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 2020:
The Top-Rated Sim Racing Accessories of 2020
|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
- Magnetic sensor technology, with no contact or potentiometers, for unlimited lifespan and optimal accuracy
- Load Cell force sensor technology up to 220 lb 100 kg of pressure, for the perfect amount of braking power
- Adjustable mechanical brake force thanks to the set of 6 springs included with the pedal set, for a multitude of quick adjustments
- Independently adjustable pedals ( spacing and inclination) for optimized gaming comfort according to the user’s preferences
- Calibration software allows for adjustment of the brake force, plus the dead zones for all 3 pedals
Thrustmaster is used to putting out top of the range products, and the Thrustmaster T-LCM Pedals are no exception. These load-cell pedals will be able to can distinguish 65,536 different pedal positions, the closest approximation to a real world car currently possible. The contactless H.E.A.R.T. system will thus not only guarantee precision, but thanks to their contactless nature, an almost unending lifespan.
Customisation options are plentiful on the T-LCM pedals, allowing you to adjust the individual height, angle of incline, and even the spacing of each pedal. You’ll also be able to adjust the sensitivity of the pedals, allowing you to apply as much force as you find most natural. The USB connection will allow users to pair this pedal set with third party wheels (such as the Logitech G29/290), meaning that you won’t have to scrap your set-up and start from scratch.
All in all this is an impressive pedal set, sure to rival even more expensive products such as those by Fanatech (even if the T-LCM is not cheap itself). If the rest of 2020 will yield products such as this, it’ll be a great year for driving sims.
H-Shifter: Fanatec ClubSport SQ
If you are looking for the best shifter on the market then the answer can’t but be the Fanatec ClubSport. Designed to perfectly replicate the classic Porsche 911, this shifter will feel weighty, resistant, and realistic. Fanatec’s technological know-how shines through with this worthy addition for any sim enthusiast. It’s made entirely from metal, is incredibly customizable for a shifter (allowing you to adjust shift feeling and resistance amongst other things) and will give you the feeling of a professional driver from gear one to gear seven.
Shifting between H-shift and sequential is as easy as throwing a switch, allowing you to experiment and find which set-up you prefer. As with many Fanatec products, it’s not available on Amazon, and the price is relatively high. It’s compatible with PC, PS4, and Xbox, but be sure to use a Fanatec steering wheel if you’re not on a PC. The one small negative aspect to the SQ is that to use the 7th gear you either need a Podium, ClubSport, or CSL Elite Wheelbase, or the ClubSport adapter.
Sequential Shifter: Heusinkveld Sim Sequential
The Heusinkveld shifter only works for PCs, so unfortunate console users are unable to take advantage of this incredible machine. The shifter is purposefully quite compact so that it can be mounted on all set-ups. The small shifter however packs more strength than a lot of its larger counterparts. The system is built in order to simulate every gear shift as though in a real car; the ball spring resistance system giving the user powerful feedback and resistance. On the topic of resistance, this can be regulated by the user by switching between three levers which are all included with the purchase of the shifter. How much you want the shifter to fight you is up to you.
As this is a PC-only shifter it will work with any wheel on the market, allowing for your own preferred and personalized set-up. All in all, this is a high-end product that will happily satisfy stick shift users. The main drawback (aside from the lack of console compatibility) is how to purchase it. It’s not available on Amazon meaning that you will likely have to order it from their website. Nevertheless, the fact that Yann Ehrlacher (European Le Mans Series, WTCC & WTCR race winner) is a convinced customer, and the not too onerous price-tag should convince PC sim drivers to purchase this technological wonder.
VR Headset: Pimax 8K+
- VR RESOLUTION REDEFINED - Dual Custom Low Persistence Liquid Crystal Panels each with a stunning total resolution of 5120*1440 that sets a new standards in quality and immerses you like no other device before. Say goodbye to the dreaded screen door effect or “SDE”, ghosting and smear as those effects are virtually invisible.
- SUPERWIDE FOV - 200° Diagonal FOV is the closest to human vision of any commercially available product. No more looking through binocular effect with this new VR headset as you will notice immediately that enemies who could run away from the corner of your vision in a VR game cannot run away from you anymore. The Pimax 5K+ delivers an unparalleled true-to-life virtual reality experience like no other.
- STRONG COMPATIBILITY - Thanks to Pimax Compatibility Technology the Pimax 5K+ Headset supports most of the thousands of games and more available on BOTH Steam and Oculus Home. Enjoy movies and internet video content like never before. In addition, the Pimax 5K+ is compatible with other brand Steam Controllers and both the Steam VR Lighthouse 1.0 and 2.0 tracking technology.
- MORE COMFORTABLE - Ergonomically Designed face pad and strap so that you can comfortably stay immersed in that virtual world for long periods of time and it reserves enough room for wearing most prescription glasses. For maximum comfort the new Pimax 5K+ includes BOTH physical hardware and software IPD adjustments allowing the widest variety of people to enjoy the stunning immersion you can achieve in virtual reality.
- RECOMMENDED PC SPECS – OS: Windows 8.1, 10; GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070 equivalent or better; CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or better; RAM: 8GB or more; Ports: 1*USB 2.0/3.0, 1*DisplayPort 1.4; Desktop PC is highly recommended. PIMAX 5K Plus can support "Seated" and "Standing" VR games, such as Project Cars II. For Room-scale games, such as Beat Saber, you can purchase extra Base Stations and Motion Controllers that can support SteamVR 1.0 & 2.0 tracking tech.
Let’s start this review with a disclaimer. The Pimax 8K+ is not an easy machine. If you’re new to the world of virtual reality you will likely struggle to get the settings just right. Having said that, the Pimax is an absolute joy to pair with simulators. You’ll immediately notice that this system is quite large, and that’s due to the fact that it’s built to give the user the widest possible field of view. This gives you a hyper detailed and hyper realistic feel as you’ll be able to spot attempted overtakes with the side of your eye. The FOV isn’t the only positive however, the incredible quality makes pairing this VR headset with more graphically advanced games breathtaking. You’ll very quickly find yourself attempting to hold onto the side of your car as you stand up, only to remember it’s not really there in front of you.
It’s ergonomic, has incredible image quality (the “8K+” in its name is there for a reason) and will allow you get the best possible view of the skies when you fly. We can wholeheartedly recommend this peripheral as long as you don’t mind a relatively steep price-tag, and having to fiddle with settings a little bit. Is it expensive? Yes. Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely!
Bear in mind that to use a high-quality VR headset like this Pimax, you will need a solid sim racing PC.
Handbrake: Thrustmaster TSSH
- The TSS HANDBRAKE Sparco Mod is a 2-in-1 device that offers two modes: progressive hand-brake and sequential shifter. Compatible with all currently available wheels for the PC, the TSS HANDBRAKE Sparco Mod is the indispensable accessory for an optimum racing simulation experience
- The knob is the exact replica (1:1 scale, 3.4’’/8.5 cm in height) of the genuine knob equipping products in Sparco’s rally and drift range, ensuring maximum realism
- The TSS HANDBRAKE Sparco Mod features Thrustmaster’s H.E.A.R.T: Hall Effect AccuRate Technology, delivering unrivaled precision and an unlimited life cycle
- The TSS HANDBRAKE Sparco Mod boasts 90% high-quality metal components (steel and aluminum), ensuring optimum solidity
- Hand-brake lever adjustable in horizontal position (GT mode) or in a vertical position (Rally mode)
If you recognize the Thrustmaster TSSH from our best sim racing shifters guide you’d be correct. Not only does this peripheral feature in our top five shifters available in 2020, but it also tops the list as the best handbrake available. This is because of the very successful collaboration with Sparco, the TSSH being a 1:1 replica of Sparco equipment you would find within actual race cars. The entirety of the handbrake is made of metal, with the exception of the plastic handle in order to grip it more easily. This brake feels incredible, and driving with it will feel as though you’re in an actual rally car.
Another incredible bonus is the aforementioned mode which turns it into a sequential shifter. With nothing more than a simple flick of the switch you will shift from pulling a handbrake to brave the tightest of turns, to changing gears to regain speed, and then back again. The brake itself is expensive but, given its quality and the dual function it has, it can’t but be at the top of our list.
Bass Shaker: The ButtKicker Simulation Kit
- The best addition for Sim Racing or Flight Sims
- Easy installation to your sim rig
- Powerful 90 watt amplifier included
- All cables and wires included
Much like the name would suggest The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is a fantastic bass shaker for sim racing. It works by having it attached to the underside of your seat. The ButtKicker Sim Kit then utilizes in-game audio and transforms it into tactile feedback. That means every time you change gear, go on the rumble strips, hit gravel, etc. you won’t simply get a one-dimensional feedback from your direct drive/force feedback wheel, but your entire chair will vibrate.
This is a product that’s used in military and flight simulators around the world as training, it’s built to last, and it’s not even overly expensive. All in all, if you’re looking for a small addition to an otherwise complete set-up, definitively worth a look! Read our full review of the ButtKicker here.
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.
You can find pre-made button boxes you can purchase, but we think DIY is the way to go. The first reason why is that it’s hard to find a button box that will suit your specific details. Perhaps you’re looking for a very basic one with which you can easily trigger only a handful of functions? Well, then too large a button box will be confusing and have you flipping levers and pushing buttons that aren’t bound to anything.
Perhaps you’re looking for a more complex set-up? Then a smaller button box means that you will have to compromise on some functions you wanted to bind to easily available buttons. Moreover, you might think that a certain button-box fits everything in your checklist, but there’s always the possibility of it being unwieldy and impractical.
A homemade button box on the other hand can fix all of these problems. First of all, the amount and number of buttons and levers is entirely up to you. Secondly, you can always scale it up or down without too much difficulty. Third, it’s quite inexpensive to make a relatively professional looking one. And finally, it’s not even that hard.
Wheel Stand: Openwheeler GEN2
- COMPACT, EASY TO MOVE, EASY TO STORE AWAY
- GEAR SHIFTER MOUNT INCLUDED FOR EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT HAND SIDE USE
- ALL MOUNTING HARDWARE AND TOOLS INCLUDED. READY TO USE RIGHT OUT THE BOX
- ELECTRONIC CONTROLS AND ADD-ON OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES SOLD SEPARATE. DESIGNED, ASSEMBLED AND PACKAGED WITH ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN USA
If you’re not afraid to spend a little extra, then the Openwheeler GEN2 is an excellent option. You can customize (and hence optimize) the distance between the seat, pedal board, and wheel stand, the seat has a reclining back, there are multiple positions for mounted pedals, and the wheel stand itself has various adjustable angles, allowing you to position the wheel however you prefer. For those who prefer to drive with the gearbox on the left, the Openwheeler accommodates that too!
Other than the basic wheel stand, this set comes with a comfortable seat and all the tools you’ll need to set it up (which is both welcome and uncommon). If you’re looking for a set that will give you everything with flying colours, then you’ve found it! It looks good, feels good and can be customized. After setting this up and racing in it for the first time you’ll notice just how much it adds to the authenticity of the game.
Motion Simulator: AXON GT-Formula
The AXON GT, reaches the pinnacle of class, fidelity and customisation despite it’s incredibly young age!
The AXON GT is a fantastic motion rig. Let’s start with some specs: it has over 60 different customisation options that can quickly be adjusted without counting the interchangeable seat. Speaking of the seat, it beautiful and comfortable, no matter whether you’re over 6ft tall, or under 5! The build quality is as incredible as the elegant design. The chassis is made from aircraft-grade T-6 aluminium, and is reinforced with carbon-fibre for strength. This means that the sleek rig suffers from very low shaking and close to no vibrations. What you feel is what you’re meant to feel, not any mechanical mistake. As a note, this setup is compatible with Fanatec and Thrustmaster products only, but that shouldn’t be an issue if you buy the complete set (as you’ll soon see!).
Every aspect of it has been meticulously tested for hundreds of hours, going through over 200 rounds of quality assurance, to make sure that the rig not only performs, but lasts. The full set comes with the AXON brand adjustable pedal plate, Axon GT-formula racing seat, a 49″ ultrawide gaming monitor, a powerful pre-configured PC, the Fanatec Clubsport Pedals V3, the Clubsport WheelBase V2.5, ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5, and the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula Carbon or ClubSport Steering Wheel BMW GT2 and the motion package. Basically a complete set-up not only for sim racers, but any video game aficionado out there!
Gloves: Sparco Meca 3 Mechanics
- Scuff resistant fabric that is elasticised for a precision fit.
- Durable, synthetic leather palm offering excellent grip.
If you are looking for gloves solely for sim racing then these are a great option. The material is of high quality, denoting the quality itself of Sparco as a brand. The gloves themselves are marketed towards real-world mechanics, not drivers, which is why the material is quite thin. This allows the wearer to pick up smaller objects more easily, but don’t come at the cost of grip. As an added bonus, the thinness allows for less heat to build up, meaning that wearing them for extended periods of time will still be comfortable.
If you do, however, intend to use these for real-world biking we recommend you get a sturdier pair. These are great gloves for any simulator but are unlikely to protect you if you fall on tarmac at high speeds.
Shoes: Abruzzi Personalized
If you’re looking for personalized boots that are not only incredibly beautiful but also highly functional, the Abruzzi can’t but make you fall in love with them.
There are many racing shoes that could fall within this category, and a lot of them cost more than the Abruzzi shoes. None however reach the level of quality and luxury that these shoes offer. Don’t misunderstand, the price is still quite restrictive, but worth every penny. These shoes take a while to arrive at your home, but that’s because each pair is handmade from high-quality suede and/or leather (depending on your choice). The result is a breathable, lightweight shoe that will provide grip second to none. Coupled with the padded insole, you’ll be able to race for hours without discomfort or a reduction in performance. Finally, the personalization available is incredible. From colors and materials to your name and flag on the strap, you will become one with this boot. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth the price to feel and look like an F1 pilot? Absolutely
Seat: Sparco 00965NR
If you’re a racing aficionado or a racing sim peripheral lover, you will likely have heard of Sparco before. Sparco is known to produce a vast amount of products not only for racing simulators but also objects to be utilized in real-life cars. This seat is no exception. The Sparco 00965NR's original aim is to serve as an upgraded seat for a real car, but we found it to be majestic when paired with a good racing sim setup. It has an ergonomic tubular frame, wide holes in the back for respiration, wider side openings for more comfort, and a beautiful sleek black look. It also allowed for a relatively high degree of adjustability, fitted with a double adjustment and reclining lever that gives a wide-angle range for your back. That being said we would still recommend you also purchase the slider track set for that little extra adjustability that it gives.
The only thing that is a slight turn off is that, if you have wide shoulders, the top of this seat may fit a bit snugly. There’s also some extra padding in the middle of the seat to separate your thighs and ensure good posture, which some individuals may not like.
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 March 9, 2021 by Thomas Bush