What’s Your View on Driving Views?

Sim Racing View 01.jpg

Your Favorite Driving View In Racing Games

  • Cockpit view

    Votes: 403 74.8%
  • Bonnet view

    Votes: 52 9.6%
  • Chase view

    Votes: 16 3.0%
  • Nose view

    Votes: 12 2.2%
  • Dashboard view

    Votes: 48 8.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 1.5%

  • Total voters
There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a racing game or racing sim, but are certain titles better with a certain in-game viewpoint?

In-car, Bonnet, T-Cam and Chase Cam are all popular perspectives to race from in major racing titles. A quick search for a recent F1 title will yield a lot of T-Cam videos. Most of the content we see from racing sims like rFactor 2, Assetto Corsa and Automobilista tend to showcase cockpit cams. The immensely popular Forza and Gran Turismo series is commonly driven from a chase cam. And there are those in the sim racing community that swear by a bonnet (hood) cam.

So, why the preference by game, and what are the advantages of each?

Many of the popular racing sims tend to lend themselves better to an in-car cam for a few reasons. First, these titles are frequently driven with a wheel and pedal set, so the cockpit or helmet cam adds to the immersive experience. These titles also feature customizable view settings so the driving view can properly replicate the view of driving a real car based on the screen size and your distance from it. The bonnet and dash cams are close relatives of this view, and offer much of the same immersion and FOV advantages with less of the screen taken up by in-car instrumentation.

Codemasters’ F1 game series is unique in racing games with its T-cam view. In real-life F1, the T structure above and behind the driver's head is a discreet and minimally impactful spot for the mounting of a TV camera, so fans of the sport have become used to this perspective. This has carried over to the official game of F1 and gives players a broader view of track than the cockpit cam while also avoiding the visually intrusive halo pillar.

Sim Racing View 03.jpg

Chase cam is usually reserved for racing games and offers a comparatively wide view of the surroundings of your car. The precision achievable from this viewpoint tends to be less than that of the cockpit or helmet cams, so this is often reserved for racing experiences where placing the car in exact spots on corner entry, apex and trackout comes second to your proximity to other cars.

Of course, these aren’t all of the views in the racing game world. VR necessarily defaults to a helmet cam without the helmet. Art of Rally uses something entirely different. There are no rules to views in racing titles, just preferences.

We want to hear from you in the comments below. Do you have a standard driving view that you use across most or all your favourite racing titles? Or do you vary it by what you’re driving? Why do you choose that specific view?
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604


I agree with banenab - whatever you like.

What I don't like is when someone claims they want the most realistic sim racing experience - and then drive with bonnet cam or chase cam!

The alternative cams are alright - for a more casual experience - and have some advantages, e.g. bonnet cam includes more of the surroundings with the car's interior not 'blocking out' valuable space, giving you a better sense of speed (on a smaller monitor), which can help with enjoyment and speed judgement, hence improving your laptime.

To me though, nothing beats setting the correct FOV, then moving the camera so that proportions (steering wheel diameter) and height are real - and only then go racing. Having the real scale of my markers improved the accuracy of my lines and laptimes more than the better sense of speed that a bonnet cam can achieve.

(And I do have a small monitor - 25". If you have ultrawide, you can get the proper sense of speed from the correct FOV as well.)

Pro tip: Use RealHeadMotion in AC and ACC, if you want even more realism (all sims "use" it, iR, rF2, AMS, only Kunos didn't so far) - literature & link: https://www.assettocorsa.net/forum/index.php?threads/real-head-motion-1-0-2.4755/
In car cockpit cam for me everytime. My rig is setup so that the dash is in the right position and at the right scale when viewed from my seating position, so naturally I turn off the in game driver and wheel.

Bonnet/hood cam seems too elevated, as does the T-Cam in the F1 games. Bumper cam is often way too low depending on sim, although it can be a cockpit view without the cockpit which gives you far more visual cues as to how the car is handling.

Chase cam. Hmmm, there's a special place in hell for whoever invented chase cam, and I've made it my mission in life to assist that person in anyway possible to enable them to get to said special place in the most tormenting and tortuous way imaginable.
If I drive with a gamepad, chase cam is fine and preferred, old Mario Kart instincts I guess. But with a wheel it has to be Cockpit or at least bonnet view, else I can't make heads and tails of the car's movement.
My way to play is --> All sims i play with a wheel are driven in cocpit camera, occasionaly switched to bonnet.
All the rest of simcades or racing games which i sometimes also play with a xbox controller, are played most in chase camera.
Cockpit view in all sim games... here I wish devs would put more work, I like ACC that has an option to distort the view on a side in order to make it look like in car where the right corner seems far... it gives an impression its real but i am sure it can be made way better, maybe a combination of this plus a slight rotation of the POV adjusted to taste.
In chase view I remember playing the first GRID-Race Driver, what a fun game that was, so many laughs and epic moments, great battles sometimes and mostly unfair moments ...I don't like hood view, but that's just me
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Playing mostly in VR, in AC, ACC and Automobilista 2, I always go cockpit. But given that Codemasters hates VR, I have to go T-cam (the centered one) for F1, because I can't see the corners or the mirrors in the cockpit.
VR user, so naturally I gravitate to cockpit realism. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve tried any other view in a sim (replays don’t count) - perhaps I feel a challenge coming on!
My view is - screw immersion, use the one you're most comfortable/fastest with.

I'm quite tired of the elitism that governs most of the simulation genres. I play games / simulators to distract myself from the constraints of real life, and sometimes I'm not interested in accuracy or having the most realistic experience. In terms of racing sims, can't possibly have that anyway; I don't have a wheel and it's unlikely I will be getting one any time soon. Let alone fancy things like VR or triple screens. I don't have neither money or space for all of that.

I was forcing myself to use cockpit cam in Assetto Corsa, and although I won't deny it's probably the best way you can play racing sims, I grew up mostly with arcadish, console-oriented games that had chase cameras (NFS, GTA, etc) and therefore I always felt more comfortable with this perspective. In Dirt Rally I just downright suck with cockpit cam, and get frustrated. Which IMO shouldn't be the point of a product that is meant to be entertainment.

I understand people have different concepts of what is entertaining, and that is great. Variety of opinions is always good, even if there is always a majority side. But people shouldn't be harassing others because their definitions of what is entertaining differ considerably.
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Triple screens here and cockpit cam because I like to pretend I'm in the car. This is the reason why I play sim racing, to be as close as possible (and I can afford) to real driving experience.
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