In the exhilarating world of sim racing, every detail matters. From the screeching of tyres to the adrenaline-inducing rush of executing a perfectly timed drift, authenticity and immersion are key to replicating the thrill of real-world motorsports. But to truly achieve this level of realism, investing in the best sim racing handbrake is, in our opinion, a must.
A handbrake is an essential tool for providing precise control over the vehicle's rear wheels. Whether you're conquering hairpin turns on a rally stage or initiating a stylish drift on a virtual track, a reliable handbrake adds an extra layer of authenticity and skill to your virtual driving experience beyond what's possible by simply owning one of the best racing wheels.
Therefore, we've decided to put together a list of what we believe to be the best handbrakes available right now based on their designs, price, performance, and user reviews, so you can seek out and purchase a top bit of kit to add to your sim setup.
From premium options, like this Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake, to inexpensive alternatives, like the Aikeec 64-Bit Handbrake, we've got everything you need to kick off your handbrake search in the best way possible.
So buckle up and get ready to explore the world of sim racing handbrakes, where precision and control reign supreme, and discover your next sim racing purchase right here.
Best sim racing handbrake
- Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5
- Aikeec 64-Bit USB PC Handbrake
- MOZA HBP
- Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake
- Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+
1. Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5
Best overall sim racing handbrake
We're kicking things off with what we believe to be one of the most well-rounded handbrakes on the market in this Fanatec ClubSport V1.5. We say it's well-rounded because it offers compatibility like no other, working on both PlayStation and Xbox as well as PC.
In terms of its build, the V1. 5 features a sturdy, adjustable stainless steel lever, providing a reliable and precise feel, plus a potentiometer and connector that have undergone refinements to maximise input accuracy. Additionally, the handbrake features an adaptor that can directly link to a ClubSport wheel base.
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Performance-wise, the handbrake features analogue sensors operating on an axis rather than sensors that simply deliver an on/off experience. This means you can tailor how "on" you want the handbrake to be, just like in a real car.
It's also worth mentioning it comes with several mounting options, allowing you to place it on whichever side feels comfortable, plus you can even mount it to a table using a ClubSport Shifter Table Clamp. Ultimately, it's a top-tier device that can seriously upgrade any racing setup.
2. Aikeec 64-Bit USB PC Handbrake
Best budget sim racing handbrake
It has everything you need if you're a beginner in the world of sim racing. For example, the handbrake incorporates an automatic calibration system, ensuring optimal performance and convenience upon setup. It also features a 64-Bit On-Contact Hall Sensor to significantly improve the brake feel in racing games, making the driving experience more immersive and true to life.
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It's constructed from a combination of lightweight CNC machined aluminium and mild steel, ensuring both durability and precision during use. This should also enhance its longevity, ensuring precise control for years to come.
So, if it's a budget-friendly handbrake you're after, then make sure you consider this Aikeec bit of kit for your setup.
3. MOZA HBP
Best mid-range sim racing handbrake
Next up we have the slightly more expensive MOZA HBP, which we feel makes for a great mid-range option to consider for those slightly more experienced sim racers or those willing to invest a little more.
It features a high-end build, with its body CNC machined using aviation-grade aluminium with an anodised finish. This makes it wear-resistant, sturdy, and durable for long-lasting performance alongside its 16-bit high precision angle sensor.
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This handbrake is also highly adjustable. The lever can be mounted horizontally or vertically to mimic the experience of driving both road and race cars, you can change the stop position according to personal needs, and you can adjust the rebound strength and brake travel by replacing its springs.
It really is an excellent choice for any PC sim setup. It offers a direct connection to your PC or wheel base, and it's mountable on both sides, which includes the option of a table clamp. Truly a standout bit of kit.
4. Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake
Best premium sim racing handbrake
As far as top-tier, premium sim racing equipment goes, they don't get much better than this Heusinkveld Sim Handbrake.
Designed using CAD and FEA, the structural components are crafted from CNC precision laser-cut steel, featuring a bead-blasted or fine-structured powder coat finish, resulting in a robust, rigid, and long-lasting device.
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It also comes with some powerful software tools that allow you to instantly map (non-linear) output curves, dead zones and handbrake force. Furthermore, with Heusinkveld SmartControl Live, you can fine-tune your settings according to your preferences while you're driving, allowing you to switch between profiles tailored for different cars, all without having to leave your game.
It also features plenty of mounting options, including one with an optional adapter plate that makes it easy to adjust the yaw, resulting in a very well-rounded premium device.
5. Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+
Best sim racing handbrake and shifter
We're rounding things off with something a little different. This Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+ has featured before in our list of the best sim racing shifters as it is a handbrake and shifter combined.
You can set it as a sequential shifter or as a handbrake in either its Rally mode (lever in vertical position) or GT mode (lever in horizontal position). This makes it incredibly versatile and great if you're looking to save space and reduce the overall cost of your setup.
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It features a pretty stellar build as well. 90% of the device is made from either steel or aluminium and it contains Thrustmaster’s HallEffect AccuRate Technology (H.E.A.R.T), which is built to last as there are no tact switches or potentiometers to slow it down.
Overall, this Handbrake Sparco Mod+ is a great versatile pick for any sim setup. So, if you're looking to combine both a shifter and handbrake into one, this is your answer.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Buying a sim racing handbrake can often lead to a ton of questions. Don't worry though as we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions to help you out.
What features should you look for from a sim racing handbrake?
When looking for a sim racing handbrake, there are several features you should consider to ensure an immersive and realistic racing experience.
Firstly, build quality is important. Look for a handbrake with a sturdy and durable construction. It should be able to withstand repeated use and provide a solid feel, even after intense action.
Compatibility is also vital. Ensure that the handbrake you're looking to buy will work with your sim racing setup. It should be compatible with your gaming platform (PC, console, etc.) as well as the games you're looking to play.
You may also want to consider adjustability and mounting options. A good handbrake will allow for both horizontal and vertical setup, options to clamp it on both sides, and potentially even feature the ability to adjust its resistance.
Finally, consider whether you want an analogue or digital device. Analogue handbrakes provide a more realistic and variable feel, while digital handbrakes offer on/off functionality. Choose based on your personal preference and the games you play.
With this in mind, always remember to choose a handbrake that suits your specific sim racing setup and personal preferences. Consider these features to find the right handbrake that enhances your racing experience.
How much should you spend on a sim racing handbrake?
The amount you should spend on a sim racing handbrake can vary depending on your budget, preferences, and specific needs. Sim racing handbrakes are available in a wide price range, so there's likely a handbrake out there that'll align with how much you're looking to spend
Low-cost to mid-range options can cost anywhere between $50-$100 and typically provide basic functionality, making them a particularly good starting point for beginners. That said, handbrakes in this price range may not offer the same level of precision or durability as higher-end options. However, they can still enhance your sim racing experience.
If you're looking for a higher-quality handbrake with a more realistic feel and improved performance, you may need to invest more. Handbrakes over $100 tend to offer better build quality, improved materials, and more precise control. They may also come with additional features like adjustable tension or customisation options.
Ultimately, though, the amount you spend on a sim racing handbrake comes down to your level of commitment to sim racing and your available budget. Just make sure you consider your needs, the importance of realism and precision to you, and balance it with your available resources. It's also worth reading reviews and seeking recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
Are sim racing handbrakes compatible with all racing games?
Sim racing handbrakes are not universally compatible with all racing games. While many popular sim racing titles support handbrake inputs, it ultimately depends on the game and peripheral support.
Typically, sim racing handbrakes are more likely to be supported in games that feature rally racing, drifting, or other disciplines where a handbrake is a critical component. Some sim racing games and simulators explicitly include options to map handbrake inputs, making it easier for players to use external peripherals like handbrakes.
However, not all racing games include this feature, especially those focused solely on traditional circuit racing or where handbrake use is not significant. In such cases, a handbrake may not be recognised by the game, or players might need to use workarounds or third-party software to map the handbrake's inputs to other functions.
Therefore, before purchasing a sim racing handbrake, make sure you check its compatibility with the specific games you plan to play. Manufacturers often provide a list of supported games on their product pages or official websites. Additionally, some sim racing communities or forums might have information about which games work well with certain handbrakes.