What is the most important piece of simracing hardware to you?

Car racing simulator SBR Racing Construma.jpg
Wheel bases, sim rig chassis, bucket seats, handbrakes, wheel rims and the list goes on. There are so many bits of hardware one can buy for a racing simulator. But which is the most important to you?

Image Credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Now as popular as ever, simracing has reached a point where thinking of something that doesn't exist on the market is becoming increasingly difficult. This is especially true for the hardware industry as companies are constantly innovating and finding new gaps to fill.

Just a few years ago, a steering wheel and a set of pedals was the most accurate simulation one could imagine let alone dream of. But today, racers sit in their carbon fibre bucket seats, surrounded by displays, button boxes and levers, all playing a part in the immersion. In fact, without even counting the number of rivals creating similar pieces of tech, there is seemingly an infinity of objects one can add to a rig.

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Whilst that's all well and good for the experienced racer, it can be daunting to newcomers. There are many that race with a simple wheel and pedals setup but are in search of more. The big question they have is, what is the most important piece of hardware to get your hands on? What is the logical progression step after getting the most basic simulator items?

An immersive simracer's opinion​

In my opinion, this is a question of what a simracer is looking to get out of their hobby. In my case, I race cars in a virtual setting with the aim of feeling like a racing driver. I want to sit behind my wheel and pretend to be a Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Nick Tandy or Ben Keating-esque fella.

As such, my idea of the most important simrig purchases may differ from someone that's looking to create content or compete at the highest level. Furthermore, being a fan of VR racing, I may avoid purchases that focus on aesthetics, instead going for something that feels immersive.

With that in mind, I would say that the most important part of a simracing rig for me would have to be a seat. This is the thing one touches the most whilst racing and will most heighten the sense of immersion, besides the wheel and pedals. A quality seat will obviously help with comfort and make you feel cocooned in a racing car.

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However, with time I am noticing that I can see the attraction of button boxes. Being in VR, it is very difficult for me to find the correct buttons on my keyboard. One minute, I'm reaching for the pause button, the next I may have turned off traction control in a thunderstorm and am spinning towards the end of my race. So if I'm allowed another option to answer this very broad question, I would say that a button box seems fairly important to my style of simracing.

Have your say​

So that's what I think. But I'm dying to read what you have to say. Make sure to comment what pieces of simracing hardware are the most important to you. Also, give us some context and mention why you think your choice is so important.
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Force feedback. But it's hard to think of it without a wheel, and once you get a certain amount of power in the force feedback, a sturdy rig. With a rig you need a seat to sit in and pedals to put your feet on. It would all be unthinkable for me without VR nowadays.

If I didn't have all that, I'd rather play with a controller, which I think can be fun too - with rumble.
 
Two Hands
Premium
I recently went on a vacation to visit a friend and he has a playseat challenge. For anyone who has never used the playseat challenge, it isn't bad, but it doesn't come even remotely close to a solid rig. After this vacation, in my opinion the rig is the most important part if you want to compete in any capacity.

Really the main issue is that I cannot consistently brake in the playseat challenge compared to the Obutto Ozone I have. When braking it flexes, when turning it flexes, etc and it makes it impossible to be consistent. Even my rig, the Obutto Ozone, flexes more than I would like and this vacation has made me realize it.

If I had a crystal ball or could somehow go back and tell myself to do it differently then I would. I would design/buy a rigid, modular (likely 8020) rig, decide on which DD wheel to buy and buy a durable set of pedals, something nicer than Fanatec's pedals. The rest can be bought over time to enhance realism/experience.
 
My Samsung 49" curved monitor is the most important bit of kit.I dont like the bezels & the space a triple screen takes up.Quite happy to stay with my Logitech G920 until I have the money for a DD wheel.I know I wont be faster with a DD wheel but it will be a lot nicer.A bit like going from a Dacia to a BMW.
 
my wheel base : simucube 2 pro
my wheels : ascher
my pedals : Heusinkveld sprint
my triple screen : triple asus 144hz native gsync
my PC : 4090/13900K

edit : it's basic rig if you work
 
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Pedals.
For personal perspective in order to accomodate classic/vintage race cars braking, incusive drum brake simulation.

Otherwise, the whole package for classic simracing, i.e. OK shifter (I live with the T8HA 250GTO'ish style), analogue buttons (incl. toggle buttons for ignition) and, ofcourse, FFB wheel base and most likely ECO system for shift of classic wheels for corresponding classic formula/sports car.
Simple button system of which suits VR racing, adding to the immersion.
 

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Angus Martin
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