Last month saw a major controversy spark between rFactor 2‘s publisher, Motorsport Games, and iRacing. Along with Low Fuel Motorsport adding rF2 to its ranking service means, could this mean iRacing‘s days may be numbered.
Image Credit: iRacing.com / Low Fuel Motorsport
With an impressive ranking system and vast amounts of content, iRacing is most definitely one of the top dogs in simracing. If you want to race online in a competitive lobby, it is the place to go short of a league. That being said, rFactor 2 is in a very strong place at the moment and, with the help of Low Fuel Motorsport, is looking to threaten the establishment.
The game produced by Studio 397 has recently been added to LFM’s online ranking service alongside Assetto Corsa Competizione. The move has propelled the title back into popularity. As a result, I’m left wondering whether Low Fuel Motorsport threatens iRacing. Can it withstand the pressure it is experiencing at the moment?
iRacing: No longer the content king
This whole debate kicked off at the end of last year when iRacing announced it no longer held a licence for its IndyCar content. Due to the exclusive deal signed between the American open wheeler series and Motorsport Games, the title’s contract could not be renewed. As a result, iRacers will no longer be able to race the Dallara IR-18 in official races. Nor can leagues stream their IndyCar events.
It seems that from now on, any IndyCar fan will have to move over to rFactor 2 in search of the same experience. This is something we can expect LFM to capitalise on as they are sure to add more IndyCar-related content to its line-up.
IndyCar isn’t iRacing‘s only headache when it comes to Low Fuel Motorsport. Thanks to the website’s association with rFactor 2, it unofficially has access to all of Motorsport Games’ licences. This includes the already present BTCC cars, NASCAR Cup Series models and all content relating to the FIA WEC.
iRacing got praise for the addition of the new BMW LMDh car. But if and when rFactor 2 receives a fleet of Hypercar machinery from the likes of Toyota, Peugeot, Porsche and Ferrari, that achievement won’t seem so impressive. We may all be very anxious to experience an iRacing Special Event with the new car. But surely Low Fuel Motorsport will be better suited to hosting an online Le Mans 24 Hour race in the near future.
rFactor 2: Best Racing Simulator?
Ever since its launch in 2013, rFactor 2 has had one particular selling point. Sure, it suffers from a great deal of glitches and the user experience is far from fluid. But at its heart surely sits the most sophisticated simulation of a racecar on the market. The game’s tyre model is often plauded, as is its Force Feedback.
On the contrary, iRacing‘s driving feel has always been the subject of debate. Odd, unsaveable slides. A damage model that leaves players wondering what they ever did to the blade of grass that ripped a hole in their floor. It isn’t always the most realistic of games. Pair these market-dominating handling physics with the online ranking system on offer from Low Fuel Motorsport and iRacing is in trouble.
For over a year now, iRacing‘s team has been chatting about its upcoming rain simulation. It was originally going to release over the course of 2022, but never made it in time.
rFactor 2 on the other hand boasts very realistic rain implementation. Alongside its Real Road track build-up simulation, rain affects different parts of the track differently. As such, drivers must go in search of grip in unusual areas, making for varying racing lines. This is certainly something we can expect from iRacing‘s take on wet weather simulation once it releases. Though it has featured in rFactor 2 for a long time now leaving us wondering what iRacing is doing.
An obvious price gap
There’s no denying iRacing is expensive. You pay over $100 a year just to play the sim. Then have to fork out an additional $10-$15 for each new piece of content you want to use. Some can even be spending over $200 a year if they simply purchase everything the game has to offer.
To be fair to the team behind the game, they have been able to charge such a high figure up until now as the competition has been non-existent. But if rFactor 2 and Low Fuel Motorsport are succeeding in rivalling iRacing, the pricing model will need a rethink.
In fact, LFM is a free-to-use website while rFactor 2 is available for less than €15 during the current Steam sale. All in all, the price gap between the two experiences almost renders the argument mute. Low Fuel Motorsport not only threatens iRacing, but blows it out of the water. That is unless iRacing can either make another step to become the go-to online racing sim, or alter its prices.
Can rFactor 2 with Low Fuel Motorsport rival iRacing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!