Last updated: July 21st, 2022
Suppose you’ve got kids who love to play racing games. In that case, you’ll know they’re always eager to jump into an arcade racing game when you’re at the mall because, for children who love cars, there’s nothing more captivating than the feeling of getting behind the wheel, but why does the fun have to end at the shopping center?
Since many readers of this post are likely to be motorsports enthusiasts, there’s a good chance that you already have a sim rig at home, so you might think you’ve got things covered. However, while your child undoubtedly loves to take a turn in your rig, the problem is that virtually every sim racing cockpit on the market is ergonomically designed to accommodate adults, making it extremely difficult for your little ones to reach the pedals, steering wheel, and indeed any input devices used to control the car. Additionally, their viewing angle is likely way off thanks to the monitor being either too high or too far away, and that’s if they can even see over the steering wheel. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for your kids to enjoy sim racing the way we do, with a proper setup and field of view (FOV).
Well, now they can, thanks to the ingenuity of the Finish esports product manufacturer, OverPower. The company was founded in 2019 by the legendary sim racer Olli Pahkala, who set out to produce affordable sim racing hardware with exceptional quality, performance, and aesthetics. Yet, after successfully designing and creating a range of Formula and GT-style sim racing cockpits for adults, Olli noticed a huge gap in the market for equipment geared towards junior racers. So, with his desire to nurture young talent in the field of digital motorsport, he turned his hand to making a scaled-down version of his best-selling chassis for children, and as a result, we are blessed with the OP Child Rig.
Perfect Design for Kids
Featuring easy-to-use design elements such as a fully adjustable seat, wheel deck, and pedal mount, this kid-sized chassis ticks all the right boxes, guaranteeing your child will enjoy an optimal driving position. Much like its full-size counterparts, the OP Child Rig has been designed with style and durability in mind, and no efforts have been spared in ensuring its sturdiness and aesthetics are just as on point as its big brothers’. Plus, with optional accessories, including a monitor mount, gaming platform tray, and a shifter/handbrake mount, you can provide your youngsters with the best sim racing experience possible to hone their skills.
According to OverPower, the OP Child Rig is suitable for children aged 3-10 years old, meaning it can grow with your child until they are over 140 cm tall and ready to move onto a standard-size chassis. There’s also a long list of compatible sim racing hardware from industry-leading companies that seamlessly fit the pre-drilled holes on the frame, which you can find here.
Our Setup Recommendation for the OP Child Rig
If you’re looking for a turnkey solution to fulfill your kid’s sim racing dreams, we’ve compiled a selection of hardware that can be combined into a formidable racing rig, saving you countless research time. Furthermore, we’ve selected all the items on our list with young racers in mind meaning our recommendations will help them develop their racecraft safely and at a reasonable price point whilst still letting them enjoy a fulfilling experience.
The gaming platform you use will depend on whether or not you already have a PC or gaming console at home. If you do, the most cost-effective solution would be to go with what you’ve got, in which case you can skip ahead to our wheel recommendation. On the other hand, if you don’t have any means to play racing games, we strongly recommend opting for a gaming PC.
The reason for this is that the development of sim racing and gaming equipment moves at such a pace that whatever you buy today will basically become obsolete within two years. With a PC, you can at least upgrade one component at a time, rather than swapping out the entire package for a new model the way you would with a gaming console, saving you money in the long run. Moreover, PCs offer much better compatibility with sim racing peripherals, affording you more choice when selecting racing hardware. If you need more information, you can find out everything you need to know about computers built for sim racing in our Gaming PCs section.
Logitech G923 Wheel
With your gaming platform in order, now you can think about adding a wheel to the OP Child Rig. For that, we highly recommend going with the Logitech G923. Logitech wheels are unquestionably the most well-known and most used globally. The brand’s track record of worldwide success in the technology and PC component industries is a result of its hardware’s ease of use, price point, and reliability, and the G923 wheel is no exception.
Thanks to its simplicity, robust design, and the fact that you can use it on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC to play almost every racing game available, the G923 is a fantastic choice for your kid’s sim racing rig. What’s especially important as far as children are concerned is that the wheel is not overly powerful, so they won’t risk hurting themselves using it. If necessary, you can adjust the wheel’s power output by sliding it up and down via Logitech’s software to suit your child’s comfort level.
Another great thing about the Logitech wheel is that it comes as a bundle with a pedal set, so there’s no need to look for pedals separately. If you’re a sim racer, you may be aware that the Logitech pedals are not as sophisticated as other brands’ offerings that incorporate load cells and Hall effect sensors, but for children, they are ideal as their little muscles may struggle to handle the forces required of more potent pedal sets.
An optional extra that can help fully immerse your kid into sim racing is the Logitech Driving Force Shifter, which is plug-and-play compatible with any of Logitech’s racing wheels. Not only will this popular H-pattern shifter teach your kids the basics of operating manual-gear cars, but it is also budget-friendly.
On that note, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, you could opt for one of Logitech’s older wheel models, such as the G29 or G920, which we’ve reviewed before here, and compare the differences between old and new.
Samsung G5 34″ 165Hz Gaming Monitor
Next up is your kid’s gaming monitor, and for this, we strongly recommend the Samsung G5 34″ 165Hz due to its ideal size, curved screen, and blistering refresh rates that are specially tuned to handle computer games.
At 34 inches, your child can enjoy an ultrawide view, which is important in sim racing as it allows you to see your wing mirrors and other cars around you. Moreover, the 1,000R curved screen helps to create the perfect FOV as it simulates your natural peripheral vision. As for the refresh rate of 165Hz, this refers to the rate at which the screen can create a new image. A faster refresh rate reduces (or alleviates) flicker visible to the human eye, and 165Hz is ample to ensure the smoothest gameplay for your child.
If you want to learn more about monitors suitable for sim racing, check out our Gaming Monitors guide, which details the technology behind the screen.
Logitech G435 Wireless Headphones
Lastly, your young champion-to-be will need some means of hearing the gameplay, and what better way than with a pair of Logitech G435 wireless headphones. This headset is suitable for children thanks to its lightweight design, powerful, clear sound, and great functionality. You connect the headphones to your gaming console or PC via LIGHTSPEED wireless and Bluetooth so that no wires will get in the way between your child’s arms and the steering wheel.
On top of the fact they come at a great price, providing your child with this headset over a set of speakers will allow them to use their OP Child Rig anywhere in the home without disturbing you, meaning you can get on with whatever you need to do in silence while your little one lays down some hot laps.
Looking to the Future
Thanks to the forward-thinking mindset of Olli Pahkala and the developers at OverPower, we can ensure that the next generation of racing drivers is given the best chance to excel from a young age in the safest way possible.