iracing

Discussion in 'Sim Racing' started by Fordracing7, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Fordracing7

    Fordracing7 Team Owner

    I'm curious if anybody does iRacing or knows anything about it obviously I've heard of it before but never really looked into it.
     
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  2. Clutch

    Clutch Team Owner

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  3. kkfan91

    kkfan91 You tried your best and failed miserably

    About 3 or 4 of us are into, stop by the sim racing forum on here
     
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  4. RowdyBusch

    RowdyBusch Crew Chief

    I've had the itch to try Iracing lately but I have yet to see a reasonably priced wheel/pedal setup anywhere.
     
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  5. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    I would like to know how much it cost to participate. How much does adequate hardware cost, including PC, wheel, seat, pedals etc.
    And the overall time commitment, plus is there a schedule commitment to keep.
     
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  6. Wrangler1

    Wrangler1 Team Owner

    Seconded and I would also like to know if there are novice leagues or races that do not require die hard enthusiasts.
     
  7. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    Building a new PC can be as expensive as you want it to be. I built mine for about $1500 almost 5 years ago and it is just now starting to be long in the tooth.
    It all depends on what you want your setup to be. If you already have a monitor and speaker system/headphones, you could get by for about $800 on the low end and $1200 on the higher end. A $1200 computer would allow you to have great graphics on a single monitor with nearly top of the line CPU, SSD, HDD, RAM, etc. It would be a really nice setup for someone just getting in. The wheel and pedals are a must and you can typically find lower end gear for about $150.

    I am more than willing to help you build your own computer if you are interested in that. There are many many people on the forums that also offer help. Michael Main Performance Computers is the "go to" guy if you want someone else to build you a computer for iracing and support it and all that, but he runs a business so it will cost you a little extra.

    My computer still uses an i5-2500k, 8GB of RAM, a GTX-560TI GPU, and old speakers. I don't have a microphone, and I use a Logitech Driving Force GT wheel and pedal combo (the best cheapo wheel and pedal combo out there).

    The computer, monitors, and racing wheels will be your biggest investments. When comparing them to buying a race car, they are very cheap.
     
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  8. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    So here is how it works, you must purchase a subscription to be able to race with the minimum content. Subscriptions cost about $10 a month, but they always have deals so I think you can race for your first 3 months for a total of $10. They have yearly deals where you can get a year's subsription for $49 or two years for $99 I think.
    There is also a chance to recoup some of that by racing in what they call "offical" races. I will explain more later, but just remember that you can collect up to 10 dollars per season, for a total of $40 dollars per year to spend on the service, or cars, or tracks, etc.

    So I'm sure the iracing website describes what you get with minum content so go over there and you can see all the tracks and cars you get. There are cars and tracks that are not part of the minimum content, i.e. Daytona. You must purchase the track in order to race on it. Tracks typically go for about $15. The cool cars are the same way. You must purchase the cars to use and they run about $10. Once you purchase them you never have to buy them again. There is a 10% discount if you buy 3 items together, 20% discount if you buy 6 items together, and I think 25% if you decide to buy everything at the same time, (no one does this because it would cost a boatload since there is so much content now).

    The bottomline is that if you join the service you will start out driving the street stock or classic Ford Midget car until you can get the appropriate license to race the other cars.

    The service is broken down into two types of racing, oval and road. You get two ratings for each type of racing, one is called SR for safety rating, and one is called iR for iRating. The SR is used as a license. The higher your license the more cars you are able to race with. This means that you can buy any car including the NASCAR Sprint Cup car, but you can't race it until you have an A license. You can still practice with it and test with it, but you can't join an official race. The SR starts with a Rookie license (which is where all new subscribers start) and it goes up to D, then C, B, A, etc. There are also Pro Licenses if you get really good and race a lot.
    The iRating is just a simple evaluation of how you have done in your past races. It starts at 1000 points and goes as high as you can get it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is somewhere in the 9k or 10k range. Basically, if you finish an "official" race in the top half then your rating will go up. If you win the race it might go up by 100 points, if you come in last, it might go down 100 points and if you finish 5 out of 10, you might gain 10 points.

    More to come...
     
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  9. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    So here is what I mean by official races. The service is setup to where it offers "official" series or leagues. These are series where anyone can join and you can enter as many races as you want. Don't think of them really as leagues but groups. (Hard to explain until you are there).
    Anyway, a race becomes official if you have the minimum number of people in the race. For the rookie level, I believe the minimum number of racers is 4, for the A level series, it is 6.
    Each series runs 12 weeks long, if you race in one official race for 8 of the 12 weeks, then you receive your cash bonus of up to $10. I think it is $4 for each Rookie, D, and C level, and $7 for each B or A level. You can only get a max of $10 per 12 week period. On the 13th week, they do different crazy racing like figure 8 stuff or multiclass racing with the cup and truck series, whatever. Most of the week 13 stuff does not count toward your iR. In addition to the crazy racing, this is the week in which they roll out updates to the game. So every 13 weeks there is new content released, and fixes made to the service.

    More about the racing.
    Races are only held every hour for the rookies and every other hour for the higher levels. (it gets intense sometimes and people get upset so they need time to cool down.) Races last only a couple of minutes depending on the series you are in. Rookie races last about 15 mins each, and A level races last 60 mins each. There are other series that race full length races. If you want to start or join an unofficial league, there are servers available to do that on and you don't need any kind of license unless the league requires it. I think it also costs a 25 cents or something like that to start a race on the servers. If you join, you probably won't be on the servers much, just in the official races.
    Outside of the official races they have testing or practice which are both included with the subscription, i.e. you don't have to pay. Practice is where most people hang out. You can share setup ideas, you can train together, or do whatever. Anyone can join any practice session. You don't need a license to join. Practice servers are open 24/7. They tend to make practice sessions 2 hours long so as to reset the timing and weather conditions and rubber build up etc. But before the 2 hour session is up there is already 3 other practice sessions going on so you can just jump into the next session and keep practicing. Testing is just that. It is you and your car only, on the track. Do whatever you want. Take the car offroad if you like within the confines of the track. Some guys on the service actually make crazy and funny videos of cars flying through the air in a practice session.

    more to come...
     
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  10. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    So here is how things will go if you decide to join. Let's say you are interested in the oval racing portion of the service.
    You join for 3 months and get just the minimum content.
    You will start by utilizing the classic Ford midget. The first thing you do, is setup the service. Get the graphics configured, get you wheel and pedals configured, sound, mic, etc.
    Next you will enter a practice session. From there you can go to the garage or enter the track. In the garage, you can adjust things like tire pressures and camber. (It gets much more complicated when you get to the higher level cars.) In the garage, since you have no idea what you are doing, iracing has provided a baseline setup. You load the baseline setup and decide to hit the track. This week's track is Lanier. (The track changes each week in the official series) It is a small .25 mile oval. Your car starts out in the pits. You pull away from your pit making sure not to speed on pit road. If you speed, you will have to do a stop and go, or pull over and restart. You make it out of the pits, and do a few laps and feel like you are ready to race.
    The race stars in 5 mins so get ready because there are no bathroom brakes! (Sometimes after a few beers and in a 60 min race you wish you could pause.)
    Anyway, you enter the race session and it is the same thing as practice. You can go to the garage or put yourself on the starting grid. The race starts with or without you so don't miss the starting grid. Let's say you are happy with your setup and go right to the grid. You are placed on the grid by qualifying time (you will figure out how to qualify on your own) or irating (some people choose not to qualify). Now everyone has joined, there are a total of 8 guys in this race session but there were 3 race sessions and everyone was put into different "splits". So there were a total of 24 racers that signed up to race, but since you are a rookie, the races max out at 8 guys per race. Higher licenses allow for larger fields, i.e. Multiclass can have up to 60 cars in the same race. Anyway, the 24 rookie drivers are automatically sorted by irating first highest to lowest. The 8 guys that have the highest irating were put into the first split, next 8 went into 2nd split, and last 8 went into the 3rd split. If there were 25 guys that signed up, then the races would have been split up into groups of 6 with the top split having a 7th.
    So back to racing, you start out on the grid behind the pacecar. The pacecar does one lap under caution, and then it is green flag. In the rookie series, I don't think there are any caution flags. The race is only 10 or 15 laps long. The whole goal in the rookie series is to get your SR license up to a D level. The only way to do that is by not running into anything. This sounds easy, but when you are racing against other guys that have no idea what they are doing, or kids that just want to have fun, it becomes really difficult. So when you are in your rookie cars, don't focus on racing anyone, just focus on not hitting anyone. It doesn't matter if you are 5 laps down, just don't hit anything. Then your SR will go up and you can graduate to the D level. Once in the D level you can pick a new car that is more sophisticated, and the racing is much better. If you screw up in the D level though and wreck a bunch of times you get demoted back to the Rookie level. SR is basically a calculation of how many corners you have made it safely through, i.e. corners per incident. Shorter races mean the stakes are higher. Rookie races are the shortest so safe driving is the most important thing. At the A level, races are much longer, so racing is more important than safety. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to progress to an A license.

    As you move up in license the cars and tracks are no longer part of the base subsription. So if you continue down the oval path, once you get to the D level, you will probably need to purchase a few tracks in order to compete in the whole 12 week series. Again you only need 8 weeks to get your bonus so you don't need to buy tracks you don't like. Once you get to the C level you will need to purchase a new car, most likely the NASCAR truck series car. The truck series in iracing tries to follow the truck series in NASCAR. So if you don't have any of the NASCAR tracks, you will need to purchase them. But, once you go to the B series, you will only need to purchase the B car because the trucks and B car race on the same tracks that you have already purchased. Same thing goes for the A series. It uses the Cup car and the Cup tracks.

    The service also has a road side that follows the same structure but with different cars and tracks. Some tracks are applicable to both road and oval, i.e. watkins glen is a very popular track and is used on almost every series road or oval. Daytona has a very good road course and is also used on almost every series.
    There is so much content you could drive oval one hour and road the next. You could be in California one minute and Germany the next. The possibilities are endless.

    More to come...
     
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  11. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    Here is the bad news.
    The rookie series sucks and it is extremely frustrating. Get out as soon as you can. Everyone on the service has been there so there is no use in complaining. Just drive the track and try not to hit anything.

    The up front costs are high because you own no cars and no tracks that you actually want to drive. That being said, I probably have $800 worth of content that I have purchased over 6 years. $600 of that probably came in the first 2.5 years but I now own 85% of the content and get 20% off anything I purchase in the future.

    This game is extremely addicting especially at the lower levels because you are so motivated to make it to the higher levels and want to do it as quickly as possible.
    This game takes a lot of time to be good at. The Pro level drivers are usually a part of teams and spend hours practicing and developing their setups. They have massive computers with multiple screens and thousands of dollars spent on wheels, pedals, and motion rigs. They use telemetry and are extremely competitive.

    There are some not so nice people on the service that don't care about racing or crashing other people. It happens on every game on the market. Everyone makes mistakes but it can be really frustrating. The other night I went from 3rd to 8th because some jerk decided to completely dive bomb everyone and I got the bad end of the deal. It happens, I was pissed, nothing you can do about it. There is a protest system but it is really only there for repeat offenders and extreme violators. So if you try to drive backwards and wreck the field, they will boot you. They have suspended guys from the service for weeks or just all together. But you had to do something really stupid to get that suspended.

    The physics are top of the line to the point that real NASCAR racers use it. The graphics are average compared to games on consoles though they are getting better each season.

    You really can't race off line. If you lose your internet connection, you are kind of shut out. If you have a poor internet connection, this is probably not the service for you. The most important part is to have a steady connection and not necessarily the fastest connection.

    More to come...
     
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  12. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    My advice if you are interested in trying the service is this;
    If you have a computer that can run the service even on the minimum specs, give it a try. You can probably get a used wheel and pedals off of craigslist or ebay. Get the bare minimum equipment and try the service. Better would be to find a friend with the service and have them show you around and let you try it out.

    Once you have the minimum to get the service up and running, give it a 3 month try. You will be addicted within 3 weeks. Then start saving your money and build a good computer. Build it yourself because your money goes a lot further. Computers are easy to build and there is tons of info on how to do it online. Go to youtube, search for it, find forums. I will even walk you through it. If you can screw in a lightbulb, you can build a computer.

    Next, save your money for an average wheel and pedal combo. Doesn't need to be top of the line, but you will want something with force feedback. Logitech and Thrustmaster are great entry brands. Fanatec and Accuforce are high end brands that are expensive. A more expensive wheel does not mean you will be a better driver. Load Cell pedals will improve your driving by being more consistent but not a better driver overall.

    3 screens are optional. I use one 23" monitor and have had it for 6 years. When I decide to upgrade, I think I am going to go to one 40" or 50" tv monitor. A lot of poeple like the 3 screen thing, a lot of people are already moving to VR. I'm old school, I just want one large screen.

    Figure out what your goals are in iracing. Do you want to race the Cup cars or just stay in the trucks? What about staying in the D level series and using it as practice until you can purchase your own real race car and drive at your local track? The bottomline is, if you know where you are going, you will spend less money on cars and tracks you don't want.
     
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  13. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    When I started iracing, I went the cheapo route until I could build my own computer. I still use a cheapo wheel and pedals. Unfortunately, life gets in the way of iracing! lol. Today, I only have time to race about once a week. Back in the day before I got married, I raced about 3 times a week or so.

    I started on the oval side and progressed as quickly as I could to get to the Cup cars. I raced a few seasons there and then got bored so I went to the road side. I slowly went up the road side because I was getting my butt kicked most of the time. The foreigners really know how to drive the road courses. I really enjoy the multiclass racing on the road side. The Cup cars surprisingly mimic the product on tv. So last year with the higher down force package, it was almost impossible to pass on iracing. This year, with the lower down force a lot of guys are having trouble controlling their cars. We are at Dover this week in iracing and it is a lot of fun.

    One of the best road cars is the skippy. I still race that one quite often.
    One of the best oval cars is the truck series. It is a lot less complicated than the cup car.
    One of the things I like best about the series is that I have a chance to drive cars in the sim that I will never be able to drive in real life but I might be able to one day. Like the corvette, or audi R8, or Ford GT, or the cup cars. It really is a lot of fun and I think it is as realistic as it gets right now. The only thing you don't feel are the G forces and thank god for that because I don't want to be in a car wreck at 180mph. Iracing is the perfect balance between fun and real racing.
     
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  14. Wrangler1

    Wrangler1 Team Owner

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