If you’re looking to create the best budget racing setup possible, you’re in the right place. With an array of new racing games on the market right now, there's arguably no better time to upgrade either.
Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you by compiling a list of our top picks based on features, price, and reviews, to kick off your search for the best racing equipment, from racing wheels to pedals, in the greatest way possible. We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding sim racing technology to help you figure out what exactly it is you need to take your setup to the next level.
Of course, any of the gear we're about to mention gets even better if it's on sale (check out our list of the best sim racing deals to find out). But even if you have to pay full price on any of these items, you'll still end up saving a huge chunk of change compared to buying any of their more expensive rivals. With that in mind, let's save you some money...
Best budget sim racing equipment
- Logitech G29 - best budget wheel
- Thrustmaster T-3PM - best budget pedals
- Playseat Challenge - best budget racing seat
- BenQ Zowie XL2411K - best budget gaming monitor
- Turtle Beach Recon 70 - best budget headset
1. Logitech G29
Best budget racing wheel
The Logitech G29 stands out as a top choice among our selection of budget racing wheels, offering premium features at a relatively inexpensive price. Its compatibility spans across all major consoles and PCs, making it a versatile option for racing games.
The key highlight of the G29 is its force feedback technology, powered by a dual-motor feedback system. This advanced system provides a highly realistic simulation of real-life driving conditions, allowing you to feel the nuances of the car as you race. The helical gearing system then ensures smooth and quiet steering, enhancing the overall immersive experience.
With a lock-to-lock rotation as well, providing a 900-degree radius, you can effortlessly navigate through the widest corners during your races, offering enhanced control and precision.
Despite its lower price, Logitech has not compromised on build quality either. The wheel boasts premium materials, including anodised aluminium for the spokes, steel for the steering shaft, and a hand-stitched leather cover, ensuring durability and a comfortable grip. All in all, the Logitech G29 is an impressive racing wheel that deserves serious consideration for anyone looking to upgrade their racing setup.
- Read More: Best deals on racing games
2. Thrustmaster T-3PM
Best budget racing pedals
For an enhanced racing experience without breaking the bank, look no further than the Thrustmaster T-3PM pedal set.
Engineered for durability, these pedals can withstand pressures of up to 200kg, ensuring longevity and reliability. With Thrustmaster's advanced H.E.A.R.T system, precision is guaranteed too thanks to a 12-bit resolution that maintains consistency over time.
What sets these pedals apart is their adaptability. The central pedal offers four pressure modes, allowing for fine-tuning to accommodate various gaming setups, whether you're at a desk, standing, or in a dedicated cockpit. Additionally, this updated version of the pedals is 20% heavier, providing a stable and robust feel under your feet.
If you're seeking top-tier simulation racing pedals at an affordable price, the Thrustmaster set is a must-have for an immersive and personalised gaming experience.
- Read More: Best force feedback racing wheels
3. Playseat Challenge
Best budget racing seat
The Playseat Challenge is the perfect solution for racing game enthusiasts who crave both quality and affordability in their gaming setup.
Featuring luxurious Alcantara lining, this chair ensures a comfortable experience, even during marathon gaming sessions. Its premium material provides a more enjoyable feel than traditional leather, particularly on warmer days. Plus, its foldable design makes storage a breeze, effortlessly tucking away into a cupboard when not in use, leaving ample space for other racing essentials.
Crafted with a robust, powder-coated steel frame, this seat provides exceptional structural integrity within its cockpit, faithfully recreating the sensation of being behind the wheel of a real racing car. With the Playseat Challenge, you have everything you need to bring the thrill of racing home.
- Read More: Best racing seats
4. BenQ Zowie XL2411K
Best budget racing monitor
For seamless immersion in the fast-paced world of racing games, a top-tier gaming monitor is essential. The BenQ Zowie XL2411K stands out in this field, boasting a remarkable 1ms response time and a 144Hz screen, delivering fluid gameplay without breaking the bank. Its inexpensive cost compared to pricier options makes it a standout choice.
At 24 inches, the screen size hits the sweet spot for desk-bound gaming, offering an optimal view of the adrenaline-pumping action. Coupled with its 1080p resolution, expect sharp and detailed gameplay that brings out the best in titles like Gran Turismo on PS5, taking full advantage of the 120Hz capability, or the high-speed thrills of F1 in 144Hz on PC.
So, with its exceptional performance specs and wallet-friendly price tag, it stands tall as an impressive contender among the array of best 144Hz budget gaming monitors available today.
- Read More: Best monitors for racing games
5. Turtle Beach Recon 70
Best budget racing headset
While racing games may not be so much about listening to every tiny footstep like FPS games are, you’ll likely still want a headset that delivers exceptional sound quality if, for example, you play late at night and want to make as little noise as possible.
With that being said, a budget headset like this Turtle Beach Recon 70 might be your answer. They come with 40mm speakers meaning you should hear every engine noise and gear change in exceptional quality which is why they make our list as one of the best budget headsets for your ultimate racing setup.
- Read More: Best headsets for racing
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When it comes to finding the right budget accessories for your racing setup, there are usually a few questions that pop up but don't worry, we're here to answer some of the more common queries.
Is surround sound necessary for racing games?
Surround sound can greatly enhance the immersive experience in racing games, but it is not necessarily a requirement. Whether surround sound is necessary or not depends on personal preference and the gaming setup you have.
Racing games often benefit from a good audio system as it can provide a more realistic and engaging experience. Surround sound can help in creating a sense of direction and spatial awareness, allowing you to hear the position and movement of other cars, the engine sounds, and environmental effects more accurately. This can give you a competitive advantage by helping you anticipate and react to in-game events.
However, it's important to note that you can still enjoy racing games without surround sound. Many gamers play racing games with stereo or even basic TV speakers and still have a great experience. The gameplay, graphics, and overall design of the game are often more critical factors in determining the enjoyment of racing games.
If you are considering investing in a surround sound system, it's worth noting that it can provide an immersive experience not only for racing games but also for movies, music, and other types of games. It can enhance the overall audio quality and make your gaming experience more enjoyable. Ultimately, the decision to invest in a surround sound system for racing games depends on your budget, preferences, and how much importance you place on audio immersion.
Do you need a racing seat for racing games?
Having a racing seat for racing games is not a necessity, but it can enhance your gaming experience, especially if you're a serious racing enthusiast. A racing seat provides a dedicated and immersive setup that simulates the feel of being in a real race car. It typically includes a comfortable seat, a steering wheel mount, pedal mounts, and sometimes even gear shift mounts.
However, it's worth noting that a racing seat can be a significant investment, both in terms of cost and space requirements. If you're a casual gamer or have a limited budget and space constraints, a regular chair or even a comfortable couch can still provide an enjoyable racing experience. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences, budget, and level of dedication to racing games.
What does force feedback mean for racing wheels?
Force feedback refers to a simulation technique used in racing wheels to provide you with an as realistic feeling as possible of the road in the game. In other words, force feedback tries to replicate what the driver would feel if he were to race under the same conditions in the same location in real life.
There is a step up though - direct drive. Unlike traditional setups that rely on belts or gears in tandem with the motor to replicate resistance, direct drive technology eliminates these intermediary components. This means the wheel connects directly to the feedback motor, offering users a more immediate and immersive experience of resistance without the additional layers between the wheel, motor, and the user. Check out our list of the best direct drive racing wheels if you want to explore some excellent options here.