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Best Sim Racing Setup Under $1000

Best Sim Racing Setup Under $1000

If like me you have been enjoying sim racing for a while, you may now be looking to upgrade from your budget sim racing setup.

There are many amazing new products from sim racing hardware manufacturers now on the market. Some of the different sim wheels, pedals, add-ons and cockpits are incredible!

Brands such as Fanatec and Moza are really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in this hobby in recent years.

In this ultimate guide, we have put together a selection of products to build the best sim racing rig under $1000.

Best Sim Rig Under $1000

Before we dive into more detail on each component, here is a quick roundup of what choices I’ve made for this sim racing setup under $1000.

Best Sim Racing Setup Under $1000


Fanatec CSL DD (€349.95)

Steering Wheel

Fanatec CSL Steering Wheel BMW (€139.95)


Fanatec CSL Pedals (€79.95)

Wheel Stand

GTR Simulator GTA Model Racing Cockpit ($399)


Fanatec CSL DD

The most important component of this sim rig build is the wheelbase. To take your sim racing to the next level and make your rig more advanced, you need to upgrade from a standard gear/belt-driven wheel and buy a direct drive wheelbase.

These direct drive wheelbases are a massive step up in performance and quality compared with budget sim wheels. The steering wheel is directly mounted to the motor shaft, creating powerful force feedback not diluted by any gears or belts.

Professional esports sim racers and pro drivers all use direct drive wheelbases.

The Fanatec CSL DD wheelbase is the best entry-level DD wheelbase on the market and is currently the cheapest. Thanks to its great build quality, performance and wheel compatibility, it’s a favorite amongst sim racers everywhere.

Fanatec CSL DD
Fanatec CSL DD
Fanatec CSL DD

The motor inside the CSL DD produces 5Nm of torque, sent directly to your chosen wheel add-on via a carbon fibre composite motor shaft. Fanatec produces an optional Boost Kit which can increase the force feedback torque further to 8Nm.

All steering wheel attachments are sold separately and are attached via a quick-release system (very cool). This allows you to attach different wheel designs of your choice for different sim racing games, as you build up your collection.

CSL DD Compatibility

Important Note – Currently, the CSL DD is only compatible with Xbox and PC. If you want the Playstation compatible version, you will need the GT DD Pro.

The Gran Turismo DD Pro is available to purchase separately, but with 8Nm of torque as standard, the price increases to €599.95, making it more costly than our chosen wheelbase, stretching the $1000 budget.

Steering Wheel – Fanatec CSL Steering Wheel BMW

Fanatec CSL Steering Wheel BMW

In order to keep this sim rig build within our $1000 budget, we need to look at the BMW entry-level wheel from Fanatec. As we have chosen the CSL DD wheelbase, we need to therefore look at one of the compatible wheel options.

Fanatec produces excellent quality steering wheel add-ons for their DD wheelbases. This CSL Steering Wheel BMW is no exception. Very popular back in 2021 and beyond, this officially licensed BMW wheel is 300mm in diameter with an integrated telemetry display, which is a nice touch. With a lovely durable rubber grip and strong metallic design, this wheel is very durable.

This Fanatec wheel and DD wheelbase combination is the perfect step up from budget Logitech and Thrustmaster wheel options but without the need to rob the bank! Therefore, its the perfect choice for our sub $1000 sim racing rig build.

Pedals – Fanatec CSL Pedals

Fanatec CSL Pedals

For our choice of sim racing pedals, again we have gone with Fanatec and the CSL Pedals. Coming in a two-pedal set as standard, these pedals are a great addition to your sim rig and are much better quality than cheaper Logitech or Thrustmaster pedals.

Combining heavy-duty steel construction and magnetic high-precision Hall-effect sensors, these CSL pedals provide durability and accuracy.

Using contactless magnets to measure pedal position, there is no wear on the sensor for consistent pedal performance.


In the future, if you wish, you can upgrade these Fanatec CSL Pedals with a load-cell brake pedal sold separately. A load-cell pedal provides a much more realistic performance and feel, improving your sim racing experience. The original brake pedal moves across to be the clutch pedal instead.

For the price point, these are certainly the best pedals available to fit our sub $1000 sim rig build.

Cockpit – GTR Simulator GTA Model Racing Cockpit

GTR Simulator GTA Cockpit

The more powerful CSL DD wheelbase will require a strong cockpit platform because of the stronger force feedback. A regular sim wheel stand or desk could flex under a heavy load.

The GTA Model Racing Cockpit by GTR Simulator is the perfect entry-level sim racing cockpit we’ve found at this price point. A full cockpit setup, including wheel plate, pedal mount and racing chair, this is the ideal sim cockpit for your sub $1000 sim setup.

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Now that I’ve covered each component of this sim racing rig under $1000, how well does it perform as a mid-range sim racing setup?

The gem of this rig is the Fanatec CSL Direct Drive wheelbase. The ability to swap out wheel rims and upgrade with an optional Boost Kit, makes this a future-proof sim wheel platform you can use for a very long time!

Anyone upgrading from a gear or belt-driven sim wheel will immediately notice the difference in feel and quality of the force feedback from the CSL DD. Straight away you realize this is on another level from what you are used to, and it feels so realistic and high-quality.

Connected to the GTA Model Racing Cockpit, you will have a professional sim racing setup your friends will certainly be jealous of!

What I like most about this sim racing setup, is you’re getting very high-quality professional-level products without breaking the bank.

We hope you enjoyed reading this best sim racing setup under $1000 guide, if you have any questions on any of the products recommended, feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to answer any questions.