While wheels, pedals and seats form the basis of a sim racing rig, you can only go so far in terms of immersion without looking past the digital into more realistic forms of feedback. High-end commercial simulators have had wind sims for a long time, but great kits are now available for reasonable prices that you can purchase right now; here are the best ones for our readers.
The Top-Rated Wind Simulators for Sim Racing
Top Pick: Ricmotech AP-Xtreme Air-Sense Professional Airflow Wind Simulator V2
Unobtrusive, professional-grade wind simulation
The AP-Xtreme Air-Sense Professional Airflow Wind Simulator V2 is a great product from Ricmotech that is as elegant and sleek as wind simulators get. Designed for easy mounting in Ricmotech’s own racing cockpits, but easily adaptable to others, this kit has two high-power fans that are nearly silent during operation so you can keep your head in the game.
This one-peice set has an airflow director to concentrate the wind on the driver, and finger guards to prevent accidents. The AP-Xtreme Air-Sense Professional Airflow Wind Simulator V2 supports just about every racing sim you can think of, basing the wind off of telemetry data in order to give a great sense of speed, acceleration and braking.
This kit is especially great for use with VR and tuned to mimic the experience of driving an open cockpit F1 vehicle – but drivers of all sorts will find this wind simulator really does a great job of blowing their hair back!
Budget Pick: SRS POWER WIND
An upgradable package that grows with you
The SRS POWER WIND from Sim Racing Studio is a great little wind simulator kit that can be purchased for a budget price and upgraded later in a number of ways. The basic kit includes one fan with a mounting kit (adaptable to standard GoPro accessories) and an Intellibox for connecting it (and other SRS accessories) to your PC.
The 4500rpm fan does a great job of conveying a sense of braking and turning, but if you really want to feel speed you can buy an optional Air Flow Straightener to ramp things up by 40-50% and up to three additional fans.
Coupled with SRS proprietary software and supported games or sims, 2+ fans create what the company calls “wind curving” to give a relative sense of direction that has to be felt to be believed. While things can certainly get pricey here, the base kit is affordable and adds a lot of value to your sim racing rig.
Luxury Pick: HSIMRacing R’Fun PRO V2
Powerful air flow
The HSIMRacing R’Fun PRO V2 is a handmade-to-order powerhouse wind simulator that’s designed to take iRacing, Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione and RaceRoom Racing Experience fans for the ride of their life. While 43 other games and sims are supported, the R’Fun PRO V2 is specially calibrated to provide a stellar experience with those featured products.
The star of the show here is a powerful industrial fan and adjustable-length tubing system that allows users to mount the fan far away from their cockpit to minimize sound – while also ensuring the wind is piped to the place where it can have the most impact in your cockpit.
Add-ons are available for the R’Fun PRO V2 in the form of additional dual-exit tubing and elegant mounting solutions, but the base kit is more than enough to provide a powerful air-moving experience that’s sure to blow you away!
What to Look for in a Wind Simulator for Sim Racing
Wind simulators take a variety of form factors and offer different experiences – let’s look into what separates these products from one another:
The basis of any wind simulator product is going to be a fan, or series of fans. These fans take information from your sim or racing game and convert that into “wind” – and the biggest factor in terms of creating realistic wind is going to be the size of the fan. Some of these fans are as small as those in your PC case, whereas others are akin to box fans. Make sure you have room for these air movers.
Some of these wind makers are compatible with the majority of games and sims on the market today, whereas others are designed for use with a very specific subset of them. As there is no way to assure that further support will be added down the road, make certain you’re buying a wind simulator that will serve your needs for years to come.
As with size, price can vary dramatically from product to product. With additional power and functionality comes a higher cost, but other factors play into this as well such as shipping considerations and warranties. Don’t buy the cheapest product simply because it’s the cheapest; also don’t expect the most expensive product to be the best for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common questions users ask when choosing a wind simulator for sim racing:
While a wind simulator is far from necessary in order to have a great sim racing experience, it can go a long way in terms of additional realism and immersion potential. We find that a wind simulator is especially awesome for those who are racing in VR, as the increased sense of speed feels more tangible when coupled with three-dimensional graphics.
While we were able to find a few users online who have modified PC wind simulators for use with game consoles, none of the readily available products on the market are designed for use aside from PC. We hope to see this change in the future, but we wouldn’t hold our breath just yet!
Last Updated on April 16, 2021