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By Alex Myastan, 27 july 2022

The Complete Steering Wheel and Wheel Base Compatibility Guide 2022

Introduction

 

This article has two charts to illustrate which steering wheels are compatible with which wheelbases in 2022

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 2022, 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.

Note that we have also up-to-date guides for the following:

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

The Complete Sim Racing Wheel Base Guide: A comparison of every single wheel base on the market in 2022. We show the torque, platform compatibility, price and other relevant information in tables.

A Guide to Sim Racing Steering Wheels: See types of wheels and the other considerations when buying one.

The Beginner's Sim Racing Rig and Seat Guide: See the two types of rigs and the other considerations when buying one.

The Complete Sim Racing Pedal Guide 2022: 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 in 2022.

Sim Racing Stick Shifters and Handbrakes: The Complete Guide 2022: A comparison of every sim racing stick shifter and handbrake on the market in 2022.

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

 

Contents

  • Steering Wheels, Wheelbases and QR Hubs
  • Factors to Consider
    • Fixed vs Swappable
    • Wheelbase PCD Chart
    • Steering Wheel PCD Chart
    • Data and Power
    • The DIY Rule
    • Platform and Game Compatibility

 

Steering Wheels, Wheelbases 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. 

 

Wheelbase 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 to the right if you are on mobile.

Wheelbase Brand

Wheelbase Shaft

3 x 50.8 mm

6 x 70 mm

3 x 1.75" (NASCAR Style)

Fanatec

Thrustmaster

Moza Racing

Fanatec

QR

Podium Hub

Podium Hub

 

Native QR Hub

  

Logitech

Fixed

      

Simucube

Direct

Direct

Direct

Direct*

   

Thrustmaster

QR

Custom QR Hub

Custom QR Hub

Custom/Native QR Hub*

 

Native QR Hub

 

Simagic

QR

Simagic QR*

Simagic QR70

Simagic QR*

   

Moza Racing

QR

     

Native QR Hub

Sim-plicity

Direct

Direct*

Direct

Direct*

   

VRS DFP

Adapter

Hub Adapter*

Hub Adapter

Hub Adapter*

   

SimXPerience

QR

Native QR Hub*

Native QR Hub

Native QR Hub*

   

Ricmotech

Direct

Direct*

Direct

Direct

   

SimSteering2

Direct

Shaft Clamp Adapter

Shaft Clamp Adapter

Shaft Clamp Adapter*

   

* 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.

 

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.

 

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?

There are three options to power a wheel:

  • 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.

There are several options to transmit data:

  • 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.

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