Maximum Destruction: A Sim Racing Phenomenon

Imagine if, later this year, upon booting up your new copy of Madden NFL 18 and spending a solid twenty minutes tweaking your Ultimate Team lineup for it’s first taste of gridiron glory, you were instead paired against five straight online opponents unable to execute basic football fundamentals: most notably completing a forward pass or progressing past the line of scrimmage. And say you grew tired of these dismal opponents, only to fire up Modern Warfare Remastered for a different kind of online competition, subjecting yourself to a full hour of pubescent children shouting obscenities over the headset, all while aimlessly wandering around the map and mercilessly slaughtering their own teammates – you included.

It’s the kind of experience that would turn off the average person from immersing themselves in modern video games, but thankfully this isn’t a scenario that happens very often in the world of high profile officially licensed sports games, nor the yearly assortment of blockbuster first-person shooters. Though mass market American football simulators and modern military games have evolved into highly intricate affairs – virtually impossible for the average gamer to pick up and play with any sort of success – the average online opponent you’ll encounter during an evening of play still manages to put up a respectable fight and express an understanding of the core mechanics of the objectively complicated set of rules. Very rarely – if ever – do you stumble upon someone who is totally clueless at the controls and unable to contribute anything to the competitive environment; a feat made all the more impressive considering the millions of customers who purchase these games with each passing year.

Yet in a highly specialized hobby, one where dedicated auto racing enthusiasts – who obviously know all the cars, tracks, and techniques needed to be successful – spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to both build a dedicated gaming PC, as well as surround themselves with hardware that sometimes isn’t even necessary to complete the experience in the first place, the opposite rings true.

Unlike Madden, NHL, FIFA, or any popular competitive online game – where you can jump on and be thrown into a compelling match against somebody else within the single press of a buttonparticipating in competitive sim racing events, no matter the software used, is often an exercise in endless pain and frustration. At the risk of sounding like a stuck-up asshole who seemingly scours the web in search of new reasons to loathe his favorite hobby, the honest to God truth is that an overwhelming majority of sim racers are fucking terrible at sim racing, and it makes for a very peculiar dynamic for those choosing to invest time and/or money into honing their skills at these games. Putting in the effort to become a skilled sim racer has next to no reward, because the community itself is so over-saturated with people who simply cannot drive in the slightest, performing well has little to no meaning if your competitors are spinning circles in the infield.

Sim racing’s absolute biggest problem, is that a solid 90% of the community members are unable to turn objectively competitive laps, and the talented 10% are spread across so many games – and leagues within those games – that genuinely compelling races are drastically outnumbered by opening lap clusterfucks and mind-blowing on-track incidents. Again, while I can boot up NHL ’17 and be treated to a fantastic match against a random opponent almost instantly, the same scenario in a hardcore racing simulator warrants something equivalent to public karting against a bunch of clueless women.

Given the recent push for these games to become not just quirky pieces of software for diehard auto racing fans, but instead a legitimate eSports branch, obviously you can see why this might cause some problems. It’s not much of an enjoyable competition if everybody sucks.

Friday night, I’m not gonna lie, I found myself watching one of Jimmy Broadbent’s streams, in which he invited some of his viewers to sign up for a private night of racing with him. Despite this being a private affair – sign-ups not optional, but required – within three corners, the opening Mazda 787B race descended into chaos; the host himself helplessly bouncing off opposing vehicles before another racer ran him off the track just a few short laps later. These are people rocking top of the line pedals, expensive PC setups, high quality steering wheels, and other miscellaneous items – can anyone say button boxes – on top of applications that display where opponents are residing from multiple angles in relation to your car, and yet the end result is basically destruction derby without the radical damage model. This isn’t a knock at Jimmy or any of the attendees participating in the event; it’s just strange how people who have invested so much into a hardcore racing simulator that wasn’t marketed to normies – but dedicated auto racing fans who have all obsessed over race cars for years – are barely able to play it.

What’s also strange is just how prevalent this all is throughout the community.

No, it doesn’t get better if you “join a league”, which is the popular response to those complaining about gigantic opening lap wrecks in public lobbies. Above is a screenshot of Eurogamer’s first Assetto Corsa championship race from this spring, in which the rather stout field was basically hand-picked from a “who’s who” of sim racing in Europe. Event organizers were forced to restart the race three times in a row, as the so-called top sim racers on the far side of the Atlantic Ocean were unable to progress more than a hundred feet without junking a large portion of the entry list. GoPro footage from Pablo Lopez displays this is more than just a byproduct of Assetto Corsa’s quirky collision physics, as there’s a beautiful on-board shot of him dodging the best sim racers in the world when the iRacing Grand Prix series visited Interlagos last season, and those chasing a $10,000 cash prize proceeded to wreck the shit out of each other mere seconds into the 2016 season.

In my own personal travels, I’ve witnessed multiple incidents during safety car periods – whether it be during a warm-up lap or caution period – meaning there are people in the community incapable of literally idling around a track at passenger car speeds; nothing short of pathetic. I’m also genuinely surprised when people adhere to blue flags, move over for faster cars out of respect, flash their headlights as a form of communication, or exhibit basic common courtesy when it comes to either pitting, or merging back onto the race track – as these are all extremely rare to witness. In one instance I also saw a league earlier this year struggle with such an abundance of wrecks, they were forced to run road course races without full-course yellows after their races turned into elaborate car parades from all of the caution periods.

For a community consisting entirely of avid auto racing fans, it’s truly bizarre how only a fraction of the participants can conduct themselves in a manner that implies they sort of know what they’re doing. Instead, I routinely see people either driving far over their heads, or totally clueless about what’s occurring around them and just sort of pointing the car in the general direction it’s supposed to go, almost like it’s a system link game of OutRun 2 in their local arcade and they’re still learning the nuances of the physics engine.

Speed is an entirely different topic, though I’ll be less lenient than I traditionally have been when covering this subject in the past. Look, it’s okay to be a second off pace and hanging around in the middle of the pack, maybe slinging it out for seventh if you’re lucky because you either blew the setup, aren’t all that experienced with the cars, or are still finding your comfort level behind the toy steering wheel. That’s totally fine; I don’t think anyone has gotten into this hobby and become a phenom, right out of the box. However, now that we’re halfway through 2017, and with social media playing such a prevalent role in our world, there are now several hundred truckloads of YouTube tutorials, guides, books, and sim racing personalities all uploading their own unique tips on how to become a better sim racer – 99% are publicly available at no cost whatsoever.

No, the community should not consists solely of aliens and cyborgs, who have dedicated every lunch break at work and three hours in the evening to perfecting their craft in the hopes of becoming an eSports superstar, but with all of this information publicly available in such a digestible, user-friendly, there’s no excuse for being a particularly bad sim racer. Yet I’ve been participating in Will Marsh’s Mazda 787B league over on SimRacingSystem under the SimRacingPaddock banner – you know, the app you’re supposed to download for close, competitive online racing – and that’s what I’ve been seeing as of late: bad sim racers. I shouldn’t have five wins in six starts, unable to see second place in my mirror, and lapping drivers after ten minutes into a twenty minute race; guys who are blowing braking points left and right as if they’re a teenage girl dragged out to public karting by her older brother.

But somehow, that’s where we are as a community. The “best sim racers in the world” wreck the shit out of each other on lap one during public broadcasts, and those not in contention for a five figure paycheck from iRacing are basically rolling hazards. Those in-between are a mix of the two, and I just don’t feel it’s necessary to treat this subject with kid gloves when there are near-infinite resources out there on how to become a better pretend race car driver. It’s fine to be a bit slow; not woefully off pace and a literal safety hazard.

Even worse, is when you take into consideration that our planet is largely a static entity, and many of the tracks we all flock to in our preferred virtual environment have been appearing in video games for what’s now generations upon generations – as there’s a finite number of both existing and historic racing circuits developers can choose to insert into their video games. Yes, everyone knows that turn one at Monza is a complete shit-show and to expect varying levels of chaos, but we’ve also had eighteen years of Formula One games to prepare for it and get better. Some of you guys have been turning laps at Monza in front of your PC longer than certain drivers on the Formula One grid have been walking the planet, so at least in my opinion there’s absolutely no excuse for the tomfoolery that occurs each and every event – as you can see in the header for this article.

You’ve had decades to learn Monaco, the Nordschleife, Laguna Seca, and I guess we could even throw Le Mans into that mix if you owned a Sega Dreamcast at the right time. I don’t understand how people haven’t figured out the corkscrew at Laguna Seca when the track layout has remained unchanged since Gran Turismo 2 hit the original PlayStation in 1999, and the fundamental act of driving a race car hasn’t exactly changed since driving games became a thing – though obviously the physics fidelity has improved. But alas, the sheer number of sim racers who are completely unfamiliar with even the most prestigious of locations, despite the money they’ve spent on the hobby, is pretty mind-blowing.

It’s very depressing to witness as someone who’s a moderately skilled sim racer. Obviously, I have found a couple good leagues to partake in over the years – a special shoutout to the guys at RealishRacing, that shit was wild – but given the kinds of people these games are built for in mind, and the sheer number of sim racers who dive head first into the hobby – going the extra mile to purchase PC upgrades, triple screen setups, expensive wheels, pedals featuring force feedback, and even VR headsets for that last bit of immersion – the talent level should be significantly higher than it currently is.

The biggest problem with sim racing isn’t the unfinished games, the hostile developers on shoe-string budgets, the sim dad’s blowing hundreds on placebo gear, aggressive fanboys, or the beautiful disasters of the community who will file false DMCA complaints on you for uploading obscure NASCAR game mods away from their preferred website. No, those are all just metaphorical cake decorations.

It’s the fact that if I boot up Madden right now, I can be matched against a dude from Detroit who’s high as fuck and in the midst of arguing with his baby momma over child support, yet for twenty minutes we can have an absolutely killer back and forth battle on the gridiron that I’ll remember for the rest of the week. But if I jump in a lobby full of so-called hardcore sim racers, guys who have spent hundreds on top of the line gear and lurk the forums endlessly at work while claiming to have followed CART, Formula One, NASCAR, or sports car racing since the 80’s, they’ll either be embarrassingly slow to the point where they will be an absolute non-factor, or destroy the entire field before we can get up through the gears.

Sim racing’s progress is actively hampered by the absurdly low collective talent level of the userbase, and this will only serve to intensify once the push for eSports integration increases. These games aren’t fun to play when such a large portion of the community are downright fucking terrible drivers, and would you look at that? Developers think this is the perfect time to shoe-horn us into playing with the community even more.



116 thoughts on “Maximum Destruction: A Sim Racing Phenomenon

    1. youre exactly the kind of moron hes complaining about. stupid simdad who thinks hes too holier than thou to use assists meanwhile hes 5 seconds off pace complaining the fast guys are cheating by using tcs and abs which makes you faster.


  1. I am sure there are some sort of meaning here. But all I read is:

    Money spent should mean good drivers.
    I am fast.
    Yabba yabba.

    Yawn. Many people have this as a fun thing they jump in to when then have time and want to try to race. Others practice for hours.

    I wonder if you boot up FIFA, play an 11v11 online game with only randoms. The amount of tards wouldn’t be lower than in racing games.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simracing as an esport isn’t meant for the average simracer to play. It’s for the elite 80 people in the world who can compete at that level and the rest of us are, in theory, eyeballs to receive advertising.

    Studio 397 isn’t into esports to get people playing. They’re into it to sell commercial rF2 licenses to promoters & rent-a-centers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the top-tier championships should exist in the ways they currently do, though devs and promoters should be realistic about where they stand on the eSports totem pole.

      It is embarrassing to hear iRacing tout this grand eSports championship complete with cringey promos acting as such, when in reality it only has a few hundred viewers – most of which are just friends and/or family watching for moral support – and is getting blown the fuck out statistically by kids on YouTube opening Ultimate Team card packs and playing randoms in Ranked.

      If they toned it down and were like “hey guys, this is the top invite-only cup for our game, you can win a lot of money if you make it here,” it wouldn’t receive nearly as much flak.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What you have to remember though is that its extremely difficult to compare sim racing to Fifa/Ultimate team when it comes to esports.

        iRacing can’t compete with Fifa when incomes to ratings, but is that such a asurprise to anyone? you’ve mentioned that some people may go overboard with their sim rig setups, but even those with a basic setup would have likely spent quite a bit on their rig. Then you need a decent PC….and a decent monitor. To play Fifa all you need is is a PS4/XboxOne, the game, a tv and decent internet connection (two things that most households have) and you’re good to go. It’s accessibility is perhaps it’s USP. As much as sim racing is a growing niche it can’t compete with the accessibility of Fifa, and for me that’s the main reason why there’s such a disparity in viewing ratings.


  3. Over the last decade (its a lot longer than that ) or so playing games / sim racing I have seen this day in day out in every racing game that sports multiplayer .

    Now James ! Is this a quiet snippet into what project cars 2 are going to do better with multiplayer without actually mentioning it , as the subject seems to be timely 🙂

    I did get heavily invested in project cars and a Australian league with a great bunch of guys who had pretty dam good racing skills and awareness when racing , sure there was the odd bingle but nothing like the screenshots above as I guess we all become to know each other and had some type of respect for the other guy not to fuck his race .

    Some of the league races we would be short a racer or 2 and once you brought a new face to the race things generally would go pretty fuckn way wood from the first corner as they just didn’t seem to get it that we just wanted to have a clean / fast race and respectful to the guys dedicating there time.

    As for online racing I believe most unfortunately have got used to no rules , no penalty’s and above all no damage.

    There is no punishment for ploughing your tank hardened BMW into the side of someone , nothing generally……. Until a damage system or a good if not great rule system is applied things will carry on as they are .

    I here you James , the GT sport showings have been a fuckn disaster , best drivers from around the world or Japan just hammering each other on the first corner is laughable , in saying that prize money will make people do some stupid things .

    This is one of those things I am interested in that Pcars 2 is not talking a lot about.

    This and damage .

    Have a good day Ladies .

    Liked by 1 person


      pCars 2 is basically having a built-in league manager so the game automatically tracks points/stats & opens sessions on a set schedule. I personally wouldn’t call it eSports, just something that should have been done a long time ago in sim racing. No more excel/google doc stuff, it’s all in-game, like doing an online Madden franchise with your friends.

      (I prefered NCAA online dynasty but that’s a post for operation sports, not here).

      There’s ELO rating, but again, it’s not eSports. Project Gotham Racing 2 had it, as did ToCA 3. It’s a good universal ranking system. Even my local go-kart track uses it.

      Time trials exist, as do themed community events (aka X car on Y track time trial for a set amount of time). Once more, not “eSports.”

      I mean I could turn this into 2200 words but that’s the summary of it. I dont actually know what we have planned in terms of a major serie(s).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Subtle pcars shilling for sure in this article.
        Coincidently I was looking at this last night.
        Are people making mistakes due to lack of fear or are these games too hard?


      2. pcars2 doesn’t have esports, so on what arguments are you constantly bashing gtsport’s esports?

        Why not just call gtsports thing an online multiplayer system, like pcars2 have.

        But do you even know what really is an esport? Is not the online play, are the LAN competitions.

        So if Mario Kart decides to do Lan tournaments and a scene develops, then mario kart is an esport.


      3. rFactor 2 is doing the same thing. I agree it should have been done earlier. If devs can’t make their own maybe make one that fits many games and record all stats from all these games (for the smaller studios) but’s it’s bloody annoying to organize leagues now.


  4. Gotta love cringey elitism whenever it rears its ugly face. You truly are every bit as pathetic as ever, James.

    No, there’s no obligation for people to be any better than they are. If there was, there wouldn’t be any appeal in motorsport whatsoever. You’re even going so far as to judge all leagues based on what two of them are like.

    Go back to sucking Ian Bellend’s cock. Maybe then you’ll have some sort of coherent point in your articles, since at least when it comes to that you know what you’re talking about.


  5. I think it might have more to do with the amount of people who play racing sims. I come from the fighting game community, where the majority of the people who play the games have no idea what they’re doing. They button mash, whine about easily punishable moves (eg “spamming/throwing”), and a lot even buy an arcade stick if they have even a slightly more-than-passing interest in them.

    Within the consumer base for fighting games, there’s the fighting game community, which is generally competitive, goes to weekly local tournaments, and maybe will make the trip out to the bigger tournaments. These guys are like .5% of total purchasers. It takes so many people to churn out a relatively small amount of skilled players (and a fraction of a fraction of those people are actually competitively successful).

    Simracing just doesn’t have the playerbase to establish a good competitive ladder. I’ve coached a couple of my friends and within a week were able to complete full races on iRacing without spinning out and crashing. 90% of people just don’t try (or put in the right kind of effort) to get good. However, it’s too easy to attach your ego to a skill and have it become an unassailable part of your identity. If you suggest to someone that there’s something to improve, they’ll take it as an insult to their “talent” (usually indicative of mediocrity).

    Look at games like League of Legends and there’s the same phenomenon despite the huge playerbase. Low-ranked players whine about ELO hell (where teammates are so unreliable that even their godlike abilities can’t win them games). They constantly say things like “I’m gold but I definitely play at Diamond level” without irony. However, the saturation is there and so there are enough highly-skilled players to pad out that part of the community.

    I know this is a wandering tirade, but my point is basically that the number of skilled people in simracing is pretty proportionate to a lot of other skill-based games/sports/activities out there. It’s just that simracing barely has anyone to start with, so the skilled userbase is tiny.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. If you’re rubbish at CoD, you die and the game continues. If you’re rubbish at football, the opposition scores a goal and the game continues. If you cause a wipe out at turn one, the race is effectively over for all those who got wrecked.

    This is why a decent AI is essential for me in any racing game I buy. Unfortunately the repocussions of pilot error in online sim racing are more far reaching than most other games.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. All that is not community fault, but software and developers fault… take any half decent game with multiplayer capabilities and you have a matchmaking system to put the player together with players that have more or less the same skills… but not sim racing games with all “my software is a simulator, not a game, if you don’t know what you doing you’re not worthy.. we will not spent time making a matchmaking system just because of retards that can’t race properly” bullshit…


  8. Austin your hero Empty Box is now a VR evangelist and it seems your nail polish wearing friend Mr Broadbent will soon be following in his footsteps.


    1. With a £700 video card to go with it, all thanks to the wonders of e-begging. This proves that, statistically, it is far more likely for a sim racer to become a paying cuck (giving away his money so that another man can buy nice things with it) than a good player.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t think teenagers in 2017 are old enough to remember the time when e-begging was seen as a shameful activity not too far removed from begging on the streets. Nowadays that social pressure is almost completely gone and these parasites have the gall to talk about their begging as if it were a real career. At least Jimmy plays videogames in his bedroom for a few hours most evenings, which sounds pathetic enough, and yet is more than can be said about so many other begging cunts.


  9. In the last few months I decided to give league racing another try in AC, RR, and iRacing and it’s always the same deal. The group gets on the chat before the race and everyone tells you how they don’t care how they finish and each time I never made to the second corner without getting hit from every direction. Lack of skill is the main cause but you don’t have to be the fastest if can keep the car on the track, don’t try to win on the first lap and know how to get out of the way when you have to .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You say that the solution is out there in an easily digestible format and I agree that there are enough people playing each major racing game that are willing to educate the playerbase.

    My question however is: What reason does the average player have to “get good”, when they’re perfectly happy to smash their way around the nearest virtual racetrack?

    If somebody wants to get better, the resources are out there, and that’s great. But what about the person that doesn’t want to get better? How are you going to convince them to “get good”?

    I don’t think you can. That’s why I think the only real solution to all of this are more stringent and advanced mathmaking tools, so that the “good” are matched with the “good” and the “weak” are matched with the “weak”.

    I know you had a negative impression of Gran Turismo Sport but from my Beta experience I had some of the cleanest races I have ever seen in an online racing game. Maybe it’s because was on the European server, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that their matchmaking system can work as a proof of concept (though it does need refinement), and more developers should take a look at it for future titles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beginning to sound like the iRacing Matrix:
      alien – safe
      alien – danger to self
      alien – danger to others
      good – safe
      good – danger to self
      good – danger to others
      average – safe
      average – danger to self
      average – danger to others
      beginner – safe
      beginner – danger to self
      beginner – danger to others
      hopeless – safe
      hopeless – danger to self
      hopeless – danger to others


  11. There are two main factors that ruins online: no consequences for accidents involvement (like not be able to join another race in x time) and the need of too many people to make a grid. Many others games are 1vs1 or a bad player just ruins his own game, also a larger playerbase but a huge margin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with your point that the lack of consequences is one of the biggest issues. Unfortunately it is pretty much impossible to implement consequence for wrecking others. Either you say that both parties get penalized for the wreck, which is highly unfair for at least one of the parties and suddenly lag becomes all kinds of threatening, or you try to implement some sort of intention detection algorithm. Good luck with that. This guy drove into that guy. Why? Was he trying to take him out? Did he suffer a hardware failure? Windows/graphics freeze? Could it be that the other guy is to blame because he was brake checking him? Maybe he got scared of something on his end and inductively hit the brakes too early? Maybe he genuinely thought it was the right place to brake and the two just had different brake markers with different setups/skill levels? Maybe his car was insulted by a bump and rather than risk losing the car he decided to try and save it? Etc. The is hardly a limit to the possible situations that can lead up to a collision. Determining who is at fault is tricky enough for a human referee, let alone a piece of software…


  12. This is one reason why I’m mainly an offline racer (the other being: A 4 year old with seemingly instant veto power on any gaming session).

    The emphasis on multiplayer and e-sports therefore worries the fuck out of me. Seems like an real good excuse for devs to stop working on good AI.

    It’s analogous to TV abandoning scripted series in favor of reality shows a few years ago. But at least there was a writers strike to blame that on.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I as someone who uses keyboard+mouse to drive, I’m way more consistent and faster than most fuckers in any server on AC, people literally can’t drive for shit, the slow drivers who block and cut you off blame you for ramming or divebombing and then ragequit saying “god these pub races are fucking horrible, guess I’m going back to iracing”.


    1. I guess you are driving RF2 with most of the aids turned on which pretty much makes it autopilot driving where you only have have to press turn left or right. kek


  14. Good post. Simracing desperately needs some kind of live stewarding and harsh penalties on people being hyper-aggressive. I’m on iRacing and I can only race unpopular series where I can get to know most of the regulars. Any popular series top split is generally a shit-show of people being hyper-aggressive, given the opportunity every time going for moves you only see IRL from crazy drivers once a race.

    There are only two solutions to this – paid stewards (or AI steward years into the future) penalizing drivers causing collisions or a limited supply of cars in a given week, extra cars costing $$. The latter would turn iRacing/sim racing into a rich asshole arena, just like real-life racing. The former will be VERY unpopular. All hope is in AI-stewarding, but I don’t think any simracing outlet is currently developing any.


      1. Until you realize you have to let every rich prick through cause you couldn’t afford to keep repairing your car. I’m sure some people jerking off to realism would love that, but personally I’m simracing because of the level playing field.
        Sadly, limited car supply lines up well with service providers’ preferences for more revenue, so I wouldn’t be surprise to see it implemented.


    1. I joined a popular iRacing league with paid stewards for this very reason.

      Unfortunately as the season progressed it became abundantly clear that these stewards had a blatant and unashamedly biased view on incidents involving “their mates” or a bias against drivers that didn’t fit their idea of what’s marketable.


  15. a guy joined my league this season and introduced himself with pics of his triple screen setup, full cockpit rig with buttpumpers or whatever they’re called. was talking about how he was gonna switch to VR for more immersion and aiming to get a full motion rig in the next couple of years.

    first race, he qualified in last position, 17 seconds slower than pole position


  16. If the general population of 15 to 35 year olds went racing in real life in 690 hp 787 Mazdas, I think the results would be similar to what you see in online sim racing. Most of us would have difficulty racing Miata Cup cars without causing accidents. But I guess that wouldn’t be cool enough for sim racing.


  17. FACT.
    We are surrounded by 24/7 fake news, and it just seems to get dumber by the minute.

    What happened to the Donald Trump Jr. meeting with the lawyer Jews? Are we back to Wikileaks again?

    What’s the story, Jews?


            1. In theory it could be possible to get your own mother/sister pregnant, but the “product” of that would be a deformed abomination. It’d still look better than the “father” though.


  18. You are absolutely correct, 90-95% of the sim racers are slow as hell and around 50% of these slow people can’t even finish a single short sprint race without causing multiple collisions, spinning several times or running ridiculously wide into the gravel.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Friday night watching Jimmy eh, try the supergt race at Sugo. Isn’t the idea of driver rating to minimize the impact of lesser skilled competitors, sure we’ll see how that pans out. I’ve about 800hrs racing solely public lobbys this past year and in that time met 50 or so heads worth racing. If it’s only such a small fraction that’s even bothered about a clean race it’s hard to see things improving


  20. To a degree you have a point but the community isn’t allows as helping as you say, also all this information from reading books and how to get better, I must be blind because I have yet to an eye opening information in a while, must of it is the same thing reworded.

    In a previous article you even criticized the sims because of how some drivers were using absurd/extreme setups that wouldn’t work IRL.

    moving on, some of these leagues are annoying in that they want you to race with no assists. and when you ask you get this big hurr durr about it making you better. the worst one being get gud.


  21. There’s one thing i did that worked fairly well(did it too late tho) in pCars1. It takes a while and you have to go thru shit to get results, but i found some really nice drivers there.

    Join public lobbies. As you go thru games, you’ll inevitably run into guys that you can battle with for laps around. After a good fight, invite those strangers in steam and put them in a decicated friend list.

    At some point, you’ll have enough people do create custom lobbies that are good enough! It’s far from perfect but gets the job done.


    1. decicated friend list – where we put all the gnarly old guys who remember racing before there were rollbars & rearview mirrors.


  22. Used to be you had to be vouched for by someone in a league before you could join, which got you access to password protected league races. Not that people didn’t make mistakes, but they tried really really hard not to.


      1. ok, bye.

        Polyphony always advertised GTSport as an online game. This isn’t your GT4,5,6,7 (7 being a possible future complete title like the previous ones).

        Are you also going to blame Valve for making CSGO an online game, with the only options offline is to play against bots? Rocket league is an online game, with some options to play against bots. GTSport is the same.

        Online is where its at. If you make a very rich offline game, then most of the player base will be for offline play and online won’t have many people to race against. Look at F1 2015, 2016, 2017 and the previous titles, these are very rich offline games, online is basically useless, is just there. Polyphony wants to do the opposite with their game.


  23. Yes you did bud , I just didn’t expect it to be like this .

    James check this out at the 34 second mark …….. Ubi soft bringing a racing game out ?


  24. James, you finally got it. Multiplayer online racing has always been just like that, pathetic mucking around. Forget the foolish nerd hobby and move on.


  25. Another long bullshit-article and there´s one truth that everybody is saying with highend-stuff: It makes you maybe faster, but certainly more consistent.

    And no, not 90% are bad. Too many for sure, but 50% is peak and should be in your back after qualifying with the exception of people just good at qualifying. I have 1,5 average contacts per race in SRS with very rare bad behavior so far. Most drivers are more cautious than GamerMuscle with his 3 contacts per race.


  26. So simracing has no matchmaking and the consequences to other of making a mistake are relatively higher than other games?

    The results seem fairly obvious. Basically we need matchmaking in the reasonably-priced games (i.e. not iRacing).

    Oh, and yep I am a slow driver. My times are not competitive in the slightest but I at least can finish most races staying on the track and don’t cause pile-ups.


  27. Doesn’t how much you spend on a rig or how quick you are. You’re always gonna be arse-ended by a Brazilian kid listening to Metallica over the headset with a crying baby in the background
    Sell the rig, but some nice clothes, go out and meet women.


  28. 4k iRacer and general sim enthusiast who’s absolutely fed up with spending money to get wrecked.

    This article rings true on so many levels.

    It doesn’t get better in leagues. It doesn’t get better against higher ranked opponents. (in fact, I see more intentional wrecking, brake checks, quarter-panelling and outright inability to drive 2 wide in the top splits than I saw during my rookie races).

    I think that a lot of fast guys are only used to hotlapping and can’t handle, or predict, traffic, or side by side racing, and I think the majority of Sim Racers have zero intention of practicing and making sure they are up to speed with a car or track before jumping straight into official races, qualifying 10 seconds off the pace, yet somehow believe they can outbrake the entire field into turn 1…

    The biggest issue though, is that the community, and the developers support this behaviour. They’d rather make more coin enticing in new players constantly rather than making coin making sure the current playerbase is happy.

    I have seen the same behaviour in basically every multiplayer racing game i’ve played since the late 90’s.

    And before people unload on me, no i’m not Ayrton Senna, I don’t think i’m the second coming of James Hunt, I just want to have a fucking race without getting wrecked.


      1. Whilst generally those series are cleaner (mostly because the average Iberian can’t seem to keep the buggers on the track enough to race one) avoiding all the more popular cars doesn’t really make for a truly enjoyable experience.

        I’m hoping PCars2 isn’t as much of a shitshow as the first one.


    1. You should be fed up with the absurdily expensive and overrated iRacing experience as a whole instead, which shows that your priorities are fucked up and your opinion is irrelevant as a result.


      1. No doubt then you can name a game who’s players opinions should be taken more seriously? Sounds like you need a “safe space”


      1. Just get a good exit onto the main straight and overtake them using slipstream.

        If you can’t respond to someone elses mistakes you are not a good driver.


  29. It really depends on the league tbh – some leagues that are not focusing on competition and price money have really good and clean racing

    There are 2 problems at hand:
    1. People cant lose, they take too many risks and take out others in the process:
    Seen at pricebased championships and especially iRacing
    2. Organisations (foremost leagues and iRacing) not filtering the crashing drivers enough andor not punishing them enough (seen at iRacing)

    Good examples how not to do it:
    AOR, iRacing, SRC (VEC) …


    1. The one I entered was streamed with commentary and had prize money, trophies and paid entry into higher tiers.

      Went into the last round of the championship in 2nd place with a good chance of winning, got taken out during qualifying by a guy blatantly torpedoing me, ruined my qualifying, and it ended up costing me the title, and the money. He’s still racing in the series, didn’t even get punished because I decided to leave the series.


  30. I get what is being said here. As I am one of those people who causes wrecks. I had an iRacing sub and the one time I really focuses on a mx5 race I got hit by a guy diving a corner. Still finished and proud of where I finished. But after that race I didnt really play much iRacing. I stick to hoping on Asessto Corsa and hop laying with my fav cars.


  31. I think a big a component of why online racing is often a mess is because people want to race for every single position aggressively. In real life amateur ranks, racing for position aggressively is actually rare (though there’s always exceptions but if often ends badly) and doesn’t happen unless both drivers trust each other and know their opponent has consistent lines and braking points. It’s different when the hardware you’re sitting in has real value and can be lost in an instant.


    1. Watching crashvideos on the “RACINGFAIL!”-channel i would even say, it´s worse in Amateur-racing. Most crashes are idiot dick moves and it looks like public server racing. In the GT3- and GTE-classes every contact that provokes an accident or just a spin will be punished and most drivers knowing what they are doing and getting paid already. In amateur-classes it seems that there are quite some guys with higher ambitions but more money than talent.


      1. There’s a difference between “rich people” amateur racing (Ferrari Challenge) and “grass roots” amateur racing. The former still doesn’t hold much value in the hardware they’re stitting in, lol.


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