Having the best racing simulator allows you to enjoy the road in a whole new light. The trick is, finding one that suits your needs. Otherwise, it could be awkward and downright uncomfortable to race.
With the best racing simulator, your experience becomes unlike any other. Imagine the rush of being behind the controls and immersing yourself deep into the world of racing. While many simulators seem to offer the same features, they are all very different. That’s why you want a buying guide that helps you determine which simulator is ideal for your needs.
You need to consider things such as compatibility, system requirements, and the overall size before making a purchase. That’s why we’ve picked out the ten best simulators for your evaluation. These offer a wide range of features and sit at various price points so anyone can find what they’re looking for.
It’s important to note that there are plenty of higher-end professional racing simulation outfits on the market. In this article, we specifically focused on the driving simulator that fits comfortably in the home.
If you already have the racing wheels and pedals, we highly recommend this seat for gaming with. This cockpit is top of the line and offers an authentic feel. It was designed, assembled, and packaged right here in the United States and features high-quality construction. Customers are pleased with the comfort and durability.
The best part is, you can mount the gear shifter on either side, depending on which hand you choose to race with. It’s also constructed with powder-coated heavy gauge steel to offer maximum stability. You’ll be able to use this cockpit with your PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or PC for optimal versatility as well, making it compatible with all the greatest racing simulator games like Gran Turismo Sport, for example.
Everything you need to assemble this seat comes in the box, including the steering wheel and pedals, and monitor stand; you don’t have to buy any more hardware. It’s also easy to move and store when not in use, but let’s face it; you’ll probably be using it most of the time.
Best Budget Choice
2. Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel and Shifter Bundle
Starting off our list, this option from Logitech is mid-range as far as the budget is concerned. With that said, Logitech is a leader in electronics and is known for making high-quality products. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for electronically, Logitech has probably made it! If you want the ultimate racing machine, this bundle is sure to please.
The floor pedal system gives you a smooth driving experience, unlike any other. Just imagine heading down the road behind the wheel of this realistic, life-like machine. It’s constructed with heavy-duty steel ball bearings that ensure a long life. In addition, it features a hand-stitched leather wheel and stainless steel pedals.
This system is compatible with the Xbox One, Windows 7, or Windows 8. There’s also another system compatible with PS4 if you prefer. For the price, you really can’t go wrong.
3. APIGA AP2 Foldable Racing Simulator Stand with Gearshift Mount
This rig is a heavy-duty simulator that allows you to experience race car driving in a whole new way. It features a unique design so you’ll have no trouble with the hairpin turns. It’s also compatible with most pedal unit styles plus your steering wheels.
The adjustable height function allows you to raise or lower your seat to suit your preference and comfort level. Then, when it’s not in use, simply fold it down to achieve easy, no-hassle storage. That’s what makes this an ideal option for anyone with limited space in their home, or maybe even an apartment. You could easily pack it away when company comes over to hide your racing habit.
With this setup, you’ll also have compatibility with all the major platforms. This allows you to play your favorite PS4 racing game and then switch to Xbox One as well without spending any more money. It’s a great value and is sure to last a long time.
Sure, you’re going to spend a little more to get this setup, but it’s one of the best cockpits on the market. It offers a unique and life-like experience for all levels of racing. The triple monitor mount brings the action up close and personal. You’ll likely forget where you really are while in the middle of your favorite racing game.
Because the entire setup weighs just 60 pounds, it’s also simple to move it around. If you want to play in another location, simply relocate your simulator and get racing. The high-quality supports for the pedals and wheels offer the perfect amount of stability as well. You simply won’t find something constructed with as much flexibility and convenience.
This is the final option for the best simulator on the market. It also doesn’t cost that much, which makes it a great choice if you need to stick to a budget.
Playseat is a reputable maker of racing cockpits, so it makes sense to consider it for your purchase. This compact design also folds up easily when it’s not in use. If you don’t have a lot of room, this is ideal for you. In addition, it comes with detailed instructions and a simple assembly. You can use it with almost any set of accessories, just mount your wheel and pedals, and race.
Of course, the lower cost and foldable design make it less sturdy than permanent simulators, but its a great buy for anyone looking to get started without waiting months to save up enough money.
Imagine sitting at the starting line in this cockpit. The racetrack will seem to open up to you as you push your pedal to the floor. The extremely comfortable seating moves forward and backward, but it also reclines. This adds another layer of comfort that not all other simulator seats offer. Even though it’s comfortable enough to sleep in, you won’t nod off during all the action.
The wheel mount is also adjustable forward or down, so you can find the place where it feels just right. Finally, you’ll be able to adjust the back pedal mount as well and it’s made from heavy-duty steel to ensure you have many years of gameplay.
This simulator comes with a no-center bar design to make it even friendlier to your heels and toes. Use this seat with your favorite platforms including Xbox One and PS4.
Before you balk at the price of this racing simulator, you need to know that this is the cream of the crop. Not everyone will be able to invest this amount to start racing. If you are serious about your racing, you owe it to yourself to consider this option. This simulator features all the bells and whistles you could imagine. There’s nothing better out there.
It comes with a dual right and left yoke plus shifter mounts that are pre-drilled. The articulated, fully-adjustable tray accommodates your mouse and keyboard for maximum versatility as well. The durable frame also features an adjustable racing seat, plus you can add on armrests.
Set it up with a single monitor or triple monitors if you prefer. Yes, you are going to spend a lot to get this system, but you’ll be happy you made the extra investment once you get behind the wheel.
Because this simulator was designed to offer a unique on or off-track experience, it’s slightly different than some of the other options. That’s why race enthusiasts rave about this setup over and over again. It comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to fumble around trying to put it together. In addition, the steering wheel stand folds up within seconds for easy storage.
This system also provides numerous accessory upgrades, so you can continue to customize your experience. With these accessories, it’s simple to turn your rig into a racing cockpit or use it for flight instead. This system is compatible with all the major pedals and wheels. It’s also pre-drilled for Logitech, Fanatec, or Thrustmaster. Because of the lightweight, you won’t have any trouble using this wherever you desire.
We would have to vote this option as one of the top sim racing cockpits of the year. It features a three-point seat adjustment system, so it suits people of any height. It’s also constructed of breathable, durable synthetic leather over the top of a steel tube frame for maximum comfort and safety.
This seat comes complete with precision-made support to hold your pedals and wheels perfectly. It easy to get set up and comes with all the hardware you need to get started. When it’s not in use, you can store it conveniently. Because it’s compatible with a wide range of platforms, such as PC, Xbox 360, PS4, and more, you’ll find that both the adults and kids in the house use it frequently.
For another option as the best racing cockpit, we have this model from VEVOR. You could use this as a driving simulator or for flight instead. With seat sliders and force feedback for a full motion racing simulator vibe, you could easily trick your mind into believing that you were really driving! The durable construction also features synthetic leather seating over top of a Steel tube frame. Not only will this allow you to feel less vibration and shock, but it also prevents premature deterioration.
In addition, it’s completely adjustable to perfectly suit your needs. This seat holds up to 330 pounds with a height capacity of seven feet. Therefore, it’s plenty big to fit most any size adult. You’ll find that the seat breathes exceptionally, keeping you cool during the most intense races. There are few racing seats made with this much care and thought.
It’s compatible with PS4, Xbox One, PC, or Wii U making it a great option for adults or children. You simply can’t go wrong with this choice.
Essential Driving Simulator Optional Extras!
Once you buy a simulator, it only makes sense to invest in some must-have accessories as well. As a racing enthusiast, you’ll find lots of products that perfectly complement your simulator. Let’s take a look at a few that you should consider.
When using a simulator, there’s nothing better than going through the gears manually. If you have limited space, we understand skipping this add-on, but otherwise, you must have it. A separate shifter is the most important device aside from your pedals and wheels.
This Driving Force Shifter from Logitech is a basic option, but still worth checking out. It connects to your G29 or G920 wheel and it gets the job done.
There are options lower in price or more expensive than this all-metal Thrustmaster TH8A, but we find this to be the best mid-range option out there. It’s perfect for any racer that is serious about having a dedicated shifter. If you’re a rally fan, you’ll also want the sequential shifter which can double as a handbrake.
Steering Wheel Rims
With thousands of different combinations available to you, steering wheels are fully customizable to make the race just right. You can’t possibly enjoy the track the way you should if you don’t like the wheel you’re using. It needs to feel right and fit your personality. It’s not uncommon for sim racers to utilize varying types of wheels. That’s why many of the major companies offer quick-release systems for fast changes.
If you’re racing with VR, you need some well-placed buttons. These help you to adjust your brake balance, activate the pit limiter, and toggle through the menus with ease. It’s far better than attempting to fumble on the keyboard if you need to change something.
When you do need a keyboard and mouse combination unit, we highly recommend using the Logitech K400 Plus. It keeps everything you need right at your fingertips.
Some racing seats come with exceptional technology built into them, such as the Full Motion Pro line which come with actuators and dampers to give the “pilot” the full effect of force feedback, making the drive experience as close to real as possible. A racing motion platform equipped with these features won’t be cheap, and simulated motion racing isn’t for the casual gamer…but if you want the best experience, you’re going to want it!
Brian Jones spent over 30-years at various dealerships as an ASE Certified Master Tech. These days he works with those dealerships to create quality automotive content while spending more time with his family near Dallas, TX. In his spare time, you'll still find him playing with tools, cars, and many other "manly" gadgets. Brian's passions include traveling, pickup trucks, and anything related to motorsports.