Best budget racing setup 2023: Wheels, seats, monitors, and more

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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, such as F1 22, plus new titles, like Need For Speed Unbound, on their way.

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Thankfully, 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

Whether you're after a top racing wheel, like this Hori Overdrive, or for one of the best monitors for racing around in this BenQ Zowie, we've got you covered right here.

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

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Best budget racing setup wheel – Hori Overdrive

hori overdrive
Credit: Hori

We’ve featured the Hori Overdrive before in our list of the best wheels for FH5 and, when taking a look at some of its features, we feel it’s easy to see why.

It comes with a 270-degree turn radius and adjustable output options which means you should be able to tackle even the tightest of hairpins in F1, for example, with ease.

Moreover, Hori boasts the Overdrive is easily mountable with its secure and sturdy clamps which are designed to attach to your racing rig without any hassle.

It’s worth noting that this wheel is designed for Xbox so it will likely be a great option to consider, particularly if you’re a Forza fan.

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Best budget racing setup pedals - Thrustmaster T-3PM

Best budget racing setup - Thrustmaster T-3PM product image of a silver metal set of three pedals on a black base.
Credit: Thrustmaster

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.

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, this make sure you're checking out this Thrustmaster set.

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Best budget racing setup seat – Playseat Challenge

playseat challenge
Credit: Playseat

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, hence why we featured it in our list of the best racing seats for F1 as well.

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.

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.

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Best budget racing setup monitor - BenQ Zowie XL2411K

BenQ Zowie for Forza Horizon 5
Credit: BenQ

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 will likely be able to 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.

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.

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Best budget racing setup headset - Turtle Beach Recon 70

turtle beach recon 70x black and green headset
Credit: Turtle Beach

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.

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.

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Do I need surround sound for racing games?

If the primary reason you wear a headset is so you can listen to the game audio rather than through the TV then purchasing a headset with surround sound might help you become more immersed in the crowd and soundtrack from your favourite racing title.

However, surround sound isn't essential, particularly if you just need a headset so you can chat with your friends whilst playing online so, with that being said, the choice is really down to you.

Why do you need a racing seat for gaming?

Technically speaking, they're not absolutely necessary.

However, a good racing chair can help make titles such as FH5 feel more realistic and can also increase your comfort, especially if you use a wheel.

Unfortunately, they can take up quite a bit of room, however, a large majority of racing seats are foldable, making them easier to store when they're not in use.

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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.

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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.

Read More: Best sim racing pedals - Our top picks