The best racing wheels are indeed the best wheels for racing - it's hard to put it any other way. The top dogs for steering and racing whatever your platform. The bestest round controllers for driving.
Thanks to the way driving is embedded in our collective unconscious, we know by instinct when we approach one that turning left means going left, and so on. This makes the best racing wheels so intuitive. There’s more to racing than going left, however, and all good racing wheels can accommodate turning right too. Across the best racing wheels, you’ll also find premium features such as force feedback: motors that resist your attempts to wrestle the car around corners, realistically portraying the reluctance of racers to depart from a straight line.
Such features, along with arrays of pedals to take the complexity of braking and gear changes away from your already overloaded fingers, increase the realism of the experience and help you to shave the fractions of a second off your lap times that can mean the difference between the winner and a loser.
These are the best wheels to slap in front of one of the best gaming TVs, as some of these wheels aren’t exactly lap-sized. If you’ve got enough space, there’s nothing to stop you from building a racing setup that’ll be the envy of racers from miles around. We’ve also broken them down by console: these are the best PS4 steering wheels, and these are the best Xbox One steering wheels.
While the Black Friday gaming deals will certainly reach some of the best racing wheels, there's a bit of stock fluctuation in recent weeks and months which might cause a bit of a pain but our deal-finding software will bring up the latest offers from the major retailers and point you in the right direction.
Best racing wheels for gaming
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. A price of £350/$400 is still 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.
This is one of the best racing wheels 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 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.
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.
An excellent wheel from Logitech, the G29 replaces the incredibly popular G27 wheel from previous generation PlayStations. The unit is designed specifically for PlayStation 4 gaming, and as such features additional buttons over the Xbox equivalent G920, namely a click wheel for adjusting brake balances on the fly, and positive/negative buttons for adjusting traction control (or whatever you map it to).
Also new for this unit are coloured LEDs at the top of the steering wheel’s central column, which light up to tell you when it’s time to change gear (if supported by the game). The pedals are responsive and the brake pedal is non-linear, giving you a more realistic braking sensation than cheaper pedal sets.
This is an excellent wheel for any PlayStation 4 gamer. It’s a pity the stick shifter is no longer built into the unit, but it isn’t massively expensive to buy it bundled-in on Amazon. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get the full driving experience in your home.
This Xbox One wheel is super-smooth and feels superb to drive. 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.
This is the PS4 version of the Xbox One’s TX unit. While there is a standard version of the T150, the Ferrari-branded set is actually cheaper at the moment on Amazon. And hey – who doesn’t like Ferrari? The Ferrari wheel’s red rubber grips look good too as well as offering comfort and control, and the slight flaring of the paddle shifters behind the wheel mean you can grip the wheel at either three/nine o’clock or a more controllable ’10-to-12’ position and still be able to comfortably shift gear when using manual transmission.
The pedal unit is unchanged from the standard version and remains slightly thin-feeling and with far less resistance than the optional metal pedal set you can buy separately. But the unit does support a stick shift attachment if you elect to pay for one, and the pedals can be upgraded too. But even if you don’t do that, this is a fine way to get into simulation driving.
Right, let’s be clear about this: Budget-priced steering wheels are almost universally poor. Compatibility is rarely guaranteed, there’s no force feedback when you turn (sometimes there isn’t even rumble), pedals are flimsy and many don’t have a proper clamp to stop them sliding around. And don’t try playing with a wheel on your lap – I have and it’s awful.
But this offering from Thrustmaster is a decent budget option for racing on Xbox One. It’s officially licensed, has linear resistance to inputs thanks to a bungee system (sounds high tech but it’s essentially internal rubber bands) and a clamp to secure it to a desk or racing seat. However, the diminutive 240 degrees of turning angle means this is more of an arcade-style controller rather than something you would seriously use for a racing sim. Sensitivity is an issue though there is the option to reduce this each time you play if you read the manual and set it up correctly.
Still, it is more fun than using a control pad, and while it’s still more expensive than the cheapest wheels on the market, it’s the only budget-price wheel we would consider buying ourselves.