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I'm slowly putting my toe in the rabbit hole. Trying to educate myself and understand what constitutes a good setup. I have resigned myself that a muscle'y PC will be needed. Trying to figure out what wheel/gear shift/peddles/flight stick/yoke/peddles/seat/etc. make the most sense.

I may be wrong but seems like figuring out the seat (some are glorified lawn chairs but I hear good things about some of them) and some are full on hydraulic seat moving rigs. It's interesting to hear that the moving seats have limited benefit with car sims, but I wonder if they might not be more useful for flight sims?
I’ve been posting a bit here and on the other ‘racing sim’ topic but thought it might b e useful to summarise my advice on a good racing sim setup here.

On a general note: I don’t have any commercial interest in this stuff, although Charles Zwolsman of Dome Simulators is a friend of mine and my racing coach. Most of you on this forum are not based in the Netherlands anyway so I think I can safely say that I strongly recommend his sim setups without infringing any of the commercial rules on this forum😎
  1. all non-IT hardware tends to last for many years. They are the kind of investments you want to get right the first time around. This is very much a matter of penny wise - pound foulish. Your frame, seat, wheel and pedals are crucial. They will last for more than 5 years, maybe forever…
  2. make the setup as stiff as you can afford: strong frame, in particular the steering wheel mount, and a decent race chair. Frames based standard aluminum extruded profiles are a good option to keep it affordable. An example of this is this Sim-Lab. But there are plenty other options around. I don’t reccomend standard tube frames (like Playseat) they flex way too much.
  3. Choose a good racing chair, you are going to spend a lot of hours here! They don’t need to be FIA approved and that that will safe you about €150 on a chair. You can buy a good Sparco chair for €400, like the Grid Q.
  4. If you want to go for VR, test it first. Some people never get over the montion-sickness that even high-end setups can induce. And make sure you get the fastest GPU your budget allows for. VR only works properly if you can achieve very high fps in your favourite sim. I have an HTC Vive-Pro Mclaren edition (couldn’t resist buying that one😎) and can now finally play rFactor 2 properly with an RX6900 XT graphics card. I’ve personally had glitches with a RTX3090, but this should work fine as well. I’ve tested with the Vive Pro 2 and even at that resolution the 6900XT can do the job, although not at the highest graphics settings in rFactor 2. Assetto Corsa Competizione is not a problem. I’ve ditched my iRacing licence earlier this year so I can’t comment on that.
  5. Invest in the best pedals and wheel you can afford. Thrustmaster and Logitec offer decent options for their wheels, but the pedals have nothing to do with real pedal feel. Fanatec wheels are always excellent, whatever price range you choose. Their pedals are good, and a lot better than Thrustmaster and Logitec, but I think they are not their strongest points. Although Direct-Drive wheels are the ultimate options right now, I would rather take a Fanatec Club Sport wheel and Heusinkveld pedals than a Fanatec Podium wheel and clubsport pedals. My advised setup would be Heusinkveld pedals and a Fanatec Podium wheel. Although my personal choice is for a Simucube wheel because it more flexible in tuning and wheel mounting. But this requires a lot more in-depth knowledge or good support from a supplier. Fanatec is plug-and-play and has excellent support, and the quality and capabilities are at the same high level as Simucube.
  6. Find your favorite simulator and get to know that one in-depth. That will give you much more racing fun than to try 6 different software packages and not get to know any one of them properly.
A couple of things I would not spend money on:
  • motion simulators, if you want to do this right you will easily spend several 10k. All ‘cheap’ options (still several k) are fun to play with initially but pretty soon loose their attraction because they don’t add a lot to the realism. Perhaps with the one exception of a yaw-actuator.
  • expensive sound systems if you are going the VR route
  • fancy housing for your computer with complete light shows….
Don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you want more information.
 
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