FANATEC SIM RACING BUYER’S GUIDE (EUROPE)

We've put together an overview of all current and upcoming Fanatec products in our Fanatec Sim Racing Buyer's Guide, so that you can find the right products for your start in the virtual racing world or upgrade of your current sim racing setup.

In the last few weeks and months, I’ve received many messages and questions about tips and recommendations on sim racing products and the right entry-level setup. Thanks to a wide product portfolio in all price ranges, the focus is very often on Fanatec products. Our Fanatec Sim Racing Buyer’s Guide contains the most important information and products at a glance. With the purchase of the products via our affiliate links you also support KEEPONRACING.DE.

Fanatec is one of the best-known and rapidly growing brands in sim racing hardware. The Fanatec product range encompasses force feedback steering wheels, pedals and complete cockpits for PlayStation, Xbox and PC-based racing simulators. Fanatec racing simulation hardware is developed and constructed in Germany and sold exclusively worldwide in its own Fanatec online webshop.

Made for Sim Racers by Sim Racers

The Fanatec brand is part of Endor AG, based in Landshut, Bavaria, and was founded in 1997 by Thomas Jackermeier. After producing steering wheels for PC and Sony PlayStation in the 1990s, a steering wheel for the first Forza Motorsport racing game for the Xbox followed in collaboration with Turn10 – the “Porsche 911 Turbo S” and “Porsche 911 GT2” steering wheels. For a long time they were the only force feedback capable steering wheels for the Xbox 360. In 2011 the first steering wheels licensed by Forza Motorsport were introduced in the form of the „CSR“ steering wheel and the „CSR Elite“ steering wheel.

Over time, Endor developed a close relationship not only with console manufacturers, but also with automobile manufacturers. With exclusive rights from Porsche, replicas of the original steering wheels were developed for console and PC. There was also a collaboration with BMW with the „BMW M3 GT2“ steering wheel as a true-to-original replica from the touring car championship.

I got to know Thomas many years ago as a passionate racer and sim racer at gamescom, who has always been and is closely connected to the sim racing community, personally comments Facebook posts on Fanatec products and customer feedback, and ultimately turned his hobby into a profession and company. He is passionate about sim racing and always wants to inspire sim racing fans with new features and innovations from his hardware manufactory in Landshut.

Fanatec Product Series at a Glance

The products from the extensive Fanatec ecosystem are divided into three categories – CSL, ClubSport and Podium. The ClubSport series was released first, while CSL and Podium products extended the portfolio later on.

CSL
The CSL entry-level hardware series uses features and technologies from ClubSport products and offers a very good price-performance ratio – ideal for those starting out with sim racing. In terms of quality and product features, they stand out from their rivals Thrustmaster and Logitech.

ClubSport
Advanced and solid sim racing hardware technology with high-quality materials are built into the ClubSport products. More experienced sim racing pilots will find the right products here.

Podium
The Podium series forms the high-end product category from Fanatec. With the most powerful hardware, such as the DD1 and DD2 direct drive wheel bases and high-quality steering wheels with magnetic shifter paddles, sim racing experts and pros will find the right choice here.

Fanatec Hardware Compatibility Explained

The cross-compatibility of Fanatec products is made possible thanks to the quick release system, with which you can easily switch between the ClubSport and Podium steering wheels and most of the CSL steering wheels.

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 compatibility is only achieved through the wheel base itself. For Xbox compatibility, on the other hand, it depends on the steering wheel connected. So the steering wheel has to be “Xbox ready”. PlayStation steering wheels and wheel bases are only compatible with both systems if one of the Xbox One compatible steering wheels is installed. There are other steering wheels, but they can only be used on PS4 / PS5 and PC. However, all products are PC compatible.

Peripherals like pedals, shifters and handbrakes must be connected directly to a console-compatible wheel base or racing wheel in order to work with consoles.

Fanatec Product Recommendations

Fanatec Sim Racing Entry-Level-Setup starting from 569,95 €
For sim racing novices and rookies, Fanatec offers two inexpensive product bundles – the CSL Elite PlayStation Starter Kit and the CSL Elite F1 Set – officially licensed for PlayStation. Both packages include the CSL Elite Wheel Base + – officially licensed for PlayStation with the CSL Elite pedals and only differ in the additional steering wheel. If you prefer to race in Formula cars, GT3 and GT4 vehicles as well as prototypes, you should go for the CSL Elite F1 Set – officially licensed for PlayStation, as this formula steering wheel shape is best suited to the real racecar counterpart.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW
Product Bundles with Pedals
CSL Elite PlayStation Starter Kit
CSL Elite F1 Set – officially licensed for PlayStation
Product Bundles without Pedals
CSL Elite Racing Wheel – officially licensed for PlayStation
CSL Elite Racing Wheel WRC for Xbox One & PC
CSL Elite Racing Wheel WRC for PlayStation
CSL Elite Racing Wheel F1 Esports for PlayStation (currently sold out)
CSL Elite Racing Wheel BMW GT2 for PlayStation
Wheel Base (single unit)

CSL Elite Wheel Base + – officially licensed for PlayStation
Steering Wheels
Fanatec CSL Universal Hub
CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2
CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC
Pedals

CSL Elite Pedals
CSL Elite Pedals LC
Recommended Upgrades
CSL Elite Pedals Loadcell Kit

The inner workings of the CSL Elite Wheel Base + – officially licensed for PlayStation with belt drive, delivers six Newton meters to the steering axis and can thus ensure even distributed power delivery as well as precise and fast response without dead centers for all steering wheels of the CSL and ClubSport series. In addition, large ball bearings ensure little friction. The high performance of the servo motor, however, results in audible ventilation, but this is bearable since it ensures a long life of the motor. Compatibility with Xbox One (including Scorpio) can be achieved by separately available steering wheels with Xbox One compatibility.

The CSL steering wheel P1 for Xbox One and PC from the CSL Elite Racing Wheel – officially licensed for PlayStation is currently the lowest priced steering wheel in the ClubSport series and is very well made with brushed, anodized aluminum and alcantara cover and in addition very light at 970 grams . The RevStripe with the three-digit LED display is rather unusual in this price range. An illuminated strip shows you when to shift gears and the display can be used for tuning settings or to display telemetry data. Rally fans can’t go wrong with the CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC.

As a real alternative to the proven ClubSport Steering Wheel Universal Hub for XBOX ONE, Fanatec now added the inexpensive Fanatec CSL Universal Hub to the CSL product range. The CSL Universal Hub supports a large number of steering wheel rims and combines a lot of functions of the ClubSport Universal Hub at a price that is 200 EUR cheaper.

Despite the low price, the CSL Elite Pedals offer materials and technologies that are also used in more expensive pedal models. The construction is made of metal and has a high level of durability and stability. The built-in potentiometer is essentially a position sensor. With the help of a mechanical resistance such as a spring or a damper, the position of the pedal is measured and interpreted by the racing game as braking force.

I recommend, sooner or later, an upgrade to the optional brake pedal unit with the CSL Elite Pedals Loadcell Kit with a load cell for up to 90 kg pedal pressure. The replacement electronics enables a direct USB connection to the PC and offers a connection option for a ClubSport Handbrake V1.5.

The durable load cells measure the force exerted on the brake. You can then brake much more precisely and sensitively with muscle tension, just like in a real racing car.

Fanatec Sim Racing Setup for Experienced Sim Racers starting from 1.159,85 €

The Fanatec ClubSport Wheel Base V2.5 from the Forza Motorsport Bundle for Xbox One & PC ensures strong and fast force feedback effects due to its belt drive and large ball bearings. Thanks to the modular system, Fanatec gives you the choice between a wide variety of steering wheels – in Formula, GT, Drift, Historic or NASCAR style that fit on the wheel base.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW
Product Bundles with Pedals and Shifter
Forza Motorsport Bundle for Xbox One & PC
Product Bundles without Pedals

ClubSport Racing Wheel V2.5 BMW GT2
ClubSport Racing Wheel V2.5 GT Forza Motorsport for Xbox One
Wheel Base (single unit)

ClubSport Wheel Base V2.5

Steering Wheels
ClubSport Steering Wheel F1® Esports (currently sold out)
ClubSport Steering Wheel BMW GT2
ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula Carbon
ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2
ClubSport Steering Wheel Drift XBOX ONE
ClubSport Steering Wheel GT XBOX ONE
ClubSport Steering Wheel GT Forza Motorsport XBOX ONE
ClubSport Steering Wheel Round 1 XBOX ONE
ClubSport Steering Wheel Porsche 918 RSR
ClubSport Steering Wheel Classic 2
ClubSport Steering Wheel R330
ClubSport Steering Wheel R300
ClubSport Steering Wheel GT Alcantara
ClubSport Steering Wheel NASCAR
ClubSport Steering Wheel Flat 2
ClubSport Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Leather
ClubSport Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede
Pedals
ClubSport Pedals V3

ClubSport Pedals V3 inverted
Recommended Upgrades

ClubSport Pedale V3 Brake Performance Kit
ClubSport Magnetic Paddle Module
Podium Advanced Paddle Module
Button Caps and Sticker Set
More Products
ClubSport Steering Wheel Universal Hub for XBOX ONE
ClubSport Wheel Rim Drift
ClubSport Wheel Rim GT
ClubSport Wheel Rim GT Forza Motorsport
ClubSport Wheel Rim Round 1
ClubSport Wheel Rim Classic 2
ClubSport Wheel Rim R330
ClubSport Wheel Rim GT Alcantara
ClubSport Wheel Rim Flat 2
ClubSport Wheel Rim Flat 1
ClubSport Pedals V3 Damper Kit
ClubSport Shifter SQ V 1.5
ClubSport Shifter Carbon Knobs Kit
ClubSport Handbrake V1.5
ClubSport Quick Release Adapter Black
ClubSport Button Cluster Paket
RennSport Cockpit V2
RennSport Cockpit Single Monitor Stand V2
RennSport Cockpit Triple Monitor Stand V2
Sparco Pro 2000 seat for RennSport Cockpit

The ClubSport Steering Wheel Universal Hub for XBOX ONE and the Podium Hub allow you to mount other original steering wheels from well-known manufacturers such as MOMO, SPARCO or OMP in addition to the steering wheel rims from Fanatec. With a simple six-screw design, you can switch between the steering wheels as you like and position the five controls individually – depending on the steering wheel. In order to save money when buying a steering wheel with the ClubSport Universal Hub, it makes sense to select a steering wheel at the same time to get a bundle discount when buying together with some steering wheels.

The ClubSport Pedals V3 offer maximum value-for-money and are equipped with a 90 kg load cell on the brake pedal and contactless Hall sensors on the accelerator and clutch pedals. Therefore, they are probably most widespread sim racing pedal model. While you have to remember the pedal travel in entry-level pedal sets due to the missing load cell , with the ClubSport Pedals V3 you can use the so-called muscle memory to apply the correct brake pressure more intuitively and repeatedly. In addition, this makes your lap times much more consistent. The pedal set is also available as an inverted version.

For the ClubSport Pedals V3, however, I definitely recommend the additional ClubSport Pedale V3 Brake Performance Kit. This makes the pedal travel shorter and harder and thus even more realistic.

Fanatec Sim Racing Pro Setup starting from 2.009,90 €

The non plus ultra in the Fanatec product range are the direct drive wheel bases. They offer the most authentic and precise sim racing experience and are used by numerous professional racing drivers and esports racing experts. The handlebar is directly connected to a powerful electric motor, so that extremely fast power and data transmission can take place. You can now feel every bump!

Fanatec offers two product bundles – the Podium Racing Wheel Formula for Xbox One & PC and the Podium Racing Wheel F1, which is compatible with all PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 systems. This makes the Podium Racing Wheel F1 the only direct-drive-wheel base for PlayStation.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW
Product Bundles without Pedals
Podium Racing Wheel Formula for Xbox One & PC
Podium Racing Wheel F1
Wheel Base (single unit)

Podium Wheel Base DD1

Podium Wheel Base DD2
Steering Wheels
ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2
Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Leather

Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede
Podium Steering Wheel R300
Podium Steering Wheel Classic 2
Podium Steering Wheel NASCAR
Pedals
ClubSport Pedals V3

ClubSport Pedals V3 inverted
Recommended Upgrades

ClubSport Pedale V3 Brake Performance Kit
Podium Advanced Paddle Module
Button Caps and Sticker Set
More Products

Podium Wheel Rim NASCAR
Podium Wheel Rim Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Leather

Podium Wheel Rim Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Suede
Podium Wheel Rim Classic II
Podium Button Module Endurance

Podium Kill Switch
Podium Mounting Brackets
Podium Hub
ClubSport Pedals V3 Damper Kit
ClubSport Shifter SQ V 1.5
ClubSport Shifter Carbon Knobs Kit
ClubSport Handbrake V1.5
RennSport Cockpit V2
RennSport Cockpit Single Monitor Stand V2
RennSport Cockpit Triple Monitor Stand V2
Sparco Pro 2000 seat for RennSport Cockpit

The peak torque is significantly higher than with wheel bases with belt drive. Peak torques of 20 Newton meters for the Podium Wheel Base DD1 and 25 Newton meters for the Podium Wheel Base DD2 are comparable to the torque value in most real power-steering-assisted racing cars.

If you are sim racing with the aim of experiencing the most realistic racing experience possible and, like me, training for real test and racing events, investing in a wheel base with direct drive definitely makes sense.

The steering wheel highlight of the ClubSport series is the compact ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2 with a 27 cm diameter and multi-colored LED strips, OLED display and numerous buttons and rotary switches. The steering wheel becomes even more realistic with the upgrade to the Podium Advanced Paddle Module, which is equipped with a dual clutch system and magnetic shift lever with carbon fiber plates.

With the Podium Button Module Endurance, GT3 and Porsche fans have the opportunity to prepare themselves appropriately for endurance races. With the authentic replica of the Porsche 911 GT3 R steering wheel, including a larger LED display and the matching buttons and rotary switches from the real racing vehicle, you are well equipped for virtual endurance races.

However, prerequisite for use of a direct drive wheel base and strong pedals is a solid sim racing rig with close to no flex. Fanatec offers the RennSport Cockpit V2, with which I’ve not have had any experience, yet. I use the SIM-FORCE ONE aluminum rig, which I also wrote about in my sim racing setup blog post. With the code „KEEPONRACING“ you even get a 5% discount.

New and Upcoming Fanatec Products

Fanatec CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2
The CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 at a price of 199.95 EUR looks very similar to the original version, but has been significantly improved with magnetic paddles and thus offers you realistic magnetic shift levers and a multi-purpose paddle system.

The mechanism of the magnetic shift levers has been redesigned and it is still possible to shift up and down with one hand. The dual clutch paddles are also improved. This is the most affordable steering wheel in the Fanatec range with a white OLED display. Here you have access to the functions of the tuning menu and the in-game telemetry data.

No clamping screw is required with the built-in Fanatec Quick Release. The improved and simplified quick release adapter can easily be attached to the wheel base by hand without any tools. The adapter is also removable and can be replaced by the ClubSport Quick Release Adapter, which enables high torque mode on Fanatec Podium Wheel Bases.

Fanatec BMW M4 GT3-Hybrid-Lenkrad
In collaboration with Fanatec, BMW Motorsport has developed a steering wheel for the BMW M4 GT3 that can be used in the racing car and the racing simulator at the same time – a technology transfer that has never been seen before in racing.

In fact, no modifications are necessary for use in the real racecar. The steering wheel is a motorsport construction made of carbon with illuminated buttons and magnetic dual-action paddles made of carbon.

The BMW Motorsport engineers permanently check the durability of the steering wheel in real racing as part of extensive test drives. It will be available from Fanatec in the first half of 2021 (Q2 2021). You can find more information at bmw.fanatec.com.

Fanatec CSL Elite Lenkrad WRC
The new inner and outer design of the CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC with the imprint of the tire profile and the orange accents on the seam and the paddle shifters is a real eye-catcher. With a diameter of 300mm, the steering wheel is suitable for various vehicle categories and the lightweight construction is ideal for the quick reactions that demanding rally stages require.

The improved and simplified quick release is simply clamped by hand onto the steering axle and no longer requires any tools. The new design can also be exchanged with the ClubSport Quick Release Adapter.

The bright orange shift paddles can be removed to make space for the optionally available ClubSport Static Shifter Paddles (standing shift levers).

Fanatec products are already an integral part of the 2020 WRC esports championship based on WRC 8, the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship.

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