When getting into sim racing it can be easy for players to become overwhelmed at the huge number of customizable options there are, from types of screens to in-game settings. This can cause new players to wonder what the best settings for sim racing are and how to get the best out of the hobby.
The best settings for sim racing depend on multiple aspects that new players will quickly learn about. Knowing what settings are best requires you to know the importance of having a high framerate, the varieties of monitors and screen resolutions, and the importance of a player’s field of view.
While these intricacies may seem daunting, it won’t take too long for players to get a better idea of how to set up for sim racing. In this article, we’ll discuss the minimum framerate requirements a player must reach, as well as what screen will suit them and how to calculate their field of view.
What Is The Best FPS For Sim Racing?
The best FPS for sim racing is 120 fps or more, with 60 fps being the bare minimum. In order to enjoy the smoothest, most accurate experience, you need a high number of frames per second. FPS is the number of images that your screen will be able to display every second.
Due to the speed at which cars travel in sim racing games, it is especially important that your gaming platform can reach high FPS levels, as it will offer a more accurate representation of where your car is on the track, allowing you to stay true to your racing line. If you are playing at 30 fps, you will potentially be missing out on meters of the track as your machine won’t be able to keep up.
For a long time, 60 fps was the coveted number that PCs and consoles would try to hit, but with advancements in gaming technology improving drastically over the last few years, that number is a thing of the past. Most next gen consoles will operate at 120 fps, with some high-end PCs able to reach a mind-blowing 240 fps. This is only possible with the addition of an expensive monitor setup.
Do You Need 120 FPS For Sim Racing?
You do not need 120 fps for sim racing. While 120 fps may be optimal for sim racing, games are still playable at 60 fps. Dip below 60 fps, and you will start to see issues arising, such as motion blur and clumsy controls, especially if you are running the game through higher-quality monitors.
One of the benefits of 120 fps is the increase in the responsiveness of the controls. At 120 fps, if your monitor permits it, you will feel as though you have complete control over the car as your inputs will be almost instant, although this will leave you with nobody else to blame but yourself for any driving errors!
Anyone playing with 120 fps or more will feel a much greater sense of immersion and realism, with background features able to load efficiently as well as the visuals in front of you. You will be able to feel a more accurate sense of speed too, as you will witness your car eating up every inch of the tarmac as you fly around the track.
It Comes At A Cost
Gaming at 120 fps or more doesn’t come cheap, as PCs capable of running such high framerates can cost you well over $1,000. You will also need a monitor capable of keeping up with such a powerful PC. To buy a next gen console you will need to spend around $500, although consoles may not guarantee you consistent 120 fps rates.
Ultimately, 120 fps remains the desired framerate target rather than a minimum requirement, as games are very much still playable with 60 fps. In the years to come, this may change, with both consoles and PCs becoming more powerful, and monitors and TVs having higher resolutions.
What Is The Best Resolution For Sim Racing?
The best resolution for sim racing is purely an aesthetic decision, as it won’t affect your performance in the game (unless it is too low). 1080p is currently a good benchmark to hit when it comes to resolution, and it will offer a crisp, high-definition picture without overloading your device.
If you have a powerful PC with a high-end Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), you may want to look at purchasing 4K monitors, as they currently offer the best, sharpest picture available on the market. The main issues that these types of screens can cause are overheating and general overworking of your PC, which will not only slow it down in the short term but also lead to long-term issues.
This is where the benefits of using a 1080p monitor are felt, as the performance is achievable for most PCs and all consoles, and you won’t have to spend large amounts of money when buying one. One issue that does become apparent is that the visuals on 1080p monitors can appear worse on screens above 32” in size, due to the stretching of the pixels.
What Is A Good Screen Size For Sim Racing?
A good screen size for sim racing is anything between 24” to 32”. Anything less and you will have a lower field of view, giving you less peripheral vision. You can use a screen larger than 32” but it will take up a lot of space and you will have to sit further back from the screen.
For a standard monitor, 32” is the desired size, but some players may find themselves wanting to use either an ultrawide monitor or a triple screen set up to increase their peripheral vision. Smaller ultrawide screens tend to measure around 30”, whereas larger ones can measure up to 49”. These screens will obviously take up a great deal of space, as well as cost a large amount of money.
A larger ultrawide screen will be of use when it comes to both performance and immersion as you will have the option of a much wider Field of View (FOV), giving you almost lifelike peripheral vision. 34” ultrawide screens may offer less of a FOV than a 49” screen, but they will still enable you to see the entire windscreen as well as the side mirrors.
If you are looking to use a triple-screen setup, a recommended starting size would be 27” for all three screens. This method also takes up a fair bit of space, but depending on the way you angle the screens, it can widen your FOV dramatically. 32” monitors will also work but will require high-end GPUs in order to operate them efficiently.
What Is The Best Aspect Ratio For Sim Racing?
The best aspect ratio for sim racing for standard and triple-screen setups is 16:9, or 21:9 for ultrawide setups. The aspect ratio is the ratio of a screen’s width in comparison to its height. This ratio helps maintain the natural resolution of the screen, without stretching the pixels.
To run an aspect ratio of 21:9, you will yet again need a strong GPU, otherwise, your PC just won’t have the capabilities to run the screen efficiently. It is likely that console users will stick with a 16:9 ratio, as it is far less common to run console games on an ultrawide screen.
How To Select The Right Sim Racing FOV
Field of view (FOV) is crucial in sim racing as it determines how wide or narrow the camera is, and therefore how much of the oncoming view you can see. Setting up the FOV depends on what size screen you are using and whether it is a single monitor, triple monitor, or ultrawide monitor. It also depends on how far away from your screen you are positioned.
There are many resources online that can help you find the right FOV for your individual setup. All that is required of you is that you first know the size of your screen, and then measure how far away from it you sit. Once you have done this you will be able to enter these details into an online FOV calculator which will tell you the most suitable field of view for your setup.
Originally it will take some time to adjust to a new FOV, and it can be tempting to revert back to what you have been previously used to. However, once your brain has readjusted to the new settings you will begin to see improvements in your consistency and spatial awareness, upping your performance levels.
The Benefits Of A Customized FOV
Customizing your FOV will bring with it both performance and immersion benefits. For a start, your depth perception will increase, and you will be able to judge distances with greater precision. Improved depth perception leads to greater spatial awareness, meaning there will be less chance of accidentally clipping the curb or knocking into the side of another driver.
You will also be able to gauge the speed that you are traveling at with better accuracy, allowing you to enter corners at the correct speed, without overshooting them. Optimizing your FOV will cut out any unnecessary shortcomings in your driving performance allowing you to gain higher levels of consistency.
Realism-wise, customizing your field of view will enable you to view the surroundings with a similar depth and clarity as you would if you were there in real life. To some, aesthetics may not be at the top of their sim racing priority list, but to many, part of the sim racing package is made up of trying to get the game looking and feeling as realistic as possible.
The best settings for sim racing are primarily subjective and can require a bit of tweaking in order to get right. Aspects such as screen size and resolution depend on the individual’s budget and requirements, while optimal FOVs are purely down to the setup that the player has in place.
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