It’s race season for esports right now and for us here at Overclockers UK, it’s got us itching to take to the road. The virtual road. Whether F1 22 or Forza Horizon 5, there’s nothing like racing around tight chicanes and flying across the finish line to get the heart pumping.
If you want to truly feel like a pro, why not add a racing wheel to your set-up? We love our immersive gaming, so start your engines! It’s time for a deep dive into the best steering wheels available right now.
What Is a Racing Wheel?
A racing wheel is an input device for your gaming PC or console. They serve the same purpose as a steering wheel, often with added features to closely resemble the wheels utilised by racing and supercars. These features can include paddle shifters, shift indicators, or segmented dials for on-the-fly adjustments. Additionally, they are usually manufactured with the same premium materials found on their vehicular counterparts, such as carbon fibre, Alcantara, and leather. It’s all about that true-to-life experience!
What are the benefits of having a steering wheel?
There are many benefits to using a steering wheel when playing your favourite racing sim, especially competitively. These include, but are not limited to:
- Better immersion
- Heightened control
- Improved accuracy
Better immersion comes from features such as force feedback. This emulates the feel of the road by putting feeding back this sensation right into your hands. Akin to rumble pads on controllers, but far more realistic.
Heightened control is all but a given. The best way to manoeuvre a vehicle is with a wheel, it’s something your WASD keys or joysticks just can’t replicate. Utilising a wheel, your driving will be much more intuitive and natural.
Improved accuracy is unlocked due to turning ranges, which also helps you drive in a style that suits your game. Common turning radiuses include 270-degrees, 1080-degrees, and certain high-end hardware even boast unlimited turning range. The general rule of thumb, the higher the radius, the more accuracy and flexibility your wheel will have. Additionally, the inner hardware that reads these rotations will have a high resolution for the most accurate data input.
Do I need a pedal set?
A pedal set is not essential, as an independent racing wheel will feature paddle shifters for changing gear plus a means of braking and accelerating. However, if you are aiming for the most immersive and competitive set-up, then adding a pedal set will really elevate your game.
Most commonly, pedal sets will include two pedals – the throttle and brake. Premium and hyper-realistic models opt for three pedals, adding a clutch into your arsenal. Adding in a pedal set takes these controls away from your hands, for a much more natural experience.
Do I need a gear shifter?
Once again, these are not essential kit, as you have full control of your gears with your wheel. However, if you would like a more authentic driving experience, then they are a great addition! Add-on gear shifters can either let you move through your gears in sequential shifts or the “H” pattern seen in manual cars. Some even do both, like the Thrustmaster TH8A, so you can toggle between the styles depending on your race.
What Games Support Racing Wheels?
Many popular racing franchises support racing wheels, but please bear in mind not all games do. As such, it is absolutely worth checking online beforehand. What’s more, certain brands may only be compatible with a limited number of games – especially for certain features and adjustments within software such as Thrustmaster’s T.A.R.G.E.T. or MOZA’s Pit House. It should also be noted that wheel support can be added to select games with mods.
Here we have a list of some of our fave racing sims that support wheels on PC. It’s not all of them, but it’s enough to get you started!
Start Your Engines
So now we’re all caught up on why you need a wheel, it’s time to learn what you need to drive like a pro. We have three types of recommendations for you:
- A wheel and pedal set for beginners
- A couple bundles for mainstream racers
- A selection of high-end hardware for pros
If any of our suggestions fail to get your motor running, then do browse our full selection of racing wheels and sim hardware.
Just Finding the Start Line
For those tip-toeing to the start line, the Thrustmaster T150 RS Force Feedback Wheel is a great place to start. This includes an 11” racing wheel and two-pedal set, compatible with both your gaming PC and PlayStation 4. Featuring stylish blue rubber-coated wheel grips, this racing wheel is precise with a 12-bit resolution and 1080-degree rotation. The wheel and base work utilising a mixed belt-pulley and gears system, for smooth and quiet operation. What’s more, the pedal set has been optimised for comfort thanks to its adjustability and wide surfaces.
Thrustmaster T150 RS Force Feedback Wheel (4168053)
- 11″ racing wheel compatible with PC/PS3/PS4
- Rubberised grips
- Includes two-pedal set
- Features force feedback
- 1080 degree turning range
Stepping Up a Gear
If you’ve been racing with sim hardware for a while now and want something that packs a little more power, then we have two suggestions for you.
First up is the MOZA Racing R5 Bundle. This bundle includes a MOZA R5 Direct-Drive Wheelbase, ES Steering Wheel, SR-P Lite Pedals, and R5 Table Clamp. Starting with the wheelbase, the R5 has a light aluminium housing and boasts a punchy 5.5Nm of torque. You’ll feel everything the road has to offer, as this wheelbase was designed with the help of engineers and motorsports experts. Moving onto the wheel, the ES Steering Wheel is trimmed in premium microfibre leather for a luxurious touch. It features programmable mechanical buttons and an RGB shift indicator illuminating the perfect moment to change gear.
The SR-P Lite is a two-pedal set, including a brake and throttle. Highly adjustable, they can be configured to suit your comfort needs. Plus, they feature precise Hall sensors, to accurate read every pedal press. Finally, this bundle includes the R5 table clamp, which has been specifically designed for the R5 wheelbase. This allows you to race at a desk or table, negating the need for a full rig which could take up a lot of space.
MOZA Racing R5 Bundle (RS20)
- Includes R5 Wheelbase, ES Steering Wheel, SR-P Lite Pedals, and R5 Table Clamp
- 5.5Nm of torque
- Microfibre leather and aluminium alloy wheel
- Adjustable pedal set
- Compatible with MOZA Pit House
The second recommendation is the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel. This wheel and pedal combo is compatible with both your gaming PC and Xbox One. With the dual-motor force feedback, you’ll feel every turn, terrain type, and drift to enhance your driving experience. Equipped with helical gears, unwanted noise and vibration are reduced. Additionally, the gears feature anti-backlash, which keeps your hardware positioning tight to maximise your control.
Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel (941-000124)
- Racing wheel and pedal set
- Designed for PC and Xbox One
- Dual-motor force feedback
- Helical gearing with anti-backlash
- Premium hand-stitched leather trim
Put the Pedal to the Metal
If you’re ready for the big leagues, then we have a full breakdown of racing sim hardware you should add to your set-up. For peak operation and smooth integration, this ecosystem features all MOZA Racing hardware. Recently hitting the Overclockers UK shelves, this brand is all about realistic racing and high-end hardware. You can explore their full range, or check out this selection of highlights.
We’ll start with the wheel, that’s what we’re here for, after all! The MOZA Racing GS GT Formula Wheel is a thing of beauty. Utilising the D-shaped frame seen on racing cars, every nifty feature is ergonomically placed and within easy reach. Explore an array of ten programmable buttons, five segmented dials, two thumb knobs, and two joysticks for the ultimate control and on-the-fly adjustments. The forged carbon fibre frame and Alcantara grips add a touch of luxury, whilst the RGB shift indicator perfectly highlights the need to change gear. What’s more, the dual-clutch magnetic paddles are weighted for a satisfying feel with every shift.
MOZA Racing GS GT Formula Wheel (RS08)
- D-shaped formula racing wheel
- 10 mechanical, programmable buttons
- RGB backlighting and shift indicator
- Dual-clutch magnetic shifters
- Alcantara grips and forged carbon fibre frame
To go with your wheel, we recommend the MOZA Racing R16 DD Wheelbase. With a whopping 16Nm of torque, you can feel the power of direct drive technology. Plus, its design has been optimised for zero torque rippling, notching, and cogging, so you can enjoy stronger braking, drifts, and curbs. On top of all this high-performance power, the R16 has been contoured to emulate a supercar’s silhouette, so it cuts a fine figure as part of your set-up.
MOZA Racing R16 Direct-Drive Wheelbase (RS031)
- 16Nm of torque with no rippling or notching
- Quad-core architecture
- Custom quick release compatible with all MOZA Racing Wheels
- Supercar silhouette design
- Supported by MOZA Pit House and companion app
Set your racing sim rig apart with something a little different. The MOZA Racing RM Digital Dashboard is a 5” HD screen which connects via the R16 wheelbase. This displays a myriad of information to help you speed across the finish line in first place. Tyre temps, current gear, lap times, speed, and so much more is available at a glance of this crisp and colourful display. With seven UIs to choose between, you can find the balance of information you need to best suit your racing sim of choice.
MOZA Racing RM 5” HD Digital Dashboard (RS05)
- 5″ digital dash for R16 and R21 wheelbase
- HD screen with 60Hz refresh rate
- Displays in 16.7 million colour points
- 7 unique UIs to explore
- Real-time data from your racing sim
Completing your premium racing set-up is the MOZA Racing CRP Pedal Set. This is a three-pedal set, featuring a throttle, brake, and clutch. Manufactured from CNC aluminium alloy, this pedal set will stand firm on the ground or base of your racing rig. The brake features a load cell sensor and can take up to 100kg of pressure. For the throttle, a floor mounted organ design is utilised, which means the foot plate is extended. This enhances comfort and puts your foot on the same trajectory as the lever for incredible control. Finally, the clutch is armed with a three-stage design for the most true-to-life experience.
MOZA Racing CRP Premium Load Cell Pedal Set (RS04)
- Three-pedal set including throttle, brake, and clutch
- CNC aluminium build
- Load cell brake pressure sensor
- Three-stage clutch
- Floor-mounted organ design throttle
F1 Esports Update
The F1 Esports Series Pro Championships sixth season is in full flow. The second event is idling at the start line, ready for the flag to wave at 7:30pm (GMT) tomorrow evening. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports are currently in third place, with outstanding performances from the team so far!
Round One took place in Sakhir, Bahrain, where Jarno Opmeer took second and Dani Moreno crossed the line fifth. The second round was around Imola, Italy, with Moreno placing fifth again whilst Opmeer came in tenth. Event One finished with Round Three at Silverstone, England. Only Opmeer placed in the top ten of this race, coming in fifth.
Absolutely stellar performance from Mercedes-AMG Petronas, thus far. We’ll be tuning for the Event Two races to cheer them on!
|Red Bull Ring, Austria
You can watch the races on the official F1 Twitch and YouTube channels. Additionally, you can catch the action on Sky Sports F1.
Race and Event Standings
To learn more about what races are happening over the next few weeks, check out our post.