With every sim racing setup comes a number of different key aspects that can make or break your experience when racing. Many sim racers start their journey with their office chair and a wheel clamped to a desk, which is great for getting started but often leads to discomfort after long periods, and is not as immersive as you could get. One upgrade that can transform the look and feel of your setup is the seat, so let’s dive into what the best ones are in 2023.
If you’re in the process of making a whole new rig, or upgrading your old one, and the seat is just your first step, check out our guide on the best Sim Racing setups in 2023 to find out the best combinations you can get your hands on today.
How to choose your Sim Racing Seat
There are many different types of seats for sim racing and these often represent the type of car they have been designed for such as formula cars or GT’s.
Formula seats will offer a low profile seating position, often almost lying down, to keep your centre of gravity as low as possible. This seat keeps you snug within the seat and gives you a particularly high level of immersion if formula or LMP cars are your most common choice when racing.
GT racing seats are the most common choice as they offer the typical upright racing position but still have all the benefits of a bucket seat. The seats are often tight-fitting, keeping you secure but still have headrests and padding/cushions so strike a good balance between comfort and purpose. This is the seat most sim racers choose due to its versatility and ease of use.
Road car seats are what you will find in an everyday road car and offer a level of comfort the others just can’t match. This seat type is for those who favour their comfort first or have full focus on driving road cars within their chosen sim. These seats will struggle particularly on motion sims as they have little side support, though.
The Features to Consider
With the host of different options on the market, it can get a little overwhelming trying to decide which option to choose, but there are a few key aspects to consider.
Make sure that the seat is made of high quality, long-lasting materials, as a sim racing seat is something you will want to keep for a long period of time. Additionally, bad quality materials can flex and become uncomfortable to use after long periods of time. If you are concerning a motion rig setup then quality is even more important as safety when moving in the rig is of high importance
Not all sim racing seats are made with comfort in mind, and it is important to remember this. Many seat offerings are made for the purpose of keeping you secure and this is not conducive to comfort. When looking for a seat, consider what levels of adjustment are on offer. Also, breathable fabrics are a great option to consider as they keep you well ventilated during longer periods of sitting.
This may seem like an obvious consideration but it is one to ensure you aren’t fooled by. The more expensive the seat is does not equal a better product; sim racing is a stationary activity so many of the additional safety features you may find on some real life certified for use seats just aren’t necessary. Find something that is within your price range, and don’t be drawn in by fancy materials like carbon fibre if that is not within your price range, these are nice to have options not essential things for sim racing.
Our top picks
Now that you are familiar with the most common types of seats and what options to consider, let’s look at some of the best offerings on the market. These must be noted as suggestions and that there are hundreds of different offerings that can be found online, but these are a great place to start if you are unfamiliar with the sim seat market.
|Next level F-GTLite||£249||GT/Formula||Easy to storeHighly adjustable||Fixed to cockpit framePotential flex on high powered wheels|
|Sparco R100||£239||Road||High levels of comfortColour offerings||Limited side support|
|Simlab SF1||£333||Formula/LMP||Immersive seating position||Mounting hardware not included|
|Next Level Racing ES1||£277||GT/Formula||Little to no FlexHarness included||Rigid design offers little adjustment|
|Sparco Circuit QRT||£377||GT/Touring||Real life racing designFIA approved safety rating||Limited vision due to required racing safety features|
Next Level F-GT Lite
|COST: £249||STYLE: Formula/GT||BRAND: Next Level|
The Next Level F-GT Lite is not your typical sim racing seat, but this is what makes it stand out from the crowd and makes it perfect for a particular type of sim racer. The seat is arguably the best foldable seat out there, as it offers not only compact storage ability but also can be set up in GT or Formula style seating position. This functionality is something that no other seat on this list can offer and, for that reason, is a great choice for any new sim racer looking to start their sim racing journey.
Additionally, the Next Level F-GT Lite is compatible with a host of different wheels and pedals, as it has a number of pre-drilled mounting holes, making this seat the only piece of equipment you need to get started with racing. If you’d like to pair up a seat like this with a shiny new set of pedals, make sure to check out our guide to the best Sim Racing pedals.
So if you’re looking for your first journey into the sim world and don’t want to spend a fortune on lots of sim rig equipment, then this is a great choice to consider.
|COST: £239||STYLE: Road||BRAND: Sparco|
The Sparco R100 is one of the best road style seats on the market for sim racing and real-life driving alike. The seat offers top quality construction with a tubular steel frame chassis, synthetic breathable fabric to give the seat a sturdy and comfortable feel. Another big plus for those that like to customise their sim rigs to their individual taste, is that the seat is offered in a number of colours, so can be matched to any other gear you already own.
This seat also comes with compatibility for 3 or 4 point harnesses, which will mean anyone looking to add a motion rig in the future will be able to use this seat. It must be noted, this seat has been designed as a fully functional road car seat and is not specifically designed for sim racing, so mounting options should be checked carefully to ensure any sim rig you own is compatible with the mounting options.
If you’re looking for a road style seat that has been tried and tested, then the Sparco R100 is the option for you. The seat is relatively budget-friendly for the quality on offer and will last the test of time no matter the use case.
|COST: £333||STYLE: Formula/LMP||BRAND: Simlab|
The Simlab SF1 is a purpose-built formula-style sim racing seat that replicates the seating position of single-seater race cars, but is not so aggressive that it can’talso be used as a GT racing seat. The seat is made from the same materials used in real-life racing seats, breathable synthetic fabrics and high-quality GPR material for the seat shell. As with all Simlab gear, the seat offers a simple but high-quality design that will blend into any sim rig style.
One thing that must be noted with this seat and others of its style is that they are relatively narrow in construction, so can be slightly more uncomfortable if the seat is not the exact size needed. If comfort is a priority, then formula-style seats such as this should probably be avoided, as the Simlab SF1 is much more focused on immersion and seating position. Additionally, mounting is not included with this particular model so will need to be purchased separately.
If a formula-style seat is what you are looking for, then the Simlab SF1 is a great option. The seat offers top quality materials and is from one of the top sim racing equipment brands giving you the confidence that it is designed perfectly for any sim racing setup.
Next Level Racing ES1
|COST: £277||STYLE: Formula/GT||BRAND: Next Level|
The Next Level Racing ES1 is definitely one of the more unique offerings on the sim racing market but as such, stands out from the rest. This seat is a moulded polymer seat that offers a fixed position style, meaning it is particularly good for any sim racer heavily into motion sim racing due to its strength and limited points of flex.
The design of the seat is a laid back GT racing style striking a good balance between recline and upright, so can be used for both GT and Formula style racing. The seat is made from hard moulded polymer with suede cushions lining the seat, providing some levels of comfort to the seat without losing the stiff nature of the polymer. The seat also comes with harnesses included, keeping you securely fixed into the seat if paired with a motion rig or can be used to add that extra level of immersion on a fixed sim rig setup.
The Next Level Racing ES1 is definitely not one for all sim racers, but for those focused on reducing flex within their sim rig then this is a perfect choice. The polymer design ensures maximum rigidity and the addition of the belts will keep you securely in place with maximum comfort. This seat is one that should be high up on the list for any motion rig users.
Sparco Circuit QRT
|COST: £377||STYLE: GT/Touring||BRAND: Sparco|
The Sparco Circuit QRT is a great choice for any type of sim racer looking for that authentic racing car feel. The seat is an official FIA approved offering that has been tried and tested in all types of motorsport around the world.
The seat is constructed from sturdy QRT materials, offering a high-quality, long-lasting product that will be more than enough for any sim rig. The seat is also lined with non-slip fabric in key areas, such as shoulders and the seat restraint, keeping you firmly in place. Comfort has also been considered with both leg and seat cushions that can be removed from the seat to ensure the best fit and comfort options for all types of sim racers.
It must be noted that the Sparco Circuit QRT is another offering that has been designed as a real-life motorsport seat first, and as a result, has rather large side protection designed for wearing a helmet and neck restraints while racing. This can lead to your view being blocked on either side so aren’t ideal for triple monitor users or those using large VR headsets.
The Sparco Circuit QRT is still a great seat for those looking for the authentic race car feel from their sim rig, though. The quality is unquestionable and is one that is more than enough for any sim rig.
Now that you have a good understanding of the range of different seat options and some recommendations to get you started, make sure to do your own research on what is best for yourself. Everyone’s sim rigs will be of different shapes and sizes and what works in one set-up may not be the best for yours.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that quality is the first element you consider. Looks and design can be tempting but a seat is a product you spend lots of time interacting with so choose wisely.
If you are looking for further recommendations, or more options at a lower price range, make sure to take a look through our guide to the best budget Sim Racing seats. If you like to find out more about other products, such as the best Sim Racing wheels, we’ve got you covered with a guide on that too!
There are also a number of events hosted each month at The Sim Grid for you to put all your new gear to the test in a competitive race environment. As always there will be much more content to come so stay tuned for more!
How do I choose a sim racing seat? ›
- Quality. Make sure that the seat is made of high quality, long-lasting materials, as a sim racing seat is something you will want to keep for a long period of time. ...
- Comfort. Not all sim racing seats are made with comfort in mind, and it is important to remember this. ...
- Price Range.
Top 3 budget sim racing seats for 2023
Sparco Sprint Steel Frame Seat. OMP Racing TRS Steel Frame Seat Black. OMP Racing Champ Seat. Next Level Racing ES1 Sim Racing Seat.
- 11 DIRT 5. ...
- 10 Inertial Drift. ...
- 9 Forza Horizon 5. ...
- 8 Gran Turismo Sport. ...
- 7 F1 2021. ...
- 6 Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. ...
- 5 Assetto Corsa Competizione. ...
- 4 DiRT Rally.
iRacing is arguably the biggest name in the ever-expanding world of sim racing. It's said to boast 225,000 active subscribers, including drivers from practically every major racing series in the world: NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar and several others.Which view is best for sim racing? ›
In sim racing, the TV screen/monitor should be an extension of your vision and should look 100% real no matter what game you are playing. The best way to imagine your FOV should be to sit in your normal sim racing position but to imagine that you are sat in an actual car.Does sim racing make you a better driver? ›
Yes! Sim Racing absolutely does improve your driving and make you a better driver in real life. Chances are most people have played a racing game at some point in their lives, whether that be an old arcade racer, Need for Speed or even Mario Kart!Are bucket seats comfortable for sim racing? ›
Of course, some people are happy to play sim racing games from an office chair, but if you're looking to step up your immersion levels, you can't beat a proper bucket seat for the bolstering hip support they can provide, which is especially important if you race for more extended periods.What are the best seats at a game? ›
Anywhere aligned with the center of the field is a very good seat. However, the best place to sit on the 50-yard line is around 10-20 rows up. This section allows someone to have full vision of the field and turn their head in equal directions both ways to watch the game.Is there money to be made in sim racing? ›
Not likely, unless you want to sleep on the kerb! Not to fear, there are other ways. Many people contact companies asking for sponsorship - whilst this is possible, companies only want to sponsor the biggest and best sim racers, with large followings who will provide the greatest return.Are racing shoes worth it for sim racing? ›
When racing with heavy-duty pedals like the hydraulic Invicta Sim Racing Pedals, you'll undoubtedly benefit from racing shoes because they give you the right amount of support and grip. If you prefer a more mid-range solution like the Forte pedals, sim racing shoes aren't necessary for your performance and comfort.
Are TVs good for sim racing? ›
TV or monitor - Refresh rate and response time
By comparison, the majority of modern TVs will either come with a 60 or 120hz refresh rate which should still be suitable for racing, but is not as fast as some of the mid to high-end gaming monitors.
“Both the controller and wheel are capable of performing the same lap times on Forza. When it comes to side by side racing however, it's much easier to be aggressive and confident under control with the controller than the wheel.Are triple screens worth it sim racing? ›
Triple screens are perfect for sim racing due to the wide field of view, but they take up a lot of room. Ultrawide monitors are a fantastic alternative as they require less room but still increase immersion to your sim racing.What simulator do F1 drivers use? ›
As a result, many F1 drivers use simulators to practice and improve their skills. One of the most popular sim software used by F1 drivers is iRacing. iRacing is a subscription-based online racing simulation platform that offers a realistic and immersive racing experience.What game has most realistic driving? ›
Our research found that 2021's Forza Horizon 5 has the most realistic depiction of real-life cars in video games, according to brake horsepower (bhp).What is the highest iRacing rating? ›
The Safety Rating scale is numbered from 0.00, all the way to 4.99. You can check your Safety Rating for any of your licenses by clicking on your helmet in the iRacing UI.How much does a sim racing wheel cost? ›
|Product||Price||Degrees of Rotation|
|Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1||$1,799.95||2520°|
|Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Edition||$449.99||1080°|
Do I Need a Digital Scanner to Listen to Race Frequencies? Any police scanner will work including a digital scanner, but an analog scanner is all you need to listen to NASCAR.Is curved better than flat for sim racing? ›
A curved display offers a much closer match to the depth-based nature of human eyesight than flat screens. While not always night and day in difference, for sim racing the added accuracy in depth perception usually proves very enjoyable and beneficial.How do you drive faster in sim racing? ›
Get on the power earlier, and don't let the space go to waste. Use those kerbs when possible too, whether it's entry, apex or exit. All of this leads to faster lap times.
How high should my sim racing wheel be? ›
The wheel should be between 23 and 27 inches from the virtual floor to the center of the steering wheel (dimension A in figure 1).Do racing gloves help sim racing? ›
Longer hours of sim racing (especially in ACC and endurance racing in general) require a lot of energy and effort and gloves can help protect drivers from the perils of rashes, wheel slippage and provide better overall comfort.Is sim racing a career? ›
A lot of people and racers have started playing Sim racing games and are faring quite well at it. However, starting in Sim racing as a career is not an easy task. The majority of interested players struggle with it mainly because of three reasons.How difficult is sim racing? ›
Sim racing is just as competitive and difficult as Motorsport in real life. A good sim racing setup means you can quickly and easily go and participate in a life-like racing environment, with little more than the initial setup cost to bear. Unlike real Motorsport, sim racing is vastly inexpensive by comparison.What is the best kart seat? ›
Seats that are set at 63 degrees (from horizontal) are best for general karting and junior drivers. Our popular shapes at this angle are the T8 and T10. For karts that will be racing in higher grip situations (eg. KZ, KF and Rotax classes) the 58 degree seats lower the centre of gravity, keeping the kart stable.Who makes the most comfortable seats in a car? ›
- 2020 Chevrolet Impala.
- 2019 Kia Forte.
- 2019 Subaru Impreza.
- 2019 Honda Fit.
- 2019 Subaru Outback.
- 2019 Kia Optima.
- 2019 Volkswagen Golf.
- 2019 Mazda3.
If you're trying to set faster lap times, bucket seats are a must. They keep your bum from sliding around, which reduces or even eliminates the need to re-centre your body. Seats whose backrests cannot be adjusted for recline are usually in the “correct” position, too.Which seat is best in stadium? ›
The side stands that run along the edge of the pitch are the most desirable in the ground in terms of point of view, which is normally reflected in the price of the tickets there.Are courtside seats worth it? ›
The biggest advantage of sitting in courtside seats is getting a better view and feel of the game than just about anyone else. You can hear the trash talk between players. You can eavesdrop on what the coaches say in the huddle or chuckle at what they yell at the referees.Are club level seats better than lower level? ›
Club levels normally provide fans several additional amenities than standard seating. Club-level seating is open to the elements, as opposed to the entirely enclosed luxury boxes, which gives more of an outdoor impression at roofless and open-roof stadiums and arenas.
What is the prize money for iRacing 2023? ›
The 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series continues tomorrow night for the second race of the season at the Milwaukee Mile. 40 Drivers battle for the title and their share of a $300,000 prize pool.How much does a professional sim racer make? ›
Some pay you nothing, but you get their brand to strengthen yours... Some pay $5,000 if you get drafted into a league. Others may pay you $3,000 per month. The most important thing here is to know what you are worth.Is iRacing pay to win? ›
So, to answer your question, no, iracing is not a pay to win game by any means. The only thing you will have to buy in iracing is cars, tracks and the membership, none of that will give you any advantage over the other players. So, to answer your question, no, iracing is not a pay to win game by any means.Is sim racing better on PC or Xbox? ›
Console Racing. The fact of the matter is, if you're serious about driving games, PC racing is simply the way to go. Better physics and dedicated racing platforms are expected from PC-based car racing games, giving users the most lifelike racing experience imaginable.How much faster do racing flats make you? ›
Even if already racing in 7–8-ounce flats, he or she can save 12 seconds by switching to the lightest shoes. A 30-minute 5K runner would gain 18–36 seconds. A 15-minute runner would improve 9–18 seconds. And it gets better.Is it OK to train in racing shoes? ›
Normally, racing flats last a bit less long than training shoes and that's because they have less support and less cushioning. They break down a little bit faster. The idea behind a racing shoe isn't to last 400 to 500 miles of training.How much RAM do I need for sim racing? ›
You should aim for a minimum of 16GB for a gaming PC build. 16GB of RAM will allow you to race any game quite comfortably. If you're looking at streaming and video editing on your sim racing gaming PC, you should look to increase your maximum RAM to 32GB of higher.What is the best sim racing game for a beginner? ›
- 8 Hotshot Racing. ...
- 7 Forza Horizon 5. ...
- 6 Project Cars 2. ...
- 5 Hot Wheels Unleashed. ...
- 4 Wreckfest. ...
- 3 Dirt Rally 2.0. ...
- 2 F1 2021. ...
- 1 Assetto Corsa Competizione. Assetto Corsa Competizione is one of the most sophisticated racing sims out there and is daunting for a new player.
- Logitech. Logitech G920. Best Xbox-compatible wheel. ...
- Logitech. Logitech G29. Best PS4- and PS5-compatible wheel. ...
- Thrustmaster. Thrustmaster T300. Honorable mention. ...
- Fanatec. Fanatec Podium DD1.
The high-quality construction of the wheel itself, and the force feedback adds a level of immersion that pad gamers can't match. The G29 / G920 has made many gamers fall in love with sim racing, including ourselves. And for that reason, we would wholeheartedly recommend it to new racers!
What are the best sim racing seats? ›
- Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit.
- Playseat Challenge.
- noblechairs HERO.
- Extreme Simracing Cockpit 3.0.
- Next Level Racing F-GT Lite.
- OpenWheeler GEN3.
Best screen size for three monitors
The best monitor size for three monitors is around 22-24”.
Assetto Corsa has great for mods, superior force feedback (FFB), and hot lapping. It's widely considered the most realistic racing sim around. While iRacing is good for leaderboards and good competition!What are the best seats at a F1 race? ›
- At many circuits, this would be a hands-down favourite. ...
- Seats in lower rows have a good view of the nearby corners. ...
- The duelling continues around the next 3 corner sequence before darting off and out of sight around turn 16.
F1 teams also work with external simulation software such as rFpro to make the track environment as realistic as possible, as visual cues are important for the drivers to determine braking points or the right moment to start turning the car.Which seats best for F1? ›
Turn 12 Bleachers at COTA
Arguably the best seats are actually those furthest away from Turn 12 (closest to the Turn 15 grandstand), where you get a better view of this whole section of the track (Turns 12-16).
While Monaco ranks highest for racing heritage and trackside views, the best Formula 1 track for spectators is the Red Bull Ring, home of the Austrian Grand Prix.What is the cheapest F1 race to attend? ›
The cheapest F1 tickets are offered in Hungary (average $184 USD). Other affordable races to attend include Bahrain (average $265 USD), Australia (average $276 USD) and Canada (average $297 USD). Austria, Spain, Japan and Italy (Monza) also offer relatively cheap tickets.How do you choose F1 seats? ›
Selecting specific seats online is not possible. However, you can send us your request/preference when ordering tickets and we will do our best to satisfy your demand.What simulator does Lewis Hamilton use? ›
Lewis Hamilton revealed earlier this year that he only drives around 20 laps a year in the Mercedes simulator.
What sim does Lando Norris use? ›
Both cockpits are the CoolPerformance Formula Simulator with a triple screen configuration of 27 inches that fits very well with the type of simulators that Lando uses, such as iRacing or rFactor 2 supported by a fourth screen (and fifth for interactions in Twitch) to control the time and information relating to other ...What is the most realistic F1 simulator? ›
The British-based Dynisma company, which recently built Ferrari's new generation simulator at Maranello, has also created what is touted as the most realistic F1-spec sim that is available for anyone to buy right now.Does sim racing improve real driving? ›
Yes! Sim Racing absolutely does improve your driving and make you a better driver in real life. Chances are most people have played a racing game at some point in their lives, whether that be an old arcade racer, Need for Speed or even Mario Kart!Can you wear jeans to F1 race? ›
Smart casual dress is recommended, which means long pants and a shirt or polo shirt for men and a dress, skirt or pants for women. The Champions Club and Formula 1 Paddock Club request that no jogging suits, shorts or beach attire be worn. Whatever package you have, don't forget to check – and double check!What are the best seats in a stadium? ›
Anywhere aligned with the center of the field is a very good seat. However, the best place to sit on the 50-yard line is around 10-20 rows up. This section allows someone to have full vision of the field and turn their head in equal directions both ways to watch the game.Which F1 track has the best view? ›
Monaco scores highly for trackside views because the grandstands are so much closer to the track than almost every other circuit on the current F1 calendar. The tight confines of the principality mean that there is very little room for grandstands, and those that can be fitted in are generally very close to the track.