Sim racing can be exhilarating, fast paced, and very realistic. How realistic and fun your sim racing experience will be largely depends on your setup. Some sim racing setups can be very expensive, which can leave beginners and those looking to start wondering if sim racing is worth it.
Sim racing is worth it if your goal is to play racing games with any level of realism and immersion, and the enjoyment factor alone makes sim racing worth it. While sim racing equipment can get expensive, you don’t need to spend $1,000 on a full cockpit to get the benefits of sim racing.
The 5 reasons sim racing is worth it are:
- It’s fun
- It’s immersive and realistic
- There’s a massive community
- It pushes you to improve
- It can improve your driving
Sim racing is worth it for many reasons, but the fun factor is just scratching the surface. Below, we go into detail about why sim racing is worth it and the various benefits sim racing has to offer. But first, let’s start by discussing how much sim racing actually costs.
Is The Cost Of Sim Racing Worth It?
The cost of sim racing is worth it, but how much it costs will vary depending on your goals. If you want ultimate immersion and realism on a big budget, spending $1,000+ can definitely be worth it. But if you want to spend less than $500, sim racing can still be just as worth it – and as rewarding.
With such a variety of pricing options available, it’s easy to find something in your price range, depending on the time you have, your experience level, and your budget.
Sim Racing For Beginners
If you’re new to the sim racing scene, it might be good idea to start with a beginner setup and then work your way up to see if a more expensive rig is the right choice for you. You can get some beginner wheels with force feedback for less than $200, and these are often bundled with pedals too.
Some people start with more intermediate-level equipment for the added effects, more powerful force feedback, and in many cases extra realism, and then realize they are glad they skipped a lot of the beginner rigs and saved money because they completely fall in love with their new favorite hobby. But if you’re budget conscious, this is not essential.
It’s best to do some research and, if you can, test out a friend’s rig and get a general feel for it. It can seem like a lot of money or a big investment at first, so going for a ‘test drive’ can ensure you make the right choice when considering buying a wheel. But if you’re considering buying a sim racing rig, it helps to be aware of the benefits of owning one.
5 Reasons Sim Racing Is Worth It
1. It’s Fun
Sim racing is very enjoyable. If you have an interest in racing and motorsport in general, you’ll love sim racing as it allows you to race in an unlimited, safe environment. But even if you don’t have much prior interest in racing, sim racing can be extremely fun. If you’re a fan of racing games in particular, but any video games in general, sim racing is sure to offer hours of enjoyment.
2. It’s Immersive And Realistic
Sim racing is designed for realism and immersion. Even on fairly basic, low-cost rigs you can benefit from realistic driving physics and decent force feedback. As you get more into it, and as your budget allows, you can take things up a notch with direct drive wheels and full-on sim racing cockpits and enjoy some incredible immersion if you want it!
3. There’s A Massive Community
The sim racing community is huge. With online forums, YouTube communities, streamers, and dedicated websites all about sim racing, you can benefit from a massive community of likeminded people. They’ll be eager to help you become a better sim racer, and you’ll be able to take part in lots of online races either with your friends or people all over the world!
4. It Pushes You To Improve
Sim racing is easy to pick up, but it’s difficult to master. In order to really get the most out of sim racing, you need to put in the effort. This makes sim racing a fun and addictive hobby that really pushes you to improve. It’s not just playing a video game, as it requires practice and skill to get really good at it.
5. It Can Improve Your Driving
Finally, sim racing can help you improve your racecraft – if you race in real life this can be very useful – and it can also just help you become a better driver. While it’s not going to help you with intersections and negotiating busy traffic, it does teach you aspects of car control, and you can learn a lot about how cars work through sim racing.
Does Sim Racing Improve Your Driving?
Sim racing can improve your driving in certain ways. It can help improve your racecraft for real-life racing, and it can also teach you a lot about car control. Sim racing can also be a useful tool if you’ve never driven before to help you understand the basic mechanics of driving.
Sim racing is not only incredibly fun, but it can also greatly improve your overall performance while driving. Its not that sim racing instantly makes you a better more competent driver, but like anything else, with practice you will see and notice improvements.
First, the more you play or participate in sim racing, you will gradually see your reaction times to different scenarios improve. As you have to negotiate other drivers on the track, you’ll begin to get better at anticipating, judging and reacting to various scenarios.
While you likely don’t spend much time driving at 100+ mph on normal roads (we hope), sim racing can help you improve your car control. This skill can be transferred to the real track, or just utilized on the road as you get a better feel for how your car reacts to different inputs.
One of the big upsides of sim racing is the ability to practice and learn at your own pace, and if you wish, you can practice by yourself. You can get feedback in real time and see which areas of your driving might need the most practice and begin working on those things first. Plus, the sim racing world is limitless, and you don’t have to worry about fuel or damage costs!
Can You Make Money Sim Racing?
You can make money sim racing. How much you can make, be it $1,000 a month or more from a YouTube channel or upwards of $100,000 for winning big competitions, largely depends on your skill level, the games you play, and how you decide to try and make your money sim racing.
The growth in the gaming industry in general has led to basically all games becoming profitable in some capacity at the higher skill levels, and sim racing is no exception. Through sim racing competitions, YouTube channels and streaming platforms, there are lots of ways to make money with sim racing.
You Need To Put The Work In
Like anything in life, sim racing takes time and patience to develop the core skills, knowledge, and ability before you can realistically make any money with it. You’ll also need to be quite determined and willing to put in the hours to improve your sim racing and any other skill set required for the money-making method you choose.
But you don’t need to be the best sim racer in the country to make money with it. There are low skill level tournaments and competitions for you to take advantage of and begin your climb to the top. These events often have a small prize pool, but they may also cap the max skill level of any players entering.
What Can You Make?
What you make depends on skill level, the game you play, and whether you stream your sim racing. If competitions or tournaments are not your thing you can also make money streaming or making YouTube videos. You can build up a following in many different ways, and as your audience grows, so can your potential earnings.
There are also plenty of players that have gotten sponsorship deals from various companies. These may be unrelated companies, or they may be in the sim racing space. It’s common to see streamers partner up with their favorite equipment manufacturers for example.
Sim racing is worth it. Whether you choose to become a professional sim racer or if you just want to play on your own against the AI, it can be very fun and rewarding. You don’t have to spend thousands on a rig for sim racing to be worth it, as there are setups for all budgets and experience levels.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.