Top 7 Best Racing Simulator Cockpits
By | Last updated: January 25, 2022
best racing simulator cockpits

It’s a fantasy harbored by every single gearhead on the planet: the ability to jump aboard any supercar or race machine in the world and rip off a lap of their favorite racetrack. The likes of Forza, Gran Turismo, and iRacing now affords us that opportunity, albeit digitally. Still, you’re left with steering your way around Eau Rouge with a joystick or d-pad and mashing the throttle of a McLaren Senna with your right index finger.

The advent of sim steering wheel and pedal kits solved that problem and the units shown here take that a step further. You’ll need a healthy amount of footprint space dedicated to one of these racing sim cockpits, so expect to be banished to the garage or basement with it once the novelty has worn off for the rest of the family.

Presented here are seven of the best we could find on Amazon. Note that some units being hawked online don’t come with a seat, so read the fine print carefully. All of the ones listed here do have a chair as of this writing.

Your author also wondered how long it would take writing these posts for him to unholster his Visa debit card and buy one of the units on which he is writing. The UPS truck arrives next Thursday.

1. Editor’s Choice: OpenWheeler GEN2 Racing Wheel Stand Cockpit

Neither the cheapest nor most expensive option on today’s list, this racing sim cockpit from a brand called OpenWheeler is compatible with popular racing wheels and includes all the mounting hardware and tools right out of the box. This means less time spent assembling the thing and more time virtually attacking the corners at Road America.

Its mounting bar for a stickshift can be installed on the left or right, meaning this unit will come in handy when you’re practicing for next month’s trip to visit your UK in-laws. Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive based on a healthy sample size. The rig can be adjusted for those long of leg and the backrest can be reclined. A quick spin of one thumbwheel allows the wholesale removal of the wheel and pedals, turning the unit into a simple gaming chair.

Pros/Great reviews, big flexibility, attractive seat
Cons/Lots of colors but some sell out quickly

2. Solid Budget Option: Conquer Racing Simulator Cockpit

Looking for a relatively cheap way to plunk a racing sim in your rec room? This may be the answer. Costing less than a night in a good hotel, this unit from Conquer Racing takes care of all the basics without breaking the bank. It’s compatible with Playstation and Xbox consoles and racing wheel sets from popular brands like Thrustmaster are said to play well with this unit.

The racing seat slides forwards and backwards, while the deck for the sim steering wheel adjusts up and down. Mounting brackets for your racing pedals can be angled anywhere from 10 to 40 degrees, meaning one can simulate the pedal placement in anything from a Ferrari to school bus.

Pros/Sim on a budget, covers the basics
Cons/Less features than more expensive units

3. Extreme Sim Racing Wheel Stand Cockpit

The expensive unit shown here features a carbon steel construction frame with what the seller describes as ‘No-Flex’ technology. This would certainly give it an advantage over el cheapo sims which have the rigidity of a week-old salad. The adjustable seat mounting has nearly 20 inches of travel and the seatback can fold in half for easier storage.

Diamond plating on the seat base and pedal mounting area looks good, pairing well with the black and red shades elsewhere (hey – looks matter). The shifter mount and all important cup holder are integrated into the wheel deck which is likely part of the reason for its lack of flex.

Pros/Smart construction promotes rigidity, natty diamond plating
Cons/Bloody expensive

4. GTR Simulator GTA-S Cockpit Gaming Chair

This unit, borrowing its name from a certain Godzilla-like Nissan, says that the ‘A’ in its name stands for adjustability. That is a sensible claim, given that its seat can be set in no fewer than 14 different positions. The steering wheel and frame length are also adjustable, meaning that everyone from grade schoolers to NBA superstars should be able to enjoy a session of Forza.

Compatible with all gaming systems, the works of it weighs about 70 pounds, so plan to keep it in one spot after initial setup. It puts down a footprint measuring about four feet long by two feet wide, making for a tidy package. A shifter plate stands at the ready in case you’ve popped for a snazzy wheel & pedal set and, at least in white/red, it looks like a million bucks.

Pros/Dandy white & red seat, 14 different seat positions
Cons/Slim on real world reviews, adjustability means others will want to play

5. RaceRoom Racing Cockpit

Priced from just under $400, this cockpit has a neat trick in which it can fold the backrest of its seat so it won’t consume quite as much space in your living room. When doubled over, the highest part of the unit doesn’t stand any taller than the steering wheel mounting space, meaning it can be stored away in a much smaller area.

Its frame is black powder coated just like the aftermarket parts on your Mitsubishi Evo out in the garage and is compatible with different game consoles and computers. Note well that certain popular steering wheel and pedal kits will require an adapter plate to avoid enduring a bus-like driving position comfortable to Ralph Kramden.

Pros/Folds for easy storage
Cons/Seat adjustments are allegedly a bit difficult

6. GTR Simulator GTS-F with Triple Monitor Mount

The GTR brand pops up again, this time with a racing sim cockpit that includes a mount for your flat screen television or computer monitor. Other units described in this post assume gamers have their screens mounted on a nearby wall or lodged on another flat surface. The monitor stand allows for more flexibility in sim placement, such as the middle of a room.

When ordering, check out the option for a mount that allows owners to mount a trio of screens, providing what is surely one of the best sim experiences money can but short of the seven post rigs at Penske. Extra bars are said to provide more stiffness during spirited gaming sessions. Despite these added features, the GTS-F weighs about 10 pounds less than most of the other units described so far.

Pros/Triple monitor capability, superior bracing, greater flexibility of room placement
Cons/Getting quite pricey, boring seat color

7. Next Level Racing F-GT Simulator Cockpit

The only racing sim on this list not to feature a heavily bolstered seat, this cockpit looks very unique. Its powder coated steel frame is of a more rigid design than other sims, featuring twin boxed tubes between the seat and pedals rather than a single. Pedal placement is also different, mounted much higher off the floor and claiming to be much closer to that of an F1 car than anything else on this list.

An adapter is included for a Buttkicker which is not a high school bully but rather a subwoofer that adds bass to your race. The longest and heaviest unit here, the F-GT is definitely a rig that you set up once and leave in place for long periods of time unless you pop for a set of caster wheels.

Pros/Sturdy, F1-like driving position
Cons/Heavy, takes a spell to assemble

Best Racing Simulator Cockpits: Get Yer Race On

What is the best racing simulator cockpit?

Depending on the type of gamer you are and the amount of experience and expertise you have in the field, your definition of ‘the best’ may differ from others. For instance, if you are a beginner, you may not want to invest much into the simulator. On the other hand, if you have given a couple of your years to gaming, well-equipped gear would be something you might be interested in. With that said, listed below are a couple of racing simulator cockpits that you may find the best according to your exposure:

  • For the Beginners

Next Level Racing Challenger (NLR-S016) (Buy here!)

This rig comes with a slider seat and gear shifter, and lets you adjust the pedal distance and the height and angle of the wheels. The simulator is compatible with the accessories from almost all reputed brands.

  • For the Experts and Professionals

SimLab P1x (https://sim-lab.eu/shop/product/p1-x-sim-racing-cockpit-533)

Although a bit pricy, this simulator cockpit enjoys around a 4.8-star rating from its customers which makes the gear one of the most appreciated rigs among its competitors. P1x follows an 80/20 approach where 80 percent of its body is made of aluminum. Furthermore, the simulator is compatible with almost all the renowned brands such as Fanatec, Thrustmaster, AccuForce, Logitech, etc.

  • Best Overall

Next Level Racing GTTrack Simulator Cockpit (NLR-S009) (Buy here!)

This simulator cockpit has a fine build material and is designed and manufactured for professional gamers and racing enthusiasts. The rig is all-prepared to be equipped with the accessories from almost all the major brands including Logitech, Thrustmaster, Fanatec, etc. The simulator also allows you to adjust the steering wheel and pedal distance according to your height for a seamless driving experience.

What is the best racing simulator setup?

Although the type of racing simulator setup you want solely depends on the games that you wish to play, your budget, and the platform you want to use, a couple of gears that, as a beginner, you would want to have include:

This is a set of pedals and a steering wheel. While G29 is compatible with the PlayStation gaming consoles, G920 works with Xbox One. Nevertheless, both go quite well when used on a PC.

A foldable racing chair that can be turned into a full-fledged simulator cockpit when equipped with the correct accessors.

  • Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System (Buy here!)

This is a set of virtual reality (VR) glasses and touch-sensitive controllers to give you a realistic gaming experience.

With the pieces of equipment mentioned above, you can consider your setup ‘the best’. However, the fact is, the more gears you add the more advanced and sophisticated your simulator cockpit will become.

What is the most realistic race simulator?

To make a race simulator realistic, it must have the following key characteristics:

  • Gaming Options

The controls that the game offers to the players while racing determine how realistic the simulator is. Not only the availability of the features but also their ease of access is essential to make your gaming experience realistic.

  • Physics

There is a lot to consider about physics while developing a game. When it comes to racing, one of the important factors is how quickly the simulator responds to your inputs, and how closely does it follow the laws of physics so you get the feel of driving a real racing car.

  • Graphics

The most essential aspect of any game is its graphics. The more details its objects have the more realistic the simulator will look. However, the level of detailing is directly proportional to the consumption of hardware resources of your gaming console/PC. In other words, the higher the graphics are the more processing your device would need to display the images on your screen.

  • Tracks and Cars

Another aspect of a good simulator is the type of tracks it has and how closely the cars in the game resemble the real ones that you generally see on the road. These two elements also require a decent level of details to be added to the game during its development phase.

What is the best motion simulator?

To call a motion simulator ‘the best’, it must be able to move seamlessly in the maximum possible directions. Considering this, Motion Systems Qubic QS-S25 (https://qubicsystem.com/product/qs-s25/) is something that offers 6-degree freedom. In other words, the gear allows you to move in almost any direction while racing. Although the rig is a bit expensive and costs around USD $27,000.00 at the time of this writing, if you are a racing enthusiast and are looking forward to purchasing a motion simulator, this setup surely deserves a thought.


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(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: stockphoto-graf / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

4 Comments on “Best Racing Simulator Cockpits: Get Yer Race On...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “It’s a fantasy harbored by every single gearhead on the planet”
    No, it isn’t.

    “What is the most realistic race simulator?”
    The one that begins with you in a helmet and racing suit sweating in 130°F heat.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      Having done both, I agree with you that sim racing is not a replacement for real racing (I have heart rate tracking data to show it). That said, it is fun and it can be a functional part of a training system. Being able to try out different approaches to a corner or have somebody spectate and give you instant feedback on why your brake-release-turn process sucks are useful and the cost is minimal compared to track time in the off-season (especially here in the rust belt).

      Also, there’s nothing stopping you from putting on your helmet, HANS, and firesuit and cranking the central heating up while you do a 2 hour stint in your sim rig.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I am a sim racer that manages the rFactor 2 and ACC servers for my league.

    Lets see here…
    Logitech G29/G920 aren’t even the current product from Logitech. Granted, the G923 is just a warmed-over version of the G29/G920 but still. Also, they’re the product you get if you can’t afford the extra $50 to get the belt-drive offerings from Thrustmaster or Fanatec, or the extra $400 for the entry-level direct-drive options from Fanatec (CSL DD) or Simagic (Alpha Mini).

    Playseat Challenge: only if you have no room to fit a compact rig. Don’t expect it to stand up to any wheelbase that puts out more than 8-ish nm of force.

    IMO, the better rigs are the ones made of extruded aluminum t-slot that you assemble yourself. You can customize them yourself, add/subtract/multiply/divide as necessary for your space, parts are available for cheap on any number of Mao’s Dollarama Websites (Amazon, AliExpress, etc) or McMaster Crack. You can get kits or just roll your own from scratch.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I am a casual sim racer and use it to learn the tracks near me (Road America and Blackhawk Farms).

    I am currently looking at an Obutto R3volution cockpit though as they are much more versatile than the ones listed here.

    https://obutto.com/product/r3volution-cockpit/

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