Fanatec makes some fantastic sim racing peripherals on the market, and their shifters are no exception. One of the best things about their products is that they’re highly adjustable and customizable, which is especially awesome for sim racing enthusiasts who know precisely how they want everything tweaked. Their latest and greatest product, the ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 (reviewed here), is one of the best sim racing shifters on the market.
With great options comes great complexity though, so some folks could use a little bit of assistance making sense of all the dials, knobs and software – which is where this guide comes in! The following are step-by-step instructions for installing and getting the most out of your Fanatec ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 with a Fanatec wheel base.
1. Connect Your Shifter
The shifter will need to be plugged-into a Fanatec wheel base via the included RJ12 cable – this looks just like an old-school phone/DSL cable. Once plugged-in, ensure that the wheel base is plugged into AC power and connected to your PC via USB.
If you can’t connect your Fanatec wheel base to your PC for some reason Fanatec offers a ClubSport USB Adapter for purchase separately which will allow you to connect your shifter directly to your PC.
2. Install Fanatec Drivers
Your shifter comes with drivers preinstalled, so there’s no need to worry about updating it. However, you’ll want to ensure that your wheel base is fully up to date for maximum compatibility with your shifter knob and other peripherals. The following is a handy step by step guide for updating your Fanatec wheel base:
1) Ensure that your wheel base is plugged into AC power (if applicable), and that the USB is plugged-into a compatible USB port on your PC.
2) Open your web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Brave etc.) and go to www.fanatec.com/downloads
3) Click the “select products” drop-down menu, search for your product and click it. You should now be on your product’s dedicated page and navigated to the “downloads” tab.
4) Click on the latest (highest-up) driver and download/save it to your PC.
5) Once finished downloading, open the driver and follow the onscreen instructions to install the software.
6) Upon completion of installation, restart your PC.
Now that you’ve got the drivers on your PC, it’s time to use the software to update the firmware on your hardware. The associated software may have created a desktop shortcut – if not, click on your Window’s start menu and type Fanatec to find it. Once you find it, open the software and follow the instructions below:
1) Click on the “select product” dropdown, find your hardware and click on it.
2) Click “properties”.
3) A window will pop-up that asks you to update your firmware – click “yes”, then “start firmware updater” when it appears.
4) Follow along with the software until the update process is completed.
3. Calibrate Your Shifter
1) Ensure that the shifter is the neutral position (in the very middle)
2) Press the tuning and options buttons on your wheel simultaneously to enter calibration.
3) Move the shifter into reverse (R) then press the options button. Repeat for gears 1-7 in order.
That’s it – your shifter is now fully calibrated and ready for use.
Note that the “tuning” and “options” buttons take different forms on some of Fanatecs wheels, so have a look at your wheel’s manual if you’re having trouble tracking these down.
4. Adjust Fanatec Settings
The shifter itself has a convenient toggle switch that allows for on the fly swapping between sequential shifting and H-pattern modes, and knobs are included that are ideal for use with each option. The H-pattern mode is modeled after that found in the Porsche 911, and allows for extremely fast shifting through gears 1-6 while requiring the shifter to be pressed-in for access to reverse and 7th gear. The sequential pattern mode allows for realistic, quick shifting and even has haptic feedback for additional response.
The other big adjustability option here is for shift resistance. Using the included Allen key, turn the dial left to lower the resistance or right to increase it. It may take a few adjustments to get the resistance just right, but it’s worth the effort to ensure you’re getting the smoothest and most natural shifting experience possible here.
It’s also worth mentioning here, as we alluded to before, that the shifter comes with two knobs that are designed for use with the two different shifting patterns. While completely optional, the knobs add extra realism and flair to the proceedings. Note that the standardized knob shaft is compatible with most real shift knobs as well should you choose to use one.
Frequently Asked Questions
When used with a Fanatec wheel/base that is compatible with consoles, the shifter will work plug-and-play. As mentioned previously, you’ll want to ensure that your wheel base is fully updated in order to ensure and maintain compatibility.
The shifter is designed to be used with Logitech, Thrustmaster and other wheelbases as well! The shifter cannot be plugged directly into non-Fanatec wheel bases though – you’ll need to purchase the ClubSport USB Adapter separately and plug the shifter directly into your PC.
It does. The shifter will feel right at home in most rigs that come with dedicated mounts, and Fanatec has a handy drilling template in the event you need to make room for it on your own.
Last Updated on March 1, 2021