If you’re up to date with the latest developments in the racing world, you may have noticed something a little different or peculiar stealing the headlines. In recent years, eSports has grown exponentially with the emergence of simulation racing.
Today, thousands of players compete in virtual racing competitions with real-world graphics and physics. Due to its immense popularity, many gamers upgrade their setups with a simulation rig to fully immerse themselves in the virtual racing environment.
However, simulation rigs can be incredibly expensive and can easily cost thousands of dollars, depending on the quality of equipment you’re purchasing. As a result, many aspiring sim racers, especially beginners, look for budget-friendly options to get started.
If youâ€™re one of these people, youâ€™re at the right place, as weâ€™ll share the best cheap sim racing rigs in the market that offer great value for money.
What to Look for in a Cheap Sim Racing Rig
Donâ€™t get us wrong. A cheap sim racing rig could still cost you a buttload of money â€“ a much more conventional gaming setup comprising a PC or console and a high-quality screen. While these are also core components of a simulation rig, theyâ€™re not the only ones.
You also have to purchase racing gear, which typically includes a steering wheel, a pedal set (we prefer using pedals wearing socks), and a comfortable chair, to name a few. A budget-friendly simulation rig is simply one that offers a great balance of quality, functionality, and affordability.
So, if youâ€™re looking to invest in your first sim racing rig, here are a few things to consider:
1.Â Cockpit Size
Although the purchase process will have a certain amount of personal relevance, there are certain cardinal buying rules to consider depending on your budget and preferences, such as the size. So, before committing to any cockpit, you need to ensure whether or not your racing gear will fit.
While most sim racing gear manufacturers design wheels, pedal sets, and other accessories with similar fittings and mounting capabilities, there will be several differences between each brand. Therefore, you need to measure your gear and match them with the measurements of the cockpits youâ€™re searching for.
Even if youâ€™re yet to buy any equipment or hardware, you should research different brands to cover all your bases. Since youâ€™re already on a budget, the last thing you want to deal with is faulty hardware or a rig that breaks after just one use. The good news is that many reputable brands, such as Conquer, Playseat, and Next Level Racing, offer lower-end options with good quality assurance.
3.Â Gaming Method and Upgrade Path
Next, you need to decide where you want to race on a console or a PC. Undoubtedly, both options offer great perks and minor quirks. However, the decision often falls down to which games you want to play when it comes to sim racing. For instance, if you’re a Gran Turismo fan, you should opt for a PS4 or PS5. Similarly, if you’re interested in iRacing, you need to opt for a PC. Regardless of what you pick, the decision will impact several other decisions.
4.Â Wheel and Pedal Sets
Once you’ve made up your mind about your platform, you’ll need the right set of steering wheels and pedals. This is the last component you want to compromise on if you’re on a tight budget, as most cheap pedal options are spring-based and don’t offer a realistic experience. Similarly, inexpensive belt-driven steering wheels don’t offer 900 degrees of motion. So, even if you’re on a modest budget, allocate as much as you can to the wheels and pedals for a better virtual experience.
The Best Budget-Friendly Simulation Racing Rigs in the Market
So, without further ado, let’s check out five cheap sim racing rigs that are taking the market by storm in 2022:
1.Â Next Level Racing F-GT Cockpit
Next Level Racing is among the most reliable sim racing brands in the market. So, if youâ€™re looking for a solid yet affordable rig, look no further than its F-GT model, designed for F1 and GT-style racing. This robot-welded cockpit is built with a carbon steel chassis and includes a host of features, including a fully adjustable steering wheelbase and shifter.
You also get pre-drilled pedal mounts designed to accommodate high-end gear from brands like Logitech, Fanatec, and Simxperience. Costing under $500, it is one of the only low-end sim racing rigs in the market used by professional eSports teams.
2.Â Fanatec Rennsport Cockpit V2
Although the Fanatec Rennsport Cockpit V2 will set you back around $1,100, it is one of the cheapest triple-monitor sim rigs in the market. Plus, it comes from a highly-respected brand in the simulation racing hardware realm. This heavily customizable cockpit can support a variety of low-end and high-end gear, including seats, gaming platforms, and accessories.
Moreover, if you’re looking for portability, you’d be pleased to know it weighs under 70lbs due to its tubular solid aluminum frame. This design also makes it more resistant to rust and wear and tear so that you can save in the long run.
3.Â Mophorn Racing Simulator Cockpit
If youâ€™re not planning to use a PC as your gaming platform, the Mophorn Racing Simulator Cockpit is an excellent choice for PlayStation and Xbox users, especially those with Logitech and ThrustMaster racing gear. For just $249, it is undoubtedly the cheapest branded sim rig in the market today. However, it doesnâ€™t include a gear stick shifter mount, so be prepared for a bit of drilling.
As far as the build quality goes, it’s constructed using a sold carbon steel frame along with a PVC leather-coated seat which can be reclined up to 120 degrees. Both wheel and pedals mounts are adjustable according to height and tint angle. However, you should know that it’s a static build, so you need a dedicated space to place it, such as a spare bedroom or garage.
And there you have it â€“ the best cheap sim racing rigs in the market today. Of course, you can opt for many other options, but we believe that the brands mentioned in our list are highly reliable compared to most newcomers and lower-end brands. Plus, if you require more options, you can use our guide above to research more options in your required budget.
However, if youâ€™re looking to go pro, we recommend spending more, especially on your steering wheel, shifters and hand brake, pedals, and monitor. The math is simple â€“ the more you spend, the greater your virtual experience. So, do your homework, make up your mind, and shop accordingly. Happy hunting!