In case you want an overview of the best accessories in the sim racing world, that’s what this list is for. As a quick note, however, this is a very general guide. Sometimes the best overall pick may not be the best pick for you specifically. With every entry on this list, we’ll also link to the more complete guide so that you can give that a look.
Having said that, here are our overall top picks for sim racing accessories in 2021:
The Top-Rated Sim Racing Accessories of 2021
|Type of Accessory||Our Top Pick|
|H-Shifter||Fanatec ClubSport SQ|
|Sequential Shifter||Heusinkveld Sim Sequential|
|VR Headset||Pimax 8K+|
|ButtKicker||The ButtKicker Simulation Kit|
|Wheel Stand||Openwheeler GEN2|
|Motion Simulator||AXON GT-Formula|
|Gloves||Sparco Meca 3|
Pedals: Thrustmaster T-LCM
The newcomers to the pedal market really blow the competition out of the water, making Thrustmaster an easy choice.
If you are a beginner and simply need the best of the best to get a headstart over others, then the Thrustmaster T-LCM is the one for you. It’s a stellar set of quality load cell pedals which are constructed really well. They are heavy, meaning that they used some high quality materials for this and another advantage to the heft is that it stays in place really well. The pedal faces and the base are also made of solid metal, which adds to the realism.
There are tons of adjustments that can be easily made on this pedal. For starters, you can change the height and inclination thanks to the 9 adjustment holes on each deal. Another thing you can adjust is the resistance that can be swapped out easily. 6 springs are included so you can certainly mix and match for each pedal. The pedals also feel great to use. You can customise the dead zones and braking force, which is ideal for people looking to have more control over the pedals. The brake pedal can withstand upto 100 kg or 200lbs of force, which is insane and the best part is that even on the lowest resistance, it feels brilliant! The pedals use Thrustmaster’s HEART technology which extends the lifetime of it and also provides a ton of accuracy and realism. The quality shines through even after a couple of laps.
To get the most out of these pedals, you’ll definitely have to connect this to your PC and customize and if you have other Thrustmaster peripherals, it’ll play perfectly fine with them. However, it also works well as a standalone set. Beginners might be a little overwhelmed by it if they don’t know what they’re doing. On the bright side, they can simply plug and play. Another important thing to note is that the pedals need to be bolted down, despite their weight.
Overall, the T-LCM pedals from Thrustmaster are a set of pedals that simply oozes quality and class. It provides a great base for beginners or even people looking to upgrade from potentiometer pedals. They are built incredibly well, very versatile, all the while being super realistic. It feels like an actual racing pedal that can be found only on race cars. This definitely takes the cake for the best set of pedals.
H-Shifter: Fanatec ClubSport SQ
Fanatec is another well known and revered brand in the sim racing community and they have had nothing but positive reviews by the vast majority of them. They, like Thrustmaster, are known for bringing some class leading sim racing peripherals to the market and their Clubsport SQ isn’t an exception.
The shifter does have some heft to it but in terms of its size and weight, it probably is the largest shifter available at the time of writing. If it’s heavy, usually it means that it’s made out of some high quality materials and this applies here. The weight might be an issue if your cockpit can’t handle heavy objects like this one. The design looks really great and it screams premium. It is made entirely of metal both on the inside and the outside. Some of you might feel like it’s very similar to the gear sticks in Porsche. It is because it’s been modeled after the Porsche 911. This certainly adds a touch of realism.
The shifter has both sequential and H-pattern modes, which means it also comes with two knobs. It can seriously take a force and it might also take a while getting adjusted to it, thanks to the weight of it. Switching from sequential to H is as easy as throwing a switch as well. However, it should be noted that the feel of the sequential isn’t something a lot of people might prefer but your mileage might vary.
The H-shifter has eight gears, seven up and one reverse which is a push down one. The mechanical feel of the throw feels good and has a very well designed shifting mechanism. Obviously, like mentioned above, it might feel a bit heavy but regardless, it certainly feels so good. And if you want some more weight, you can adjust thanks to the included allen wrench which should be used at the base of the stick. However, it should be noted that side-to-side shift can’t be changed. This could mean that you might miss a couple of shifts.
As with other Fanatec peripherals, they are compatible with each other and it is compatible with a console supported wheel. It should be noted that you need an adapter to use this as a standalone if you don’t own any other Fanatec peripherals.
The shifter offers a complete package, striking a perfect balance between both performance and build quality. It also has the added benefit of changing from either H-Shifter or Sequential shifter. The immersion it brings to the table, coupled with the performance and build quality it offers, truly is a culmination of sim racing.
Sequential Shifter: Heusinkveld Sim Sequential
Most shifters that have a switch between H or Sequential often compromise on the other. It might be the ‘jack of all trades’ but ‘master of none.’ However, the script is flipped when it comes to the HS Sequential Shifter. It is a truly dedicated sequential shifter and it is hard to beat this at its own game. Heusinkveld has made a name for itself in the market for making some of the best peripherals that truly cater to the best sim racers in the community.
The shifter is really tiny and is smaller than a soda can! But the build quality is amazing, as all Heusinkveld peripherals are. They have a great feel to them. They feel durable and dense. Thanks to the small size, you can mount the shifter in tiny spaces. It is clearly meant for highly adjustable cockpits, so you can place it to your heart’s content. The shifter is held by the bolts on the side of it, so removing it is at your own risk. It might be a bit hard to put back together. Another important thing to consider is that it connects via micro-USB to your PC and also a female Molex connector to your other peripherals.
When it comes to performance, the HS Sequential Shifter doesn’t disappoint. It feels very authentic and real, and feels bulletproof. It requires an initial force to shift, similar to real-life shifters. The shifter is also really quiet, which might come as good news for those looking for a quiet shifter. The shifter comes with three knobs and three levers as well. You can adjust the lever to find the resistance you like and as for the knob, you can choose between the three. The resistance is proportional to the height of the shifter. You can add an M10 extension if you want to make the shifter taller.
The HS Sequential Shifter is an amazing shifter but only for a particular set of people. Like other HS peripherals, it is built really well and will certainly last for a very, very long time. If you need a quiet shifter without compromising on the performance and are looking for a world class sequential shifter, this is the one to get.
VR Headset: Pimax 8K+
The Pimax 8K Plus belongs to the higher end of the premium VR headset market and rightfully so. It commands a premium price but it certainly does provide one with a premium experience. It has an ultrawide Field of View, about 200-degrees, while also providing a resolution of upto 4K per eye, making everything around you very sharp. Another amazing part is the 110 Hz refresh rate it offers! The headset looks futuristic and has a very sharp-angle look to it. It has a soft touch plastic material that feels so sturdy meaning that it doesn’t flex. The power and volume buttons are on the right of the headset. While it doesn’t have in-built headphones, it has a microphone and a headphone jack. This might polarise the market since some people would prefer a headphone built in while the other half of the market can use their high quality headphones to use with. It also uses USB-C and DisplayPort for connectivity to the PC.
The cushion feels very comfortable but using it for extended periods will obviously be a bit too uncomfortable. The quality of the headset shined through but after a while, you couldn’t quite see things far away and the refresh rate might seem a bit too low. But honestly, it really depends on how you set this up and on your PC. There was a bit of distortion at the outer sides of the headset. The key to getting the best out of this is tinkering a bit with the settings of the headset on your PC. This might be a bit too intimidating for newbies who don’t know what they’re doing.
As a package, the Pimax 8K Plus offers quite a lot and is a proper contender at the top of the table. If you need an immersive experience and also have the money to burn and give you the edge in races, this is the one to get.
Handbrake: Thrustmaster TSSH
A well-built handbrake with close to unmatched authenticity and excellent build quality. As if that weren’t enough, it also doubles as an excellent shifter.
If you are really into rallies or drift races, you know how important a handbrake is. A handbrake truly gets you into the upper echelons of the competitive scene. In comes the Thrustmaster TSSH Handbrake, which was actually made in collaboration with Sparco, one of the top motorsport manufacturers. The design if this looks really great and if you have ever been inside an actual rally car, you might have noticed the same knob on the stick. This is actually a 1:1 replica of the Sparco equipment found inside an actual rally car. The body is made from aluminium and steel while a small part of the grip is made of a rubber-plastic like material. And yes, the parts used for the build are truly of the highest quality. Besides, all the parts used were constructed in Germany, which is popular for automotive part manufacturing.
The shifter was built to last forever, and that’s because there’s no physical contact thanks to a magnetic sensor. There’s very little contact on the potentiometer. Of course, there’ll be minimal wear and tear thanks to the mechanical parts in it. Another added benefit is Thrustmaster’s HEART technology, giving you control over how you want your handbrake to feel, especially on PC. The handbrake is proressive, meaning you have complete control of how much brake force you’re applying. This will make a huge difference in rally and drifting sims.
The brake doesn’t come with a clamp so people who want to mount it on a desk will have to find their own solution or buy the Thrustmaster Racing Clamp.
If you need to amp up your rally or drifting game, this is definitely something you should get, considering that it doubles as a quality sequential shifter. After all, the brake is durable, and you need the kind of quality it offers for all the braking you’d probably be doing.
Bass Shaker: The ButtKicker Simulation Kit
Much like the name would suggest, The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is a fantastic bass shaker for sim racing. It is attached to the underside of your seat and once you’re in game, it uses the in-game audio and transforms it into some incredible feedback. Everytime you change gears, hit the gravel, etc. your entire chair will vibrate. Say goodbye to unidimensional feedback. Hello to probably a realistic sense of feedback in every way possible.
The Buttkicker Simulation Kit consists of the Audio tools and the subwoofer which are both sold separately. Once you get it and install it, it’s definitely worth it, especially for sim racing. It definitely adds to the immersion and paired with an amazing VR headset, you’re good to go and have some fun or dominate your opponents. While it isn’t as great as force feedback on a chair, it definitely comes very close to simulating a real life car on a track. Be careful though. Some settings might disturb people in and around your sim racing setup so it could cause some issues. That’s just a testament to how well built this kit is.
It is built with industrial-grade quality and a patented magnetic suspension system as well, making it durable and powerful. What’s more, ButtKicker products are used in military and commercial flight simulators all over the world, which just goes to show how much value this kit provides. Definitely a must buy if you need an amazing immersive experience.
Button Box: DIY
A much cheaper alternative to purchasing a pre-made one, you’ll be able to tailor it to your whims and desires.
There are plenty of pre-made button boxes available in the market but we think DIY is quite better and holds a number of advantages. One of those advantages is that you can build one that suits your specific needs. Maybe you need a very basic one. Well, if you buy a box, you could find yourself pushing far too many buttons that don’t have any functionality or getting confused with what does what.
Or maybe, you’re looking for a very complex one. A smaller one would lack some of the functionality and buttons you might find yourself using. You could think that you found a perfect box that meets every thing on your checklist. However, there is always the possibility that it might be something that you find yourself having buyer’s remorse.
A homemade button box on the other hand can fix all of these problems. It’s fairly easy to make one, you can make it for you and ensure that you get the best out of it and it isn’t even that hard to make it good looking! Now, where are the materials you have stashed?
Wheel Stand: Openwheeler GEN2
The Openwheeler GEN2 is a highly optimized, adjustable and good looking wheel stand that will leave you unquestionably satisfied.
The Openwheeler GEN2 Racing Wheel Stand is a great looking and solid wheel stand. It features a very durable design and can also withstand a ton of abuse as well. The best part about this set is that it is also mobile, meaning that you can move it around after you’re done using it. It has some anti-skid pads that prevent it from moving around when you either sit on it. The castors on it also have in-built brakes, ensuring that it stays in one place.
It comes with a very ergonomic and comfortable chair as well. The upholstery color can be changed but it comes with some black colour panels for contrast. The stand is completely adjustable and both the steering wheel and pedal mount come with their own sleeves. You get your own tools to set it up as well, which is a welcome surprise, and something a lot of other manufacturers should also be doing. The pedal mount is sturdy and this can be attributed to the fact that it was manufactured from extra thick black stainless steel. This ensures that it won’t bend or get damaged, even if you play heavily.
Another great thing about it is how versatile this cockpit is. You can easily upgrade it with a wheel, a pedal kit, and a shifter. The shifter can be mounted on the left since there is a provision for it. If you want, you can mount a racing harness on the seat as well. There are so many possibilities with this and you can also get one of the best and most immersive experiences possible with this cockpit, provided you install the recommended upgrades. If you plan on installing some more accessories, Openwheeler has you covered as they will provide some mounting pieces for free and they also have pre-drilled holes for it.
If you need something versatile and something that gives you amazing bang for buck without compromising on anything, this is your champion.
Motion Simulator: AXON GT-Formula
Immersion is glorified!
Adding a motion simulator to a sim racing setup isn’t necessary but it takes the experience to a whole new level! You can now experience the rough terrain if you’re in a rally or you can feel the curves of a track. In comes the AXON GT, an amazing motion rig. The simulator is very, very adjustable and has over 60 options that can be very easily customized and it doesn’t even take that long. The included seat is also adjustable and is so comfortable that you’d probably feel like you’re sitting on a cloud.
The overall build of the simulator is classy and solid. It’s glad to see that they haven’t compromised design with quality here. The material used for this is aircraft grade T-6 aluminium and reinforced with carbon fibre, adding to its strength. The carbon fibre ensures that there is next to no vibration and shaking, which, as you might know, allows for a smooth and consistent drive, even on rally courses!
The AXON-GT Formula has been tested to the bone and to the narrowest and smallest pieces of the simulator and it shows. The product is incredibly durable and performs really well, regardless of its age. The simulator is meant to last for a long time and hopefully, carry you to a podium finish or better yet, to the top of the podium.
The entire set comes with an adjustable pedal plate, a seat, an amazing 49 inch ultrawide monitor, a PC (that’s capable of handling anything without breaking a sweat) and all the other necessary sim racing products from Fanatec. This is truly a breathtaking setup and can also break the bank. But you only live once, don’t you? For the ultimate experience, this is highly recommended.
Gloves: Sparco Meca 3 Mechanics
The Sparco Meca 3 Mechanics is a really great pair of gloves that is mainly intended for use in the garage or chop shop. It actually is thin and makes it the perfect pair for handling tiny parts like screws, bolts, etc. Fortunately, it also makes for a great pair of gloves for sim racing and boy how good it is.
The fabric on this is a little thicker compared to the market but it doesn’t come at a cost of comfort. It has an adjustable closure and a velcro strap. It can be stretched thanks to the usage of spandex in this. The fingers on the glove are reinforced which adds to the durability and protection of the gloves. The palm is soft and has a flexible leather palm, providing enhanced sensitivity while handling intricate objects, like we mentioned earlier. The gloves remain comfortable and breathable despite its thickness, relatively speaking of course, and makes things easier to handle as well. The grip is alright but considering it is a mechanical glove, it is definitely the best in its class.
If you are into sim racing and also need a glove that doubles as something that is good for mechanical purposes, you can’t help but feel that this is the best one out there. If you pick this up, you most definitely won’t be disappointed with this.
Shoes: Abruzzi Personalized
A beautiful pair of boots that will definitely help you get to the very best, especially if you use a load-cell pedal.
If you use a load cell pedal, you’ll know how important shoes are to your game. They make a world of difference compared to when using socks or bare-foot. The best part about these boots is the fact that you can head over to their website and customise it to your heart’s content, adding different colours or if you have a logo, you can use that as well, and it’s really simple and quick!
Starting from the bottom, the soles are made of rubber and quite thin, meaning you can still feel the pedals as well. An added benefit is that it makes things grippy and it works incredibly well with the Thrustmaster T-LCM, which is our recommendation for the best pedals. The edges also seem really durable and the odds of it splitting is incredibly low. You can choose the kind of material you want as well. Some people might prefer leather while some prefer suede. The side has this sort of carbon fibre like effect and is very solid. The backs are high tops and very supportive as well, along with a solid strap and laces. To customize, you can head on to their website and basically contact them regarding the boots and they’ll send a mockup. It’s very easy and quick as well.
When it comes to comfort, it actually feels so good and is like slippers. You get more of a feel, especially on the throttle of the T-LCM pedals. However, it isn’t very breathable so if you sweat, it might be an issue later on. But this can be avoided using some biocides that help out with this issue.
To summarize, these are some of the highest quality boots you can find in the market and definitely are so good when it comes to comfort and they will give you an extra edge when racing.
Seat: Sparco 00965NR
Another Sparco branded product in our list and in their defense, they deserve all the praise coming their way. The majority of Sparco’s products easily fall under the upper echelons of sim racing peripherals and for all the good reasons. And this time around, it’s the Sparco R333 seat, which is actually a seat used for cars in real life. But it has clearly found life as a sim racing seat and it serves that purpose really well.
Aesthetically, it looks really nice and very sporty, giving you the impression that this might as well belong in some high end race cars and the likes. It has some of the best upholstery work on this, paired with a really beautiful design. It has an ergonomic tubular frame and wide holes as well. It also provides a wide range of adjustability for the back and a wide range for reclining. The lumbar kit can be attached to this and adds extra comfortability to the seat as well. It’s a really comfortable seat and tall-people friendly, which is saying something since most seats aren’t that tall-people friendly.
One small flaw is that it has this sort of snug fit for people with wide shoulders. The snug feel is more pronounced in the chest area, so keep that in mind before purchasing this one. The bottom is padded really nicely and for extra comfort, there is like this sort of divider between your thighs, which actually does help while driving.
The levers have the Sparco logo embedded in there, which are actually made of hollow plastic. The entire seat feels really solid and for increased adjustability, you can purchase the slider track set that is highly recommended. As an entire package, this seat is definitely worthy of all the praises in the sim racing community and the car community and you’ll be proud of such a purchase.
What to Look for When Buying Sim Racing Accessories
Not all of these products are compatible. If you’re using a PC then this shouldn’t worry you, as your machine should be able to make use of everything. Of course, you will need to keep in mind the technical limitations of your system, but other than that, you should be okay.
For console users, the question is more complicated. Not all products are compatible with each specific system (for example our top pick for Sequential Shifter will work on neither console), and not all products are compatible with each other (some Fanatec products may not work with some Thrustmaster products). Always make sure to double-check, and if the products aren’t compatible check our complete list for corresponding peripherals.
What Order Should You Purchase These Products?
If you’re looking to create the best possible racing set-up, some products are more important than others. The first and most obvious is the steering wheel, and it’s precisely because they are this important that we haven’t included them in this list. We recommend giving our best wheels, best inexpensive wheels, and best direct drive wheels lists a look.
Once you have your wheel then the next most important peripheral to look for is a good pair of pedals. After that maybe look for a shifter and handbrake. Then it very much depends on how realistic you want your set-up to be, and what you’re looking for in additional peripherals.
Should You Purchase All These Products?
This is a relatively complete list of products you may want to consider purchasing, but you shouldn’t aim to purchase all of these. Some are mutually exclusive (an example being motion simulators and seats). This list serves as an overview to either introduce new users to the best products on the market, or help guide more experienced users in finding other products to complete their existing set-up.
Last Updated on June 25, 2021