If you’re looking to create the best budget racing setup possible, you’re in the right place. We'd argue there's never been a better time to upgrade your gaming configuration with the array of new racing games on the market right now, hence why we've compiled this list.
We've done some of the hard work for you by compiling 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 to complete your setup.
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. Before we get into that, though, let's dive into our list...
Best budget racing setup
1. Logitech G G29
Best budget racing wheel
The Logitech G 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.
Read More: Best sim racing shifters
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 G G29 is an impressive racing wheel that deserves serious consideration for anyone looking to upgrade their racing setup.
2. Thrustmaster T-3PM
Best budget racing pedals
If you're looking to give your setup an extra edge for less, then we'd suggest considering upgrading your pedals to the Thrustmaster T-3PM set.
They feature an impressive 200kg of pressure resistance and come with Thrustmaster's patented H.E.A.R.T system. H.E.A.R.T is said to offer 12-bit resolution precision that won't wear down over time.
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Moreover, you get four pressure modes on the central pedal to optimise braking according to your gaming setup. For instance, you can switch between desk, standing, or cockpit modes depending on what game you're playing.
These pedals are also said to be 20% heavier than their previous iteration, thus adding stability underfoot. Ultimately, if you're after some of the best sim racing pedals around for a budget-friendly price, this make sure you're checking out this Thrustmaster set.
3. Playseat Challenge
Best budget racing seat
The Playseat Challenge should offer racing game fans a solid budget seat to sit in and play some of the top racing titles on the market.
The chair is lined with Alcantara which, on a warm day, will likely be far nicer to sit on, particularly during a long session, compared to a leather seat.
Read More: Best racing seats
In terms of storage, the seat is fully foldable. So, when you’re done racing, you can put it away into a cupboard and save space for other racing essentials.
The foldable frame is made from steel and is powder-coated, designed to provide you with excellent structural support within the cockpit that aims to replicate a real racing car.
4. BenQ Zowie XL2411K
Best budget racing monitor
To capture the fast-paced action of racing games smoothly, you’ll need a monitor with a high refresh rate and low response time.
Thankfully, the BenQ Zowie XL2411K can provide this with its impressive 1ms response time and 144Hz screen but at just a fraction of the cost of some of the more premium monitor options.
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If you’re looking to play your racing games at a desk, then the 24” screen should be the perfect size for the close-up action and, at 1080p, the gameplay will likely be crisp and detailed.
Whether you plan on playing GT7 on PS5 in 120Hz, or you’re looking to play F1 in 144Hz on PC, then this BenQ display might be for you.
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.
Read More: Best headsets for racing
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.
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 exact same conditions in the same location in real life.
What is Alcantara?
Despite its appearance, Alcantara isn't suede. Alcantara is actually a synthetic textile developed in Japan in the 1970s, and is made by an Italian company of the same name.
A major advantage of Alcantara is its improved levels of grip over leather, which is why it is commonly applied to racing wheels.
In addition to being more durable and hard-wearing than suede, it is also easier to clean, which is why it is commonly used for car interiors such as racing chairs as well.