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Playseat Challenge, still worth it?

Playseat Challenge, still worth it?

The Playseat Challenge has been around for a few years now. Is it still worth buying the Playseat Challenge in 2023? Let's dive deeper into what this race seat is all about. 

Playseat Challenge.jpg

The Playseat Challenge was introduced way back in 2009. That's a long time ago! But Playseat has made minor upgrades to the racing seat over the years. I've personally been using this seat for well over 5 years and have spent countless hours and virtual miles in it.

Buy a Playseat Challenge

The quality

Playseat is famous for its excellent built quality. Whether you're buying an affordable race seat or an expensive rig, you know you're always set safely with a Playseat. The Challenge might visually seem cheap and flimsy, but it really isn't.

The quality extends to every aspect of the seat. The seating itself is comfortable and won't wear easily. The unique design lets you sit in the seat comfortably at different angles, depending on your height and preference. Admittedly, it doesn't feel like an actual car seat, but that's because it's more designed like an F1-type seat. But even then, you don't experience back pain or discomfort after several hours of racing in it.

Speaking of which, sim racing is an activity that many underestimate. Most of us drivers tend to sweat a lot after several minutes of high-intensity qualifying laps or a high-paced dogfight. The Playseat's breathable material is excellent at keeping you fairly refreshed. The material won't wear out either, regardless of what clothes you wear and how much time you spend in it.

What stands out most, of course, is the fact that it's foldable. You can easily fold it together and stow it behind a closet or in a corner. This is especially practical in smaller rooms or when you don't have the space for a dedicated sim rig. And don't worry, it's light too, so even youngsters can drag it around and set it up in just a few seconds.

But isn't it too unstable?

Well, that depends on the wheelbase you're using. If you're using a direct-drive wheel, then I'm afraid the Playseat Challenge isn't the perfect fit. You're probably better off looking at a Playseat Trophy, which is specifically designed for direct-drive wheelbases. But anything else works perfectly well. I used to run a Thrustmaster T300RS, and the Challenge could manage that perfectly well.

Don't expect that it won't move. You have to respect the price range you're in with this unit. It does flex quite a bit under heavy braking and, yes, when you're pulling the steering wheel, the platform will flex too. Inherently, the most flex comes from the seating itself. Since it's not a fixed chair like in other (modular) cockpits, the chair moves with your body. The Trophy suffers from that as well. In all fairness, that's not too much of a problem as after several minutes you will adjust to that. In part, you expect the rig to move, which means it won't surprise you at any given moment. Do keep in mind that running load cell pedals might be too much for the Challenge to handle.

If you're looking at it second hand and still want to upgrade your gear, you might want to consider reinforcing the frame. Just look around on YouTube or Reddit for tips on how you can make the frame sturdier. There are several die-hards that even run direct-drive wheels on it, given you reinforce certain areas.

Oh and small perk from that flex? Pro sim racers pay a fortune for feedback in the seating unit. Because the Challenge is basically one unit, you can feel the force feedback from your wheelbase in your seat too! 

Is it still priced correctly?

I think so! If you look at other alternatives, you will easily spend twice that amount for anything basic. The price doesn't change very often because even after all this time, it's still a great entry-level race seat. If you're looking to move from your desktop setup, then consider it a good and affordable option. It's not at all more expensive than a firm desk chair anyway.

Because it's been around for a while, you can also pick these up second hand. That could shave off $100 if you're lucky. Since the build quality is fine, most of them are in good shape too.


Even now, the Playseat Challenge is a great entry-level racing seat. If you're looking to step away from that awkward seating position behind your desktop, be sure to have a look at this seat. It's not only incredibly practical, but it's also an affordable option for you to start out with. If you're taking sim racing more seriously and you have a $1000 wheelbase, you'll want to look for stronger and sturdier cockpits, though. But even then, for most regular gear or belt-driven wheelbases, the Playseat Challenge is an excellent chair to give you that real-life racing experience!

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