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Sim Racing Wheel Compatibility Guide [2024]

Sim Racing Wheel Compatibility Guide [2024]

, by Alex Myastan, 16 min reading time

A complete guide to sim racing steering wheel and wheel base compatibility in 2023. Included is a full PCD - QR Hub compatibility table and comprehensive PCD list.

INTRODUCTION

This article has two charts to illustrate which steering wheels are compatible with which wheelbases in 2023

For many combinations the bolt pattern, or PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter), is the determining factor. However, some wheels are fixed to the base or to a QR Hub (Quick Release Hub), so PCD is not applicable to those.

Data and power transmission of the steering wheel are another factor to consider. Some are wireless, some are usb, some are widely usable, some require a specific wheelbase brand to function, although there are DIY options for those adept at such things.

We’ll also look at what platforms and games the different brands are compatible with, and what influences that compatibility.

If you are interested in comparing every wheelbase on the market in 2023, see that article, or you can read our complete steering wheel guide for more detail on all things to consider when buying a steering wheel.

 

JUMP TO SECTION

STEERING WHEELS, WHEEL BASES AND QR HUBS

Fanatec Podium Hub on a black background.

The Fanatec Podium Hub allows you to join any wheel to a Fanatec base. (Image by Fanatec.)

Steering wheels are what you hold in your hand. Most have buttons of various types to control settings in the game you are playing.

Wheelbases are what the steering wheels are attached to (kind of, since a QR Hub can sit between, see below). The wheelbase has a motor which creates the force feedback. When you hear of direct drive, people are talking about a wheelbase. The other two types of force feedback systems are gear driven and belt driven.

The QR Hub is what sits between the steering wheel and wheelbase, and is made of the wheel side and base side parts that slot into one another. 

Steering Wheel -> Wheel Side QR Hub -> Base Side QR Hub -> Wheelbase

 

It allows for a ‘quick release’, so you can swap in other steering wheels easily. Wheel side QR Hubs can either be fixed to the steering wheel internally, or more commonly, to a bolt pattern, a.k.a. a PCD.

On the wheelbase side, the QR Hub can be one with the shaft, clamped to the shaft or bolted to a PCD on the shaft. 

 

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Fixed vs Swappable

A Logitech g923 Trueforce Wheel viewed from below with a white background.

The Logitech G923 is a good entry level wheel, but unfortunately the steering wheel can’t be upgraded without DIY options. (Image by Logitech.)

Note that many low-end brands usually have fixed steering wheels. Logitech has steering wheels that are fixed to the base for both the G923 and G920/G29. In these cases you could add new wheels to the base with extensive DIY using custom adapters. If you’re up for it, go for it, but it is nice to have swappable wheels.

Most higher-ends brands allow you to use various steering wheels with their wheelbase. The QR Hubs usually attach to both the steering wheel and wheelbase using one of a couple of standard PCDs (6 x 70 mm or 3 x 50.6 mm).

Then there are some that allow you to swap within their ecosystem. Thrustmaster does this, Moza Racing does this and Fanatec does this to an extent. 

 

Wheel Base PCD Chart

First, what is PCD? Pitch Circle Diameter describes the number of bolts and their spacing. A 6 x 70 mm PCD tells us there are 6 bolt holes evenly spaced around a circle with a 70 mm diameter.

 

Table 1: The compatibility of the various wheelbases with different PCDs and steering wheels.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Wheelbase Brand
Fanatec
Logitech
Simucube
Thrustmaster
Simagic
Moza Razing
Sim-Plicity
VRS DFP
SimXPerience
Ricmotech
SimSteering2
Wheelbase Shaft 3 x 50.8 mm 6 x 70 mm 3 x 1.75" (NASCAR Style) Fanatec Thrustmaster Moza Racing
QR Podium Hub Podium Hub   Native QR Hub    
Fixed            
Direct Direct Direct Direct*      
QR Custom QR Hub Custom QR Hub Custom/Native QR Hub*   Native QR Hub  
QR Simagic QR* Simagic QR70 Simagic QR*      
QR           Native QR Hub
Direct Direct* Direct Direct*      
Adapter Hub Adapter* Hub Adapter Hub Adapter*      
QR Native QR Hub* Native QR Hub Native QR Hub*      
Direct Direct* Direct Direct      
Direct Shaft Clamp Adapter Shaft Clamp Adapter Shaft Clamp Adapter*      
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱

* These are compatible as long as you have a PCD adapter. These are just simple mechanical parts, nothing fancy.

The second column shows the interface of the wheelbase shafts. They are either QR Hubs, fixed, adapters or direct. The direct and adapter options are just PCDs: the most friendly of all the options since they allow you to choose your own QR system.

SimXPerience and Simagic have QR systems that accommodate the standard PCDs on the steering wheel side, which is also fine.

Then you have Fanatec, Thrustmaster and Moza Racing with QR Hubs that only fit their steering wheels and steering wheels that only fit their wheelbases. Apple much?

Fanatec has at least released the Podium Hub, which fits their wheelbases and is compatible with most other steering wheels.

FAQ: What is the Fanatec Podium Hub for?

Only Fanatec steering wheels work with Fanatec wheelbases, unless you have a Podium Hub. A Podium Hub allows any steering wheel with a 6 x 70 mm or 3 x 50.8 mm PCD to attach to a Fanatec wheelbase.

 

See all the wheelbases available on Simplace, including Simucube, Thrustmaster and Moza Racing.

 

Steering Wheel PCD Chart

We need to look at both the wheelbase side and steering wheel side of things.

Table 2: The PCDs of all the major steering wheel brands.

Brand Type PCD
Moza Racing Sim (Fixed QR Hub)
Thrustmaster Sim (Fixed QR Hub)
Logitech Sim (Fixed to base)
Precision Sim Engineering Sim 3 x 50.8 mm
Cube Controls Sim 3 x 50.8 mm
Sparco Real 3 x 50.8 mm/6 x 70mm
Rexing Sim 3 x 50.8 mm/6 x 70mm
P1Sim Sim 3 x 50.8 mm/6 x 70mm
Sportline Real 3 x 50.8 mm/6 x 70mm
Fanatec Sim 3 x 52 mm
Ascher Racing Sim 6 x 70 mm
MOMO Real 6 x 70 mm
Sparco Real 6 x 70 mm
Innato Sim 6 x 70 mm
Simucube Sim 6 x 70 mm
Esportsim Sim 6 x 70 mm
Gomez Sim Industries Sim 6 x 70 mm
OMP Racing Real 6 x 70 mm
SimX Sim 6 x 70 mm/ 6 x 74 mm


As pointed out earlier, Thrustmaster and Moza Racing only work within their ecosystems, as does Fanatec. Logitech does them one better (or worse), they are totally fixed to their base.

The vast majority are either 3 x 50.8 mm or 6 x 70 mm. These are standards in sim racing as well as real racing. That is what the second column distinguishes, brands that are sim specific versus steering wheels that are made for real racing.

That brings us nicely to the next section…

See all the steering wheels available on Simplace. Brands include Innato, Simucube and Moza Racing.

 

We have plenty of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, from a variety of manufacturers including Moza Racing, Cube Controls, Sim-Lab and more. Check out this article with tables that specify which products and brands have discounts, and how much those discounts are. It also contains some general tips for tactically approaching the Black Friday craze.

 

Data and Power

A Fanatec Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 on a black background.

See anything interesting? Yes, that’s right, this Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 uses pins to transfer power from the base to the steering wheel. (Image by Fanatec.)

For the real racing steering wheel options in table 2 above, all of them are only a mechanical wheel. No buttons, no displays: nothing fancy. When you start to add buttons and displays, two questions present themselves:

  • How is the wheel powered?
  • How is the data transmitted to the game?

POWERING OPTIONS

  • ♢ Cable. Usually a USB cable you plug directly into the PC or into the wheelbase.
  • ♢ Battery. Several have batteries and they usually last 2+ years.
  • ♢ Pins. Here the QR Hub has pins that transfer power from the wheelbase to the steering wheel.

 

DATA TRANSMISSION OPTIONS

  • ♢ Cable. Same as above, a USB cable that plugs into the PC or wheelbase.
  • ♢ Bluetooth. This can connect to the PC or wheelbase, depending on brands.
  • ♢ Wi-Fi. Same as Bluetooth above, but using a Wi-Fi connection.
  • ♢ Simucube Wireless. Simucube has a special wireless system that steering wheels license.

 

Now you may understand why PCD is not the whole story of compatibility. Fanatec uses pins to power their steering wheels, which is why they are only compatible with their namesake bases.

Same story with Moza Racing steering wheels: pins for power. Certain Ascher Racing wheels will be built for Simucube systems. Other will cater to all with a USB cord.

 

The DIY Rule

I have a suspicion about Sim Racers… They spend half an hour in their tuning menus, in the name of an optimised car, but that’s not why they do it… they love the tinkering and the fiddling…

So are we surprised that there is a Leo Bodnar PCB board to convert a Fanatec steering wheel using cables instead of pins? Or that there are tutorials on how to fit a Sparco wheel to a Logitech base? No, no we are not.

That presents us with the Sim Racing DIY Rule:

A Sim Racer could marry chalk with cheese.

 

Platform and Game Compatibility

A lime green racing car in iRacing.

Know which console your gear supports, and which games! (Image by Simography.)

When it comes to platform compatibility, almost every wheel is compatible with PC, but Playstation and Xbox work differently. For a wheel system to work with either platform, you need a security chip licensed by the respective companies installed in the hardware.

For Playstation, you need the security chip installed in the wheelbase while Xbox requires it to be installed inside the steering wheel. See this complete guide to wheelbases to see which wheelbases are compatible with which platforms.

Regarding game compatibility, that is a different story. To see iRacing compatible wheelbases and other game compatibility, see this spreadsheet with links to game compatibility lists for all the wheelbase brands. For steering wheels, you’ll have to check that out yourself, since that will differ wheel by wheel, not brand by brand.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2022. We recently updated it to fit our new design standard. We are aware this is missing Cammus, Asetek (apparently the best QR system so far!), Logitech G Pro details and Fanatec QR2. Adding them is on our todo list.


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SIMPLACE KNOWLEDGE BASE 

We aim to create a comprehensive repository to help you make your sim racing gear decisions. Check out some of our other detailed articles:

> A Beginner's Guide to a Sim Racing Setup: This article provides an overview of your entire setup.

> Best Sim Racing Cockpits: This article recommends the top ten cockpits for all budgets and compares ~70% of all the cockpits on the market in a simple table.

> The Wheel Base Guide: A comparison of every single wheel base on the market. We show the torque, platform compatibility, price and other relevant information in tables. We also have an article that analyses the value of entry-level direct drives, and one that recommends Xbox wheel bases.

> The Steering Wheel Guide: See types of wheels and the other considerations when buying one. We also have one that ranks the 12 Best F1 Steering Wheels.

> The Wheel Compatibility Guide: See the bolt patterns and QR Hubs of all the major wheel and wheel base brands.

> The Shifter and Handbrake Guide: A comparison of every sim racing stick shifter and handbrake on the market.

> The Pedal Guide: A comparison of all the budget and entry-level pedal sets, and the most popular mid-range and high-end pedal sets on the market.

> How to Earn Money in Sim Racing: An overview of the various ways in which you can get income from your favourite hobby.

We've started a series of posts where we spotlight different brands. To start off with, check out our spotlight on Moza Racing, and our spotlight on Simons Gaming Solutions, an up-and-coming manufacturer.

We also publish sim related news, like analysing the value of the Fanatec ClubSport DD, reviewing the Fanatec QR2 or looking at the latest WRC updates. You can also find articles about us, like this article about our visit to the recent ADAC Sim Racing Expo.

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