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 the basement?
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 for 2020 to help those of you struggling to pick presents for your sim racing mad friends and relatives this year.
When to order your sim racing gear
While Christmas isn’t exactly around the corner, 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.
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 order of price, here are some gift ideas for your budding sim racer.
1. iRacing Membership
So, let’s kick it off with our first and most affordable gift. 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.
2. 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.
3. (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.
5. 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.
6. 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 2020 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.
7. Monitor Stands
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 great allrounder, built to very high standards for maximum rigidity with no flex, our choice for this Christmas present is the Trak Racer Triple 3 Monitor Floor Mounting Stand. It fits up to three 35″ 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.
8. 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.
9. Wheelbase and Steering Wheel
If your sim racer is upgrading from something like a Logitech G29, the Fanatec Clubsport V2.5 is a top-end belt-driven wheel, and our final recommendation to complete the Clubsport series. This serious piece of kit is our suggestion for anyone looking for one of the quickest, smoothest, and most powerful wheels on the market. It’s PC and PS4 compatible.
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 Clubsport 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.
10. Prebuilt gaming desktop PC
*The* gaming PC to own is one with a NVIDIA 30 series GPU installed. Most of us feel the RTX 3080 is at the ideal point between budget and performance. Most games can run on maximum settings with one of these, so if budget allows, a new prebuilt gaming PC would go down very well:
This desktop gaming PC from Skytech features an AMD Ryzen 9 3900 3.1GHz CPU and the all important NVIDIA RTX 3080. It has a better specification that the current workhorse at SRC HQ! (for now)…
11. 49″ Ultra Wide Gaming monitor
Our top-shelf offering for Christmas 2020 is the Samsung LC49HG90DMUXEN. 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 1800R 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!