How To Set Up a Steering Wheel on a PC: Our Step-by-Step Guide
Updated: December 12,2022
If you’re an avid fan of driving games or just starting to explore this genre, you’ll find racing wheels to be a massive improvement in the overall gaming experience compared to your standard controller of choice.
If you’re getting ready to step up your driving game experience but are still unsure how to set up a steering wheel on your PC, you can follow our step-to-step guide and get back to gaming in no time.
Setting Up Your Wheel For PC
Getting your steering wheel set up and working for the first time is easy and requires a few steps that can all be done in 20-30 minutes tops.
Step 1 Installing The Steering Wheel
First, you need to connect your new gear to the computer. We’ll break it down in a few steps what you need to do to attach your gaming steering wheel to the PC:
- Attach the pedals to the steering wheel,
- Use a USB cable to connect your PC wheel to a free USB port on your computer,
- Connect your steering wheel to the power adapter,
- Put the pedals, gear shift, and steering wheel in place.
Finally, you’ll need to secure the elements like the gear shifter and the wheel itself.
The pedal board usually comes with carpet grippers at the bottom of the board, so it stays put. The whole setup requires adequate table space, and some gamers choose to get a wheel stand to make this easier.
Setting up a Wheel Stand
The basic steps we’ve outlined above( one through four) remain the same, and the only difference is that it is much easier to find space and set up your steering wheel game set on a wheel stand or sim frame than it would be on a table.
Setting up the wheel and pedals on a stand is easy. Start from the bottom plate and slide the pedals in first. Once you slide the pedals in, you should put the cable through the designated gaps. Fasten the gear shifter to the plate. All that’s left is to set up the wheel and tighten the clams, so it doesn’t move around as you play.
The main benefit here is that you don’t need to clutter everything on your table; instead, you can put away your driving rig once you’re done for the day. The wheel stand we used came equipped with wheels on the bottom, making it that much easier to set aside once the race was over.
Step 2 Install Drivers
After you’ve connected the steering wheel to your gaming setup, it’s necessary to install the drivers. The driver is a program that connects your hardware and the PC software.
There are two ways in which we get the latest version of the appropriate driver:
Install and download drivers manually
If you want to install the driver manually, you will need to find it on the manufacturer’s website. You’ll have to download the drivers and then start the installation.
For some manufacturers, you will need to input the model number and get the specific drivers for that model. After that, you can download the drivers and start the installation.
Automatic installation requires that you use driver updater software. This comes with several advantages. The driver updater software scans the system and detects the brand and model of your steering wheel. This saves you time searching online for updated versions of your installed software. It also:
- Updates outdated drivers,
- Replaces corrupted drivers,
- Installs drivers that are missing.
Once you’ve finished installing the drivers for your steering wheel, it’s time to check its configuration so you may enjoy the best possible performance out of your gaming steering wheel setup.
Step 3 Configure Your Steering Wheel
After you have installed the driver and the wheel, you will have to configure the device for the games you wish to play. There are a couple of steps you need to follow. For the purposes of this article, we used a wheel from one of the most popular brands on the market, Logitech, but the general process should be similar regardless of the brand.
- Open the device software (driver program),
- Click on “Profile” and open “New,”
- Browse for the game that you wish to add,
- After you’ve chosen a game, you need to click on “Edit” in the toolbar and select “Specific Game Settings.” This is where you can configure the wheel for that specific game.
To complete your racing wheel setup and get the ultimate driving experience, you need to change a few things in the game settings.
Set up the shift to “manual w/clutch.” Playing with these settings can be challenging at first, and some budget steering wheels offer just two pedals without the clutch. But if you want to get the most out of your set, we recommend using the manual shift with a clutch.
Steering wheels are designed to enhance your experience when playing racing games. They use the haptic feedback tech that you can also find in some better gaming controllers on the market but offer a much more immersive feeling in racing games.
There are different brands to choose from when getting a gaming steering wheel for your PC. Whichever you get, the process of setting it up will be very similar, and you can follow this step-by-step guide, as most of the steps won’t change significantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Racing wheels can help you better experience your favorite driving games. On the other hand, a solid gaming wheel can cost a fair bit of money. Also, it can take up quite a bit of room, so unless you have adequate desk space, you’ll need to get a wheel stand.
A proper racing setup for a PC includes lots of advanced technologies. One of the most expensive parts is the internal motor for force feedback. You don’t necessarily have to get one with this feature included, but it definitely makes the difference for driving game enthusiasts.
Yes. Most peripheral manufacturers make universally compatible steering wheels that work on both PCs and consoles. Even so, you should check on the box or in the online description if the model you wish to buy is compatible with your setup.
If you’re wondering how to set up a steering wheel on your PC, check out our article above - it will give you all the necessary information.
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A true tech and gaming savant, Ivan has been fascinated by the digital world since the early days of gaming on antiques such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore’s beloved Amiga. Whether you’re interested in the latest PC and console gaming news, antivirus software, or smartphone reviews, or simply want to learn about the newest geeky gadgets around, we at KT have you covered, and Ivan’s likely the one we’ll ask.