Are you brand new to sim racing and were wondering whether it was better to buy standalone or through Steam and why?
Actually, choosing between the iRacing Steam version and the official website can be pretty confusing for total beginners.
In this post, we’ll break down the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision.
I don’t want to spoiler the whole article, though if you’re serious about sim racing you’ll see that going with iRacing.com is probably the way to go. 😉
Let’s now have a look at the different options with greater detail.
Table of Contents
Do I need Steam for iRacing?
Differently from most other sim racing games, you don’t really need to necessarily get iRacing through Steam. You can choose to either subscribe through the Steam platform or just stay on iRacing’s official website.
Remember though that with iRacing it’s not like the other games where you “buy” the game and then you’re done. With iRacing you’ve got a monthly (or yearly) subscription fee that you’ll need to pay to access the membership.
Benefits of using the iRacing official website
With regards to subscribing through the iRacing official website, you’ll have a 360° flawless experience. Zero updates issues, access to all features and long-term saving through official iRacing deals.
In fact, subscribing through the website will grant you these three main advantages:
- In the long run, there seem to be better deals if you subscribe directly through iRacing.com.
- You can still connect your iRacing to Steam, by generating a Steam key, even if you get it on their official website.
- The forums on the iRacing website are really active. and most people are willing to help new sim drivers.
- They are currently on DX11 for graphics. in fact the beauty is that iRacing releases updates every three months or so (in between seasons) and it updates faster and with fewer issues than through Steam.
Benefits of using Steam for iRacing
The main advantage for subscribing through the Steam platform is that the cost-savings could be pretty big if you’re living in 3rd world countries.
For example, if you’re living in Nigeria or Vietnam, a yearly subscription to iRacing might cost you just half of the USA subscription.
Another advantage of using Steam for iRacing is that it makes it easier to keep track of everything in one place. All your licenses, achievements, and “friends” are all located in Steam so it could be really convenient though you can do it also from iRacing’s website.
What if I live in the United States?
If you’re US-based then it’s a no-brainer, go with iRacing.com. You won’t save any money going through Steam and the updates issues will still be pretty annoying.
Steam has also been known to be really buggy and unstable, so that’s definitely not an advantage.
Overall, if you want the best experience and you’re living in the US, stick with the official iRacing.com website for your subscription.
What about VR?
When it comes to VR, you have to remember that VR is actually native to iRacing so it technically doesn’t need any help from Steam.
iRacing was built and recently updated with VR features in mind and so you’ll be able to experience the full power of VR without any compatibility issues through their website.
Their FPS are really outsdanding and you won’t have to worry about any lags or issues like that.
That being said SteamVR is also good, though it might not be as good as iRacing’s official VR.
iRacing Steam vs official website: what’s better?
If you’re from the US, then 100% go with iRacing.com as you’ll have a better and more enjoyable long-term experience. The cost savings won’t be there if you go through Steam while you’ll be enjoying all the updates directly from iRacing.
For those living in other countries, it might make more sense to go with Steam as you could be saving a bit of money based on where you live. Just keep in mind that the updates might not always go smoothly.
In terms of VR, iRacing has great native VR support that doesn’t really need any help from Steam so you’ll be able to get the full power of VR without any compatibility issues.
For those who want the best experience, subscribing through the official iRacing website is the way to go. You’ll be getting updates directly from iRacing and you’ll have access to all of their features, including VR.
Hope the article was helpful. As always happy sim racing!
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