Best Sim Racing Handbrakes 2024

Close-up of someone using a silver and black handbrake featuring a red detail next to a shifter and black racing wheel.
Credit: Thrustmaster

Close-up of someone using a silver and black handbrake featuring a red detail next to a shifter and black racing wheel.
Credit: Thrustmaster

In the fast-paced world of sim racing, every detail matters. The realistic screech of tires and the thrill of executing a flawless drift highlight the importance of authenticity in mimicking the excitement of actual motorsports. To achieve this level of realism, investing in one of the best sim racing handbrakes is essential.

A handbrake is crucial for mastering control over a vehicle’s rear wheels, enabling you to ace tight hairpin turns in rally racing or pull off smooth drifts on virtual circuits. Owning one can enhance the realism and precision of your driving experience, offering a level of finesse that even top-tier racing wheels with advanced force feedback can't match alone.

To help you find the ideal upgrade in this field, we've put together a list of the best sim racing handbrakes, considering design, price, performance, and user reviews to make our picks. From midrange options like the MOZA HBP to budget-friendly choices like the aikeec 64-Bit Handbrake , our list has you covered.

Best sim racing handbrakes

  1. Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 - an overall great choice for your setup
  2. aikeec 64-Bit USB PC Handbrake - a top budget pick
  3. MOZA HBP - an excellent mid-range alternative
  4. Heusinkveld Handbrake 2 - a standout premium contender
  5. Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+ - a handbrake and shifter in one
Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 product image of a black metal handbrake featuring a silver handle shaft.
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Credit: Fanatec

1. Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5

Best sim racing handbrake overall

Brand: Fanatec
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Let's kick off by introducing what we consider to be one of the most versatile handbrakes currently available on the market - the Fanatec ClubSport V1.5. This handbrake stands out for its exceptional compatibility across various platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the V1.5 features a durable stainless steel lever that not only offers adjustability, but also delivers consistently reliable and precise tactile feedback. The potentiometer and connector have been enhanced to further improve input accuracy, seamlessly integrating with Fanatec's wheel bases via a dedicated adaptor.

What's more, it features a performance-oriented design. Unlike conventional binary on/off sensors, the analog sensors operate along an axis, allowing users to finely adjust the degree of engagement, mirroring the subtle nuances of real car handling.

Furthermore, the V1.5 offers versatile mounting options, ensuring ergonomic placement tailored to individual preferences. Whether you prefer it on the left or right side, or securely clamped to a table using the ClubSport Shifter Table Clamp, this device adapts effortlessly to a variety of setups.

Reasons to buy:

  • Compatible with all major platforms
  • Extremely durable and adjustable

Read More: Best deals on sim racing equipment

aikeec 64-Bit USB PC Handbrake product image of a black wired handbrake featuring a red detail.
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Credit: aikeec

2. aikeec 64-Bit USB PC Handbrake

Best budget sim racing handbrake

Brand: aikeec
Compatibility: PC

If you're looking to build out a budget racing setup though, then something like this relatively inexpensive aikeec 64-Bit USB Handbrake may be a better option for you.

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.

It's constructed from a combination of lightweight CNC machined aluminum 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.

Reasons to buy:

  • A very good but cheap option
  • Hall Sensors provide a great, realistic feel when applying the brake

Read More: Best deals on racing games

MOZA HBP product image of an all-black upright handbrake.
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Credit: MOZA

3. MOZA HBP

Best mid-range sim racing handbrake

Brand: MOZA
Compatibility: PC

Next in line is the MOZA HBP, a mid-range to premium option tailored for sim racers or enthusiasts looking to elevate their experience with a slightly higher investment.

Crafted with precision, the MOZA HBP boasts top-tier construction featuring aviation-grade CNC machined aluminum with a sleek anodized finish. This choice of material not only ensures durability but also guards against wear and tear, promising enduring performance. Elevating its precision further, a 16-bit high-precision angle sensor is integrated, enhancing accuracy in your simulated racing endeavors.

Adding to this is its exceptional adaptability. It offers versatile mounting options, allowing you to position the lever both horizontally and vertically, mimicking the feel of driving various vehicle types, whether on the road or track. Additionally, you can fine-tune the stop position to suit your preferences and adjust the rebound strength and brake travel by seamlessly replacing the springs.

The MOZA HBP seamlessly integrates into any PC sim racing setup, effortlessly connecting to your PC or wheel base. Its flexible mounting options extend to the choice of attaching it to either side, providing added convenience. Furthermore, its ability to be securely clamped to a table offers versatility and stability, making it a stellar and high-performance addition to your sim racing arsenal.

Reasons to buy:

  • Not expensive, but not that cheap either
  • 16-bit sensors improve its accuracy

Read More: Best budget racing wheels

Heusinkveld Handbrake 2 product image of a silver metal and black sim handbrake.
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Credit: Heusinkveld

4. Heusinkveld Handbrake 2

Best premium sim racing handbrake

Brand: Heusinkveld
Compatibility: PC

When it comes to high-end sim racing equipment, the Heusinkveld Handbrake 2 stands at the pinnacle of quality and performance.

Designed using cutting-edge CAD and FEA technology, this handbrake boasts structural components crafted from precision laser-cut CNC steel. Its robust construction is further enhanced by a bead-blasted or fine-structured powder coat finish, and it features preload springs that simulate the movement of a real-life handbrake cable for improved immersion.

Alongside its build, it features Heusinkveld’s SmartControl software, which allows you to calibrate it with ease, adjust its dead zones, and create custom profiles to suit different racing scenarios.

With its 120kg load cell, capable of handling 22kg of force, too, this handbrake truly is a powerhouse that can accurately recreate the feeling of racing in real life from the comfort of your own home.

Reasons to buy:

  • Top-end excellence, made from premium materials
  • Heusinkveld’s SmartControl software allows you to adjust it to your preference

Read More: Best sim racing pedals

Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+ product image silver, black, and red sequential shifter and handbrake.
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Credit: Thrustmaster

5. Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+

Best sim racing handbrake and shifter

Brand: Thrustmaster
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Wrapping up our lineup with a unique twist, we present the Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod+. This gem has graced our list of the best sim racing shifters before, thanks to its dual functionality as both a handbrake and a shifter.

Whether you're craving the seamless shifts of a sequential gearbox or the thrilling control of a handbrake in rally or GT mode, this device has you covered. Its adaptability not only saves precious space but also trims down your setup costs - a win-win for any enthusiast.

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Crafted with premium materials, boasting a robust 90% steel and aluminum construction, this device is built to withstand the rigors of intense gaming sessions. And with Thrustmaster’s HallEffect AccuRate Technology (H.E.A.R.T) under the hood, durability is a given - no sluggish tact switches or potentiometers here to slow you down.

In essence, the Handbrake Sparco Mod+ is the ultimate all-in-one solution for your sim rig. If you're in the market for seamless integration of a shifter and handbrake, your search ends here.

Reasons to buy:

  • Has two functions in one device
  • Thrustmaster's integrated H.E.A.R.T system improves its longevity

Read More: Best racing seats

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 in search of a sim racing handbrake, there are certain features you need to prioritize to ensure an immersive and lifelike racing experience.

First and foremost, emphasize build quality. Opt for a handbrake that boasts a robust and durable construction, capable of withstanding frequent use while maintaining a solid and reliable feel, especially during intense gaming sessions.

Compatibility is another key consideration. Verify that the handbrake you are eyeing is compatible with your specific setup. This includes ensuring compatibility with your gaming platform, be it PC or console, and confirming support for the games you intend to play.

Additionally, look into adjustability and mounting options. A high-quality handbrake should offer versatility in setup, allowing for both horizontal and vertical orientations. It should also provide options for clamping on both sides and potentially feature adjustable resistance to cater to individual preferences.

Lastly, weigh the choice between analog and digital functionality. Analog handbrakes generally deliver a more realistic and nuanced experience, offering variable input, while digital counterparts provide a straightforward on/off functionality. Base your decision on personal preference and the nature of the games you play.

Keep in mind that selecting a handbrake tailored to your specific sim racing setup and personal preferences is crucial. By considering these features, you can identify the perfect handbrake to elevate and enrich your overall 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 customization options, making them highly suitable to pair with an amazing direct drive wheel.

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 recognized 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.

Do sim racing handbrakes require maintenance?

Sim racing handbrakes generally require minimal maintenance, but it's still advisable to perform occasional checks and basic upkeep to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Regularly cleaning the handbrake to remove dust, dirt, or debris that might accumulate over time definitely can't hurt. To do so, use a soft cloth or compressed air to clean between the components gently.

Some handbrakes might benefit from occasional lubrication too, especially if they have moving parts. Check the manufacturer's guidelines for recommendations on lubricants and how often it's necessary.

Adding to this, it's important to ensure that the handbrake's settings and calibration remain correct. Check for any looseness or stiffness in the mechanism and adjust accordingly, providing you know what you're doing - you don't want to alter anything and make things worse.

Similarly, you might want to periodically check the connections, cables, or wiring to make sure they're secure and not frayed or damaged. And, if your handbrake connects to software or drivers on your computer or gaming console, ensure that these are up-to-date to prevent any compatibility issues or performance glitches.

All that being said, maintenance needs may vary depending on the specific make and model of the handbrake, so make sure you look into the specific maintenance requirements for your handbrake to make sure you maintain it correctly.

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