The best PC VR racing games
indeed, you ’ ve been nice to yourself this Christmas and bought a glazed new VR headset. You ’ ve heard the positives and negatives – more concentration v gesture sickness – and immediately you ’ re looking for some amazing sim racing experiences to blow you away.
Reading: The best PC VR racing games
well, we ’ rhenium here to help, and the pursuit is a number of what we think are the top five racing game VR experiences around. For the purposes of this test, we used the Oculus Quest 2 headset, soon to retail as the Meta Quest 2, which has proven to be one of the most accessible headsets on the market due to its bet on performance and relative affordability .
In the UK this costs £299.99 for the 128GB adaptation, and £399.99 for the 256GB choice .
Project CARS 2
Released in 2017, Project CARS 2 ( PCARS 2 ) garnered golden reviews from fans and critics alike, as it crammed a whole bunch together of racing subject into one personal computer and comfort – from IndyCars to Rallycross. not only that, but it has some of the best changeable weather effects in any game, and it distillery looks big four years after release .
Whether its vehicle treat matches its graphic art is arguable, but after spending some time with PCARS 2 in VR I can flatly say it works enormously well .
I could write a solid article about the things I don ’ thymine like about this game ; a bunch of the cars handle very queerly and some of the engine sounds are unconvincing or fair plain wrong ( looking at you, Ford GT with four cylinders ) .
however, when you find the right car and racetrack combination – plus pick the correct weather and prison term of day – PCARS 2 is an absolute please and a definite must-try for any race fans with a VR headset. The action speeds along fluidly, and even with 20+ AI opponents on the grid it maintains impressive graphic fidelity .
PCARS 2 uses slenderly Mad Studios ’ proprietary MADNESS physics engine, with one of its key features being the sort of dynamic weather never seen before in a race game. Puddles form organically, bamboozle flutters onto your windshield and the sunset over the Ferris bicycle at Le Mans is in truth a sight to behold, doubly so in VR .
Best of all though, it has licenses to use the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ellipse, so you can feel like you ’ re actually in the Indy 500 .
Automobilista 2 ( AMS2 ) uses the lapp MADNESS physics locomotive as Project CARS 2, thus in a lot of ways, the two games are very similar in how they handle and look .
however, AMS2 arguably has the upper hand in terms of physics, having been refined by crack brazilian developers Reiza over the past 18 months. They ’ ve maintained the same jaw-dropping visuals and active weather used by Slightly Mad Studios in their title. AMS2 has less capacity overall, but it feels like there ’ s been a short more attention to detail in what ’ south there .
In terms of VR performance, it matches PCARS 2 in the submergence stakes ; it looks pretty, has some excellent sounds and runs smoothly evening with multiple cars on track. arguably the cover physics are an improvement on PCARS 2, but there still exists a detectable MADNESS locomotive whiff about how the cars behave, and for me, that ’ s not wholly positivist .
As an early-backer of AMS2, I paid $ 99.99/£75 to receive the bet on plus all future DLC, so I ’ thousand invested in this being a great game, but at the here and now I can only recommend it as a fun VR title .
DiRT Rally 2.0
A enormously popular rally title, at the moment DiRT Rally 2.0 ( DR 2.0 ) is the lone focus rally title designed with VR compatibility in thinker. With its genre-leading locomotive notes and impressive weather effects, DR 2.0 sets the benchmark for concentration in tease sims, and arguably, in the race genre as a hale .
Firing through a darkness and showery Welsh forest in the middle of the night, aiming your Group B Metro 6R4 at the next muddy vertex, exhaust note ricocheting off the claustrophobia-inducing trees as you inevitably spin on a branchlet and beach yourself in a ditch .
This is rallying, and in VR you truly do experience all the intuitive thrills. The merely thing that could possibly make the experience more authentic is if Phil Mills were sitting adjacent to you… but it would be a little awkward afterwards when you immediately fire up your Dunfermline Athletic Football Manager save. He ’ second credibly got early places to be after all .
With headman rally sim rival WRC 10 presently without VR compatibility, DiRT Rally 2.0 pretty much has the VR rally market to itself precisely now, but you won ’ triiodothyronine be disappointed by the end results, specially as it has the FIA World Rallycross Championship license, meaning you can unleash your inner Johan Kristofferson in mixed-surface races equally well as rallying against the clock .
I ’ m not going to lie ; I ’ ve never been a huge fan of iRacing. The cost is a fiddling steep, but for me, the cars always feel like they ’ re on the verge of losing handle at any moment, evening more so when I used Logitech gear-driven wheels .
I still enjoy dabbling now and again, but as a drive know, iRacing leaves me feeling a short cold. however, when I fired it up in VR it on the spur of the moment made sense. I no longer had claustrophobia stuck inside that fasten cockpit camera position and felt like I could very lean into the corners and nail the apices .
iRacing besides seems to be well set up for VR – it recognises your headset before booting up a school term and prompts you on whether you want to use it or not, allowing you to scroll the UI as you normally would, then strap on the headset when the race starts .
The great thing about iRacing now is that you can race against AI cars, and this is doubly important for VR users that want to get the bent of using their headset before racing against early people online. In fact, for some big advice on which cars have AI racing implemented, check out our handy guide .
The best thing about iRacing in VR though is that it performs therefore well. I did a back-to-back test of it with Assetto Corsa Competizione ( ACC ), and the differences were stark .
ACC looked blockish, low-res and suffered from slowdown, while iRacing was silky-smooth and retained about as much detail as it had on a monitor. The reproducible framerate in truth keeps the legal action flow, and during my test at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in the Dallara F3, I flush experienced that like nauseating feel at Paddock Hill Bend you get when you hit a real-life compression .
And, of run, it ’ second pretty cool to see iRacing ’ s excellent newly damage model up close…
Released all the room back in 2014, Assetto Corsa ( AC ) was never designed with VR compatibility in beware. however, with the help oneself of Steam VR, it ’ s potential to play the stacks of content Kunos has crammed into AC with utmost concentration. For those unfamiliar with AC – there ’ s bind to be one or two of you left – hera ’ sulfur why we like it a batch.
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In terms of operation, AC runs identical smoothly in VR. naturally, the persona quality takes a bite of a reach on the Quest 2 – it ’ s not a crown of the range VR headset after all – but everything looks tidy and retains a high level of submersion .
regularly discounted, AC is decidedly worth picking up in a sale, along with its huge crop of DLC, including masses of officially-licensed Ferrari and Porsche racing cars .
much like PCARS 2, iRacing and AMS2, AC has modern GT3 racers, supercars, sports cars and Le Mans Prototypes, plus historic vehicles, but doesn ’ thymine have rallycross or ellipse race content. thankfully, the spirit of the cars already present in-game makes up for the relative lack of racing diverseness, although it ’ south become a huge shoot among the drifting residential district, coming with several pieces of drift vehicle and racetrack content .
Richard Burns Rally
It ’ s an ancient call up sim that requires a bit of leg oeuvre to get working in VR, but boy, does it deliver ! I ’ m not going to wax lyrical about how much I love this sim – I ’ ve already done that – but the alone reason this doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate sport in my top five is because of the extra effort required to get it working. Well worth It though !
Live for Speed
What ’ mho Live for Speed ( LFS ) I hear you ask ? Well, it ’ s the race sim old people like me used to play ( true not identical much, as when I started by rights getting into sims around 2010 it was getting a little long in the tooth… )
amazingly, it ’ randomness still in development today and recently gained VR functionality. What is it like to play ? Well, the physics have always been excellent, but the sim is badly let down by a miss of subject .
As a VR experience, you can turn all the graphics settings up to 11 and hush get a smooth know on a mid-range gambling personal computer, but for a plot that began life in 2002, that ’ s hardly a storm .
A very pleasant driving simulator overall though, but difficult to justify when you could buy the stallion circus tent five games for less than it costs to unlock LFS ’ s relatively sparse content. Ouch .
Bonus marks for how easy it was to get working in VR though .
RaceRoom Racing Experience
RaceRoom is a free to play style from the makers of classical sims GTR2 and GT Legends – SimBin. Although the tactile property of the cars can be dissentious, different people prefer different things after all, the main plus point of RaceRoom is that it can be sampled in VR for free .
so, if you don ’ t like it, you ’ re under no duty to buy any more contentedness. In terms of immersion, the big matter RaceRoom has over its competition is the cable car sounds – they ’ rhenium fantastic !
I enjoyed trying it out, but I feel like there are much cheaper and satisfying ways to go about VR virtual race .
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Assetto Corsa Competizione ( ACC ) is my darling sim right now. It pains me to say this, but the VR execution good international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine where it needs to be .
My guess as to why is down to how resource-intensive ACC is. Because of this, I was forced to buy a raw motherboard and CPU as I had a freshet of crippled crashes caused by a processor bottleneck. As a resultant role, the graphics in VR aren ’ thyroxine a pretty as they are on a monitor .
In fact, I let my non-sim racer friend Gordon give it a sound and he remarked “ it looks a snatch jagged, ” and he was proper, it is a bit erose. It ’ s a adult act erose in fact .
not only that, but in certain light conditions – dusk and dawn chiefly – you get a bit of FPS slowdown, which very ruins the immersion. It ’ s a dishonor because ACC has the likely to look incredible in VR .
What we would like to see
Wreckfest and BeamNG.drive
How amazing would these be in VR ? ! badly, think being in a five-car pile-up ; your car wind over and over and all over and up and down and side to side and up and down and over and over…
…ehhh, on second thoughts I ’ ll joint to using a proctor – I love a cinematic car crash, but in truth preceptor ’ t want to star in my own version of Mad Max 2 : welcome to Chunderdome .
The pick of the bunch
VR fits identical nicely into the racing game writing style, and can actually make you a quicker and more consistent driver in some cases. But for most sim racers, VR is an perplex way to create a hale new level of submergence for our niche hobby, and for me gives titles such as Project CARS 2 and Automobilista 2 added measure as a gambling know
Titles that I ’ molarity not a huge fan of in terms of physics, turn out to be excellently-optimised for use in VR .
If I had to pick between PCARS 2 and AMS 2 as VR titles, I ’ five hundred go for PCARS 2 – strictly because as it has a bigger variety of tracks and cars to create convert VR experiences with. I ’ d say AMS2 is the better sim normally, but in contrast to PCARS 2 it was never designed to be as accessible .
DiRT Rally 2.0 is far and off the most complete VR experience for rally fans, then comes top of its own category, but for the most complete sim racing VR know overall – one that combines driving feel, visuals, sounds and contentedness – I ’ vitamin d pick iRacing or Assetto Corsa. If cost is a divisor, then I ’ five hundred choose Assetto Corsa .
Check out some of my sim racing VR experiences !