An interesting statistic came to my attention recently. According to Steam, less than 0.198% of controllers used on the platform are racing wheels... Frankly I got in to sim racing as a cheaper and more accessible alternative to going out on circuit and doing the real thing in a purpose built racing car. A whole collection of reasons pushed me in this direction, not least of which can be attributed to costs, accessibility, time and upkeep, as I made my decision to move away from the goal of participating in real world competition and switched my focus instead to the virtual form of my favourite sporting activity. Often us sim racers can be a little bit too sim racing centric in our thoughts, discounting many of the widely played computer "games" available in the modern era, and sticking firmly to the virtual recreation of our favourite motorised sports. I will readily admit I am one of those individuals. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in computers or computer games outside of sim racing - the idea of playing any kind of recreational virtual entertainment other than the more serious end of the "sim" driving spectrum is completely alien to me, and as such I can very easily overlook the impact of other genres of gaming options that are available today. With that in mind, and in my quest to best recreate the real thing on my home computer, ownership and usage of a wheel, pedal and gear stick combination are as natural to me as putting on shoes before going for a walk... it's just that clear to me that these additional luxury items are an essential ingredient required to best get both immersion and enjoyment out of my sim driving experience, and I suspect the same holds true of many of our RaceDepartment members reading this article today. Now before we go on to the main thrust of this piece I admit I am aware that sim racing only takes up a very small portion of the overall gaming market share - this is entirely evident when you see the relatively small sales numbers of even the best racing sims, but with that in mind the recent statistic shared by Steam still came as something of a shock... According to some detailed data collection the very popular game hosting platform have collected, just 118,410 players of a potential pool of over 60 000 000 have used a racing steering wheel since data recording began in 2014.... that's less than 0.2%! Consider that of the 118,410 devices recorded, due to the very small number Valve have bundled together other devices such as Dance Pads, N64 controllers and DIY devices into that figure, so in reality the actual racing wheel usage is even lower than the quoted 118,410 produced by the data research! This offers up a very interesting question about how many sim racing drivers actually use a wheel when playing their racing sim or game of choice. If we keep things simple and assume that all of those 118,410 devices are wheels, and round it up to 200,000 for ease of maths, that still falls very short of the number of copies sold on PC for a wide selection of different racing sims. In fact, according to SteamSpy between 500,000 and 1m people own a copy of Assetto Corsa alone.. leaving one to wonder if the additional devices players such as myself take for granted are indeed as widely spread as I first thought. What do you use when sim racing? Link to the full Steam article can be found HERE. Thank you to RaceDepartment community member @TylerDurden4321 for bringing this interesting article to my attention. Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! Instagram Twitter Facebook Youtube Twitch Are you surprised by the figures reported on Steam? What controller(s) do you use when playing racing games? Let us know in the comments section below!