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      05-12-2020, 01:08 PM   #26
First Lieutenant
United Kingdom

Drives: F32 440i, pre-LCI, w/MPPSK
Join Date: May 2018
Location: UK, Leicester

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Originally Posted by M3GymNut View Post
For those of you that track or drive professionally and have a sim close are the simulations from the real deal? Please be specific if possible I've always been curious.
as a veteran simracer + lots of track experience i feel informed enough to answer this.
The fundamental thing that's missing from simgames is - obviously - the gforces. In reality its mostly the gforces you use to drive a car on the limit and feel those subtle differences in under/oversteer, especially in a stiff race car where you're belted in tight, a lot of info comes through your butt.
In a road car its not as subtle to feel as you're not necessarily strapped tightly in but you're still reliant on the gforces to feel the car movements and do controlled skids.

So - simgames have to convey all the information through only one source - the force feedback system. And that can be broken down into 2 more layers - the strength the wheel is capable of outputting, and how quickly it can turn (how much its internal gearing and mechanisms "dampen" the steering).
Ideally you want a wheel which has a lot of headroom to deliver similar forces to reality - say in the 10-20nM range, possibly more - but also to have minimum internal damping so the wheel (and by extension, you) can quickly react to any oversteer moments.

That's why direct drive wheels are fundamental to a really great simracing experience, i've had mine for 5 years now - it is a huge difference to a non direct drive, which are only capable of 5-8nM. In addition, Belt driven wheels have a ton of internal damping resistance - so just aren't capable of giving a raw and direct level of input that you'd feel if piloting some quick single seater.

The other aspect of simracing which many simgames struggle to capture or portray accurately is what a car is like to drive on the limit - that degree of slip angle which lets you play with the car and move it around on that limit.

iRacing is lauded because its well organised and has dedicated multiplayer and ranking, but its tyre model is a joke and nothing like reality - many real drivers this year especially in indycar have been vocal about this, google around - Joseph Newgarden explained it perfectly on one of his live iracing streams.

The only game that really captures this fundamental aspect of driving is Assetto corsa - it has a tyre model which allows you to play with the car on the limit, to a finer or greater degree depending on the car - and it has an incredible amount of communicative force feedback, no other game comes close to it in that regard. It substitutes 'g force' information through the steering so you can delicately balance the cars in the game.

So to answer your question - assetto corsa gets pretty damn close to reality in many of the fundamnetal aspects of driving, mainly what it feels to have a car on the limit and control under/over steer - and requires pretty much the same inputs as what you'd do in reality to control the car on that limit, provided you do have a decent steering wheel to take full advantage of what the game can offer.

Its worth also referencing how simulations are used in motorsport - and its not for realism, for the most part - its more about driver-in-loop systems where teams will have their own physics and tyre models, and plug them into an already existing graphics engine, so they can test parts and setups virtually. F1 drivers probably find them useful for learning tracks/braking points, but they won't be using them as driver training tools. Its more of an engineer led activity at that level.

So my conclusion is, i suppose - if you're looking to find a realistic experience thats comparable to reality, you do need to fork up the money for a direct drive wheel, which are around 1k, pedals with a load cell brake (250), a VR headset, and play assetto corsa. Anything less than that, and, if you've had track experience and are looking for some kind of virtual substitute, you'll be dissappointed.
If you're looking for an OK driving experience thats not really like doing the real thing, but with a racing element, then sims are fantastic, whatever your wheel.

nothing beats taking a real car out on track! but i'd definitely choose spending time in my simrig over doing go-karting (even decent 2 stroke ones), especially in miserable UK with its weather.

Last edited by gippy; 05-12-2020 at 01:21 PM..