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Sim racing is a growing genre that can seem inaccessible. The high cost of gaming wheels, in particular, can be a tough pill for your wallet to swallow. Luckily, there are some affordable options out there, and we’ve assembled the top 3 ones to help you break into the adrenaline-pumping world of simulator games.
Hori Apex 4/Overdrive ($189-245)
The Hori Apex 4 (PS4/PS5, PC) and Overdrive (Xbox One, Series X/S) are no-frills gaming wheels that don’t compromise quality. Made from high-end materials, they’re comparable to the most expensive sim controllers. Their included pedalboard, while basic, can handle even the roughest of racing sessions.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet in sim racing and want a gaming wheel that’ll last, then these Hori offerings are the ideal starter purchase.
● High-end build quality ensures they’ll stand the test of time
● Basic feature set makes for an ideal entry point for beginner sim racers
● Stunning design that gives the feel of a premium sim controller
● Lack of force feedback means less immersion
● Turning rotation is only 270 degrees
● No clutch pedal means you’ll need to buy a separate accessory when you’re past the beginner stage
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider/488 GTB ($188)
Thrustmaster is known for making some of the best gaming wheels on the market. While the Ferrari 458 (Xbox One, Series X/S) and 488 (PS4/PS5, PC) feel less sturdy than the Hori wheels, they’re still solid, affordable options. Like most budget wheels, they’re on the basic side of the feature spectrum, with a 2-pedal board and minimum required buttons. Their Ferrari branding and overall design, however, make them absolute stunners.
Pick these up if you’re new to simulator racing games but want something with a bit more flair.
● No-frills feature set means this is a good option for beginner racing gamers
● Beautifully designed gaming wheel for the fans of high-end cars
● Solid mounting clamp that’ll keep the wheel secure to your desk
● Not the best build quality on this list
● No clutch pedal means you’ll need to hunt for an extra accessory when you step up your game
● Turn rotation is the worst on this list at 240 degrees
Thrustmaster T150/TMX Force Feedback ($388)
We’re stepping it up in price with this next Thrustmaster offering. At nearly $390, the T150 (PS4, PC) and TMX (Xbox One, PC) are not as budget as the rest of this list. However, they’re excellent beginner options with enough features to carry you over to the intermediate level. For an extra $20, you can pick up the Pro version that includes a clutch pedal.
If you’re a new sim racer who doesn’t want to buy a new controller when your skills have grown, then these are the gaming wheels for you.
● Turn rotation is 900 degrees, providing maximum control
● Stepping up to Pro edition is good value with the included clutch pedal
● Force feedback is solid and immersive
● Solid build quality made of steel and plastic
● Highest price on this list skirts the “affordable” line
● A bit lightweight, which may not suit rougher sim sessions
Which is the Best Affordable Gaming Wheel?
All three of the options on this list will serve you well as a budding sim racing enthusiast. Your choice will ultimately boil down to what you value the most in a gaming wheel. If you expect to be getting stuck into the hobby, then the T150/TMX Pro version will give you the best bang for your buck in the long term. If you’re not quite sure the genre is for you, or you just want to cruise through some chill sims casually, then either of the other options will give you less budget guilt.