Racing simulators come in all shapes and sizes, from fully blown sim rigs to desktop sim setups. When they get started, most sim racers assemble everything from scratch from constructing the cockpit (rig) to building a sim racing PC, choosing a monitor – you know, that sort of stuff.
Money solves a lot of problems and fortunately, there are options to save time and effort by buying a ready-made racing simulator instead of building your own. And believe me, if you don’t have 2 weeks spare to tinker with the finer settings, this article will save you a lot of hassle.
Ready-made racing simulators, often referred to as “Turnkey Simulators”, are built and set up by professionals to make sure the gear is configured as well as it possibly can be, and that you have support when things go South.
A Ready-Made Racing Simulator vs. Your Custom Build – Which approach is better?
If you’re a tech-savvy person and have a lot of time on your hands and want to save a few bucks on the racing sim, it is always ideal to build your rig from scratch. With just a chassis, you can create a personalized experience by setting up each component of your rig that offers a realistic simulation experience.
- The World Champion
- The Grand Prix
- The Double Apex
- GT1 Drift Race Rally Bundle
- Formula Intelligence Bundle
- The Perfect Start
Making the case for building your own Racing Simulator
Building a racing sim on your own is a weary task since choosing, and sourcing the right parts alone can take weeks. Once you’ve researched and chosen all of the components and the accessories you need (hopefully by reading our buyer’s guides!), the assembly itself requires some skill and knowledge.
Aside from basic assembly skills (most racing simulators are held together by M6 to M8 hex bolts), you have to keep in mind the subtleties of a well-set up rig, from proper monitor mounting, setting up the graphics and FOV after installing iRacing (or your preferred simulator), and pretty much a million other things when you’re building your racing sim. Not that I want to put you off – there’s a huge joy in understanding how everything works, what to do if something goes wrong and how to fit an upgrade later on.
Making the case for “Turnkey*” Racing Simulators
*Spoiler: simulators do not have keys (although you could build a mod to do exactly that)
On the other hand, if you have an unfilled desire to get into the world of sim racing, but feel a little technically restricted by your skills, it makes a ton of sense to purchase a ready-made turnkey racing simulator. This is, as it happens, how I got into sim racing (I needed a sim to practice for my real Motorsport exploits.
With a ready-made racing rig, you’re just a single click away from a dream simulator that’ll launch you into full-on e-sports racing. However, turnkey simulators do tend to cost a bit more as compared to custom ones. But bear in mind your time in cost. Most of our readers have other responsibilities, kids or a big full-time job – time is precious these days.
So, in short, building a racing simulator or buying a ready-made one, both have pros and cons and, if you have the time and skills to build one, I think it’s better to build your own (like this one where we’ve parted all the items out for you).
On the other hand, if you want to save the hassle but don’t mind spending a good chunk of your money, get your hands on a ready-made rig.
Best Ready-Made Racing Simulators – Our Picks
Today’s round-up focuses on the best ready-made “turnkey” racing simulators on the market that tick all of our boxes. With a wide selection of turnkey simulators, we’ve made sure that our readers have options from high-tiered gear at a price to beginner’s sim racing setups so, there’s something for everyone.
The World Champion
The World Champion from AdvancedSimRacing is a high-end racing simulator and, all things considered one of the best that money can buy. Rocking a high strenth, thick aluminium profile build, this one is built to last. But, the thing that makes it the best is its haptic setup, a D-BOX G5 4250i 1.5″ Travel Range Haptic System that gives a true feel of the car.
Haptic actuators are installed at each foot of the F1 bucket seat which provides realistic haptic feedback and lets you immerse yourself in your favourite games. The haptic feedback adapts in each scenario to provide the most realistic racing experience, and with tuning can feel exceptional. If you’ve never built a simulator before I do not recomend starting as big as this – but if someone with expereince can set the simulator up “as it should be” – then this thing will be an absolute weapon.
Furthermore, the racing simulator comes with an LM-X Dual Clutch ChromaWorx Steering Wheel, a high-end steering wheel with paddle shift, dual clutches and a lot of assignability options for in-game customization.
Now for the tech part, you’ll be treated with a triple-monitor setup with this racing simulator. The chassis will hold 3x Samsung Odyssey ARK 55” monitors with true 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 165Hz. All of this is powered by a sim racing PC build that consists of an AMD Ryzen 5900X processor coupled with an RTX 3090.
All-in-all, this one is a pretty special racing simulator and only one of the handful on the market that gives you the proper feel of a car, through the haptics and critically – the configuration. The amount of time saved from having an engineer setup your DBOX properly; yes this is a costly sim build, but despite that, this one’s worth every penny.
- Strong Chassis – Built to last an eternity.
- Spectacular DBOX haptic feedback gives you proper racing car vibes.
- Comes with top-of-the-line accessories
- Comes with a Samsung soundbar and headset for spatial audio
- Powered by a high-end PC
- No manual gear stick
- Absurdly expensive
The Grand Prix
AdvancedSimRacing offers a wide variety of racing simulators that are put together by professionals and for our second pick, we’ll have to go with their ‘The Grand Prix’ racing simulator, which offers a more comfortable balance between price and performance.
Much like our first pick, this one also comes with all the “bells and whistles” you’d expect to see on a high-end simulator.
For starters, you’ll get Advanced SimRacing ASR-F with aluminium hydraulic brake pedals at your feet. The pedals are placed at a height parallel to the professional F1 grade bucket seat to offer an actual F1 cockpit feel to the player.
The Grand Prix racing simulator mimics an F1 driving style and aside from the seat and pedal ergonomics, you also get an F1 style steering wheel with this rig. The steering comes with a built-in DDU display coupled with more than a dozen buttons, rotaries and switches for different controls.
Next to the Precision Sim Engineering GPX steering wheel, you’ll find a button box with ignition button and assignable controls. Moving on, in terms of display, you’ll get a triple-monitor setup with lots of adjustability that entirely wraps your field of vision, putting you right in the middle of the action.
Powered by a high-end PC that boasts a combination of AMD Ryzen 5800X and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, you won’t have to worry too much about the FPS, particularly not in iRacing, this system will offer uncapped gameplay in some of the most demanding games on the planet.
Lastly, with the D-BOX G3 2250i haptic engine, high-grade F1 bucket seat, and ambient lighting, you get a proper high-end feel from this cockpit. All things considered, especially the price tag, this one’s quite worth it if you’re on the lookout for a good turnkey racing simulator.
- Strong Chassis – Built to last an eternity.
- Comes with a haptic engine installed at each foot of the chassis.
- High-end Steering Wheel – F1 Design
- Meant for F1 enthusiasts
- Reasonable price tag
- F1-style of ergonomics – Not suitable for everyone
The Double Apex
The Double Apex with its ASR4 aluminum chassis definitely makes the cut for our selection of the best ready-made racing sims on the market. Assembled by our friends at Advanced Sim Racing, this racing simulator offers the perfect ergonomics to deliver a memorable F1-like driving experience, all thanks to its pedal base that’s installed at the parallel of a high-end bucket seat.
The entire rig is plugged in with a D-BOX G3 2250i 1.5″ Travel Range haptic system to ensure a realistic experience. Using the impressive haptics, the seat follows every turn and bump, truly offering a realistic racing simulation experience.
Moreover, a few major highlights of this cockpit include its high-quality bucket seat with Sparco sliders to give you an actual feel of a car. Similarly, with this rig, you’ll find the SimLine GT3-R Dual Clutch Replica Wheel. It is a high-end steering wheel with a fabric finish that offers a great touch to the rig.
The Simline wheel is hugely customizeable keeping the “in-game” experience on the go. And as far as the display is concerned, you’ll get a Samsung G9 49” curved monitor. One of many good things about this rig is that it is quite compact and would easily fit inside a standard-sized bedroom and it has lots of tried and tested favourite components such as the Sprint pedals, G9 and so on.
All of this is powered by a PC that features AMD Ryzen 5600X & Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. For racing simulation games like iRacing this PC holds enough power to withstand everything that you throw at it.
In addition, you’ll be able to experience the racing simulation to its full potential thanks to the creative sound bar included. Soundbars can truly enhance the overall sim racing experience – this is a really nice touch.
Overall, everything from the in-game performance to the aesthetics of this chassis is other-worldly and we highly recommend this one.
- Orange-coloured chassis – looks extremely good.
- ASR 4 Super Strong Aluminum Chassis
- Equipped with D-BOX G3 2250i 1.5” Haptic Engine
- Comes with Govee LED kit
- Comes with G9 Odyssey Monitor
- Headphones not included
GT1 Drift Race Rally Bundle
If F1 racing is not your thing and you want to enjoy some off-roading or compete in drag races, grabbing a simulator that comes with a shifter and handbrake is a must. And for the enthusiasts who are after such a turnkey racing simulator, the GT1 Drift Race Rally Bundle from Digital Motorsports is a fine choice.
Starting with the chassis, you’ll get an aluminum GT1 Evo chassis which offers a stable base for your setup. The quality is quite rigid and it is built to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, you won’t get a haptic engine with this chassis but, that’s a luxury that only a handful of high-end cockpits have to offer.
On top of the chassis, you’ll find an OMP TRS driving seat, which is quite common for racing simulators these days. And right in front of the bucket seat, you’ll find the Simucube Tahko GT-21 steering wheel which is a Simucube wireless high-end wheel that’s built for beginners, professionals, and everyone in between.
The steering wheel comes laden with customizable buttons and paddles for assignability in your favourite sim racing software. Furthermore, this turnkey racing simulator comes with a Fanatec SQ shifter and handbrake to further enhance the experience.
Moving on, in terms of display, you’ll get a 34” curved monitor with this rig. All of this is powered by a custom gaming PC. Despite such a steep price tag, it is a pretty sweet deal and you’ll be quite amazed at the performance that this one has to put up.
- Comes with a manual gear shifter and handbrake
- All-in-one racing simulator
- Equipped with Simucube direct drive wheel
- Excellent viewing angles
- No speakers or other sound options
- Solo 34” monitor size isn’t ideal for racing simulators
Formula Intelligence Bundle
Are you an F1 racing enthusiast and looking to replicate the driving experience in your bedroom? The Formula Intelligence turnkey racing simulator from Digital Motorsports is right up your alley. Featuring a sloped Playseat Formula Intelligence chassis, you get the real feel of an F1 racing car and can truly immerse yourself in the simulation. This one is for the F1 purist!
Aesthetically, the chassis is quite pleasing and you get two colour options for this Playseat F1 cockpit (other Playseats available here) turnkey rig. Firstly, you can go with the simple all-black aesthetics or choose the Mercedes AMG Petronas colour scheme that has a professional vibe to it.
On the chassis, you’ll find an extended bucket seat that can be adjusted to fit your needs. As the seat is incredibly low and touches the floor, the pedals are situated at eye level, which simulates the actual posture of an F1 driver.
For the steering wheel, you’ll get the Asetek Forte Formula, a high-end sim racing wheel with the Asetek Invicta Direct Drive Wheelbase (27Nm) . Aesthetically, it features a color combination of matte-black and carbon fibre which replicates the steering wheel of an actual F1 car.
Dual Asetek Forte S pedals are also included with this rig and since it replicates the F1 driving mechanics. The hydraulic pedals come with adjustable travel distance and also allow you to adjust the pedals from a soft brake feeling to hard, depending on your personal preferences. I’ve always found teh Asetek pedal to be very hard – which is what a lot of F1 brakes are set up to feel like.
And for the visuals, this turnkey read-made racing simulator rocks a 49” Electriq curved monitor with a fast refresh of 120Hz and refreshing colours. And to power all this, a Ryzen 3600 processor coupled with RTX 3070Ti. The combination of this duo in a medley with 16gb of memory is sufficient for F1 racing games and iRacing.
In conclusion, it is another viable option for F1 racing car enthusiasts who want to experience the wind on their faces without ever having to leave the comfort of their houses.
- Offers the most realistic F1 driving experience
- Comes with high-end accessories
- Two colour options
- The rig has a low centre of gravity that offers stability
- Comes with a high-end PC
- The processor is a tad bit weak to handle the latest games
The Perfect Start
For people who are just stepping into the world of racing sims and don’t want to spend a good chunk of their money, the Perfect Start by Advanced Sim Racing is the ideal turnkey ready-made racing simulator. Compared to other options that we’ve mentioned above, this one is quite cheap and offers the best bang for the buck.
Despite saving big on this bundle, you won’t have to compromise on the quality since you’ll get a high-end ASR-1 aluminium chassis that offers stability and rigidness to the cockpit. With thick walls and a clean build, the chassis won’t disappoint you in the long run.
Moving on, you’ll get a recliner bucket seat with this chassis along with seat sliders that offer a realistic sports car feel. Coupled with the Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition steering wheel and pedals, you’ll be in good hands when playing your favourite racing games.
Ergonomically, the chassis offers a good posture and you’ll easily be able to drive the car for a long time without feeling any fatigue. Moreover, you won’t get any haptic feedback from this one; it is just an entry-level turnkey racing simulator.
The Perfect Start racing simulator comes with a 43” Samsung 4K monitor for all those stunning visuals. Surprisingly, you’ll get an Xbox Series S console with this racing sim. Generally, a beefy gaming PC is included in the bundle but, to save the cost, the vendor is offering a console.
This isn’t really a bad thing but as we all know, the Xbox has its limitations. Moving on, for a beginner, this racing simulator is surely a good option. Similarly, if you’re on the lookout for a budget-oriented option, this one comes highly recommended.
- Simple and compact
- Minimalistic aesthetics
- Comes with a Thrustmaster steering wheel
- Good quality accessories all around
- Comes with a metallic pedal set
- Doesn’t include a PC
After reading through your options (and looking at the prices) you decide to build your own rig instead, we covered a cheap / budget rig build here and a slightly pricier, higher end simulator here. Whatever you decide always remember sim racing is fun, you’ll learn a bunch of new skills and probably make a lot of new friends too.