As fun as sim racing can be, it’s also a hobby that forces you to make some pretty annoying sacrifices, especially when you’re starting out. The ppvictim is to the walletof course – fancy new direct drive wheels and load cell pedals don’t come cheap – but also sacrifice your living space. Attaching the hardware to a desk or folding tray table works if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest setup, but it’s far from ideal, especially for today’s high-torque gear. On the flip side, a proper rig requires space, not to mention an even bigger financial investment.
If you’re prepared to take that leap, the Playseat Trophy is something to consider. Playseat has been active in this field since 1995, creating dedicated racing simulation seats attached to tubular steel chassis that are made to take a beating. The company has partnered with Logitech for a branded version of the Trophy cockpit, built to support Logitech’s new G Pro direct drive racing wheels and load cell equipped racing pedals. It retails for $599 from Logitech’s site and launches today, February 21.
Logitech sent me a Trophy kit a few weeks ago and I’ve been using it, along with Logitech’s latest wheels and pedals, to play Gran Turismo 7 since. Right off the bat, I’ll clear up any potential for confusion here and say that nothing about the Logitech flavor of the Trophy is significantly different from Playseat’s standard model, except Logitech has the appropriate branding and comes in a unique gray-and-cyan colorway. It really is. Otherwise, the $599 price point is no different than what Playseat charges for the trophy it will ship you directly, and the design and function are exactly the same.
Still, I had never used a Playseat Trophy before, having turned all my previous sim racing rounds on a Wheel Stand Pro, and before that on a dreaded board table, as we all do when we enter this niche. The trophy may seem like a lot if you come from similarly humble beginnings, but it’s actually quite easy to build. Assembly requires only the included Allen keys – and maybe a little elbow grease to stretch the seat’s fabric over the metal frame.
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That’s the most interesting thing about the Trophy: What looks like a fully formed racing seat is actually just Playseat’s very sturdy and breathable ActiFit fabric, slipped over metal and tightened to the frame with many, many Velcro flaps. Yes, I was skeptical too. I wasn’t sure Velcro alone could hold my 160 pounds, let alone keep me rigid enough to fully concentrate on my virtual driving and ignore all distractions.
This thing is basically a sim racing hammock, but it works beautifully. Again, it’s a bit of a pain to get all the flaps to meet and the seat fabric taut and sit where it should, but an extra set of hands helps. The benefit of the shellless design is that it keeps the Trophy light—just 37 pounds, not including whatever hardware is attached to it. It makes it very easy to move around when you need to.
The assembly is not that terrible. Getting the seat in just the way you want it and adapted to your body’s ideal riding position will probably take more time. To that end, pretty much everything about the Trophy is adjustable. The seat back can move forwards or backwards; the pedal base can be moved closer or further away from you, kept flat or tilted upwards. The base of the steering wheel can be angled just as well, or turned around to change the distance from the chair.
At first I didn’t think the seat was height adjustable, until I realized that it was there to extend the mid-section of the frame. I wish there was a way to raise the seat in relation to the wheel without extending the entire chassis by a few inches, but it’s a minor gripe for someone particularly space-conscious.
Adjustments, much like assembly, are mostly done by tightening and loosening screws with an Allen key. Trial and error is monotonous and annoying, but you should only fiddle with these things once. And once you find what works for you, the Trophy is a dream to drive.
It does not wobble, creak or give. To get the most out of a set of load cell pedals or a high-torque wheel, you really need a solid, hard-mounted base to fix everything to, and that’s what you get with the Playseat Trophy. Just like the non-Logitech version, this rig has universal boards that can support hardware from Fanatic and Thrustmaster, so it can evolve as your setup does.
It’s hard to give a general recommendation for something like the Trophy, which costs as much and requires the space that it does. Personally, being very familiar with more portable, collapsible options like Wheel stand Pro and Trak Racers FS3 stand, I’ve always found them a little unsatisfying and never able to disappear as completely into a closet as I’d hoped. If you’re on the fence about a more “permanent” solution and can accommodate that, I think you’ll be very happy with the Trophy. But fair warning: once you settle in, a folding table will never be enough again.