The Playseat Trophy Is the Sensible, Surprisingly Lightweight Cockpit Every Sim Racer Deserves
As much fun as sim racing can be, it’s also a hobby that forces you to make some rather annoying sacrifices, especially when you’re starting out. Those sacrifices are to your wallet, of course — fancy, new direct drive wheels and load-cell pedals aren’t cheap — but also, sacrifices to your living space. Affixing your 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 equipment. On the flip side, a proper rig requires room, not to mention an even greater financial investment.
If you’re prepared to take that leap, though, the Playseat Trophy is something you should consider. Playseat has been active in this space since 1995, making dedicated seats for racing simulation affixed to steel-tube chassis that are made to take a beating. The company has partnered with Logitech for a branded version of its Trophy cockpit, built to support Logitech’s new G Pro direct-drive Racing Wheel and load-cell equipped Racing Pedals. It retails for $599 from Logitech’s site and releases today, February 21.
Logitech and Playseat conveniently provide enough M6-size hex bolts for you to mount the racing wheel and pedals to their respective plates, and even highlight the holes used for Logitech hardware.
Logitech shipped me a Trophy kit a few weeks back and I’ve been using it, along with Logitech’s latest wheel and pedals, to play Gran Turismo 7 since. Right off the bat, I’ll dispel some potential for confusion here and say that nothing about the Logitech flavor of the Trophy is materially different from Playseat’s standard model, except the Logitech one has the appropriate branding and comes in a unique gray-and-cyan colorway. That’s really it. Otherwise, the $599 price point is no different than what Playseat charges for the Trophy it’ll ship you directly, and the design and function is exactly the same.
Still, I’d never used a Playseat Trophy before, having turned all my prior sim racing laps on a Wheel Stand Pro, and before that on a dreaded tray table, as we all do when we enter this niche. The Trophy might look like a lot if you’re coming from similarly humble beginnings, but it’s actually pretty simple to build. Assembly only requires the included Allen wrenches — and maybe a bit of elbow grease to stretch the seat’s fabric over the metal frame.
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. Yeah — I was skeptical too. I wasn’t confident mere Velcro could hold my 160 pounds, let alone keep rigid enough for me to concentrate fully on my virtual driving and ignore all distractions.
This thing is basically a sim racing hammock, but it works beautifully. Again, getting all the flaps to meet and the seat fabric taut and sitting where it should is a bit of a pain, but an extra set of hands helps. The benefit to the shell-less design is that it keeps the Trophy light — just 37 pounds not counting whatever hardware’s attached to it. That makes it very easy to move around when you have to.
It doesn’t look like much but the ActiFit seat is actually very comfortable, especially for not actually being padded.
Assembly’s not too awful. Getting the seat dialed in exactly how you want it and conformed to your body’s ideal driving position will probably consume more of your time. To that end pretty much everything about the Trophy is adjustable. The seat back can move forward or recline; the pedal base can be moved closer or further away from you, left flat or tilted upward. The base for the steering wheel can be angled just as well, or flipped around to modify its distance from the chair.
Initially I didn’t think the seat was height-adjustable, until I realized that’s what lengthening the frame’s midsection was for. I wish there was a way to raise the seat relative to the wheel without extending the entirety of the chassis by a few inches, but that’s a small gripe for someone who’s especially space conscious.
Adjustments, much like assembly, are mostly done by tightening and loosening screws with an Allen wrench. The trial and error is monotonous and annoying, but you should only be fiddling with this stuff once. And once you figure out what works for you, the Trophy is a dream to drive in.
Because the pedal plate has long grooves that both sets of pins pass through on either side, you only need to slightly unscrew them all to modify height, distance and rake. It’s a real clever design.
It doesn’t wobble, or 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’re getting with the Playseat Trophy. Just like the non-Logitech version, this rig has universal plates that can support hardware from Fanatec and Thrustmaster, allowing it to evolve as your setup does.
It’s hard to issue a blanket recommendation for something like the Trophy, costing as much and requiring the space that it does. Personally, being very familiar with more portable, fold-away options like the Wheel Stand Pro and Trak Racer’s FS3 stand, I’ve always found them to be a little unsatisfying and never able to vanish as completely in a closet as I’d hope. If you’re on the fence about a more “permanent” solution and can accommodate it, I think you’ll be very pleased with the Trophy. Fair warning though: once you’ve settled in, a tray table will never be enough again.
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