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Best Direct Drive Wheel for Sim Racing [2024]

Best Direct Drive Wheel for Sim Racing [2024]

, door Alex Myastan, 57 min leestijd

A simple comparison of every sim racing wheel base on the market in 2024.

INTRODUCTION

This article contains every sim racing wheel base on the market in 2024.

A wheel provides resistance when steering in the form of force feedback. It communicates under- and over-steer, as well as the texture of the road. Your wheel rim is then attached to your wheel a.k.a. wheel base. (The rest of the article will use the term wheel base.)

It’s important to choose right. In a poll I did, wheel bases were voted as the second most important piece of equipment for improving your pace and consistency in sim racing. The takeaway is that you can’t not have a wheel, but you don’t need the best.

In this article you’ll see extensive comparison tables that pit all of the wheel bases against each other in four spending brackets:

  • Budget ($100 - $300). Thrustmaster dominates this dirt cheap bracket.
  • Entry-level ($400 - $500). This bracket features among others the Logitech G923, the Fanatec CSL DD and the incredible Moza Racing R9, as direct drives enter the picture.
  • Mid-range ($500 - $1000). Fanatec continues its presence and the highly underrated Sim-plicity makes its entrance.
  • High-end ($1000 - $4500). We see the precision machines, like the Simucube 2 and SimSteering2. The latter is used by F1 teams for training.

At the very end of the article, you will also see the ultimate comparison table, which includes all the wheel bases compared in a single table. Just click the link the contents below to navigate there directly.


JUMP TO SECTION


FACTORS TO CONSIDER

There are several facets that make a good wheel base. Do you want a belt-driven wheel or direct drive? Are you going to drive on PC, Xbox or Playstation? And what about the price!?

A man playing on a massive sim racing setup, including big screen, seat, rig, direct drive, wheel and more.

Sim racing equipment is more complex than you would think! (Image by Andrzej Rembowski from Pixabay.)

 

1. The Force Feedback (FFB) System

There are 3 main types of force feedback systems:

TORQUE GENERATING TYPES

  • ♢ Gear-driven . Uses a series of gears to generate around 2-3Nm of torque. Cheapest.
  • ♢ Belt-driven . Uses gears as well as a toothed belt to generate around 3-8Nm of torque. Cheaper.
  • ♢ Direct Drive . Motor directly linked to the wheel to generate 5-32Nm of torque. Expensive (mostly).

 

The average joe in the average car will experience around 7-12 Nm of torque when driving. When racing, your torque may peak at around 20Nm, but will still average around 10-15 Nm.

Sometimes it may be higher. I recall learning to drive in my Mother’s ford pick-up, before power steering had hit the market. My forearms would bulge when I took turns with it! Most racing cars have power steering, even F1, although some people enjoy fighting with the force feedback.

Over the last year, direct drive wheel bases have become easier to entertain as prices have dropped. However, you should note what type of motor the direct drive uses:

DIRECT DRIVE MOTOR TYPES

  • ♢ Stepper Motor. The motor turns a discrete number of steps in an open loop, with around 50-100 magnets (pole count). Notchiest.
  • ♢ Hybrid Servo Motor. A stepper motor that operates in a closed-loop, similar pole count to stepper motors. Notchy.
  • ♢ Servo Motor. The motor uses a sensor in a closed-loop to continually update position, with a pole count of around 16 or lower. Smooth.

 

Servo motors are generally considered to be the best choice since they have the smoothest feel when you turn the wheel.

A side note: most motors are inrunners, where the inside turns and the case is static. The alternative is an outrunner motor, where the opposite happens. Only some Fanatec products use outrunner motors, although it won’t impact your driving much.

 

2. Platform and Game Compatibility

White Xbox one and its controller on a wooden table.

Are you on Xbox, Playstation or PC? (Image by Anthony Poynton from Public Domain Pictures.)

You can find yourself in a web when trying to find out what hardware is compatible with which games and with what platform. In each of the comparisons, you will see platform compatibility and a link to a list of compatible games.

In the comparisons, you will see which platforms the different wheel bases work on: PC, Xbox and/or Playstation.

Note that compatibility for consoles depends on whether the sim racing equipment have security chips in them. Playstation requires a security chip to be placed inside the wheel base. Xbox works differently: they require a security chip inside the wheel rim.

In both cases the manufacturer must pay Playstation or Xbox a license fee. That means that wheelbases are often only compatible with one console - it’s cheaper for the consumer that way. This also means that manufacturers will often have two models that are practically the same except one is for Playstation, the other Xbox.

Most of the wheels are compatible with most of the big simulation games: iRacing, Assetto Corsa, Gran Turismo etc. However, with each comparison, you can click a link to see precisely which games are plug-and-play (see the Notes on the Comparison Tables below), which require advanced setup and which are incompatible.

 

3. Ecosystem

You can’t underestimate the value of plug-and-play. Instead of spending thirty minutes setting up a game, you spend thirty minutes actually playing it!

Lining up your path of progress can save you time and money. Time because hardware, firmware and software from the same brand will work well together; money because you don’t need adapters between this and that and this again.

A Fanatec wheel base on attached to a rig.

The Fanatec ecosystem is world class. (Image from Fanatec.)

This is particularly pertinent for wheel bases because they are usually the hub your peripherals go through. Your pedals, shifter and handbrake all connect to your wheel base.

If you have incompatible peripherals, you can connect them directly to your PC or console, but then you may not have enough ports and may require adapters. The cost and complexity begin to tally up…. Thirty minutes after you sat down to start playing, your wife set a task on you and you hadn’t yet seen a patch of tarmac.

So, when you begin to invest in equipment ask yourself: is this an ecosystem with legs?



4. Max Turning Angle

A minor concern for most. Since most setups require 900° or 1080° of wheel rotation, almost all wheels will suffice. There are a couple of instances where you may want more freedom, however.

If you are driving trucks around the countryside, you may need to increase the limit when you are parking and have to wiggle your way in. The other case is drifting, where you need a massive counter steer.

 

5. Price

The deciding factor! If we could all afford a private island, we would each have one. With a bungalow, and in that bungalow a triple monitor screen in front of a setup to drool over.

Alas, here we are.

This article categorizes all the wheel bases on the market in 2024 into 4 spending brackets: budget, entry-level, mid-range and high-end. Let’s see which sim racing wheel bases are the best in each bracket!

 

NOTES ON THE COMPARISON TABLES

  • When there are multiple models of the same wheel base there may be variations in max turning angle, price and other factors.
  • The reason for multiple models is that they cater to different platforms. Be sure to check which model is made for which platform.
  • A fixed wheel cannot be removed or upgraded. A swappable wheel can be. Sometimes wheel rims are also sold separately (see below).
  • Initially every wheel had a link to a game compatibility list and to a product page, but the limits of our blogging platform mean we can't add them. Click here to see a game compatibility list for every wheel base. It is not complete, so please comment on the sheet if you have something to add or amend.
  • Generally speaking PS means PS4 and PS5 and Xbox means Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. However, some are available on older PS and Xbox generations while some are only available on a single console generation, so be sure to read up.

Simplace is an online store for sim racing and flight sim equipment that ships globally. We pride ourselves on having a wide array of products and excellent customer service.

We also have a second-hand sim marketplace which is global, has no listing or ad fees and uses a built-in escrow system.


BUDGET WHEEL BASES ($100-$300)

Budget Wheel Base Comparison

Table 1: All characteristics of the five budget wheel bases.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Characteristic
FFB System
Peak Torque
Max Turning Angle
Wheel Rim
PC
Xbox
PS
Price
Warranty
Hori Apex/Overdrive Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Thrustmaster T150/TMX Hori DLX Thrustmaster T128 Thrustmaster TX/T300
Bungee Cord Bungee Cord Belt Gears Belt+Gear Belt
N/A N/A 2 Nm *2 Nm 2.6 Nm 3.9 Nm
270° 240° 900°/1080° 900° 900° 900°/1080°
Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Swappable
$100-$130 $130 $230 $300 $200 $230
90 Day 2 Year 2 Year 90 Day 2 Year 2 Year
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱

* Torque not specified but gear FFB systems are usually 2-3 Nm.

If you just want to jump in on a limited budget, these are the wheels you should consider.

The 5 Best Budget Wheel Bases in 2024

  1. Thrustmaster TX/T300: $230.
  2. Thrustmaster T150/TMX: $230.
  3. Hori DLX: $300.
  4. Hori Apex/Overdrive: $100-$130.
  5. Thrustmaster Ferrari 458: $130.

The Hori Apex/Overdrive is truly budget, but it only runs on a bungee cord, meaning there is no force feedback at all. The same goes for the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider. The Hori DLX is a step up, but doesn’t compete in price with either of the Thrustmasters.

 

Recommendation: Thrustmaster TX/T300 for $230.

A Thrustmaster TX wheel base, using a belt drive.

The Thrustmaster TX: a 3.9 Nm belt drive for $230… amazing.

The belt-driven TX/T300 really is a stand-out in this bracket with twice as much torque at the same price as its T150/TMX cousin. It is also the only option in this bracket that has a swappable wheel! That means you can always upgrade your wheel rim.

The TX is for the Xbox and can rotate 900, while the T300 is for Playstation and can rotate 1080. Both are compatible with PC and most racing sims on PC and console.

 

ENTRY-LEVEL WHEEL BASES ($350-$500)

Entry-Level Wheel Base Comparison

Table 2: A comparison of the twelve entry-level wheel bases.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Characteristic
FFB System
DD Motor
Peak Torque
Max Turning Angle
Wheel Rim
PC
Xbox
PS
Price
Warranty
Logitech G920/G29 Logitech G923 Thrustmaster T248 Thrustmaster T300RS Moza R3 Cammus C5 Fanatec CSL DD Turtle Beach VelocityOne™ Race Moza R5 Thrustmaster TS-PC/TS-XW/T-GT II Moza Racing R9 Simagic M10 Cammus LP8
Gears Gears Belt Belt Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Belt Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive
        Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo   Servo Stepper Servo
2.1/2.2 Nm 2.2 Nm 3.5 Nm 3.9 Nm 3.9 Nm 5 Nm *5 Nm TBD 5.5 Nm 6 Nm 9 Nm 10 Nm 8 Nm
900° 900° 900° 1080° Unspecified **2520° TBD 900°-1080° ~1500° Unspecified
Fixed Fixed Fixed Swappable Swappable Fixed Sold Separately Included Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately
$400 $400 $400 $400 $400 $350 $380 $650 $350 $400-$500 $460 $470 $500
2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 1 Year TBD 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
*The CSL DD can be boosted to 8 Nm with a booster kit worth around $165.
**All Fanatec wheels are electronically limited (as opposed to mechanically), but this limit is adjustable.

 

Logitech makes its entrance and exit in this bracket, while direct drives arrive and declare they are here to stay!

The 5 Best Entry-Level Wheel Bases in 2024

  1. Moza Racing R9. $460.
  2. Fanatec CSL DD. $380.
  3. Moza R3 Bundle. $400.
  4. Thrustmaster TS-PC/TS-XW/T-GT II. $400-$500.
  5. Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE. $400.

The three Thrustmaster variations are each 6Nm belt-driven wheel bases, but for different platforms and with different wheel rims attached. The Logitech has a third of the force feedback and is gear-driven, but it makes the list because it is compatible with PC, Xbox and Playstation and because it is bundled with pedals. Both are solid entries, but neither compares with the direct drives in this bracket.

The Moza Racing R9 comes in cheaper than the Fanatec CSL DD when you include the booster kits that take them up to 8 Nm, while the R9 matches their fidelity. The Moza R3 Bundle is an excellent option to get into sim racing, especially considering it includes both a steering wheel and pedals in the bundle rim.

 

Recommendation: Moza Racing R9 for $460.

A Moza Racing R9 direct drive wheel base.

The Moza Racing R9 with an equally great steering wheel rim.

The Moza Racing R9 is the new kid on the block that arrived in April/May 2023. Following in the footsteps of his R21 and R16 brothers, he brings incredible value for money.

We were certain the CSL DD would take the cake here, but after looking closer at the Moza Racing R9, we can’t refuse! With 9 Nm of direct drive force feedback at $460 it even beats the CSL DD 8 Nm booster that comes in at around $540. It’s smooth, it’s quiet, it’s a joy. Deserved.

The Moza Racing R9 is in high demand. It is currently available for pre-order on Simplace, with stock estimated to arrive in the 3rd week of June.

 

Is Thrustmaster or Logitech better?

The Logitech G923 and G920/G29 just don’t hold up when it comes to torque. The Thrustmaster TS-PC offers triple the force feedback at exactly the same price, a smoother belt-driven system beating the notchy gear-driven Logitech system and they have swappable wheel rims. However, Thrustmaster is known to have issues with long term endurance of its products.

It is worth noting the Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE Sim Racing Wheel comes with a good pedal set, but you can still pair up the 4 Nm Thrustmaster TX/T300 and the T3PM pedal set for a total of $360. That’s still twice the torque, a belt-driven system, swappable wheel rims and it’s 10% cheaper.

 

Are the Thrustmaster TS-PC, TS-XW and T-GT II all the same?

Their internal force feedback systems are similar: each one is belt-driven with 6 Nm of torque. Each one is between $400 and $500. Note that the TS-PC is PC only, TS-XW is Xbox and PC, while T-GT II is Playstation and PC. Their steering wheel rims also differ.

 

MID-RANGE WHEEL BASES ($500-$1000)

Mid-Range Wheel Base Comparison

Table 3: A comparison of the eleven mid-range wheel bases.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Characteristic
FFB System
DD Motor
Peak Torque
Max Turning Angle
Wheel Rim
PC
Xbox
PS
Price
Warranty
Fanatec CSL DD/GT DD Pro Moza Racing R9 Simagic Alpha Mini Thrustmaster T818 Logitech G Pro Asetek La Prima Moza R12 Fanatec ClubSport DD Cammus DDWB15 Fanatec ClubSport DD+ Sim-plicity SW10/15/20 VRS DirectForce Pro
Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive
Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo
8 Nm 9 Nm 10 Nm 10 Nm 11 Nm 12 Nm 12 Nm 12 Nm 15 Nm 15 Nm 10/15/20 Nm 20 Nm
*2520° ~1500° Unspecified 1080° *2520° **x *2520° 2160° **x
Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Swappable Swappable Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately
$545-$650 $460 $630 $650 $1,000 $1,050 $780 $700 $900 $1000 $620-$770 $830
1 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 year 1 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
*The Sim-plicity price range is for the cheaper Esport alternatives, but can be upgraded with a better encoder for around $150 at each torque level.
**We are uncertain of the max turning angle for these wheel bases. (The VRS DFP is electronically limited which suggests it’s mechanically unlimited.)
***All Fanatec wheels are electronically limited (as opposed to mechanically), but this limit is adjustable.

This is that awkward teenage phase. You’re not quite ready to take on the big, wide world, but you’re working up to it.

The 5 Best Mid-Range Wheel Bases in 2024

  1. Fanatec ClubSport DD. $700.
  2. VRS DirectForce Pro: $830. 
  3. Moza Racing R9. $460.
  4. Fanatec CSL DD 8 Nm/GT DD Pro: $540.
  5. Simagic Alpha Mini: $630.

Even though the Moza Racing R9 is under the $500 bracket, it still deserves to be here given the punch it packs. The Fanatec CSL DD and GT DD Pro are listed together because they use the same motor, while another Simagic appears: the Alpha Mini. This Simagic provides 10 Nm of torque with a servo motor.

The VRS DFP is excellent value, bringing you to 20 Nm of torque for under $1000. But the standout is the new offering from Fanatec, the ClubSport DD. They have improved their force feedback system, and this is the first direct drive to ship with their new QR2 system.

 

Recommendation: Fanatec ClubSport DD for $700.

Sleek design of Fanatec ClubSport DD, demonstrating its compact yet powerful build

The new Fanatec ClubSport DD will deliver enough torque for 99% of sim racing enthusiasts.

Check out our full review of the Fanatec ClubSport DD to find out more about its features, and to assess its value.

 

Are the Fanatec CSL DD and GT DD Pro the same?

Basically yes, they use the same motor. However, the CSL DD can be bought with 5 or 8 Nm of torque, while the GT DD Pro is only available with 8 Nm. The other difference is that the CSL DD is only compatible with PC and Xbox while the GT DD Pro is compatible with PC, Xbox and Playstation. That also means it’s around $100 more expensive than the 8 Nm CSL DD.

 

HIGH-END WHEEL BASES ($1000-$4500)

High-end Wheel Base Comparison

Table 4: A comparison of the eighteen high-end wheel bases.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Characteristic
FFB System
DD Motor
Peak Torque
Max Turning Angle
Wheel Rim
PC
Xbox
PS
Price
Warranty
SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2 Simagic Alpha Moza Racing R16 Ricmotech Mini-Mite SimSteering2 Standard (52) Simucube 2 Sport Asetek Forte Sim-plicity SW15/20 VRS DirectForce Pro Fanatec DD1 Fanatec Podium F1 (DD1 for PS) SimSteering2 Advanced (53) Moza Racing R21 Fanatec DD2 Simucube 2 Pro SimSteering2 Ultimate (54) Asetek Invicta Simucube 2 Ultimate
Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive
Hybrid Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Outrunner Servo Outrunner Servo Servo Servo Outrunner Servo Servo Servo Servo
13 Nm 15 Nm 16 Nm 16 Nm 16 Nm 17 Nm 18 Nm 15/20 Nm 20 Nm 20 Nm 20 Nm 20.5 Nm 21 Nm 25 Nm 25 Nm 26 Nm 27 Nm 32 Nm
4500° ~1500° 6000° 1500° 2160° 2160° **x *2520° *2520° 1500° *2520° 2160° 1500° 2160°
Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Swappable Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately
$1,300 $1,100 $1,000 $1,295 $4,090 $1,330 $1,050 $700-$770 $830 $1,300 $1,950 $4,090 $1,200 $1,620 $1,550 $4,510 $1,550 $3,370
1 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 2 Year 5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 3 Year 3-5 Year 2-5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 5 Year 5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 5 Year
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
*All Fanatec wheels are electronically limited (as opposed to mechanically), but this limit is adjustable.
**We are uncertain of the max turning angle for the VRS DFS, but it is electronically limited which suggests it’s mechanically unlimited.

Now we’ve entered the final stretch. These are the lands where your forearms grow strong and your GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) even stronger.

The 5 Best High-End Wheel Bases in 2024

  1. Simucube 2 Pro: $1,550.
  2. Fanatec Podium F1: $1,950.
  3. SimSteering2 Ultimate: $4,510.
  4. Sim-plicity SW15/20 Esport: $700-$770.
  5. VRS DirectForce Pro: $830.

The Simucube 2 Pro is just the right mix between the brute strength of the Simucube 2 Ultimate and the tamer Sport version. The Fanatec Podium F1 takes second because its the only wheel base that caters to both consoles in this bracket.

The Fanatec Podium F1 is a DD1 wheel base bundled with a beautiful F1 wheel. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this Playstation compatible wheel base without the wheel, which is why they are listed separately in the comparison table.

The SimSteering Ultimate is not first, but it’s the king of this hill. It’s the best money can buy - even F1 teams use it for official training.

The Sim-plicity SW15/20 Esport and the VRS DFP make another appearance, despite being under $1000. Why? Because these offer 20 Nm of torque, meaning they are high-end, despite their price.

Recommendation: Simucube 2 Pro for $1,550.

All the parts of a Simucube 2 direct drive wheel base laid out neatly on a white table.

The Simucube 2 Pro and all its parts.

Simucube grew from the open sim wheel (OSW) movement, which is a DIY direct drive wheel movement. OSW started off where hobbyists would take units made from a company called Granite Devices and combine them with ever-stronger servo motors to create force feedback systems.

Granite Devices noticed this, so produced an item that would be easier for the OSW members to use. It did so well that the company decided to produce its own wheels. Thus, Simucube was born.

This wheel base smacks of engineers that do what they do because they love their work. Equipment that’s created by people that care has a tell: it’s really good. The Simucube 2 Pro is proof. With 26 Nm, all your sim racing needs will be covered.

All the Simucube 2 wheel bases are available on Simplace.

 

THE ULTIMATE WHEEL BASE COMPARISON TABLE

Table 5: A comparison of all forty-four wheel bases.

❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
Characteristic
Bracket
FFB System
DD Motor
Peak Torque
Max Turning Angle
Wheel Rim
PC
Xbox
PS
Price
Warranty
Hori Apex/Overdrive Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Thrustmaster T150/TMX Hori DLX Thrustmaster T128 Thrustmaster TX/T300 Logitech G920/G29 Logitech G923 Thrustmaster T248 Thrustmaster T300RS Moza R3 Cammus C5 Fanatec CSL DD Turtle Beach VelocityOne™ Race Moza R5 Thrustmaster TS-PC/TS-XW/T-GT II Moza Racing R9 Simagic M10 Fanatec CSL DD/GT DD Pro Simagic Alpha Mini Thrustmaster T818 Logitech G Pro Asetek La Prima Moza R12 Fanatec ClubSport DD Cammus DDWB15 Fanatec ClubSport DD+ Sim-plicity SW10/15/20 VRS DirectForce Pro SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2 Simagic Alpha Moza Racing R16 Ricmotech Mini-Mite SimSteering2 Standard (52) Simucube 2 Sport Asetek Forte Sim-plicity SW15/20 Fanatec DD1 Fanatec Podium F1 (DD1 for PS) SimSteering2 Advanced (53) Moza Racing R21 Fanatec DD2 Simucube 2 Pro SimSteering2 Ultimate (54) Asetek Invicta Simucube 2 Ultimate
Budget Budget Budget Budget Budget Budget Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-Level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Entry-level Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range Mid-range High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end High-end
Bungee Cord Bungee Cord Belt Gears Belt+Gear Belt Gears Gears Belt Belt Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Belt Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive Direct Drive
                  Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo   Servo Stepper Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Hybrid Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Servo Outrunner Servo Outrunner Servo Servo Servo Outrunner Servo Servo Servo Servo
N/A N/A 2 Nm **2 Nm 2.6 Nm 3.9 Nm 2.1/2.2 Nm 2.2 Nm 3.5 Nm 3.9 Nm 3.9 Nm 5 Nm 5 Nm TBD 5.5 Nm 6 Nm 9 Nm 10 Nm 8 Nm 10 Nm 10 Nm 11 Nm 12 Nm 12 Nm 12 Nm 15 Nm 15 Nm 10/15/20 Nm 20 Nm 13 Nm 15 Nm 16 Nm 16 Nm 16 Nm 17 Nm 18 Nm 15/20 Nm 20 Nm 20 Nm 20.5 Nm 21 Nm 25 Nm 25 Nm 26 Nm 27 Nm 32 Nm
270° 240° 900°/1080° 900° 900° 900°/1080° 900° 900° 900° 1080° Unspecified *2520° TBD 900°-1080° ~1500° *2520° ~1500° Unspecified 1080° *2520° ****x *2520° 2160° ****x 4500° ~1500° 6000° 1500° 2160° 2160° *2520° *2520° 1500° *2520° 2160° 1500° 2160°
Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed Swappable Fixed Fixed Fixed Swappable Swappable Swappable Sold Separately Included Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Swappable Swappable Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Swappable Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately Sold Separately
$100-$130 $130 $230 $300 $200 $230 $400 $400 $400 $400 $400 $350 $380 $650 $350 $400-$500 $460 $470 $545-$650 $630 $650 $1000 $1050 $780 $700 $900 $1000 ***$620-$770 $830 $1,300 $1,100 $1,000 $1,295 $4,090 $1,330 $1,050 ***$700-$770 $1,300 $1,950 $4,090 $1,200 $1,620 $1,550 $4,510 $1,550 $3,370
90 Day 2 Year 2 Year 90 Day 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 1 Year TBD 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 1 Year 2 Year 2 Year 1 Year 2 Year 5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 3-5 Year 2-5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 5 Year 5 Year 2 Year 2 Year 5 Year
❱ ❱ ❱   SCROLL   ❱ ❱ ❱
> The brown highlights indicate our recommended wheel base within each bracket.
*All Fanatec wheels are electronically limited (as opposed to mechanically), but this limit is adjustable.
**Torque not specified but gear FFB systems are usually 2-3 Nm.
***The Sim-plicity price range is for the cheaper Esport alternatives, but can be upgraded with a better encoder for around $150 at each torque level.
****We are uncertain of the max turning angle for these wheel bases. (The VRS DFP is electronically limited which suggests it’s mechanically unlimited.).

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.


CONCLUSION

Well, that’s it. The above shows all the wheels in the market at present. The recommended wheels in each bracket ended up being:

  • Budget ($100 - $300). The Thrustmaster TX/T300 at $230.
  • Entry-level ($350 - $500). The Moza Racing R9 at $460.
  • Mid-range ($500 - $1000). The Fanatec ClubSport DD at $700.
  • High-end ($1000 - $4500). The Simucube 2 Pro at $1550.
  • The King. Leo Bodnar’s SimSteering 2 Ultimate at $4510.

Keep updated with our growing knowledge base!



Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2022, but we have kept it updated with every new wheel base released on the market since it's release, including the upcoming release from Turtle Beach.


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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.

Blog posts

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