Gone are the times of speed games in arcades, today if we are fans of motor games we can recreate the same conditions in our home. If we have space, of course, it will allow us to enjoy driving games on another level. How can we set up a racing simulator with our PC?
There is a very misused term in video games, that of simulation. Many people mistakenly believe that it is the software itself that defines it. The reality is that if this were the case, then there would be no complex flight or driving simulators based on the use of complex configurations of input and output devices. Setting up a racing simulator is not suitable for everyone, you need space and significant capital if you want to have one and for many a simple configuration will suffice.
Fortunately, in the world of PC hardware, there is a common norm, which is none other than the existing choice. However, in this tutorial we are not going to describe what the best components are, but what you have to take into account to be able to enjoy your speed games in a way that you have not seen them before.
How to create a racing simulator for PC?
We have decided to take into account a series of elements that are crucial to the experience in a good racing simulator and that make a difference with respect to the usual use of this kind of games on a computer compared to when we play them with a traditional controller. It can be said that having a PC as a racing simulator where the operation of a car is emulated to the maximum completely transforms the experience.
Of course, no matter how good you were with the control knob, you will have to learn to play again to be able to beat the records, however, as time goes by and you get used to it, you will realize that the experience is totally different and is one level above. So if you are a fan of the motor and you want to build a RIG of this type and you do not know what you have to take into account, then we recommend you continue reading.
What is the ideal steering wheel?
From the outset we must clarify that we leave the steering wheel to your choice, since you better than anyone know the type of steering wheel to choose. Of course, from experience we recommend first of all that you do not choose steering wheel kits with pedals where some are dependent on others, that is, you cannot replace the steering wheels or pedals with others. Then discard the plastic pedals without resistance mechanisms and ensure that the degrees of rotation of the steering wheel are wide in both directions.
As for the Force Feedback motor, although it is true that there are professional options with powerful motors such as those from Fanatec, these have a power that is not suitable for novice users. If you are building your own gaming setup then Thrustmaster or Logitech options are much better for a novice user with a much lower budget.
The choice of the cockpit and its elements
There is a very common mistake when it comes to wanting to enjoy speed games with a steering wheel and pedals and we think that it will be enough for us to place them in a certain position on our desktop. The reality is that it will not take long to realize how uncomfortable it is after a short time. Especially because of the distance between the pedals and our feet, as well as the position of our back in the long term.
So the first thing we have to take into account is our comfort, it doesn’t matter if we have the best steering wheel on the market and a PC capable of moving anything, since without a good chair everything can easily go to fry asparagus. Of course, depending on the budget we have, we can choose one type of chair or another. And luckily, there are a plethora of gaming chairs that have been designed for the needs of a speed simulation RIG, from the simplest to complex systems with motors worth several thousand, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
The best solution? A simple racing Cockpit like the one that accompanies the image in this section is the best option you can choose. Not only does it have all the essential elements to mount the monitors, the steering wheel and the pedals, but its elements are arranged for the greatest comfort of our legs and back. Of course, make sure that the elements are not fixed and that you can adjust the distance of the steering wheel from you, as well as the inclination and height. And do not forget to choose one with good materials, since it not only has to last, but also support the weight of the screen or screens that we are going to place on top. As well as our weight.
Which screen is the best for our simulator?
We want to have the largest field of vision when we are driving just like when driving a real vehicle, unfortunately a single screen does not allow us to do this and hence a PC based racing simulator will opt for more than one screen at a time. same time or a large ultra widescreen and by that we mean one with an aspect ratio of 32:9. Reality? You will find that in terms of price it will be better to place two monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio than one of 32:9, so choose the option that is best for your pocket
Of course, if you opt for two 16:9 screens to put side by side, then we recommend you opt for a screen without frames, since the objective is to put them correlative with respect to each other to create the sensation of a very large monitor. If you ask us about a specific monitor model that for us is the most suitable or close to what we want to achieve, then our answer would be a monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio, Full HD resolution x 2 (3840 x 1080 pixels). and a refresh rate of more than 120 Hz or more.
The fact of opting for a high refresh rate screen leads us to another issue that is the resolution. Although the ideal would be to be able to connect several 4K monitors at high refresh rates, this is currently extremely expensive in terms of the hardware that is needed to move said resolutions at those speeds in a sustained manner.
What is the ideal PC for a racing simulator?
Okay, we have the chair, the monitor and the steering wheel, but we need a PC that is capable of running the games with ease and for this we are going to need a powerful configuration to move our driving simulator with the maximum possible speed. However, because some popular games have very low specs, it is often thought that relatively modest settings are enough to get the most out of these games in a PC racing simulator.
What we are going to need is a configuration that allows us to get high frame rates with both the processor and the graphics card. In the case of the first, it is preferable that it is as powerful as possible within our budget, since every frame starts in the CPU and it is necessary to trim milliseconds from the beginning. So we do not recommend something below an i7 if we are talking about Intel or a Ryzen 7 in the case of AMD.
As for the GPU, we can mistakenly believe that playing games in Full HD does not require power, but we are not talking about 1080p at 60 frames per second, but at least two screens and speeds above 120 Hz. This is a density of information four times greater per second and, therefore, we must use a graphics card designed to play games at 4K on the PC and go for the high range.