Must-Have Rally Game Hardware for EA Sports WRC

Rally game hardware.jpg
EA Sports WRC is just a few weeks away, so it is time to prepare. Here is some sim racing hardware to enhance your rally game experience.

Image credit: EA Sports

For many, sim racing is all about jumping behind the wheel of a race car and completing laps of a famous track whilst going wheel to wheel. But with EA Sports WRC, the next great rally game on its way, that vision will surely change in the next few weeks.

In fact, sim rallying is a totally different beast to sim racing. Sure, both disciplines allow players to jump behind the wheel of a virtual car and simulate the experience. But one is all about repetition, the other focuses on tackling an almost unknown section of track, adjusting to differing conditions.


As a result, virtual rallying requires a very different rig setup to track driving. With EA Sports WRC just a few weeks from release, it’s time to prepare one’s rig for the many hours they are about to spend going sideways on dirt. Here are some hardware tips to adjusting your rig for rally games.

Round Wheels for Rally Games​

Due to the GT3 and open wheeler focus, many a modern sim racer owns nothing more than a square formula-style rim, be it Thrustmaster’s Ferrari-branded replicas, Fanatec’s collection of F1 and GT models or even third-party Logitech customisations. Of course, this is far from a bad thing, as every racer has their personal preference.

However, this is not the setup one should be running in a rally title. When it comes to not only enjoying EA Sports WRC but also surviving a stage with one’s wrists intact, the best idea is to get a round steering wheel.

Obviously, no rally car in the history of the sport features a rectangular wheel. The old-school design also helps mid-stage. Navigating hairpins often requires changing one’s hand position on the wheel. Turning and shifting gear also means holding the wheel in different places is beneficial. These are things that aren’t possible with formula rims.


But it is not just for the practicality of counter steer that one should not rally with a formula wheel. With stages sometimes becoming somewhat frantic, a wheel can easily flip from one end of the lock to the other. If this happens with a round wheel, it is easy to grab hold of at any point in the rotation range to get back on track. Try to catch a formula wheel that is flailing about during a spin and you will need a lot of luck to not break something painful.

Each wheel manufacturer has its own list of round wheels. Moza has a trio of options, compatible with all of its bases. Fanatec has a pair of official WRC rims. Thrustmaster features a mix of round wheel representations, most of which come as standard with its selection of bases. Finally, Logitech’s models feature a standard, round rim.

Invest in a shifter for EA Sports WRC​

Getting a round steering wheel is important as one can often find themselves holding it in different positions whilst rallying. For the same reason, it is a good idea to invest in a shifter for rallying activities.

When your wheel is upside down and you do not have a separate shifter, it is very easy to mix up the paddles. Sending the car sideways, accidentally downshifting and blowing up the engine is not a rare occurrence for rally fans. Therefore, why not start on the right foot with EA Sports WRC and get a shifter?


Now, it is important to remember that not all shifters offer the same thing. Some are sequential, some are H-pattern layouts and some can transform from one to the other. It is important to think about one’s favourite cars when looking for a shifter as this will dictate what route you take.

Those that look to race the modern rally monsters in EA Sports WRC will be best getting a simple sequential. But if you want to make the most of the game’s vast classic car content, then an H-pattern will be the most immersive. Then again, most will certainly want to experience everything the game has to offer. In that case, look for a shifter that is easily transformed from sequential to H-pattern. You can find our guide to the best sim racing shifters in the article above.

Handbrakes can help​

Is there anything more iconic in rallying that the handbrake turn on the Monte Carlo Rally? Perhaps being the driver to nail a perfect hairpin handbrake turn at Monte is the only thing.

With that in mind, getting a sim racing handbrake is the perfect hardware purchase in anticipation of the next rally game. Unlike the round steering wheel and shifter, this is certainly further down the list in terms of importance for rallying. In fact, most modern wheel bases have buttons on the base themselves which can act as a handbrake button.


The Thrustmaster T300RS for example has an excellent R3 button placement that works as a make-shift handbrake. But, if you do not have an off-wheel button or are looking for greater rallying immersion, a handbrake is a great addition.

There are many sim racing handbrake products on the market currently, from the main brands of Thrustmaster, Fanatec and Moza to more specialised creations by the likes of Heusinkveld and Aikeec. Just beware. The more rally game hardware you get, the more USB ports you will need on your PC.

More Rally Game Hardware​

Aside from the obvious additions one can make to their simulator in anticipation for the next rally game, there are some pieces of equipment for the racer that has it all. If you already own a shifter, round wheel and handbrake, these are the bits and bobs you should be looking to get to best simulate rallying.

Typically racing on rough surfaces, rally cars bounce and bump far more than any road course racer. Furthermore, rallying is one of the few motorsport disciplines in which driving sideways can help gain time on the competition. So surely simulating these additional forces would be of interest to the most in-depth rally enthusiasts.


To do so, there are many solutions on the market to create motion rigs. In fact, most sim racing cockpit manufacturers produce motion platforms such as Next Level Racing or DOF Reality Motion. Some may worry about being sent tumbling around their living room à la Jordan Taylor. For that crowd, there are of course the more basic haptic feedback devices such as Buttkicker’s products that give one’s seat an impact on bumps and engine feedback. Great for immersion, this is one of the last steps to make when building a rallying rig.

Elsewhere, the new EA Sports WRC game will feature the Ford Puma’s Fanatec wheel and button box. If you are looking for the perfect immersive wheel, the rally button module is available on the hardware developer’s website. The wheel is also available to use in the title’s Builder Cars, allowing players to fit their own real life wheel into their personal R1 rally car.

What hardware do you have for rally games? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

IM READY FOR THIS GAME and for every year !
My best years are incoming, OMG i'm so hyped, like 1998 and Colin Mc Rae rally on PC with Codemaster, I'm more and more hyped again !

Without any doubt and debate, Codemasters is the king for rally !

About the hardware, I have ordered the Simagic Q1 sequential shifter and the handbrake, cause they are easy to mount in my favorite position.
I have the heusinkveld shifter, and it's a nigtmare to mount in my right position, so I sell it.
 
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An also nice to have that I've found can shunt a load of the HUD off-screen is a sim dashboard (I use Stryder-it.de) of a Racelogic device, something like this:
2.jpeg


The one I'm using has %complete which is very handy on stages - though in looking for it, I found this, and will download and change the gear indicator to % complete (very easy).

I run this on an old android phone mounted to one side on my rig, with swipe to full screen gear indicator if racing sequential on circuits.
 
"A future GPU and maybe CPU" Is what WRC needs.

Why? Because in every single preview-video of this game I see massive framedrops so it won't be playable with today's hardware. Especially not in VR. The dev's wrote on Discord that they had difficulties to get it to run at 60fps locked and it's still WIP. I don't expect miracles before the release.

Denuvo and Unreal Engine and OpenVR are all 3 disasters when it comes to performance.

Most of these video's are recorded with a 4090 and a single (1440P) monitor, and it still has to many framedrops. So it simply won't work well at the release date.

This must be solved first before the game is actually playable with today's hardware. I probably wait for the 5090/6090 before I buy this game.
 
I have prepared my "must have" hardware well for this next rally game that i though i will by after long break from rallying, since Dirt Rally "1". It is working smooth and nicely for stage 1. No "iiiiik" sounds from linear movement, buttons are all in place to be all there for easy control, steering is so in hand as it can get, screen is polished and extra screen for some extra info is in place. SO... I welcome you EA WRC, to be punished with my XBox PC controller, screen in front of my face, and other on the side so i can watch some adult stuff same time (news etc of course) while im all around in the woods testing damage model, thru all single detail there is :barefoot:
 
Premium
If the game is worth buying ( expectations are getting lower with each week of hype for this title) then I will probably look at the new Simagic hydraulic handbrake that Boosted Media were using in their latest video.

Cant see it for sale yet, But looks damn fine.
 
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"A future GPU and maybe CPU" Is what WRC needs.

Why? Because in every single preview-video of this game I see massive framedrops so it won't be playable with today's hardware. Especially not in VR. The dev's wrote on Discord that they had difficulties to get it to run at 60fps locked and it's still WIP. I don't expect miracles before the release.

Denuvo and Unreal Engine and OpenVR are all 3 disasters when it comes to performance.

Most of these video's are recorded with a 4090 and a single (1440P) monitor, and it still has to many framedrops. So it simply won't work well at the release date.

This must be solved first before the game is actually playable with today's hardware. I probably wait for the 5090/6090 before I buy this game.
If Assetto Corsa Competizione runs like butter today on a relatively old PC setup ( Intel Core i7-4790K, 16 GB Ram and an MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4GB ), why should EA Sports WRC be so much more demanding ?

Sure Codies want as many users as possible but if the PC setup has to cost a fortune they risk loosing a lot of potential buyers !

It really doesn't make much sense to me !
 
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If the game is worth buying ( expectations are getting lower with each week of hype for this title) then I will probably look at the new Simagic hydraulic handbrake that Boosted Media were using in their latest video.

Cant see it for sale yet, But looks damn fine.

How do you mount that on a rig ?

I've had the Fanatec handbrake and shifter for years and its a perfect combo which is very easy to set up as you like ( I've mounted the handbrake to the right of my shifter and it's sits just like the real thing in a rally car on my modest Fanatec CSL Seat ) so you don't have to reach for too long to use it.

Ergonomics is very important so you don't strain your neck and back.
 
If Assetto Corsa Competizione runs like butter today on a relatively old PC setup ( Intel Core i7-4790K, 16 GB Ram and an MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4GB ), why should EA Sports WRC be so much more demanding ?

Sure Codies want as many users as possible but if the PC setup has to cost a fortune they risk loosing a lot of potential buyers !

It really doesn't make much sense to me !
You can ask the developers. I didn't program it.

There are 10+ preview video's of WRC and they are almost all single monitor-setups with pretty low resolutions, this with good GPU's and they all have framedrops/stutters.
 
"A future GPU and maybe CPU" Is what WRC needs.

Why? Because in every single preview-video of this game I see massive framedrops so it won't be playable with today's hardware. Especially not in VR. The dev's wrote on Discord that they had difficulties to get it to run at 60fps locked and it's still WIP. I don't expect miracles before the release.

Denuvo and Unreal Engine and OpenVR are all 3 disasters when it comes to performance.

Most of these video's are recorded with a 4090 and a single (1440P) monitor, and it still has to many framedrops. So it simply won't work well at the release date.

This must be solved first before the game is actually playable with today's hardware. I probably wait for the 5090/6090 before I buy this game.
I have the new 14900K and the 4090, and I will enjoy the game, I will use my pg38uq 4k 144hz 38", and it' sure it will work perfectly :D, for a the performance with Unreal Engine, the best CPU :D I won't cry about the performance.
And with a 5090, it' will be better, I remember I have started DR2.0 with a 2080ti, now at 4K all max, anti aliasing max, I can have 144fps with a 4090.....so be patient DR2.0 release was in 2019, 4 years ago.

The rtx 5090 is claimed to be 50% better than the 4090, but we have to wait for 2025 :D, keep cool and enjoy what we have, not a problem to play at 1440p until the 5090

About UNREAL ENGINE : THE CPU, 14900k and you rule the game :D
EA SPORT, IT'S IN THE GAME.
 
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More important than anything else, does this game have usable VR....
That's also my main question but from the information that we have now it's a clear: No.

- OpenVR is not good enough, they only stated until now that it has OpenVR support. There is nothing known about OpenXR support. Also nothing about (dynamic eye tracked) foveated rendering, quad views etc.

- The game runs terrible in all gameplay video's that I've seen. I've not seen a single video that had zero framedrops and that's in single monitor resolution. My VR setup is ~4-6x more demanding than that.

- Denuvo is known for causing stutter issues, they chose to implement that. They care more about preventing piracy than about giving a good gaming experience to their buyers.

- Unreal Engine 4 is the worst for VR in sim racing, proven by ACC.

- They only said that they implement DLSS/FSR, both are horrible for VR. VR users need DLAA/MSAA since DLSS/FSR give either blur or ghosting in VR.
 
I have the new 14900K and the 4090, and I will enjoy the game, I will use my pg38uq 4k 144hz 38", and it' sure it will work perfectly :D, for a the performance with Unreal Engine, the best CPU :D I won't cry about the performance.
And with a 5090, it' will be better, I remember I have started DR2.0 with a 2080ti, now at 4K all max, anti aliasing max, I can have 144fps with a 4090.....so be patient DR2.0 release was in 2019, 4 years ago.

The rtx 5090 is claimed to be 50% better than the 4090, but we have to wait for 2025 :D, keep cool and enjoy what we have, not a problem to play at 1440p until the 5090

About UNREAL ENGINE : THE CPU, 14900k and you rule the game :D
EA SPORT, IT'S IN THE GAME.
"The Nvidia RTX 5090 is rumored to be nearly twice as fast as RTX 4090, so we should just call it the Titan RTX at this point", "Nvidia RTX 5090 specs rumor suggests up to 70% boost versus 4090", "GeForce RTX 5090 will be 1.7X more powerful than the RTX 4090 and feature a 2.9 GHz Boost Clock", "RTX 5090 rumoured be about 70% faster than the RTX 4090" etc.etc.etc.

I cannot find a single souce that's saying 50%; so you made that up yourself right? The 50%... I expect more from it, at least 65%+ but realistically ~75%. But yes... 2025 is still far away.

No, the CPU won't matter that much for WRC probably. In ACC the CPU was only the bottleneck with a large amount of cars. In WRC there's only one car. The GPU will almost be sure the bottleneck especially for VR users.

But yes, you will enjoy the game for sure. I've not seen a single person on the internet so insanely hyped as you for this title. Your mind is already WRCWRCWRC, it's preprogrammed to enjoy it no matter what. So I believe that yes. ENJOY !

I will also enjoy it probably in the future when the 1.7x/70%/100% faster 5090 will be released and once the game is optimized with OpenXR and once Denuvo is removed. So I fully agree with you about DR2 logic. True, I also had to wait for years(until the 4090 and a Crystal) to finally fully enjoy everything that DR2 has to offer.

WRC looks/sounds good and the physics seem to be good and so is the content, I'm only concerned about what I already wrote but one day we can all enjoy it the way that we want it.
 
Premium
How do you mount that on a rig ?

I've had the Fanatec handbrake and shifter for years and its a perfect combo which is very easy to set up as you like ( I've mounted the handbrake to the right of my shifter and it's sits just like the real thing in a rally car on my modest Fanatec CSL Seat ) so you don't have to reach for too long to use it.

Ergonomics is very important so you don't strain your neck and back.
Im going to say, the same way you mount any other handbrake?

I have my current handbrake (in my case a generic ebay/chinese model) mounted to the side of my shifter, Though I cant see any issue with swapping it out with one of these. But, being in Skippyland I do have both devices mounted on the left as does Will.

And its not only hydraulic but you can fit a haptic motor to it so you get a shudder when you hard lock the wheels.

Couple of screenshots from Wills video.
mounted.png
handbrake.png
 
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Premium
That's also my main question but from the information that we have now it's a clear: No.

- OpenVR is not good enough, they only stated until now that it has OpenVR support. There is nothing known about OpenXR support. Also nothing about (dynamic eye tracked) foveated rendering, quad views etc.

- The game runs terrible in all gameplay video's that I've seen. I've not seen a single video that had zero framedrops and that's in single monitor resolution. My VR setup is ~4-6x more demanding than that.

- Denuvo is known for causing stutter issues, they chose to implement that. They care more about preventing piracy than about giving a good gaming experience to their buyers.

- Unreal Engine 4 is the worst for VR in sim racing, proven by ACC.

- They only said that they implement DLSS/FSR, both are horrible for VR. VR users need DLAA/MSAA since DLSS/FSR give either blur or ghosting in VR.
Yeah this was kinda my fear. DR/DR2.0 both works pretty good in VR. Most gameplay videos so far says the game plays pretty well but a few have mentioned performance issues and none of them are in VR so its easy to assume it'll be worse in VR. I have ACC that I haven't played much because its just more of a hassle to get that game running in VR than say AC today or even the way VR was implemented in DR2.0....
 
The PC stutter issue is why I'm 100% going to get the PS5 version instead. That's a well known Denuvo flaw that has never been solved in 8 years, but of course consoles don't need DRM because the console itself is the DRM.
 
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D
  • Deleted member 197115

VR folks, don't give up.
dn9316.gif
 

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