Sometimes, words are not enough when it comes to explaining why RaceRoom Racing Experience is so enjoyable. But, I’m going to try.
To be clear, I am not saying it’s the best overall sim racing platform, as I think there is no such thing.
Everyone has their own measurements of how they consider a ‘sim’ to be the best or great. For some, it’s realism or fun or simply just something that they can’t quite put their finger on.
To me, RaceRoom is not just the most fun, but it also has a great blend of realism and enjoyment.
You have many realistic elements such as fuel usage, tyre wear, mechanical wear and dirty air (very low level, admittedly), which I believe is all you need.
Now, is RaceRoom perfect? No, it’s not, but then again, arguably no platform is. They all have their own nagging issues that either cannot be fixed or require a complete physics overhaul.
But, I think RaceRoom has filled a gap in the market where, at heart, it’s the easiest to just load up and play, with the least possible number of roadblocks to going fast and giving the competition something to worry about.
On that theme, one element that works in RaceRoom’s favour is the free-to-enter model. To start with, you’ve got a lovely selection of cars, ranging from the Saleen S7R race car to lower-end Formula cars, the Lada Vesta touring car, and, of course, the outrageously fast Hillclimb cars and five tracks.
That is rather zesty, but the entirety of the content available on top of that is mind-boggling. Dozens of licenced cars, tracks and championships over the years of hard work from the small team at Sector3 (now KW) Studios.
In my opinion, if you want to enjoy anything in life, you have to like what you are doing. You must be satisfied and gratified. I have been sim racing competitively since 2005 and was on the rFactor online beta way back then. I used the platform for years after its full release, which, in my opinion, was the ultimate sim – with a perfect mix of fun, versatility, cost, and user-friendliness.
RaceRoom, which can trace its lineage back to the Race – The World Touring Car Championship Game in 2006, I believe has not only carried on the legacy of that original ‘Race’ title, but is also now on the same level as what rFactor meant to me, and it’s easy to see why.
In today’s age, sim racing is increasing in cost. iRacing, rFactor 2 and RaceRoom all have licenced products, but they are generally cheaper for the latter. You can buy entire car packs and track packs for less than the cost of a couple of cars on iRacing.
The variety is also incredible. From the Formula 1-based ‘FR 17’ to the wonderful sounding Mercedes 1995 DTM race car, or the nimble Porshe Cayman and everything in between. You not only have a great selection of cars and tracks, but the acoustics of the cars are immersive too. You can tell every car apart just by its sound.
You can be fast on the platform whether you have an Ascher Racing wheel with Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ or an entry-level Logitech G29. With versatile controller settings and adjustable force feedback, there is no real pace difference regardless of the equipment you are using. If you’ve got a wheel and pedal set, you have the chance to be competitive in RaceRoom.
A huge incentive is the number of competitions that have been held over the last few years. The plethora of LAN events, championships, plus the driver quality has been outstanding. With names such as ADAC, DTM, Cupra and WTCR all getting involved at certain points, it really gives the game the validation it deserves.
The leaderboard mode is not to be sniffed at either. You can compete there through the featured leaderboard competitions that RaceRoom puts out on a weekly basis. You drive for a mix of bragging rights, Virtual RaceRoom Points (in-game currency) or to qualify for one of the prestigious championships.
Or you can go into a separate leaderboard mode where you can pick and choose any combination you like, and most likely, every car/track combo will have people on there to challenge.
As we are talking about leaderboards, not only can you compete with over 5,000 people – depending on what’s at stake for said leaderboard – but you can also have the ghost lap of whoever you are trying to beat on screen whilst you are driving along.
Whether you are in 1,000th place or fifth, it’s a fantastic tool to learn braking points and learn from a rival.
Plus, you can also enter some of the leading competition leaderboards without having to either buy the car or track. Sure, you must if you want to drive offline, but on the leaderboard itself, you can drive to your heart’s content for free.
When you do manage to qualify for a top-level competition, several are unique compared to the official series that we see on other platforms. The main reason is that some are fixed set-ups only. It all comes down to the driver and the car they are in.
No messing about with the camber angles of damper rebounds means that if you have a very busy life away from the rig, you don’t need to spend 20 hours to get the set-up nailed.
You can spend an hour, or even less, getting on the track and, maybe at most, adjusting the brake bias or traction control.
This also helps spectators, as you witness extremely close racing and very little time separates first to last.
One last point as to why I find RaceRoom so enjoyable: it’s very forgiving when battling people. It’s not like iRacing, where ‘net code’ errors can change how a battle is shaping up and send someone off the track through fantom impacts, or like Assetto Corsa Competizione or rFactor 2, where the lightest touch can cause significant damage.
RaceRoom has it right, where that age-old saying “rubbin’s racing” comes true. You can race people hard and fair, have some contact and no one is hurt, no damage occurs, and again, for the viewers, it makes for intense racing. The very best duke it out without having to worry about the condition of their car through a tiny touch to the bumper.
These are probably not all the reasons why RaceRoom is so much fun for me, there will always be more, smaller, details, but I think I have conveyed the gist of its appeal. Anyway, if you haven’t, be sure to download it for free and give it a go. You will not regret it!
Jack Keithley is a professional racing esports competitor for Williams Esports. He’s won races in several of the highest-level RaceRoom championships and was the 2021 REMUS GT3 champion on the platform.