What Was The Best Thing Added to Sim Racing in 2021?

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Many new and exciting things were added to sim racing in 2021, and we want to hear about your favourite(s).

It's the time of year for celebrations, family time, relaxation, and lazy end-of-year articles summarizing the past year.

But in all seriousness, we're in the midst of an amazing time for our hobby, and 2021 has been another great year. Continuing our popular "Have Your Say" articles (for which the RD team is immensely grateful for your support), we want to hear what was the best new thing you experienced in sim racing this year. We've left a few examples below, but whatever game, car, track, mod, hardware or otherwise brought you happiness this year, we want to hear about it.

Here are some of the many things we heard you liked this year:

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  • Fanatec CSL DD - When the price of the Fanatec's CSL DD was revealed, it seemed almost too good to be true. Direct Drive wheelbases had become synonymous with the $1,000+ price level, so $349 for the CSL DD was an absolute steal. The past several months have provided us with countless reviews of the wheelbase, and with the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the sim community it's clear that Fanatec has given us a new frame of reference for how sim racing wheelbases should be priced.
  • Automobilista 2's Racin' USA DLC - The two parts of the Racin' USA DLC that Reiza brought us this year represented huge steps forward for the sim. AMS2 started 2021 struggling to find its audience, and has ended the year with a growing fanbase thanks in no small part to the Racin' USA DLCs. The first part contained three excellent tracks along with GTE and DPi cars, and part 2 brought us classic Indycars and two more tracks. The release of each part was timed with major game updates, and each was a leap forward for the title this year.
  • iRacing's Mercedes W12 - iRacing is loved for its online racing experiences, but less appreciated for its Formula 1 cars. That stigma was shattered late in 2021 with the release of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance. Codemasters' agreement with Formula 1 keeps almost all current year official content in the F1 game exclusively, but the team at iRacing were able to release a 2021 F1 car in partnership with the Mercedes team. The car is excellent, and a real treat for F1 fans.
  • RaceRoom's Ranked Online Racing - The concept of ranked server racing in sims is something that often discussed, but seldom implemented. RaceRoom was able to put action behind their words this year, however, and delivered a revised online racing experience including ranked servers. The active player count hasn't yet hit the numbers anyone had hoped, but the system is solid and provides excellent racing action.
These are just a few of the impressive things that came to us this year, so let us know your favourite or favourites in the comments below.
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


Whatever it was, it cost too much! :p

Definitely a whathaveyoudoneformelately pick, but for me personally it was the "Default+" FFB update in AMS2. It made the game feel good for me finally. Helped that CART cars got added around the same time too. Happy New Year's.
Has to be the fanatec csl dd for me. I think the raceroom ranked racing is done very well though. They clearly went against the norm and having constant rotation of races works very well compared to rigid schedules and waiting in between. If I was an avid raceroom player and already had a dd wheel then this would be my pick from this list. I don't really see iracing's w12 or ams2's usa dlc being anything spectacular tho.

I think live for speed's modding should at least be worth a mention if a dlc car or pack is worthy... That being said I can easily understand why it isn't mention. Very few play lfs and it is easy to forget single updates like these. I have forgotten probably all of the other big things of this year which is why my list is also so short! Another thing I do remember is rf2 ranked system but are people playing it?

So from this list for me it is the fanatec csl dd. I was looking at buying a dd wheel at some point but couldn't really justify the easily over 1000€ price tag for that. Not to mention I really like the fanatec's wheel settings where I can adjust things like steer lock straight from the wheel. And at that price for dd wheel it was an easy purchase for me.. Especially with graphics cards prices going totally crazy it was easy to spend that money elsewhere. I wonder if my penny pinching persona can ever justify a gpu upgrade...

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Mike Smith
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