H-Pattern and Sequential shifters are some of the most popular accessories for sim racers to add to their setups, whether it be for driving classic race cars around iconic vintage circuits, or trucking across Europe with friends.
|Logitech Driving Force
|Cheapest on the market, always on sale somewhere
|No standalone USB connectivity, aged design
|H-pattern & Sequential
|Change between sequential and H-pattern in seconds
|Quality of 3D-printed (but switchable) gearknobs not the greatest
|H-pattern & Sequential
|Solid build quality with both H-pattern & sequential
|Expensive considering its age, switching modes takes time
|Fanatec ClubSport SQ V1.5
|PS4/5 (With Compatible Wheelbase)
Xbox One/X/S (With Compatible Wheelbase)
|H-pattern & Sequential
|Rated the best shifter under £300
|7th gear can sometimes be difficult to engage
|Xbox One/X/S (With Compatible Wheelbase)
|Very well priced for the build quality
|Confusing console setup
|No H-pattern option
|BDH H1 “Bazooka”
|Engineered to replicate a MkII Escort Rally Car
|Unbeaten for value for money
|No H-pattern option
|Engineered by Quaife to feel exactly like a real car
|Difficult to find in-stock, extreme price
Prices – November, 2023
Budget Sim Racing Shifters
If you’re a dedicated sim racer looking to elevate your driving experience, the SHH Sim Racing Gear Shifter is certainly worth considering. The organisation behind this amazing budget shifter is run by just one person, shipping times can therefore vary but we believe it is worth the potential wait.
The build quality of the SHH NEW2 shifter is second to no one at the impressive €99 price point. The SHH is crafted with precision and durability in mind. The use of high-quality internal materials gives it a sturdy feel, ensuring it can withstand the demands of intense racing sessions.
The metal components provide responsive and accurate feedback, elevating the overall realism of the shifting experience. The 3D-printed exterior may not be everyone’s cup of tea, though. It can be individually customized when ordering, however, which can make it uniquely yours.
Performance-wise, the SHH gear shifter shines in the budget category. The gear shifts are precise and responsive, providing a level of control that significantly enhances the immersion of the racing experience. The adjustable resistance settings allow users to fine-tune the shifter to their preferences, catering to both casual gamers and serious sim racing enthusiasts.
One of the standout features of the SHH gear shifter is its versatility. It supports both H-pattern and sequential shifting, allowing users to switch between different driving styles seamlessly in just a few seconds. This flexibility is a game-changer, especially for those who enjoy switching between various racing disciplines.
The Thrustmaster TH8A is held in high esteem as a great shifter for sim racers who are just getting started in the hobby. We can see why. Released back in 2016, the TH8A has been a staple of the Thrustmaster ecosystem and a solid choice for any sim racer, regardless of their level of equipment.
One major aspect of the TH8A that sets it apart from its younger brother the TH8S, is the metal gearstick, gear knob and gate surround. Whilst only appearing to be cosmetic, the added weight of the metal elements vastly overshadows the TH8S and dwarfs the Logitech Driving Force shifter.
Whilst the ability to change between an H-pattern and a sequential layout gives the TH8A some bragging rights in the budget category, it is fiddly and requires switching the H-plate with one for sequential. To achieve this, the gear knob and four screws have to be undone, then redone with the new plate, which takes a little while.
Mid-Range Sim Racing Shifters
Fanatec ClubSport SQ V1.5
The Fanatec ClubSport SQ V1.5 stands as a testament to Fanatec’s commitment to delivering top-tier sim racing peripherals. The ClubSport shifter is often held on a pedestal as the baseline for what every other shifter should be aiming for.
The Fanatec ecosystem ensures seamless integration with other Fanatec products. The inclusion of a USB connection provides plug-and-play functionality, streamlining the installation process for both novice and experienced sim racers.
Its haptic feedback (as in feel when shifting, not actual FFB), is extremely solid and can be adjusted to the user’s preference. Switching between H-pattern and sequential is easy and swift.
While the ClubSport SQ V1.5 operates with a noticeable mechanical click during shifts, this only serves to amplify the sense of realism and authenticity. Overall, noise level is moderate and adds to the overall satisfaction of each gear change.
Heusinkveld Sim Shifter
Craftsmanship is where Heusinkveld as a brand truly shines. Their sequential shifter is no outlier and is therefore meticulously engineered with a focus on durability and precision.
The use of high-quality materials, including CNC-machined aluminium and stainless steel, ensures a robust and reliable unit that is truly built to last. The sleek design not only adds a touch of sophistication to the shifter but also contributes to its overall sturdiness.
While the Heusinkveld Sequential shifter comes with a higher price tag compared to some of the other listed mid-range alternatives, the investment is justified by the unparalleled build quality and precision. For serious sim racers who prioritize authenticity and demand the best in performance, the Heusinkveld Sequential Sim Racing Gear Shifter is a top-tier choice that delivers on its promises. It is a single-purpose device, though, offering no H-pattern mode.
Heusinkveld have recently released a brand-new sequential shifter, too. Their MagShift unit uses magnets to achieve high resistance for a satisfactory feel and comes with three extra buttons. However, it is almost €200 more expensive than the Sim Shifter.
High-End Sim Racing Shifters
Setting up the Q1S is as straightforward as expected with a Simagic product, thanks to its basic USB connectivity and software integration and recognition. The shifter seamlessly integrates with popular racing titles, offering a plug-and-play experience that minimizes setup time.
The Q1s also features adjustable resistance settings, allowing users to tailor the shifter’s feel to their preferences. Simagic’s own software also extends to the Q1S’. Whether you prefer a lighter touch for rapid shifts or a more substantial resistance for a realistic feel, the Q1s provide the flexibility to fine-tune the experience to your liking.
In terms of noise, the Q1s operates with a moderate level of sound. The audible feedback from the shifter adds to the overall immersion without being overly distracting, striking a good balance between realism and user comfort.
Quaife Sim Racing Gearbox
Do you want the gold standard in sim racing shifters? Then the Quaife Sim racing Gearbox is perfect for you, provided you have very deep pockets, of course.
Craftsmanship is where the Quaife gearbox truly stands out. The gearbox is meticulously engineered with a combination of high-grade real racing-level materials.
While the Quaife Sim Racing Gearbox comes with a premium price tag, the investment is justified by the exceptional build quality, precision, and realism it brings to the sim racing experience.
This is not just a phrase, either. As an optional extra, the shifter can be fitted with a hydraulic shift lock mechanism. As a result, proper pedal and shifting techniques are essential – otherwise, gears will grind or not engage at all.
For enthusiasts who prioritize authenticity and demand the pinnacle of performance, the Quaife Sim Racing Gearbox is a top-tier choice that sets a new standard for excellence in the sim racing space.
Which shifter are you thinking about either adding or changing onto your rig? Let us know over on our X @overtake_gg!