Formula For Success: Breaking Into Driving Games, Part 2

By RPS on February 17th, 2012 at 12:08 pm.


If you missed part one of Craig Lager‘s two-part guide to getting going in proper racing games, that’s here. Now read on for the final part, covering advanced techniques, what high-end kit to pick up and which games will best make you wheely good.

Everyone will tell you that the most important thing with racing is consistency. One really fast lap is nothing compared to being able to do 15 fast laps in a row. You need to do some long races. Pick a circuit you know, set the lap count high and go. If you have it, F1 is perfect for this because you can turn all the assists off, set up a 100% race length race and drive for 80 or so minutes with a few flashbacks in the bank in case you mess everything up on the last couple of laps. When you’re done and happy, it’s time to think about wheels again because we’re heading in to all-out sim territory.

If you bought the Logitech GT or something of equal standard, you probably don’t need to worry. If you bought something cheap and cheerful, you should probably worry. The thing is, with sims you need as much feedback and input precision as you can get, and cheap wheels just don’t provide enough of either. If you’re happy to spend the money (around £230), the Logitech G27 is excellent – it comes with a stitched leather wheel, metal pedals with hydraulics behind to give them weight, metal flappy paddle gears, a H-shift gear selector (like what you find in normal cars), lots of buttons and really good force feedback. It’s the one I use, it’s the one lots and lots of people use, I can’t recommend it enough. Again though, Thrustmaster offer some good wheels in the same price range and a bit cheaper, so it’s worth you looking around if you’re really not sure.

At the moment you have 2 main choices in popular racing sims: iRacing and rFactor 2. The difference between these and the other games mentioned above is, mainly, accessibility and realism – as in, they are both not very accessible but are very realistic. Driving aids do not exist (well, iRacing allows a racing line guide if you’re practicing solo and both will allow you to use an auto clutch and emulate “heel and toe” shifting), there are no flashbacks if you mess up and they have strict track rules. But, it’s fine – it’s just videogames.

rFactor 2 is in open beta at the moment, so there’s no point buying the original now. It costs normal game price (even for the beta), and it’s accurate with its cars along with having a thriving community. At the moment you can only drive 60’s Grand Prix cars, a Megane Touring car and a Formula Williams (a notch below Formula 3), and there are only five tracks available, but judging by the range available to rFactor 1 – there’s a lot more to come. The main draw is that you can race against AI and it has mod support integrated from the ground up (which iRacing has neither at all).

The problem with rFactor 2 though – and this will bother some people considerably less than it bothers me – is that it’s a comparatively ugly package. It looks dated even though it’s brand new, and this extends into the menu systems which are often clunky and abstract. This could be massively improved though before hitting final release, so it’s very much worth taking a look at.

iRacing, on the other hand, is incredibly expensive. There’s a membership fee of around £8 per month which gets you access to 6 cars (2 of which are different specs of Mazda MX5) and 9 tracks. There are extra cars and tracks available, but they cost just over £10 each as one off payments. So, yes, it is very expensive.

Annoyingly, it’s also really good. While still not as pretty as Grid or Shift, and while it’s not got mod support or AI drivers, or even any weather systems other than sunny – I prefer it to rFactor, mostly because it feels slicker with a really nice web interface, and the option to be able to join in a casual (relatively) practice session at any point. Also, the driving school I’ve been going on about all article is a prime example to how much dedication these guys put in to not just shoving you into a car and telling you to get on with it – but to helping you be a better, faster driver.

During and after each session you can get detailed information on your times and watch replays of individual laps. You can join those multiplayer practice sessions I mentioned (which are just people doing laps of a track without being in direct competition), then enter “official” (ranked) races which awards you a safety rating – something which you need to improve to be allowed to enter higher tiered races (it basically stops people messing around and spoiling other peoples fun). There are official competitions – often with actual prizes – and the wheel set up is really easy and slick – it’s a really nice package. But, again, expensive.

After you’ve picked a game and you’re all set up, take a car out and see how everything feels. If you went with iRacing, take the Skip Barber around Lime Rock Park; if you went with rFactor, take the Formula Renault around Portugal. You are going to crash – a lot, but don’t worry. It’s just the same as when you started taking the assists off the other games, it’s fine. You need to just keep going and going and going. Lap after lap after lap, and I only have one piece of advice left.

It’s a piece of advice so important that I’ve started a new paragraph, yes. I read it a while ago on a forum as part of a longer post. It’s been reproduced here, but this is the essential part: “Driving balls to the wall is not the way to go if you’re new. I repeat: driving balls to the wall is not the way to go. What else? driving balls to the wall is not the way to go.
I hope you understood by now that driving balls to the wall is not the way to go? You should have, because driving balls to the wall is not the way to go.”. If you missed the message: do not drive balls to the wall. You have to go steady and gradually build up speed – doing anything else will frustrate you to the point of rage quitting – I know, I’ve done it plenty of times.

And that’s it. You are now doing racing sims. You are driving virtual cars as close to real cars as you can. Hopefully, you feel rewarded – you feel like your eyes have been opened and now mastering a new track or car is it’s own super satisfying learning curve. I genuinely hope to see some of you on the track, because this is one of the things that the PC does best.

The Extra Mile

Ok, a couple more things.

“Craig”, you are saying “I really like playing all these rad games you’ve mentioned and boy this steering wheel is lovely, but I have all this damn money to spend – what should I do”? Well, Sir or Madam, with this being PC gaming there are lots of exciting things you can spend your money on and while you absolutely don’t need any of these things, you will probably want them.

Your first port of call should be upgrading that wheel if you’re not on something like the G27. Something with a clutch and a H-shift gear shift will give you new things to play with and take you a step closer to realism. Even if you do have an already-expensive wheel you can splash out on a really-expensivewheel (which I wouldn’t, really) or invest in some better pedals which are based on pressure rather than travel distance (which is all best explained here).

Next, I’d look at getting a TrackIr unit. It’s a little webcam type thing that sits on top of your monitor, along with a thing that clips on to your headset, and it’s dedicated to tracking your head movement. It’s compatible with all the games I’ve mentioned in this article, it’s incredibly easy to set up, and it really works. It’s not cheap at £110 or so, but honestly, I don’t think I’d want to be without mine now. Being able to quickly check where another cars position is, or to better see an apex as you round a corner is excellent.

More screen real estate is never a bad thing either and most games (iRacing and rFactor definitely) are happy to work with multiple monitors. 3 monitors works the best (you don’t want a split down the middle of the view so I’d take 1 or 3 over 2 or 6), and you can even set it up to work in 3D which I’ve had the pleasure to try once and it was excellent.

Other than these things, you’re looking at racing chairs which will get you in a great posture for racing, (but who has the space?), or even custom chairs with powered hydraulics that will physically throw you around, which are great, but they cost thousands. Or, you know, you could always just buyaracecar but beware that if you do this then you are ethically obliged to invite me to your house so I can have a go. Ok? Cool.

And now I really am done. Phew. Let us know how you get on – and if you have any further recommendations in terms of games or hardware, then I’d love to hear them in the comments.

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41 Comments »

  1. Faldrath says:

    Great articles. I am happy to stay at the semi-sim level (F1 2011, mostly) because of the time investment that games like rFactor require, but it’s really nice to have good articles on racing sims. Perhaps RPS could have Craig write reviews for future releases? That would be sweet.

  2. grundus says:

    Might be worth mentioning Leo Bodnar and such for DIY enthusiasts, since building your own cockpit is an alternative to buying a seat or buying a racecar. I’m going to try and make my own entirely (I’m studying electronic engineering, after all, using a pre-bought board for the buttons > USB bit would be cheating), but he sells sea shells by the sea shore little boards with connectors for buttons and such which essentially act like a game controller. People use them a lot for sim racing because you can build a full cockpit or just a button box to sit next to your wheel with buttons for things like windscreen wipers, pit limiters, brake bias and all that. He also sells one that works like a digital rev counter, but that is expensive. Google his name and you’ll find his shoppe. I should probably also mention that the boards can be used for any game, I was thinking of getting one to help cope with the multitude of controls in Arma II.

    Also, no mention (well, recommendation) of Race? I love that sim, though I haven’t tried rFactor or iRacing, up until now I thought they were both subscription fee based, but I’ll be getting rFactor 2 when it’s out. Maybe that’ll be the final nail in my motivation to actually build myself a simple cockpit. Might also get TrackIR to go with it.

    • grundus says:

      I was planning on using something like that for my frame, but I want it to look a little nicer than a pile of extruded aluminium. Then again I was going to have MDF with acrylic bolted on so maybe I could just use this and attach the acrylic to that instead… Interesting. That would make it a lot lighter, too. Do you know what I could google around for to find a UK seller?

    • Vagrant says:

      It’s been a while since I gathered my stuff, so I can’t remember a UK seller. I do remember seeing one in Europe somewhere, though. Search for 80/20. I got all my parts from overstock sold on eBay for much cheaper.

      I just bolted plywood to the frame for my stuff and it works quite well.

  3. mikmanner says:

    A note on wheels. Fanatec do an amazing range of super high quality wheels and pedals (with gear sticks) I got rid of my G27 and replaced it with a Fanatec set and I love it, prices are comparable with that of the Logitech set.

    Also I’ve been playing the heck out of Project CARS it’s in Alpha still but there’s a lot of game in there, lots of cars and tracks and it’s only 10 euros. The physics have that same ‘serious’ feel which rFactor and iRacing has.

    • MrCraigL says:

      I’ve been messing with it too. It’s pretty damn good but the physics are prone to going nuts at the moment (it’s still in alpha, which is why I couldn’t really talk about it in the article) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX8DvbXKBc0&context=C3e194dfADOEgsToPDskKOm94KpE4UvLsylPd8BDfr

    • Llewyn says:

      Indeed, the complete omission of Fanatec wheels from this article (especially when Thrustmaster gets a mention) is a little surprising, especially as the base Carrera is probably the cheapest route into proper sim wheels, as well as providing a good upgrade route if you get very serious about the whole thing.

    • mikmanner says:

      Haha wow I’ve not had any bugs like that in CARS yet haha!

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Fanatec are the wheels all my friends recommend. I’ve got a DFGT and it’s awesome (plus I got it free to review… RESULT!).

      As for sims, CARS has some big issues, but then it is PRE ALPHA right now. RF2 is a great purchase. Best FFB in the genre IMO. Been playing iRacing for a couple of weeks now and I’ve not had a better experience in sim racing. In fact I’m hitting the track in half an hour for 60 minutes around Daytona, then another 2 hour 40 minute race tomorrow.

      In iRacing you’ll bump into pros too, as it’s very popular with them. Was sharing the track in practice last night with a couple of Australian V8 Supercar drivers last night. Watching one of them got me two seconds a lap faster.

  4. hpacheco says:

    There are some other sims worth mentioning.. my top 2 would be

    - NetKar Pro (no online community at all, despite being a fairly good game. I think they aren’t developing the game anymore, they got a new project in hands)
    - Live for Speed (great for quick online races, development is really slow and the developers – 3 guys, 1 programmer – don’t really like to talk about what they’re doing.. we’ve been expecting a new tire model for ages)

    • Bonedwarf says:

      LFS has terrible sound and is a very closed environment.

      Netkar, you may as well just wait for their new one now. Netkar has no AI of any kind. The new one (whose name I can never remember) will.

  5. 626 says:

    Great articles Craig, as someone who used to play around with Live for Speed a few years ago I know how rewarding online sim racing can be.

    I would like to add for the people who are thinking of trying any of these games out, is the one major difference between racing offline against AI and racing online against competent people… trust.

    The main thrill (that I found) from online racing is the closely fought battles, and to fight tooth and nail with an opponent inches from each others bumpers for lap after lap you need complete trust in the other driver, and that is something only playing online with real people (at the same skill level as you) can achieve. No matter how clever the AI is in racing games, I never fully trust it, and I find it detracts massively from the experience.

    So in short, play online against real people whenever possible!

  6. whatisvalis says:

    rFactor + Endurance racers mod is insanely good. http://enduracers.com/es.html

    • Bonedwarf says:

      YES! Using this in two different series in my racing league right now. Epic mod. The Porsche 996 is divine, as is the Oreca.

  7. atticus says:

    Oh man, the picture of that Turbo Tomy almost brought a tear to my eye. Had totally forgotten that I used to have one of those when I was a kid. Thanks for posting that Craig, it really made my day!

    Also; great articles!

    • Reapy says:

      Exact same reaction to seeing that picture.

      I spent a lot of hours with mine, and it’s amazing to think I had completely forgotten about its existence. Damn, now I want to get one for my son.

  8. jjujubird says:

    I don’t know how interested I am in this, but wonderful article.

  9. Vagrant says:

    A word about managing iRacing’s cost (ths will be in US$):

    -Start with $99 / year for a service
    -earn $25~35 credit if you renew during the right promotion
    -earn $5 / year credit for keeping service active
    -earn $40 / year for doing a minimum number of races.

    So the content’s still an expensive one-time buy but the service can be made cheap. It’s still got the best multiplayer by a MASSIVE margin.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      They have a deal right now for three months that adds you extra content for a discount price. Go watch an episode of Inside Sim Racing for the code. (I think it’s PR-ISRTrucks).

      Also the money you get back for playing varies depending on your license level.

      And if you sign up, use iracing@purestfeeling.net for a referral please so I get credit for referring you:)

  10. phuzz says:

    I’ve got a question about TrackIR, namely, how well does it work?
    I assume that when you turn your head, it turns the ‘camera’ so your screen now shows the view to one side. But if you’ve jsut turned your head, how can you still see the monitor? And assuming that it turns your view a lot, compared to how much you actually turn, wouldn’t it be over-reacting every time I twitch my head?

    I’m guessing it’s better than this, but could someone who actually has one let me know what it’s like?

    • MrCraigL says:

      You’re right in that when you turn your head a bit it turns the camera a lot (much the same as linearity settings on a steering wheel).

      It’s hard to explain without sticking one on your head, but it works well, and feels really natural. Basically, as you naturally move your head a bit to look at a corner, then your in-game view shifts so you can see the corner better.

      Like I said – I wouldn’t want to be without mine now but they are expensive.

      Edit: for clarity I use it on a single monitor

    • trjp says:

      I’ve only seen one of those in use and only on a 3 monitor setup – but the amount it turns by is quite small even for that (on a single monitor it would be way less).

      The owner of said system reckoned the worst part was getting a ‘deadzone’ working so you don’t have to keep your head stock still. He also forgot about it once when he dropped something on the floor – the result of which was a 7 car smash :) :)

      He reckoned the real depths was in Shift2 (oddly) as it has full head tracking (for Kinect on XBOX) but he’d not really managed to get anythign working on the PC version when I last saw him.

      It’s a bit serious tbh – I’d not bother before I had a 3-screen setup, proper racing seat and wheels/pedals

    • jimbobjunior says:

      I would recommend trackIR as the next purchase after a decent wheel. You can adjust the mapping between your real head and the virtual head in any manner you like, so you can adjust things like the dead-zone. The mapping profiles can be changed on the fly, so you can even change them depending on the car you’re in.

      I also think it goes a long way in making up for the lack of peripheral vision you have, and would even recommend it for a single monitor setup.

      If you’re a tinkerer, there are also open-source plans out there that do much the same thing for the price of a webcam, some IR LEDs and couple of feet of solder. Though I can’t personally speak to how well it works, others seem quite happy with the setup.

    • Vagrant says:

      I had a trackIR for a while, liked it well enough (a must-own if you want a flight sim), but sold it for a 3-screen setup. If you’re not doing much flight sims,

      I’d highly recommend a 3-screen setup over a track-IR setup. The 3 screens were even cheaper than the trackIR.

      The open-source version is called Free-Track.
      http://www.free-track.net/english/

    • Reapy says:

      If you want to demo this out, look for ‘facetracknoir’ it uses a webcam to track your face and give you equivalent features. The main thing you configure is a deadzone, and the turn ratio. In a flight sim for example, you probably want to have about 20 degrees of head motion take you 180 degrees around in the plane.

      My biggest problem with facetrack is that it has a lot of jitter on it’s input, so the view can rock around a lot and you need a bigger deadzone, but that makes the head tracking less responsive. In addition, I frequently need to hit the ‘center’ button to reset where my head is to be the new center, this is because as I play i shift my posture around and i’m not always in the same place.

      All that said, when I was playing il2, the first time I banked to the left, and found myself naturally turning my head to look into the turn, it , was, freaken awesome, and I could never go back.

      Highly recommend!

    • seikendensetsu says:

      I’m racing in a selfbuilt cockpit with TrackIR on a single 42″ screen 3 feet away from my eyes, and I’ve tried a triple-screen setup at Gamescom last year. Although the triple-screen was great, I missed the Track IR immediately, because it’s more than just extended peripheral vision, it’s also a great immersion tool, if you can look down to the shifter or up towards the mirror, that feels a lot more natural than an artificial mirror pasted onto the screen. Another thing that wasn’t mentioned in the article is surround sound. Of course that’s not only useful for sims, but it’s also incredible to hear different parts of the car from different directions, plus of course hearing opponents approaching from behind.

      Regarding TrackIR vs. Freetrack, the great thing about TrackIR is the ease of use, better compatibility (the company selling TrackIR has convinced Codemasters and Eagle Dynamics to block Freetrack usage) and default profiles that work without tweaking. However, TrackIR neither supports rFactor 2 or Project C.A.R.S. at the moment, as both are still in alpha/beta – upon official release, it surely will.

      One nice (and unfortunately rather unique) feature in iRacing is the possibility to customize your fov intuitively, yet in detail – you can enter values like screen size, distance from the screen and even the side-screen angle in a triple-screen setup.

    • Vagrant says:

      The best method (according to a scientific study!) is to get a projector on a big screen and just get the FOV settings right.

      EDIT: I’d also highly recommend putting a good cockpit setup high on the list of priorities. After years of racing in a rolling office chair & a desk, making a dedicated setup got me playing faster, more comfortable, and more often. Definitely behind getting a good wheel, but probably before 3 monitors or trackIR.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I have a FreeTrack setup and I find it invaluable for flying helicopters in ARMA2. We sometimes play a CSAR mission and being able to look around whilst having full control of the aircraft is a must. I used it to play Take On Helicopters too. Landing is easier with a nearby reference point and if you’re landing on a rooftop then the only place to look is down.

      In a racing game, it’s not as essential if you have the option to tweak your FOV but for the more arcadey stuff tends to lock that option out. You’ll want head tracking mostly for nailing those hairpins than anything else. With a fixed view it’s unnerving to sight of the inside kerb so you’ll often turn into the tighter corners far too early, which will give you a terrible exit line.

      If you want to try FreeTrack then you’ll be looking for a webcam that fits the following bill.

      -High Framerate: You’ll want at least 60fps, aim for a 100fps. FreeTrack can smooth the input of lower framerates but at the cost of responsiveness. More data means less smoothing means better response.

      -An IR mode: Preferably with its own IR source too.

      If the camera has no IR mode then you’ll have to hack the camera to remove its IR filter and then find a visible light filter (camera film or the actual material of the disk part of a floppy diskette). If you have an IR source then you can use IR reflectors (I used some reflective armbands for cyclists) or build a rig with IR LEDS for your headset.

      A HD camera is not required, if you do have an HD camera then consider using it in a low res mode to boost the framerate. I got a cheap webcam that had an IR mode that activated when a light sensor on top was covered. No hacking necessary. A fiddle of the camera’s driver settings meant it only sees my reflectors. I can use it in a lit room.

      Freetrack lets you set up profiles for different games. You can edit the curves too. For flying, I set mine to almose ignore the smallest of deviations so I don’t have to look dead ahead for the screen to centre. I also make the range of inputs that output to 90 deg left or right to be quite wide before whipping to 165 deg for not much more input and going no further. This lets me look to the front, sides or behind while not having a wobbly & wavering view and compensates for any latency.

      For driving you’ll want to set your ‘sticky zones’ to be around the mirrors, 60 deg left and right for spotting apexes and over your shoulders to see the blind spots the mirrors fail to cover.

  11. scottyjx says:

    Really great article. I’m still a little intimidated to take the jump from GRID/DIRT to F1, though. I’ll second the opinion about the Driving Force GT. It’s a great little steering wheel.

  12. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Oh man, that car sale link had my mouth watering. I so wish I could afford that Noble M12… : /

  13. Bobtree says:

    This is my cautionary tale.

    I got a bizarre repetition injury from playing GT5 with a Logitech DFP set and insufficient ergonomics (having to lean back and look up + fighting the wheel’s force feedback), while trying to win a gold license test or one of those one-lap magic challenges for an hour or so too long at the end of a 3+ hour session. I burned a little patch of muscle on both sides of my back just behind/below my ribs, and it got to the point that they glued everything around together and I couldn’t sit up straight for a couple weeks and had to roll over and sit up sideways from lying down. The left side trauma even had a vein/blister/something spot pop up. It was almost a trivial injury, but just debilitating and stupid.

    Protip: safety first. If it hurts, just stop. Don’t play through it, the game can wait.

  14. Nic Clapper says:

    I’d like to add the Force Dynamics setup to the extra mile for someone with a LOOOT of money to spend (I think like 50 grand). But man that thing plus something like Richard Burns Rally would be incredible.

  15. anonn says:

    Bought Project CARS a few days ago, and it is by far the most beautiful car sim I’ve ever played. (I’ve played GT5, Forza 4, rFactor 1, Shift 2, DiRT3, and tried out rFactor 2 for one hour)

    The guys behind it are listening to their community like crazy, there is already a big bunch of tracks and cars (they plan to have 50+ cars on release), and the mp features are coming in a few weeks/months or so.

    By far the most promising car sim out there.

  16. Jason Moyer says:

    If I were helping someone get started out in simracing, this would be my advice.

    1. Learn how to control your car. I’m not talking so much about ‘car control’ as I am simply learning how real or simulated cars respond to your inputs and learning how to place your car exactly where you need to. If you have iRacing, this means going to one of the smaller ovals with a default setup in the Legend or Skip Barber car or using the skidpad and seeing how the car reacts to your throttle and brake inputs, to your steering inputs, etc. If you aren’t intimately familiar with what a car is going to do when you lift off the throttle or turn the wheel you aren’t going to get very far.

    2. Pick a car, pick a track, and stick with them until you’re comfortable with the idea of the “racing line”. Do not push the car to the limit, just find a good reference (another driver, a website, a youtube video, a book, whatever) for the racing line around that track and ingrain it into your muscle memory. 99.9% of the time gained/lost is based on the path you take into/through/out of the corners, and it’s faster to drive the correct line just below the limit than to drive the wrong line at the limit.

    3. Learn how to exit a corner on the limit. One of the books on racing theory that I have compares circuit racing to “drag racing between corners”. The biggest gain you’ll make early in your simracing (or real racing) career is on the corner exits. Until you learn a bit more about corner priorities and compound corners (several corners in succession) everything you do should have one goal in mind – getting on the gas as soon as possible, getting the fastest corner exit speed possible, and hitting your next braking zone carrying as much speed as possible.

    4. Learn how to turn in. Rookie mistake number one when trying to go faster is thinking that there’s a lot to gain by braking late, and in doing so they miss their corner entry and stuff the rest of the corner. Braking a few feet later or harder is the area where the least amount of speed/time is gained – so start out braking comfortably and worrying more about where you want the corner to start – that is, the point where you’re finishing your braking, the weight of the car is on the front wheels, and you’re beginning to turn in to the corner in order to nail that apex perfectly and maximize the speed you’re carrying out of it.

    5 to 999998. A whole pile of other stuff like learning how to drive in traffic, being a good sportsman and showing courtesy to your fellow competitors (you are racing against humans I hope, otherwise why bother?), etc and so forth.

    999999 Learn how to threshold brake, using the full grip available to slow the car and prepare it for the corner entry in the shortest space/time possible. There isn’t much to gain here, but if you want to be good you need to master it (or so I hear).

    1000000 Start dicking around with setups. By this point you should be almost good enough to feel a difference and for that difference to help you go faster.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      One general tip I’d like to add is,

      Relax

      If you are tense either physically or mentally, trying to drive will make you tense the other way too. Rigidly gripping the wheel will make you less smooth and tire you out very quickly. Which will stress you mentally, which will make you overthink some things and thus lower your concentration on core driving skills. Which, if you are getting stressed, will make you tense up. Your driving will be jerky, you’ll overcompensate when rectifying errors and your reactions will be slower.

      If you don’t have a comfortable setup, driving tense will put strain on your lower back and shoulders. You need a position that supports your body even if you went limp, this includes your hand and feet positions. You shoud be able to dangle your arms from the wheel by only the grip of your fingers. You don’t need a fancy chair, I’ve done hour long races in an upright dining chair. If you sit correctly, and chill out, driving smoothly and consistently becomes a whole lot easier.

  17. Clippit says:

    I’m pretty surprised/disappointed that there’s no mention at all of Live For Speed. Being British, independent (3 guys in a proverbial shed as previously mentioned) and excellent I thought it would be right up RPS’s alley. I’ve also been meaning to suggest they do a whole article on it for ages, as I don’t think it gets anything like the attention it deserves.

    Some people criticise it for not having licensed cars and tracks. It has a few, but that’s not the point – it’s not really a game about cars or names; it’s about online racing, which is something it does brilliantly. In fact, I’d suggest it does close, exciting, varied online racing better than any other sim.

    Some people (probably the same people) criticise it for other reasons – too numerous to mention. To them I say “shut up, I hate you”. If you don’t like LFS, you are a bad person.

    Besides going on and on in a boring way about LFS, i’d like to say that I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction from the game without buying any expensive gear. I was able to race happliy online with a mouse and keyboard, then with a set of home made pedals (fairly dodgy, but they 78% accurately simulate the constant mechanical failures that make real racing so… exciting!) (using a ‘Bodnar Box’, as previously mentioned) (this guy must be Internet Famous by now) (How great is his website?) (here: http://www.leobodnar.com/products/DFPG25conn/ )

    Before iRacing, it’s worth pointing out, activities like sim racing created and were sustained by online communities – real people organising their own games on a forum, making their own rules, welcoming new people while keeping the idiots out. This is another part of the DIY side of sim racing, and PC games generally, that I really like.

  18. Teriodin says:

    No-one seems to have thought to mention SimBin’s line of racing games. I’ve raced them online for years and they have decent AI for offline use. Work very well with my G25 and Freetrack.

    If you prefer Touring Cars (WTCC, BTCC, Caterhams, V8s, etc.) to F1, which I do by a huge margin, then the Race series are well worth the money. There’s a huge community and massive amounts of extra tracks, cars and race series available for free downloads.

    Steam usually have some sort of pack-deal available that will get you enough of the base games for a reasonable cost. (Race 07, Race On, STCC, GTR Evolution, etc.)

    Has individual assists available if you need them and allows for realism in that, if your favourite real world touring car actually uses ABS and STC, you can turn them on. If you want to make it harder than the real world equivalents, by all means turn all assists off and tell Huff you’re better than him :)

    • pepper says:

      Actually, Race was mentioned in the first article.

      Anyway, I just got Race 07(had the first one for free with my GPU a long long time ago), and its great, but I noticed in my first online race that there seems to be a group of people that go for the ram and bounce methode of passing people, which is extremely frustrating. I can accept accidents but this was just silly and caused multiple people in a 24 grid to disconnect.

      So, are there any good Race 07 community’s that you can visit for a race now and then without grievers?

  19. ade_mcc says:

    Right, Craig, I can now hold you entirely responsible for the ebay’d G25 sat on my desk and Race 07 on the hard drive. Bye bye family life!

  20. dkimball says:

    I used to play driving games like this one. My favorite ones were the ones that had the steering wheel as the controller. I was never good at these games, but they sure were fun to play.

    http://www.missionsupplyonline.com/product-lines/trelleborg-anti-vibration-mounts