Video games and gameplays have come a long way from the Nintendo hand-held versions of video games. What was once merely a child’s play is now a full-blown hobby-come -passion for many.
Experiencing the thrill of being in the game has notched up the entire perspective of gameplays. From simulations to VR, you can immerse yourself in the digital world of video games. While this is true for X-Box or PSPs, now the delight moves to PC-oriented games as well.
Racing games, in particular, are quickly becoming played with immersive controls and settings. Feeling the thrill of the drag, the sharp turns, every bumpy ride, and the chase is now a reality with PC gaming accessories.
A dedicated racing wheel serves to bring you into the visual race. However, a racing wheel with accompanying clutch and shifter brings a customized and engaging gaming experience.
Selecting a single best PC racing wheel with clutch and shifter might seem daunting, with the multiple market options. Thus, bringing convenience to your fingertips, here are the top 5 picks.
1. Logitech G920 – Best Overall
The racing wheel of Logitech G920 is compatible with PS4, X-Box One, Windows 7/8/8.1, and games that support the force feedback racing wheel OS.
Featuring the Driving Force, the G920 enables comfortable acceleration, gear change, and brake application for a reinforced gaming experience. The wheel sports helical gear housing and hardware almost similar to its predecessors, but with added buttons for flexibility.
The button placement allows easy control configuration for distraction-free gameplay. A D-pad on the left and typical A, B, X, and Y buttons on the right allows in-game navigation and commands. The presence of a menu button and a stick-button make convenient configuration of various gameplay tactics.
G920 utilizes a pressure-sensitive non-linear brake system to furnish a responsive and accurate brake feel.
Furthering the gaming experience is the 900° lock-to-lock steering, similar to the standard motion in a road car. For F1 games, the steering turn-degree can get configured accordingly. The wide-paddles situated behind the steering allow ease of use for a manual gear change.
The straightforward design of the G920 offers an immersive experience with well-oriented controls and shifters. The setup may seem less than the standard, but all the components blend well to furnish a sturdy gaming-feel.
2. Thrustmaster T150 Pro Racing Wheel – Budget Pick
Built for compatibility with PS4 and Windows, Thrustmaster T150 takes immersion to its potential best. The ergonomic design, in tandem with multiple feature inclusion, is sure to enhance your video gaming experience, especially the racers.
The racing wheel is a standard 28cm diameter that ensures comfortable handling for all types of racing games. With a 1080° rotation, you have impeccable driving control at every turn and every drift. Never worry about losing out on precision when challenging friends and players in a thrilling racing match.
Thrustmaster T150 Pro
Gear shifting is made effortless with the sequential paddles situated behind the steering. Crafted durably with metal, they furnish easy handling and in-game distinct transition of gears. You will find a versatile drive force backing up your enhanced gameplay a pleasure to encounter.
Being adaptive, the Force Feedback gets built to be highly-responsive to accommodate precision in gaming controls. Even practicing becomes exhilarating with the performance-oriented Force Feedback mixing up the thrills of simulation.
A silent belt-pulley system enhances smoothness by channeling the motor sounds to build intuitive control of the in-game vehicle. Further, compatibility with a shifter design inspired by a real-world automotive feature increases the authenticity of the gaming experience.
The impactful interface for PCs allows full customization of the force feedback while also limiting the rotations according to the gameplay. Any game that gets played with the T150 will bring with it sensations astonishingly close to real-world conditions.
3. Logitech G29 Driving Force Race Wheel With Clutch And Shifter
Leaving behind the regular controllers has never been simpler with the features that Logitech G29 furnishes. It is the perfect simulation for all your PS3, PS4, and select PC racing titles, designed to make racing a real deal.
The Drive Force and dual-motor force feedback supply impeccable responsiveness and configurations to enhance every racing adventure. When every friction of a vehicle gets felt, you instinctively adjust your vehicle control for optimized driving performance.
Replete with steel bearings for durability, steel paddles and shifter for controls, and hand-stitched leather cover, the G29 duplicates a racecar vibe. Not to mention the helical transmission that reduces distractive vibrations and an anti-backlash system for tight steering controls.
The button placement on the G29 negates the experience of a hand-held controller with its ease of reach. Every control is right where you want it to be, fine-tuning the driving control preferences. A D-pad to the left, typical console buttons to the right, the paddle shifter, and a 24-point selection dial are all at your fingertips.
Armed with a 900° steering rotation, making realistic turns with precise drag is easy; the wheel stripe always pointing the way. Not to forget, the reliable and responsive pedal unit. Accelerate, change gears, and utilize the pressure-sensitive brake for fuller gaming performance.
4. Fanatec CSL Elite Starter Kit
The Fanatec CSL operates seamlessly with PS4 consoles, X-Box One, and PCs. A starter kit it may be, but the CSL furnishes high-performance levels with unlimited variety and flexibility. The versatility in terms of technology incorporated is incredible with the CSL Elite.
Improving on the force feedback is ClubSport technology. The brushless servo motor works in tandem with a single-belt drive to deliver exceptional force feedback. Additionally, the steel ball-bearings reduce general friction to create a smooth transmission feel.
The racing wheel features a lightweight rim with a 30cm diameter. You can feel the impression of a real-world racecar from the rich exteriors of the wheel. A comfortable grip gets guaranteed by the suede leather fabric wrapped around the steering. Employing Snapdome technology, the newly designed shifter paddles give off a positive clicking feeling.
The various LED-powered indicators will keep you aware of in-game happenings with their presence. Further, configuring controls with Fanatec Tuning allows better gaming performance. Pre-setting profiles are an added incentive for seamless game timings.
A versatile 2-pedal unit with innovative designing offers equally impressive setup and tuning options. Whether it is changing the pedal-plate layout or surface for comfortability or mounting, all functions incorporate effortlessly.
5. Fanatec Forza Motorsport Racing Wheel
The Fanatec Forza Motorsport offers a simulator experience that can get substituted with none. Off-the-bat superior build quality and Force Feedback places them levels above other game-oriented racing wheels in the industry.
One thing you can expect from Fanatec Motorsport is the endless adjustment conveniences on hand. Sporting the ClubSport standards ensures high-quality results and compatibility with cutting-edge gaming technology.
You have the luxury of designing the steering controls, placing them at will, in convenient positions. The entire range of additional as well as integrated buttons on the Universal Hub is yours to utilize or leave out. Also, include some funk into the control system with the 7-function FunkySwitch element for navigational purposes.
The same choice applies for shifter paddles too. Whether you utilize them or not, you can add-in small or large paddle shifters at the base, per your requirements.
As with the Fanatec brand, you will find the DirectSensor technology, brushless servo motor, and a singular belt-drive operating flawlessly in-sync. Further, Fanatec offers a set of three versatile and technologically advanced 3-pedal units to sport with your racing wheel.
Electronically precise calibration, adjustable brake tension, newly designed pedal-plates, conformable load cell are but a few delightful features of the pedal units.
What Should I Consider When Buying A PC Racing Wheel With A Clutch And Shifter?
Merely going by the price or multiple features in a PC racing wheel is not an ideal approach to purchase. You have to bear in mind the compatibility of the gadget as well as your gaming requirements.
Some other essential elements to consider include:
The rotating angle measures the maximum rotation a wheel can undergo from the initial position before locking up and returning to base. The higher the value of steering rotation, the better is your game precision control and driving experience.
It does not mean that a wheel with less than 900° of rotation lacks in anything. A few arcade racing games are better suited to handle few steering rotations than more. This reason is why few models of PC racing wheels furnish the facility to lock the rotation angle to optimize your game.
- Shifter/Clutch and Pedals
A pedal unit, at least, will have 2-pedals and 3, at most. Two essential functions of the pedals are acceleration and braking, while the third is for clutch control. In reality, most vehicles consider having a gear changer outdated and rely on an automatic transmission.
Even in a few racing games, automatic gear changing is the norm, and it also means less control-related distractions. However, to intensify the immersion and make the experience more engaging, clutch controls are the ideal choice.
- Force feedback
When driving a real vehicle, steering is not a fluid control, and you can feel a consistent drag/friction in motion. This drag is due to the force required to turn the wheels on a rough track. In turn, you interpret the physical feedback to fine-tune your driving control.
The same principle of force feedback applies in a racing game to incorporate realism with every movement. Of course, not all PC racing wheels furnish similar levels of force feedback. Logitech furnishes a dual-motor to produce the force feedback, which is levels above its competitors.
Force feedback may not be a necessary feature for some players. But it is highly recommended since budget-friendly wheels are offering the trait. Also, rumble effects add an authentic feel to the game but are optional as well.
Are Racing Wheels Easy To Store?
As exhilarating as it is to play with a racing wheel, storing it and the accompanying accessories can be challenging. The pedal unit, additional shifter, and other extensions require careful handling.
Mounting options like a stand or a separate unit typically come with the racing wheel. All moving accessories can easily fit on the racing stand. When not in use, merely fold and store it in a closet until you need it again.
Many racing wheels utilize a clamping system, with durable screws to hold onto the edge of the tables or desks. Removing and storing them is a breeze compared to the stand-mounted racing wheels.
What Is the Standard Price Range For PC Racing Wheels?
The most budget-friendly PC racing wheels can range anywhere from less than $100 to $400 and above. Additional accessories drive the general prices up, but a few models include the complete package within reasonable costs.
- Below $100: You can get the best of the lot with many entry-level racing wheels to acclimate to the racing environment. Even the starter kits come with realistic resistance, auto-adjust vibrations, and a 180° steering rotation.
- $100 to $400: The modest price range includes some of the more advanced racing wheels with new features edging out the old ones. Steering rims get replaced by belt-driven force feedback wheels, and more such replacements are possible within this price range.
- Above $400: High-grade components, high-end gadget accessories, and top-notch feature inclusion are the primary traits of racing wheel priced above $400. You can indulge in a versatile gaming experience with the best of the gaming industry novelty.
What Game Consoles Or PCs Are Compatible With The Racing Wheels?
Racing wheels typically incorporate with PS3, PS4, X-Box, and PCs. The intensity of the graphics differs from console to console. However, to maximize the potential of PC gaming with a racing wheel and clutch/shifter, a set of requirements must get satisfied.
For PC users:
- Windows 7 SP1/8.1/10
- 64-bit Windows
- 8BG RAM
- Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and above; alternately AMD Bulldozer and above
- Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4200+ with 8GB RAM
- AMD 5xxx series and above with 1GB+ dedicated video memory
- NVidia 2xx series and above with 1GB+ dedicated video memory
- Microphone for phone chat
- 10GB free disk space
For MAC users:
- Apple’s Boot Camp Utility allows compatibility with iRacing
What are the benefits of using a PC racing wheel with a clutch and shifter?
As mentioned before, playing with a PC racing wheel is an experience in itself. But sweetening the deal with extensions like a clutch/shifter intensifies the entire gaming engagement. A few more benefits are:
- PC racing wheels that get specifically designed to keep the player engaged incorporate tactics and customized features to mimic real-life driving feel. It is where you get an unrivaled, immersive experience of gaming.
- In addition to providing precision through enhanced controls, you also have the option to configure settings as needed. In-game commands get conveniently set up to favor your type of gameplay or challenge your limitations accordingly.
- The capability to exert precise control over movements and customize tactics ensures a competitive edge over rival players. Additionally, professional players can try out new configurations to improve their gameplays and explore new avenues.
- The primary purpose of employing additional extensions is to curate a better gaming experience. This result gets amplified by the exhilaration of realism the additions bring to the table. In short, playing becomes more fun and engaging!
Upgrading to a PC racing wheel with a clutch and shifter creates a gaming experience that pales in comparison to a controller-oriented game. You can notice the change visibly and physically with the real-time features of a racing wheel.
From vibrations to rumbling to resistance in braking and steering, racing wheels are a whole new gameplay forefront. You can rely on the racing simulation furnished by the racing wheels for an engaging and realistic driving adventure.