Skills and Knowledge
Choosing the Right Sim Racing Game: Assetto Corsa vs. iRacing
Published January 2024 by Track Manual Team
In the world of sim racing, two games have earned their top places in the community: Assetto Corsa and iRacing. While both are recommended by the Track Manual team and are highly realistic, to choose between the two is more on what the driver wants to accomplish than which is better.
In the world of sim racing, two games have earned top stripes in the community: Assetto Corsa and iRacing. Both games come highly recommended by the Track Manual team and are highly realistic. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on what the driver wants to achieve, rather than one being objectively better than the other. Let us explain.
Assetto Corsa: The Comprehensive Single-Player Racing Experience
1. Realistic Physics and Diverse Road Racing Content
Assetto Corsa is renowned for its realistic physics and satisfying driving experience. Immersive sim setups can fully exploit this, providing detailed feedback to the driver.
The game also offers a diverse array of cars and tracks, catering to both casual enthusiasts and serious sim racers. Whether you want to master Euro hatchback racing or professional GT3 series, it’s all there.
2. Modding Community
Something that sets Assetto Corsa apart from all other sim racing games and a big reason for its widespread popularity is its active modding community. This community is responsible for building both real-life and fictional cars and tracks, most being available for free. This opens up endless driving possibilities for racers.
The mods go beyond just cars, also allowing users to tweak the physics and closely simulate any condition or type of vehicle.
3. Single Player Focus and Career Mode
For those who enjoy single-player challenges more than online play, Assetto Corsa shines with its various single-player modes and a career mode that adds a level of progression to the racing experience. These modes allow the driver to practice anytime with no need for high-speed internet connectivity.
That’s not to say Assetto Corsa doesn’t have solid multiplayer modes, but they are less refined than iRacing’s. Single-player is where this game shines.
4. Assetto Corsa vs. Assetto Corsa Competizione
The original Assetto Corsa (Ultimate Edition) is what we recommend, with its huge variety of content and robust modding community. Assetto Corsa Competizione can be considered as a GT3 and GT4-focused expansion with better graphics and no modding community.
iRacing: The Pinnacle of Competitive Online Multiplayer Racing
1. Competitive Multiplayer and Structured Races
iRacing is synonymous with competitive online multiplayer racing, even used by top professional racers like Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. This game emphasizes structured and organized races against real people through a matchmaking system, with incentives to race cleanly. It’s as close as you get to legit motorsports in the digital world.
2. Subscription Model and Structured Racing Series
Operating on a subscription model, iRacing involves a monthly fee, but it grants access to a continually evolving collection of cars and tracks. The game's focus on realism extends to licensed content from real-world racing series, such as the Toyota GR Cup.
However, the monthly fee doesn’t grant access to everything. Certain racing series or tracks require the player to the respective car and track separately.
3. Realistic Racing Conditions and Skill Progression
Both iRacing and Assetto Corsa have realistic physics, but iRacing's commitment to realism extends past that into mirroring real-world racing conditions as closely as possible.
A core mechanic of the game is the safety rating. Players need to improve their rating to progress through the career ladder and be eligible for more races, and poor behavior is punished. This promotes fair and respectful racing among its dedicated community and does a large part to prevent the trolling and dive bombing that overrun other multiplayer online racing games.
Making Your Choice
- Assetto Corsa involves a one-time purchase, making it budget-friendly with a huge amount of free community-generated content to expand the experience.
- iRacing's subscription model with purchasable add-ons makes it the far more expensive option, but it’s by far the best competitive online motorsports experience.
- Assetto Corsa suits those looking for a solo experience and online racing only in a more casual sense. Great for learning tracks and practicing your driving technique with different cars.
- iRacing appeals to those hungry for competitive multiplayer racing and structured events. The keen focus on motorsport series and a relative lack of content compared to Assetto Corsa emphasizes that iRacing is a sporting platform, not just a simulation game.
In conclusion, the choice between Assetto Corsa and iRacing boils down to your personal racing preferences. Whether you're captivated by the content diversity of Assetto Corsa or enticed by the structured competitiveness of iRacing, both games offer an exhilarating journey into the world of virtual motorsports. So, buckle up and hit the virtual tarmac!