Ten Ways To Make Racing Video Games More Realistic

Racing games are not simulators in the same way Top Gear isn't exactly Motorweek. They're all about entertainment. But in case you want your next game to be a bit closer to reality, these ten things should be changed.


10.) Don't prevent people from going crazy

While it's not supposed to happen in real life, drivers can go off the track or do other crazy stunts in the most unusual places. Viperfan1 can't stand invisible hands holding back his creativity:

Get rid of the damn diamond/titanium/Jezebel hard game barriers. If I want to crash someone into a wall and have them drive through it and flip over 22 times, let me. If I want to go 200 mph on the Top Gear track and blast through some tires, let me. If I want to drive into the pits at 150+ mph, let me.

IF I WANT TO CLIMB THE EIGER NORDWAND MOUNTAIN WITH THE H1/Q7 V12/ESCUDO PIKES PEAK AND THEN DRAGON OFF THE CLIFF, then just let me.

Also, let parts fly off while I do it and bring back the Panama song for the opening.

Suggested By: Viperfan1


9.) Make off-track surfaces real

You went off the track. Explode or keep going, there's should be no other way:

Forza's bullshit off-track surfaces that stop you in your tracks can go fuck themselves. Have it send me into a spin and invalidate my lap time when I go off into the dirt or grass, fine. But don't stop me, that's just fucking aggravating.

It's not even like I'm always trying to cut a corner when that happens, just most of the time.

So, yeah, get rid of those.

Suggested By: Braking Bad


8.) See what a driver can actually see

You're strapped in. The cage, the helmet, the harnesses and a racing seats are limiting your view. Still, if you want, you can look to the side. That's what's missing from many current games, although the new Forza gives you a limited range of motion with Kinect head-tracking.

Suggested By: GeneralAkbar


7.) Get proper race control

Flags. Colorful ones. You need them to know what's up:

The #1 gap between racing 'games' and racing 'simulators' right now is race control. There are no marshal flags to tell you when to start a race, not even a checkered flag waving at the end. No yellows when there is an accident ahead. Cars drive themselves on rolling starts and when making pit stops, and drivers are prevented from making false starts.

These things matter. Without sitting on the grid waiting for the lights to change before dropping the clutch, knowing that if you creep forward you'll have to drive through the pits as fast as possible without breaking the speed limit as a penalty, you're not really racing.

This goes double for not penalizing drivers for being reckless. You don't have to stop someone from punting me off the track, just don't let them go unpunished.

Suggested By: Bakkster, touring car driver


6.) Introduce racing regulations

Get yourself a virtual FIA, says PelicanHazard:

Racing games so far make do with car classes based on performance around some theoretical track, represented in Forza's case by letter then numbers (A600, S693, R1998, etc). This makes it hard to tell what mods are installed. If people want to set up a league with restrictions (like stock aero, standard rim, hp limits), there isn't really an ironclad way of restricting the lobby.

Most leagues ask that you send them your tuning file so they can confirm technical compliance and go on honor that you won't change it for the race, but that's time consuming.

Let users set varied regulations like required tires, minimum weights, etc.

Suggested By: PelicanHazard


5.) Make races longer

Two laps for a race? Nope. That's not real.

Make the races last more than two laps. Even the shortest real world races take 20 minutes, and 50 minutes is still considered a sprint. It's hardly worth bothering if the race is over before the tires come up to temperature, which is often 5-7 laps in the reality we're aiming for.

When the longest of your races are still under 10 minutes, you've turned what should be strategic and patient proper racing and turned it into an exercise in divebombing and bump and run. If you aren't on a drag strip and the race lasts less than 20 minutes, you aren't actually racing.

Suggested By: Bakkster, touring car driver


4.) Get rid of unlimited nitrous

Don't worry, if you're a racing driver, you're unlikely to own anybody a ten second car.

Seriously, any game that offers nitrous will have it magically refill by slipstreaming, reckless driving, drifting, or just finishing a lap. I can't think of a single example that treats an empty bottle like an empty bottle.

Suggested By: Rainbow dash


3.) Include tire wear and luck into the game

Sometimes, your karma is to lose.

I'd like to see realistic fuel usage and tire wear. Also, random part failures. Blow off a boost hose or maybe track debris severs a cooling line and overheats your engine, or you lose a tire after making hard contact with another car. Kill the rewind feature. But then people would have to be okay with losing every once in a while.

Suggested By: Bryce Womeldurf


2.) Make things hotter

J-Tenno wants temperature control to be a thing, and he is right. You know your speed and revs, it's time to learn about tire, oil and exhaust temperatures too. You can't go flat out all the time, because things will explode even without hitting anybody.

Suggested By: J-Tenno


1.) Charge real money

There's only one way to understand what racing is actually like in the real world, and that's to make it all about what racing is actually like in the real world: money.

Have the game cost $150,000-$250,000 to purchase and another $10,000-$50,000 a month for the season. Have the opportunity to negotiate with dismissive sponsors. Maintain a staff of people almost as weird as you. Never mind the fun in hiring a second driver with the requisite ego coddling and silly demands.

You want to go racing? Right. Get the money first!

Suggested By: Patrick Frawley

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