MotoGP 21 | The Best Bike Racing Game To Date? Now Available

Milestone have released what could be the finest MotoGP racing title to date, with the launch of the brand-new 2021 season replicating MotoGP 21.
  • Available now on console and PC.
  • New career mode features.
  • Long lap and rider fall controls added.
Having undergone considerable development over the years, the MotoGP franchise is set to take yet another step forward with this new release, as Italian development team Milestone continue to apply their now considerable bike game experience to the latest in a long line of official MotoGP racing games.


Featuring all the teams, bikes and riders of the 2021 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 seasons, plus both the originally scheduled racing calendar and the Covid-19 influenced stand-in schedule, MotoGP 21 takes what has made the franchise so popular of late, and added yet more refinement and polish to this mammoth two-wheel racing franchise.

New for 2021 is a welcome inclusion of more player involvement in returning to a stricken bike, with gamers now having the option to enable a feature where you will have to run back to your bike following a fall, rather than the tradition respawn after any track action. Although a great new addition, it must be noted that the AI do not have to follow this scenario when they themselves come off the bike, although Milestone have committed to adding this feature, along with the MotoE and Red Bull Rookies Cup at some point further in the year.

MotoGP 21 Released 2.jpg


Another new feature for 2021 is the addition of the Long Lap Penalty as in the real MotoGP series, plus the welcome addition of classic bikes and riders, with 40 additional iconic names from the history of bike racing set to come with the game.

MotoGP 21 is available now for around £39,99 on both console and PC.

Key Features:

The Very Best of MotoGP
Live the 2021 Season at its fullest with the classes MotoGP™, Moto2™, Moto3™.
Live the most authentic and immersive 2-wheels racing experience with more than 120 official riders, over 20 tracks and new and improved features for an unprecedented level of realism. And for the first time, the Long Lap Penalty. Relive the history of MotoGP™ with more than 40 historic riders and their iconic bikes.

Plan Your Game
Take full control of your managerial career: joining an official team or creating a brand new one it's up to you. Then select your Staff: a team of professionals will assist you throughout the season and your career, helping you to take crucial decisions like the choice of the best contract and the development of your bike.
And once you get to the highest classes, build your own Junior Team, handling every aspect.

Every Detail Under Control
When you can control and manage every aspect of the race, every decision matters. Keep tabs on the level of Fuel, the Brakes temperature and the Tire wear. Take crucial choices based on your riding style and the conditions of the race.

Winning With Style
Whether is the way you ride or the way you look, style is key in MotoGP™21. Show them who you really are! Customize helmet, suit, stickers, racing number and livery with 5 incredible graphic editors!
And impress everyone with your riding style too! Also, our revolutionary neural AI system based on machine learning is back with significant improvements: get ready to discover new faces of A.N.N.A. in the most exciting races ever!

Take the fun to a whole new level challenging your friends online or create your own events with the Race Director mode, enjoying a smooth and lag-free experience thanks to our Dedicated Servers.

MotoGP 21 Released 1.jpg
About author
Paul Jeffrey
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Comments

Eventually you learn it - even with a gamepad. :p
IMHO everyone without a full motion rig is probably quite far-off regarding true driving/racing simulation experience.

This.

I know this will make me a bit unpopular, but (and this comes from a guy who has been doing physics for years) if you think what you feel sitting on your room/garage/etc can be translated in any shape or form to a real car, you are just delluding yourself.

No matter how expensive your DD wheel and motion rig is, the forces involved in real racing, the way you feel them, and the way you use them to drive the car, are a completely different thing. And in something small like a go Kart you also use your body to drive it.

Notice how carefull simracing youtubers, and people who drove the real thing talk about this in the context of simracing. They know this, they just dont want to tell it straight out loud because a lot of people would be hurt in this community.

Now don't get me wrong, i think that yes, you can have more "immersion" driving a car game, because unless you buy an arcade racer, or build something fancy, you can't fool yourself into being sat on a bike as much as you can do it with a car, and just holding a controller is off putting in this regard. But that doesn't mean the technical challenges are not comparable. Hell, i played a lot one of the old Namco motoGP games in the PS2, touted as arcadish, and the throttle control that was necessary, and how that made you fast or not was almost second to none, even to most stuff i drove in the super hyper hardcore PC car simulators.
 
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How's the braking? I've heard the braking is less forgiving. I like the MGP and Ride games but they almost always have way too much grip, so mashing of throttle and brakes is very common, when in reality doing that should be one way ticket to A&E. Overall though I'm interested, especially if they get the Ai to run back to the bike as well!
 
This.

I know this will make me a bit unpopular, but (and this comes from a guy who has been doing physics for years) if you think what you feel sitting on your room/garage/etc can be translated in any shape or form to a real car, you are just delluding yourself.

That means I have quite the natural talent, seeing how the only times I drive a car is when I am racing, on tarmac or RX.
That's something!
 
That means I have quite the natural talent, seeing how the only times I drive a car is when I am racing, on tarmac or RX.
That's something!

Ok, i will bite the bullet, so lets be objective: What exactly translates? Do you "feel" the movement of the car in your body sitting at home? Do you feel anything in the steering comparable to the real thing?

I hardly think so. And it's not just me saying that. I also do good when i grab a go kart, but i know i am using a set of different senses for that.

You know who does good on real go karts too? Super GT. And he plays mostly GT sport. A title villified by the simracing crowd. So i wonder what is the connection there.

The premise was that playing bike games makes "less sense" because your body is not physically in the bike, so your inputs can never be the same. But guess what, we can't feel the car around us either, so even if your wheel and pedal inputs are one to one with reality (very rarely the case in simracing) it means you are using different senses to achieve this. Making the experience hardly translatable without at least some adaptation.
 
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Ok, i will bite the bullet, so lets be objective: What exactly translates? Do you "feel" the movement of the car in your body sitting at home? Do you feel anything in the steering comparable to the real thing?

I hardly think so. And it's not just me saying that. I also do good when i grab a go kart, but i know i am using a set of different senses for that.

You know who does good on real go karts too? Super GT. And he plays mostly GT sport. A title villified by the simracing crowd. So i wonder what is the connection there.

The premise was that playing bike games makes "less sense" because your body is not physically in the bike, so your inputs can never be the same. But guess what, we can't feel the car around us either, so even if your wheel and pedal inputs are one to one with reality (very rarely the case in simracing) it means you are using different senses to achieve this. Making the experience hardly translatable without at least some adaptation.

It does make "less sense", as you are not handling a bike with a stick, it's less useful - I'm pretty sure that there are less theory to be learned as well from MotoGP 21 compared to a real bike, than you can use a car-sim to learn for real cars. Regardless of motion rig or not.

As you said "if you think what you feel sitting on your room/garage/etc can be translated in any shape or form to a real car, you are just delluding yourself."

All I know about how to handle a car, I know from different simulators. There's no doubt that doing karting as a kid is an advantage compared to someone who hasn't done that. But I don't have a drivers licence, I have no way to practice anything outside simulators. My first ever RX-race, there were things I did, which worked, that I had picked up from the MG in RBR. Doing a couple of 6hr races in Sweden, I only used simulators to prepare. The biggest issue I had was shifting down, how to manage clutch, braking, downshifting and go on throttle again effectively and without actually having to think much about it.
For the second year I did that event, I had practiced specifically on these things, to see if it helped. It seemingly did, I was much faster in relation to others, I was the fastest of the guys on the car (same as the year before), and beat some real life racers as well.

Of course it does take the 4-5 practice laps we get to get used to a real car, that there are forces, and movement involved that I obviously don't get at home, and other senses are used. You don't feel a weight transfer in game physically when you sit on a chair with wheels like I do. You feel it in real life. But you feel the weight transfer through other senses in game, and you have an expectation of what the car will do. Feeling that movement IRL, connected immediately with me in my brain, and I "knew" what the car would do, and how I should act.

It can be all down to karting-experience and natural talent. I have no idea of knowing, but what I practiced on at home in games was something I had less issues with the second time driving. I've done two 6hr races, not been off the track once, not had contact with any other car and not had other issues either, while, especially the second year having a good pace.
I think this can be attributed in some way to simracing and simulations.

Compared to MotoGP games, I don't see that benefit being a thing there. You can't fire up MotoGP 21 (or the ride series) and e.g specifically train on downshifts in the same way.
 
Baack when I had a ffb joystick, I had Superbike 2000. It was a lot of fun but now, I only have a simrig for 4 wheeled vehicles. I don't know if using a steering wheel would be advisable. Sounds fun tho. I follow MotoGP as I am also a Harley rider and have rode bikes since 12 yo. :)
 
After a longer break in buying MotoGP games from Milestone I gave the 21 version after some positive reviews a chance , cuz I am a big MotoGP fan and used in difficult racing games (my favorite is Dirt 2.0) The last good MotoGP games where in my opinion on the xbox360, don't know the publisher anymore, think it was a Swedish one. The first Milestone version where a huge disappointment for me.

positive: Tested the game now for 2 days (PC Version) and must say, it runs butter smooth (GTX 1080TI) on max details with solid 70-80fps. The bike control is good, and the learning curve is high. But its totally different to any car racing games. Braking points, forget your trail braking experience... :) What I Like are the motor settings, you have to adjust the mapping during the race to finish it...or you run out of fuel. AI seems good.
graphics are a big improvement to my last experience in Milestones MotoGP games some years ago on PS4.

negative : no support so far for ultra wide monitors. Don't understand that, cuz what I read, that previous PC version had the support. Hope they will this update very soon. Milestone please fix that. Maybe the didn't make it cuz they had the focus on the new Xbox and PS5 versions which don't offer widescreen at all.
For the PC version you find codes in the internet where you could buy the steam version for around 25 Euros. For that price you could make nothing wrong. Give it a try.

See you on track.
 
It does make "less sense", as you are not handling a bike with a stick, it's less useful - I'm pretty sure that there are less theory to be learned as well from MotoGP 21 compared to a real bike, than you can use a car-sim to learn for real cars. Regardless of motion rig or not.

As you said "if you think what you feel sitting on your room/garage/etc can be translated in any shape or form to a real car, you are just delluding yourself."

All I know about how to handle a car, I know from different simulators. There's no doubt that doing karting as a kid is an advantage compared to someone who hasn't done that. But I don't have a drivers licence, I have no way to practice anything outside simulators. My first ever RX-race, there were things I did, which worked, that I had picked up from the MG in RBR. Doing a couple of 6hr races in Sweden, I only used simulators to prepare. The biggest issue I had was shifting down, how to manage clutch, braking, downshifting and go on throttle again effectively and without actually having to think much about it.
For the second year I did that event, I had practiced specifically on these things, to see if it helped. It seemingly did, I was much faster in relation to others, I was the fastest of the guys on the car (same as the year before), and beat some real life racers as well.

Of course it does take the 4-5 practice laps we get to get used to a real car, that there are forces, and movement involved that I obviously don't get at home, and other senses are used. You don't feel a weight transfer in game physically when you sit on a chair with wheels like I do. You feel it in real life. But you feel the weight transfer through other senses in game, and you have an expectation of what the car will do. Feeling that movement IRL, connected immediately with me in my brain, and I "knew" what the car would do, and how I should act.

It can be all down to karting-experience and natural talent. I have no idea of knowing, but what I practiced on at home in games was something I had less issues with the second time driving. I've done two 6hr races, not been off the track once, not had contact with any other car and not had other issues either, while, especially the second year having a good pace.
I think this can be attributed in some way to simracing and simulations.

Compared to MotoGP games, I don't see that benefit being a thing there. You can't fire up MotoGP 21 (or the ride series) and e.g specifically train on downshifts in the same way.


All i have to say about that is that you are seriously underestimating your karting experience.

It's very much like riding a bycicle. If you do it as a kid, you never forget, and it comes natural to you at any point. If you never did it, its much harder, specially as an adult. No amount of gaming can replace that, even if we have a toy wheel in our hands sitting at home.

I also did very well in my first forays into karting in my late teens. And back then i had just upgraded from the thrustmaster T2, and never done a race online.

And my comment was not specific to motoGP 21, but bike racing games in general. Some are more in depth than others.
 
Inertia, milestone has finally modelled Inertia in a believable way. I think that has improved the players experience in any aspect of the game that you can look at.
The lack of wide screen support is ridiculous, I couldn't believe my eyes. I'd like to think it's an oversight but there's the fact that milestone has never cared for wide screen. The helmet cam hasn't worked on any of the Ride or Motogp games so I'm pessimistic on this one.
Any controller I've seen for bike games all revolve around the same concept utilising a point of rotation. The only functional difference is the degree of rotation. So I use my Fanatec wheel limited to 120 degrees. +/- 60 to approximate the lean angle. That's the essential point, it's not being used as a wheel. It works.
Now comes the mocking from people who either can't or won't use their imagination. If I replaced the wheel with a straight bar it's fine, exactly the same mechanic principle...
Hopefully the game gets developed some more post release. They've already announced several things to come. But nothing on the dismal lack of effort on the historical bikes though. Last year you had to earn the bikes, nothing of the sort now. Completely underwhelmed. 6.5/10 for the release version.
 
My short feedback of the game:
Physics: Positive, new and challenging but controlable. You have a nice learning curve and the bike physics itself are the best, yet.
Sounds: Thumbs Up
Graphics: Okay

Tracks: Tracks seem to be remodeled completly. Some are better than before, some not. For example, Assen is in the Ardennen Mountains... while Portimao is nice
Cerbs: Cerbs are a joke. They are very high and you better do not touch the cerbs at all. The bike jumps and it unsettles it a lot. I like the idea to "stay on track" but those cerbs are unrideable and this is not realistic. AI often crashes due to the crazy bad cerbs.
AI: AI are a massive disappointment. There is almost no track where the AI is fine. They crash and retire soo often, unbelievable. The game is not playable in this state. The "learning AI" is not really learning at the moment and is crashing lap per lap while taking crazy, unrealistic racing lines

5/10 for release version
(if they fix the tons of bugs, fix the AI at each track and improve the cerbs, then there is a lot of potential in the game)
 
. So I use my Fanatec wheel limited to 120 degrees. +/- 60 to approximate the lean angle. That's the essential point, it's not being used as a wheel. It works.
Do you use x360ce? I can't seem to figure it out when I try it. But I think using my wheel and pedals would make more sense, even without FFB. My fingers don't have the necessary dexterity.
 
They have recycled assets from MotoGP 20/19 and haven't fixed other issues stemming from the very first Unreal Engine switch. This is a poor season update disguised as a new game due to the new crash recovery (hello SBK 2001).
 
Wasn't the AI supposed to be some incredible, groundbreaking, neural AI called ANNA? How did that work out?
Adding in a feature from SBK2001 and marketing it as something new is very 'Codemasters' of them.
 
Still, I bought the MotoGP21.

Overall, everything is great - good physics, great graphics (finally, at least someone removed the blurry UE4 graphics - before I had to increase the resolution to 150%, now at 100% everything looks great).

I don't understand what problems people have with braking - ffs, increase fork stiffness at least, I'm not even talking about it being fine on standard settings.

One problem is AI. On the straights it brakes much earlier. This problem has been before and it is terribly annoying. AI drops compared to the early braking is simply imperceptible.

I give it an 8 out of 10 - the game is great. But everything is spoiled by the early AI brake on long straight.
1447000_screenshots_20210427005945_1.jpg
 
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Now comes the mocking from people who either can't or won't use their imagination. If I replaced the wheel with a straight bar it's fine, exactly the same mechanic principle...
Not mocking, if using a wheel works for you then good! But just "adding a bar" doesn't make it right either, that's not how you steer a motorbike...also you won't have twist grip throttle or brake levers, without all that that there's no difference between a gamepad and a wheel, neither are how you ride a bike....both equal.

I just really wish someone would do a mid level £150-200 relatively affordable motorbike controller....I'd be all over that like flies on ****.
 
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Been playing MotoGP20 on Gamepass with a controller and it is enjoyable. I am not a bike guy so immersion really doesn't play into it for me, but the game is pretty and once you get your head wrapped around how you are supposed to drive them, it isn't too hard.
 
I was a big fan of SBK 2001 back in the day, as were a lot of people judging by the number of times it's been mentioned. Haven't really gotten into any motorbike racer since then though, despite being a real-life biker. Decided to give this one a go because, why not? Something a bit different from my usual car racing.

Anyway, enjoying it so far. The process of getting used to racing on a control pad is ongoing, but I'm getting there. Being smooth is the key. Anything which destabilises the bike results in lost time or an off. I'd definitely recommend reducing the assists to a minimum, even if you're new to bike racers (or out of practice like me). I found the various "modulation" assists actually slowed me down a fair bit. It's harder with them off of course, but faster and you'll learn more.

Anyway, not a bad game at all if you get it at a discount. I can see myself enjoying a career or three.
 
Do you use x360ce? I can't seem to figure it out when I try it. But I think using my wheel and pedals would make more sense, even without FFB. My fingers don't have the necessary dexterity.

Yes, I use x360ce...the older 64bit version. I can't get the new version to work.

For clarification: the ANNA learning is done during development. We get the results and the AI won't improve.
Milestone is obviously having problems with the AI and hasn't found a solution.
They've acknowledged the lack of wide screen. I don't know where it lies in the list of priorities but it's fair to say that list is quite long and includes some huge problems.

Edit: I forgot to add, the AI level of skill is determined by their top speed and when they brake. I kid you not. There is no difference when cornering from lowest level to top AI.
 
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So hard to play with controller. (had to refund its too frustrating)

I tried to trick it with steering wheel using that x360ce emulator but range is way too big to turn.

Braking and acceleration was good but turning with wheel impossible.
 

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