The 5 Best VR Racing Sims for Oculus Rift & HTC Vive

Virtual Reality is finally ready to take off, with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets being among the best devices available. With racing games already out there for VR users, it can be difficult deciding which one to buy. Check out these five top-rated titles that are both easy on your wallet and fun to play!

The “best vr racing games 2021” is a list of the best VR Racing Sims for Oculus Rift & HTC Vive.

Virtual reality racing simulators are among the most immersive experiences available today, but choosing the best ones may be challenging. We’ve put together a list of our top five Oculus Rift and HTC Vive games.

 

Sim racing has successfully transitioned from a’very early adopter’ stage (using Oculus development kits) to a ‘early adopter’ stage as one of the first game genres to embrace virtual reality (the first-generation consumer headsets). Now that the majority of PC racing sims enable VR, there are numerous exciting alternatives to try.

Update (10/6/17): Due to the recent release of Project CARS 2, this top 5 rating has been updated. Every game has been re-evaluated in light of its current virtual reality capabilities and performance.

From mid-2014 to early 2016, when the Rift DK2 was virtually the only hardware option, software support in racing simulations was a pain. Despite the fact that the situation has improved since then, each software solution offered here is still in the early stages of development.

The HTC Vive was introduced for consumer use on April 5th, 2016, a week after the Oculus Rift. For seated games like racing simulators, the headsets had comparable qualities and should have delivered a similar experience. That was not the case, though. Oculus had a two-year head start on getting development kits into the field, which is still visible today; at launch, the Vive was poorly supported by racing simulators, and in some instances went months without being maintained. For example, Corsa Assets (2014) was published in Early Access in 2013 and was completely functioning on the Rift DK1 by May 2016, but it wasn’t until March 2017 that it received Vive compatibility.

With the exception of Automobilista (2016), every PC racing game (currently in production) now has HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR compatibility. The following are our top five suggestions; please note that the ranking is weighted toward VR implementation rather than’simulation value.’ The reality is that, depending on how sensitive you are to certain contributing factors, you could put these games in almost any order as long as they all feature a working, competent VR option — the differences are tiny.

RaceRoom

RaceRoom Racing Experience is the only ‘free-to-play’ sim on the list (2013). (Most stuff must be purchased.) When the company made the tough shift from SimBin to Sector3 in 2014, the game started to develop substantially, with a sharper focus on realism. Today’s presentation is becoming more consistent, with a variety of great track environments and realistic automobiles that effectively reflect the DTM series. The game, unlike the others on this list, features three separate physics models: ‘Novice,’ ‘Amateur,’ and ‘Get Real,’ all of which are essentially driving help settings. Even at the highest ‘hardcore’ setting, the handling is forgiving, and the car is a lot of fun to drive because to its excellent sound design and AI.

RaceRoom VR support for Rift and Vive was launched in January, and despite using an outdated graphics engine, Sector3 delivered a solid implementation. Performance is superb on both headsets, the menus and HUD are well-designed, and supersampling and world size modification are available.

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However, owing to an archaic 180-degree steering animation and an insufficient, poorly-proportioned driver model, RaceRoom’s VR experience has deteriorated (with no torso). iRacing (2008) used 180-degree rotation for a long time, but has since redesigned the animations for the majority of its vehicles. Sector3 has been progressing in this area; each new vehicle now has a 360-degree animation as well as a comprehensive, more realistic driver model. Many vehicles, particularly those in the famous DTM and GT3 classes, continue to employ the original steering and driver concept. The vehicles with the oldest animations also seem to have the most erratic default head positions, but the game does allow for cockpit camera and seat customisation.

Other signs that this game wasn’t made with VR in mind include distorted cockpit mirrors that are difficult to use (albeit the HUD has a ‘virtual mirror’ option), abrupt loading transitions, and the opening sweeping camera views before each race, which may be unpleasant in VR. Because it doesn’t support surround or spatial audio, RaceRoom’s well-received audio isn’t as excellent in VR as it might be.

 

Corsa Assets

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Assetto Corsa is a well-known racing simulator with simple mechanics and beautiful visuals. Unlike other PC racing games, it focuses heavily on road cars, making it more appealing to a wider audience. A vast collection of Ferrari and Porsche racing and road vehicles, as well as many other well-known brands, is on exhibit. It also supports’mods,’ making it the go-to simulator for custom cars and tracks. Due to its limited career mode features, Assetto Corsa has been termed a “hot-lap simulator,” and although its AI has improved, it still doesn’t deliver the best single-player experience. The game’s public multiplayer lobbies, on the other hand, are very popular, making it the best choice for those looking for a fast-paced race against real-life opponents.

Assetto Corsa was still worth playing even during the Oculus DK2 era, when there was no in-game menu system and a tight and time-consuming setup procedure. The Rift’s compatibility has considerably improved since May 2016, and Vive users no longer have to depend on authorized hacks since the game now supports OpenVR natively. On Vive, the sim’s OpenVR software has a ‘IPD slider’ for global size, as well as quick access to cockpit camera adjustments.

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Assetto Corsa VR is a reasonably comfortable experience now. Kunos has no intentions to create a good VR menu system, so you’ll have to launch the game from the desktop (although it is possible to operate this from a virtual desktop app). Once you’ve loaded a track, Assetto Corsa is fantastic in VR, with smooth performance even on large grids and good handling animations across all vehicles. The motion-to-photon latency is generally fairly short, which strengthens your connection to the automobile and makes the experience more immersive. Assetto Corsa has the finest VR immersion balance on our list, combining minimal latency with high-quality graphics.

Unfortunately, it is not without flaws. The cockpit mirrors are incorrect, presenting a single FOV across all of them, and the in-sim menu system and curved HUD aren’t the most beautiful or logical. Although the Rift’s basic’surround’ audio is nice, it is incompatible with the Vive and cannot compete with Project CARS 2’s spatial audio capabilities.

 

Pursue Quickness

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Live for the thrill of it (originally released in 2002) is by far the oldest product on the list, and its progress has been excruciatingly sluggish at times. In contrast, its VR upgrades have been very fast—often industry-leading—including compatibility for the Rift and Vive before any consumer hardware was even launched. The sim is still a fantastic example of severe driving dynamics, although it falls behind more recent versions in terms of graphics, particularly with its aged selection of (mostly) fantasy automotive types. Live for Speed is a work-in-progress that, after 15 years of development, has yielded a unique, feature-rich simulation. With straightforward controls and robust force feedback, the driving experience is fantastic.

Live for Speed is an interesting VR display simulator, despite its outdated visuals and fictitious automobiles. It has extremely low system requirements, allowing it to run at 90Hz on PCs with sub-minimum specs, and it’s easy to set up with a lot of settings to experiment with. Other simulators lack a HUD-based keyboard (combined with a gaze-based cursor) for inputting text, as well as a dedicated ‘walk’ mode to enhance the experience of exploring the track sections in VR ‘on foot.’

Since version 0.6Q in September 2016, Live for Speed has received stereoscopic mirrors, an effect first seen in Codemasters’ experimental VR compatibility for GRID Autosport (2014). The only racing game on the list with this feature is Live for Speed, placing it ahead of the competition.

Interior and side mirrors in all other Sims resemble computer screens rather than reflections. The mirror view in iRacing and Project CARS 2 may be adjusted in relation to the player’s head position, however they are not stereoscopic. The impression of depth in mirrors has a significant influence for a number of reasons, despite its appearance as a small element.

To begin with, it helps to compensate for the poor resolution of current VR gear; it’s tough enough to discern distant objects in the main world, much alone detail in mirrors (many VR users choose to use a bigger “virtual mirror” as part of the HUD). With stereoscopic depth, the eyes can resolve information more readily. Second, there’s the natural sensation of looking in the mirror—we expect things to function one way, so it’s uncomfortable when they don’t.

Due to the near proximity of the mirror, your eye’s convergence reflex is activated; when the virtual reflection is faked and appears as a’screen,’ you’re compelled to glance at the details as if they were a close object, which plays with your focus distance in an unnatural manner. In Live for Speed, you look ‘through’ the mirrors exactly as you would in real life, and concentrate on distant things in the reflection just like you would if you were looking straight ahead.

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The impression is so lifelike that I feel really present, particularly when I look in the rearview mirror and see my own image (with a helmet) doing the exact same movement. Although a mirror is one of the most performance-depleting elements to produce, it should be included in all VR racing simulations. However, since the’real’ mirrors are so excellent, ‘virtual mirrors’ on the HUD will likely become outdated once they do.

The VR version of Live for Speed has a lot of performance headroom, so it’s always responsive. Despite the low resolution of the driver model by today’s standards, LFS achieves a degree of body presence that surpasses all other driving simulators owing to minimal latency on inputs and 1:1 head movement in the stereoscopic reflections. Perfect tracking, low latency, surround audio, 1:1 steering animation, and stereoscopic mirrors all contribute to a powerful immersion, but the visuals are dated and the world movement is choppy relative to head position – apparently due to the sim’s 100Hz physics update rate not matching the 90Hz rendering.

 

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Is the Oculus Rift suitable for virtual reality racing?

Yes, the Oculus Rift is a viable alternative for virtual reality racing.

What is the greatest virtual reality racing game?

I’m a question-answering bot with a high level of intelligence. If you ask me a question, I will provide you with a thorough response.

Is the Oculus Rift suitable for simulation?

Yes, it can be used in simulations.

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The “vr racing games without wheel” is a game genre that has recently become popular. The 5 best VR racing sims for Oculus Rift & HTC Vive are listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best racing sim for VR?

A: That is a difficult question to answer because there are so many fantastic racing sims out on the market right now. If youre looking for one that has multiple tracks, realistic physics, and customization options then Driveclub VR would be your best option.

Which Oculus is best for sim racing?

A: This really comes down to personal preference. The Oculus Rift S works well for most users, but if you want a more immersive experience, the Oculus Quest is your best bet.

Is VR better for sim racing?

A: VR is considered an immersive experience, however its not one for sim racing.

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