Career / Story Mode in Sim Racing – For or Against?


Are you a fan of story mode / career mode features in sim racing games?

We discussed the pros and cons of sim racing story modes in the recent RaceDepartment Podcast season 1 episode 3 (listen HERE), and interestingly the three of us each appeared to have our own very different take and opinion on the subject.

What are your opinions about the inclusion of career modes and story modes in sim racing games? Are you for or against? What kind of features and modes would you like to see included in sim games? When, and where, is it appropriate to have this kind of feature?

Let us know your thoughts and comments below!

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Sep 29, 2016
If it's done well then yes not adverse to it.
With an imagination (remember those) you can do it yourself anyway...

Back in the day of Amiga's and Commodores you HAD to have an imagination.
I used to play GC F1 and made up stories and back stories etc..loved it...... i was a kid so not as bad as it sounds...


Jul 28, 2018
No. If it has a story mode, it's not a sim, it's a game. Story mode means more time and money spent to develop it, so less resources on technical side of things. And SIM should be considered a tool. Racing game however is a GAME targeted primarily for masses and entertainment, with easy controls, probably designed to be playable with console controllers and keyboard.
F1, as in screenshot, can call itself a "sim" all it wants, but input lag, handling and other issues tell otherwise.

EDIT: Before flaming me, I was referring to "story" side of things. Story is the part with characters, actors, voice acting, scripts etc.
Career is very useful for new players to gradually learn driving.

EDIT#2: Jesus, that's a lot of Disagrees from hurt F1 fanbois :roflmao:
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I breathe a lot. I guess i just really like air.
Oct 10, 2011
Funny, a few minutes ago i asked where the experience mode in R3E went.

For me, the racing itself is most important in a game.
But i also always loved offline championships. I can play them whenever i want. Especially if they are based on a real series. Immersion is the key word.

R3E had that and offered it specifically and advertised with it. Now the experiences are gone. Why is that?

I think they are not a must have, but they are great for the people who, from time to time, want to feel like they are driving with the big guys. Leisure time, playtime.

I dont need a career mode for that, though. Official liverys, names, tracks, on air graphics and a bit of atmosphere is enough. And most importantly: Official rules implemented. SimRacers would benefit from those things, too.

Balazs Flossmann

Aug 1, 2014
Rf2 is an online racingsim- no need any career/story mode. Simracers doesn't play offline...I guess. (I never drive offline against AI) So I'm against!
Forza series, Project Cars, etc...Car racing games...must have career/story mode.

Edited 21. March...
I'm surprised how many gamer are here and only 4 Racers agree with me. :O_o:
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Jan 7, 2017
I'm really looking forward to the ACC career mode to be honest. As others said, if it's done well, it creates a unique immersion. Not sure I need a full story mode with lots of cutscene videos and bla-bla, but I'd like to see some kind of driver progression, a comprehensive championship mode. I played AC career for quite some time to be honest. :D

So thumbs up from me for career mode!

Joseph Wright

Jan 3, 2016
Ive created my own custom offline championships in the usf2000s on rfactor 2. Entering my 5th year now. Every year there are team and driver changes, livery changes, track changes, rule changes. Everything. That is enough to keep me enticed because sim racers arents just online, as it has been suggested. I am a sim racer and i much prefer offline to online because i can choose exactly when i race, what i race.

For me, yes a story mode might not be a sim, but a game. But career progression is something that keeps me enticed, otherwise i get bored.
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Mar 21, 2014
There is nothing more boring to me then playing computer games!
As you @Paul Jeffrey already know from stealing this thread idea....
Good look with it here!
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Mr Deap

Jan 3, 2016
I like story mode, but as long they're in form of storyboard. Using animation & human vocal, especially in a racing game is kind of a waste of resource.

Like that would be nice...
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May 2, 2016
I love good career modes, but I'm not a fan of over-story modes. I'd like the same Career mode that has F1 2018 for ACC for exemple. Or just be able to start from Bronze driver and make my way to Platinium, grinding more prestigious teams. I don't really care about cutscenes, just give me the full calendar, entry list, rules, and let's go !


May 16, 2018
The Project Cars career mode is a perfect example how to do it right. I don't want characters or a cliché story like in arcade racing titles, but for me the proper driver experience and ladder climbing is the key. I love the Career mode in Colin McRae: Dirt, Grid (no real story, just progression) and Project Cars 1 & 2 (climbing the ranks as a rookie).

I can live without it though (I don't like AC's career mode at all, but it is still a great game).


Mar 21, 2014
The Project Cars career mode is a perfect example how to do it right. I don't want characters or a cliché story like in arcade racing titles, but for me the proper driver experience and ladder climbing is the key. I love the Career mode in Colin McRae: Dirt, Grid and Project Cars 1 & 2.
As a simracer you need xtra motivation through different game modes?
Get outa here!
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May 6, 2018
I liked the career mode in Project Cars and Project Cars 2, that was one of the best aspects of the game and is sadly lacking from some of the other sims on PC. The story mode of the F1 games whilst done well become tiresome after a few days, especially having to do interviews. The rivalry thing is good but I find myself skipping the TV style introductions and commentaries.
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RMG Motorsports
Sep 28, 2009
I like career modes in sims. Granted, I'm primarily an online racer so I don't use them all that often. But sometimes it's nice to be able to just race when I want, how I want, and have some form of progression to keep me entertained.

I'm not so keen on story modes though, as they often direct you down particular paths and that isn't what I want from a racing sim.
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I hate VR. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Oct 2, 2010
I really think the F1 series by Codemasters has captured what most offline players like myself really wanted.
I left school during the time period when the first IBM computers were starting to show, and then the c64's, the spectrums and then Amigas etc. My early fun filled nights were occupied with the first Grand Prix games. Then Geoff Crammonds master pieces. Loved them. They were works of art and were from the heart of the first real games makers.


I have grown older now and I still amazed at how PC games have developed into the fantastic things we see today, but those early days were the best when it was all new and it came in a big box with a big manual and loads of floppy discs.


So I haven't been spoilt by the last 20 years, I have been amazed and it continues. And the current F1 games are the pinnacle with great AI racing, some off track interaction and a career of sorts.

What's not to like?

Oh and ps, online racer or offline gamer, we are all playing computer games. Yes games.
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