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Shift into High Gear: Top 5 Shifters for Ultimate Sim Racing

If you want to experience the fun of a manual gearbox while sim racing, you’ll need to invest in a gear shifter. For this article, I’ve rounded up some of the best sim racing shifters on the market (in 2024), including both traditional H-style shifters and sequential shifters:

A Brief Guide to Shifter Types

Before we dive into my top picks, let me go over the two types of sim racing shifters, since this will probably be the most important factor in your purchase.


First up are H-pattern shifters, which typically have five, six, or seven forward gears and a single reverse gear organized in the shape of the letter H. They should be familiar to almost anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel of a sports or race car. The feel of an H-pattern manual transmission shifter comes natural to many, and is the most common type seen in sim racing shifters today.

Sequential shifters

Next up are sequential shifters. Here, the gears are positioned in sequence: simply pull or push the shifter to change gear. Sequential pattern shifters don’t show up often in street legal vehicles, but many a race car is outfitted with them.

Thrustmaster TSSH sequential shifter

Integrating both types into one product increases production costs, but nonetheless occurs quite frequently in the industry (although the sequential mode tends to feel a bit off in many of these gear shifters).

Breakdown of the Best Sim Racing Shifters

Based on my extensive research, here are the best sim racing shifters:

Top Pick
MOZA SGP Sequential Shifter | MOZA Sim Racing MOZA SGP Sequential Shifter | MOZA Sim Racing

Shift into high gear for an immersive sim racing journey with MOZA Sim Racing. Crafted for top performance, this shifter features aerospace-grade construction, customizable RGB backlit buttons, and seamless integration.

The MOZA SGP Sequential Shifter offers racing enthusiasts a premium experience crafted with precision and durability. With a construction that boasts aerospace-grade aluminum alloy and high-strength steel, this shifter embodies reliability and precision, essential qualities for an immersive racing adventure.

The CNC high-gloss cutting technology used in its manufacturing not only ensures a sleek metallic texture but also guarantees unmatched durability. This shifter isn’t just about looks; it’s about performance. The stable non-contact Hall sensor embedded within provides consistent and accurate feedback, translating every shift into a seamless racing experience.

Technical prowess meets user convenience in the MOZA SGP Sequential Shifter. Featuring a versatile multi-functional handle and customizable RGB backlit buttons, this shifter allows for personalization that enhances both comfort and style. With the MOZA Pit House software, users can delve into a realm of customization, tweaking button colors, brightness levels, and shifter paddle settings with ease. This level of personalization transforms the shifter from a mere accessory into an extension of the user’s racing style, enhancing immersion and enjoyment with every lap.  The adjustable damper and height adjustment range further cater to individual preferences, ensuring that each user can fine-tune their setup for optimal performance.

But it’s not just about the features; it’s about the experience. Whether you’re connecting directly to your PC or a compatible MOZA base, the USB connection method ensures seamless integration, eliminating any hassle between you and your next race. The shifter knob with an M12 thread simplifies replacement, adding a touch of practicality to the mix.

For those seeking a reliable, high-quality gear shifter that doesn’t compromise on functionality or aesthetics, the MOZA SGP Sequential Shifter emerges as a standout choice.

MagShift • Heusinkveld Advanced Simracing Products MagShift • Heusinkveld Advanced Simracing Products

Individually adjustable shifts, realistic race car feel, and customizable outputs make it a top choice for PC sim racers seeking immersive control.

(Photo credit: Heusinkveld)

The Heusinkveld MagShift is a sequential shifter that redefines precision in sim racing. Featuring a patented magnetic shift system, this shifter allows for individual adjustment of upshift, downshift, and overall force, providing users with customizable control like never before.

The Heusinkveld MagShift boasts impressive technical specifications that elevate the sim racing experience. With force feedback up to 11kg, opto-electronic sensors for reliable shift detection, customizable outputs via SmartControl software, and compatibility with PC systems, this sequential shifter offers unparalleled control and immersion for avid sim racers. The user-friendly design makes setup effortless with its plug-and-play system, enabling swift installation and use without any hassle. The inclusion of a U-shaped mounting bracket further simplifies installation on most common simulator platforms, ensuring compatibility and convenience for users.

The Heusinkveld MagShift stands out as a top-of-the-line sequential shifter, providing a realistic shift feel that is sure to captivate sim racers seeking an immersive and authentic racing experience. Its blend of innovative technology, customizable features, and durable construction sets it apart as a must-have accessory for those looking to take their sim racing adventures to new heights.

Also great
VNM Shifter V1 - Basic Bundle VNM Shifter V1 - Basic Bundle

Immerse in racing thrills with VNM Shifter V1. Versatile modes, durable build, and tactile feedback for authentic simulation driving.

(VNM Shifter V1 - Basic Bundle. Photo credit: VNM Simulation)

The VNM Shifter V1 offers a versatile experience that can switch seamlessly between manual and sequential gearbox modes, with a touch of creativity even allowing for makeshift handbrake functionality. Its solid all-aluminum construction ensures durability and provides users with some of the most realistic tactile feedback in its price range, coupled with adjustable tension to tailor the experience to individual preferences.

The basic bundle has essential components like the VNM Shifter V1 itself, QR Spherical Knob, QR Cylinder Knob, Sequential V2 plate, 7-gear H-pattern plate (6+Reverse), and a set of hex wrenches, all designed to enhance your driving simulation adventures. The absence of mounting clamps is a notable point, requiring users to purchase these separately for installation.

The VNM Shifter V1 offers a comprehensive package for sim racing enthusiasts looking to elevate their setup. The versatility to toggle between different gearbox modes adds a layer of realism to the driving experience, while the inclusion of multiple gear plates, caters to diverse preferences. The tactile feedback provided by the full metal construction ensures an immersive and engaging driving simulation session every time.

If the breakdown and rebuild required to switch the faceplate does not interfere with your enjoyment, and for those seeking a durable, adaptable, and realistic shifter solution for their simulation driving rig, the VNM Shifter V1 presents a compelling option. nb

Thrustmaster TSSH

Thrustmaster TSSH

If you're looking for a two-in-one sequential shifter and handbrake that doesn't totally break the bank, look no further than this Sparco-licensed gem!

The Thrustmaster TSSH is an incredible sequential shifter and if you know this is the type of shifter you prefer then look no further. The fact that this is a collaboration with Sparco alone should denote the quality of the product. The TSSH is a 1:1 replica of Sparco equipment you would find within actual race cars. All the components are high grade and made of metal (with the exception of the plastic handgrip, which is thankfully made of plastic).

The main feature that the Thrustmaster offers is the double-feature which allows it to turn into one of the best sim racing handbrakes. The TSSH is made to be easily switched from one mode to the next, so to rapidly change from one mode to the other all you have to do is flip a switch.

The reason why the shifter is not higher up on the list is the punitive price. Admittedly, it’s warranted, as this is the highest quality shifter of this type available. As a last note, it’s recommended to check its compatibility with game titles (available on the Thustmaster website). It works with most, but considering the cost any buyer should consider a quick double-look.

Serious Racers
Pro-Sim H Pattern Simulator Shifter Pro-Sim H Pattern Simulator Shifter

Crafted for precision, this shifter offers realistic gear shifts and exceptional control for a truly immersive sim racing adventure.

  • Developed in conjunction with Quaife Engineering, a transmission-specialized parts maker that’s been in the business for well over 50 years
  • Exclusively H-pattern shifter (not a sequential shifter)
  • Shifter compatible with PC only (internal USB device with 2m cable)
  • Massively adjustable and customizable

There are products that claim to be – and look like – luxury products ,but the Pro-Sim H-Pattern Shifter feels like the real thing. Many will be immediately turned off by the price tag (lowest price at time of writing is £1,140) but those who can fit this H-pattern mode beast into their budget will be handsomely rewarded with a shifter that feels more tactile and responsive than most real-world shifters.

Quaife Engineering has thrown their considerable experience behind this aluminum and steel shifter; they accomplish real car feel by incorporating “massive shifting linkage” for which they also credit the unit’s considerable six-pound weight. With six speeds and a reverse gear, the H-pattern gear changes have adjustable resistance.

Speaking of adjustability, the Pro-Sim H-Pattern Shifter takes tweaking to the next level by giving users control of shifter lever centering and pivot point – as well as including a 150mm gear stick lever extension if you want to increase the default short throw stature. The hydraulic shift lock mechanism allows for simulation of both dog engagement and synchromesh style gearboxes. They even included an extra reverse gear for those who want the most comprehensive racing experience available at any price point.

Fortunately, this luxury product looks every bit as fantastic as its build quality feels – the anodized, powder coated aluminum will see to that. Perhaps the most awesome selling point are the Perspex (a clear acrylic glass alternative akin to plexiglass) panels on the sides that allow viewing of the internal mechanisms as they work.

What Else to Look for in a Sim Racing Shifter

There are a few other things to consider when shopping for the perfect sim racing shifter:

Build Quality

Gear shifters tend to take a beating, therefore it is important to make sure you’re buying a gear shift that is built to withstand the rigors of sim racing. Better materials lead to a better feel for the user, which in turn creates a more immersive experience and faster lap times. Build quality is tightly linked to cost, but there are plenty of great shifters out there that have great build quality from gear stick to gearbox that are available at reasonable prices – so don’t feel like you need a high-end product in order to get a great feel.

One particular bullet point that tends to be a really good sign of high build quality is when a shifter comes with Hall Effect sensor technology. Sometimes referred to simply as magnetic sensors, Hall Effect uses magnets instead of mechanical switches for internal sensors – leading to decreased friction and heat generation, and in-turn better durability.

Shifter Adjustability

Just as with racing wheels and pedals, you’re going to want to get a gear stick that works with your sim racing rig – and nothing is more important in that regard than adjustability. The most common feature in this regard is the ability to swap between H-pattern and sequential mode shifting but there are quite a few other possibilities

Some shifters take things a step further by offering tweakable spring resistance, which allows users to get the feel just right. Most shifter knobs are replicable with real-world gear stick handles, and some even have swappable rods.


Unless you’re sticking with a setup that is composed of products from a single brand, you’ll need to make sure your third party shifter is ready to roll with your existing rig. First and foremost, consider whether you’re going to need a shifter compatible with PC and/or console. Especially on console will you need to carefully research whether the shifter works with your racing wheels.

Mounting is another important consideration. Some shifters are designed especially for use in certain third party cockpits, although most of them can be modified or otherwise coaxed into shifting in your rig. When in doubt, check the manufacturers’ site or sim racing enthusiast forums for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a shifter for sim racing?

Shifters are not required for sim racing. However, they do add immersion and fun to your experience as you will have a more holistic driving experience. If you only care about speed then utilizing paddle shifters (which are often included on the steering wheels) is for you. If your interest is emulating the real thing, and testing your skill, then you will likely opt for an H shifter.

Do you need a clutch pedal to use a shifter in sim racing?

If you plan on utilizing paddle shifter or a sequential gear shifter then a clutch pedal is not required. If you want to use an H-shifter, which is the most realistic route available to sim racers, a clutch pedal will be required.

Which games are compatible with shifters?

The full list of PC and console games that support gear shifter peripherals is massive; suffice to say that virtually every racing game will recognize a shifter when used with compatible hardware. In addition to racing games, truck and farming sims usually support racing hardware such as shifters and go a long way to increasing the immersion of those games as well.

Last Updated on May 24, 2024