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Where do you start with online racing?


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#1 messy

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 20:39

Having been a big racing game fan for years and years, I’ve literally never played online on my own console. It just hasn’t ever been my thing. I’ve never had a subscription to an online service, I’ve never been remotely part of that scene. I’ve played against AI, career modes, and been perfectly happy with that. I’ve had a few online games years ago, at a friends house in rFactor - but that’s it. I really envied his PC setup, it’s alien to me, completely.

Only now, the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator of all things on Xbox has prompted me to subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate, and as a rather unexpected bonus I suddenly find myself with full Xbox Live access. This is something that I find quite daunting - I’d like to give it a try, but -

- I have no idea how it works. How you set up a race, join a race, find people to race against, anything.
- I have no idea how good I actually am, and am not sure I want to know! In my head I’m a great undiscovered talent but I’m sure I’m pretty rubbish compared to more, er, competitive sorts.
- The social stuff - I’m a pretty decent person I think/hope, but with all due respect to everyone on the servers, I’m not massively interested in actually chatting to anyone, I want to be like Kimi.
- I have no idea where to start - which game, which type of online race, no idea. I own pretty much every single decent racing sim released this gen. Assetto Corsa Competizione, F1 2021, DIRT Rally 2, Project CARS 2, etc. I don’t have a wheel though - is that needed to be competitive?

Any advice on where to start would be amazing. I know there are a lot of very good online gamers here. My biggest issue will probably be my two year old trying to wrestle the controller off me every two minutes, but who knows, I might actually get into it. Or I might never use my subscription and wimp out of ever doing anything. Bit it’s something I’d like to try, as I suspect I’ve been missing out quite a lot as such a sim racing fan over the years.

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#2 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 20:58

I’d recommend you just jump in to public lobbies or try featured events to get into it. Don’t expect a superb experience right away. There’ll be a lot of idiots in the beginner buckets.

Play a few games and get a feel for what you enjoy most. There’s not hard and fast rules about what works for everyone. I’ve played online with Forza 7 and the recent F1 games. I’ve enjoyed the weekly events in the F1 games the most.

 

If you’re playing on console, you’ll be fine with a controller. After a few races you should be matched with people of similar pace to yourself as you get a rating.

 

Also PM me your XBox live name. I’d like to add you as a friend. Maybe we could race with each other, try a private race or two.

If you’re in a public server, mute all other players. You don’t need a bunch of rude teenagers in your ear the whole time. Ignore rude PMs you may get.



#3 noikeee

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 22:27

It's going to be hard to get a good experience of clean racing with a controller. You'll most likely be 5, 6, 7 seconds off the pace of the leading wheel drivers, and perhaps struggle to keep the car as precisely controlled on wheel-to-wheel racing.

 

If you're on a console and in games like the Codemasters F1 you'll drive against lots of people on controllers though.



#4 Hati

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 06:02

It's going to be hard to get a good experience of clean racing with a controller. You'll most likely be 5, 6, 7 seconds off the pace of the leading wheel drivers,

It doesn't matter what your controller is, you are still seconds away from leading drivers. Unless you are a leading driver.

 

With PS4 answer would be easy, they say that Turismo Sport is good online experience even if it's not a great single player but I don't know about Xbox. Need For Speed series?



#5 messy

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 20:23

Thanks - I’ll PM you my XBL gamertag PaYR - haven’t got around to doing anything yet although I did have a very quick go at joining a lobby on PCars 2 earlier, thing is I suspect if there’s one game where the fastest guys are going to be using wheels, it’s that one.

#6 Tony Mandara

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 09:26

This really is a bit of a myth. As long as you're familiar with playing the game,.. a controller will be fine.

Beware of advice to purchase expensive hardware. Especially if it IS touted to make you five😲 seconds faster!

😀😀

#7 noikeee

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 10:43

A 1000 dollar wheel won't make you any faster than a 200 dollar wheel, but a 200 dollar wheel will make you faster than a 15 dollar controller. :p
 
But that might depend on the game, I really have no idea about things like F1 2021 or GT Sport, those games are designed with controllers in mind, so if you don't want to spend loads and have a big clunky thing with wires that needs to be mounted, you'll still have fun and still be more than fine. It's in games like ACC where it might be really really difficult to keep up and start feeling frustrating. I was part of a ACC league (for PC), occasionally guys with controllers would show up, they'd be way off the pace of everyone else, dead last by miles, and apart from a few aliens most of us were pretty mediocre.


#8 Myrvold

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 15:19

For full transparency I've been staff since 2012, so I am naturally not completely objective on this.

 

But a good place to start with online racing, if you play on PC; The club-races at www.racedepartment.com is a nice place to start. You also got www.simracing.gp (again, for transparency, RaceDepartment is part of the simracing.gp dev/founders) where you can join up with a whole load of different groups. All from Jimmy Broadbent's group to "Club 50" which are for racers of age 50+ and also lots of national groups. simracing.gp is for Assetto Corsa & AC:Competizione and RaceRoom at the moment. Compatibility with Automobilista 2 is in the works, and rFactor 2 is wanted.


Edited by Myrvold, 09 August 2021 - 15:19.


#9 Tony Mandara

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 16:09


A 1000 dollar wheel won't make you any faster than a 200 dollar wheel, but a 200 dollar wheel will make you faster than a 15 dollar controller. :p

But that might depend on the game, I really have no idea about things like F1 2021 or GT Sport, those games are designed with controllers in mind, so if you don't want to spend loads and have a big clunky thing with wires that needs to be mounted, you'll still have fun and still be more than fine. It's in games like ACC where it might be really really difficult to keep up and start feeling frustrating. I was part of a ACC league (for PC), occasionally guys with controllers would show up, they'd be way off the pace of everyone else, dead last by miles, and apart from a few aliens most of us were pretty mediocre.


Since the indicated platform was Xbox, any game running on that system will be optimised for controller use. Also, the indicated interest was online gaming, not SIM hotlapping.

No disrespect to yourself, but someone always does this. A £3000 racing rig, a £2000 wheel setup and £500 on racing gloves and boots (😲😲) will not make you any faster.😉😉

Some of the fastest players I've seen online have all been using controllers. Made me feel quite inadequate! 😶😶

#10 noikeee

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 16:19

Since the indicated platform was Xbox, any game running on that system will be optimised for controller use. Also, the indicated interest was online gaming, not SIM hotlapping.

No disrespect to yourself, but someone always does this. A £3000 racing rig, a £2000 wheel setup and £500 on racing gloves and boots () will not make you any faster.

Some of the fastest players I've seen online have all been using controllers. Made me feel quite inadequate!

F1 2021 and Dirt Rally will likely be fine, but I'm still pretty sure ACC will be terrible on a controller. He did mention ACC and asked whether he'd need a wheel to be competitive...
 
I totally get it, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars, I'm just fine with a wheel that cost me 100€ 11 years ago. But, I'd be terrible without a wheel, some games simply are made for it.
 
There are some freak guys out there who can keep up with controllers on sims, but they're rare and the exception.


#11 Myrvold

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 16:46

It's easier to be OK quick and consistent with a wheel (after the initial struggle to get used to it). But like everything, if you practice enough, and learn the tricks, you can be quick with anything (with the exception of a keyboard)



#12 PayasYouRace

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 18:48

Oh, and ignore the sim snobs. Just have fun.



#13 Tony Mandara

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 18:55

It's easier to be OK quick and consistent with a wheel (after the initial struggle to get used to it). But like everything, if you practice enough, and learn the tricks, you can be quick with anything (with the exception of a keyboard)


Not to mention the hand-operated minecart based peripheral I designed. Quite some failure.

It was great for Track & Field, but dogs**t for Dark Souls!

😉😉

#14 messy

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 20:58

ACC is a funny one because I’ve got it sitting there on my HD but barely play it - I find it more daunting than the idea of taking people on online! I get the impression it takes LOTS of practice to even be competently quick on it. I don’t think I’ll choose that one as a first experience, for sure. I’ll maybe try F1 2020 or 2021. I’m pretty confident on that one, can nail a lap at Albert Park. I think.

Edited by messy, 09 August 2021 - 21:00.


#15 Tony Mandara

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 07:25

ACC is the one that's always mentioned and apparently is the most 'SIMmy' of the bunch. I've never played it myself, but have heard that controller optimisation is far from perfect.

But.. hey! There are far more games which are less SIM orientated, such as the Forza games, Need for Speed, etc... if you feel like a quick (fast!) blast.

From what I hear.. you've got everything you need. Just press start. ;)  ;)

(alsorememberthatonlinepeoplecanbeselfishceatinglyingswindlingbackstabbingb******sOHYES!) ;)  ;)

#16 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 09:53

ACC is a funny one because I’ve got it sitting there on my HD but barely play it - I find it more daunting than the idea of taking people on online! I get the impression it takes LOTS of practice to even be competently quick on it. I don’t think I’ll choose that one as a first experience, for sure. I’ll maybe try F1 2020 or 2021. I’m pretty confident on that one, can nail a lap at Albert Park. I think.


I’ll join you in a game if F1 2020 if you’re up for it. I haven’t got 2021 yet.

#17 Rumblestrip

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 16:52

I took a break from sim racing a while ago, but dabbled a little bit recently with a controller in GT Sport. I was surprised how accessible it was once I started to get the hang of trail braking on the trigger controls and have been dipping in and out over the last few weeks. I agree that a serious sim rig is not needed to have fun, but if you're enjoying using a controller then getting a cheap wheel is worth it for the overall experience.

 

As for ACC, I really enjoyed it. Yes, if you want to be winning then you need to perfect your technique but with a bit of practice it's not too hard to get a decent race further back in the pack, and for me it's the wheel-to-wheel racing that makes the experience.



#18 thefinalapex

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 13:32

Having been a big racing game fan for years and years, I’ve literally never played online on my own console. It just hasn’t ever been my thing. I’ve never had a subscription to an online service, I’ve never been remotely part of that scene. I’ve played against AI, career modes, and been perfectly happy with that. I’ve had a few online games years ago, at a friends house in rFactor - but that’s it. I really envied his PC setup, it’s alien to me, completely.

Only now, the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator of all things on Xbox has prompted me to subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate, and as a rather unexpected bonus I suddenly find myself with full Xbox Live access. This is something that I find quite daunting - I’d like to give it a try, but -

- I have no idea how it works. How you set up a race, join a race, find people to race against, anything.
- I have no idea how good I actually am, and am not sure I want to know! In my head I’m a great undiscovered talent but I’m sure I’m pretty rubbish compared to more, er, competitive sorts.
- The social stuff - I’m a pretty decent person I think/hope, but with all due respect to everyone on the servers, I’m not massively interested in actually chatting to anyone, I want to be like Kimi.
- I have no idea where to start - which game, which type of online race, no idea. I own pretty much every single decent racing sim released this gen. Assetto Corsa Competizione, F1 2021, DIRT Rally 2, Project CARS 2, etc. I don’t have a wheel though - is that needed to be competitive?

Any advice on where to start would be amazing. I know there are a lot of very good online gamers here. My biggest issue will probably be my two year old trying to wrestle the controller off me every two minutes, but who knows, I might actually get into it. Or I might never use my subscription and wimp out of ever doing anything. Bit it’s something I’d like to try, as I suspect I’ve been missing out quite a lot as such a sim racing fan over the years.


I use a wheel myself but i do co-op with my brother on F1 and he uses a controller, f1 and dirt rally are really great to do with a controller. I do dirt rally 2 on the controller aswell as the feedback for a wheel isn’t great on dirt sadly. Pcars 2 is a very good to with a controller, i leagued raced on that game years ago and there where a lot of people on a controller. Acc is really made for people that own a wheel.

Public lobby’s are very hit and miss sadly, especially on F1 where people seem to ram you off most of the time. If you really enjoy the racing on one of the games and you have the time then i would say join a league. I rarely race public lobbies, if i race its in leagues. Some leagues are very competitive ofcourse but you also have leagues where people just want to have fun.

#19 messy

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 18:13

You know, after posting this with all the best intentions I still haven’t actually acted on any of it. But I will, I will, I will. There’s loads of great advice on here and I really appreciate it. Just need a couple of hours to myself to do it!!

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#20 Alfisti

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 18:38

I think GT Sport is EXACTLY what you want but it is not on XBOX. If it becomes too easy etc you can graduate to something more serious but make no mistake, the fast guys are proper quick and it is controller friendly.