To simulate the forces of a real car, these wheels use motors. You can feel the grip of the road beneath your tires, the rumble of the different surfaces, and the jolt when you lose traction.
They are fantastic even if you have trouble maintaining control of the car. Just the added immersion is worth it.
Why is the focus on “force feedback” wheels? There are simpler arcade-style wheels available, and you’ll find one of them in this roundup, but these days the best arcade racing games are primarily made for gamepads. Those games simply do not benefit from a wheel in the way a semi-realistic or sim-grade game does.
In the wheel world, there are four main brands to consider. These include Thrustmaster, Fanatec, Logitech, and Hori, which has just released its best wheel yet, the Hori Force Feedback Racing Wheel DLX.
Thrustmaster’s T150 force feedback wheel starts at $200. The result is a simpler rumble wheel, which, in our opinion, isn’t as exciting. The good news is that there are no true duds among force feedback wheels.
In this list, we’ll try to separate the good from the great, based on what features you value most.
Just make sure the wheel supports the format you want to use before you buy. It will support PS4/PS5 and PC or Xbox One and Series S/X consoles and PC. While we’d like a platform-independent racing wheel, that’s just not how these gaming accessories work.
Top 8 Best Racing Wheels on Market
1. LOGITECH G923
Logitech’s latest force-feedback G923 is the best all-around model because it is cost-effective, reliable, and provides great realism. Logitech’s G29 is already one of the most popular choices, and it’s easy to see why. The 900-degree rotation, hand-stitched leather rim, and stainless steel shift paddles and pedals provide an immersive driving experience without breaking the bank.
The G923 is priced similarly to its predecessor and has a new FFB system. The 1000Hz polling rate allows for fast feedback on what’s happening in game, letting you feel every rumble strip and tyre losing grip. Additionally, supported games such as Assetto Corsa Competitizione are specifically tuned to take full advantage of that force feedback system.
With three pedals, you’ve got a spare clutch in case you want to add Logitech’s gear shifter in the future. In games that support it, you can also see a small LED rev counter, which tells you when it’s time to change gear. Whether you choose the Xbox or PlayStation compatible model, both are certified to work on the best gaming PC.
2. Hori Racing Wheel Apex
Are you thinking about upgrading your controller, yet you can’t justify dropping hundreds of dollars on a wheel? Hori’s Racing Wheel APEX just about dodges a triple-figure price tag, and most of its core features are covered by bar force feedback. 270 degrees of rotation may be less than the more expensive models here, but that’s still more than your controller or keyboard can offer in terms of turning accuracy.
The rim and pedals are made of plastic instead of metal, but the strong suction mounts keep it stable during a race. There are rubber grips at the helm, so your hands won’t slip while you steer. Additionally, there are paddle shifters on the rear if you want to change gears manually. As an added bonus, it’s compatible with PlayStation consoles, so you can win races on Gran Turismo.
3. Thrustmaster TS-XW Racer Sparco
The TS-XW by Thrustmaster is a great choice for hardcore sim players, as it provides the closest simulation of a real car. This setup has the smoothest and most realistic force feedback you’ll find on a PC wheel, and every part is high quality. It’s an exact replica of Sparco’s suede-covered P310 – which means you get the same grippy material that gives you great control.
Sims like iRacing, which offer online 24-hour endurance races, can cause FFB motors to overheat. Even during extended play sessions, Thrustmaster’s embedded cooling should prevent any loss of force feedback performance. The medal pedals can be adjusted for height and spacing – the clutch pedal comes in handy if you add Thrustmaster’s TH8A shifter, although it is sold separately.
Thrustmaster’s modularity is a welcome addition too – if you get bored with your setup, you can swap it out for one of the standalone wheels in its ecosystem, such as its F1-style wheel, which is perfect for F1 2020.
4. Thrusmaster TMX
If you want a model with complete rotation and force feedback for competitive online games such as iRacing, but don’t want to break the bank, Thrustmaster’s TMX is the best choice.
It uses a belt-driven FFB motor with 900 degrees of rotation, similar to those found in Thrustmaster’s much more expensive models. By omitting fancier components, such as a leather wheel or metal pedals, the price is kept low.
The metal paddle shifters are a welcome luxury, and despite the overall plastic construction, it appears to be a quality set.
5. Thrustmaster TX Ferrari 458 Italia Edition
As with the G29 and G920, these Thrustmaster wheels also work with different consoles, but they are essentially the same. The Thrustmaster TX is for Xbox One, while the Thrustmaster T300 RS is for PlayStation.
However, the TX lacks a lot of the little touches that make the Logitech wheels great, including a more comfortable wheel, and the pedals have issues.
6. Fanatec CSL Elite
Some of the best, and most expensive, racing wheels are made by Fanatec. Fanatec’s CSL Elite is one of its more affordable models, designed for the mainstream market, not least because it supports consoles instead of just PCs.
As usual, there are different versions for Xbox One and PS4, and the Microsoft version actually costs less.
Likewise, the force feedback is above what you get in the Thrustermaster T300 RS, even smoother and with a more precise feel, as well as a little faster and cleaner. This wheel base has a rev counter, which is supported by some games.
It appears that this wheel has been discontinued in favor of the Fanatec CSL DD, so you may only be able to find it second hand these days.
With serious metal frames and proper progressive brakes, Fanatec pedals are excellent, and you can even customize the stiffness of the brake. The CSL Elite goes so stiff that you need a frame into which you can screw the pedals to really maximize its potential. The price alone tells you this is an enthusiast wheel.
Fanatec CSL Elite looks like it was designed by nerdy obsessives. In the end, who else would choose that funky grey disco ball effect on the base? While not everyone will love the look, at least it’s not super-shiny.
7. Hori Apex
Hori Apex looks a lot like the other wheels here, but it is really quite different. The wheel relies on rumble instead of force feedback.
Play Project Cars, and the Thrustmaster T150 will decimate the Hori in terms of quality of experience. The Hori is ideal for arcade racers, some of which only have rumble effects, rather than force feedback. On a game like Need for Speed, the more expensive wheels are useless.
Hori isn’t. It rumbles when you drift, hit a barrier or car, or go over road markings, but you don’t have to wrestle with the wheel. The wheel right itself when you take your hands off, but there are no motors in the base at war with your hands.
Because of this, the Hori is also much lighter than any other wheel here. While you will still need something to clamp it to, this is the one wheel that won’t seem ill-treated if not treated to a proper frame or wheel stand.
This is clearly made for racers who’ll use nitrous every 4.5 seconds, and it tries harder than the rest to put all the main PS4 buttons at your fingertips; there are two on the wheel itself. Additionally, you can change the D-pad to emulate the DualShock’s own D-Pad, or either of the analog sticks.
8. Hori Overdrive
Hori provides two different wheels depending on the platform you’re playing on, just like others on this list. Hori Apex is for PS4, while Hori Overdrive is for Xbox One.
Those who prefer arcade racing will find the Hori Overdrive to be a good budget alternative to its PS4 counterpart. However, this wheel lacks force feedback and feels considerably cheaper.