Gamepad or wheel: What is better for racing games?

Dave Gaming explains the difference between input devices and in which situations they excel.


If you really want to compete in racing simulations, you are going to need wheel and pedals, or so they say. But can you really generalize that?

In this Hardware Review, Dave Gaming takes a look at the difference between gamepads and wheels and explains, which device makes most sense in different situations.

The technical perspective



In general, wheels and pedals offer much more precise controls. While you can control your car with a gamepad with a certain accuracy as well, the precision is by far superior. This also applies to the pedals, as the amount of pressure on throttle and brakes can be a crucial factor, especially when taking corners.

Another aspect is the feeling of immersion: Good wheels have a force-feedback feature which allows for more immersion. If you relish a realistic racing experience, there is no way around a wheel.

It depends on the game



However, gamepads surely do have their place in the realms of racing sims. Some games are even optimized to be played with gamepads and even require players to use them in world championships, for instance in Forza.

You can generally rely on this rule of thumb: The more arcade-like your game is, the better you can play it with a gamepad. On the other hand, hardcore racing sims like iRacing or rFactor 2 are almost unplayable with the right equipment.

Gamepads excel at pricing



Money certainly plays a role in choosing the right device too. While you have to spend at least more than €100 on a good wheel, gamepads are considerably more affordable. If pricing is important to you, you want to keep that in mind.

If you want to know about all the pros and cons of pads and wheels, make sure to watch the video!
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