Last updated: June 28th, 2022
Do you have someone special in your life or family, a friend, or a colleague who’s obsessed with Motorsport? Does that person also love sim racing, perfecting their lap times, and possibly spends too much time in their bedroom?
Are you stuck for inspiration on what to buy them for this Christmas holiday? If so, you’re in luck because you’ve come to the right place. We’ve written a comprehensive sim racing gift guide, (now updated for 2021) to help those of you struggling to pick presents for your sim racing mad friends and relatives this year. We’ve picked 12 ideas priced from low to high – all of which pass our criteria for being very nice gear indeed.
When to order your sim racing gear
Using our industry knowledge on the most popular and highly sought-after kit within the sim racing community, we’ve put together a Top 10 list with some of this year’s most wanted items.
If you’re feeling extremely generous this year and want to treat that special person to a full-blown sim racing rig, you should check out our guides which are full of recommendations, starting with how to build your first sim racing rig. This guide includes everything you need to know to piece together and buy a complete system, and we’ve even given you three different budget options, so there is something for everyone. You might also want to look at our prebuilt gaming PC recommendations or build one yourself, look at our guide to sim racing wheels or look at choices for a set of pedals.
What to buy a sim racer
In no particular order, here are some gift ideas for your budding sim racer.
1. New Sim Racing PC
Thanks to the ongoing chip shortage, new GPU (graphics card) availability is extremely poor. It’s actually easier to find a pre-built sim racing PC for similar money to an individual GPU might fetch on eBay!
While Christmas isn’t exactly around the corner, it is coming soon. To avoid any potential disappointment, it’s better to order these kinds of gifts a couple of months early to avoid any delivery hiccups or risking items going out of stock. With delays related to Covid-19 and well-documented shortages of items like new graphics cards, really ought to plan ahead to avoid potential disappointment.
At this stage rather than hunting high and low for individual PC components, you’d probably be better off buying a completely new sim racing PC. Check out our complete guide here or take a look at this recommendation:
2. A Complete Racing Simulator
Wow – if you’re buying someone a complete simulator for Christmas that’s a might gift indeed! We’ve recently designed two simulators at two different price points.
Our ethos is to recommend component parts with upgradeability in mind. We always say build a sim on the best chassis (sim racing cockpit) you can afford because if and when you upgrade your pedals or steering wheelbase, the forces are so much higher than cheaper rigs tend to start to flex. Flex is literally bending and you steer or brake. Not ideal! By following our guides you can quickly order the individual items ready to build a sim racing rig on Christmas day!
3. iRacing Membership
Let’s look at some slightly more affordable gifts! What better way to say Merry Christmas than to offer the chance to join over 170,000 sim racers worldwide on iRacing, which is one of the top gaming titles for sim racing. An iRacing 1 Year Membership is currently on offer with 50% off, priced at $55.
iRacing has partnered with the best racing organizations in the world to provide the most authentic online racing experience possible. Any passionate sim racer will be more than thankful for this gift as they’ll spend countless hours enjoying the game.
iRacing is the go-to sim racing software where your budding sim racer will have the opportunity to race the likes of Max Verstappen.
4. Sim Racing Driver’s Course
When I was learning how to drive, I spend a lot of time coaching with professional race coach, Scott Mansell of Driver61.com. Scott has now devised a 1 month course that helps you get faster in sim racing.
A lot of people don’t realize just how competitive sim racing actually is, Scott and his team will teach you everything you need to know to get faster in your sim.
5. Sim Racing gloves
Gloves are the perfect gift for someone who already has ‘everything.’ There are, of course, many types of racing gloves to suit all budgets and styles, but we’d like to recommend these OMP karting gloves.
These gloves provide excellent cushioning and grip on the wheel with anatomical suede patches on the palm and fingers. Plus, they feature single panel construction, which provides a comfortable fit, with elasticated wrists making it easier to put them on.
The Fanatec Clubsport Handbrake V1.5 is the first and lowest priced of a selection of Clubsport Series gifts from Fanatec we’d like to recommend as Christmas goodies. This handbrake lets drivers slide through the corners and perform perfect drifts in rally simulations.
Players can use the handbrake together with Fanatec racing wheels on either PC or consoles like PS4 and Xbox One. A handbrake would be a great choice if you want to buy a surprise piece of kit for someone you know, but you don’t know what gaming platform they use. If Fanatec isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out our guide to sim racing handbrakes here.
7. Gear Shifter
Next in line is Fanatec’s Clubsport Shifter SQ V1.5. Shifters help create an extra layer of realism for any sim racing game, and this model is made entirely of metal, which equates to excellent quality, durability, and reliability.
The Clubsport Shifter’s advanced technology provides authentic immersion while racing. If you’re planning to pair this gift up with a wheel, pedals, or both, the Clubsport series offers a remarkable ecosystem that allows users to connect the shifter to the wheelbase, or directly into the PC with a USB adapter. For more options, check out our guide to sim racing shifters here.
8. Sim Racing Boots
Just like the gloves we mentioned above, racing boots (or karting boots) are available in a wide range of styles and sizes, and as it happens, they also make great Christmas gifts! Race boots provide the driver with a significant amount of feel on the pedals.
Our choice for Christmas 2021 is the 2020 Sparco K-Run kart boots, which are lightweight yet robust and designed with a wide toe area to offer optimum comfort and feel. They’re breathable to reduce sweating and keep feet cooler while giving excellent grip and feel on the pedals for greater control.
9. An Upgrade to Triple Monitors
By adding triple monitors to your sim racing rig, you can greatly improve the “immersion” (the feeling of sim racing actually being quite real) of your simulator. Monitor stands come in several shapes and sizes, but in general, they are designed to stand over a sim racing rig and allow for the adjustment of the height, spacing, and angle of the monitors. A triple monitor stand can accommodate 3 monitors and are always VESA mount compatible, making it very easy to find monitors for your setup too.
A great allrounder, built to very high standards for maximum rigidity with no flex, our choice for this Christmas is a triple monitor mount from Sim’Lab. It can accommodate up to three 27″ to 45″ monitors and is made from high-grade aluminum.
If you’re looking for a set of compatibly sized triple monitors and you’d like some advice on what to buy, check out our gaming monitors buyer’s guide here.
10. Sim Racing Pedals
Another great gift from Fanatec, the ClubSport Pedals V3, is one of the most popular and widely used pedal sets within the sim racing world, and for a good reason.
They are great value for money and offer enough feel and sensitivity to see a driver through many years of sim racing. They’re plug and play too, so plug them into your PC or PS4 and that’s it.
There are of course better pedals priced slightly higher, so if we’re dealing with an intermediate to expert sim racer we recommend you check out some of the items listed on our pedal buyer’s guide, with our preference aimed very squarely at the Team Redline variant of the Heusinkveld Sprint:
11. Wheelbase and Steering Wheel upgrade
If your sim racer is upgrading from something like a Logitech G29, this excellent new Fanatec CSL DD is a serious piece of kit priced at around 400 Euros. It’s our suggestion for anyone looking for one of the cheapest, smoothest, and most powerful wheels on the market.
Like all the Fanatec products we’ve mentioned in this guide, it features a lot of modularity, so players can connect all their other driving equipment to their PC or console via one cable.
If your driver is a bit more advanced than the CSL range, we recommend looking at the technically superior Fanatec DD2 wheelbase range. If he/she already has a Fanatec wheel, the steering wheel will be compatible with the DD2 meaning you only need to buy the wheelbase itself. For more help, refer to our sim racing wheels buyer’s guide.
12. 49″ Ultra Wide Gaming monitor
Our top-shelf offering for Christmas 2021 is the Samsung G9. This super ultra-wide 49″ screen with its innovative 32:9 aspect ratio allows sim racers to see game scenes in their entirety, with a much broader field of view than generic monitors.
The 1000R curved panel immerses users in gameplay and delivers iMax-style cinematic viewing for all those intense races and hot laps. Give this to any sim racer, and you’ll be guaranteed to make their day this Christmas!