Want to take your Xbox One racing experience up a notch or two but without spending your life savings? Here’s how to build a rig on a budget.
If you’re a serious race fan, there’s nothing quite like that authentic wheel and pedals experience when playing your favorite title. Xbox One has a number of excellent racing games already available, with the likes of Project Cars 2 and Forza Motorsport 7 on the way it isn’t slowing up anytime soon.
But setting yourself up with a good wheel and seat can be very pricey. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of our favorite products to help you build a great racing rig while keeping the budget in check.
To form a good rig we’re looking specifically for a chair or mount and a steering wheel with a 900-degree rotation. There are some super-affordable wheels with only 270-degree or lower rotation, but we’re not including those here because we’re shooting for as close to a true-to-life experience as we can.
Logitech G920 wheel
A good wheel is still going to set you back a fair amount, even if you’re trying to keep to a tight budget. The Logitech G920 is probably the best all-rounder, in part because it’s often available at a discount thanks to being on the market for a while at this point.
The G920 is an exceptionally well-built product with built in vibration motors, a 900-degree rotation, leather grip and a full three pedal setup. This means you can use the optional gearshift with it if you prefer those over the paddles, though it’s not included.
Logitech has history in making great wheels and the G920 is just the latest in that lineup. It’s priced around $260 right now, but that’s a sharp decrease from it’s original asking price. And it’s well worth it.
More: Logitech G920 review
Thrustmaster TMX wheel
The other place to look for a great wheel that won’t run away with your wallet is Thrustmaster, in particular, the TMX for Xbox One. It’s not quite as nice in some areas as the G920, and you don’t have the third pedal, so it’s paddles for you.
But the TMX looks great, is trimmed in leather and has that all important 900-degree rotation. The TMX Force Feedback system will make sure you feel the road beneath you, and while it doesn’t look quite as fancy as the Logitech wheel, it’s a fine alternative.
At around $230 it’s also a little cheaper, so if you’re not worried about an additional gearshift you can save a few bucks, too.
A chair can be one of the more expensive items to buy in any sim racing setup. If you’re really serious, you could spend a lot of money, but if you’re looking to get in on the experience for less, the Playseat Challenge is the one to go for.
You get a racing seat with integrated wheel and pedal mounts that also folds down flat for easy storage. The seat itself is fabric and the frame is powder coated black for a classy, yet still hard-wearing finish.
The neat trick with the Playseat Challenge is how the whole wheel mount opens up to allow you to get in, then you pop it down and you’re inside your own little cockpit. It’s compatible with most popular wheels and at around $230 is one of the most affordable racing seats out there.
GTOmega Wheel Stand
If you already have a good chair you’re happy to use, you can save some additional funds by just getting a wheel stand instead of something like the Playseat. This stand from GT Omega Racing is about as good as it gets.
It’s compatible with a range of wheels and importantly, is adjustable enough that you’ll be able to get comfortable in almost any type of chair.
This stand also has optional brackets for external gearshifts, including the popular, but expensive Fanatec system. GT Omega products are well made, too, so you’ll get plenty of life out of this. It’s $150, and the company ships in Europe and North America.
A good TV or monitor
If you’re playing Xbox One already then you’ll have a display, but if you’re putting serious thought into your racing experience then it should be of particular consideration. Generally, bigger displays are better if you’re getting into the cockpit view, as you’ll have a clearer look at whats around you.
And if you’re thinking ahead to the Xbox One X, now might be the time to jump on a 4K HDR TV. Forza 7 is on the way and it’ll be playable in HDR at 4K and 60 frames per second. It will be glorious!
The best TVs for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X
Bonus: A monitor stand
If you want to set up a standalone rig away from the living room TV, you might consider investing in one of these.
It’s a simple stand that’s designed to take displays from 22-inches up to 42-inches.
It’s $110 and is mounted on castors for easy movement. This particular one also integrates directly with GT Omega’s ART cockpit system if you feel like splashing the cash in the future and getting yourself an upgrade.
Building a dedicated racing rig is still a pretty expensive game, but as great products like this show it’s not as horrific as you maybe expect. If you’ve built your own system on a budget and have some products or tips to share be sure to jump into the comments below!