Load cells for gaming and SIM racing

Published On: April 26 2018


With the rise in VR gaming, the accuracy and sensitivity of load cells is helping gamers achieve more realistic ‘feel’ for games, especially in SIM / VR racing.

Load cells in SIM racing

We’ve explored the use of load cells in SIM racing game pedals in a previous blog, but judging by the rash of new videos, their use has become far more widespread recently. Serious SIM racers use a rig of physical pedals that look and feel (and react) like the genuine articles in a racing car. The load cells allow the SIM driver to use the pedals, especially the brake pedalm more intuitively. The brake force can be adjusted using software, and the physical feel of the pedals using interchangeable springs.

The benefits for SIM drivers is improved handling, and therefore improved speed. An enthusiastic video by Mike of SimRacing604 explains how by adding load cells to his rig: “I shaved 1.2 seconds off my best time in the F1 38 at Spa.”


Types of SIM pedals

SIM pedals, according to a fun Gamer Muscle video, come in three categories:

  1. “These pedals come with the wheel and they’ll make do.”
  2. “I’m starting to spend too much money on my racing SIM pedals.”
  3. “Gone too far.”

Needless to say, it’s the top end pedals that feature load cells, and the money is fairly serious: US$500+ a set. In these kind of rigs, load cells are used on all three pedals, as the specs for the Heusinkveld Engineering SIM Pedals Pro describe:

“Each pedal features a load cell to provide a true linear output in relation to the pedal input. This provides unrivalled accuracy and durability as, unlike regular rotary potentiometers, they do not wear out over time. On the throttle and clutch pedals, the load cells work as positional sensors whereas the load cell on the brake pedal measures the pressure put on the pedal… Also included is a USB controller for connection to a PC, to which each of the pedals are connected, which houses a load cell amplifier.”


Load cells in automotive testing

It’s hardly surprising that load cells feature in SIM pedals, as the automotive industry have been using them for years for testing and monitoring vehicle performance, including gearshift, suspension, steering, pedal force and general testing.


Game on with The Load Cell Shop

If you’re a keen gamer or gaming accessory manufacturer, do give us a call. We’ve created bespoke load cell systems for a whole variety of industries and markets, and we’d be more than happy to talk through your requirements. We design and manufacture our own high quality load cells right here in the UK, offering reduced production and delivery times, and someone in the same time zone to talk to during office hours!