How to access the NASCAR Heat 5 2022 DLC and what is included

Justin Melillo
NASCAR Heat 5 now has 2022 NASCAR Cup Series content as of 22nd June. Here’s how you can get in on the content and what is included.

On Thursday, 22nd June, Motorsport Games released the 2022 Season Update DLC for NASCAR Heat 5, a title that was released back in 2020 for the 2020 NASCAR season. The new DLC adds the 2022 NASCAR Next Gen car, along with the drivers and teams that competed in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

It costs $9.99 and is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam. The new content is fairly easy to access once it’s been purchased or a code has been redeemed.

Download the DLC through your chosen console’s store, or on the Steam store if you are purchasing for PC gaming.

As it’s been since 2020, when the game launches after the intro scene, you’ll see the NASCAR Heat 5 logo and confetti raining down, where you’ll need to hit X (PlayStation) or A (Xbox) to start the program.

Just like the NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ for the Nintendo Switch, the game will then ask whether you want to play with the 2020 or the 2022 season. The Season 2020 option brings you to the normal area of the game, which has all the existing content before the 2022 update. Season 2022 will bring you to a new area.

It will be a familiar screen, similar to what the normal game looks like but with one less option at launch. The big option on the left is Career Mode. In the middle are Race Now and Race Modes, which includes Championship, Time Trials and Split Screen Multiplayer. On the right is Online Multiplayer and My Driver.

Missing is the option for a custom paint scheme, although this is quite questionable as to why. In Race Now, Championship, Time Trial, Split Screen Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer, a custom car can be selected, showing the driver you can create with a scheme in the back that cannot be edited.

DLC players will get the full 2022 NASCAR Cup roster of drivers and teams, and the ability to race them all in most modes. The only real new track inclusion is the Bristol Dirt Track. Both Nashville Superspeedway and Circuit of the Americas did not make the cut, as didn’t the new edition of Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Career missing features, content

One of the great parts of the NASCAR Heat 5 career was how in-depth it could get, depending on how you took on the challenge. The 2022 Season Update has a career, but a shallow one at that. Only 33 races are on the schedule, what was an original 2020 schedule with some venues removed for some unknown reason.

Also, there is no custom team, which ties into the same questionability as before. The progression through the career keeps talking about new possible sponsors if you were to start your own team, and you make money throughout the process, but you can’t even spend it on anything.

Because this is its own separate part of the title, you can’t even progress from Xtreme Dirt, Trucks or Xfinity from the 2020 season. You just get the 2022 Cup roster, teams and a half-hearted schedule which had no reason to remove any races.

Try a Custom Championship instead

Since most of the key parts of the NASCAR Heat 5 career are not included, we suggest going to Race Modes, then Championship mode instead. This mode will give players the ability to create their own schedule with the tracks included in the game.

Those tracks, such as WWT Raceway at Gateway, Road America, Indianapolis Road Course and a new addition… sort of… in the Bristol Dirt Track, are not found on the 33 race schedule in the career. That same schedule is the first choice of schedule given, but there are other schedules you can choose from as well.

The best part here is that you can make your own schedule and get pretty darn close to what the 2022 NASCAR Cup Schedule actually did look like. Yes, there is no Nashville Superspeedway or Circuit of the Americas, nor is the Atlanta Motor Speedway updated to its current model, but at least you can get the others.

In my custom season, I added a Texas race where COTA should be (ovals are better anyway) and where Nashville SS is supposed to be, I put in a second Homestead-Miami date. Other acceptable options would be Dover (since Nashville took a date from Dover) or perhaps another Charlotte since there’s only one race on the oval.

In reality, you can make whatever schedule you want, add or remove the playoffs, change how long you want the playoffs to be, whatever, it really is the best feature with this new DLC, in my opinion.

Things we hope to see in future updates

Now, we know that this DLC even exists because NASCAR 21: Ignition didn’t do so well, the latest title NASCAR Rivals only released on Nintendo Switch with the 2022 content, and more players of NASCAR games on consoles had moved back to the Heat 5 platform as a result.

So, props for the recognition by the developers and marketing, but considering that it took as long as it did and how much is not included, such as a full Career or custom cars, it’s disappointing.

A more fleshed-out Career would be ideal for those still on the title, as would the ability to have custom cars and teams in career (and the car outside career in the other modes). Also, that schedule in the Career needs to get looked at one more time because I still don’t understand why that decision was made.

Some tracks that you could previously race NASCAR Cup cars on, such as Iowa Speedway and Mid-Ohio, are still on the 2020 side of the game, but were not considered for inclusion with the 2022 update. That means you can’t include them on a custom Championship schedule, unfortunately.

If the 2022 update could somehow integrate into the full game and it not be its own thing with fewer features, that would probably be the most ideal, but it doesn’t look like this will ever be the case. Finally, since it’s already 2023, why not add in the 2023 roster of teams and drivers as a bonus for having to wait so long?

That last part is just wishful thinking, but it would be nice. If you want a more cohesive game with 2022 content, NASCAR Rivals for the Nintendo Switch works. As for NASCAR Heat 5, that’s it, and that’s everything you need to know about the new 2022 DLC for the 2020 title. What are your thoughts on the new content?

Full disclosure – Traxion.GG is part of Motorsport Games and the Motorsport Games family of brands. All Traxion.GG content is editorially removed from Motorsport Games video game development and created by a dedicated team.

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