For those looking to buy their first or their next piece of sim racing hardware, RaceDepartment member random callsign has created a buyer’s guide.

Sim racing can be an expensive venture when considering the associated hardware purchases. Purchasing a new wheel, pedals or cockpit is something we hope to do only once, or at least something that meets our needs for sim racing for years to come. RaceDepartment member randomcallsign has created an excellent buyer’s guide for sim racing hardware.

Rather than focus on gear that’s unattainable for most of us, the focus of random callsign’s video are more budget-friendly wheels, pedals and cockpits. Starting with gear below the £100 mark, moving through the mid-tier or sub-£500 price point.

The used market is the first topic the video addresses. While this is a common entry point for sim racers into the sim hardware market, there are things to look for, and things to look out for. RC helps us here by highlighting where deals can be found, and how to better identify those deals.

RC moves on to then cover the new market for wheels, pedals and cockpits. There are numerous hardware options across various budget levels, and the video showcases multiple manufacturer options at each level. This should help sim racers find the right piece of equipment for their needs and budget level.

The video was inspired by the late William Marsh, known on YouTube as Sim Racing Paddock. Sadly, William passed away recently, but his legacy in the sim community lives on through his videos. His own buyer’s guide from last year has garnered over 2,000,000 views.

Be sure to check out the random callsign’s excellent buyer’s guide, and leave a comment below on your own recommendations or wish list at your price point.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

"Everything is just toys and trash"? Didn't you say basically that some time ago when you advocated that nobody buys a DD because no real car produces steering torques like that? ;)
I hope the mods here start dealing with you, because you keep derailing every article comments section with your attacks on anybody and everybody, and your huge wall of text spamming.
 
I hope the mods here start dealing with you, because you keep derailing every article comments section with your attacks on anybody and everybody, and your huge wall of text spamming.
That's an attack? Feel free to report it and the mods will ban me if I violate TOS, what can I say. It's just weird seeing someone post seemingly conflicting views, especially when you basically quoted yourself for part of that.

Not sure where I spammed anything, but report those too I suppose.
 
Slapped
Premium
If you want a good value rig that'll last you and deliver a good experience then my recommendation would be:

Playseat Challenge - don't laugh, I bought one for shits and giggles at the start of 2020, thinking I'd upgrade in a month - I'm still using it. In fact don't even bother with anything else unless you're prepared to spend at least 3 times the amount the Playseat challenge costs.

Thrustmaster T300 - not as much torque as the higher end Thrustmaster models but much smoother and far less cogging, which IMO is more important as you'll feel a bit more. I use a TS-PC because I prefer a higher torque, but I do miss the low level detail from the T300.

T3PA pedal set with included brake mod - After my experiences with Logitech pedals going south after about 6 months of use, at least those supplied with the G29, I swore I'd never recommend potentiometer pedal again, but the T3PA set that I'm using have gone well over 18 months without any spiking, and they've had way more use per month than the logitech pedals I've had. Plus the supplied brake mod feels more like a real brake pedal than cheaper load cell solutions

IMO this is all you'll ever need for a good sim racing experience. DDs, load cell pedals (I'm not a fan of them personally), and expensive cockpits are just the icing on the cake - not necessary.
 
Dzul
Premium
If you want a good value rig that'll last you and deliver a good experience then my recommendation would be:

Playseat Challenge - don't laugh, I bought one for shits and giggles at the start of 2020, thinking I'd upgrade in a month - I'm still using it. In fact don't even bother with anything else unless you're prepared to spend at least 3 times the amount the Playseat challenge costs.

Thrustmaster T300 - not as much torque as the higher end Thrustmaster models but much smoother and far less cogging, which IMO is more important as you'll feel a bit more. I use a TS-PC because I prefer a higher torque, but I do miss the low level detail from the T300.

T3PA pedal set with included brake mod - After my experiences with Logitech pedals going south after about 6 months of use, at least those supplied with the G29, I swore I'd never recommend potentiometer pedal again, but the T3PA set that I'm using have gone well over 18 months without any spiking, and they've had way more use per month than the logitech pedals I've had. Plus the supplied brake mod feels more like a real brake pedal than cheaper load cell solutions

IMO this is all you'll ever need for a good sim racing experience. DDs, load cell pedals (I'm not a fan of them personally), and expensive cockpits are just the icing on the cake - not necessary.

Seems we have parallel lives... :D I also got a Playseat Challenge and a T300 at the start of 2020 to get back into SimRacing and I completely agree with your assessment. I still believe that, for a starter, this combo is the best value for money you can get. I upgraded my hardware this year (T-LCM pedals, NLR rig & TS-PC wheel) and I can recommend the T-LCM pedals if you can find them for a good price as a first upgrade. They are a good investment if you can afford them, imho. :coffee:

Great guide, informative and extensive, chapeau! :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:
Slapped
Premium
Seems we have parallel lives... :D I also got a Playseat Challenge and a T300 at the start of 2020 to get back into SimRacing and I completely agree with your assessment. I still believe that, for a starter, this combo is the best value for money you can get. I upgraded my hardware this year (T-LCM pedals, NLR rig & TS-PC wheel) and I can recommend the T-LCM pedals if you can find them for a good price as a first upgrade. They are a good investment if you can afford them, imho. :coffee:

Great guide, informative and extensive, chapeau! :thumbsup:

I have a set, but couldn't get on with them. Even with the hardest springs the brake pedal felt spongy to me. As I've said previously driving with the T-LCM felt like the brake system of whatever car i was driving needed to be bled, and thus the T3PA was put back into service.

I've since found a hack/mod where you can replace one or more of the springs with skateboard bushings for a more solid feel. My local skater shop gave me bag of used bushings, but I haven't had the time to give this a go yet.
 
I've been using a Playseat on a welded up frame, and a G25 for what seems like 10 years now:) It's been bulletproof. I added a load cell mod way back. I also race in VR, started with the DK2 and every Oculus iteration since. The expensive part nowadays is the graphics card!
 
If you want a good value rig that'll last you and deliver a good experience then my recommendation would be:

Playseat Challenge - don't laugh, I bought one for shits and giggles at the start of 2020, thinking I'd upgrade in a month - I'm still using it. In fact don't even bother with anything else unless you're prepared to spend at least 3 times the amount the Playseat challenge costs.

Thrustmaster T300 - not as much torque as the higher end Thrustmaster models but much smoother and far less cogging, which IMO is more important as you'll feel a bit more. I use a TS-PC because I prefer a higher torque, but I do miss the low level detail from the T300.

T3PA pedal set with included brake mod - After my experiences with Logitech pedals going south after about 6 months of use, at least those supplied with the G29, I swore I'd never recommend potentiometer pedal again, but the T3PA set that I'm using have gone well over 18 months without any spiking, and they've had way more use per month than the logitech pedals I've had. Plus the supplied brake mod feels more like a real brake pedal than cheaper load cell solutions

IMO this is all you'll ever need for a good sim racing experience. DDs, load cell pedals (I'm not a fan of them personally), and expensive cockpits are just the icing on the cake - not necessary.
I had the same setup for quite a few years (except with a T500 and a normal playseat) and was very very happy
 
I've been using a Playseat on a welded up frame, and a G25 for what seems like 10 years now:) It's been bulletproof. I added a load cell mod way back. I also race in VR, started with the DK2 and every Oculus iteration since. The expensive part nowadays is the graphics card!
I decided to upgrade my i7 3 gen just because it was ridiculous how much budget would have to go with the card compared to the rest of the whole computer
 
Botmeister
Premium
"Everything is just toys and trash"? Didn't you say basically that some time ago when you advocated that nobody buys a DD because no real car produces steering torques like that? ;)

Glad I'm not the only one. RCSign's opinion is based per video. In other words, regularly it's complete bs to start with.
 
The G25 seems to be the holy unicorn or something because nobody mentions it, in any video about wheels, and it's still more expensive than the G27,G29 and G920. Used market of course.
 
S
Premium
If you really are poor, then I can vouch for the G25. I wouldn't use the shifter, but the wheel is ok and will give you a lot of fun. It's also ok on a desk. I'm still using one.
 

Article information

Author
Mike Smith
Views
11,366
Comments
22
Last update

Share this article

Top