Nowadays we are regularly seeing games being developed and improved over time, rather than simply replaced. This is especially true when it comes to modern simulation-based titles, and in terms of ageing, RaceRoom Racing Experience is among the finest of wines.
Initially launched back in 2013, this Sector3 Studios effort for PC users has flown under the metaphorical radar for some time now, but as soon as consumers seem to turn away, they hit back with big improvements and updates.
One recent example of this was a major force feedback update, which has been met with widescale praise from racing games fans, many of whom consider RaceRoom to be one of the go-to sims.
However, before this force feedback tweak, we had another major update, one that sets the wheels in motion for this title to take on the giants of the online racing industry. Ranked Multiplayer Mode.
What is RaceRoom Ranked Multiplayer?
Ranked Multiplayer mode in RaceRoom is a way of racing online against similarly skilled opponents by progressing through skill and safety ratings.
If you are a sim racing fan, then there is a good chance you will be aware of the way the likes of iRacing and GT Sport work when it comes to online racing. Assetto Corsa Competizione also contains a ranked competition mode of sorts, albeit very basic in comparison to the other two.
It feels like RaceRoom has set out to try and fill the void for PC users that GT Sport already fills for PlayStation users, between being overly complicated but still having depth. Currently still in Beta form, it isn’t as complex or vast as the iRacing ecosystem but is more accessible.
How RaceRoom Ranked Multiplayer works
When you launch RaceRoom, the menu will often appear with a table on the right, and this is your ranked multiplayer mode schedule. If you can’t see this, then visit the Multiplayer section and tick the ‘Only Ranked’ checkbox.
This area is then split into Daily Ranked races and an individual weekly Special Event. Much like many other major ranked modes, you have two main scores you will need to build in order to move through the different series.
First, there is a Reputation Rating that takes into account the safety of your driving and your ability to race cleanly and avoid incidents. Then we have the ‘rating’ Rating… This one is about your race results and therefore speed. There is a third score too (an Activity Rating) that is simply based on your level of participation.
Everybody starts in the Rookie servers, highlighted in green, where you can compete with no minimum reputation and on fixed setups. Race cleanly and your reputation will increase, allowing you to compete in the Am and Pro servers, highlighted in grey.
Am races require a minimum of 75 Reputation (which you can achieve after one or two clean races by the way) and Pro servers require a minimum reputation of 80.
The dark blue server is a collaborative server between RaceRoom and a variety of content creators, who each get their chance to select the car and track combination for the upcoming week.
The three light-blue servers at the bottom of the daily ranked races signify longer form endurance races rather than sprints. Some of these servers might be Am, some might be Pro.
Lastly, at the bottom, we have the weekly Special Events. This only runs once per week (on a Wednesday), and you can enter a different lobby depending on your reputation and ranking level.
When does the RaceRoom Ranked Multiplayer setlist change?
The car and track combinations in RaceRoom are switched up every Thursday (around mid-day in European time), and certain servers run 24/7. So, no matter what time you want to jump on and have a race, you will be able to do so. Just hope there are others with the same mindset as you….
It’s worth pointing out as well that there are different servers covering three major regions; Asia, America and Europe, so no more getting wiped out by someone on the opposite side of the planet thanks to lag.
How is the RaceRoom Rating calculated?
Much like many other big racing titles, an ELO System is used to determine your scores. This considers the relative ratings of your competitors for each race.
So, if you win a race against 10 drivers with very low ratings compared to yours, your own rating might not increase much, whereas if you had the lowest rating on the grid and managed a top-five finish, your rating will likely increase significantly.
Here’s an example. I finished second behind my friend in a Rookie server race we did together, but as he’s ranked inside the top 10 on the global leaderboard and I had never done a race before. Therefore, my rating increased significantly more than theirs.
The RaceRoom Global Leaderboard explained
Your rating gives you a ranking on the RaceRoom Global Multiplayer Leaderboard. It’s a bit of a pain to find at the moment, which will likely be sorted in due course, but for now, just search for RaceRoom Ranked Leaderboard on your favourite search engine and you should find it.
By having a specific ranking, you can set targets for yourself, battle against friends or try and become the best RaceRoom player in the world, a fact which you could back up with statistics. Sweet! Speaking of statistics…
RaceRoom also allows you to track your progress and review all of your scores and results. You can do this via the in-game portal, or by visiting the RaceRoom website and logging in to your account.
The RaceRoom pricing structure
I think it’s time we discussed the Achilles’ heel, the one thing that makes full accessibility to RaceRoom a little difficult for some, and that’s the pricing structure. With RaceRoom, getting the game itself is free, but you have to buy most of the content and as this is regularly updated with new cars and tracks, it can be difficult to stop spending money.
One can argue that it’s no different to buying yearly releases, and I get that argument as the game is continually improving, but it’s still a sore point for some. This is great when you want to jump on for a brief bit of fun with the free base game content, or even the superbly valued starter pack.
But if you want to compete regularly in the upper echelons of ranked mode, you will need to be purchasing more content, otherwise, you will be limited to the events where you already own both the car and the track. Thankfully, RaceRoom has addressed this, by ensuring that at least one, and often two Rookie servers only use starter pack and free base game content, meaning that for the price of a decent portion of fish and chips, you will always be able to race something.
It has also ensured that despite the rotation of cars and tracks every Thursday, some series stay the same. GT3s, for example, are ever-present as far as I can tell, meaning that realistically, you aren’t forced to spend large sums of your hard-earned to take part, even if your variety is limited and you still need to purchase the odd track.
Then, if you really enjoy the experience, you can make the decision if and when to spend a bit more money and move through the different series.
Essentially, what all of this means is you are able to have your very own online racing career with structure, variety and progression, all within the confines of one game mode on RaceRoom. Marvellous!
There’s just one thing left to do – check it out for yourself. If you want to see how I got on with some Rookie server racing, watch the video embedded at the top of this article and as always, keep checking Traxion.GG for the latest RaceRoom updates and news.
Don’t forget, the 2021 ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship within RaceRoom is live on Traxion.GG YouTube Channel.