If you are a Sim racing beginner you may want to get the equipment to make it more enjoyable. Without proper guidance, you can expect to waste money very quickly. So here is a guide for Sim racing for beginners. I will list all the sim racing equipment you need to get started. Please use this as guidelines, if you are willing to invest more money I will do another guide shortly.
The Important Choice
Before spending any money, it is important to decide which platform you will be playing the sim racing games on. You have two main options. Either console or PC. Both systems have their pros and cons so it’s important to take these into consideration before purchasing.
PC Build Pros
- Games go on sale regularly.
- A wider selection of steering wheels, pedals etc.
- Mods for Sim racing games.
PC Build Cons
- Expensive to get started.
- Can overspend on parts.
- Game compatibility.
- Difficult to troubleshoot.
Before getting into building a PC, make sure you do your research. My recommendation is to check the recommended requirements for each sim racing game and go for slightly better components. I’m not going to go into too much detail here on what to pick. Here are my recommendations for components:
- AMD Ryzen 5 (I have the 5 series version and it is more than enough)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB
- TEAMGROUP T-Create Classic 10L DDR4 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB)
- MAXSUN A520 M-ATX Motherboard AMD AM4
Partner the above parts with a decent Power Supply and case and you should be ready to go. I would receomend checking Part Picker to make sure they are all compaitable. However, if building your own PC is not your thing. Then there are some prebuilt options that you could choose:
- Gaming PC Desktop Computer by Alarco
- iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC Computer Desktop
- CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC
Building your own PC comes with lots of risks. But when you successfully put together a PC it is a very rewarding experience. It also makes it easier to diagnose hardware issues. But the prebuilt PCs should come with warranties to prevent these concerns.
- No system requirements to worry about
- Physical Discs are still available so if the game ever gets removed from the online store you still have a copy
- Access to some Sim Racing games not available to PCs
- Fewer options for driving wheels etc.
- No access to Iracing
- Platform-specific games
You need to pick the platform either PS4/PS5 or Xbox One/Series S/X. Both platforms have access to Assetto Corsa and Competizione. However, Xbox ecosystem has access to the Forza series and PlayStation have access to Gran Turismo series. For Sim racing fans picking the PlayStation is a no-brainer. However, the Forza series is a great option when you want to take a break from the serious nature of Sim Racing.
Both Ecosystems also have their own steering wheels and other accessories to consider. This will be covered in the next section.
Accessories for a Sim Racing Beginner
So, you’ve just bought your PC or console, and now you need to invest your money in other accessories. The core accessories will be the Steering Wheel and Pedals. Along with furniture to mount them on. I’m going to assume that you have some sort of monitor to play these games on. But in case you don’t, a 23-inch monitor is more than enough to make gaming enjoyable.
Steering Wheel + Pedals
My pick of choice is the Logitech G29 or the Logitech G920 wheel and pedal set. The only difference between the two sets is that the G29 is compatible with the PlayStation 4/5. While the G920 is compatible with Xbox One/Series S/Series X. Both wheel sets are compatible with PC. So if you have a PC, just buy the one that is cheapest or the one you prefer the look at. You can also opt for a gear stick as well. However, the wheel itself comes with paddle shifters.
I went for the G29, and it was my second wheel after the Logitech Driving Force which was essentially the PlayStation 2 version of the G29. The G29 should be more than enough to get you started I have provided links above, but you can always try to get a used one on either Amazon or eBay. I managed to snag the complete set for under £200.
Before we move on to the next accessories, you now have everything you need to start sim racing. If you have a desk, you can mount the wheel to it and use pedal grips so that it stays planted on the floor. The rest of the accessories are nice to haves that will improve the overall experience.
Using a desk to mount the steering wheel is fine, but for the ideal racing position, you will want a racing rig. These can vary in price point, from £50 ($54) to a few thousand. For a beginner, you are going to want to invest in a sturdy rig that doesn’t take up much room and is also for not very much money. So here are my recommendations:
The GT Omega rig is for mounting the steering wheel, shifter, and pedals. It doesn’t come with a chair, so it can be used with your existing chair. I managed to score a second-hand passenger seat from a VW Golf. But there are other options, though I would recommend investing in an office chair rather than a gaming chair. Office chairs are designed for long periods of time spent working at a desk. While a gaming chair is primarily an aesthetic choice,
The second option is a complete rig, which includes a seat as well. This needs to be foldable so it can be packed away when not playing and not taking up valuable storage space when packed away. The best option on a budget is the Playseat Challenger. It allows you to mount the pedals, steering wheel and has a comfy seat. This can then be easily packed away once you’ve finished playing.
This beginner setup should allow you to experience the wonderful world of sim racing. On top of all the equipment, you will then need to purchase the games. I currently recommend the following:
It’s a wonderful world to experience, and if you pair it up with watching motorsport, you will be sure to enjoy the experience. If you find that you are enjoying sim racing, you can then invest in better equipment. If you can afford the space, a full, non-foldable rig would be the next choice to make it even more enjoyable. Then take a test drive in AC: Competizione.
If you do decide to play Competizione, there are many groups that you can join for multiplayer: