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In 2020 I finally fulfilled my dream of having a sim racing rig. It wasn’t cheap, but I managed to get by on a reasonable budget. So here is a guide on how to get started with sim racing on a budget.
Most decent wheels will be over £100, but this is only when they are new. I would recommend a second-hand Logitech G29 or G920. G29 works on PC and PS4, while the G920 works on Xbox One and PC. There is also a possibility these will still work with next-gen. Currently, they are sitting on the £279 mark, but they come with pedals as well. They also have force feedback. It also comes with a 900-degree rotation lock. Should you need it for Farming and Truck simulators. Which makes it a great wheel for sim racing on a budget.
I bought mine second hand for £110, but this also included the H Shifter which is a nice little bonus. If you are solely playing on PC, then snag up whichever one is cheapest. But if you are using a console pick the one that works with your machine.
Price £80 to £279
If you already have a gaming chair you are sorted here. But if you haven’t, there are multiple gaming chairs out there suitable for sim racing on a budget. Depending on whether you are going to play other games will dictate what sort of chair you should get.
If you are only going to be playing racing sims, then see if you can get a seat ripped from a car. I managed to get a seat that was ripped from an old VW. It is far comfier than the gaming chair that I have. The VW chair cost me…£1. Just £1. If you score lucky on eBay or other marketplaces you may be able to recover a chair before it is destroyed.
But if you want a proper bucket seat it can cost upwards of £200.
Price £10 to £300
Again this is another area where if you have a desk it can be reused for this purpose. But, if you really want to get the feel of a sim racer you need a dedicated rig. You can go down two routes, either just a stand that holds the steering wheel and the pedals. Or you can go with an all in one combo. Here are the best two options:
X Rocker Steering Stand
This is the option I chose. It gives you a lot of flexibility regarding the seating position since you can choose the seat. Plus it can be folded away when not in use. Though personally, that is more hassle than it is worth. It is very stable when only using a force feedback wheel. But, if you have a direct drive wheel you will need something more premium.
The Playseat Challenge includes the mounts for a steering wheel and pedals plus a seat. Again this can be folded away for storage. Again best suited for force feedback wheels as it won’t be able to sustain direct drive wheels. I personally haven’t used it, but there are many good reviews on YouTube. Slightly more expensive for sim racing on a budget, but is far more convenient.
PC or Console
The final decision is to whether go PC or Console. In my opinion, the best option would be a PC, but this can be very expensive when you want to race the latest games. But it can last longer than a game console, and there are more sim racing games.
Console wise, your best option would be PlayStation, as the Gran Turismo series is more realistic than the Forza series and was built for e-sports. But if you don’t like the PlayStation ecosystem then choose Xbox.
Price £200 + For a Console
Price £500 + for a PC
Sim racing can be expensive. If you haven’t got anything it can cost upwards of £700. But if you have a PC/Console and a gaming chair then all you need is a steering wheel.
If you want tips on how to get better at sim racing click here.