It seems for everything Codemasters gets right, they get one thing oh so bloody wrong. DiRT 3’s overnight resurgence in popularity is due in no small part to the game’s Steamworks release, an April Fools surprise that saw the game drop all Games for Windows Live functionality in favor for the popular PC platform. However, as Steam user Lito pointed out, the game’s online matchmaking has not been brought up to 2015 standards. Despite the huge userbase playing DiRT 3, and the fact that you can progress through the game entirely through the online modes, there appears to be virtually nobody playing it due to the way Codemasters designed their matchmaking process.
Lito’s claims of the game’s huge userbase aren’t lies – the game’s seen near Assetto Corsa levels of popularity since the Steamworks release dropped 24 hours ago. Impressive for a game that’s over four years old.
I was able to verify Lito’s claims myself. Last night, I was rarely placed into a full lobby, and it appeared as if there were maybe 20 people online altogether playing the game. Today after work, while I was able to party up with my buddy from the United Kingdom just fine, browsing through the Jam Sessions, only one room was available despite us trying to race in UK primetime.
Given that there were 1,600 people playing 38 minutes ago, I figured there’d be more than just six people playing online.
In the meantime, a quick fix for these issues is to turn Wheel Weight and Wheel Strength in the Force Feedback menu to 0%, and the Centering Spring option in your Logitech Profiler to anywhere between 20% and 30%.