Take a look at how to start sim racing as cheap as possible.
Sim racing is a fantastic way both improve your lap times and racing skill digitally in the comfort of your own home. Whist still not exactly the same as the real thing, sim racing has been proven to aid real-life racing drivers with learning new tracks, finding the racing line, when to brake and manage racing strategies.
However, the issue is that sim racing can get quite costly very quickly, so how do we get a sim racing rig on the cheap?
Well, first of all, we have to look at the platform which we will use to run the games and or simulators. PC has been in the forefront due to its diverse hardware modification options. But for starting off it might be the most expensive route as well. Sony Playstation has announced a new console to be launched later this year (2020) which will make the previous version, the Sony Playstation 4, a much cheaper and capable alternative, even second hand.
With input devices, such as a controller vs a steering wheel and pedals, the steering wheel will offer a more realistic and accurate racing experience, but will be more costly at the same time. The standard Playstation controller will work just fine but will leave you with a very arcade feel. There are many racing wheels, seats and pedals on the market, the best place to look for a good one to start out with is a second hand one online. Much like gyming equipment, they are large and take up space, so as soon as someone gives up on the hobby, they usually put them up for sale in perfectly good working condition for a fraction of the original price. However, if you are not too sure if sim racing is for you, then start off with the controller and get a feel for it first, then make your decision.
As far as the full racing rig with the racing seat goes, you don't need this at all, it is simply a nice to have. A desk clamp racing wheel and pedals are more than sufficient to start with, however, if you're good with your hands, nothing is stopping you from making your own. There have been numerous gamers who have made their own custom seat rig for sim racing at a fraction of the cost of a commercial setup.
As far as software goes, it is largely console and platform dependant. Sony has their flagship racing sim called Gran Tourismo, Xbox has Forza Motorsport and PC, well, you have many options, one of which is F1, with a new updated version available every year. However, the latest racing sim is not always the best option. Every new racing sim that comes out requires more processing power and hardware performance, which can get quite costly. A racing sim that might be a year or two old is still perfect! We are looking for racing realism in terms of physics and feedback, and not necessarily only graphics, and again, this will be significantly cheaper!
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Chris Haye, on How To Start Sim Racing As Cheap As Possible.