Best Sim Racing Cockpits of 2023
- Top Pick – Next Level Racing GTTrack
- Runner-Up – Next Level Racing F-GT
- Budget Pick – Playseat Evolution
- Luxury Pick – Fanatec RennSport Cockpit V2
- For Tall Pilots – Extreme Simracing Virtual Experience V3.0
Breakdown of the Best Sim Racing Cockpits
Based on our extensive research, here are the best racing cockpits:
Designed with close feedback from professional drivers and some of the world's fastest eSports drivers, the GTTrack delivers the utmost in comfort, performance, and versatility.
The Next Level Racing GTTrack is the ultimate cockpit for serious sim racing. Designed with close feedback from professional drivers and some of the world’s fastest eSports drivers, the GTTrack delivers the utmost in comfort, performance, and versatility.
The cockpit is constructed from carbon steel that give it a sturdy feel. It doesn’t wobble or shift during intense racing sessions, even when using powerful force feedback wheels. This firmness enhances the realistic feel of your games and helps immerse you in the racing experience. The seat is modeled after a real racing car seat, offering excellent support and comfort. It is highly adjustable, allowing you to personalize your setup to your exact preferences. This ensures that every driver, regardless of their size or preferred driving style, can find a setup that suits them.
GTTrack is compatible, it is designed to work with all major wheel and pedal setups, as well as Next Level Racing’s motion platform. This broad compatibility makes it a great choice if you plan to upgrade or change your racing hardware in the future. There are pre-drilled mounting points for direct drive wheels, motion platforms, and other equipment, making it easy to add and remove hardware as needed. Next Level Racing GTTrack is a top-tier racing cockpit that offers a blend of stability, adjustability, compatibility, and comfort.
Its unique design allows users to be in true racing positions, giving them an authentic and immersive racing experience.
The Next Level Racing F-GT racing simulator cockpit is a revolutionary product designed for both formula and GT racing enthusiasts. Its unique design allows users to be in true racing positions, giving them an authentic and immersive racing experience. It maintains many of the high-end features that the GTTrack comes with at a more appealing price point.
It can accommodate a wide range of wheels, pedals, and shifters from various brands. This means that as you upgrade your hardware over time, the F-GT can adapt to your evolving setup. The F-GT’s adjustability is another key feature. You can easily change the position of your wheel, pedals, and gear shifter to suit your preference, ensuring maximum comfort during your racing sessions.
Constructed from robust materials, the F-GT offers a solid and rigid cockpit. This translates into enhanced stability during gameplay, providing you with a realistic driving experience. Despite its sturdy build, the F-GT is easy to assemble and adjust, making it a user-friendly option for all types of gamers.
Designed to replicate the dynamic of being in a real racing car, it provides ultimate comfort and style to enhance your gameplay.
The Playseat Evolution Pro is a high-quality sim-racing seat that offers an immersive gaming and racing experience. Designed to replicate the dynamic of being in a real racing car, it provides ultimate comfort and style to enhance your gameplay.
One of the standout features of the Playseat Evolution is its compatibility. It can support various gaming systems including PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC, making it a versatile choice for all gamers. The seat also accommodates a wide range of steering wheel and pedal sets from different brands. Its adjustable framework allows you to customize the positioning of your steering wheel and pedals to suit your comfort and preference. Add the fact that any force feedback is translated to you, providing you with the feel you need to dominate on the track. This feature is particularly beneficial for long gaming sessions, ensuring that you remain comfortable while immersed in your racing experience.
The design of the Playseat Evolution incorporates a robust framework and a comfortable seat, replicating a true racing car seat. This design not only adds to the realism of the gaming experience but, it also allows easy storage with its patented folding system.
The RennSport V2 improves from the already incredible first version with a myriad of little adjustments that make this product the best on the market so far. It has an incredible amount of stability, meaning that as you race you won’t be cradled side to side. It’s made from high-quality materials (mainly aluminium) and the shape of it alone shows the attention to detail that Fanatec is willing to put into their every product. The design looks like what you’d find inside of a real-life car, so much so that it ships with a roll cage.
But the real reason why the RennSport V2 tops this list as luxury pick, is the sheer amount of adjustability you get from the very start. Yes, you can replace your seat. Yes, you can make all the little adjustments to wheel and pedals your heart desires, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Every single RennSport V2 is customized for the individual purchasing it. You get to choose your own seat, frame, accessories and more. It’s very hard to put anything else in first place because, chances are, the RennSport will be your dream cockpit.
This might not be the best cockpit put there, but it does a lot of things right that many rigs simply ignore. First of all, the cockpit is ready for direct drive wheels, meaning it’s built to be able to sustain quite a bit of force. Speaking of build, it’s jaw-dropping how great the build of this thing is. It’s clear that they considered all sizes both in longitude as well as latitude when building this magnificent product. The Extreme Simracing Cockpit V3 can hold up to 310 pounds in weight and up to 6ft6 in height. Adjustability extends to the wheel mount and you can put each pedal within reach.
The 3.0 is also incredibly easy to install and comes with extra bolts in order to allow you to install your Thrustmaster/Fanatec/Logitech wheel without you having to sleuth around to find what you need. The only negatives are that this product isn’t built for older peripherals, as pedals such as the CSR Elite might not fit, or fit snugly (a problem that isn’t mirrored with the V3s). Also, when assembling it, make sure you tighten all the screws as hard as you can or you will lack the stability that this cockpit otherwise offers.
What to Look for in a Sim Racing Cockpit
If you’re in the market for a racing simulator cockpit, there are quite a few factors you ought to bear in mind:
Racing simulator cockpits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations to meet the needs of sim racers, and the first thing you should ask yourself before shopping is “what do I need from a sim racing rig?”
While features such as a wheel deck, shifter mount a seat and a place for your pedal set are to be expected, racing simulator cockpits aren’t really guaranteed to offer much else out of the box. Do you need a mount for additional racing peripherals such as a hand brake? Do you need a place to mount one monitor, or even three? Maybe a dedicated storage space for a VR headset and its accessories?
How about a built-in pedal plate for high-end pedals such as the Heusinkveld Sprint? If you plan on using powerful direct drive wheels, you’ll need to ensure your prospective rig has the rigidity necessessary to stand up to the torque! Direct drive wheels can rattle lesser rigs and many even shut off if they’re unstable.
Also consider if you intend to use your rig for gaming outside of sim racing games. For example, flight sims have a lot of overlap with racing sims, and you might want your rig to be versatile enough that you can easily swap pedals for rudders and your steering wheel for a yoke and throttle. The possibilities are nearly endless, so make sure you have the best idea of what you want before you dive feet first into shopping.
Cockpits are not fully blown motion rig simulators. As such, whenever a cockpit cradles you, or it otherwise moves, this isn’t a feature that was included in the purchase to add to the realism. This means that the cockpit lacks stability. In turn, this will distract you and lead to make mistakes. Seeing as the entire purpose of a cockpit is not solely to help engross you in the driving experience, but also to provide a stable plane on which to play, stability during use is a key factor to look for.
As we alluded to before, not all racing simulator cockpits are created equally, and some simply can’t stand up to the sheer force of a direct drive steering wheel base and the massive torque it can output. The lines between simulation and gaming can get blurry when it comes to racing, and you don’t want your experience to be ruined by a unstable seat or rattling wheel deck!
Though it may be tempting to start from the ground up with a cockpit seat, it is for the reasons above that we advise against taking this approach. For maximum comfort and an optimal racing experience, you’ll want to get a rig that compliments your gear – steering wheel, pedals and more – not the other way around.
Your racing cockpit needs to be ergonomic. This doesn’t simply mean that it needs to be comfortable (which it does) but that it supports you and that everything is intelligently placed. A non-ergonomic cockpit may have the shifter too far low or high, making it awkward to shift gears. Ergonomics is key in providing a safe as well as a precise experience.
Some seats are bare-bones in terms of comfort, whereas others have a seat slider and lumbar support cushion. Sim racers know that you can’t have a great simulation experience if you’re constantly shifting around in order to get comfortable, so don’t skimp out on build quality and intelligent design in your seats.
If you do want features such as a lumbar support cushion, make sure you’re shopping for such luxuries up-front as adding them later on will likely cost much more than if you had bought them bundled in the first place. The importance of comfort when racing cannot be overstated in terms of the improvement in experience as well as performance on the track – something real world drivers have known for a very long time!
Not everyone will be looking for the same things from their racing cockpits. As an example: rally racers will require that their cockpit supports a shifter and handbrake much more than an F1 racing sim pilot would. Similarly, someone used to driving on the left side of the road needs to be able to switch which side they mount their shifter on. Adjustability thus becomes vital in high-quality cockpits.
A seat slider is all but guaranteed as is a shifter mount, but where they are placed and the number of options you have for their position is a really important consideration. When in doubt, err on the side of more adjustability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common questions users ask when choosing racing simulator cockpits:
While you can play most racing sims without a cockpit, you won’t get the full racing experience nor will you be using your pedals, wheels and other gear as effectively as possible. You need dedicated hardware in order to properly install your gear in sturdy mounts so that you can sit in a proper position when gaming, which in turn will improve your comfort as well as lap times.
A lot of factors play into this, and there is a lot of variance – (build quality, business models, and your shopping site of choice will all play factors here) but sim racing rigs are generally reasonably-priced when you consider the material costs, labor and engineering and even shipping and marketing costs that are invested in these products.
Other Racing Simulator Cockpits We Reviewed
We looked at four other racing simulator cockpits. Even though they didn’t make our top 7 list, they’re still some of the market’s best in various categories.
The Volair Sim Universal Cockpit was our top pick in our recent guide to flight sim cockpits due to its stellar performance for as a flight sim rig, but it’s equally fantastic as a seat for sim racers. This steel-framed cockpit has all of the usual features you’d expect in a rig for racing games such as a shifter mount and highly adjustable seat, but also has plenty of room for for telemetry and navigation items like one might see in a professional racing rig. There’s also dedicated storage space for a game system or VR headset, making this a great deal for someone in the market for a full-service cockpit.
The Wheel Stand Pro S Deluxe V2 has as basic a design as you could imagine – this stand doesn’t have a shifter or handbrake mount, monitor brackets or even a seat – but it doesn’t what it does so well that it absolutely deserves to be mentioned on this list. If you already have a great chair that’s comfortable and keeps you in the best position for racing, you might want to consider if you could simply use a stand that holds your racing wheel and pedals in a convenient, compact format. Just don’t try installing a direct drive wheel on this one!
The GTR Simulator – GTA-F Model is one of the best, most adaptable cockpits out there for sim racing and we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least give it a nod here. Available in an unknowable number of configurations and colors, the GTR Simulator – GTA-F Model has a sturdy but lightweight fiberglass frame, highly adjustable bucket seat and more mounts that you could shake a stick shifter at.
Last Updated on July 31, 2023