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      07-16-2021, 05:18 PM   #1
Bunford
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What's the best gateway into sim racing in summer 2021?

Having previously dabbled back in the old days of iRacing with a Logitech GT wheel and pedals that I've long since got rid of, just wondering what's the gateway back into sim racing in summer 2021?

What's the best simulator, both in terms of the title and it's playability/realism as well as the community?

And what's a decent low budget wheel and pedal combo nowadays for a PC/Xbox gamer?

I'm more into track racing rather than oval, rally, dirtcross and so on and am a huge F1 and DTM fan, so would be aiming to use these types of open wheelers and cars to race with.

Cheers in advance for any pointers!
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      07-20-2021, 12:10 PM   #2
chasebish
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I personally am a big fan of Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione, and when on sale, both can be had for relatively cheap with the game + all the DLC. AC is a more of an all around sim that has a seemingly infinite amount of mods as the game is relatively old (2014 I think) whereas ACC is strictly a GT3/GT4 simulator, but the realism and physics is absolutely top notch. iRacing is ridiculously expensive and I'm not hardcore enough to pay for all the cars/tracks/subscription - I think it gets into the 1k dollar range over time if you seriously invest in it.

As for F1, I haven't played F1 2021 but F1 2020 is pretty arcadey when compared to something like ACC, but if open wheel racing is a must, go for it. AC I think has a couple of older F1 cars included and there's a ton of mods for other F1 cars too, but it might be harder to find online races for that.

For wheel/pedal combos, would probably recommend either Logitech or Thrustmaster for a few hundred bucks. Once you get past those two brands I feel like it gets exponentially more expensive. I used my old Logitech wheel for ages (Driving Force GT) mounted to my desk and only recently upgraded to a fancy cockpit setup - definitely not necessary but it is a lot more realistic.
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      07-20-2021, 12:18 PM   #3
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Chasebish pretty much nailed it. Iracing offers by far the best online racing, but is the most expensive. I've spent about 1k on it total over the last 10 years. To me it's worth it. It's still way way way cheaper than any real-life racing, so I don't think the subscription is that bad for the hours I get out of it. I don't bother racing online in any other sim, it just doesn't come close and there's no way to police other drivers unless you race in a league.

Assetto Corsa has a huge amount of content for very cheap and is very fun to drive. Get it with all the DLC. Great value. Race with AI and join a league if you want to race online.

The F1 games are fun and the physics are decent enough. Since you're a huge F1 fan, it's worth buying since the title has all the tracks on the calendar, which other games don't have.

The lowest budget wheel/pedal set I'd get would be the offerings from Logitech or Thrustmaster. Use those for a while and as you get more into it, save up for a direct drive wheel and load cell pedals.
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      07-20-2021, 09:52 PM   #4
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I've been on iracing for almost 3 years now. Trick to iracing is to buy your subscription during Black Friday Sale. You can also race rookie cars and their series championships without having to purchase any tracks. You don't have to buy all the cars and tracks. Find a car you want to run and stick with it. Also participate in 8 races during a season (12 races) and you can gain credits to spend on cars and tracks.
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