Automobilista 2 Le Mans DLCs featuring the Circuit de la Sarthe, LMDh and GT3 cars

Why Automobilista 2 Needs Better Multiplayer Features Fast

Automobilista 2

Automobilista 2 shifts its focus to Endurance Racing for 2024 with the new Le Mans DLC(s) as a fixed point. To get the most out of it and make the sim future-proof, however, Reiza also needs to tackle another issue: Multiplayer.

2023 was a crucial year for Automobilista 2. V1.5, which came out at the end of July, featured a major overhaul to the physics of all cars. This update has not only laid the new handling foundation but also eventually elevated the sim among the industry leaders in terms of driving.

At the end of November 2023, update v1.5.3 then introduced new historic tracks with period-accurate variants of Barcelona 1991, Interlagos 1991 and 1993 as well as Montreal 1991. Additionally, the two new Formula HiTech car classes represent models for the 1992 and 1993 Formula One seasons.

As these were arguably the most technologically advanced cars in F1, accordingly the update also introduced ABS, TC, Launch Control and Active Suspension to the game or at least the formula cars.

On the last day of 2023, Reiza released the first two Le Mans / Endurance Racing DLCs. Image credit: Reiza Studios

Endurance Racing Is Automobilista 2’s Focus for 2024

Now with the first Le Mans DLCs out, we can finally get into endurance racing properly. The Circuit de la Sarthe in its contemporary layout is as good as it can get. Moreover, the four new state-of-the-art GT3 Gen2 cars along with the three new LMDh Hypercars are not only the perfect completion but also drive awesomely well.

And it will get even better. According to Reiza’s June 2023 Development Update, more endurance cars from the late eighties and nineties would be added. The announcement explicitely mentions Group C and GT1 and that Reiza plans “to complement AMS2´s Endurance timeline with several prototypes and GT cars ranging from the early 70s to the mid-00s.”

Group C will finally get to race at Le Mans in Automobilista 2 later this year
Group C will finally get to race at Le Mans in Automobilista 2. Image credit: Reiza Studios

On the AI front, with v1.5.5 Automobilista 2 now officially supports AI Driver Swaps in pitstops. Thus, upon pitting, the player can hand the car control over to the AI for the next stint or until the next stop – or until he decides to take over again.

As a matter of fact, racing the AI has never been more realistic, immersive and fun in Automobilista 2. In my humble opinion, AMS2 is currently even the best racing sim for single players. Sadly, this cannot be said of the multiplayer part.

Automobilista 2’s Wasted Potential: Multiplayer

Thanks to many additions and improvements, the number of AMS2 players has risen in recent months. And with the Le Mans DLCs and Endurance Racing, the sim should be able to win over even more players. However, in order to keep them engaged in the short and in the long run, the developers also direly need to improve the multiplayer experience and add appealing, state-of-the-art features.

While racing the AI is very good and recreating historic races or doing custom championships are amazing features for single players, when it comes to multiplayer, Automobilista 2 is still lacking, to say the least. Whether it is reliability or game modes – online, the sim is still in its infancy.

Automopbilista 2 Online Lobbies
Sadly, Automobilista 2‘s online and multiplayer experience is still rather rudimentary and deficient. Image credit: Reiza Studios

Of course you can already have fun online with AMS2. Anyone who is on a private server with like-minded people or has had a taste of, say, “Racecraft” knows what I mean. However, the former is a coterie thing and the latter is simply (still) too unknown and hardly used.

Racing games are competitive at their core, just like us humans. Thus releasing a racing sim these days and neglecting multiplayer and esports is a bold move – both economically and with regards to relevance and popularity. Automobilista 2 sports awesome content and has got a powerful game engine which would easily allow for varied online leagues, ranked races or even international championships. Hence, their inexistence is more than just a shame. It is wasted potential.

Sad, but true: As long as the online multiplayer experience remains so rudimentary and deficient, Automobilista 2 will not be able to unleash its full potential.

24 Hours of Le Mans Online?

Imagine the 24 Heures du Mans as a multiplayer online event in AMS2 with its contemporary, appealing technical foundation including the whole day and night cycle, dynamic weather, LiveTrack and Driver Swap … Could challenge the top dog, couldn’t it?

The Le Mans Virtual Series is one of the biggest racing series in esports. Image credit: Traxion / Motorsport Games

Though theoretically possible (except for online driver swaps), as of today such an event in Automobilista 2 seems highly unlikely – at least for 2024. But one has to give credit to Reiza for now putting “Multiplayer” on their agenda. As stated in the December 2023 Development Update, they will put “a bigger focus in keeping the public game stable” and are keen on building “a more powerful Dedicated Server Multiplayer tool.”

That is a start. The players would welcome any improvement – no matter how incremental. The sooner, the better.

Automopbilista 2 Le Mans / Endurance Race Pack Pt. 1. LMDh Porsche 963 and 992 GT3R
Multiplayer needs improvements to make Automobilista 2 relevant and popular in the long run. Image credit: Reiza Studios

Competitive Multiplayer Promotes Relevance and Popularity

However, it remains doubtful whether Reiza can do this on their own. No doubt, the team is competent, dedicated and has repeatedly proven to be able to deliver quality work. Yet it is also rather small, hence resources are limited. And “as new developments become more complex and the user base continues to expand”, future updates would take up to 2 to 3 months.

For me that is okay. I have been playing AMS2 since its release, and it is growing on me more and more with every update. I can wait, have faith in the game and think I see the bigger picture. But for a player with a background in, say, ACC, iRacing or rF2, this might look very different. Because they might demand a holistic experience, and that includes a convincing competitive online multiplayer. And they may want it now. Not in three, six or nine months, when it is perhaps ready as a Beta.

Since other sims are far ahead in terms of multiplayer or esport events, the question arises as to whether it would not be better for Reiza to team up with a competent partner to manage and professionalize the competitive online experience. With regards to more relevance and popularity, this would seem the right step.

What do you think of Automobilista 2‘s new endurance racing focus and the current state of multiplayer? Is it wasting its potential? Tell us on X (Twitter) @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!

Cars, motorsports and racing games addict since 1974, I am constantly hunting for perfect authenticity and deepest immersion from the safety of my sim rig.