Thanks to the immensely talented modding scene, also driving on real road maps is a thing in Assetto Corsa. Some of the best you can find here.
For many, Sim Racing is synonymous with competitive driving, frantic, high-adrenaline action on circuits, rally or touge stages, or even car chases in heavy traffic on city streets. However, there is also this more relaxed, laid back side of Sim Racing (or shall we say Sim Driving?) called Free Roam.
Free Roam has its focus on the sheer driving experience, on cruising, enjoying and exploring the scenery. Anyone who has ever been to a car meet in, say, the LA Canyons, or taken a motorized stroll on Union Island will know what I mean.
Roaming Real Roads
Assetto Corsa is also wonderful for free roaming, as my colleague Angus already featured in his “Best Free Roam Maps in Assetto Corsa” last year. Here, I would like to expand his approach and show you some of the best practices in Assetto Corsa for maps sporting real roads, as this has become somewhat of a subcategory of free roam.
Two of the best real road maps out there for Assetto Corsa are Pacific Coast and High Force. While the first features a 23 km long section of the dangerous roads on California Highway 1 along the scenic West Coast, the latter is an open world map sporting real roads of the calm countryside in the North of the UK. Regarding quality, both mods could have made it onto this list easily.
However, since Angus already covered High Force in the above mentioned article and Pacific Coast is one of the most known and downloaded maps and a more than obvious choice anyways, I refrained from including them as original picks. But that, of course, does not mean that you should not try them. On the contrary.
Best Assetto Corsa Real Road Maps: How to Read this List
The following list of the best real road maps for Assetto Corsa is in alphabetical order. I am of course aware that there are many more mods around featuring real roads than I mention here. And, admittedly, some of them could have easily also made it on this list. However, please note that 1. we only list mods that are hosted on RaceDepartment and 2. I wanted to keep it digestible, thus it is limited to six.
Arrabassada by Simrac3r is a recreation of the real-world road connecting Barcelona city and Sant Cugat del Vallés City. The accuracy and quality of the recreation is jaw-dropping. Everything is in its original place, while the textures were created specifically with real images.
Arrabassada features the urban highway and goes up until the crossroad to Tibidabo or Sant Cugat, thus transitioning from completely urban to fully mountain road, including two oil stations, viewpoints, and parkings.
Please note that this track has two versions. While the freeroam version is for free (and hosted on RaceDepartment), the version with AI traffic is paid.
Arrabassada Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 19 Dec 2022; Last Updated: 22 Dec 2022
- 5.25 km (3,26 mi)
- High-Quality real textures
- Grass FX
- Rain FX
- Track cameras
- LOD optimization
- Functional traffic lights
- Night mode
Glencoe is a real-world location based in the Glen Finnan area of Glencoe, Scotland. The map is a mix of real and fictional roads based on real-world forestry tracks and trails. The total track length is about 75 miles with the outer loop measuring 48 miles.
Done by Grant Hendry, Glencoe may be the oldest and technically most outdated of the mods here, lacking hi-res images and features like traffic or CSP support. However, the map is still praised by many, as it is not only extremely long (120 km) but also perfectly scratches that itch of driving, free roaming, and exploring.
Glencoe Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 8 Sep 2017; Last Updated: 28 Dec 2017
- ca. 120 km (75 mi)
- Real World Forestry Tracks and Trails
Mulholland Drive is an 11 mile (17.7 km) long mountain-top road in LA above Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley. It features the stretch between the 405 and 101 freeways, a two-lane road traversing a mix of both residential areas with narrow curbed streets and twisty scenic sections with dirt shoulders.
The mod by Todd K can also be used for racing up and down the Drive. Tip: To get in the right mood, watch the great movie of the same name by David Lynch! Or the in total rather mediocre yet full of touge action “King of the Mountain”.
Mulholland Drive Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 2 May 2021; Last Updated: 31 Dec 2021
- 17.7. km (11 mi)
- 21 Pit Boxes, 21 position starting grid, and an AI racing line
- 3 Track Versions: East (default) and Reverse, both suitable for Hotlap, Track Day, or Race modes, and Freeroam including two-way AI traffic
Santa Monica Mountains
Though still in an early stage, Santa Monica Mountains is an oustanding work. Todd K‘s real road mod for Assetto Corsa is a recreation of the network of canyon roads nestled in the hills above Malibu, California. To create it, he used a technique of photogrammetry in order to capture the actual roads with as much precision and detail as possible.
Here is a video showcasing the Tuna Canyon and Saddle Peak hill climb run. The mod came out in December 2021 and has received its last update in April 2023, pushing it to v02. Let us hope that Todd will came back to this project soon to unleash its full potential …
Santa Monica Mountains Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 24 Dec 2021; Last Updated: 23 Apr 2023
- Ca. 34 km (21 mi.)
- 6 different spawn locations with a varying number of boxes at each. (AI options only available at select locations).
- Two Racing AI lines to choose from, with a third one partially working.
- Freeroam two-way AI traffic with 3 different spawn points to choose from, each one with 24 pit boxes. The traffic will only loop on 11 miles of the road (Stunt/Schueren/Piuma), but all 21 miles of the map are available for you to roam solo or via online multiplayer. This two-way traffic should be expected to be buggy and REQUIRES CSP AI Behavior
Slea Head Drive
Slea Head Drive is one of Ireland’s most scenic routes and also a favorite Hollywood film location. The Slea Head Loop is a 38 km (24 mile) route that starts and ends in Dingle Town and that takes in many of the main attractions on the Dingle Pensinsula. y0chang’s rendition of the Slea Head Drive features 17.4 km (10.8 mi) of the real roads of this scenic region.
Though there are still some items to be added and fixed on y0chang’s list, such as signs and road details, or better textures for buildings, the mod is already everything that you may want from roaming real roads in Assetto Corsa. Just take your time and enjoy the scenery and sites!
Slea Head Drive Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 17 Jan 2022; Last Updated: 22 Oct 2022
- 17.4 km (10.8 mi)
- 48 New Trackside Cameras
- Collision Objects on Fences
- Rain FX
- Detailed Buildings
The Wicklow Mountains are located 30 kilometers south of Dublin. Jake Grafton‘s open world mod Wicklow Mountains represents a small portion of the real roads of this area in Assetto Corsa. Like in real life, the map delivers a varied, exciting driving experience, or, as Jake says, “this area can be very difficult and frustrating if you’re not patient.”
Indeed, Wicklow Mountains is huge and tough, but also rewarding and immersive. On the one hand, it features very narrow places (especially section 4) as well as tight, low-speed turns. On the other hand, though, there are very open and empty mountain parts (Section 2 and 3) with hardly any trackside objects for reference.
Wicklow Mountains Features and Highlights
- Release Date: 23 Feb 2021; Last Updated: 5 Dec 2022
- 47.1 km (29.2 mi)
- 2 Full Layouts With AI support
- Required: Grass FX
- Collision Objects on Fences
- Detailed Buildings
What is your favourite real road map for Assetto Corsa? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!