I’ve been investing my quarantine time in a couple of new hobbies. Not being able to leave the house makes sinking into a new obsession a real treat! I’ve already talked a bit about sim racing here on the site and my fascination with it has only increased. This is a good sign (or a bad one I guess) that this racing hobby will stick around. I’ve settled into two games that I’m investing my time in. The first is Assetto Corsa Competizione and the second is iRacing. I like ACC for its career mode, special events and incredible car physics. It’s also a beautiful game with a slick UI and a progress tracker that I find helpful in improving. I don’t play multiplayer events in ACC but that’s not because they are not available. I just have not dipped my toe in yet. I play iRacing for multiplayer driving and I love it. They have an incredible selection of official races and practices happening every day like clockwork. The cars feel great and the visuals are solid but that's not the focus here. This is a sim first and that means using a web browser to find races. It all works well enough but there is no question they need to get their beta UI up to speed.
Both games support VR and since I have an Oculus Quest and home I decided to give it a try. I hooked my Quest up to the PC via a six foot USB cable and downloaded the Oculus software. If iRacing detects a VR headset attached while loading up it will automatically ask you if you want to run the game in VR. It’s super simple and worked like a charm. Once in the cockpit with the headset on I actually felt pretty comfortable. As you probably know I get sick very easily in the virtumal realms, but I think all the physical reinforcement really helped. Looking out and seeing the wheel but also gripping it with my hands seemed right. I felt low to the ground and perfectly seated in my car. As I shifted into gear and pressed the gas my stomach gave a little lurch but then quickly settled back down. I actually managed to race for a good thirty minutes before the headset began to feel uncomfortable. I was a little light headed when I stood up but nothing severe. iRacing runs incredibly smooth in VR which I think also helps with the nausea. Not only did I not puke, my lap times were 2 seconds faster in VR! I found that pretty interesting. ACC also offers a VR mode but I couldn’t make it work with any consistency.
I have not switched to VR full time by any means. I still find it awkward to wear but my biggest complaint is the resolution. I love my 4k HDR and I’m willing to give up 2 seconds a lap to keep it Goddamnit. With that said, I have wondered if a 49” Ultrawide might give me some of the peripheral vision I need as well as the HD visuals. So far I’ve investigated a few models but all of them seem to have mixed reviews. I don’t think triple monitors are an option for me just because I don’t know how the hell I would hook them up and honestly that sounds like a pain in the ass. Regardless I’m having a blast with sim racing. I’ve been practicing every day and can see real improvement.
We started out by tearing around the house with it but eventually I made a track out in the garage.
I used masking tape to turn the floor of Darkmagic’s into a Mini Z race track. I love these little cars! pic.twitter.com/ZmOTrIv4Uo— Gabe (@cwgabriel) April 8, 2020
You can’t race with only one car so now we’ve got two of them and it’s a blast. They are ridiculously fun to customize and designed to be tuned up and modified. You can swap out tires and rebuild the suspension with tiny new springs. I’ve already busted out the soldering iron for some minor repairs and found my desire to “fiddle” with these little vehicles insatiable. From what I understand, fixing RC cars goes hand in hand with racing RC cars.
I’ve spent far too much time browsing aftermarket parts on eBay and watching suspension breakdowns on the YubTub. Noah is the other person in the family who has taken a shine to racing and we’ve already scouted out local tracks. When this global pandemic is over we fully intend to join a club.
They also make a 4x4.
Stay healthy nerds.