October was a busy month for simracing. With big Esports series back on our screens and big releases in the mod and DLC markets, sim racers have been spoilt for choice. Looking back over the past month, which sim came out on top in terms of online activity?
Our stats offer the average number of concurrent players over a 30-day average with the percentage change given relating to the 30-day period prior.
10 – ProjectCARS 3 – 113.5 per day (-9.18% down on previous month)
After it’s release in late August, Slightly Mad Studios were hoping the latest iteration of the ProjectCARS series could take the studio in the right direction. However, changes that were made with the intention of reinvigorating the simcade scene have only served the opposite. With figures embarrassingly lower than the previous game, it seems the love for simcade racing titles has died, or at least the Codemasters x SMS attempt.
9 – Automobilsta 2: 154.7 (+13.71%)
Another late August release, Automobilista 2 hasn’t quite had the rise to fame as Reiza Studios would have expected. AMS 2 is the Brazilian’s sequel to its namesake. The South American ProjectCARS 2 has received plenty of plaudits within the simracing community. Frequent updates, an impressive development roadmap with content releases that make any racing enthusiast salivate, its failure to take off leaves some confusion.
October saw the arrival of AMS2’s V126.96.36.199 bringing GT3 and GT4 action as well as the Nurburgring GP and the Nordschleife to come at a later date. Off the back of the Classic Touring update at the end of September, October should have seen a boom for Reiza. Although the percentage growth is looking good, AMS2 has some way to go if it wants to be taken seriously.
8 – Raceroom Racing Experience: 550.8 (+0.50%)
Raceroom has had a big month, especially when it comes to Esports. With the Cupra series reaching it’s climax and the DTM competition also now drawing to a close, the eyes have been there. However, Raceroom’s 2020 peak came in later March with the average concurrent count a quarter of that. On this site, we have spoken extensively about cheating on the platform and the guys at Sector3 have been very open and willing to speak on their handling of various incidences.
For some time we have said that Raceroom is deserving of more attention, and arguably the most under-appreciated sim of all. To pick up their numbers and climb the charts, a change has to be made to instigate growth and build their community.
7 – rFactor 2: 589.2 (-1.03%)
RFactor 2 is a long-standing simracing stalwart. Despite it’s release in 2013, the simulator continues to be regarded as one of the most accurate around. With thanks to the work put in by Studio-397 and the community mods available on the Steam Workshop, a strong player base remains.
rFactor 2 is the go to for many community leagues and very often the sim of choice for Esports events where iRacing may not get the green light. With a revitalized version of the Nordschleife having arrived in October, rF2 has seen a steady flow of traffic over the past month.
6 – ProjectCARS 2: 826.8 (-4.31%)
ProjectCARS 2 continues to outshine the brand new ProjectCARS 3, boasting an average playerbase over seven-times as strong. The simulator approach to racing games is clearly the way forward for Slightly Mad Studios but their handling of the situation will be telling.
With the release of the new title, PCars 2 has very much been left abandoned. Many have been outspoken, saying that the abandoning of ProjectCARS 2 has been the worst thing to happen to the series. For now, the game continues to ride its wave of spite, a protest to PC3 if you will, but the stats suggest a small shift to PC3 or complete desertion.
5 – F1 2019: 1094.7 (-2.26%)
As a mainstream racing series, the F1 games have always received plentiful exposure. Not necessarily a sim racing title, the games are notoriously accessible and can easily be enjoyed on a gamepad or low end gear. As an annual title at triple A prices, F1 2020 has been a tough sell for many hence the continued popularity of F1 2019.
With no news on the game itself since the launch of F1 2020, the return of F1 Esports could have reinvigorated the playerbase along with the continuation of the real world F1 season. The career mode has always contributed to an increased game lifespan with the modding scene on PC boosting that further.
4 – DiRT Rally 2.0 – 1234.8 (+1.85%)
The only rally title on our top 10, DiRT Rally 2.0 breaks into the top 5, even surpassing some of the biggest racing sims around. Peaking at 2,670 cuncurrent players, DiRT has built up a strong average over the past month. The recent launch of the arcade DiRT 5 hasn’t seen a smooth transition with Codemaster’s more simulated take on the category continuing to outperform.
3 – Assetto Corsa Competizione: 1480.5 (+3.53%)
Assetto Corsa Competizione is another simulator that has benefited greatly from its community league racing scene. Many high profile racers such as Jardier and Jimmy Broadbent have upped their consumption of the sim of late, putting it into the limelight again.
Although October remained relatively quiet for Kunos on the ACC front, hotfixes in September, leaking over into October, have brought players back onto the GT simulator with the GT4 update also benefiting the sim. Expect a further boost at the end of the year with the hotly anticipated British GT pack.
2 – Assetto Corsa: 3750.4 (+3.77%)
When it comes to modded content, Assetto Corsa is the undisputed king. With services like Race Department and Assetto Corsa Club, the options are almost endless. October brought the RSS Formula 1990 V12 which has received nothing but praise from all. Assetto Corsa continues to be the sim of choice to kick back and drive. Pick your favourite car and track combination and you are set.
1 – F1 2020: 4785.2 (-1.41%)
F1 2020 tops our list when it comes to ranking Steam’s biggest sim racing titles by concurrent players. As mentioned, the return of F1 Esports has brought a lot of players back into the picture with the 25th October seeing player count peak at 14000+ simultaneous players.
This is greatly aided by the inclusive nature of the game, it’s recent releasde and of course the career mode elements of F1 2020. The customisation and control introduced by the MyTeam mode will contribute to the longest lifespan of an F1 game to-date.
October saw the long-awaited arrival of patch 1.12, fixing some crippling car performance issues which resulted in Ferrari claiming career mode victories since release. The issues had proved to be a deterrent for some but the fix has now given the game a new lease of life.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues to rank as Steam’s most popular game with an average 630,000 concurrent players over the past 30 days, peaking at just shy of one million gamers.