Getting Started in Sim Racing
Now is the perfect time for you to Start Sim Racing...
- F1 World Champion Max Verstappen and fellow F1 driver Lando Norris are two of the current cohort that are both mega sim racers, and admit that sim racing helped refine their skills!
- F1 teams have eSports F1 teams, and there are online championships with prizes of up to $500,000 - so it is now possible to make a living from playing racing games 💰😁
- F1 eSports races with current F1 drivers and celebrity star drivers featured through COVID-19 lockdowns when motorsport was postponed. No other sport can boast such feats, where real life sport stars swapped to the virtual world to compete. Seeing your idols playing the same games as you. In Sim Racing, you could be in a lobby with your racing idols are race against them, or hot lapping against the ghost times of a famous driver - it allows you to race against your idols in ways that were inconceivable barely a few years ago.
- Sim Racer Enzo Bonito beat an ex-F1 driver at the 2018 Race of Champions! Enzo beat Lucas Di Grassi (ex-F1 and current Formula E driver) in an on-track duel - proof that sim racers can have skills on the track as well as the sim ✊
- F1 teams rely heavily on their 'simulator drivers', providing vital information for the F1 team on the setup and behaviour of their car. This shows the synergy between motorsport simulation a.k.a. sim racing and real motorsport is stronger than ever before, providing tangible benefits even at the highest level of motorsport. This synergy will only get stronger in the years to come.
But, we know that Starting Out in Sim Racing isn't easy. Lots of people struggle to get started, and it's because of these 3 main reasons:
1) There is A LOT of choice. Sim Racing has become extremely popular in recent years, so there are a lot of products in the market. It's very easy to get confused and not know which product is best for you.
2) Most of the products are expensive! Most racing wheels cost from £200, and Direct Drive wheels start from £800, up to well over £2,000; a decent sim rig starts from £500, and accessories cost from at least £100 each! Add it all up, and you realise you have spent a lot of money! You want to spend your money well and buy the equipment that's right for you, so you don't waste money on something you don't need.
3) Compatibility. The amount of different products that aren't compatible with each other is insane. Whether it's a wheel that works only on a specific console, or a rim that won't fit, shifter or a rig (we sometimes say rig, other times we say sim rig, they mean the same thing) with pre-drilled holes for specific brands - you need to consider all of this when deciding what you buy.
Ultimately, it makes choosing what you want really difficult.
This is why we made Upshift.
Upshift is run By Sim Racers, For Sim Racers.
We know the problems you have, and know what is best for you. We want to share our knowledge & advice with you, in our guides (like this), our reviews, and our Live Chat.
In this guide, we're going to go through all the things you need to consider when deciding to get into sim racing. One thing's for sure, all of these products are fantastic, they all massively improve your experience - it's just about finding the right ones for you.
1) Firstly, choose your Simulation Games!
This is the first step. We are so lucky nowadays to have so many amazing racing games, that really don't cost that much either! There's games Formula 1, GT racing, rallying, touring cars, NASCAR, rallycross, and now even games for karting and drifting too! Whatever your discipline, there's bound to be a host of great sims available for your enjoyment! This is one of the many reasons sim racing is so popular nowadays, and as sim racing continues to prosper, so will the variety & quality of the simulation games.
There are 3 main gaming platforms: PC, Xbox and PlayStation.
If you're a keen sim racer who wants the ultimate racing simulator with true-to-life physics and the highest graphical quality/frame rate, then you need to be using on a gaming PC. Gaming PCs are more powerful than gaming consoles, and many of the best simulation games are available exclusively on PC (though some are available on gaming consoles too).
Some highlights of PC simulations include Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, KartKraft, RaceRoom Racing Experience. These are all PC games available for purchase from Steam and all offer (as near as possible) true-to-life simulation. Whilst a gaming PC is a big investment, we do believe it is a very worthwhile investment for any sim racer who seeks the most authentic sim racing experience.
If you have a PlayStation 5 then Gran Turismo 7 is the king of racing simulation on this platform. Other popular games include F1 2021, Project Cars 2 and Dirt Rally 2.0.
Likewise if you have an Xbox Series X, then the upcoming Forza Motorsport game will the king of racing games for this platform. But again, F1 2021, Project Cars 2 and Dirt Rally 2.0 are all good games. Forza Horizon 5 is less of a simulation racer, but is still great fun with a racing wheel and is so popular we had to include it - and it's handling model is certainly far more realistic than the likes of Need for Speed and Burnout.
The games you buy will depend on the platform(s) that you have: PC, PlayStation or Xbox. Some games are available on all platforms (e.g. F1 2021) whilst others are available on one platform only (e.g. Gran Turismo 7, iRacing etc.).
Now you know what games you want and so what platforms you will be using, this lets you decide what racing wheel & accessories you will buy....
2) Racing Wheels
Wow is there a lot of choice! So to make it easy, we'll say that wheels come in 4 different categories:
1) Wheels with NO Force Feedback 😡
We think these types of wheels are rubbish! Often cheaply built, ugly, tacky and - if you're lucky - come with with rumble feedback...
They're really meant only for young kids.
We don't and never will sell any wheels from this category.
2) Wheels with Basic Force Feedback 😐
These types of wheels cost from about £150 to £250, and are a good starter set for most people. Examples include the Thrustmaster TMX/T150 and Logitech G920/G29 and the new G923. The Force Feedback is basic and fairly uncommunicative, but it does have some strength (some, not nearly as much as you need). The wheels still tend to be quite poorly built, with basic designs and cheap materials used. These wheels also have limited compatibility with accessories too, so they are not suitable for someone who wants to expand their setup with shifters, handbrakes etc. Also, generally the cheaper wheels tend to be slightly less reliable (NB - not unreliable, but just typically not as reliable as an expensive wheel).
3) Wheels with Powerful Force Feedback 🙂
This is where the fun really begins! These types of wheels cost from about £500 up to several hundred pounds and are the premium mass market wheels. Strong Force Feedback, much more-premium materials and designs and lots of compatible accessories too.
If you want to start taking sim racing seriously, here is the place to start. Examples include top of the range Thrustmaster wheels, but increasingly popular now are small Direct Drive wheels like the Fanatec CSL DD (pictured below) and Moza R9.
4) Direct Drive wheels (DD) 😁
Direct Drive wheels are awesome. They are totally different to the other mainstream racing wheels, built in an entirely different way. Direct Drive wheels are driven directly by the motor (hence the name!), and wheel is mounted directly onto it. Unlike mainstream wheels, there is no trickery using belts to try and amplify the torque (and in doing so, losing the fidelity of the force feedback); the wheel mounts directly to the motor giving unparalleled feeling and communication, and (dependent on the strength of the motor), seriously massive power, more than most actual cars deliver through their wheel!
Direct Drive wheels are a game changer, and are undoubtedly the best racing wheels you can buy. They are however, also the most expensive 😭
We maintain that you can still have an enjoyable sim racing experience without using a Direct Drive wheel, but if you seek a realistic and authentic sim racing experience, you really must consider a Direct Drive wheel.
Open Sim Wheel (OSW) is a cheaper 'format' of buying a DD Wheel, but the cheapest OSW packages start from £800 and require an inherent degree of 'know how' - in other words, if you want a plug-and-play solution, these aren't for you.
The much more popular solution is to choose a wheel like the Simucube 2 or Fanatec Podium - our recommended Direct Drive wheel being the Simucube 2 Pro (pictured below), Simucube wheelbases however only being PC compatible.
We have Simucube 2 available for trial in our dedicated Sim Racing Showroom, so if you are considering a Direct Drive wheel, we welcome you to come along and feel the difference these wheels make to your Sim Racing Experience.
Many Direct Drive wheelbases like the Simucube 2 do not come with a steering wheel rim, therefore you need a steering wheel rim also. There are a variety of steering wheels of varying material, diameter, shape and associated attachments, to suit the variety of racing categories. For example, steering wheels for Rallying are often round and moderate-large diameter, whereas steering wheels for Formula racing/single seater racing are often smaller diameter and open-wheel shaped (i.e. cut off top). Some people consequently choose to have multiple steering wheels, and use these interchangeably depending on what racing category they are using - that is, if they are rallying then they will attached to the rally wheel, and if they then swap to formula racing, they will swap this for their formula wheel. Quick release kits enable fast and convenient changing of steering wheels.
These steering wheels vary in cost from around £400 to well over £1000, depending on the brand of wheel and the features offered. For example, wheels over £1000 will likely offer small displays integrated into the wheel, abundant carbon fiber and other high quality materials and elegant design - but for many people spending £1000 on a wheel rim is too excessive.
We believe it is much more important to have a high quality Direct Drive wheelbase than having an exceedingly 'fancy' steering wheel. Ultimately, a high quality Direct Drive wheel will make you faster; an extravagant steering wheel won't.
Upshift recommends steering wheels from SRC.
SRC manufactures their wheels using the highest quality components so that they are durable and robust, to offer a professional steering wheel to all sim racers, at an affordable price.
For professional sim racers who want a very high end sim racing wheel with integrated displays and carbon fibre construction, check out the likes of GSI.
To summarise, we recommend Direct Drive Wheels to all sim racers who want a totally realistic & authentic experience. It's no surprise that the best sim racers in the world use Direct Drive, as it allows them to get the clearest & richest information about the behaviour of their car, to give them greater control of their car.
Direct Drive wheels are the most expensive...but that's because they're the best, by a massive margin. Once you use a Direct Drive wheel, you will never go back - but as we will discuss next, do ensure your rig is strong enough to withstand the power of a Direct Drive wheel!
*** A final note about some Direct Drive wheels - because they are relatively new technology, developers of games may not ensure full compatibility of their games with some less popular DD Wheels. Mainstream wheels like the Simucube 2 and Fanatec Podium are widely used by many people and so these wheels are widely compatible with the vast majority of games, so if you are choosing one of these, there is nothing to worry about.
If you have any questions about whether your rig is suitable for use with a Direct Drive Wheel, just Contact Us, we've used all our rigs and know what is and isn't suitable.
⚠️ Now you have your wheel, you MUST get something to mount it on!
3) Wheel stand or Sim Rig?
We have respect for this guy. But he is highlighting a real problem - in reality, you need something to securely mount your racing wheel on! You can't mount a racing wheel on your desk (or ironing board!) and then have an enjoyable experience with it, because they simply aren't strong enough so they'll just wobble and distract you. If you want to start sim racing properly, and have a proper, enjoyable sim racing experience, you something to mount your racing wheel to!
...and here's your first set of choices:
Sim Rig or wheel stand
Deciding on which is usually down to 3 factors:
2) Space in your room
3) How powerful your wheel is (and what accessories you need mounting)
Obviously, a full rig is going to cost more than a wheel stand - a rig is essentially a wheel stand attached to a seat (that's a basic way of thinking about it).
Wheel stands are cheaper, but they still aren't objectively 'cheap'. The most basic wheel stands start from around £100, and the premium wheel stands like the Trak Racer FS3 and Next Level Racing wheel stand are between £150 - £200. For a lot of people (ourselves included), that is rather expensive for something that one could argue is essentially a glorified TV tray!
Wheel stands may be the only choice for people who are very short of space in their room. The big appeal of a wheel stand is that once you are done playing, you simply fold it up, and they fold into a small & compact form that is easy to store in a tight space. So if you are really short on space in your room, but need a solid mounting solution for your wheel, a wheel stand may be your ideal solution...
However, in our opinion, if you want an authentic sim racing experience, and have a powerful racing wheel, then wheel stands are NOT suitable. They are neither rigid nor heavy enough, so the wheel and/or pedal decks will flex, which distracts you and will ultimately slow you down. Furthermore, you are restricted to fewer accessories (with only one mount, you couldn't have both a handbrake and a shifter for example, you would only be able to use one), which again limits the quality of your sim racing experience.
Also, as Direct Drive Wheels become evermore affordable and popular, it is likely that soon you will soon buy one. Wheel stands generally cannot mount a Direct Drive Wheel; therefore whilst you may save money in the short term by buying a wheel stand, when you come to upgrade to Direct Drive, your wheel stand will be redundant and so you'll need to buy a rig then. Why waste money on a wheel stand - forget them and go straight to a sim rig, you won't regret doing so!
Wheel stands also miss out one of the most important parts of racing: the seating position. Anyone who has ever been in a proper racing car will know that you sit low down in a deep, bolstered bucket seat and in an optimised seating position for easy access to the steering wheel, pedals and any shifters/handbrakes for maximum control of the car. With a wheel stand, it's likely you'll be sitting on a sofa or an office chair. Not really the same type of experience, which is why at Upshift we choose not to sell any wheel stands - bottom line: they're simply not as good as a sim rig.
Now...we introduce you to the Sim Rig! (aka rig, cockpit, chassis, frame)
Sim Rigs are fantastic: they're strong, adjustable, flexible, comfortable, customisable and to be honest, pretty cool looking! They give you a perfect driving position, hunkered in a comfortable seat, with strong and ergonomically placed wheel and pedal decks with lots of adjustment, so you can adapt them to your body shape and firmly mount powerful Force feedback wheels. They usually are also very customisable, so you can add multiple different mounts, for anything from shifters/handbrakes to ButtKickers and button boxes. For anyone who wants to take sim racing seriously, and have a fully immersive sim racing experience, a Sim Rig is a must buy. Pictured below is the beautiful RSeat N1 Alcantara
Before you buy your rig, you ought to know (or have an idea of) what type of wheel you are going to be using: standard force feedback, powerful force feedback or Direct Drive (essentially, ultra strong force feedback). If you have a mainstream force feedback wheel like the Logitech G920, then any rig sold by Upshift will handle it perfectly.
More powerful wheels like the Fanatec CSL DD and Thrustmaster TS-XW will require stronger rigs like the Trak Racer TR8 Pro or RSeat B1 or Sparco Evolve.
For highly powerful Direct Drive wheels, you will need the strongest (and most expensive!) rigs; specifically, aluminium profile rigs like the popular Trak Racer TR160 (pictured below). Other weaker rigs would flex and shudder/vibrate, so they would be uncomfortable and distracting.
The Trak Racer TR160 is an aluminium profile rig, where the rigs is constructed from (you guessed it) aluminium profiles for maximum rigidity and strength, so they are able to withstand the forces from extremely powerful Direct Drive wheels with minimal/zero flex. The key components like wheel mounts and pedal decks are heavily engineered and reinforced for maximum strength, you may can really stomp on your high-end pedals with confidence. These rigs are by design also extremely adjustable, so you are really able to find your perfect driving position, and they are also modular, which means that when you inevitably change your setup, the rig adapts and evolves with it. This makes rigs like
Aluminium profile rigs prioritise function over form; most people don't think they're the prettiest rigs to look at (beauty is in the eye of the beholder though). The benefits of aluminium profile rigs is their unrivalled strength and adjustability, allowing the user to attach powerful equipment to them for a zero flex sim racing experience. Striving to improve on existing designs, Trak Racer applied some of their ingenuity and with a few tweaks, their TR80 and TR160 sim rigs come finished in a stylish matt black powder coating with red cover strips and end caps all provided. When all combined, these greatly improve the aesthetic and make the TR80 & TR160 very smart looking sim rigs.
The choice for you is function versus form - what do you value most?
The Trak Racer TR160 and similar aluminium profile rigs usually have options to buy the rig without a seat, so you may mount your own seat. Dependent on what you want, and seat mounting options, you could go to a scrapyard and pick up a seat from an old Ford Fiesta for £30, or you could buy an authentic Sparco bucket for £500 seat and fit that - seriously, whatever you want! As such, there's loads of potential to customise your rig, which is nice. Of course, it may add more cost to the overall setup. A good bucket seat and a Trak Racer TR160 will total to about £1,000, but in return you get an ultra-rigid, zero flex rig with an authentic, immersive racing bucket seat - well worth the price tag in our humble opinion!
When buying a rig, you should consider how big the seat is. In real life, most racing drivers are pretty small, about 65kg and <5"10, so they just slide straight into bucket seats without a problem. With sim racers though, there's a little more variation! And by that, we mean we get people of any and all sizes wanting to start sim racing - be they tall, small, slim or large. So the bucket seat supplied with a rig might actually not be a perfect fit for you. Most manufacturers know this, so make their seats suitable for the average adult; some brands make a variety of seats, to fit people of different sizes and weights. The point we're making is - you need to check the sizing diagrams of the seat, by either using the information we provide or by contacting us, and then whip out the tape measure and measure yourself to to see if you will fit. Or, if you are wiling to travel to us (we encourage you to!), you can try out the seat in person at our bespoke Sim Racing Showroom at the Metro Centre in North East England.
But it's not just if you will fit in the seat...it's if you will fit comfortably! If you're not comfortable in a seat, you won't be able to focus on your racing because you will be distracted by the discomfort - and that means you'll ultimately be slower, so make sure the seat is a good fit! It's no surprise that, when racing drivers get their racing seats, they go in for test fittings to ensure the seat is moulded to them so it is a perfect, comfortable and intuitive fit, so they feel at one with the car.
On the topic of seating positions, there's usually the choice between an upright position (typically referred to as GT style position) or a single seater/F1 style position. Obviously, if you're wanting a simulator that replicates the feeling of being in a F1 car, then you will want the single seater/F1 style position. Whereas if you're wanting a simulator that replicates being it a GT car, touring car racing, rally car, rallycross car or equivalent, then you will want the upright seating position.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so let's show some examples.
Firstly, here's a prime example of a single seater/F1 seating position sim rig is the beautiful Sparco Evolve GP Sim Rig as pictured below:
Upright seating positions are more easily accessible and versatile, fitting many different types of sim racing games and indeed other simulator games such as flight simulation, truck simulation etc. Single seater/F1 style seating positions are more specialist, so whilst are undoubtedly very cool and offer an amazing driving position, they're less accessible. The upright seating position type sim rigs are more popular as they cater for a wider variety of simulation games/genres. Nowadays there's a variety of excellent sim rigs in the market now, so there's guaranteed to be a rig that meets your demands! To browse our full selection of Sim Rigs, click here.
Trak Racer, Sparco and other companies have a varied range of seats, to suit the varied shapes and sizes of sim racers out there. It is advised to pick a seat from the same manufacturer as the rig to be assured of compatibility, however it is possible to use an aftermarket/3rd party seat on a sim rig providing it fits. We can advise on this with all the rigs & seats we sell, but as a general guide, you will need to ensure that you've sorted out how the seats mounts, gap between mounting holes and width of the seat - in some instances, it can be harder than you may think.
Here at Upshift, we know the measurements of all the rigs & seats we sell, and collect feedback from our past customers about how they fit, and what they think the maximum size and weight is from their experience, so we know exactly whether you'll fit or not, just contact us for help!
We also urge you to look at the accessories you might want for your rig before you buy it. Most sim racers will have a shifter, handbrake and some other accessories (sometimes referred to as 'peripherals') so you will need somewhere to mount them! Most rigs will come with several mounts and adapters (usually as additional extras) for you to attach to the rig, and then mount your accessories to.
If you want a specific Motion Platform from a different company, you need ensure that there is an adapter so it fits with your rig; don't just assume it will be compatible and fit. Is your rig rigid enough for use with one too? Also, check the prices of the accessories: if one rig is cheaper than another rig, but the accessories are more expensive, then the total cost might not be what you think. Most rigs do come complete with a seat, but you may be sold the chassis on its own, and then you must supply your own seat.
It is easy to spend A LOT of money on a rig, so make sure you know exactly what you need, and want! Upshift partners with all the leading rig brands, including Trak Racer, Sparco Gaming & RSeat. Furthermore, our Sim Racing Experts know everything about the rigs we sell, so if you have any questions, get in touch with us and we'll help. Get in touch by Live Chat, Messenger, email or phone.
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You need to check that the wheel stand / rig / wheel, and any other products will all be compatible with each other. Generally, any proper, high-quality rig (like all those found on Upshift) will be compatible with nearly all wheel manufacturers, and will have with pre-drilled holes for hard mounting of products from major brands like Fanatec, Thrustmaster etc.
There are simply loads of accessories available for sim racing nowadays. It makes our sim racing experience so much more enjoyable, but the massive number of different manufacturers also raises a new dilemma - Compatibility.
Specific accessories work with specific wheels, on specific platforms. It's a nightmare! So you need to decide what wheel you will buy, then that dictates what accessories you can buy. So choose carefully, as if you build up a collection of products by one manufacturer, you are going to be reluctant to buy a product from a different manufacturer as you'll need to start again and change your whole setup - so don't just impulse buy, actually thinking about the whole setup.
Also, consider the warranty. How long is it, what does it cover, and so on. You should consider all of the details mentioned in this section, to be sure that you are buying the right wheel for you.
Fanatec accessories won't work with Thrustmaster products, which won't work with Logitech products...generally, if you are buying one product from one brand, you need to buy the rest of your peripherals from them. Though some accessories will work with other manufacturers products when used on PC, but not on console.
Also, if a wheel is compatible with an Xbox, it generally means it won't be compatible with a PlayStation and vice versa (though there are exceptions to that). Most wheels are compatible with PC. And for all you Apple fans out there, when we say PC, we mean Windows PC, exclusively.
Some manufacturers have an 'Ecosystem' - a group of their products that are cross compatible thus eliminating compatibility woes between their different products. So when you buy a Fanatec wheel, you are encouraged to buy Fanatec pedals and other accessories; likewise if you buy Thrustmaster wheels, you buy Thrustmaster accessories.
We strongly advise you to think of the full picture before you buy one of these products - usually, once you buy one product, you stick with that manufacturer for everything else.
Here we will highlight some of the Best Accessories for Sim Racing, including Immersive Tactile Shakers, Motion Actuators, Seat, Motion Platforms, Monitors, Shifters & more.
Immersive Tactile Shaker
The ButtKicker Gamer2 is an awesome piece of kit - it's half-way towards a motion platform with regards to immersion. It lets you feel the bumps of the track and rumble strip, and when you clout of the kerbs, and the vibrations of your engine by sending powerful vibrations through your seat/rig. Factory software is adequate, but there's loads of options available (free and paid). We recommend SimHub. Suffice to say, once you've used ButtKicker, you'll never go back.
Also, added for reference, is the Pearl Throne Thumper, a slightly more powerful version of the Gamer2 that was designed in collaboration with ButtKicker (hence the similar appearance). This is a lot more expensive however, and we feel the ButtKicker Gamer2 offers much better value for money, and is easily powerful enough for most users.
Honourable mention for the Reckhorn BS-200i is a smaller unit that is also a popular option.
Steering Wheel Rims
|Premium:||SRC Sim Racing Wheels|
A Direct Drive wheelbase is nothing without an equally good wheel. There's a wide variety of wheels available, many costing as much as the Direct Drive motor itself. Our recommended wheels are SRC Sim Racing Wheels, built using the highest quality components to be durable and robust racing wheel, designed for use by sim racers from novices to professionals. Using quality components, the wheels are very competitively priced so they are unmatched quality for the price. For those with larger budgets, we like the GSI.
Trak Racer Monitor Stand (free standing)
Monitor Stands come in 2 types: free standing and integrated. Integrated is better for people short of space, who want a convenient attachment that will mount their monitors on their rig with a smaller footprint. However, if you are planning on using a motion platform or ButtKickers, we do not advise using an integrated stand, because the monitors will also vibrate/move with the rig.
Free standing monitor stands are more versatile, allowing you much more adjustability (as the name suggests, you can literally move it wherever you want), so tend to be the most popular. Furthermore, when properly setup their footprint can still be small, so they too are space efficient (but objectively less so than their integrated counterparts.)
Trak Racer sell a variety of Monitor Stands - single, triple and quadruple, each with differing width and a choice of integrated/free standing. They are all very strong, adjustable, and customisable - essentially, there are options for every stand type you could want and they do everything you could want a monitor stand to do!
|Single Curved:||Benq EX3203R or equivalent|
|Ultrawide Curved:||Samsung Odyssey G9 49" Ultrawide Monitor|
If you are going to spend thousands of pounds on a top sim racing setup, then you need a good display, or else what's the point! There are a number of key factors in choosing a suitable gaming monitor, the most important being a high refresh rate (ideally 144Hz or higher) and minimal input lag (<4ms). Resolution, so long as it is at least Full HD (1080p), is really not that important - don't get too obsessed over 4K resolution.
There are 2 general pathways people choose for monitors:
1) Triple monitors: from our experience and feedback from customers, the AOC C32G1 and Benq EX3203R are both very good monitors, either as a single (or more often) part of a triple monitor setup;
2) Single Ultrawide monitor: these monitors have a unique and striking form factor, require much less effort in their setup (versus triples), have fewer cables so wiring is less cumbersome so are favoured by many. A popular example is the Samsung Odyssey G9
Qubic System QS-220-PL Actuator Set
Introducing the Qubic System QS-220-PL, an industry-leading motion actuator set. The QS-220-PL actuators offer performance unmatched by anything else in the market, with an outstanding 800mm/s maximum velocity! This higher velocity figure transforms the motion experience; the motion feels more energetic and vigorous, much more like the physical experience of driving in reality. Combined with the maximum acceleration of 0.8G (limited for safety, not by hardware capability) and 100mm actuator stroke, these performance figures translate into providing a highly immersive & authentic motion simulation experience.
Sim Racing Seats
|Mid Level:||Motamec GT02|
|Premium:||Sparco Circuit QRT II|
A good seat is a necessity if you want an authentic and enjoyable sim racing experience; a good fibreglass bucket seat starts at around £250, and rises to well over a thousand! Entry-level price point seats like the Motamec GT02 (and their GT seat range) are great fibreglass seats for those on a limited budget. If your budget is higher, then the a Sparco Sim Racing Seat offers true authentic motorsport design & heritage, examples being the Circuit II or EVO L, offering a premium & authentic racing design and finish quality. You can also buy an FIA approved seat for use with a professional setup, so for the crème de la crème of racing seats, check out the Racetech RT9119HRW, an ultra-premium handmade carbon kevlar seat weighing only 4.5kg - epic!
We know all our seats inside out, so we welcome any and all questions about them. We're here to help you choose the right seat for your setup.
If you are wanting the hands-down most realistic and authentic sim racing experience, and you've the budget to facilitate this, then we've got a treat for you: introducing the Qubic System QS-S25: the Ultimate 6DOF Racing Simulator
Pictured: Oculus Quest 2
Recommending a good virtual reality headset is quite difficult because it's often quite subjective. Different headsets have different FOV (field of view) and different resolution; one user may prefer a wider field of view, and the next, entirely the opposite. We think that virtual reality headsets are still an emerging technology, that are great for a short usage as they do offer unparalleled and remarkable immersion, however we think they can be unsuitable for solo use (i.e. as a full time replacement for a monitor) as they can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Furthermore, without motion compensating software, motion sickness can impact your experience. VR headsets will continue getting better and better, and become ever more affordable in the future, so they're only going to get better and better. Popular choices being the HP Reverb G2 and Oculus Quest 2.
Budget: Thrustmaster TH8A (pictured below, top) / Fanatec SQ 1.5
Premium: Frex GP Hshift+ 2018 (pictured below, bottom)
The Thrustmaster TH8A is by no means a new product, but it is a good shifter for the money. It features as both a manual H-pattern and sequential shifter: manual is 7 forward gears + reverse, and switching to sequential shifter is an simple process.
More expensive shifters such as the Frex GP Hshift+ of course improve materials, shift feel and durability substantially, but this is reserved mainly for the aficionados and manual enthusiasts who typically have large budgets to spend on peripherals; the majority of sim racers use the wheel-mounted shifter paddles or a sequential shifter, pure manual transmission cars are becoming ever rarer these days (in reality and sims.)
Entry Level: Thrustmaster T-LCM
Mid Level: Fanatec Clubsport Pedals V3
Premium: Asetek Invicta
When it comes to authentic driving, you MUST have a good set of pedals - in our opinion, anyone can learn the racing line and how to turn a steering wheel, however the very best drivers who get the most speed from the car master their inputs of the accelerator and brake pedal; that is, being earliest on the throttle and latest on the brakes. Therefore, a good set of pedals is a crucial part of any sim racing setup, and one that we place high emphasis on.
Our favourite pedals are the Asetek Invicta pedals which offer a truly authentic and realistic brake pedal feel like in a racing car. For those on a lower budget, Thrustmaster T-LCM and Fanatec Clubsport v3 pedals deserve a mention.
5) Over to you now...
So you have your Sim Racing Setup ready - well done! 🎉🥂🎉
You're now fully prepared to enter the world of sim racing!
Along the way you'll meet some great people, no doubt have successes and failures, but who knows - it could be you who wins the big championship prize!
Upshift will be here all the time to help with all your Sim Racing needs.
See you on the virtual track!
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