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Best Sim Racing Setup Under $500

Best Sim Racing Setup Under $500

Sim racing is becoming increasingly popular thanks to esports events and F1 drivers such as Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc playing sim racing games online in their spare time.

This exposure to the hobby has meant many people like yourself want to try it out and are looking for a budget-friendly sim rig to get started. You don’t want to break the bank and then realize it’s not for you!

Therefore, we’ve taken the time to put together a budget-friendly sim racing setup guide for under $500.

This complete guide includes everything you need to get started, the sim wheel, pedals, stand and chair, all for under $500. This is a proper budget setup you can be proud of, not just attaching your steering wheel to the coffee table!

If you already have some of these components already, or somewhere in mind to mount your steering wheel and pedals, then obviously you can skip these parts of the build, saving you even more money in the meantime!

Budget Sim Rig Under $500

Let’s get stuck in by looking at all of the equipment which makes up this $500 budget build. I’ll then explain each product in more detail and why I’ve chosen each component for this budget sim rig.

Important Note – Don’t think these choices are poor products just because they are cheap. Although this is a budget build, we will only select high-quality products which provide good value for money.

Sim Wheel and Pedals Bundle

Thrustmaster TMX (Around $170)

Wheel Stand

GT Omega Wheel Stand Pro (Around $150)

Gaming Chair

Homall Gaming Chair (Around $110)

The Racing Wheel

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Arguably the sim racing wheel is the most important component of any sim rig. Produced in a variety of different styles, sim wheels send force feedback through the wheel via gears or in high-end professional setups, belt-driven motors.

The force feedback along with your driving inputs creates the realism and accuracy needed to play sim racing games. Very low-end budget wheels don’t have any force feedback at all! They use internal rubber bands to return the wheel to the center, not very satisfying!

How good is the force feedback in the Thrustmaster TMX?

The belt-driven Thrustmaster TMX/T150 is the perfect budget-friendly plug-and-play steering wheel. Delivering good quality force feedback, it’s strong enough to give realistic feedback as you drive the car over bumps and make contact with barriers and other vehicles in sim racing games.

The wheel has two gear levers for manual gear changes and several buttons which can be configured in games. The wheel connects to the console via a single USB cable coming from the wheelbase.

The Thrustmaster TMX is the Xbox compatible wheel, the Thrustmaster T150 is the Playstation compatible wheel. Both wheels are also compatible for the PC.

How good are the Thrustmaster TMX pedals?

The drawback to this budget-friendly Thrustmaster wheel is the pedals. Compared with more expensive sim wheel bundles, the pedals are on the basic side. The lack of a third clutch pedal and plastic build materials make these Thrustmaster pedals very lackluster.

If you were to buy the Thrustmaster TMX/T150 wheel bundle, we highly recommend you upgrade the pedals as a priority if you enjoy your new sim racing hobby, once you can afford to!

The Wheel Stand

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If you’re looking to purchase a sim wheel stand for your rig, GT Omega makes some great choices. Not only do they produce full cockpit sim rigs, but they also produce much more affordable sim wheel stands for sim racers on a budget.

A clever folding set of metal frames, this sturdy stand is designed to provide a solid platform to connect your wheel, pedals and optional stick shift. Rather than using a coffee table, you can have a professional wheel stand setup!

The upper frame supports a strong adjustable wheel platform compatible with a large variety of sim wheels. The bottom frame houses the pedals which can be bolted down. The optional side frame allows support for a selection of sim wheel add-ons, such as a gear shifter or handbrake lever.

When testing the Thrustmaster TMX with this GT Omega Wheel Stand, we were pleasantly surprised by how supportive and strong it was. There wasn’t any flex or shaking when the wheel was kicking out its force feedback and it was very comfortable combined with the PlaySeat Evolution.

The best part about these wheel stands is that once you’ve finished sim racing for the day, you can fold away the whole rig quickly and easily for storage.

The Gaming Chair

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If you really wanted to keep your sim rig as cheap as possible, you could simply use the sofa or a dining chair along with your wheel and stand. However, for extra comfort and a more professional setup, we’ve included the popular Homall Gaming Chair in our budget sim racing setup for under $500.

The very popular ergonomic adjustable swivel gaming chair by Homall would be a great addition to any sim racing rig. When sim racing for long hours, you want a comfortable place to sit and provide support as you compete in races!

How Well Does This Budget Sim Racing Setup Under $500 Perform?

As a budget entry sim racing setup, we are really pleased to recommend these choices to any beginner sim racer looking to get started in the hobby.

In our low-budget rig build, you get a high-quality belt-driven force feedback wheel and pedals, a sturdy adjustable wheel stand and a sleek-looking gaming chair, all for under $500!

What’s great is that the GT Omega wheel stand is compatible with all the latest sim racing wheels if you ever wanted to upgrade in the future. Plus the Homall Gaming Chair can be used at your desk not just for sim racing!

We hope you enjoyed reading this budget sim racing setup 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.