Even the best controllers can't emulate jamming the clutch or putting the pedal to the floor, but the best steering wheel for PC gaming can. They make all the difference when taking a spin around the track in games like Forza Motorsport 7. There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel like you're racing at dangerous speeds from the safety of your chair.
If a racing wheel seems like it might be difficult to squeeze into your gaming set-up, rest-assured that they don't take up much space. These peripherals might not be to everyone's taste, but leaning into those turns when you've got a white-knuckle grip on the wheel soon becomes second nature.
A good rule of thumb here—as with most things—is that you get what you pay for, and there are a large number of options available for all budget-types. Even the budget entries that we've included are still pretty decent, but if you're willing to spend a bit extra, you'll be rewarded with some nifty extras and high build-quality. I mean, are you really playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 if you don't have a plush leather racing wheel and a manual gear shift?
Whether you're at the helm of an F1 or a concept car, a good racing wheel can make the whole experience of playing driving games a lot more immersive. Take a look at our pick of the best steering wheels for PC below.
The best racing wheel for PC
Connection type: USB | Weight: 3kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 1080 degrees | Pedals included: Yes | Clutch pedal: No | Expandable: Yes
This is at the top of the list for a reason: its performance and features combine to create a bit of kit worthy of the serious racing game enthusiast, but without the excessive price. In track racers like F1 or Project CARS, you can really sense a car's grip because of the superb motorised feedback, and the speed of response to your inputs is quick and excellently executed. The high-quality force feedback is so good, too, that hitting a wall in-game feels like it’ll hurt your hands at some point. It’s precise, weighty and really shakes when the game demands it, making rally games feel so much more involving.
The only limitation the setup has as such is that the handbrake is mapped to a button you access with your thumb, making rally games fiddly. You can get a separate stick shift and use that as the handbrake with the paddles for changing gear, but that is not great at all. As the wheel is often upside-down or at unusual angles during races you’ll have to get creative on how to execute the handbrake function. Regardless, this is manageable and this is still the perfect setup for anyone looking to get serious about racing games. Both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of this wheel work with PC.
A higher quality of Thrustmaster
Connection type: USB | Weight: 9kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 900 degrees | Pedals included: Yes | Clutch pedal: Yes | Expandable: Yes
While this is similar to the T300 RS above, it’s still a worthy inclusion because the quality and control are just as excellent and you get slightly more for your slight more money spent. This bundle is more in both terms than its standard version counterpart but it also comes with two extra elements: a 3-pedal pedal set and a detachable leather wheel.
The leather wheel is excellent, and feels that little bit more cool and authentic by being leather. Downstairs, the pedal set is superb, with full-size, weighty pedals that feel really responsive and comfortable at your feet; their tuning is excellent as well and each tiny adjustment seems to be enact a change in accelerating or braking. As a bonus, its mount is still sturdy enough to hold it firmly to the desk—though a racing chair would probably get the best out of it. Here's a guide to our best gaming chairs.
A great, frequently discounted option
Connection type: USB | Weight: 8kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 900 degrees | Pedals included: Yes | Clutch pedal: Yes | Expandable: Yes
An excellent wheel from Logitech, the G29 replaces the incredibly popular G27 wheel that came before it. The unit is designed to be set up with PlayStation 4 console but it’s definitely a strong competitor and great bit of kit for a PC. A first big plus are the additional buttons that the system has namely a click wheel for adjusting brake balances, and positive/negative buttons for adjusting the traction control (though this is customisable and you can map it to anything you like).
This unit also has LEDs at the top of the wheel’s central column, which light up to tell you when you need to change gear (if supported by the game you’re playing), and the pedals are fantastically responsive; the brake pedal is non-linear, giving you a more realistic braking sensation than cheaper pedal sets. It’s a bit of a shame that the stick shifter is no longer built into the unit, but it isn’t that much more expensive—sometimes it's even the same price—to get it along with the wheel and pedal set. This is very much one of the best ways to get a full driving experience in your home PC setup.
A great budget option
Connection type: USB | Weight: c. 5.5kg | Force Feedback: Yes | Rumble: Yes | Maximum rotation angle: 900 degrees | Pedals included: Yes | Clutch pedal: No | Expandable: Yes
This is Thrustmaster’s entry level, but still force feedback capable, model that will let you get a good driving experience on a budget. That force feedback is still one of the main things that truly augments and completes a driving experience with a wheel, and the better systems with this tech are more pricey. But this model, albeit with a cut-down version of force feedback, still provides an impressive enough entry to the market. It (the force feedback) is not as strong as other models, but it does work, and if you’re on a tight budget, this product provides a true force feedback wheel with 900 degrees of rotation and a set of pedals for your money, which is pretty good value though the quality slightly lacks overall.
The noticeable cut backs do appear on both the wheel and the pedals, however: the steering wheel is nowhere near as deluxe-feeling as the higher-end units; and the pedals are a bit plasticky, offer little resistance, and are void of a clutch pedal. Something to bear in mind, if you ever fancy upgrading at a later date.