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Modern gaming is all about realism. It’s about replicating an actual experience as closely as possible for someone sitting at home in their comfortable chair. Whether that experience is soaring among the stars in a spaceship, roaming a post-apocalyptic landscape while avoiding zombies, or rocketing through a cityscape in a racecar, the serious gamer wants to feel as if he is really there. In the case of flight or racing games, the realism of the event is easier to simulate— especially if you can afford to purchase and install your very own gaming cockpit. If you get the chance to splurge on a setup like this, here are the simulator cockpits you should think about buying.

GTR Simulator GT-S-S104LBK

GTR Simulator GT-S-S104LBK

The GTR Simulator GT-S-S104LBK includes an actual racing bucket seat. A durable, powder-coated metal skeleton supports the seat, pedals, and screen. The unit comes with all the screws that you’ll need during the installation phase, as well as the mounts for your monitor and shifter. The affordable price point makes this an excellent starter model for a gamer who wants to feel like he’s really racing.

Next Level Racing GT Ultimate V2 Racing Simulator Cockpit

Next Level Racing GT Ultimate V2 Racing Simulator Cockpit

If you have a PS3, PS4, or Xbox, try out the Next Level Racing GT Ultimate V2 Racing Simulator Cockpit. This model is about twice the price of the GTR Simulator GT-S-S104LBK, and you’ll notice the difference in the increased quality and more immersive sensation you get when you’re in the driver’s seat. You get a professional-level cockpit complete with a comfortable, tilted bucket seat that’s positioned low to the ground. Strap yourself in using the four-point racing harness, grab the pro-grade controls, and you’re all set to enjoy some nearly-real racing. There’s no TV mount or bracket included, so you’ll have to purchase and install those items separately.

GTR Racing Simulator GTSF

GTR Racing Simulator GTSF

Another type of GTR Racing Simulator, the GTSF model, comes with a genuine racing seat, sturdy metal frame, and responsive steering wheel and shifter; but the real standout is the durably designed bracket on which you can mount three monitors at eye level. The central monitor faces you, while the others are angled to your right and left, forming a continuous field of vision that allows for more immersive play.  The bucket seat is adjustable, and the supports and frame parts are all powder-coated and precision-made for superior performance.

Saitek Pro Flight Simulator Cockpit Shell

Saitek Pro Flight Simulator Cockpit Shell

If you’re more into flying than racing, try the Saitek Pro Flight Simulator Cockpit Shell, Fully Loaded edition. This cockpit was designed to mimic the cockpits in popular aircraft trainers such as the Piper Archer and the Cessna Skyhawk. Connect it to your PC and run a flight simulator game, and you’ll get the chance to use the same controls that you would find inside a real airplane cockpit. There’s a genuine magneto switch to start the engine, switches to control your cabin lights, and real rudder pedals for your feel. Take the throttle and yoke in your hands and get ready for an in-flight experience like no other, right in your own home!

RSEAT Gaming Cockpits

RSEAT Gaming Cockpits

If you’re comfortable with the higher end of the price spectrum, try other popular simulator cockpits like the RSEAT N1 or RS1. The RSEAT RS Formula V2 actually has a tapered front like that of a racecar, along with a strongly slanted, low-to-ground seat so that you really feel as if you’re climbing into a racecar. Another prize for any gamer is the RSEAT RS1 Assetto Corsa Special Edition cockpit chair with included mounts.

OBUTTO Gaming Cockpits

OBUTTO Gaming Cockpits

The Obutto gaming cockpits are rugged and well-designed, with a powerful, well-supported frame that should last for years. The cockpits come with comfortable seats, the framework and mounts, and not much else; you’ll have to purchase the accessories like pedals, throttle, steering wheel, monitor, and other items. Either the Obutto R3volution or the Obutto Ozone are excellent choices if you’re looking for long-lasting, immersive cockpit gaming.

What’s your favorite simulator cockpit? Tell us why you like it in the comments.

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