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Best Budget Racing Wheel 2024

Someone in black gloves holding on to a black racing wheel with blue, yellow, red, and green buttons on the centre console.
Credit: Thrustmaster

Adding the best budget racing wheel to your setup is a great way of increasing realism for less. However, selecting a racing wheel can be tricky, especially when the quality and features on offer with cheaper options aren't always obvious.

That's where our guide steps in. We've put together a selection of the best racing wheels on the budget, factoring in their price, user reviews, and standout features to ensure a comprehensive list of only the best in class.

Our focus primarily centres on wheels equipped with force feedback technology, enhancing the immersive experience of your home racing simulation. Yet, such technology is rare to find in this budget bracket, although we have included some of the best force feedback wheels here that fit the bill. However, we've included a few non-Force Feedback options too, catering to those seeking the most economical choices without compromising on quality.

Whether you're after realism or an inexpensive solution to your racing wheel needs, our list has every console and platform covered to complete your budget racing setup. Let's delve into the selections and rev up your racing experience.

Best budget racing wheels

  1. Logitech G G29 - best budget option overall
  2. Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition - a great choice for PS4
  3. Hori Racing Wheel Apex - a top pick for PS5
  4. Thrustmaster T128 X - an excellent Xbox alternative
  5. Thrustmaster TMX - great pick for PC
Logitech G G29 product image of a black and grey wheel with red and blue accents.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Logitech

1. Logitech G G29

Best budget racing wheel overall

Compatibility: PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC

The Logitech G G29 stands out among our budget-friendly racing wheels for its premium quality. It's a versatile choice, compatible with major consoles and PCs, and boasts Force Feedback technology.

Logitech takes pride in its dual-motor feedback system, offering an immersive simulation of real-life driving conditions. The helical gearing system ensures smooth and quiet steering, enhancing the overall experience. Its 900-degree lock-to-lock rotation then enables precise handling too, allowing for effortless navigation through even the widest corners.

Despite its lower price, Logitech hasn't compromised on materials. The wheel features anodised aluminium spokes, a steel steering shaft, and a hand-stitched leather cover, lending it a premium feel.

Overall, the Logitech G G29 is an impressive piece of equipment that deserves serious consideration for anyone looking to elevate their racing setup.

Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 product image of a black wheel with the Ferrari logo in the centre.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Thrustmaster

2. Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition

Best budget racing wheel for PS4

Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC

The Thrustmaster T80 Ferrari 488 GTB Edition stands tall as an incredible budget option. Amidst its inexpensive price tag, this wheel packs quite the punch with standout features that easily make it a frontrunner.

Its unique "Bungee Cord" mechanism is one highlight, delivering consistent and linear resistance across all your gaming moments, regardless of how far you turn the wheel. Sporting a 240-degree turning circle too, this system flawlessly re-centres itself after each twist, elevating precision and your grip on control.

On the console side, you get 11 action buttons along with a handy D-pad, making navigation through menus and tweaking in-game settings a breeze. Notable too is its metal-mounted sequential paddle shifters, ensuring lightning-fast and seamless gear changes.

Sized at 28cm in diameter, the wheel's textured rubber cladding significantly ups the ante on grip, particularly during those marathon gaming sessions. This, along with its other features, makes it a prime choice for your home setup, promising comfort and control during those adrenaline-pumping racing showdowns.

Hori Racing Wheel Apex product image of a black wheel with a red centre mark.
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Credit: Hori

3. Hori Racing Wheel Apex

Best budget racing wheel for PS5

Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC

The Hori Racing Wheel Apex is arguably one of the best wheels for PS5 on a budget thanks to its incredibly inexpensive price tag, and the fact it's officially licensed by Sony.

You get a 270-degree rotation here, with completely adjustable dead zones via the companion application. You can also set up four different profiles using the app. Therefore, you can switch between driving setups with ease depending on the game you're playing, thus avoiding having to manually adjust your settings every time.

The wheel also features paddle shifters, its own D-pad, and adjustable buttons which you can assign to some of your most-used in-game mechanics using the companion app.

With a full-size pedal set and a sturdy clamping system as well, we feel there's plenty to like about this Hori device. Make sure you check it out if it's a budget wheel you're after for your PS5, or check out the near-identical Hori Overdrive if you're after a wheel for Xbox instead and save yourself some cash to spend on some of the best racing game deals instead.

Thrustmaster T128 X product image of a black wheel and pedals with a red centre mark.
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Credit: Thrustmaster

4. Thrustmaster T128 X

Best budget racing wheel for Xbox

Compatibility: Xbox, PC

For Xbox, the Thrustmaster T128 X is an excellent pick as it is packed with some of Thrustmaster's most advanced technology to improve your home racing experience.

At the heart of its features is the revolutionary HYBRID DRIVE Force Feedback system. Boasting 20% more power compared to other Thrustmaster hybrid racing wheels, it ensures an immersive and realistic feel as you navigate through your favourite racing games.

But that's not all; the T128 X offers an impressive 900-degree rotation angle, providing unparalleled control and precision. Plus, with H.E.A.R.T technology integrated into the magnetic gear shifters and pedals, you can rest assured that their accuracy remains consistent over time, delivering a seamless gaming experience.

Ultimately, this Thrustmaster device stands out as one of the best wheels for the Xbox Series X and One consoles. Fear not though, there is also a PlayStation variation if you're interested in this wheel in particular. Find out more about the Thrustmaster T128 in our review.

Thrustmaster TMX product image of a black wheel with yellow, blue, green, and red buttons on the console.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Thrustmaster

5. Thrustmaster TMX

Best budget racing wheel for PC

Compatibility: Xbox, PC

As touched on in our summary of this wheel, the Thrustmaster TMX is another great inexpensive option from Thrustmaster to consider, suitable for some of your favourite PC-only titles like iRacing and Assetto Corsa.

One of its standout features is its 270 to 900-degree adjustable rotation for added control during wider turns. Plus, with Force Feedback, the wheel allows you to feel every detail while racing, including loss of grip, track relief, and impact.

Thrustmaster also boasts that the wheel's optical reading with a 12-bit resolution allows it to deliver excellent precision along the steering axis when you need it most.

Finally, the wheel features a rubber coating and two wheel-mounted shifters made of metal to ensure it can withstand the wear and tear of home racing over time. Overall, we'd say this Thrustmaster device is well worth checking out for your PC setup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are new to buying a racing wheel, you may have many questions. No need to worry though! We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you out.

How much should you spend on a budget racing wheel?

This all depends on your budget and how much you want to invest in your setup. However, it may be difficult to determine what exactly constitutes a "budget" device with so many options available.

In our opinion, a budget racing wheel generally costs no more than $250. If you're determined to purchase a budget option, it's best to stick to something below this price point. Fortunately, there are many excellent devices to choose from in this range that don't compromise on quality, as proven by our list.

So, it's worth doing a little digging as there's bound to be a great budget wheel out that suits your needs.

Do all budget racing wheels come with force feedback?

While direct drive and the best direct drive wheels may be out of the question, force feedback remains a viable option on a budget. It should be noted, though, that not all budget wheels come equipped with standard Force Feedback technology, especially the most inexpensive ones available.

Nevertheless, our list demonstrates that there are still numerous reasonably priced wheels that offer Force Feedback to enhance your gaming experience. It's important to double-check the specs of the wheel you're planning to purchase though, just to ensure it features Force Feedback technology if that's what you're after.

Do you need a separate stand or mounting system for a racing wheel?

Buying a dedicated stand or mount for your sim racing wheel depends on personal preference and the needs of your setup However, owning a stand or mount can offer several benefits, particularly when it comes to enhancing stability during intense gameplay or force feedback effects. Preventing excessive movement or vibration, a wheel stand contributes to a more immersive and realistic sim racing experience.

Moreover, a stand or mount allows you to adjust the wheel's position to a comfortable height and angle, reducing strain on your arms and wrists during long gaming sessions. Adjustable mounts provide flexibility in customising the positioning according to your preferences.

Nevertheless, it's important to consider that purchasing a wheel stand or mount incurs additional costs and requires quite a bit of space. Consequently, you may want to mount your wheel directly to a desk or even create your own custom mount instead of buying a pre-made one.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to buy a stand or mount depends on your specific preferences, budget, and the level of immersion and stability you prioritise in your sim racing setup.

Are pedals and a shifter needed to complete a sim racing setup?

Pedals and a shifter are not strictly required to complete a sim racing setup, but they can greatly enhance the realism and immersion of the experience depending on the game you're playing.

Pedals are perhaps the more essential component of the two as they provide realistic control over the accelerator, brake, and clutch (if equipped). High-quality pedals often offer features like adjustable pedal resistance, load cell technology for more precise braking, and a more immersive feel. While you can technically use a controller keyboard, or buttons on your wheel for throttle and brake inputs, a dedicated pedal set is highly recommended for a more authentic driving experience.

A shifter adds an extra layer of realism for certain gaming titles as they allow you to manually shift gears, simulating the experience of driving a real manual transmission vehicle. While many modern racing cars use paddle shifters on the steering wheel, some sim racing enthusiasts prefer the tactile feel of a physical shifter. Shifter setups are especially popular among fans of racing simulators that focus on vintage or classic cars, as well as certain genres of rally racing games.

So, while pedals and a shifter are not mandatory to start sim racing, they significantly enhance the overall experience and immersion. The choice to invest in pedals and a shifter depends on your preferences, the type of racing you enjoy, and your desire for a more realistic driving experience.

Can a racing wheel be used with a VR headset?

Yes, a racing wheel can be used with a top VR headset to enhance the immersive experience.

In virtual reality, driving in-game will feel far closer to real life with a racing wheel in your hand, especially compared to a controller. In fact, a controller can be quite tricky to use as you can't see what you're doing, whereas using a wheel has a familiarity to it as many of us drive a car every week already.

Ideally, you'll want to pair a VR headset with a wheel that features some sort of haptic feedback to simulate the feeling of the road surface, bumps, and other driving sensations. Without this, you won't quite get that same level of realism while wearing a VR headset.

Just keep in mind that not all racing wheels and VR headsets are compatible with all racing games and consoles. It's therefore essential to check the compatibility of your specific racing wheel and VR headset with the games you want to play. For more information, check out our guide on the best VR headsets for racing games.

Are racing wheels adjustable?

Racing wheels usually come with several adjustable settings to personalise things to your preferences. For example, you can sometimes alter steering sensitivity, determining how much your in-game wheel responds to your physical movements on the racing wheel. Certain wheels provide the option to modify the virtual steering wheel's rotation angle too, influencing the degree of physical wheel turn required for a complete full turn in-game.

Models equipped with feedback settings typically allow for adjustments in feedback effects such as vibration, resistance, and movement intensity. These settings are usually adjustable, allowing you to create a more authentic and immersive experience to your specifications.

Adding to this, most racing wheels come with buttons and controls that can be customised to align with your preferences or mirror the controls of the game you're playing. However, the range of adjustability may vary among different models, so make sure you double-check what can be adjusted with the wheel you're eyeing before you buy.

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