F1 McLaren racer Lando Norris on his home simulator
F1 McLaren racer Lando Norris on his home simulatorLando Norris

Sim Racing, simplified

Our recommendations for building a simulation racing rig to deal with the lockdown blues

We are all confined to our homes and there’s only so many times that we can watch that on board footage of our favourite rally/race driver sprinting through a rally stage or on a racetrack. We need to drive. But the ongoing lockdown means that we need to stay indoors.

There has to be a solution!

You've heard of sim racing, right?

Over the years, sim racing has come a long way and what you once dismissed as just an expensive way of playing your favourite racing game has turned into an entire new genre of gaming.

There are now scores of games specifically made for sim racing and it’s easier than ever to have your own sim racing setup when you want to kill a few hours (or weeks) at home.

There are a variety of routes one can take, but for the sake of easy adoption we will stick to the easiest. Without a doubt, for serious gamers who want to experience sim racing at it’s best, you need a PC based setup. In fact some of the best sim games are only available on PC. The adjustability and customisations available on a PC based setup are endless and sim racing professionals, of which Lando Norris is one, prefer a PC based setup. Titles like iRacing and rFactor are lauded for their realistic physics and even F1 teams use it - rFactor Pro allows teams to feed in their own custom values for a driving experience that closely mimics F1 cars.

But most of us possess scarcely little by the way of sim racing talent and titles like that might be too overwhelming. Instead, it’s console based setups that might be just right for the casual sim racer.

Without further ado, here’s evo India’s recommended setup for someone just starting out in sim racing

Logitech G29 racing wheel and pedals
Logitech G29 racing wheel and pedalsLogitech

The racing wheel and pedals

Rs. 16,750

The Logitech G29 (G920 for Xbox) is the most popular simulator wheel and for good reason. The wheel itself features a click wheel (only in G29) for adjusting brake balances on the fly, and programmable positive/negative buttons for adjusting things like traction control.

It has coloured LEDs (only in G29) at the top of the steering wheel’s central column, which light up to tell you when it’s time to change gear. The pedals (clutch, throttle, brake) are responsive with the brake pedal being non-linear, for a more realistic experience.

The dual motor force feedback mechanism is very good and adds another dimension to the gameplay. There is no stick shift bundled with the package (it gets paddle shifters) but you can opt for it as an option.

INRacing simulator
INRacing simulatorinracing.in

The racing seat

Rs 39,950

While you can play a simulator racing game without the racing seat, the addition can seriously elevate the experience. INRacing is a Bengaluru based brand that makes simulator seats with mounts for the steering wheel, the pedals and any other hardware. INRacing’s eSport Magic Racing SIM Frame focuses on the ergonomics to help the driver bring out his/her best.

High quality powder-coated CNC pipes are used to build the sims and all of INRacing’s frames are built in-house and offer unparalleled durability. The seat too has been designed to be comfortable, even during long gameplay sessions.

The console

Xbox One: Rs 23,990

PS4: Rs 22,190

The debate between the PS4 and the Xbox One will go on forever. Both have ardent fans and a number of exclusive titles. The same holds true even in Sim racing. With stellar games like Gran Turismo Sport (only on PS4) and Forza Horizon 4 (only on Xbox One) and Project Cars 2 and Dirt Rally 2.0, you really can’t go wrong with either.

All this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to simulation racing. You can get custom made racing seats, incredibly accurate steering racks, custom engineered pedals and a whole lot more - at which point affordability goes out the window. Lando Norris famously has a Rs 30 lakh gaming rig at his disposal. Interested? There’s an entire sub Reddit dedicated to what goes into it. For almost everyone else though, a console-based setup like the one mentioned above will do just fine.

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