Sim racing is a hobby that players can easily invest many hours into. Racing itself can appear repetitive, especially during longer races that can involve spending more than half an hour going around the same track. This may leave some to wonder whether sim racing gets boring.
Sim racing can get boring should you not feel challenged or stimulated by it anymore. This can happen for several reasons, including not taking enough breaks during sessions, not facing a variety of opponents, and only sticking with one game. Boredom is temporary if you tackle it correctly.
There are many ways to prevent boredom as well as combat it, including taking long breaks away from it to clear your mind. In this article, we will discuss in further depth the reasons for becoming bored, how to avoid it, and list a handful of games to try should you find yourself getting fed up.
Can You Get Bored Sim Racing?
As with any hobby, there will be occasions in sim racing when you feel burnt out, and in some cases even bored. This is often caused by a lack of stimulation in the brain, leaving you to feel as though you are no longer challenged on the track. This doesn’t necessarily mean that sim racing isn’t for you but can instead mean you need to take some time away or change your approach to racing.
The problem with racing is that, although you can get embroiled in high-speed, intense battles with other drivers, the formula of completing lap after lap of the same track can cause you to become over-familiarized with what you are doing. With there being a limited number of new tracks to race around, it is easy to start feeling symptoms of déja vu when racing.
However, there are many ways to combat boredom when sim racing, for example making use of the vast amount of different racing specifications, such as rally racing, Formula 1, and karting. Each of these variations offers different techniques and nuances that racers must master in order to be successful. Taking extended breaks away from the wheel can also help players overcome boredom.
How To Avoid Getting Bored When Sim Racing
Take Time Away From Sim Racing
One of the easiest, and most obvious, methods of revitalizing your love for sim racing is to take a break from the racing seat. There is no exact amount of time that a player should spend away from the track, as that is down to how fed up with sim racing the individual feels. When taking a break, it is important that the player fully disconnects from sim racing, in order to refresh themselves.
It is important that a player doesn’t pressurize themselves into returning to the track too early, without taking a substantial amount of time away, otherwise the full benefits of taking time out won’t be realized. Returning to sim racing should be a natural process, one where the player feels they are 100% ready to load up their game and race again.
Taking a break from sim racing doesn’t have to involve fully shelving your console or PC, as playing different genres of games can help to take your mind off sim racing for a while. The overall goal of taking time away is to ease your brain out of the racing mindset, which could also involve taking time away from watching racing content online, and live racing broadcasts on TV.
Change The Way You Play
Taking part in excessively long sim racing sessions can be one of the main causes of burnout, leading to a loss of enjoyment. Playing in short stints will offer a player their required fix of sim racing while not overloading the brain and taking away from their enjoyment. Breaks in between races will also be beneficial, as it will put a stop to the constant repetition of completing lap after lap.
Making the most of the huge array of sim racing titles available will also help players alleviate boredom, as they have the opportunity to not only race on tarmac, but the choice of rally racing, kart racing, and much more. Switching to an unfamiliar style of racing that requires different techniques and controller inputs will keep the brain stimulated and challenged.
Racing against a variety of opponents will also keep sim racing unpredictable and enjoyable. Online multiplayer lobbies throw up all different sorts of scenarios that the regular AI opponents are not programmed to do, such as questionable overtaking techniques and having to dodge the more reckless drivers that exist online.
While it may be frustrating having to deal with players who are more focused on disrupting other people’s races rather than their own performance, it will further stimulate the brain into having to react to unique situations. It will also increase the satisfaction of racing when you come out on top of the leaderboard.
Change Your Hardware Setup
Changing the way you are set up to race can bring a fresh dynamic to your sim racing experience. It is very easy to become too familiar with a setup, to the point where you no longer feel challenged or uncomfortable in any way. This doesn’t necessarily have to involve purchasing new hardware and can instead be done by removing parts of your setup that you already own.
Maybe try swapping out your racing wheel for a controller and seeing whether you can still perform at a high level after going back to basics. You could even experiment with manual and automatic gear shifting if your wheel has paddle shifters, or change the force feedback configurations in your wheel.
If you do have a bit of spare money that you would be willing to invest into your setup, there are plenty of hardware options on the market that will help you keep things interesting. Handbrakes, H-shifters, and clutch pedals can all offer something different to your performance, as well as add immersion to your experience.
Virtual reality headsets are compatible with most of the big PC sim racing titles, as well as a select few titles on PlayStation. VR can completely change the dynamic of your sim racing experience, making it feel more realistic and enjoyable. Of course, due to the price of VR headsets, this won’t be a viable option for everyone, but if you can afford it, it is worth a try.
Try Playing Story-Based Racing Games
While racing around tracks against other drivers can create high levels of enjoyment, sometimes it is natural for players to crave a storyline or some sort of narrative that they can follow. This doesn’t have to involve playing games with strong beginning-middle-end structures, packed with dialogue and different characters, but can be found in games that have a career mode, such as the F1 games.
Having to navigate the struggles that appear over the course of a season with a player that you have created can give you a renewed sense of purpose within a game, especially if your driver has your name attached to them. It can also go some way towards fulfilling that childhood dream of signing up to race for your favorite team.
There are of course racing titles such as the Need for Speed franchise which do follow the classic story structure and feature campaign modes with various unraveling storylines. Although these are technically not sim racing titles, they will still give you a driving experience while maintaining your focus through the medium of storytelling.
3 Sim Racing Games To Try If You’re Bored
1. DiRT Rally 2.0
While DiRT Rally 2.0 won’t offer a light relief from sim racing, it remains a completely different and exciting form of racing, with different game physics and different driving techniques required. It is an intense view into the world of rally driving, which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat as you fly down a mountainous dirt track at full speed.
DiRT also has an established online multiplayer base, which means you will be able to test your skills against other players around the world, keeping the racing fun and interesting. Graphics-wise it is brilliant, and it also offers players the opportunity to use their regular sim racing hardware.
2. Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 offers players the chance to explore its open-world feature, meaning you can drive around the streets and countryside of Mexico. The map is huge and contains different environments and terrains which keep the scenery interesting. As well as exploring the open world, players can take part in both single-player and online races.
Forza Horizon 5 is a truly beautiful game, although it does have slightly reduced realism in terms of the physics of the various cars. Categorized as a sim-cade game rather than a sim racing game, it may not be as precisely tuned as titles such as iRacing, but for what it loses in realism it makes up for in enjoyment. Unfortunately for PlayStation users, it is only available on Xbox and PC.
Grid is a lesser talked about sim racing title, produced by Codemasters for EA under the supervision of F1 driver Fernando Alonso. Its main focus is on its storytelling, with six different storylines, all centering around different aspects of motor racing. This allows players to experience multiple disciplines within the same game, encouraging variety.
The different branches of the story involve the player taking on various rivals in a multitude of events while competing for their user-created racing team. Once again, the story mode has to make up for the lesser realism levels involved in the driving physics, but it does offer some respite from the grind of serious sim racing titles.
It is inevitable that sim racing will get boring sometimes. This isn’t a bad thing as there are ways to overcome boredom, like trying out new games or taking a break. The thing that matters most is that a sim racer doesn’t ever feel pressured to race, as that will detract from their enjoyment.