There are a lot of gaming steering wheel models to choose from online. More often than not, their features and price points vary, confusing a lot of first-time and seasoned gamers. For racing games, there are a lot of features to consider, such as pedals, rotation, and even material quality.
Gaming steering wheel models are not a one-size-fits-all situation. These key features will vary depending on each player’s preferences. This list breaks down the best gaming steering wheel models in 2020.
Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel
Possibly one of the best in quality gaming steering wheel models is this Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel. It has everything you are looking for in a gaming steering wheel: a nine hundred-degree rotation angle, a powerful shifter, and dual-motor force feedback.
This is one of the more immersion-focused items on this list, and how could it not be? With three pedals, you know you will be getting the simulated driving experience of a lifetime. You also do not have to worry about how long your games last, because this has an overheat safeguard.
Many gamers compare this with the Logitech G920, which is its companion model for the Xbox. There are slight differences between the two. Brake balance adjustment is easier on the G29, and it has smooth LEDs on its steering wheel.
As for its built, this gaming steering wheel is weighty. Being about 8 kg., you know that it uses durable and premium materials. As an example, its grips are patented carpet and hand-made leather. It also has enough meat to be self-calibrating and to sensor its own steers.
The G29 driving force racing wheel is best for a hand-to-toe racing immersion. Use the throttle, brake, and clutch pedals as if you are driving a real-life car.
- Clutch pedal
- Great feedback
- Compatible with gaming chairs
- Stick shift not included
Thrustmaster T300 RS
Gamers would know that gaming accessories sit on a wide range of price points. Choosing the best gaming steering wheel can feel like a goldilocks moment (is it too this or too that?) for many.
The Thrustmaster’s biggest asset is that it provides everything you need from a gaming steering wheel, without you having to invest too many resources in it.
Getting a Thrustmaster gaming steering wheel is an easy choice to make. With tried-and-tested racing technology, you know you will be getting what you invest in with the Thrustmaster. It has powerful force feedback that zaps you into your games, making you believe you are in its simulations.
As for the Thrustmaster T300 RS, expect compatibility with almost all the most popular games for racing like F1 or Grand Theft Auto. You can also expect prompt feedback. The T300RS is for racing game enthusiasts and is for all of them. Whether you are using it on your PS4, Xbox One, or PC, you can work with the T300RS.
- Powerful force feedback
- Great at simulations
- Handbrake positioning
Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback Wheel
A more accessible Thrustmaster is the T150 Force Feedback Wheel. As you can deduce from its name, its main focus is to provide quality force feedback without breaking your bank. With a weight of less than a kilogram, you will be surprised to know how great this model is at rotation angles too.
This also has a Ferrari-branded counterpart—not to confuse this with Thrustmaster’s Ferrari Edition racing wheel. With this other option, you get to have a feel of the Ferrari Edition while maintaining the simple quality of a Thrustmaster T150.
Of course, as with many other gamers, you must know that this can be built from the bottom up. For a first-timer, this is a great gaming steering wheel option because of that. Once you get a hang of it, you can buy a new set of pedals and clutches still compatible with your T150.
- Great feedback system
- Quality simulation without being too heavy
- Best for beginners only
- Some materials too light
Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel
For beginners, another great option is the Thrustmaster’s TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel. It offers a 900-degree rotation without compromising accessibility. While this is weaker compared to other models, gamers know that any gaming steering wheel models from Thrustermaster provide great gameplay.
At the end of the day, what improves simulation is great force feedback. This makes you feel like you are actually driving somewhere, with challenges that you can feel. So, what the TMX does is give you that without all the other heavy details.
For children or college students, the TMX provides accessibility like no other. Consider getting this if you are just getting started or if you are saving on space.
- 900-degree rotation
- Strong force feedback
- Tried-and-tested technology
- Plastic grips and accessories
- Two pedals only
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel
Racing geeks have most probably heard about this Thrustmaster edition already. The Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel is a car aficionado’s collector’s item but also does its job as a gaming steering wheel well.
Using the Thrustmaster’s tried and tested technology, the Ferrari 458 is compatible only with the Xbox One. It has a bungee system that mimics an arcade-style experience and provides quality resistance. Also, this does not take up too much space: its weight clocks in at less than 4 kg.
As for rotation, this model can rotate to about 240 degrees. That is decent work for something that replicates a real-life luxury car.
- Great resistance
- Has a strong clamp for your desktops
- No force feedback
- Plastic accessories
- Limited rotation
PXN V3II PC Racing Wheel
This gaming steering wheel by PXN is multi-platform and compatible with almost all the games you will need it for. PXN V3II users can play Need for Speed, Forza Horizon, DiRT, and different truck simulators on any device they want. This goes for even the Nintendo Switch and the PS3.
PXN provides double vibration in its steering wheels. It also provides three sensitivity levels to choose from. As you will see more on this list, adjustable features bring out the best-customized gameplay for you.
Racing games, much like cars in real life, will fit differently with different people. What the PXN does is give you the freedom to choose your gameplay settings without skimping out on quality ergonomics and powerful simulations. This gaming steering wheel also comes with seven suction cups and a strong clamp, making sure your wheel stays put.
- Programmable buttons
- Mostly plug and play
- Installation complications (sometimes you need a CD, sometimes it’s plug and play)
- 180-degree rotation
HORI Racing Wheel Apex
Those who want a simple but powerful racing experience should also check out the HORI Racing Wheel. It has all the key features covered: from a quality racing wheel to a programmable set of buttons and pedals.
HORI provides comfort, too. Hours of gaming can tire you out, but this provides sturdy pedals with a retractable footrest, as well as a soft rubberized wheel grip. When steering, this also gives you the chance to adjust the wheel’s sensitivity, giving you full control of your immersion.
With a maximum rotation of 270 degrees, HORI knows that you know your gameplay best. Thus, it provides an “arcade racer” mode, with a 180-degree rotation.
As for game compatibility, this HORI gaming steering wheel can be used on Dirt 3, GTA V, Project Cars, and other basic car games.
- Adjustable settings
- Quality materials
- Good for any surface
- Unsturdy clamps
- Limited rotations
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: Leather Edition
If you are considering getting Thrustmaster’s T300 RS, consider getting the TX Racing Wheel too. People can debate the quality of these two premium racing wheels all day. With this list, you can make a case for yourself.
The TX Racing Wheel shares the same features as the T300 RS, but it edges the T300 out because of its three-pedal set and detachable wheel. Adding that extra pedal can make you control your cars easier and make your games more immersive.
These pedals are responsive and of good quality. They are not too light to the touch, which is good because lighter pedals can throw off acceleration and brake controls. The steering wheel is made with quality leather, providing a grip similar to a real car’s. Pair this gaming steering wheel with other racing accessories and you have got a set-up of everyone else’s envy.
- Great control
- Quality materials
- Three pedals
- A lot of software updates
Fanatec CSL Elite
Racing geeks will have a ball with the Fanatec CSL Elite. Setting this gaming steering wheel up is no small task, but it is a lot of fun for racing fans. With smooth rotations and strong force feedback, your efforts do not go to waste.
Anyone scouting for gaming steering wheel models may know that the Fanatec CSL elite is not Fantaec’s only offering. There are definitely other choices that may provide richer simulations.
However, the CSL Elite makes it on this list because of its versatility and user-friendly features. This is a racing kit that does not hold back in giving you the best gaming experience. Its setup is immersive: 1080-degree rotation, direct sensors, and adjustable force feedback. These are only the tip of the iceberg.
Another huge bonus in setting this up yourself, from wheel to pedal, is that you can customize this how you want to. It gives you the freedom to “drive” cars however you want.
- Great force feedback
- 1080-degree rotation
- Adjustable settings
- Pedals and steering wheels sold separately
For people who switch consoles, namely the PS4 and Xbox One, the Subsonic Superdrive gaming steering wheel is the choice for you. To begin with, it has a 180-degree rotation that keeps your gameplay balanced between realistic and arcade-style.
Moreover, it also has five suction cups that keep your gaming steering wheel at bay during those intense drifting gameplays. The Subsonic Superdrive is immersive without having to break the bank, and it is compatible with every important racing game you can imagine.
Play this on your Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport 7, and even Farming Simulators. Try it out on different landscapes and missions, on both consoles of your PC. This model has two pedals, two shift paddles, and a rubber finish on its wheel. It has everything you need for whatever you need it for (even the PS4 slim).
- Quality design
- Game options
- Limited rotation
- Suction cups not good with just any surface
Serafim R1+ Racing Wheel
Premium gaming steering wheel models often cater to one or two gaming platforms only. Cross-platform is yet to be a feature of the high-end Logitech gaming steering wheel models, for example.
For those looking for something that can be used for everything, the Serafim R1+ Racing Wheel is your best bet. This gaming steering wheel model is compatible with the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and even your Switch. If you want to play on your Android and iOS, you can too. The R1+ comes with its own phone holder, so when it means to play on anything, it means anything.
There are about 28 phone apps that are compatible with the R1+, but this library is growing. Players can expect to use it with more phone apps soon.
For those concerned with its built, the Serafim R1+ racing wheel has rubber handles and pressure-sensitive pedals. It is also relatively light and does not take up too much space. This is best for gamers looking for a gaming steering wheel that can do it all.
If you want to get one, might as well do it now because the Serafim R1+ is available in limited quantities.
- Compatible on almost all devices
- Accessible to a lot of games
- Reports of a “dead zone”
Logitech G920 Driving Force
The G29’s companion gaming steering wheel model is the G920 Driving Force. The main difference between the two is that the G920 is for Xbox One and PC only.
When it comes to capabilities, the two share the same dual force feedback and other key features. The G29 has a few extra buttons and an LED aesthetic, but other than that, there are no other noticeable differences.
Expect a driving immersion like no other with the G290 Driving Force. Because of its force feedback, all the little details of your game reflect on your gaming steering wheel. Game terrains are not just visual cues anymore, but something that you can touch and feel.
As for the driving, with a 900-degree rotation angle, the G920 offers understeering, oversteering, and even drifting simulations. When this is coupled with the model’s hand-stitched leather and stainless steel metals, you have an experience closest to driving a car.
- 900-degree rotation
- Great feedback
- Compatible with gaming chairs
- No LEDs
- Stick shift not included
Choosing the Best Gaming Steering Wheel
One of the most important considerations in getting your first gaming steering wheel is its compatibility. Admittedly, gaming steering wheels in 2020 are compatible with most consoles. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry.
An example of this would be Logitech’s driving force series. It has two similar gaming steering wheel models, but they both serve different consoles. The G29 is compatible with PS4, PS3, and PC while the G920 is for XBOX users only. Both are ahead of the curve but are going in different directions. So, some users opt to buy a steering wheel that is compatible with most if not all consoles.
A common argument against buying a gaming steering wheel is its price. It is not a secret that the best ones can be steep and unforgiving with their price tags. Respecting that, you should be pleased to know that there are a variety of wheels available at different price points.
The list above, for example, contains premium wheels like Logitech’s but also mentions Amazon favorites like PXN V3II PC Racing Wheels. Anyone can make a case for the two, but the fact stands that they both do their job.
If you just want to try out the genre of racing, then it is best not to invest too much in a gaming steering wheel yet. You can borrow from a friend, or buy one of the items on the list that fits your price point.
However, if you do think that you will be needing a gaming steering wheel for the years to come, then consider choosing from the list’s Thrustmaster or Logitech Driving Force series.
Later on, the article will discuss the reasons why (or why you should not) get your own gaming steering wheel.
Maximum Rotation Angles
Rotation angles mean the life or death of your game. More often than not, the difference between an arcade racing game and an at-home experience is immersion. This, unbeknownst to many, is a result of the wheels’ maximum rotation angles.
For the best gaming steering wheel models, rotation can reach over 1080 degrees of rotation. This is the closest thing you can get from a real-life driving simulation. For arcade types, this rotation is cut down to a mere 90 degrees.
So for most players, striking a balance between the two is key. There are gaming steering wheel models above that make a respectable 190 or 240-degree rotation. This is a good option for those who just miss having a round of arcade racing.
Take it from real players though: the best, most immersive experiences come from gaming steering wheel models with over 900-degree rotations.
Consider your gaming steering wheel’s weight because you should be thinking of where you will put it. These controllers are big, so you have to expect these purchases to take up space on your table and in your home. For people with their own gaming rooms, this might not be as much of a problem.
Heavy-duty gaming steering wheel models can reach up to an 8-kg weight, while the lightest ones do not even reach a kilo. Also, some gaming steering wheel models have a different number of pedals. Thus, you must consider how this affects your gaming space too.
As mentioned in the point above, gaming steering wheel models have different numbers of pedals included. Some do not have a clutch pedal while others do. This might be a small thing to consider for gamers, but people with an affinity for driving may call this a deal-breaker.
A clutch pedal makes the control of one’s gaming car much easier. By having that extra pedal, you are a step closer to a fully immersive driving experience. This case can also be made for people who want to have an idea of what driving is like in the real world, though this is obviously not an exact replica.
Some also check if pedals are adjustable to their height and space. Most are not, but there are a few gaming steering wheel models (like Thrustmaster) that have expandable pedals.
Why You Should Get a Gaming Steering Wheel
Racing is a very popular gaming genre. Still, it is not the only genre people would want to invest in. So, the question stands—why should you get a gaming steering wheel in the first place?
To begin with, if you plan to play a racing game only once in your life, a gaming steering wheel is not a good investment. For gamers whose sole interests lie in racing games, then buying a gaming steering wheel is a no-brainer. The latter group of people will find out that a gaming steering wheel is almost always worth its price.
Yes, you can always use your controller when gaming. You can actually use your controller for whatever it is you are playing unless it is for VR only. However, for those invested in the car simulation experience, a gaming steering wheel is the smartest way to go.
A gaming steering wheel offers immersion. With pedals, a steering wheel, and even a shifter, gaming steering wheels are a great way to make the most out of your racing games. Actually, it does not even have to be for racing games: many players buy their own gaming steering wheel for a round of GTA V.
As for gameplay, a gaming steering wheel gives you better control of your game’s cars. Being able to adjust your wheel’s rotation and pedals gives an extra level of reality a controller can never give you. It is so realistic that it can teach you a thing or two about driving.
There are many things to consider when buying a gaming steering wheel. Longevity and function are on the top of this list. As you can see, there is a gaming steering wheel for everyone. Arcade-style gaming and immersive set-ups are different gameplays but fall into the same racing genre.
What matters, in the end, is that you have a gaming steering wheel that fits what you need. It is very much like buying a car.