Been away from sim racing for years... what does everyone use now?

Posted by flat tyre 
Topic title says it all really - I haven't done sim racing since about 2008, and I'm completely out of touch with what people do now. What sims do people use today? Which ones have a decent online community? It probably doesn't help that I only have a cheap computer (I've always begrudged spending a lot of money on these!), so at the minute I can only really play the older ones. Is rFactor 1 still popular, or have people moved on? (I guess just asking that question shows how long it's been ;))

What about wheels? I still have my old Logitech Momo, but what better ones have come out since?

Looking forward to hearing what has changed. I can't wait to get back into it - it's been far too long. :)

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Hello mate, good to see you again! As far as games go, iRacing is still king as far as I know. With their new updates they really do keep pushing the graphics and gameplay. I think Assetto Corsa is very good too (as is Project Cars but the AI are freaking mental) and the new Auto Mobilista shows real promise. Hardware wise, I had the Logitech G27 which was a great wheel, the G29 or G920 don't offer much of an upgrade (if any at all) but I would recommend the setup I use which is the Thrustmaster TX base (or T300 - the same but one is for PS4 and the other XBONE - Both work on PC), the T3PA pedals are an excellent addition and I have the 458 wheel for games like Project Cars and the F1 add on wheel for F1 games (funnily enough!). They do many different add on wheels, pedals and even shifters (with handbrake coming soon) so with the TX/T300/T500 base you can add on what you want and click on and off different wheels, pedals etc, whenever you want - It's a great ecosystem.

Hope this helps somewhat,
Iain.





Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.8GHz, MSI Z97 Gaming 5, Cooler Master MasterAir 8 CPU Cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 16GB, MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11GB GDDR5X, Samsung 500GB M.2 + 250GB 850 EVO SSD, SuperFlower Leadex
"80 Plus Gold" 650W Fully Modular, Corsair M65 Pro RGB, HyperX Cloud II 7.1, Thrustmaster T300 w/ Ferrari F1, GTE & Italia 458 Add-On wheels, GT Omega Pro Racing Simulator, Asus Predator X34A Curved Ultrawide.
There isn't that much IMO worth significant investment.
Rfactor2 is beautiful in teams of physics and force feedback, but there is a dearth of content.
Some beautifully handling 60s F1, F2 and F3 cars, but there are only a few sixties tracks, and nobody has even produced a skin pack or talent files for real life teams and drivers.
Automobilista is great apart from still having rf1's poor AI, CARS is not well regarded in terms of physics/ffb, Assetto Corsa is promising, but has poor AI...
I have my eye on buying a newer computer, mid range, £500 or so, but are any of the titles mentioned so good that I'd pay that?
Not really...

I would love a modern GP4 or GPL with great AI, full season content, loads of tracks, and great FFB/physics, but nothing offers that. :(

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Tahitian GP Circuit, my paltry contribution to GP4!
[www.grandprixgames.org]
F1 2016 is coming August 19th and that has plenty of features to keep anyone going. F1 2015 was a great game for career and general racing. Sure the online problems are there but offline, it's a great game and the AI are some of the best for proper close racing.





Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.8GHz, MSI Z97 Gaming 5, Cooler Master MasterAir 8 CPU Cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 16GB, MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11GB GDDR5X, Samsung 500GB M.2 + 250GB 850 EVO SSD, SuperFlower Leadex
"80 Plus Gold" 650W Fully Modular, Corsair M65 Pro RGB, HyperX Cloud II 7.1, Thrustmaster T300 w/ Ferrari F1, GTE & Italia 458 Add-On wheels, GT Omega Pro Racing Simulator, Asus Predator X34A Curved Ultrawide.
madotter Wrote:
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> F1 2016 is coming August 19th and that has plenty
> of features to keep anyone going. F1 2015 was a
> great game for career and general racing. Sure the
> online problems are there but offline, it's a
> great game and the AI are some of the best for
> proper close racing.

I played f1 2010 and loathed it, and to be fair, the general consensus is that it hasn't improved much.. from IGN's PC F1 2015 review..


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Review by Rob Zacny
Reviewed on PC / 16 Jul 2015
F1 2015 PC Review
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By Rob Zacny

Context is everything in annualized sports sims. What was last year's version like? What does the new one have? What are my other options right now? If F1 2015's PC version were free of context, it would simply be forgettable licensed racing game that I could recommend to fans of Formula 1 racing. But it's not. F1 2015 is the sixth installment of Codemasters' Formula 1 series, and unfortunately it is one of their most feature-poor and PC-unfriendly releases in years.

Let's dig into some of that context, and talk about where I'm coming from with this review of the PC version. While the series is meant for everyone from casual racing fans to gearheads, I've always treated the PC versions as a place to drive a serious racing sim. It gets pretty nerdy: I've played every version using a TrackIR head-tracking device and a force-feedback wheel.And while there have been years when Codemasters’ improvements were too marginal to justify the cost of a new game, I've generally loved this series.

I've also enjoyed playing it with an Xbox controller and treating it a little more casually when I don't feel like going full Walter Mitty with my racing fantasy life. That’s the great thing about previous editions of the F1 games: they all give you options. Career mode, all kinds of granular difficulty and realism settings – even vintage cars in F1 2013!

By contrast, F1 2015 gives you only the choice between the 2014 and 2015 season, and the choice between playing playing either of those seasons with custom realism settings (Championship Season) or with full realism settings (Pro Season). Those are your two main game modes. Calling Pro Season a different game mode, when really it's just a bunch of difficulty presets, is a bit like when students try to fake out their teachers by slightly increasing the line spacing and margins on a writing assignment.

All that could be forgiven if F1 2015 were a huge leap over previous editions. To be fair,there are some things that are markedly better in F1 2015 than they've ever been before. One of them is tire-wear. In F1 racing, you'll hear people talk about the "performance cliff" for racing tires. F1 2015 absolutely nails this. It happens suddenly, and often at the worst possible moment. I can feel the grip going away from the car a little bit as I get deeper into a stint, but there will come a moment when suddenly it's like I'm driving on ice. I'm braking, trying to turn, and the car just isn't responding anymore. Staying on top of the tire situation finally feels important.

Likewise, wet-weather driving is better than it's been. It no longer feels like a simple modifier to your car's handling: "Longer braking distance, more oversteer." No, on a wet track in F1 2015, you can feel the car slip and skid the way it would in real life. There's more lateral movement in turns, and there’s a general feeling of instability that's challenging to handle.


Fuel economy is another factor that's played a big role this season, and F1 2015 really brings that aspect of the strategy to life. Your engineer is constantly feeding you important information over the radio, and you have to be adjusting your driving on the fly to conserve your fuel load, which is an interesting layer of nuance to consider beyond simply going as fast as you can.

On the other hand, what good is a better handling model when you can't really feel it? Not only do I generally find F1 2015 much simpler to drive than in previous years, with less demanding handling, but I don't feel like I'm as in touch with the road. Less feedback is translated back through the controller and speakers, so I just don't feel the same connection with the car. On a gamepad, F1 2015 feels kind of "point-and-squirt" compared to older versions: the car instantly goes where you tell it, then you stand on the gas until the next turn. The biggest driving challenge I've faced is the PC version's faulty controller calibration, which seems to change every time I play. Sometimes there's a faint pull to the left as I drive, other times there's a weird wobble around the 0 value on the X-axis, like the car simply won't hold a straight line. Sometimes the steering wheel is locked to the left and the gas and brake are both at maximum, making the care wholly undriveable. Only in F1 2015!

With a steering wheel… well, I couldn't really tell you. Alone among all my racing games, F1 2015 is the only one that won't play nicely with my old Logitech MOMO. I managed to get it working a couple times, however, but even then the force-feedback felt almost nonexistent. This is apparently a widespread issue among people using force-feedback wheels, which is pretty bad news if you're a serious PC racing fan.

I wish I could say the graphics are a lot better than F1 2013, but they're not. Certainly they're nowhere near cutting-edge on PC. Everything seems faintly blurred, like I'm watching the race through a soft lens on a humid day. The lighting is flat and lifeless, which is especially noticeable during night races. Even if the car models themselves look terrific, F1 2015 can't hold a candle to the likes of Project CARS.


And that's the real kiss of death for F1 2015 on PC. I'm not having a tenth the lock-ups and crashes that many, many people on the Steam forums are complaining about – with the exception of controller issues, it’s working just fine for me. It just happens to be a third-rate PC port of a second-rate racing game. It might be the only F1 game around, but PC gamers have way too many other options to tolerate this poor quality – F1 2010 through 2013, for a start. Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, and rFactor all offer plenty of open-wheel racing that could scratch that F1 itch, without all the limitations and drawbacks.
The Verdict

F1 2015 is a lesser game than its predecessors, and pales in comparison to the current crop of PC racing games in nearly every way. To give it credit where it’s due, I’m impressed by some of the driving modeling and the fuel management prompts, but those alone aren’t nearly enough to recommend F1 2015.

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Tahitian GP Circuit, my paltry contribution to GP4!
[www.grandprixgames.org]
Well, I think that review is harsh and in some cases incorrect. I would say simply try it. The handling, FFB, AI (and as it states fuel and tyre wear) are top notch. Make sure you use a wheel, assists off and AI on legend and you'll thoroughly enjoy it. I agree it lacks from 2013 but only purely because they didn't include the career mode, scenario mode, safety car and co-op championship - These are coming in 2016.





Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.8GHz, MSI Z97 Gaming 5, Cooler Master MasterAir 8 CPU Cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 16GB, MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11GB GDDR5X, Samsung 500GB M.2 + 250GB 850 EVO SSD, SuperFlower Leadex
"80 Plus Gold" 650W Fully Modular, Corsair M65 Pro RGB, HyperX Cloud II 7.1, Thrustmaster T300 w/ Ferrari F1, GTE & Italia 458 Add-On wheels, GT Omega Pro Racing Simulator, Asus Predator X34A Curved Ultrawide.
flat tyre Wrote:
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> Is rFactor 1 still popular, or have people moved on?

People are moving on NextGen sims but rFactor has still a large online community so you should find something that fits your liking. I'm still playing on it, more because of that Steam thing I don't want to have on my computer and all new games are linked to, than for tech issues as my rig is powerful enough for their minimum spec. That said, if your computer is "powerless" be aware that some recent mods on rFactor are really heavy on graphics so that could be an issue for you.


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I recently built a midrange PC (i5 4590, GTX970, 16gb RAM) and still enjoy the hell out of rF1. Tried the rF2 demo and loved it but still don't have money to buy it (building that rig hit hard). CARS is ridiculously handsome and I reckon the physics are rather good, but yeah the AI goes Pastor Maldonado on you sometimes. Have to try AC sometime.

iRacing is the boss, the sound is unmatched and gawd the physics! It is extremely hard but equally rewarding. When you tame a car you feel awesome. If you dig a bit there are coupon codes for 1-3 free months the first time you sign up. I got 3, then paid for 2 more. The downside is the content, it is very, very expensive.

You also have R3E, but I have strongly mixed feelings about that one. Online is crap but AI is way better. That being said, it has the same problem as iRacing: content is expensive. Good thing is, it doesn't have a monthly cost.

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I may be old school, {real old} but I have tried a lot of the new games. Most of them look like your racing in a computer game. After trying them I have found that ICR2, GP3 and NASCAR 3 all make you feel the speed. They all are up gradable{i have current drivers in all three} totally modable, and have current gaming communities. This year in GP3 I running a current Can-Am series(Sponsored fictionally by Red Bull) of my own making, Daytona 24 and Indy 500 in ICR2 and Camping World Truck season on NASCAR 3.

F1 2016 is simply hideous - controls very poorly and very arcade in style. I just hate the style of presentation, the shaky cam, poor replay system, atrocious damage model, unrealistic handling and general poor design. I'm not even joking when I say that GP3 is still a better racing game than that. There is no depth, no immersion. It's all smoke and mirrors.
For me, GP3 2000 is still the best F1 racing game out there....yes the f1 games from codemaster on pc and xbox/ps4 is extremly beautiful, but the feel that GP3 2000 gives isnt there. The only poor thing is that GP3 2000 doesnt work on win 10 =/ you need a older pc which is sad. There is a program out that lowers the PO but its still unplayable unless you go for Software mode...
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