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What driving simulator for learning tracks/fun?

 
Old 01-17-2019, 10:29 PM
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carcrazysammy
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Default What driving simulator for learning tracks/fun?

At the end of the month I am having foot surgery that will keep me out of my track car for most if not all of this summer.


My last game system was a PS2 well over 15 years ago.


To help fill the void I am looking for a driving game. Something that has accurate track mapping so I can digitally practice places I might go to in the future. Realism is a huge plus here.

I don't have a PC so am looking at the X-box or Playstation systems.

Thanks!! Sammy
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:01 PM
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davidfarmer
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Forza7 Motorsport has a lot of real courses and looks great, but I dont find any of them very realistic from driving standpoint
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:35 AM
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lrobe22
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Project Cars 2 has several tracks.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:33 AM
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X25
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The best in the business is iRacing. None of the popular games (supposedly simulations) on game consoles come close. Project Cars is also good.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:35 AM
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fleming23
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Originally Posted by X25 View Post
The best in the business is iRacing. None of the popular games (supposedly simulations) on game consoles come close. Project Cars is also good.

This. Forza is "fun" but iRacing will allow you to actually learn racing on a track, particularly with others (if you want). I suppose Forza will allow you to learn whether you turn right or left at the next bend, and it certainly improved my track knowledge of places like Road Atlanta prior to me ever putting tires on track. iRacing is definitely a step above. What you don't get in a simulator like iRacing are street cars like the Z06 to "play" or practice driving.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:04 AM
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I know you can get project cars 2 on Xbox and PS4, it is more "realistic" than the Forza games. That being said I really like the Forza games, I think they're fun.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:21 AM
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Forza is a fun racing game with tons of great content but it will do little in the way of providing proper physics simulation if you're trying to stay sharp over winter or even get a taste of what it'd be like to drive X car on Y track. As mentioned, iRacing is considered the top shelf product but it is also fairly expensive to run as it works on a recurring subscription model. It's also PC only if that matters.
Assetto Corsa is considered by many to be a close second in terms of realism and my personal pick too. No recurring subscription model, just buy the game and perhaps some DLC content for extra cars if you like. On PS4 and PC (Xbox too but that version is worse). If you go with PC, there are tons of mods to add tracks/cars that weren't originally included. Project Cars 2 is also worth checking out - tons of content again in terms of cars and tracks and respectable physics, but it doesn't feel as natural as Assetto (just my opinion). Check your local Craigslist/etc. for the hardware like wheel/shifter/pedals etc. as it is a niche hobby and this expensive equipment can sometimes come up used for a great discount.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:17 PM
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I have Project Cars, Project Cars 2 and Assetto Corsa on PS4.

Skip the 1st Project Cars, the wheel settings are WAY too finicky. They fixed that in 2.

Biggest problem with Assetto Corsa is the track list for PS4 is terrible. The only American track is Laguna Seca. I played it for a couple hours and haven't touched it since. Assetto Corsa on the PC opens up the world of mods and user created content, i can't speak to that.

Project Cars 2 has a big track list, lots of cars and solid physics. IRacing is better; but cost of entry is huge since you need a good PC and a subscription.

Get a PS4, PC2 and a quality wheel/pedal setup and seat.

-Tim
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:53 PM
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Everyone has failed to mention the GT SPORT. FIA regulated, has an active BOP system but eliminates the heavy workload of Iracing with setup and other details. The penalty system has gone through a lot of evolution and is really on point now. Has multiple racing series, daily and overall championship. I've raced and driven it all, and I can honestly say, the physics and driving feel of GT Sport is it. IRacing is undeniable as a platform though. For me...it's GT SPort and Iracing.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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The games and sims themselves are meaningless. The ancillary RIGS that goes with it is the important tool. You need at least a good basic seat, 3x monitor set-up, and a good set of force feedback wheels. Otherwise youíre not learning sh*t on the sims.

In reality youíll need a $50k rig with hydraulics in seat to simulate road forces to really benefit you and supplant REAL seat time.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:24 PM
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Hi Volts Z06
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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
The games and sims themselves are meaningless. The ancillary RIGS that goes with it is the important tool. You need at least a good basic seat, 3x monitor set-up, and a good set of force feedback wheels. Otherwise youíre not learning sh*t on the sims.

In reality youíll need a $50k rig with hydraulics in seat to simulate road forces to really benefit you and supplant REAL seat time.
I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Actually, the best investment you can make is a good gaming computer and a set of VR goggles. IRacing can teach you a new track and be of value to you as a practice tool. There is one inherent problem and thatís developing muscle memory when driving cars on a simulator that arenít EXACTLY like your car. You might have a corner that requires you to lift on the simulator but you might be able to take flat out in your own race car. You then are going to have to break a habit at that point because youíve developed muscle memory for that corner.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
The games and sims themselves are meaningless. The ancillary RIGS that goes with it is the important tool. You need at least a good basic seat, 3x monitor set-up, and a good set of force feedback wheels. Otherwise youíre not learning sh*t on the sims.

In reality youíll need a $50k rig with hydraulics in seat to simulate road forces to really benefit you and supplant REAL seat time.
There's a huge spectrum between "not learning sh*t" and "supplant real seat time."

If you are unable to benefit from anything in between, that says more about you than it says about affordable rigs.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:48 AM
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I have iRacing, Forza 7, PC2, and AC for PC and I use each one for learning tracks. iRacing is by far the best simulator as far as feel but you can only drive race cars. AC is second in my opinion but I’ve been driving a lot of PC2 lately because it has C7Z ( which they have the handling wrong on) and it just looks amazing.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:36 AM
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jonnyc
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do you already have a wheel/pedal set?

you can get a used computer capable of running iracing for around $500. they have 50% new membership now so a year is only $55 and 3 months is $16. iracing is really the only one i would consider a sim all the others are games.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:56 PM
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It really depends on what you hope to learn. Even Forza with a cheap wheel and pedals can help you learn how to react when you overstep the limits and how to balance the car with brake and throttle. One of the hardest things to program yourself is not to hop off the throttle when the car steps out and even as long ago as Forza 3 it properly rewarded or punished that behavior. Add a FFB wheel and you can at least get some feel for what the limits of adhesion feel like through the wheel. Most of them give you some help in learning tracks but as others have noted they may be inaccurate in the subtleties.

I agree with the others that iRacing has the best physics model out there but frankly I'm kind of irritated that the two tracks I frequent most (VIR and Summit Point) are both way out of data in the sim due to repaving and widening. The other nice thing about iRacing is you can download telemetry and analyze just like an actual track day so you can learn not just the driving but the data analysis skill. At this point I've gotten rid of my multi-monitor setup and will only play "games" that support Oculus. It's not as crisp but the immersion is way better.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
There's a huge spectrum between "not learning sh*t" and "supplant real seat time."

If you are unable to benefit from anything in between, that says more about you than it says about affordable rigs.
Agreed.

Forza and Gran Turismo are good for learning a particular track layout. They are GREAT for this. I played for 3hrs with friends the night before we rented two track cars and drove from Germany to Belgium for a day at Spa Francorchamps. I knew every turn before I put one foot anywhere near that track. In other words, I spent my time getting the braking and turn in points just right instead of trying to figure out where the hell i was going. Controller works just fine.

Project Cars, Asetto Corsa, and iRacing are proper sims with realistic physics. I wouldn't even waste your time with these games without a simple sim rig with wheel and shifter (if necessary). You don't need 3 monitors, one works fine. VR is the best option for visuals. Adding vibration to the rig front/rear or all four corners adds to the realism. Adding motion to the rig goes even further.

Everything benefits in some way.

Last edited by Quickshift_C5; 01-19-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:06 AM
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I'm a huge fan of sim racing. I added a H pattern shifter and clutch pedal to my sim rig this fall. I have made huge improvements with my footwork over the winter. I use iRacing but I'm certain using a sim rig with a console gaming system would definetly let you make progress.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:23 AM
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Han Solo
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Lest something has changed in the last few years nothing is going to actually simulate driving a real vehicle on track. There are plenty of GAMES that are entertaining and some give feedback that stimulates the senses but none I ever tried came close to being a real simulator.

I get more knowledge from watching in car videos on you tube than any so called sim can provide.

Not saying you can't gain something from the games and they can be a lot of fun but don't think you will bring anything to the track from playing any of them.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:12 PM
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Where is a good place to learn about the hardware for sim racing? I wanted to look into getting something this fall/winter but work has kept me too busy.

I'm not a gamer (late boomer) so I'd be starting from the beginning hardware (wheels, pedals, etc.) wise. I know I typically suck on the demos the manufacturers have at IMSA races and auto shows. However, they are typically on tracks I've never driven before. I am definitely a "feel" driver and have a hard time getting driving inputs mainly through visual and wheel input. Brake zones and corner entry speed are my problem areas. Seems like by the time you feel it, you've already screwed up.

There will be a learning curve but once I get used to those aspects, it seems like it would be a good tool to keep the brain working and eyes up. I know my on track driving suffered this year due to having to constantly dodge pot holes in the Detroit area. It's hard to keep your eyes up on track when off track you are always looking 10 to 15 feet in front of you car to avoid getting the wheels ripped off the car.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Han Solo View Post
don't think you will bring anything to the track from playing any of them.
Sounds more like you approached it with the wrong attitude. Try being a bit more open, instead of going into it thinking video games are for kids and your time is better spent doing whatever you deem is more important than the kiddie games. They are helpful tools and pro racers use them as well.
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