading pedal position for pedal pressure. After dialling this new method your muscle memory, it’s possible to be far more accurate with load cell pedals. It’s also easier to pull of trail or cadence braking. Thrustmaster have just released the fully adjustable T-LCM and Fanatec also has a load cell kit to adapt existing pedals.
A seat is also important for getting the absolute most out of your set up. Playseat offers a range of racing seats that you can bolt your steering wheel and pedals, too – and at around £300 upwards it’s easy to think they’re pricey. However, when you consider how much the rest of your racing setup costs; TV, console, steering wheel and pedals – it’s worth bringing it all together and getting the very best experience out of it. Read our guide to the best racing seats to find out all you need to know.