How to get started with sim racing - Part 1: Entry level and casual gamers

Welcome to an article series on how to get started with sim racing. We cover everything from equipment and gaming platform to what suits your specific needs, based on what you are looking for. In part one we are gonna focus on the casual gamers, the wider audience. Let's get started!

First of all, it is important to do know what you’re looking for and what your expectations are before you start with sim racing.
Is your aim to go all the way and drive against the best in the world and try to make a living in the long run, or will you use sim racing to relax for a few hours after a busy day at work. 

The reason for this question is that there’s a lot of games to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. But the most important thing in this context is the realism of them. There are 3 categories you can put them into. Arcade, sim-cade(mix of simulator and arcade), and last but not least simulator.
In addition to the game, equipment is an important part of sim racing and there are also various options to choose from.

Many have played with a controller on Playstation or Xbox, but if you want to invest in a wheel and pedal set, I would highly recommend buying a steering wheel with force feedback. 
This means that when you turn, you notice resistance or vibration in the steering wheel that tells you what the car is doing. For example, if you drive over a curb, you will probably notice a quick jerk and when you oversteer or understeer you may notice that the steering wheel becomes easier to turn because the car is sliding and has no grip. 

There are 3 types of force feedback. Gear driven, belt driven and direct drive. What the difference is and much more I will discuss later in this series.

If you wanna go racing on console, I would suggest getting a Logitech G29, Thrustmaster T150 or T300 for Playstation and get Gran Turismo Sport and if you prefer Xbox, go for a Logitech G920 or Thrustmaster TMX and Forza Motorsport as the game.
All wheels can either be mounted on a desk or you can go for a rig like the Playseat challenge.

Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are the ones I want to put in the arcade category. They fit very well with the wider audience of casual gamers, where it's plug n' play without having to set up hundreds of things to get it run. They are not very realistic in terms of the behaviour of cars versus reality.
The steering wheels mentioned above are all compatible for PC. Forza Motorsport can also be found on this platform, but also titles such as Project CARS 2 offers a great variety of racing categories.

That concludes the first part of our how to get started guide to sim racing. If there should be any questions, visit our forum and make a thread.
In part 2 we will go a step up the sim racing ladder and take a look at the sim-cade category, which also can give many great hours of racing for the casual gamer. 

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