The Playseat Challenge is a functional and affordable sim racing cockpit, but it does have some limitations, with its one-size-fits-all approach leaving some gamers in the dust… which is where we come in! The following are the best Playseat Challenge alternatives on the market today!
The Top-Rated Playseat Challenge Alternatives
|Top Pick||Next Level Racing F-GT Lite||90%|
|Best Full-Sized||No products found.||91%|
|Full-Sized Runner-Up||No products found.||90%|
|Luxury Pick||No products found.||94%|
Top Pick: Next Level Racing F-GT Lite
The Next Level Racing F-GT Lite is the absolute best Playseat Challenge alternative for the simple fact that it checks all of the same boxes – and then some. This seat is billed as the “first portable racing cockpit”, which is a bold statement considering that the Playseat Challenge has been around many more years – but it is fair to say that the F-GT Lite does have enough design considerations that it’s competitor lacks in order to claim a higher status.
The first ting that racers will notice about this design is that there is a dedicated shifter mount on each side of the seat, in addition wheel and pedal mounts pros have come to expect in a frame. Another important reason why this chair is better: customization.
You always have your choice of seating position in this chair – Formula or GT (hence the nomenclature “F-GT”) and your seat is further customizable from there, with 8 major points of articulation. The wheel and pedal rests are pre drilled for hard mounting, and the seat is designed to fold and store with the hardware still attached – for ultimate flexibility in shared or mixed-use spaces.
The only potential knock on this chair when stacked against the Playseat Challenge is the somewhat increased price, but it’s hard to argue that you aren’t getting your money’s worth here!
Runner-Up: Openwheeler GEN3
The Openwheeler GEN3 is another high quality racing chair at a reasonable price, and it does a few things just different enough that it stands as a unique product that deserves to a be a part of this list. The most important distinction to be made here is that while this chair features a collapsible design like the others we’ve mentioned so far, it is not lightweight or portable; the folding function is meant to save space when the wheel is not in use.
That said, this is a much heavier chair than the top pick, and is best suited to a room where other activities take place – but don’t require your racing rig to be hidden away. Meant for use with PC as well as consoles such as Xbox One, this chair is of solid build quality, and features thoughtful design touches in the form of a L/R shifter mount, mounting tools and hardware, adjustable seating position and a super comfortable seat cushion.
All in all, this is another one to keep in mind when making your purchases, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
Best Full-Sized: Next Level Racing F-GT
No products found.
As the name might imply, the Next Level Racing F-GT is the full-fat version of our top pick, and is a stellar choice for those looking for a Playseat alternative that doesn’t need to be move often. That may sound like an unimportant consideration until you realize that this chair weighs-in at 70 pounds – and that’s before any peripherals are installed!
This rugged rig’s frame is built from high quality powder coated steel alloy, and the seat is covered in a leather-like vinyl that is both oozing with style and very comfortable. There are also some great extra value-adds included with this package that really add something to the experience, such as gear shifter support, lumbar support cushion, height adjustable feet and a built-in adapter for Buttkicker bass shakers!
There are also a handful of add-ons available as additional purchases, such as a TV mount and locking castor wheels to make this rig even more versatile. Again, this isn’t the best chair for those who need a portable solution, but it is a great seat nonetheless and worthy of consideration.
Full-Sized Runner-Up: GTR Simulator GTA
No products found.
The GTR Simulator GTA is also a great choice for those who have the room for it, and it has a sense of style that serious racers will really enjoy. The synthetic leather bucket seat of this one come in a variety of available colors, and is mounted on an alloy steel frame with 14 points of adjustment for ultimate control over your experience.
Standard mounts for steering wheel, pedals and shifter are included as well, and each are highly adjustable – which is something you don’t see often with chairs in the budget price range. Altogether, this is a really solid choice for some racing fans, and at a good price.
Luxury Pick: GTR Simulator GTA-F
No products found.
The GTR Simulator GTA-F is, you guessed it, the full-featured upgraded model of the previous pick. This one does everything the standard GTA model does, plus quite a bit more that pros will especially appreciate.
Before discussing the additions, it should be noted that a couple of things have been tweaked a bit. First, you no longer have a choice of seat color – it’s a sleek all-black synthetic leather from thigh to head rest. Secondly, the frame is now a light, silvery powder coat as opposed to black.
Most importantly, this chair comes with TV mounts. A single mount sits in the middle, and optional side mounts can be affixed alongside it for a full-cockpit three TV setup – to take your immersion to the next level.
While the GTA-F is far from being a budget rig, it does more than most chairs in this price range and will even be a good value to those who need to get some sort of mounting solution for monitors anyway.
What to Look for in a Playseat Challenge Alternative
The Playseat Challenge gained a huge following within racing sim circles due the niche it filled – it was the first racing seat that was designed to be universal (for use with PC and console hardware of virtually all makes), foldable (for easy storage) and reasonably-priced. That turned out to be a great formula for success, as reviews and sales figures can attest! While the Playseat Challenge still remains one of the best options for meeting that unique set of needs, we should break those down one at a time to determine what sort or racing seat is best for you.
The first big design consideration with regard to your gaming chair of choice is… Do you want/need it to be foldable or portable? If not, that dramatically increases the number of options at your perusal, as very sim racing seat products actually do feature that design consideration. Building a racing simulator cockpit that needs to be able to be converted to available floor space is no simple feat, after all!
For those who dedicate space to their sim racing setup, options include dedicated all-inclusive cockpit hardware with built-in seating, mounting hardware for peripherals that pairs with your seating of choice (even recliners/couches will work with some models).
If you’re looking for a seat than can be easily collapsed and moved to make way for other items, your options will be dramatically more limited, but you do have options nonetheless!
While all of the chairs on this list are capable of being equipped with various wheels and pedals from PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other consoles, not all are compatible with everything. As a general rule, it is strongly recommended that you check the manufacturer’s product page or reviews from those with verified purchases for your specific steering wheel and pedal set to make sure they mount easily to the stand on your racing chair of choice.
Something else to consider – not all of these seats have a shifter mount; not everyone will want a shifter mount, but if you have a shifter or plan on getting one in the future – make sure the seat has one! Furthermore, some seats will have a wheel mount whereas others will have a wheel stand – some manufacturer’s use these terms interchangeably, whereas others use “wheel stand” to indicate that your wheel can simply be sat upon it rather that being attached with mounts – so make sure you’re getting a chair that supports and secures your racing wheel equipment! Do also note the position of pedals and whether there are included mounts for TV(s) or monitor(s).
One last bit regarding versatility – your racing simulator cockpit is going to be a highly specialized, custom racing experience of your own design, and over time you will certainly adjust things as you go along and find your preferred driving position, add equipment and so on – so definitely keep in mind that you’ll likely benefit greatly from a sim racing seat that has great build quality and an adjustable seating position.
As with anything related to sim racing, price will be a major determining factor for most – so it is advised that you work out budgets for each component individually in order to help keep your head on straight and your eyes on the prize! In all seriousness, your budget range will determine what type of seat you’ll be looking at, and you’ll want to try to squeeze the best experience possible out of that budget.
Last Updated on July 11, 2021
I’m an avid sim racer and technology blogger from the UK. I launched FPSBible.com at the start of 2020 to share my thoughts on a range of tech accessories, with a focus on racing peripherals like steering wheels, pedals, and gear shifters.