Sim Racing is a very popular gaming genre, with plenty of titles and history, beginners have a lot to look forward to.
Many have heard about sim racing, but for beginners, it can be a new adventure that has plenty to do. Here is a great article on what you should know.
No, sim racing has nothing to do with making your characters from The Sims run laps around the houses you’ve built for them. As cool as that would be, it hasn’t caught on in the esports world, although we can still hope it gets picked up someday.
In reality, sim racing is the collective name used for all racing video game software that aims to be an accurate simulation of auto racing. Sim racing games have come a long way since the early arcade days of Rally X and Pole Position.
Sim racing games aren’t just fun to play, they’re also part of the booming esports betting industry. Watching esports is a popular hobby and as it has grown, betting on various games has exploded in popularity too. These tournaments have become big business.
In states that have recently legalized online sports betting, including New York – betting on esports such as sim racing is an exciting new opportunity. However, if you’re new to sim racing, it can be confusing to know where to start.
This article will briefly explain sim racing and the kind of gaming setup you’d need to get the most out of the experience – we’ll also give you a rundown of some of the best sim racing games currently available.
How does it work?
Sim racing isn’t just Grand Theft Auto with a bit more attention given to the driving aspect of the game. Racing games have always been a popular genre of video games. From the 1970s through to today, game developers have been working to capture the sensation of actually being behind the wheel.
Besides the actual driving, sim racing makes players focus on all of the nitty-gritty of driving. Things like fuel usage and tire wear have to be constantly monitored, while factors such as suspension settings and threshold braking need to be taken into consideration too.
Namco’s Pole Position is considered the first racing simulator. It was an arcade game that was released in the United States in 1982. It has been described as the most influential game of all time.
Not only did Pole Position introduce the chase cam – the driver’s eye view, “chasing” other cars on the track – it also was the first racing game to introduce more realism. It was based on an actual track, had checkpoints and required players to complete a qualifying lap before being allowed to race.
Once the format had been created, the development of racing simulators really took off. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, the games became more complex and more realistic. By the late 90s, the graphics had begun to catch up with the game mechanics and coding – so games started to look as good as they handled.
Sim racing software and hardware have gotten so good that professional drivers use them to stay at the top of their game. Max Verstappen is not only one of the best Formula One drivers in the world, he’s also a leading racer on the sim racing team, Team Redline.
As both sim racing and esports have grown, online communities of racers have grown as well. These communities act in the same manner as racing organizations in the real world. They coordinate race events, discuss and share car modifications, and work on track or hardware modifications.
One of the coolest parts of sim racing is the racing cockpit setups. These games obviously require more than just a joystick – at the very least, players need a racing wheel and pedals. While these can be placed on a desk or balanced while you’re on the couch, this does limit the immersiveness of the game.
A racing cockpit provides that final touch that make these games the ultimate in immersive gaming. These range in complexity from a simple frame and seat to which you can attach your wheel and pedals, to elaborate racing pods with motion control so you actually can feel what you’re seeing on the monitor.
Best sim racing games
With all that background taken care of, here are some of the top games on the market today:
Gran Turismo Sport, PS4
The main focus of this edition of the Gran Turismo franchise is competitive online racing. While that might not appeal to everyone, it also has enough solo challenges and license tests to keep every player happy.
Though some players might see it as too regimented, GT Sport has become known for having the clearest ruleset for online multiplayer races. This makes the experience fair and removes some of the frustration for players.
While the improvements made in Gran Turismo 7 could have pushed it onto the list, the monetization and heavy push of microtransactions has frustrated fans so much that it didn’t make the cut. If the changes being made this month fully address the issue, that could change.
iRacing has been described as “expensive, time consuming, tough”. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement to the casual gamer but for serious sim racers, this that sounds like a dream come true. Though it might not have the best graphics, the gameplay is impossible to beat.
Assetto Corsa Competizione, PC, Xbox One, PS4
We’ve saved the best for last. The original Assetto Corsa offers players one of the most realistic racing experiences outside of an actual race car. What made the game even more special was the emphasis it placed on players being able to mod and customize their cars.
Assetto Corsa Competizione takes everything that was great about the original and dials it up. This is the game for players who don’t just want to drive – it’s for players who want to drive and be intimately involved with all of the workings of their vehicle.
On top of all that, it’s a beautiful game. Of course, the cars are beautiful, that’s true for basically all racing sims. What Assetto Corsa Competizione gets right is the environment. You get to watch the sun set on your endurance races over the real scenery of the track you’re on. It’s a very pure racing experience.