Around the track🏎

3 best ways to have a realistic sim racing experience

September 6, 2023

Regardless of whether you’re a sim racer with decades of experience under your belt or if you’re just starting out, all sim racers have one thing in common: your ultimate goal is to be able to live an extremely realistic sim racing experience from the comfort of your home; an experience so realistic that you forget you’re playing a game! 


In this blog, we’ll explore 3 different ways that you can take your sim racing experience to the next level and blur the line between game and reality. From immersing yourself in the most realistic games to taking the next step in your upgrade path all the way to adding haptic feedback to your sim racing setup, there’s multiple ways for you to bring your setup’s realism to the next level! 


Get ready to say goodbye to your plain old sim racing experience and say hello to a new, more enhanced one thanks to these 3 possible sim racing experience upgrades!  

1. Conquer the most realistic sim racing games 

While there’s fun to be had zipping through Rainbow Road on Mario Kart or participating in races in Forza, one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways for you to have a more realistic sim racing experience at home is to ensure that you’re playing one of the most realistic games! 

The general consensus of the sim racing community is that iRacing is the game to play, no matter what kind of sim racer you are. It’s used by both professional and beginner drivers and the only thing you need to play it is a PC and a subscription to the game! With cars and tracks laser-scanned for accuracy and with it being one of the only sim racing games to offer you only an in-cockpit view, iRacing is world-renowned for its realism, in-game safety ratings for drivers (say goodbye to reckless drivers crashing into you!) and its community, with more than 400 different racing leagues open for you to join. 

Though iRacing is by far the most well-known and most popular sim racing game, it’s far from the only one that offers you a realistic experience.  

Assetto Corsa Competizione is the official game of the real GT World Challenge and is known for its hyper-realistic gameplay and graphics, thanks to it having been crafted in Unreal Engine 4. It offers uniquely GT specific cars and tracks, catering to fans of the real series! If you’re looking for the most realistic GT racing game, then this is the one for you. 

WRC Generations, on the other hand, is—you guessed it—the official game of the World Rally Championship! The game features close to 1000km of stages (tracks) located all around the world, and brings the bumpy, off-road adrenaline of rally to the comfort of your home with realistic gameplay that requires strategy and precision.  

Fans of Formula One should look no further than F1 2023, which is by far the most realistic game for F1 style racing. From participating in their story mode, to driving a full season or simply participating in individual races and sprints, F1 2023 brings the fast-paced world of Formula One straight to your living room! You can also compete in leagues if you want to compare your skills to others and to take your gaming to a more competitive level. 

Finally, rFactor 2 and it’s adaptive AI concludes our list of the most realistic sim racing games to play thanks to its adoption by many professional racing teams across different disciplines and to its Real Road system, which makes it the only game that dynamically lays rubber on the track the longer the race goes on. 


2. Take a step forward in your sim racing upgrade path 

Elevating your sim racing experience to unparalleled levels of realism requires a deliberate and strategic approach to upgrades! Once you’ve got the best games ready to go, the next step to creating a more realistic sim racing experience at home is to evaluate where you are in the typical sim racing upgrade path and to invest in the next step.  

Those who are new to sim racing are likely racing uniquely with their keyboards and their mouse, but they don’t have to drop loads of cash to make their experience more realistic. The first step for any sim racing is to start by simply acquiring a racing weel and a pedal set. These are core components of any sim racing setup are fundamental upgrades that lay the groundwork for all the future upgrades to come! 

If you already have your wheel and pedal set, then it’s time to consider investing in a sturdy sim racing rig (base) with a seat. Ideally, your seat will resemble the seat of your preferred driving discipline (F1, NASCAR, etc.), but most importantly, it should provide you with long-term comfort. Having a sim racing seat that you physically must step into before opening your game is a guaranteed way to increase your immersion and tell your brain that it’s race time! 

Once this is done, the next step is to further enhance yourself visually. To do so, you should consider upgrading your PC screen to a larger monitor (or multiple monitors!), or if you’ve already done that, venture into the realm of virtual reality with VR goggles from companies such as Varjo & Oculus 

If you already have all of this done, then it’s time for you to take the final step in the typical sim racing upgrade path—adding haptic feedback. 

3. Add haptic feedback to your sim racing setup

The final step for any sim racer who wants to make their experience more realistic is to add haptic feedback to their setup!  

Imagine not just seeing and hearing the rumble of the engine and the screech of the tires as you brake, but truly feeling it all throughout your seat, pedals and wheel—this is the power of haptic technology for sim racing.  

Motion adds a crucial layer to your sim racing experience, which is why professional drivers such as Anthony Alfredo and Louise Cook use their haptic sim racing setups as training tools for the real deal. Haptic feedback transmits tactile sensations to you that help you connect to the vehicle you’re driving on a whole new level, regardless of it being virtual! By adding haptics to your sim racing setup, you’ll be able to feel even the most minute details such as your tires losing grip, if you’re veering slightly off track and even if there are bumps on the track that might hinder your progress. 

All of the information that you’ll feel thanks to haptic technology during a race will help you make split-second decisions that will shave time off your laps, as well as ensuring that you are completely immersed in your at-home sim racing experience. 


Bring the virtual track to life

In the world of sim racing, the pursuit of realism and total immersion can be a journey that takes multiple years to complete. By ensuring that you have the most realistic racing games, that you’re always looking to take the next step in your upgrade path and by eventually planning to add haptic technology to your sim racing rig, then you can rest assured knowing that you’re doing everything you can to blur the line between real and virtual! 

The pursuit of realism should never simply be about recreating the external however; it should be about kindling the spark of passion that’s inside of you and growing it to a full-fledged flame, allowing you to reach the peak of your sim racing potential! 

Learn all about D-BOX for sim racing

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