Six easy ways to improve your sim gaming experience with the proper sim rig
When it comes to PC simulator gaming, many realistic race car simulator games like F1 2020, Assetto Corsa, DiRT: Rally do their best to help sim racers feel like they’re in the driver’s seat with their next level sim racing rig setup. The best race car simulators incorporate realistic racing physics alongside gamers’ sim racing rigs involving Fanatec, Eyeware Beam, and other realistic-feeling cockpit configuration features.
Gamers can easily use this specialized iracing equipment and online racing simulator software. The tools offer advanced features like responsive 6DoF head tracking so gamers can experience augmented reality (AR) head tracking in-game with real-life head movements translated into on-screen actions that increase racers’ field of view.
The possibilities are endless for racecar drivers to feel the experience without the difficulty and risk of getting behind the wheel in real life. Combining all of these into a dedicated simulator rig can create an absolute showstopper that’s certain to offer one of the most immersive racing experiences you can get. We’ll show you six easy ways to build your simulator racing setup.
How to get into sim racing? Here are the six key components that you’ll want to take your racing further with the best sim racing rig.
One of the main components you’ll need to set up a sim racing rig is head tracker and eye tracker software. You may already have one of these if you’ve played other simulation games or done some streaming. In addition, a sim racing rig has a few extra parts that match the vehicle you’re simulating.
Not only will you need a sim racing wheel to drive in your race car simulation, but you’ll also need sim racing pedals to get it moving and a sim racing seat to emulate the feeling of sitting inside the virtual racecar. You can find plenty of examples on the Reddit iRacing sub or the Simracing subreddit.
Sim racing is a fast-growing hobby gaining popularity in recent years. For many sim racers, the goal is to feel like they are really behind the wheel of a racecar. To this end, simulator rigs have been developed that provide a realistic driving experience. These rigs often come equipped with head tracking, which allows the user to control the game camera by moving their head. However, head tracking can be tricky to set up and may not work well with all games.
6DoF head tracking is a newer technology that promises to provide a more immersive experience by allowing users to control the game camera on all three axes. 6DoF head tracking is still in its early stages of development, but it already works well with sim racing.
Sim racing head tracker
Head tracking software is a big part of experiencing the next level of racing simulation when you’re part of online sim racing leagues through steam. One of the most effective uses of head tracking software is to move the in-game camera around based on your head movements, providing a natural feeling for controlling the game’s camera.
This 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) technology is available through dedicated hardware such as the kind that Fanatec, Tobii, or TrackIR provides. Still, those are expensive compared to affordable and often just as effective alternatives like our Eyeware Beam eye tracker and head tracker app available on the Apple App Store. There is no expensive virtual reality headset, VR glasses, or additional virtual reality hardware needed. An iPhone or iPad with your PC is all you need.
Eyeware Beam’s head tracking app and can be used on any iPhone or iPad to make your phone a remote head tracking device. Using the TrueDepth selfie cam on your iPhone or iPad, the app makes use of Face ID technology found on Apple’s latest devices to track your head position and integrates that with 200+ compatible OpenTrack games.
In addition, the head tracking runs entirely on the iOS device, so you won’t have to worry about wasting precious CPU/GPU resources on your computer. Not needing to buy extra equipment is especially important if you stream your gameplay, as ensuring your CPU/GPU isn’t strained is essential for providing a good-looking and non-laggy stream for your viewers.
Sim racing pedals
If there’s anything you’ll need to play sim racing games such as DiRT and the Test Drive Unlimited series, it’s the ability to get your car moving! Racing pedals are vital for any sim racing rig, whether you want a more realistic racing experience or hope to get better lap times. They’re capable of giving a more tactile, practical expertise than you could get by using the acceleration button on any controller or keyboard.
Racing pedals have a wide price range, but you’ll generally be looking at three digits unless you go for a very budget-minded set. You can find plenty of options on the Next Level Racing store, Ricmotech, and plenty more examples listed on Box This Lap.
Sim racing wheel for your rig
Being able to move a car back and forwards is essential, but it’s almost as important as being able to steer it! If you’ve been to an arcade, you might have seen how the racing game controllers is designed to resemble steering wheels, and you could use these controllers both to steer your car and navigate through menus. Good examples are the FSW Series 2 and ones from GTR Simulator or Ascher Racing.
Nowadays, there are many steering wheel controllers that you can use with PC racing games, such as Assetto Corsa Competizione and ToCA Race Driver 2. In addition to the basic steering wheel, these controllers come with various buttons for efficiently controlling other aspects of your game. As for the price, these too have a wide price range and can go from a few hundred dollars to nearly $1,800.
Sim racing seat
You could use your usual desk chair when playing a sim racing game, but why do that when there are gaming chair options out that can provide superior racing experience? There are simulator racing gaming chairs out there designed to be like real race car chairs, and no sim racing rig is complete without one to make you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat.
Just like with racing pedals and steering wheel controllers, an excellent racing seat may cost you at least three figures, and the exact price varies wildly depending on the quality and brand. Some options include Trak Racer seats, Playseats, and also GT Omega.
Sim racing eye tracker
If you stream to viewers on a site such as Twitch or YouTube, you can show your viewers where you’re looking on the screen with the use of an eye tracker. Eye tracker software also has various other benefits, such as using a Vtuber avatar, selecting a window with your gaze, participating in the viral eye tracking challenge, and much more. Usually, you’d buy a Tobii eye tracker to get the job done, but if you use Streamlabs OBS or any other live stream broadcast tool that offers the same functionality, you can make use of the Eyeware Beam app.
In addition to the head tracker app previously mentioned also comes with an eye tracker that integrates with the streaming/recording software like Streamlabs OBS or Crossclip. If this is the route you choose, we have already covered the best tools in 2021 for beginner and pro streamers. If you have other ideas and can envision different ways to benefit your rig, Eyeware Beam has provided early access to its API. Build your head, and eye tracking enabled PC software tools instead.
Buying a pre-built sim racing rig
If you’re getting into sim racing and find someone willing to sell one, you might find it a good idea to purchase a ready-built sim racing rig. We suggest you find a rig made by Simetik or from FSIM if possible. A pre-built sum comes with all the parts you need and is more or less ready to use when you buy it. From there, you can get used to working with a sim racing rig, make changes to the setup, and learn what sort of build works best for you.
Understanding the technical details of a sim racing cockpit setup and how it works as a whole is easier than buying your sim racing gear and mods individually. As for price, you can expect sim racing cockpits to range from about $450 to the higher hundreds, with some sim rigs costing over a thousand dollars.
More Simulator Racing Tips
You may have started reading this article thinking what iracing is and why should I do it. Creating a high-quality sim racing rig can be expensive, generally costing a couple of thousand dollars.
Fortunately, you can ease some of that financial burden by using Eyeware Beam for your PC head and eye tracking needs, along with a combination of some of the six easy ways to make your sim racing cockpit more realistic. Provide easy-to-use and affordable immersion to your sim experience.
PC Head tracking and eye tracking with Eyeware Beam are compatible with this list of OpenTrack compatible driving simulator games on PC.
- PC Sim Racing Games: Grand Prix Legends, NASCAR DRIVING 2003 Season, F1 Challenge, ToCA Race Driver 2, Richard Burns Rally, Colin McRae Rally 2004, Live For Speed, Cross DRIVING Championship 2005, NASCAR SimDRIVING, GTR FIA GT Racing Game, rFactor, GT Legends, Crashday, netKar PRO, RACE, Test Drive Unlimited, DiRT, VBS2 2.0, RACE 07, X Motor DRIVING, RaceRoom DRIVING Experience, Project Torque, iRacing, F1 2010, Test Drive Unlimited 2, Turismo Carretera, Assetto Corsa, DiRT: Rally, F1 2019, F1 2020, Kart Kraft, and Assetto Corsa Competizione