Tips, Tricks & Trends

Should You Get a Racing Simulator for Your Brand-New Sony PS5?

If you’re a fan of racing video games and have somehow managed to snag a brand-new Sony PS5, a racing simulator has at least crossed your mind. Given how powerful Sony’s new gaming console has become, a sim racing rig may be the best way to get the most out of your video games. Today we’ll be looking at how to get started with sim racing, how much does a simulator cost, and what games you will be able to play.

How do I get started with a racing simulator?

An image of someone playing a racing game with a simulator.
Racing Simulator | DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images

Getting started with sim racing, in general, is quite a daunting task. This is mainly because a racing simulator is made up of multiple parts, some of which are not sold together. In terms of the racing simulator, your most important parts are your steering wheel and subsequent wheelbase. When looking at entry-level racing simulators, chances are they will come as a bundle along with your pedals. The main things to focus on are the wheelbase’s reliability, the steering wheel’s size, and the potency of the force feedback. According to Auto Guide, most entry-level sim racing wheels are belt-driven, and depending on their strength, will be able to provide varying levels of feedback. This is crucial for feeling exactly what your car is doing on the track.

Most basic pedal setups will be made of plastic and feature a brake and gas pedal. Keep in mind that some are available with a third clutch pedal. If you purchase an additional shifter to mount on your rig, you can drive some manual transmission cars as well. In this regard, you’ll want to look for the sturdiest pedals possible. This is because you will likely apply significant amounts of force to them.

Lastly, you’re going to need a racing chair. While it may be tempting to save by skimping on your chair, you shouldn’t. This is because your entire setup is mounted to your chair and a subsequent frame. So if you get a cheap chair, chances are you’ll experience plenty of unwanted flex while trying to drive. Thankfully, some wheelbase’s offer desk clamps, eliminating the need for a dedicated chair.

How much does an entry-level racing simulator cost?

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If this is your first racing simulator, you’re best off buying a wheel and pedal bundle. As far as entry-level racing wheels go, you’ve got two main options. The first is the Logitech G29 for $399 (currently on sale for $299). With this wheel, you get 900 degrees of rotation, shift lights, and three pedals. The second is the Thrustmaster T300 RS GT for $399. Like the Logitech, you get three pedals, but you get 1080 degrees of rotation and a larger wheel. Regardless of which you go for, both are excellent entry-level options and are compatible with both your PS5 and a PC.

Next up is your racing cockpit. In this area, you’ll likely spend between $200 to $500. Unlike the wheels, you’ll need to find a chair that best fits your body type. No one wants to race when they’re feeling uncomfortable. A great entry-level option is the Playseat Evolution for around $300. Aside from having a sturdy metal frame, the Evolution has the added benefit of folding for easy storage. This way, your racing simulator won’t always be in the way.

All in, expect to pay anywhere between $600-$800 for a brand-new sim racing setup. However, it is important to note that you can significantly cut costs by buying used. If you’ve got a solid desk, you can significantly reduce cost by skipping the chair entirely.

What games are available?

An image of someone playing a racing game with a simulator.
Sebastian Vettel In A Racing Simulator | PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Despite being a brand-new console, there are already a few racing video games you can play on your Sony PS5. The top available games are F1 2020, Dirt 5, WRC 9, and Grand Turismo Sport. However, a brand-new Gran Turismo 7 game is right around the corner. Given the variety of games available, your racing simulator isn’t even tied down to a particular driving style or racing series. Regardless of which game you choose to start your sim racing career, you’ll have the most fun with a racing simulator.