Who doesn’t love a good build thread? We do, so we’ve put together all the pieces that make our new iRacing Simulator a hit! Now we didn’t go over the top with everything, but we wanted to build a middle/lower tier setup. This will be used at our upcoming events, and be able to be mobile to go to our real racing events, and much more. So check out our build thread to see what we bought for parts, and what’s to come in the future!
It’s all about the wheel and pedals. That’s one of the best places to spend money that will give you the biggest return on your investment. We decided to go with the Fanatec combo for Xbox One (which can later be used for PC if we upgrade) which made it an easy choice. We knew Forza would be the game best suited for our needs so we pulled the trigger.
With the Fanatec setup (found here on Amazon) it also came with the third clutch pedal. Honestly, we haven’t set it up yet, again keeping it user-friendly, but we could see how it would go great with the actual shifter. Now, we didn’t pop for the extra shifter setup just yet, but hopefully, down the road, we can add that into our setup. For now, we’ll stick with the paddle shifter setup which is really fun and easy to use.
We did some research to figure out the best setting for the wheel because honestly there are way too many things to try and program as just a casual setup. So once we dialed in those setting a bit we realized there’s no way in Forza Motorsport 7 to get the RPM gauge to read, which was such a bummer. It can be programmed to show brake force which is pretty nice, but c’mon… give us what we want! The Alcantara wheel is super easy to install and feels right in your hand along with the solid metal pedals and paddles. Certainly worth spending the extra couple bucks over some of the other setups we’ve seen.
Now for the stand itself, we went with the “GTR Simulator” which wasn’t the highest quality, but again it’s great for the budget weekend racer. There’s plenty of options for seats which is nice, but this one had the optional triple screen setup which we liked because we can always add that in the future with a PC setup. We likely won’t go that route, but still a cool option nonetheless. The quality, like mentioned, was maybe a 6/10 and the install instructions were less than helpful. A weld snapped off during the TV screen mount install, and the center dial to adjust the pedals was broken when it arrived. I’d maybe opt to go a different route over this setup for ease of use and quality, but a better place to cut costs than on the actual pedals. If you’re planning on using a wall mounted TV there are simply better options than this.
Like we mentioned before, mobility was key for us as we’d be taking it to events and keeping it light was a good way to go. We had a TV already to mount so that cut out a few bucks too, and we already had a speaker setup to use for good audio. Forza 7 has some great audio tracks and vehicle sounds so make sure your audio setup is on par with at least the pedals. “Middle of the road” will work, but full surround sound would be amazing. Once we had it setup with the Xbox One that came with another Forza Horizon 4 game bundle we were set to race. Then we realized it wasn’t actually the best racing game, so we picked up Forza Motorsport 7 for a discounted price which was exactly what we wanted.
So overall we’d rate this setup about a 6.7/10 which is perfect for us. Not too expensive, maybe all in for around $1,500 and the ability to crush laps at Road America while we’re at Road America… it’s perfect! So check for us at upcoming events to get your turn behind the wheel!
Total Cost Breakdown:
Fanatec Pedals, Hub, Wheel – $799.95 (we say – skip the clutch pedal and save a few bucks!)
GTR Seat Setup – $549.99
Xbox One S 1TB – $248.97
Forza Motorsport 7 – $33.54
TV – $0 (we had one and likely you do also)
Surround Sound – $0 (you probably have an old boombox with the red/white cable input)
Total Setup – $1,632.45
Best Times at Road America (Aaron Telitz – Pro Driver):
Radical – 2.03:76
Brabham – 2.19:00
Formula Mazda – 2.21:61
Audi R8 (flying lizard) – 2.09:61
Porsche 917 – 2.07:43