Sim-racing is obviously associated with hardware like wheels, shifters and pedals. Meaning to mimic, as close as possible to reality, the behaviour of a car, whether it is an open-wheeler, a sportscar, a rally car or else, it is evident that proper hardware also replicating real life instruments and input is very much needed. Being a somewhat growing market, even though we are still talking about a niche inside the gaming economy, the companies producing this kind of specific hardware are growing too, giving the possibility of choosing among a plethora of different options. Depending on your budget, you can get an entry-level wheel and pedals, or go for a full rig, complete of a Direct Drive wheel, hydraulic pedals, magnetic shifter, handbrake and maybe even a VR headset. I believe nobody could argue that the latter would actually be much more immersive and take you much closer to the real experience, given that you will be using a proper sim along with it. What happens though, if you cannot afford, for any given reason, even entry-level hardware for sim-racing? You might be, because you would be saving the money for more urgent matters or important needs. Alternatively, it might be simply a problem of your life partner not approving spending any amount of cash in it, or dedicating house space for it. Lastly, it could also be a problem of space itself missing for you to actually install a sim-racing rig, or just not have the time to fully dedicate yourself to the hobby (or being in the process of evaluating if you like it or not). Physical disabilities might be at stake too. So what would you do in these cases? Going for a gamepad might be, in fact, the only sensible solution. Cheap, unobtrusive, it has also the bonus of being usable in many different titles from different genres, from fps to rpgs to indie titles, increasing its practicability and its value for money. The manifest downside is that, obviously, the immersion is almost null compared to a full sim rig and it is impossible to achieve the exact same level of detail in the driving experience with a pad than with a good wheel. I believe it is not necessary to explain the reasons why is that. On the other hand, it is true however that, given good practice with it, it is possible to become actually quite proficient with a gamepad. Tweaking the input settings, both in Windows, if necessary, and in game, can also help a great deal in achieving good control of the car. Of course, sim-racing, in its content, spaces today from Karts and Formula 4 cars to 1500 bhp Turbo-Panzer monsters like the Porsche 917/30. It might prove problematic to get the same level of confidence with the two farthest opposites, but it is not impossible nonetheless. Moderns sims have gamepad racers more and more in mind nowadays, trying to provide the meanings for them to achieve a satisfying experience out of their product with it. Older sims are also playable with a bit more tweaking, thanks to the simplicity of yesterday’s hardware. Pad racers, though, are looked in an unkind way by fully invested sim-racers, avoided like the plague in online competitions and events. Is it actually due to their dangerousness, or is it just misconception and prejudice? Those who use a gamepad for sim-racing, in fact, are always aware of their handicap, and strive to achieve as much self-reliance with the virtual vehicle as possible. They dedicate time to improve their driving ability, and show more respect than others by usually avoiding dangerous situations in which their controller input would not be sufficient to circumvent an accident. Generally, they have also spent a good amount of time exercising with a specific car, chosen for a league or an online event, still because of their desire of being as proficient as possible with it with a pad. They have more practice, and the habit of doing more practice, *compared to the average* sim-racer using wheel and pedals. Many of the drivers promoted by the GT Academy, who now are professional racers in worldwide competitions, were long time pad users too, with which they got the basics. I would also like to share my personal experience about the argument. I do not have the space or money to invest in a sim-rig, and I have always been sim-racing with a gamepad. During the years, I managed to get a good level of confidence with it. When, a while back, a friend invited me to try his G27, I accepted, eager to try what I thought it would have been a very different experience. To my surprise, I found that my understanding of the vehicle allowed me to control the car in a very similar manner to what I do with my pad. The biggest problem was getting, of course, used to the Force Feedback, which was the game changer. The driving feelings and sensations, however, were not that as far as I thought they would be. It was a very pleasant experience, obviously preferable to the one I have with my pad, but it was still possible for me to capitalize on my previous knowledge gained with a controller. In small time, I managed to get my lap time under to my usual. Now, this does not mean that, for me, driving with a pad equals driving with a wheel. Not at all! What I mean is that becoming proficient with a pad allows you to get a basic knowledge out of the driving experience, which then applies always and everywhere. Of course, it is only with a wheel and pedals that you can master the driving techniques that would serve you well also in real life, where cars certainly do not have a controller at the driving seat. Endurance racing would also be impossible with a gamepad. However, if a pad is everything you have, go for it and do not worry about it. Try to get as much practice as possible, and be sure that what you have learned will carry through when, luckily, you will be able to improve your sim-racing hardware. Sticking to the racing line, learning the tracks, mastering the racing etiquette, getting to know the cars, etc. All this can be learned also without a wheel, and is, actually, experience! To all wheel users, please show more sympathy to pad users, and remember that there is always a gap between arcade driving games users and sim-racers. If someone who uses a controller is playing your sim, he is certainly mindful of what he is doing and where he stands in the community. So go ahead and compete, and who knows what the results might bring! It is always important to get people together, avoiding conflict. We share the same passion, the same hobby. Let us remember that as something to unite ourselves despite our differences, and create a friendly environment in the community. Try to find common ground, instead of pointing at the differences.