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Shifter Comparison: Fanatec SQ 1.5 vs Simagic DS-8X vs Moza HGP

Simagic DS-8X fitted and ready to shift

You may remember this year that I individually reviewed 3 sim racing shifters: Fanatec’s SQ 1.5 vs Simagic DS-8X H-Pattern vs the budget option Moza HGP.

My original and very first shifter – the Fanatec SQ.15

They’re all good, in their own way. I worked with an SQ 1.5 for several years. In that time, it failed once, requiring a trivial and easily executed repair (with insulation tape, of all things). For the longest time, unless you were ready to part with silly money ($’s for a Pro-Sim shifter, for example) the Fanatec SQ 1.5 was the shifter to have. Perhaps it had the perfect blend of smoothness and reliability and it was very easy to avoid mistakes. I liked it, and should I be driving the manual, I’d look long and hard at it to decide if it was the shifter for me.

Moza's HGP Sim Racing Shifter
Moza HGP Sim Racing Shifter

In my quest to improve the number of reviews on the site I wrote to my friends at Moza – they sent me the HGP. Priced at around 50% of the SQ 1.5, a lot of people got excited about the product. I liked it, the H-Pattern look of it gave me strong Ferrari vibes. It was highly resistant, which made it a matter of preference. In real life I’ve never felt a gearbox as stiff as that.

So I ended up testing the Simagic DS-8X. I liked it because it had the smoothness and resilient feeling of the SQ, and it was very nicely engineered (by comparison to the Moza felt, within the budget it aimed for.

SIMAGIC DS-8x sequential / h-pattern sim shifter
The DS-8X Sequential to H-Pattern lever

A nice feature of the Simagic – is the ability to switch to Sequential from H-Pattern. The SQ does this too; although the Simagic seemed happier to make the switch.

Fanatec Direct Drive Wheels

The final point is that both the Moza and The Simagic are USB gaming devices. To tun the SQ 1.5 you need the dongle – and no ordinary dongle it is! It requires occasional firmware updates.

Surely, Fanatec will give up on this silly idea.

Fanatec SQ 1.5:

  • High build quality, heavy-duty.
  • Switchable between H-pattern and sequential modes.
  • Easy compatibility and setup.
  • Higher price point.
  • Suited for those seeking premium performance.
  • Buy

Simagic DS-8X:

  • Dual H-pattern and sequential functionality.
  • Solid build, smooth performance.
  • Adjustable resistance.
  • Higher price, but offers feature-rich experience.
  • Appeals to users valuing versatility and customization.
  • Buy

Moza HGP:

  • Affordable, good value.
  • Clear-cut H-pattern, no sequential mode.
  • Simple design, easy USB setup.
  • Stiffer 7-speed gate.
  • Good for those wanting a solid, budget-friendly option.
  • Buy

My money is on the Simagic DS-8X. It has every useful feature I need in a shifter and it just beats the Fanatec of feel and quality. At three times the price of the Moza I don’t feel the need to set expectations, let’s just say they’re at very different ends of the quality spectrum.

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Shifter Comparison: Fanatec SQ 1.5 vs Simagic DS-8X vs Moza HGP