Most Played Racing Titles on Steam in June 2023

BeamNG.drive Steam Most Played June 2023.jpg
The popularity of racing games and simulations is hard to gauge, especially since they seem to vary considerably around the releases of new content, big updates or even influences of real-world events. What can be gauged, however, is cold, hard numbers - so we did just that for the most important racing titles on Steam in June 2023.

Image credit: BeamNG

With June 2023 seeing the releases of titles like F1 23 and MotoGP 23, a few interesting newcomers to the list of most played racing games on Steam could be expected, and it is no surprise that one of them immediately shot up to the top five of the ranking, although compared to the May numbers, the top titles are still going strong without a change in order.

Note: While iRacing is available on Steam as well, its numbers are not representative as most players acces the sim through its own UI. As a result, its statistics are not included in this article.

New Challenger Can't Crack the Podium​

The biggest new release of June was F1 23: The latest instalment of the official Formula One series of games by EA Sports and Codemasters officially launched on June 16th and attracted a considerable number of players, as had to be expected. Yet, the new F1 title cannot quite make the podium.

Instead, it has to queue behind Forza Horizon 4 in fourth, Assetto Corsa in third, BeamNG.drive in second and Forza Horizon 5 at the very top. All four of these titles have seen gains in their player bases compared to May, with the ring leader boasting the biggest percentage in this regard among the top five. The Steam Summer Sale likely has not had much of an effect yet, as it only started on June 29th - its influence should show in the July numbers.

RaceRoom Gains Significantly​

Meanwhile, the effects of RaceRoom's Free Access Period followed by the Summer Sale (which is still ongoing at the time of writing this article) could be felt within the ranking as well: Compared to May, the sim saw an increase of almost 27% in players as the peak was up by almost 400 players.

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About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Raceroom & AMS2 need to be waaaay further up that list, but I guess the masses just like crappy F1 games and casual titles like Forza Horizons. Plus The Crew 2 being so high up, what has this world come to?
People play good games. Raceroom and AMS2 are good driving sims, but they're pretty bad games.

ACC is mainly played more because LFM makes it a good game. Before that, it had similiar numbers.

F1 games are, aside from bugginess, great racing games, with unmatched career mode.

AC and BeamNG are great car sandboxes, but not too many people use them for actual racing.

And Forza Horizon series are currently the best open-world racing games, and those were very popular ever since they were first made.

Conclusions? If you want to have a big playerbase, make a good, engaging, fun game, not just good physics.
 
Yeah, I have to agree. Sims may never be the most played titles.

But maybe we are getting there. It seems that more and more people are building rigs and buying DD wheels etc. Maybe they come to the sim genre as well. And why there couldn't be simulator level physics in racing games and other motoring games? What is the hold up?

I am a sim fan, never been a racing game fan. I have now used several hundred hours on sims. And now, this summer I suddenly started to feel that there is something engaging missing in AMS2 and AC.:unsure: I feel that I have started to miss something that pulls me into the racing track atmosphere better. Something like AI talking to me about something sensible, nothing too arcade-like shouting and bragging. More than my laptime spotting only. And maybe I could talk to my AI car engineer?

I have started to long for a sim title, that simulates the social atmosphere of the track better, or something. It has become little lonely driving "silently" against AI.
 
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Is this survey including consoles or is it just for PC usage?
steam, is PC. For the console, you can add more millions players for F1 23, Dirt rally, Forza horzion... A game with a low player base is bad, nothing else.
 
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rF2 is the travesty simply because too many A. have never tried it . B. Tried it and gave up as too hard C. Listen to the haters, I mean there are so many rF2 must be bad then it must be true right ?

You can say it's because of bugs and other things we all know the truth, the majority won't even attempt to work it out.

I mean 55% approval on Steam is just plain bs and sore losers and so called simmers can't get on top of a title.

Really sad so many miss out on that special sauce that is rF2.
 
People play good games. Raceroom and AMS2 are good driving sims, but they're pretty bad games.

ACC is mainly played more because LFM makes it a good game. Before that, it had similiar numbers.

F1 games are, aside from bugginess, great racing games, with unmatched career mode.

AC and BeamNG are great car sandboxes, but not too many people use them for actual racing.

And Forza Horizon series are currently the best open-world racing games, and those were very popular ever since they were first made.

Conclusions? If you want to have a big playerbase, make a good, engaging, fun game, not just good physics.
On what planet has a sim ever been the most played for any genre
Sims obviously always take a backseat in global popularity for their more "extreme" take on motorsport, just as there's a mainstream vs niche divide in movies, music, and basically anything in life. I totally understand the numbers (aside from Crew 2 as I personally thought that was s**t) and I normally think that falling outside of mainstream is where things actually get interesting and special, but from a business perspective I hate to see the smaller guys suffer and often wither away as so many people are simply happy with their bland tastes. Each to their own obviously, but I'd take a simulator type "game" any day over aimlessly driving through fields or racing physics-less F1 cars. Just my opinion.
 
rF2 is the travesty simply because too many A. have never tried it . B. Tried it and gave up as too hard C. Listen to the haters, I mean there are so many rF2 must be bad then it must be true right ?

You can say it's because of bugs and other things we all know the truth, the majority won't even attempt to work it out.

I mean 55% approval on Steam is just plain bs and sore losers and so called simmers can't get on top of a title.

Really sad so many miss out on that special sauce that is rF2.
Just as a healthy debate and feedback, while I totally agree with your 3 reasons for rF2's dislike and holds merit, I personally never took to the sim as...

1) It fugly (general & HUD).
2) FFB was so "detailed" to the point of being overactive (even with loads of smoothing applied) and the tyre slip was so over-pronounced, it just felt like it was trying to do too much while destroying my Logitech G29 in the process.
3) The track selection just didn't interest me. Plus how can they have all British tracks but miss out on Outlon Park - unforgiveable!
4) The DLC pricing is unjustifiably steep.
5) Some Workshop tracks are very bare-bones / aged, and often inaccurate too.
5) The racing / driving experience is "too serious" - AMS2 is somewhat unrealistic at times but fun due to pushing beyond realistic boundaries, Raceroom fills the slot of being more realistic but you still have fun throwing cars around, while rF2 is about strict discipline and is realistically harsh if you don't do what you need to do, so less fun basically.

That said, obviously everyone's idea of what fun is varies - some find fun in what others think are tedious.

In rF2's defence though, I never saw why everyone slagged off the menus as I didn't feel that it was significantly more complicated or difficult to use that other sims, and that's going back before the current front-end. Plus I still managed to get a few decent races in with the standard content (a rare find). Overall rF2 was third on my Summer Sale wishlist for DLCs, but this won't happen for me now as I've already spent too much elsewhere and rF2's pricing doesn't incentivise further "investment" in terms of being good value / bang for the buck.
 
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I just looked at reviews of a the few shooter / action type games acquired purely by buying video cards.

The difference I see is they just enjoy them, they don't sit in judgement of each other arguing over shooting physics and bullet dynamics or yours is better then mine.
 
racing physics-less F1 cars
That's a very unfair take if you're referring to official F1 games. Sure, they're not as pronounced as ones in "hardcore" sims and they make some intentional concessions for the sake of gameplay accessability, but they mostly do handle realistically and they do some stuff that no other recreation of F1 in simracing does, like actual 10 different cars, each with its own performance, R&D and meaningful, persistent parts wear on the engine side.

And that's just simulation-wise. On top of that there's a whole set of features recreating sporting regulations that makes actual racing experience more realistic, that barely any other game does.
 
1) Agree it is not the prettiest but looks are only skin deep.

2) lol turn your multiplier down by each car, I used a Black Momo for years which is way lighter then the G series and still got most amazing feelings. I could take air out of one tyre and feel it. Yes I did wreck about 4 black Momos ( all replaced free) but that was only cause I cranked it up too far. lol

3) That is always contentious look at ACC everyone knows it's official but they still ask for other tracks ? How do you know they have missed out on Oulton Park ? Maybe kept a few tracks for the BTCC sim ? I mean I don't keep up with news I rather be surprised. Is there a reason for the 3 missing tracks ? People have already put crap on Snetterton ( flat, boring ) see what I mean, never happy.

4) Agree on pricing but imho not unjustifiably steep considering the hurdles they face, S397 deserves a medal for putting up with the community.

5) Agree but again that is like every mod sim yes? Some Workshop tracks are also very very good with better terrain then some sims in-house, although to be honest I feel some of that is due to imho superior dynamics.

6) Agree again ( wow) but you can dumb rF2 way down and turn it into a arcade racer. Open rooms even, leagues allow auto gears and clutch for most sims yes ? you can hardly call that pushing realistic boundaries. Thing is most in the rooms won't use aids because it stagnates the dynamics and are happy letting others have an advantage so they get more pleasure.
 
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Complaining that AMS2 has fewer players than The Crew 2 is like complaining that Arma has a smaller player base than COD. Or, hey, that King Gizzard has fewer listeners on Spotify than Bad Bunny.

Ask the random kid working at the supermarket whether they'd rather adjust spring rates and gear ratios on a LIDAR-scanned track in Belgium to correct his mid-corner understeer, in a game where you need a minimum $200 steering wheel peripheral with realistic FFB to fully appreciate, or whether he'd rather spend time exploring a gorgeous open world on dirt bikes, planes and cars with custom paintjobs, gaining XP with friends using any old controller.

Here's my hot take: the only time a sim-ish game, one that features realistic physics and car setup matters, has gone mainstream is the F1 series in the past 5 years. And, yet, it's not simmy enough for the most hardcore sim racers. It reminds me of when people complained that, say, Green Day were sellouts compared to X underground punk band you really liked.

Shouldn't we be happy that there's some 12 year old kid who thinks Lando Norris is the coolest, who races with the racing line and brake assist, eventually learns about wing adjustments? And, upon redlining his 8th gear midway down a straight, figures out he can adjust his gears?

That's how I got into sim racing, back in the day. I had brake assist in Grand Prix 2, no damage. I'd have super low AI and start from the back, try to win. 25 years later, as an adult, I customize my own dashboards with SimHub, I host weekly racing events with friends in AC or AMS2, and we discuss the nuances of engine braking in 10-min quali sessions. If someone had told me I was a noob for using the racing line in 1997, I might not have stuck with it.

/rant
 
Premium
Not sure why we always have all these arcade titles thrown in, diluting the water.
So the algorithm directs traffic to the site, and they become our next generation of sim-racers, which expands the hobby, which means more investment, which means higher numbers of engagement and repeat visitors, which means they watch more adds, which means more revenue.

Sadly, they get here due to Google picking up on a mention of The Crew 2, see how we all carry on like raving lunatics with bizarre arguments that weave in and out of each other spanning multiple titles, platforms, developers and span decades and are all really just personal bias and delusions about know how companies operate behind the scenes and they get the hell out of here...

The crazy few stay, and they become one of us.
 
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Premium
Yeah, I have to agree. Sims may never be the most played titles.

But maybe we are getting there. It seems that more and more people are building rigs and buying DD wheels etc. Maybe they come to the sim genre as well. And why there couldn't be simulator level physics in racing games and other motoring games? What is the hold up?

I am a sim fan, never been a racing game fan. I have now used several hundred hours on sims. And now, this summer I suddenly started to feel that there is something engaging missing in AMS2 and AC.:unsure: I feel that I have started to miss something that pulls me into the racing track atmosphere better. Something like AI talking to me about something sensible, nothing too arcade-like shouting and bragging. More than my laptime spotting only. And maybe I could talk to my AI car engineer?

I have started to long for a sim title, that simulates the social atmosphere of the track better, or something. It has become little lonely driving "silently" against AI.
I used to consider myself a hard core sim racer. But as you say something missing from driving silently against AI. Crew Chief helps but I got tired of that. I am now a fan of F1 23 just because the AI seem pretty good and the voice feedback is pretty good. There is something to this getting XP points to all that. I don't do the story mode or career mode but the Grand Prix mode is good. FFB not the best but is workable and the graphics in VR are nice (VR for other than actual in the car driving is horrible though). So now I am splitting my time between AC, AMS2, and now F1 23. RF2 and Raceroom take too long to boot up. ACC sometimes.
 

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