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Question Which is the best game to learn racing?

Apr 18, 2020
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I played some Colin McRae 2 back in the PSX days, and I sucked. To this day, I don't usually play any racing games, but when I do I still suck. I don't have a driver's license and I never actually drove IRL. Now I want to get in to the scene. Which is the best game to start with? It would be particularly good if it has a driving school, drills or at least a driving guide lines on the track to show you how to take a turn or something. It can be any type of racing game, but I enjoy rally games more. Thank you to anyone who answers!
 
Feb 15, 2020
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Well what you are looking for is probably Gran Turismo but of course, thats on PlayStation. You can grab some of the newer Forza's on the Microsoft Store. I picked up Forza Motorsport 7, don't regret it.

Any of the F1 20XX are good picks too. The F1 titles are a little more challenging however due to the speed and how low the automobile is to the ground, not much vision.
 
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Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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I would recommend Forza Horizon 4. You got a lot of settings when it comes to how realistic you want your car to behave. From the getgo, a lot is automated, which makes it quite relaxing to drive around. There are different difficulties in tracks, so you can start with easy ones and move from there.

The best thing about Forza Horizon is that you can basically drive the way you want around in a giant map. You want to focus on jumping and getting better at that? Maybe you want to get a drift car and focus on drifting? Maybe some easy rally or a speed run? Or maybe you just want to customize and change the look on your character and car. You can do it all and much, much more.
 
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Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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The Forza series has always been friendly to beginners. I would recommend the Forza Horizon series if you want a sandboxy experience that still has nice vehicle dynamics (Horizon 4 is awesome), or the Forza Motorsport series if you want more of a simulation with real-world tracks.

If you like rally racing, then DiRT 3 would be a good one to pick up. The newer DiRT Rally games are the best rally games out there but very unfriendly to beginners, so DiRT 3 would be a better way to go there.
 

Rogue Leader

Moderator
Dec 10, 2019
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Agree with the Gran Turismo recommendation, but sucks that its not PC. That series by far has the best training facility.

Otherwise I agree Forza has some good introduction and training to help ease you into gaming. You'll want to avoid games like Project Cars, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, etc all are pretty hardcore and not forgiving. While they do offer driving aids, getting into them is steep. You're better off doing training in something like Forza and learn to not need the help.

You won't learn much of anything in the F1 games, those cars are so far from normal, and the game so far from reality that you'll go to another game and be lost.
 
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Apr 25, 2020
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I would say some car mod for Euro Truck Simulator 2. It exactly like the vanilla game, but in a car. It doens't have the most high-end graphics, but it's as realistic as real life driving. No speeding up, no close drifting, no turbo, no nothing, just driving around and respecting the rules.

I don't know if there's a tutorial, but it helps if you already know the textbook rules, such as indicating, giving way, light traffics, etc...
 
Mar 12, 2020
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If you can get a copy and then get it to work, Midtown Madness from Microsoft would be a good starting point. It sits in between arcade racers and hard-core sims.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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I'd second Euro Truck Simulator 2. It's a lot more true to actual driving than racing. It's also pretty relaxing and pretty cheap.
 
May 8, 2020
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techynickk.com
The one and only Forza Horizon 4, you must try this game. The graphics and cars are fabulous in this game.
I played this game for hours. And it'll definitely help you to learn driving easily.
 
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Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
Dec 20, 2019
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I would say some car mod for Euro Truck Simulator 2. It exactly like the vanilla game, but in a car. It doens't have the most high-end graphics, but it's as realistic as real life driving. No speeding up, no close drifting, no turbo, no nothing, just driving around and respecting the rules.

I don't know if there's a tutorial, but it helps if you already know the textbook rules, such as indicating, giving way, light traffics, etc...
There is Scania Truck Driving Simulator. Basically ETS2, but just challenges as far as I'm aware. In the start it's more about parking and stuff, and it's more about truck driving and car driving, but maybe it could give a decent first impression. It should be the same engine as ETS2 but because it wasn't as succesfull I don't think it's been updated much. Still an option though.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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I know that someone is going to laugh, but Project Cars 2 has some pretty interesting elements for learning.

It has a very clear racing line guide, which changes colour according to your speed.
It allows you to view the fastest laps of each player for each car, which lets you replay their lap to learn their lines and accelerating/braking points.
It also allows you do download their setups to try.

The only thing I have found about PC2 is that it seems to be based entirely on drifting. Which ever car I try, from Karts to open wheelers, they have the same 'win' criteria; you have to kick the back end out like a rally car to drift through corners.
It's not like any kart I've driven, but I've never driven an open-wheeler.

It doesn't help you learn how to set up a car, but there's a lot more going on there, and it is desperately pretty. The weather effects are superb.

I like Assetto Corsa, when it works, as there are a million mods for it for free.

RF2 has to be the daddy for serious sim racing, but again there are a million mods for it. I've not played the Studio 397 version, just the old ISI, but ran that for a decade (ish) with no worries.

Recently I dusted off Race07 - pretty basic by today's standards, but very forgiving for learners. Lots of famous tracks, lots of mods. Retro Metro. Race a Radical around the Nurburgring. Top stuff.

Let the mocking begin.
 

spvtnik1

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I'll also recommend Gran Turismo. Simply for the fact that somewhere within the titles, you can find a car you've actually driven/owned. But also because it's truly a racing simulator.

Personally, I learned to race in Micropose's Grand Prix 1. At about the age of eight or nine.

The Need For Speed: SHIFT titles are good too. Yet, at a certain point, if you want to learn how to race, you'll want to invest in the proper input devices, like one might want to with a flight simulator.
 

Rogue Leader

Moderator
Dec 10, 2019
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The Need For Speed: SHIFT titles are good too. Yet, at a certain point, if you want to learn how to race, you'll want to invest in the proper input devices, like one might want to with a flight simulator.
I have to disagree on Shift, both games had some weird physics and vehicle dynamics issues that encouraged driving habits that just don't make sense anywhere else.
 

spvtnik1

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I have to disagree on Shift, both games had some weird physics and vehicle dynamics issues that encouraged driving habits that just don't make sense anywhere else.
I agree. But it is accessible, SHIFT2 is on sale for $5 right now (normally $20), where as Project Cars lists on Steam for $30. Project Cars 2 lists at $60. Add a gamepad on top of that and now we're heading towards an investment. For the sake of learning how to take compound and reverse curves, it's a good place to start. I also really like how you have access to stock cars, and can upgrade them all the way up to GT racing beasts. Plus any racing game that includes Nürburgring wins my heart over. If you don't learn something trying to master the green hell, then racing isn't for you.

Honestly though, if you really want to dive in to it, iRacing is probably the best choice. It's just that you're going to need to shell out for a wheel and pedals then. And it looks like you are mostly limited to professional track cars. One of my favorite things about SHIFT is just taking a stock or lightly customized car through some laps.
 

Rogue Leader

Moderator
Dec 10, 2019
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I agree. But it is accessible, SHIFT2 is on sale for $5 right now (normally $20), where as Project Cars lists on Steam for $30. Project Cars 2 lists at $60. Add a gamepad on top of that and now we're heading towards an investment. For the sake of learning how to take compound and reverse curves, it's a good place to start. I also really like how you have access to stock cars, and can upgrade them all the way up to GT racing beasts. Plus any racing game that includes Nürburgring wins my heart over. If you don't learn something trying to master the green hell, then racing isn't for you.

Honestly though, if you really want to dive in to it, iRacing is probably the best choice. It's just that you're going to need to shell out for a wheel and pedals then. And it looks like you are mostly limited to professional track cars. One of my favorite things about SHIFT is just taking a stock or lightly customized car through some laps.

Yes good points. My negative for iRacing is games like Assetto Corsa and even Project Cars have way better Physics and Tire modeling (AC and ACC completely blow away iRacing) and iRacing nickel andd dimes you to death. That said its advantage is nobody does online racing better. Its ability to set up races, leagues, tournaments, etc is unparalleled.

Arguably though the best value and accessibility in this case is really Assetto Corsa, its $20 on Steam, has the best tire and physics, and theres a massive community of free mods with thousands of cars from junkers to race cars available as well as tracks.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Fanatical has bundles of steam games

fanatical.com/ en /bundle /reaper-bundle-3

This one includes F1 2018 and V Rally 4 in the 10 games, all for £4.89. Bargain.

I hate the clunky interface of F1 2018, and the fact that it doesn' t use a mouse!!!!! but the practise session tasks in career mode are genius, even if sometimes they make me scream with frustration. Added to the superb racing line guide, it has made me so much faster around Tilke (ptuh) tracks and (heurgh) street tracks where I've always struggled.

Also, I like that even when I put the AI at 40%, it still pushes me to achieve any position; it hasn't been a walk in the park.
I can't imagine racing it at 100%.

VRally is a bit too console for me; the track physics are risible, even if most of the time the game is a giggle. The scenery and cars are gorgeous, though it's scope is limited.

Once Dirt Rally is less than a fiver, I'll give that a go and it'll probably be better suited to me.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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The Steam sale now has Dirt Rally 2 with the Colin McRae set for much cheapness. I love it.

F1 2019 and RF2 were also cheap.

I will be sending my wife and daughter pictures, so they don't forget what I look like...
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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After going to the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco in 2015 I started following the sport. A big part of understanding the rules, tire allotment, and the overall structure of race seasons and each race weekend came from playing F1 2016. As @WelshAL mentioned above F1 2019 is cheap and really all of the games in the series from 2016 on are great.

Many of my friends also play iRacing which seems to be a pretty involved racing sim as well. I have not tried it though, usually spend my time in F1 when I decide to get back on the track.
 
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Nov 15, 2020
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I wouldn't recommend F1 titles for the simple reason F1 cars being so fast are automatically intimidating even with aids on for someone as raw on racing games as the OP. Something with slower cars in a city setting would be ideal because slower cars and relatable surroundings as opposed to a rocket on a narrow race track. Midtown Madness 1 or 2 are now freeware it seems as you can get them here. Otherwise GTA 5 is the next best option. Once you get comfortable in those, you can try going to games where lines, apex, cornering techniques come into play.
 
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