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Should racing sims feature more damage?

  • No - it's fine as it is thanks

    Votes: 153 12.0%
  • Yes - the more realistic the better

    Votes: 1,104 86.5%
  • No - actually, we should have less damage than we do currently

    Votes: 19 1.5%

  • Total voters

Community Question | Damage In Sim Racing - More? Less? Enough?

Accidents happen, damage often causes an early end to those who are unwary - and sim racing simulates the real thing, but does it go far enough with car damage?

I'm a massive fan of realism in my sim racing. From those hard to notice things like transmission flex to the more in your face aspects like time of day transitions and weather - if it brings the experience closer to that of reality, I'm all in.

One thing that feels like it continues to get left behind in the simulation stakes is damage. Ok, I know certain levels of performance handling changes are represented in a multitude of simulations, but for me they never really go far enough. Hit a wall at 200kph - often it results in a slight pull to the side when you get back going again.... for me, hitting a wall at that velocity should be race over - with plenty of debris scattered across the racetrack for good measure.

So, is damage represented well enough in sim racing, in your opinion? Would you like to see more visual and detailed damage from game developers going forward, or is that a step too far towards frustration rather than adding value to the experience?

Let us know your thoughts!

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


Nov 2, 2015
Yes - the more realistic the better
But the realism on simulator is very very complicated, because it's online multiplayer and most the people can't take as serious so many drivebombers, so many that brake into your rear.

F3 peoples are destroyed in formation lap.


Oct 15, 2018
I think if a sim could have a damage model like beamng (maybe a bit less) it would be great i just want the car to deform and everything to break and you can just see it and tell yourself that its over
yes. But games, even if simulators, have to be accessible to everyone
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Filip Carlén

Jan 6, 2014
I love proper damage in games, even if just mechanical and not visible (although good damage of both combined is the best). I remember going out on a lap at Autodrom Most when R3E had just updated their damage-model. Had a small slide and when off-road at quite high speed. I didn't hit anything, but the uneven grass and ground next to the track gave my front left suspension some proper damage which had me limping back to the pit. That made me feel really immersed and learnt that a small mistake can cost a lot, even if you don't hit anything.

Richard Wilks

Jun 28, 2017
In principle i would be all for the maximum realism.

The problem comes in the very last sentence of your post Paul: "Frustration".

Most "simracers" are just not good enough to handle full realism. We would think that somehow that would prevent them to drive like hooligans, or at least be more carefull, but it doesnt, as we can see in many iRacing clips on the internet.

Now, mechanical failures is a a different matter. I believe one of the main reasons for poor racing standards is that races are short and/or you have nothing to manage in the car.

Indestructable tires, indestructable gearboxes, engines, etc, contribute to endless hotlap sessions disguised as "races". And this in turn contributes to the "i have to pass the guy in front at all costs" mentality, because if you don't, nothing else will prevent him from hotlapping his way to the win (and usually abuse the car in all sorts of ways in the process).

So in the end my vote goes to full realism, because if at least we have the option, there is hope a decent enough number of people get used to it.

Will Mazeo

May 25, 2015
As long as the genre is called "sim racing" they should always aim the real world.
Proper damage leads to proper rules like accurate FCY calls. You do need at least a tow truck tho.
Considering how things were in GTR2, GP4, etc I'd expect we'd have animated repairs by now lol
This stuff also contributes for proper driving imo, maybe more than safety ratings.
It's a bit ridiculous it took all this time to have something a bit better than rf1 vertex damage (in iR)


Sep 2, 2017
They should (in the future) license the beamng physics for all racing games like speedtree was used in all open world type of games.

With more and more cpu power, there should be no excuse anymore to just focus on some physic aspects but implement much more.

The detail of simulation in beamng is already way above anything else - even the exhaust sound is calculated in real time.... :)


Jun 17, 2011
Damage, both physical & mechanical, is a fundamental part of motor racing. Whether people like it or not it's there, it happens, therefore it needs to be properly simulated in all the Sims we play.


Apr 4, 2015
Yes. But most importantly IMO engine, gearbox, brakes wear, tear, heating and breaking would add up plenty of realism. Also tire punctures happening by poor luck on some defined occasions, like driving off track or hotting hard on edgy stuff.

But I could see so many tears already.


Jun 28, 2017
I believe that the maximum realism of car damage is a bit frustrating, driving on a simulator does not have all the sensations that you have in reality. I think doing a race with real mileage
it is quite impossible without leaving the track at least once (also because of the other drivers).


Best of the worst, sometimes worst of the worst.
Dec 23, 2012
Combine BeamNG with any simracing title. Broken body/wheels are one thing, but radiators, overheating, leaking cooling/fuel and calculating whether this is terminal or you can get away for a lap or two.

Good damage model ensures careful racing, you'd think twice before risking. Like in real life, and that's what simracing is about, isn't it?


Feb 13, 2013
I disagree. Simracing is a game. More often than not I had races wasted because some reckless or nasty fellow pushed my car against a wall. And the guy continued with minimal damage. I stopped ACC when this started to happen all the time in CPs. Damage = no fun
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Feb 4, 2017
Given that GP3 season 2000 and GP4 were the first (?) to simulate debris collisions, it seems like whilst many things have moved forwards, damage seems to have gone backwards. Of course some of this is down to manufacturers not wanting to see their cars wrecked. But for race cars it makes more sense to have damage that affects your race.


Apr 27, 2013
Given that GP3 season 2000 and GP4 were the first (?) to simulate debris collisions, it seems like whilst many things have moved forwards, damage seems to have gone backwards. Of course some of this is down to manufacturers not wanting to see their cars wrecked. But for race cars it makes more sense to have damage that affects your race.
This is the problem thinking back to my childhood playing these games they all had some types of damages and pit stops and all the glorious goodies,
past decade things just took a turn for the worst well if you look at when "DLC" started to become popular in titles and games then you can see the decline the more popular "DLC" become more the damage and features declined,
its simply not a priority anymore to most these games companies they would rather waste the same energy filling there pockets,
very nice to see iracing pushing damage to its limitations just sad everyone else is not doing the same thing.

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