Driving simulator cockpits are used for entertainment and training of drivers’ education courses taught in educational institutions and private businesses. They are also used for research purposes in human factors and medical research, to monitor driver behavior, performance, and attention, and in the car industry to design and evaluate new vehicles or new advanced driver assistance systems.
With E-sports becoming more and more popular with each passing day, it’s no surprise to see racing simulators becoming commonplace. Professional racers up to Formula1 use racing simulators to practice their driving and help learn tracks, and there are even professional sim racing leagues like the F1 Esports series. With talented sim racers even being drafted into real-world racing, you may want to buy yourself a wheel and pedals to get in on this exciting and relatively new hobby.
Driving Simulator Cockpits
If you have money to invest in a simulator set up, then you can purchase some steering wheel, pedal, shifter, which can be combined and be paired with an electronic handbrake. A handbrake won’t be of interest to someone looking to do circuit racing, for example, but is a must-have if you want to use your simulator for drifting. Likewise, those looking to use a simulator for rally racing should also get a handbrake.
PC or Console
Whether you decide to play with a driver simulator cockpit on PC or console depends on how seriously you want to take the sim racing hobby. Sim racers who play on PC do so for two reasons: there’s more wheel or pedal support, and there’s a wider variety to compatible games. Some of the high-end wheels, such as the force feedback wheels we mentioned above, are available on PC only. These wheels will sometimes also come with buttons that can be mapped to perform certain tasks, which isn’t always possible on consoles.
Cockpits and Wheel stands
You are probably wondering where you will mount your wheel and pedals, and there’s no shortage of options for you on this front. First, we will budget options like wheel stands. A driving simulator cockpit stand is essentially just a portable, fixed stand for you to mount your wheel and pedals to, which can then be pulled up to a chair in front of your TV. Then there are more expensive cockpits from many companies; they usually combine the wheel stand and a seat with a racer-like position in one unit. Finally, there are a motion simulator. These attempt to mimic the g-forces of driving by using hydraulics to tilt and turn when cornering, accelerating, or braking. You have to like racing virtually to buy one of these.
What to buy ultimately depends on what games you want to play and how much you want to spend, but some sim racing setups where beginners can’t go wrong. In addition, we suggest you drive a simulator cockpit, which will allow you to feel nearly everything that’s going on while you’re racing.