Preview: iRacing

iRacing is a motorsports simulation game that takes online racing realism to a whole new level.

iRacing is not Mario Kart. This isn’t a game where you push into the throttle and take every corner full speed, tossing shells and bumping your opponents off the track. Okay, obviously I’m being facetious but quite honestly minus the shells I’m actually surprisingly accurate with that previous statement with regards to how iRacing is played. It’s a game of delicate precision where you must concentrate fully to be successful, as it is designed from the ground-up to be as realistic as possible. Take your car too fast into a corner? You’ll understeer and end up in the gravel. Jump on the throttle too aggressively on your way out of a turn? You’ll likely spin the tyres and oversteer, which usually results in the car spinning out or sliding across the track’s wonderfully groomed lawn. If you remain attentive behind the wheel and calm on your pedals and inputs, you’ll slowly begin to find success as you learn the craft that is simulation racing.

You'll need to master the craft before you can jump into one of these badboys!
You’ll need to master the craft before you can jump into one of these badboys!

One of the best parts about iRacing is that it doesn’t just throw you into the seat of a racecar and expect you to keep it under control. Provided to subscribers is a full video series in collaboration with the Skip Barber Racing School to teach you the basics you need to know in order to be successful on a racetrack. I watched every video, and I can honestly say they were excellent learning tools for me as I began my online racing career.

Within iRacing, you can participate in several types of events on both road and oval courses. Most of my preview time was spent in the “test” and “practice” modes, where I would pick a car and a track, and simply drive so that I could learn how to keep my car under control. These modes are important, because they set you on a track of your choosing so that you can take your time to learn at your own pace. Furthermore, driver errors and accidents here do not count against your personal “Safety Rating”, which in iRacing, is a measurement of how cautious you are as a driver. This safety rating is important, as it encourages safe and respectful driving practices in Time Trail or Race sessions. Once you’re more comfortable in the seat of your racecar, you can then start racing for real with players all over the world. And that my friends is as exciting as it gets.


  • The best on-line racing simulation and service in the world with brilliant features and functionality
  • Head-to-head racing competition – racing against real people
  • Open practice, qualifying, testing, time trialing competition
  • Constant free automatic updates and improvements to the service
  • Officially licensed cars that are engineered from the ground up in cooperation with real world race teams and using real-world physics
  • Officially-licensed, laser-scanned exact replicas of the world’s greatest race tracks
  • Officially-sanctioned racing organized by iRacing
  • An online community of racing enthusiasts over 40,000 strong
  • Ability to host your own private sessions, run your own tournaments or create your own private racing leagues
  1. This game is truly amazing (I’ve been playing for the past 8 months now). The one thing players tend not to realize is just how important the safety rating is. EVEN when it’s stressed that it’s important, what players aren’t taught is how it works. Winning, or placing well has nothing to do with leveling up, which is solely determined by one’s safety rating. The fastest way to level up is by driving clean and safe, and yet I never see it stated this way. In oval racing (which is really hard to level up at the lower levels because there are so many crashes), you can litterally jump to the next category quickest by starting from the pits and driving cleanly without challenging too many drivers. I tended to get in the top 5 just by doing this and not crashing. Good luck Steam on Greenlight!

  2. By far the best driving simulation available to us regular joes. Still has a lot of quirks which hold it back from being truly realistic and the no at fault system can be a real pain at times. Only takes one idiot to ruin your race and unless said idiot shows clear intention of malicious behaviour, iRacing won’t do anything about it. A system that doesn’t penalise stupidity only encourages it.

  3. and then there is my personal favorite, microtranscation everything ONTOP of Subscription based gaming, like one or the other ppl. FYI to those who havent played iracing, You will pay Approx $14 per car, to compete in some races you need to buy 2 cars and several circuits, circuits (surprise surprise) are about the same in cost ($14 per track) ok so your have now spent about 60 of your hard earned dollars to open up a series. too bad its the series no one plays so now you need to by more cars and tracks to compete, but dont forget thru all this you have to pay a monthly sub cost (works out @ 10 bucks a month on the cheapest sub (yearly))

    Great game, but the cash gouging is a bit over the top, considering the fact that alot of money seems to now go back into Real Motorsport as opposed to evolving the sim, (see Iracing sponsor Travis Pastrana to give you an eg.). i played iracing for a year and had too stop because the series i ran (V8Supercars) was expanded by three tracks, none of which i could afford to purchase whilst paying the Sub to play. so naturally i had to stop playing.

    1. That’s not true Sergov. Tracks are $8.95 or $11.95USD depending on their complexity and how many configurations they have (some tracks have like 8 different configurations) and cars are $11.95. You do NOT need to buy each car that races in a series. ONLY the one you personally want to drive.

      Also… iRacing ALWAYS has a $49/yr deal.

      With just the subscription fee you get seven cars and ten tracks. Trust me… You’d do well to stick with the lower series that are free until you figure out this game anyway. It’s not Need For Speed bro…

      Anyway… You can be a wimp and complain about the cost of a VERY cheap hobby (compare this to Golf, hockey, RC racing, Model trains…) or you can jump in and see what you’re missing. I don’t really care either way.

  4. Sergov, do you also bitterly complain that you cannot afford to buy your own real racecar and compete in a real life series? Give me a break. The enjoyment I get from iRacing is well worth the investment I’ve made in it and I’ve purchased 100% of the content and will continue to do so. It’s a great simulation and I hope the developers profit nicely from it.

    1. no i think it is important that ppl greenlighting this game are made aware if its pay structure, i gather you enjoy your 50k + a year job, its not a great simulation its a good simulation with 90’s graphics. tell me what TZ do you play under? is there more than 2 official races a day for you?, i agree they need to make some form of monetary gain from their product but Dual layer Servicing seems a bit over the top. you can have your break, not all of us earn the obviously splendorous amount of income you receive, next you’ll be telling me to go back to watching the series on TV and leave the iRacing to those with deep enough pockets. when the whole Idea of the IP was to give access to real racing to those who could never afford it. OOC how long have you been playing iracing? i have been a member since 2009 and have seen alot of changes, even seen the service go down for several days- no time credited for our subscriptions just wasted $$$ while they fixed the stuff they broke.

      1. Sergov you are going a bit over the top here. I’m a college student $20,000+ in debt from student loans and currently making $10k a year by working part time. The only game I play is iRacing and BF3 and I must say iRacing is the most enjoyable. You don’t have to have every track in a series to enjoy the game. You buy a couple cars and a few tracks so you can compete in something every week. You may not be able to race an entire series every week but you still get to enjoy racing. As far as you saing its 90’s graphics you must be insane. Get a GTX670 crank it up and run 3 monitors. It may run at over 100fps but it is no doubt the best looking racing game, and I would put it up against BF3 graphics (which I run at ultra at 5760×1080) wise any time. People who see me playing iRacing always talk about how amazing it looks. Honestly if you want to complain about to graphics go play NR2003 and tell me iRacing still looks like a 90’s game.

        So the service goes down for a week and you want to complain about them refunding you? Lets say you bought a year of service for $100. $100 / 365 = $0.274/day. I’ll send you $1.75 via paypal, Go buy a soda.

      2. Seriously Sergov? The graphics are the best I’ve ever seen in a racing game. And I’ve played them all. And if you can’t afford $14…you have much bigger concerns than video games. It costs $60 for a normal PS3 / Xbox / PC game…how can you afford that? You should seriously get off the comments and start looking for a job. Me…I’ll continue to race on Iracing (the best racing game ever) for a very reasonable price.

      3. Now you’re just straight lying dude. The service has never been down for “several” days. I think it was down once for a whole day… Once. Other than that I don’t think it had ever been down aside from a few hours to deploy updates. I’ve been a member since just before they went public.

        90’s graphics? No. It has photo-realistic graphics. Seriously… Get a clue.

  5. Don’t tell them, but it’s worth quite a bit more than I pay for it. The $:fun ratio looks like lottery odds. Honestly, it seems a little expensive when you start. After that initial bit it is the best entertainment value I’ve come across. The best “public” internet racing you’ll find. Great competition at every skill level. Of course, that means that if you’re a bad driver, you’re gonna be racing with other bad drivers, so don’t do that. Great community too, at least on the road racing side. Oval side seems more talkative, but less helpful. BTW, you’ll need to get a decent wheel/pedals if you don’t already have them, and your PC needs to be reasonably capable, not too bad though.

  6. Iracing hands down best sim iv ever played, and far more inexpecive than say WoW or Rift, tracks 14.98 cars 11.98 each, sub cost monthly 12.00 now obviously the prices are cheaper if you buy longer sub at one time but honestly, 12 bucks a month is pretty cheap compaired to other sub based games!!! if you’ve played the game and say its garbage, its probly cuz you cant drive….. or you just cant get the idea of driving clean and ruin urself and others saftey rating. myself being an A class oval driver and aiming for pro, saftey rating is a big deal for me. just race clean and have fun and you’ll fall in love with the sim like many others have

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