The differences in between Sim Racing and Simcade (Updated)

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GTxForza

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Edited By GTxForza

Sim Racing:
This sub-genre appears to be more complex by having driving physics feel closer to the real world of motorsport, harder A.I, timing it right during practice & qualifying sessions, setting up your car (But there are some presets though), tactics on when to overtake your opponents, have the right time to pit-in to refuel the gas tank, change tires, brakes and driver (When it comes to endurance racing event).

However, they don't seem to be really well optimized with gamepads or mobile phones which makes them feel undrivable, plus they're much more recommended and optimized to use the racing wheel & pedal sets that support force-feedback, making it more drivable as the players have more proportion to control their steering, accelerating, braking and gear shifting.

Examples of Sim Racing games:

  • iRacing
  • rFactor series
  • Assetto Corsa Competizione
  • Assetto Corsa
  • DiRT Rally series
  • WRC series (Kylotonn 2015-2021)
  • Richard Burns Rally
  • Automobilista series
  • Race Series
  • GTR Series
  • Live For Speed
  • Project Cars series (Until the 3rd installment in the series)

Simcade:
This sub-genre is meant to be more accessible for most players, and old-school feel by having a little bit more forgiving driving physics, slightly easier A.I, lesser setup options, catch up/rubber banding being enabled as default, and using fewer tactics on when it comes to overtaking your opponents, but still need the right time to pit-in (If it's endurance racing event) plus may not require to have practice and qualifying sessions.

They're great for both on controller pads (With analogue triggers/right stick to accelerate & brake like a radio control car) and racing wheel & pedal set (Better have force-feedback to have extra realism).

To me, it's also a very PlayStation/Xbox consoleish sub-genre of racing games in my personal opinion plus not every Simcade console player can afford or have room for their racing wheel too.

Examples of Simcade:

  • Gran Turismo series
  • Gran Turismo Sport/Prologue series
  • Forza Motorsport series
  • Enthusia Professional Racing (Konami's answer to PlayStation's Gran Turismo and Xbox's Forza Motorsport series)
  • Sega GT (Sega's answer to PlayStation's Gran Turismo series)
  • Codemasters' F1
  • DiRT series (Please note that DiRT 5 and DiRT Showdown are both completely arcade racers)
  • Colin McRae Rally series
  • WRC series (Evolution Studios 2001-2005)

Overall: I can see that Sim Racing is more associated with PC while Simcade appears to be more associated with PlayStation/Xbox home consoles and mobile phones.

Want to know more details? please watch viperconcept's evaluation of driving games in general.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sim_racing

Additional notes:

  • This two sub-genre of driving games are great for both on the cockpit.
  • Entry to mid-range wheel brands such as Logitech and Thrustmaster wheel for PlayStation/Xbox is good for Sim Racing, Rally Sim and Simcade.
  • While the higher-end brands such as Fanatec and Simucube are both more official for Sim Racing and Rally Sim over Simcades in general.
  • For Assetto Corsa console & mobile version, it had inferior driving physics compared to its PC version counterpart, due to its physics engine optimization problems.
  • Assetto Corsa Competizione on last-gen home consoles versions (PS4 & Xbox One) has quite a lot of issues.
  • The Forza Horizon series is described to be a spin-off from the Forza Motorsport series by having different sub-genre (Open-World Arcade Racer) to attract different kinds of car lovers, so the best comparison for that is always to be either Test Drive Unlimited or The Crew series because these 3 are open-world arcade racers. And why comparing Forza Horizon, The Crew, Test Drive Unlimited and whichever open-world arcade racers to whichever Sim Racer (iRacing, Assetto Corsa, etc.) and Simcade (Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Enthusia Professional Racing, etc.) wouldn't make any sense? because of different gameplay.
  • To me for Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport series, I would personally treat them as collectible items (Due to my nostalgic memories from child to teenhood), the same goes with PlayStation and Xbox consoles too.
  • Sim Racing and Simcade don't require to have the best crash physics because they're more designed for pure racing and they're not vehicular combat, plus based on the majority of motorsports' rules in real-life, ramming onto others is prohibited.

P.S When I first joined Giant Bomb forums back in January 2021, I was more of a simcade player because by that time, I didn't have a proper racing wheel with force feedback until I've bought one, mainly to use it to play Assetto Corsa Competizione on PC since June 2021, then suddenly I prefer Sim Racing more these days, I do have the intention to play iRacing in the near future.

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Hydranockz

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This is helpful for sure. There was a time I'd have thought Forza Motorsport was more sim than it was, but would later learn via Project Cars that the rabbit hole goes rather deep. Controller settings are definitely improving across the field. I play ACC on a pad when I can't set up the wheel and I dare say I have an easier time applying throttle there.

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GTxForza

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#3  Edited By GTxForza

@hydranockz: I used to play ACC on a controller pad before too.

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whitegreyblack

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@hydranockz: The funny thing about that is when you take a look at a forum on a dedicated sim racing enthusiast site, you often see project cars being called simcade. The line seems to be drawn in a different place, depending who you talk to.

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GTxForza

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@whitegreyblack: I used to play Project Cars 1 & 2, it also feels awkward compared to Automobilista 2 in terms of driving physics.

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#6  Edited By donutello

I would call F1 games SIM racing almost. Like right at that spot between pure sim and simcade. It's not the most pleasant driving experience on a gamepad and always make me think about buying a steering wheel :D

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GTxForza

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I would call F1 games SIM racing almost. Like right at that spot between pure sim and simcade. It's not the most pleasant driving experience on a gamepad and always make me think about buying a steering wheel :D

I recommend you should buy a racing wheel if you love sim racing and simcade so much.