Best racing sim cockpits in 2023

The best racing sim cockpits do so much to enhance your experience in racing games like Forza Horizon. We've got seven top recommendations for you.

best racing sim cockpits - two cockpits against a bright colored gradient background

The best racing sim cockpits elevate games in a way not dissimilar to VR headsets. They accurately reproduce the driving positions and the placement of instruments you would be manipulating in a real car, making your game feel much more tactile and immersive. Racing sim cockpits don’t come with any wheels or pedals of their own so you’ll definitely want to pair them with the best PC steering wheels to complete your setup.

When shopping for a racing sim cockpit, you’re going to come across the same names quite frequently. The biggest players in the game are Next Level Racing and Playseat who comprise the majority of our picks. This is for good reason as this is what most people are buying owing to their build quality, customizability and features which is what we’ll be looking at to determine our choices.

We will also factor in the value on offer, and how well-suited they are to different racing games such as GT, track, rally, and Formula One. The Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit which we believe to be the best pick overall, as you won’t be wanting for much else any time soon and leaves the door open for their Motion Platform if you really want to take racing sims and run with them.

We’ve handpicked the best sim racing cockpits for every price point, so read on to discover which is right for you.

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The best racing sim cockpits are:

Best racing sim cockpit: the Next Level acing GT Track Cockpit.

1. Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit

Best racing sim cockpit overall.

Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Track, GT, Rally
Weight 45.36kg
Dimensions 100.33 x 62.23 x 59.7 cm


  • Compatible with all major wheel and pedal manufacturers
  • Huge amount of customization
  • Solid construction


  • Quite expensive
  • Requires dedicated space
  • Not the best for F1

Though a retail price of $899.99 (£749.99) makes it an expensive option, if you’re serious about racing sims then you can’t do much better than the Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit. It’s adaptable and highly customizable.

The weight – while unpractical if you can’t have a dedicated space – is ideal for enthusiasts as you know you will be firmly planted in the one spot without much fear of tipping over. If you do need to move it into position when in use, there are lockable castor wheels.

Be it Thrustmaster, Logitech, or Fanatec, whatever your gear of choice is you know it’s going to play nice with the GT Track, making it easy to recommend to all.

While it may be the best overall, if you are all about Formula One then this may not be the chair for you as you can’t quite get the correct seating layout to best replicate the low-behind high-feet position of F1 cars.

Best racing sim cockpit: the Playseat Challenge.


2. Playseat Challenge

Best budget racing sim cockpit

Playseat Challenge specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Track, GT, Rally, Formula One
Weight 8.5kg
Dimensions 124 x 27 x 54 cm


  • Inexpensive
  • Portable


  • No gear shifter mount

If you don’t have a lot of space, want a cheap portable solution, or only dabble in racing sims or all of the above – the Playseat Challenge is the racing sim cockpit for you as it offers all of that at a wallet-friendly price.

The Playseat Challenge offers a decent F1 seating position for the price too, allowing you to get pretty low but your feet won’t quite be high enough if this is the main type of racing you want to do.

However, when you’re in pole position and you’ve got someone in your slipstream getting ready to pass you in the last corner before the finish – your mind probably won’t be occupied thinking about how you are essentially sitting on a very fancy deck chair and that’s because the Playseat Challenge really offers you everything you need.

That is except for a gear shifter mount which is quite the thorn in the Playseats side, but due to how many racing cars come with paddle shifters – this may be a non-issue for you. If you do need one, there are aftermarket solutions or you can opt for our best pick for a portable racing sim cockpit.

Best racing sim cockpits: the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite.


3. Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite

Best minimalist racing sim cockpit.

Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Track, GT, Rally
Weight 13kg
Dimensions 60 x 48 x 50-75 cm


  • Very compact
  • Solid mounting


  • Upgrade path isn’t the best value

If you are really tight for space and can only play at your desk then Next Level Racing’s Wheel Stand Lite offers a robust solution to allow you to hook up some serious kit without taking up half the living room.

The solid construction with mounting points compatible with all major wheel and pedal manufacturers ensures you’ll have a great experience too – with the added weight of your equipment and feet helping to plant the otherwise light setup to the floor. It doesn’t quite offer a competent F1 driving experience but if you only have a small space to play with, you’d be hard-pressed to have a better minimalist setup.

Unfortunately, the upgrade path doesn’t offer a huge amount of value if you want to progress to a full racing cockpit with an integrated seat. The Next Level Racing Seat Add-On comes with a pretty uncomfortable seat compared to other competitors. It truly shines as a standalone unit for those who are happy to (or have no choice to) pair it with their office chair.


Best racing sim cockpit: the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite.

4. Next Level Racing F-GT Lite

Best portable racing sim cockpit.

Next Level Racing F-GT Lite specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Track, GT, Rally, Formula One
Weight 19kg
Dimensions 175 X 75 X 127 cm (GT position)
164 X 75 X 94 cm (Formula position)
75 X 40 X 87 cm (folded)


  • Comprehensive portable solution
  • Good for Track, GT and F1


  • Difficult to pack away
  • Not best suited for powerful force drivers

If you don’t have the space to play with but you have the budget, Next Level Racing’s G-GT Lite offers the full driving sim experience for all types of racing in a very convenient and portable solution.

Because of its foldable nature, it’s really easy to adjust it between different positions so if you feel like a spot of Formula One in the morning and some rally after lunch – you won’t need to reach for the hex key as there’s a nifty quick release solution (like the wheels of a bicycle).

This amount of flexibility can meet its match with some of the more powerful force-feedback racing wheels out there with some users reporting that these systems can cause enough fatigue over time to crack the plastic components of the wheel mount. This would require a serious piece of kit to do this if you fall into this camp, something more solid will suit you better.

Due to its lightweight nature and multiple folding points, it can be a bit fiddly to put away when all your components are on it as they will all want to swing away in different directions. Once you get the hang of it though it should become a pain-free ritual.

Best racing sim cockpit: the GT Omega Apex.


5. GT Omega APEX

Best racing sim cockpit for beginners.

GT Omega APEX specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Track, GT, Rally
Weight 15.65kg
Dimensions 69 x 56 x 67 cm


  • Great upgrade path
  • Versatile
  • Portable in its original form


  • Will never satisfy a true F1 experience
  • Can be tricky to dial in the driving position

If you are serious about getting into racing sims but don’t quite want to fork out for a full cockpit just yet, the GT Omega APEX offers a compelling package with a good upgrade path should you want to expand your horizons further down the line.

The Apex Rear Seat Frame add-on offers a lot more versatility when it comes to its competitors as you can choose your own seat. In the meantime, the solid construction will keep your wheel and pedals firmly planted without fear of flexing or damaging any of the mounting points and before you attach a chair to it, it can be stowed away when not in use.

The very solid build does mean that it can be fiddly to set up and put away as it can be a bit stiff but this is preferable to something breaking for the sake of convenience. Its versatility means it isn’t well suited for a true Formula One setup as the seating position will never quite match that of a real F1 car.

Overall, its adaptability and granular upgrade potential allow it to grow with you on your racing sim journey meaning you’ll never have to spend more than you’re comfortable with at any given time.

Best racing sim cockpit: the F1 Playseat Pro Formula.


6. Playseat Pro Formula

Best premium F1 racing sim cockpit

Playset Pro Formula specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Formula One
Weight 29kg
Dimensions 72.5 x 51 x 60 cm


  • Excellent F1 experience
  • Premium build quality and fabrics


  • Very expensive
  • Only Red Bull livery is available in the US

If you live, breathe, and sleep F1 and have the cash to fund your hobby then the Playseat Pro Formula offers the best experience you could hope for with an authentic driving position, premium build, and of course the bragging rights that you will have earned after coughing up the MSRP of $1,499.99 (£1,299).

When paired with a high-end wheel, pedals, and maybe even a VR headset, you will be transported to the likes of Monaco, and driving your regular car may just never feel the same again. We don’t think anyone would think twice if you bought a racing suit and helmet to go along with it either so you could really go all in.

You are sacrificing portability and the option to neatly store it away but if you are spending this kind of money on your hobby then this probably isn’t an issue for you. Unfortunately in the US, only the Pro Formula in the Red Bull livery is available which is slightly more expensive and may not represent your favorite F1 team.

Best racing sim cockpt: the F1 Next Level Racing F-GT.


7. Next Level Racing F-GT Formula and GT

Best value F1 racing sim cockpit.

Next Level Racing F-GT Formula and GT specs:

Compatibility Thrustmaster, Logitech, Fanatec
Best suited for Formula One, GT, Track, Rally
Weight 45kg
Dimensions 170 x 60 x 100 cm (Formula)
140 x 60 x 125 cm (GT)


  • Highly adaptable
  • Good F1 racing position
  • Much sturdier than portable options


  • Not the best for tall people

If you want a good F1 racing sim experience whilst retaining the option to get good seating positions for other racing games all without completely breaking the bank, then the Next Level Racing F-GT could be a potential winner for you as it offers all of the above for an MSRP of $549.99 (£499.99). The F-GT is frequently on sale too making its value proposition even better.

The angle of the seat can be adjusted and the pedals are elevated meaning you can get a very good F1 seating position. Adjusting it isn’t quite as simple as its lightweight counterpart the F-GT Lite but it’s far sturdier, allowing for strong force feedback drivers that won’t cause any damage to the cockpit.

You can’t get quite as slung back as the Playseat Pro Formula but it is a third of the cost making it easy to forgive – especially if you want to dabble in something else. Some tall consumers have reported that it isn’t very well suited for them so if you are 6 foot tall and above, then you may want to consider something else as it’s a lot of money and hassle to go through to find out it doesn’t quite work for you.

How we chose the best racing sim cockpits

In order to decide which cockpits to include in this list, we took the following factors into consideration:

  • Pricing: These are expensive purchases, but it has to be said that some options are more affordable than others. We wanted to include options to accommodate as many people as possible (including those on smaller budgets). Of course, the more expensive options tend to be higher quality, but the cheaper ones still pack a punch.
  • Size: These cockpits aren’t small, so we wanted to offer a selection of cockpits of different sizes. Bigger isn’t always better, in this case, we went for a variety of size, but no variety in quality.
  • Build quality: We’re not going to recommend anything flimsy. We looked carefully at the quality of the build for countless cockpits and picked these best on their ruggedness and reliability.
  • Portability: Depending on your lifestyle, some gamers are going to want an option that can easily be moved around. Either so that it can be stored away between play sessions, or potentially even to transport between different locations. We’ve included options to accommodate readers who need this.

Our list of the best racing games on PC is well worth reading if you want to grab a game to go with your new cockpit.