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The best racing steering wheels for PC in 2022

The best steering wheels for PC
(Image credit: Future)

The best racing wheels for PC can completely change the way you play your favorite driving games, and with more and more titles opting for force feedback compatibility there's never been a better time to hit the road. Whether you're browsing in the budget or high end price ranges, there are plenty of steering wheels to keep you immersed right now. 

There’s more to racing than going left or right, however. Across the best racing wheels, you’ll also find premium features such as force feedback which can take immersion to the next level. Force feedback is when you can feel your car fighting back, particularly on tough terrain. This feature is something that can really set wheels apart from even the most feature-filled PC controllers

We're rounding up all our favorite PC racing wheels right here, based on hands-on experience with a range of drivers. Not only that, but we're keeping you covered across the full price bracket, with the best value budget models listed alongside the latest and greatest. That means you're always making your cash work as hard as it can. 

These are the best PC steering wheels to slap in front of your screen or on your desk. While many of these picks will work on consoles too, we have separate PS4 steering wheel (opens in new tab) and Xbox steering wheel guides if you prefer a certain platform. 

The best PC steering wheels for 2022

The best PC steering wheel overall

Specifications

Rotation: 900°
Buttons: 25
Pedals: 3
Adjustable Pedals: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful force feedback
+
Premium build quality and design
+
Strong support from a range of titles

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiff braking pedal
-
Occasional issues recentering
-
Poor grip for pedal base on hard floors

With a massive selection of additional features, easy to reach button placement, and excellent force feedback there's plenty to love about the Thrustmaster T248. It's the brand's latest flagship setup, geared towards PC and PlayStation devices (an Xbox model is on its way), and performed incredibly well in our testing. 

The spec sheet speaks for itself here, with dual-encoder controls, magnetic paddle gear changers and an LED telemetry display which can be used in a number of ways by titles like F1. There's plenty of room for customization in here. The brake pedal can be configured to four different pressure modes, and we did find some a little too stiff for regular play. You're also getting 25 remappable buttons and the LED display in the centre can be configured to show you a range of stats in supporting games, from race position to lap time to gear number. 

All in all, the sense of realism created by the powerful motor and resistance settings in the Thrustmaster T248 invigorates the whole experience. While some of the fancier features are still to be picked up by some titles there's plenty to dive into here, and this is by no means a cheap option, racing fans will certainly feel a step up if they upgrade.

Read more: Thrustmaster T248 review

2. Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel

The best budget PC steering wheel

Specifications

Compatible with: Xbox One/PC
Connection type: USB
Weight: 0.998kg
Force Feedback: Yes
Rumble: Yes
Maximum rotation angle: 900 degrees
Pedals included: Yes
Clutch pedal: No
Expandable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Genuine force feedback
+
Won’t break the bank

Reasons to avoid

-
Comparatively lightweight pedals
-
Feedback effect not as strong as the TX base

There’s absolutely no question that force feedback makes a huge difference to how fun a racing game is. Having the wheel push against your hands with varying degrees of resistance when you crash or steer gives you a realistic feel, and even evokes memories of arcade coin-op racers like Daytona USA. But the technology is expensive, meaning you need to be serious before buying… or at least you did. Thrustmaster has produced a cut-down, but still impressive force feedback wheel as an entry level purchase and it’s very desirable indeed.

The pedals included are plasticky, and offer little resistance, and don’t include a clutch pedal either. However they can be swapped out for a better compatible set if you decide to upgrade later on. The steering wheel is similarly low-cost, and nowhere near as deluxe-feeling as the high-end units’ interchangeable wheels.

And that force feedback? It’s not as strong as the other bases, but it does work. If you’re on a tight budget, this product provides a true force feedback wheel with 900 degrees of rotation and a set of pedals for your money, which is pretty darn awesome.

The best value for money PC steering wheel

Specifications

Rotation: 900°
Buttons: 16
Pedals: 3
Adjustable Pedals: No

Reasons to buy

+
More affordable than direct competitors
+
TrueForce feels insane
+
G Hub Software is brilliant

Reasons to avoid

-
TrueForce only compatible with four games
-
No handbrake input and stick shift not included

Logitech has been in the steering wheel industry for around two decades now and as gaming technology has improved, so has the quality of their wheels. The G923 is a direct successor to both the Xbox-focused G920, and the PS version, the G29 - both of which were compatible with PC. Now we've just got one device sold in two variants - again both of which are compatible with PC - and boy oh boy is it a corker.

Steering wheels are typically aimed at either entry-level players looking to dip their toes in the water of sim racing, or hardcore racers who have been doing this for some time now and the G923 caters for both brilliantly. The G923 also offers perhaps the most immersion you'll get from any wheel on the market thanks to the new TrueForce technology, while still keeping the price point below the upmarket costs. The price is steep if you're new to the scene, but it's less than its direct competitors and is one of the best when it comes to performance. It's well-built with premium stitching around the leather, looks sleek with your set-up, and is the closest you can get to experience what it's like to actually be behind the wheel of a supercar/F1 car/rally car without leaving the comfort of your desk -  or forking out some serious money for a full sim-rig set-up. If you've got the cash, the G923 is a beautiful bit of kit, and a must-have if you don't already own a similar product.

Read more: Logitech G923 Review

4. Thrustmaster T300 RS

The best steering wheel and two-pedal set

Specifications

Compatible with: PS4/PS3/PC
Connection type: USB
Weight: 3kg
Force Feedback: Yes
Rumble: Yes
Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees
Pedals included: Yes
Clutch pedal: No
Expandable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible responsive and strong force feedback
+
Official compatibility with Driveclub

Reasons to avoid

-
Handbrake is always a compromise
-
Can smell a bit hot after a while

This is one of the best steering wheels on PC for the serious racing game enthusiast. It incorporates high-quality force feedback so powerful, hitting a wall at the wrong angle could potentially hurt your thumbs. There is a downside to all this motorised resistance, and that’s the fan that ejects hot air from the top of the unit, right out the top of the unit, so after a while you may smell the hot air which is a bit off-putting.

In track racers like GT Sport, F1 2018 or Project CARS 2, as you can really feel the sensation of grip via the superb motorised feedback, and the speed of response to your inputs is superb. It’s precise, weighty and really shakes when the game demands it, making a rally game like WRC 6 (opens in new tab) feel so much more involving. 

The only real problem the wheel has is that the handbrake is inevitably mapped to a button you access with your thumb, making rally games fiddly. You can buy a separate stick shift and use that as the handbrake with the paddles for changing gear, but that isn’t ideal. The wheel is often upside-down during rally stages, so you’ll have to compromise between handbrake and stick shifting somewhere. Still, handbrake aside, this is arguably the perfect when for the serious gamer, and gets my recommendation.

A smooth, responsive wheel with great force feedback

Specifications

Compatible with: Xbox One/PC
Connection type: USB
Weight: 7.21kg
Force Feedback: Yes
Rumble: Yes
Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees
Pedals included: Yes
Clutch pedal: No
Expandable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Wonderfully smooth steering action
+
Powerful force feedback

Reasons to avoid

-
Brake pedal may be too stiff for some tastes
-
Games that require the hand brake are fiddly

This Xbox One wheel is super-smooth and feels superb to drive as a PC steering wheel too. It’s ergonomic (though keep in mind that any wheel will make unaccustomed hands sore after a few hours) and pleasantly slimline, while retaining a good, solid feel.

Aside from the same handbrake-as-a-button problem as the Thrustmaster offerings, a unique area of consternation is the pedals. The unit we tried features an unusually stiff brake pedal, requiring immense pressure to get the brakes to engage. Reviews on Amazon suggest other people have the same criticism – something that isn’t true of the PS4 equivalent G29. You can usually reassign the brakes to the clutch pedal (which is included as standard on this wheel), but that’s not ideal if you’re a serious racing fan. Things are improved somewhat if you mount the pedals properly on a racing seat or on non-slip flooring like carpet, but it really shouldn’t be quite so stiff. 

Brakes aside, this is an otherwise exemplary force feedback steering wheel and one that will make any racing game more enjoyable… if not necessarily easier to play.

Read more: Logitech G290 Review

How we test steering wheels

In brief, every steering wheel that we have had our hands on is used in a series of different video games to accommodate for most genres. This means that we'll test the responsiveness of the sticks, face buttons, bumpers, triggers, pedals, and any other additional features found on the unit. If a wheel is wired or relies on rechargeable batteries, then the duration of the lifespan is tested, too. The same can be said for any specialist software, such as drivers, that may be included with the steering wheel as well. 

For more on how we test controllers at GamesRadar+ check out our full article, and for something more representative of our holistic approach to the latest gear, check out our Hardware Policy.  

Racing wheel features glossary

Sim racing carries a lot of unique terms in its everyday language, which can make finding the best racing wheel for PC particularly difficult. If you're not sure exactly what it is you're buying, we're clearing up confusion - explaining what those common features mean and do. 

Belt-driven
Usually used to refer to the wheelbase, a belt-driven racing wheel will use a belt and pulley to buff up a small motor within the base itself. That means a cheaper wheel can use a smaller motor, but using the force applied by the pulley to amplify the torque sensation. You will feel a smoother feedback in a belt-drive wheel than in a direct drive model, but some of the effect is lost. 

Deadzone
The phrase deadzone is used to refer to the rotation of a wheel or movement of a pedal that won't register any input to the game. This is both a blessing and a curse. For example, you can set your own deadzone on a pedal if it's particularly sensitive - to avoid accidental use while resting your foot. However, significant deadzones are particularly frustrating in both wheels and pedals.

Direct drive
A direct drive racing wheel doesn't utilize any belts or gears in its wheelbase, instead using a servo motor connected to the steering wheel itself. The result is a stronger sense of force feedback because there are fewer parts to run through. Direct drive wheels are far less common on the mainstream market, and can carry a considerable price tag. 

Force feedback
Force feedback is the term applied to the whole system of immersion built into many of the best racing wheels. A series of electric feedback motors read input signals from the game itself to apply a certain level of resistance to the steering wheel in a rotational force, to match the on-screen action. 

Gear-driven
Many consumer wheels are gear-driven, like the Logitech G923, for example. This wheelbase method uses a small motor and a series of gears to produce stronger force feedback by amplifying torque. Again, these wheels are often cheaper because of the smaller motor required from them, but the gears are less smooth than other options. 

Hall sensor pedals
There are many different methods employed to make pedals do their thing. Hall sensor models measure the distance between a magnet and the pedal top that you push down on. This is then converted into an electric signal that relays the information to the game.

Hydraulic pedals
Hydraulic pedals are far less common in the mainstream market, but function by measuring the force with which you are pushing the pedal to respond to braking inputs. It's far more accurate, but more expensive. 

Loadcell pedals
Loadcell pedals function in a similar manner to hydraulic pedals, measuring force. However, models built with a loadcell system will be tracking the pressure placed on the pedal itself (ie, by you), rather than the force with which the pedals is being moved along the system. 

Potentiometer pedals
Potentiometer pedals are more similar to hall sensor pedals - measuring distance rather than force. However, instead of using magnets, these pedals rely on mechanical parts to register distance changes, making them more prone to failure and vulnerable to dust. 

Which is the best steering wheel for PC

The best steering wheel can be dependent on what platform you are using. Here we have rounded up the best steering wheel for PC and found that, in our opinion, the Thrustmaster T248 is the best option overall. It has a range of features available and does not break the bank. However, we found that the best budget option is the Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel. At its lower price point it still offers the immersion of force feedback and comes with pedals. The best value-for-money steering wheel we found to be was the Logitech G923. The 'TrueForce' force feedback on this model was insane but it was only compatible with 4 games. This is a great option for both hardcore racing gamers and people who are just looking to get started within the racing realm. 

Is a steering wheel for a PC worth it?

Whether you are a hardcore racer or just someone looking to get started in racing games a steering wheel can be an amazing option for controls. It allows for a truly unique and immersive experience which cannot be obtained with a standard controller. Some steering wheels also offer force feedback which takes the immersion to a whole new level. Force feedback makes you really feel like you're behind the wheel of a car as it allows you to feel resistance particularly during terrain changes. If you are after an immersive experience then a steering wheel is the way forward. 

Is Thrustmaster or Logitech better?

This can be dependent on what platform you are using due to compatibility issues. We have found that for PC, the best steering wheel is a Thrustmaster T248 as it provides a range of features without breaking the bank. However, the Logitech G923 was also a great option, with a price lower than competitor's for the same features. Features vary from brand to brand so which one is better suited to you depends on what exactly you are looking for. 


For more accessories, don't forget to check out the best gaming keyboard and the best gaming mouse.

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.

With contributions from