What is it?
  • Competitive racing in a virtual environment
  • Using simulation software to replicate real world racing
  • £
  • U18
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5

Reasons we think you will love it!

1

You can drive any car, anywhere!

2

Switch between circuits and rally stages in a couple of minutes

3

Drive whatever you want from the comfort of your own home

4

Compete against drivers from all over the world

5

You don’t need to pay for car repairs!

get started in 3 easy steps

What you will need

Esports is one of the most accessible forms of motorsport that allows you to experience the heat of competition from the comfort of your own home. But what exactly do you need to get started?

Most racing simulators are PC based software which offer a wide variety of racing options including GTs, single seaters, touring cars, rallying and much more. As such, you will need to purchase a gaming PC. Depending on your knowledge of PCs, you can either opt to build one yourself or purchase a pre-built unit from a retailer. At this point, it is worth making sure that the PC is compatible with the hardware requirements of your chosen simulation. This way you will be able to have a more reliable and enjoyable experience without having to compromise on performance.

Alongside the PC, you will also need a monitor. Depending on your budget, you can either go for a single monitor or a triple monitor setup. Triple monitors offer increased immersion by having the screens surround you and provide better visibility on track. At this point, it is worth bearing in mind that triple monitor setups do require a more powerful PC to run the simulation software at higher graphics levels.

With the PC and monitor all sorted, you will now need to obtain the controller hardware. The preferred option is to use a force feedback steering wheel and pedal setup. There are various options available to suit all budgets and requirements. It is worth spending a little more on your wheel and pedals in order to obtain an improved feel for the road and inputs through the pedals. If your budget allows, a direct drive wheel base and load cell pedals are preferable when it comes to an immersive experience.

You will also need something to mount your controller hardware to. The ideal solution is to use a purpose-built sim racing chassis/rig. These have the best options for driving position as well as providing a secure mounting option for your hardware as well as a comfortable seat.

With all your hardware installed and ready to go, it is time to jump on track and get your first experience of sim racing.

The Esports Pathway

Offline Racing

Once you have the equipment and your chosen simulator all set up, it is time to hit the track. The best place to start is to do some offline testing and racing against the AI. Although most simulators provide a very realistic driving experience, there are still some key driving aspects that are missing which may affect the way you perform on the sim.

The most notable of these is gravity. In a real car, your body will be subject to acceleration, braking and cornering forces which are not only physically demanding, but they also provide key insights into how your car is performing on track. In a sim, even on a motion rig, you will not experience the same level of feedback.

The main senses that you will need to rely on when driving in a sim is what you feel through your hands in the form of force feedback from the steering wheel and what you hear through your ears. As such, it may take time to get used to tuning in to these senses in order to fully understand what the car is doing.

With this in mind, it is best to run some practice laps on your own at first to become better acquainted with the car and how to handle it on track. Once you become more comfortable, most simulations will offer the opportunity to race against computer-controlled opponents known as AI.

This will provide the opportunity to get used to the cut-and-thrust of virtual racing without potentially affecting another drivers race due to a mistake. It also allows you to build up some racecraft experience which you can then look to transfer into online events.

For more information, check out the video below:

Online Racing

Once you have some racing experience under your belt, you will soon come to the point where the AI drivers just aren’t quite cutting it anymore. At this point it is worth exploring the world of online racing.

Depending on the simulation software that you are using, most will feature open race events for you to enter, known as “public lobbies”. These events often contain a wide variety of drivers with differing levels of skill and experience, so there will always be someone to race with. In the case of iRacing, each grid of drivers is grouped together with those of a similar ability level, or “iRating”, in order to try and provide the closest racing possible.

Although the racing will undoubtedly be intense, the main thing to remember when on track with other human drivers is to be respectful at all times. Make sure that you give your competitors racing room and exercise some restraint when looking to make an overtaking move. The last thing you want to do is go for an overly ambitious move at the first corner and ruin your race, or worse your competitors.

Although public lobbies are great for getting into the heat of the action, if you are looking to do more with your sim racing, it is recommended to find a league. There are many different leagues currently operating on the various racing sims which offer structured championships, coverage and even stewarding to avoid reckless driving.

When looking for the right league for you, first you will need to figure out what type of car you want to race. Most leagues tend to use the more popular cars such as GT3 or touring cars, but there are also some leagues which are geared towards a more specific type of race car.

Once you know what type of car you would like to race in a league, it is beneficial to do some research to find out key information such as when and how often the races are, how many drivers are taking part etc. This way, you will be able to have a more enjoyable league racing experience.

For more information, check out the video below:

PRO ESPORTS COMPETITIONS

The pinnacle of Esports competition is the Pro-driver competitions. There are many different teams and drivers that compete at the highest level of Esports competitions. These can vary from one off special events on iRacing through to full championships including F1 Esports, Porsche Esports Supercup, DTM Esports and many more.

These events are typically open to those drivers who have experienced significant success in the Esports career and have been added to a teams roster of drivers, usually by invitation based on their previous success. If you are looking to participate in pro-level Esports competitions, it might be worth contacting a few teams to inquire about how to get involved or what their requirements would be.

For more information, check out the video below:

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