Any sim racers here, trying to figure out what to get back into

So I’m getting the itch to get back into sim racing seriously. The question is what to get back into? I got a coupon for iRacing to reup my subscription, but is that still the hotness? There’s rFactor 2, AC, project Cars 2, etc. When I last raced seriously iRacing was the big thing, rFactor 2 was starting to gain traction, but rF still had a serious following. So to say I’m a bit behind the times is an understatement. Any suggestions or insight you guys an provide would be appreciated!


Iracer here. I think all of the titles mentioned are not bad, but in the end I’ve chosen to keep renewing my sub each year vs. buying other titles as I just feel they offer the best on-line multiplayer experience at various points of the day/week. I’ve been hearing some good things about the new Assetto Corsa Competizone title though. Just depends on what is of most interest to you…on-line multiplayer capability, feel, variety in vehicles, availability to race AI and so on.

I like Assetto Corsa. It strikes a good line between looks and realism. Project Cars is more gamey but still a sim IMO. I defenetly get AC comptizione based on my experience w Assetto Corsa. That’s my 2 cents

Depends what you’re looking for.

The Codemasters titles have the lock on a good SP experience. AC is a good “what if” sim where you pick a car and a track and go but it’s not great at simulating a realistic race with the right types of opponents let alone a season.
Project Cars 2 is IMO a bit better than AC in that regard in return for slightly lesser modeling (so if AC was 60/40 then PC2 is 40/60).

I never bothered with rf2, although I played a ton of rf1, and I’ve not tried AC Comp yet either since its narrow focus doesn’t interest me as much.

There was also RaceRoom but while I played a ton of Race07 and its addons, I never cared for its business model. For that matter, I don’t like iracing’s business model either. I call it double-dipping if I’m paying for a product and then paying per month to use it. The lack of SP/AI cars makes it unusable for me anyway.

Agreed, it all depends. I’m a little dated as wel in that I haven’t hooked up my wheel in over two years at least.

I used to do different league racing in RF, I haven’t driven RF2.

I do have PCars and PCars 2 and the latter is, to me, a much more refined product than the first was. I’d recommend it for the single player, career type, experience. It’s even pretty good with a controller, as I had to resort to last year out on the boat. I’ve also heard the VR is great, though I haven’t tried it yet.

For online, I think a lot of the community has shifted to iRacing. Like others, I’m not really pleased with their business model and never gave it a real chance. Those that I know that have it, however, definitely enjoy it.

I bought AC and never really spent too much time with it. Their new game that just released has been getting good reviews.

Shameless plug below for a friend of mine that’s become fairly popular streaming racing sims, he regularly drives all the sims mentioned above and has made reviews at various points. He’s even dabbled a bit in DCS, though it’s been a while.


If Mudspike can do anything to help sim racers then let @staff know. We can create more Teamspeak channels, set up a specific Category (our type of sub-forums here) for ‘Racing’ with some product tags and what-not if it would encourage people to play. It only takes a few here interested to want to do that, and we’d be happy to help.


I wouldn’t mind trying to get back into racing. Never tried i_racing as I always thought it needed to have a decent time investment, which I don’t really have at the moment.

That’s part of what drew me away from the leagues online. I simply don’t have the time required to practice and tinker with setups to go from a mid-pack time to something actually reasonably competitive.

I was always more of a fan of the fixed-setup type races, too, as I feel like it levels the field a bit.

Well I had a 30% off coupon for a year of iRacing, so I pulled the trigger on that. Now I remember why I had left. You can hot lap to your hearts content on whatever tracks in whatever cars you are willing to spend money on. Now you want to actually race, be prepared to drop some serious coin for tracks and cars. The Skip Barber race series requires the car, and like 10 or 12 tracks (at $12-$20 a piece). There are very few series that allow you to run on the base tracks and cars, and once you get out your rookie licenses even less. In retrospect not the best choice, but iRacing has a year to convince me otherwise.

It seems like most of us probably have rFactor on their HD (I got the steam version on sale for $5 a couple of years ago in addition to my purchase from ISI back in the day). Would there be any interest in running some friendly low key rF racing? There are some great tracks and car sets out there, that are an absolute blast. VW beetle racing in a bullring or short road course is a great time. For that matter the basic I-trainer was always fun racing. I’m thinking basic pickup racing on some random night, fixed setups, short races (say 20-30 minutes tops) and minimal damage settings. In other words, keep it light and fun.

Iracing is not cheap without question. Best advice I can give to combat the cost is always buy content in groups and try to take advantage of iracing bucks through series participation or their occasional deals where you get 100 credits for 75 bucks or whatever. Lots of people make the mistake of buying tons of cars up front and then you have nowhere to race them. What’s MUCH more important are the tracks themselves. Pick a series you really think you can stick with for a few seasons (for me it was SRF because they had a great mix of paid content plus base content and the paid content was always used two seasons in a row). Get only as many tracks as you need to make the minimum number of weeks of participation in the series. By the time you participate in a few seasons you have enough track content that you can pretty much run any series you want with just a car purchase.

Thanks for the device. I had managed to pick and choose enough tracks over the couple of years I was running iRacing a lot, to be able to race in most of the series at the time. Now not so much, which is aggravating. They already got several hundred $ from me, can’t they just be happy with the monthly fee?

Hosted servers are not cheap I guess.

Hosted servers… Nope, they’re not. A least the good ones. $150+ USD per month.

Jenrick, offline AI is coming at some point to iRacing. Maybe that will kick in soon.

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Do they need good GPUs on the server side or is it just pure CPU needed? I’m all about cheap hosting hacks (exhibit A: here) so curious if I could help.

Edit: Ah, it’s an iRacing license charge thing on their servers…

Saying “racing” is like saying “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice”…and Doug pops up! I need to say racing more often…!

I wouldn’t mind some Assetto Corsa action.

I think their pricing policy was on point. Cheap base pack with occassional free expansions and reasonably priced DLC. I’m not a fan of subscription models.

The new AC Competizione just receviced its first MP mode (practice). It’s very early access with 2 cars and 2 tracks afaik. So handle with care.

The old AC (1?) should be on sale soon :wink:

My favorites right now are PC2 and Dirt Rally. AC used to be at the top of the list, but PC2 just feels more “alive” right now, especially in low traction environments, like gravel, snow, and wet asphalt. I really like driving the RX cars in PC2. IMO, learn how to drive a rally car and you have a really good foundation for road racing, especially in cars with typically high oversteer, like Porsche 911 GT3.

iRacing is probably good, I just don’t have enough sim time atm to justify the investment. If I was a drive sim guy only, I’d probably sub.

"Do they need good GPUs on the server side or is it just pure CPU needed? I’m all about cheap hosting hacks (exhibit A: here) so curious if I could help."

Surprisingly a dedicated server only needs a compliant DX GPU. Most all blade servers at hosting companies use on-board GPU chips not discrete cards because they run the dedicated server app, not the sim itself. The CPU needs to be adequate but like the GPU, it doesn’t need uber power.

The things a dedicated server needs more is RAM, a fast SSD (or NVMe). Most importantly is a big pipe for up/down traffic. Home Internet connections can handle single digit race grids if drivers are regionally located near the server, but if you get more than that a commercial server is necessary.

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Dirt Rally is a really good title, I definitely enjoy that one.

One other thing I had forgotten about iRacing, is that at the lower levels (rookie and D class) getting out of a race with a positive SR bump is dang near impossible. I had a car literally land on mine in my last race, as in the hit the wall, got hit, rolled, launched, and LANDED on my car. Oval racing is bumper cars, and road racing is a variation on PIT school (teaching two classes of that this week, so good practice on counter-PIT i guess). I think I may have to resort to time trailing a bunch to get my SR up enough to get out of the lower levels again.