Getting started... Seeking guidance

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
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Hi All,

First off, I'm completely new to racing in all aspects but I can remember falling asleep as a kid dreaming of having enough money one day to build a go-kart track in my back yard and race friends. I'm quite competitive, enjoy learning and am pretty dedicated to practicing what ever it is I'm interested in.

After stumbling across the F1 series on Netflix, I've been bitten by this racing bug. I am a few weeks into F1 2018 on my PS4 and can already tell that I want something more than the standard Controller as an input device now that I've finished my first full Grand Prix Weekend with no assists and didn't do terrible, (granted I'm running on setting 20 of 110 for AI).

I'm short on space and somewhat apprehensive to jump in whole-hog just yet but was thinking of getting a Playseat Challenge and a Thrustmaster T300RS GT edition to get started.

I realize that PS4 isn't going to provide the best "sim" experience but it's how I have to get started and test the waters. I realize that GTS is still somewhat an arcade game but also starting to straddle the sim line as well.

Eventually, I could see myself getting more into it and moving into a gaming PC, running iRacing with a better cockpit setup though, so was hoping that some of you might provide some guidance for me so I don't find myself in a position needing to flog everything I've already bought.

Is the Thrustmaster T300RS GT edition a good purchase if I eventually outgrow the PS4 setup and move into a PC setup with iRacing?
 

alexSchmurtz

SpeedyMite Racing
Staff
Premium
Sep 26, 2009
4,175
2,447
Yes, a T300 and a Playseat Challenge seem a wise start: that's already an investment, but I would think it is at the sweet point of the best bang for the buck! The wheel is a few years old so it's quite cheaper now, and it still is pretty smooth and precise. You also get a descent 3 pedals set (but pedals would probably be the fist thing to change in the future if you move to PC!). You just need to be careful to not overheat it, many got problems; there is a forced full fan speed now, and let it cool down after using it before switching off.

It will also fit nicely on a Playseat Challenge. That's again a good compromise: you can fold it up and move it easily but it is still a cockpit, giving you a nice seating position, with plenty of adjustments.

As you would probably guess, I bought a T300 and this seat 2 years 1/2 ago, I'm still very happy with both! I already got better pedals, I'm dreaming of a proper cockpit now (I first will need more space!)... but I really don't regret it, that was a very nice setup to start with a wheel!

Of course there are better and more expensive options but first spend some time and see if you want to go deeper in sim racing! Good luck! :)
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
34
4
44
Yes, a T300 and a Playseat Challenge seem a wise start: that's already an investment, but I would think it is at the sweet point of the best bang for the buck! The wheel is a few years old so it's quite cheaper now, and it still is pretty smooth and precise. You also get a descent 3 pedals set (but pedals would probably be the fist thing to change in the future if you move to PC!). You just need to be careful to not overheat it, many got problems; there is a forced full fan speed now, and let it cool down after using it before switching off.

It will also fit nicely on a Playseat Challenge. That's again a good compromise: you can fold it up and move it easily but it is still a cockpit, giving you a nice seating position, with plenty of adjustments.

As you would probably guess, I bought a T300 and this seat 2 years 1/2 ago, I'm still very happy with both! I already got better pedals, I'm dreaming of a proper cockpit now (I first will need more space!)... but I really don't regret it, that was a very nice setup to start with a wheel!

Of course there are better and more expensive options but first spend some time and see if you want to go deeper in sim racing! Good luck! :)
Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping to hear. I'm very much, "Oooh, look! A Squirrel!" when it comes to hobbies and have definitely gone whole-hog outta the gates on a few that failed to keep my interest. I'm into RC helis and planes primarily, but need something for rainy days and days I'm stuck at home while on call etc. I think this could very likely keep my attention like RC does, so want to give it a fair shake with a modest but capable wheel/pedals. I figured the T300 would be the best best for that. The Playseat Challenge also seamed like the right call as well. Having sat in one recently, I felt it was a lot more sturdy, ergonomic and comfy than I expected.

In terms of "games" on the PS4, am I best off with GTS and F1, or is Assetto Corsa worthwhile considering it's more "sim-like?"
 

alexSchmurtz

SpeedyMite Racing
Staff
Premium
Sep 26, 2009
4,175
2,447
I'm a PC guy, can't tell you much about PS4, only second-hand opinion… Keep in mind you're doing this for your fun mostly: play what you want, not what others are telling you. :)

I've read more than once about people starting with GTS or F1 games on console, then moving to sims and eventually getting on the PC side; so that's certainly a path. And yes, AC is probably a good first step towards sim if you want to have a look and see if you like it. But take it step by step, see if you like this hobby! You'll get all the help you need in here...:D
 

RCHeliguy

3000RPM
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Jan 19, 2019
3,226
1,727
Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping to hear. I'm very much, "Oooh, look! A Squirrel!" when it comes to hobbies and have definitely gone whole-hog outta the gates on a few that failed to keep my interest. I'm into RC helis and planes primarily, but need something for rainy days and days I'm stuck at home while on call etc. I think this could very likely keep my attention like RC does, so want to give it a fair shake with a modest but capable wheel/pedals. I figured the T300 would be the best best for that. The Playseat Challenge also seamed like the right call as well. Having sat in one recently, I felt it was a lot more sturdy, ergonomic and comfy than I expected.

In terms of "games" on the PS4, am I best off with GTS and F1, or is Assetto Corsa worthwhile considering it's more "sim-like?"
I got into RC Helis "whole-hog". I used to own a Banshee 700 Limited, but still have a Henseleit TDR, TDR II, Protos Max, Mikado 550SX and a Protos 500. Running Kontronik across the board and a Jeti DS-16 TX. I even went to IRCHA 3 times and helped out with the Speed competitions.

Luckily this hobby is a WHOLE LOT cheaper than RC Helis are. I've got a pretty nice rig now and so far I'm only out about one nicely equipped 700 series RC Helicopter and support equipment. The nice thing is that when I crash in my rig, is like crashing in my RC flight simulator, no walk of shame down the flight line and then tear down and rebuild necessary :)
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
34
4
44
I'm a PC guy, can't tell you much about PS4, only second-hand opinion… Keep in mind you're doing this for your fun mostly: play what you want, not what others are telling you. :)

I've read more than once about people starting with GTS or F1 games on console, then moving to sims and eventually getting on the PC side; so that's certainly a path. And yes, AC is probably a good first step towards sim if you want to have a look and see if you like it. But take it step by step, see if you like this hobby! You'll get all the help you need in here...:D
Makes sense. I like the idea of eventually racing online but haven't read many good stories of fair racing/sportsmanship in the console arena. I expect if I get into it deeper, the PC route will be the natural progression. For now, you're absolutely right. I need to remember to keep it fun.

Cheers!
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
34
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I got into RC Helis "whole-hog". I used to own a Banshee 700 Limited, but still have a Henseleit TDR, TDR II, Protos Max, Mikado 550SX and a Protos 500. Running Kontronik across the board and a Jeti DS-16 TX. I even went to IRCHA 3 times and helped out with the Speed competitions.

Luckily this hobby is a WHOLE LOT cheaper than RC Helis are. I've got a pretty nice rig now and so far I'm only out about one nicely equipped 700 series RC Helicopter and support equipment. The nice thing is that when I crash in my rig, is like crashing in my RC flight simulator, no walk of shame down the flight line and then tear down and rebuild necessary :)
Awesome! Ya, I've been into RC for 6 years or so and could buy a REAL nice Racing Sim setup with the money I've shelled out. A figure I'll never accurately admit to my wife should the question arise. I think she knows best not to ask. She wouldn't want that info, lol.

I am a Jeti DS-14 guy with a Logo 480 & 600, and an Oxy 2 & 4, currently. Regret selling my Protos 500.

IRCHA would be great. Lucky you!

I'm a HUGE RC sim guy and one of the few that actually enjoys my time in it. Partly why I think I'd enjoy sim racing.
 

RCHeliguy

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Jan 19, 2019
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I've been running AccuRc in VR for a while, but it is more convenient to just run off my TV.

I used to sim a lot and I also enjoyed it. I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for flying and only went to my airfield a few time last year.

I've been enjoying sim racing in VR, but so far I've spent most of my time in Dirt Rally.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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I'd be giving console a miss and go straight to PC, because yoully most likely end up there anyway, will save you buying twice.
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
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I've been running AccuRc in VR for a while, but it is more convenient to just run off my TV.

I used to sim a lot and I also enjoyed it. I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for flying and only went to my airfield a few time last year.

I've been enjoying sim racing in VR, but so far I've spent most of my time in Dirt Rally.
I have never experienced anything VR yet. My older Mac's barely function to sim on for helis. I have to turn the graphics to lowest settings etc to get a useable framerate. Hasn't slowed me down though. Not after pretty. Free crashes have allowed me to get pretty decent in the 3D world.

I barely flew last year but getting back to it this season. Needed a break, but I'm happy to be flying again now.

As for racing, I really like the paved tracks and power/speed of F1, but I'm sure I'll like other styles once I get to know what's what. I see the draw to offroad for sure too.
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
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I'd be giving console a miss and go straight to PC, because yoully most likely end up there anyway, will save you buying twice.
I agree with your suggestion and likely would do that if I didn't already have a PS4. For now, using what I have is the cheapest way to get into it. From there, I definitely see myself spec'ing out a PC to build specifically for this purpose.
 
Dec 10, 2018
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PS4 is perfectly fine to start with. I was on PS4 for a couple of years and enjoyed PCars2 and AC. They both work well on console and should keep you very happy for some time to come. I initially had a T150, which is entry level but works surprisingly well and is cheap enough that you can get rid of it if you think it’s not for you.

Then I upgraded to a Fanatec CSL Elite. Much better wheel which works with PS4 and PC. This then allows you to move to PC when the time is right, which is what I did. I thoroughly recommend this as a setup that would work today AND tomorrow. Best of luck, this hobby is so much fun, you’re going to love it.
 

RCHeliguy

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Jan 19, 2019
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I jumped in with a full set of Fanatec Club Sport equipment and I haven't regretted that decision. However, I did already had a PC setup to drive it. It was the PC I built to run my RC flight simulator on a 4K TV and it is currently driving my VR system.

I think most people enjoy the tracks and online competitions with other drivers. I have no idea how well that works on the consoles.

I have PCars2 and AC. I rarely use either of them. PC2 looks amazing in VR, but the tracks bored me until I got a motion system, then suddenly they seemed more interesting. However I can't seem to get myself out of the Rallys, but that is a VERY personal thing. I love sliding around in the dirt, but then again it may be something that I get tired of over time and I may end up on a track with everyone else.

Sort of like flying low headspeed or Speed flying, vs smack 3D. I never got into smack flying. I loved getting 10 minute flights with my TDR gracefully flying in all orientations or at the opposite extreme white knuckle speed flying with my TDR 2 when I could barely keep sight of it at either ends of the course.

These are my recordings of the 2015 and 2016 Speed cup winners at IRCHA.
Sorry about my shoddy camera work.
 
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ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
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PS4 is perfectly fine to start with. I was on PS4 for a couple of years and enjoyed PCars2 and AC. They both work well on console and should keep you very happy for some time to come. I initially had a T150, which is entry level but works surprisingly well and is cheap enough that you can get rid of it if you think it’s not for you.

Then I upgraded to a Fanatec CSL Elite. Much better wheel which works with PS4 and PC. This then allows you to move to PC when the time is right, which is what I did. I thoroughly recommend this as a setup that would work today AND tomorrow. Best of luck, this hobby is so much fun, you’re going to love it.
Ya, I'm pretty happy that I have a PS4 sitting rather idle in my house to use pretty much exclusively for this. It was a surprise B-Day present a couple years ago from my wife and kids and it got used heavy in the beginning for CoD but eventually sat unused unless my boy was playing it. He has his own consoles so I don't feel too bad for what I'm about to do which is dedicate it to it's own racing nook area once I buy the rest of the gear. Once there, it'll likely be a pain to play anything non-driving, but that's cool by me.

I looked at the T150 but the T300 still seems to be the better purchase for me. I have definitely checked out the Fanatec stuff too and can see myself eventually going that route if I realize I'm addicted and won't jump ship on this hobby. If the Fanatec stuff comes to fruition, I might be buying more than just the wheel/pedals, lol. A 3 monitor cockpit would be amazing!!
 

ryguy76

25RPM
Apr 4, 2019
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I jumped in with a full set of Fanatec Club Sport equipment and I haven't regretted that decision. However, I did already had a PC setup to drive it. It was the PC I built to run my RC flight simulator on a 4K TV and it is currently driving my VR system.

I think most people enjoy the tracks and online competitions with other drivers. I have no idea how well that works on the consoles.

I have PCars2 and AC. I rarely use either of them. PC2 looks amazing in VR, but the tracks bored me until I got a motion system, then suddenly they seemed more interesting. However I can't seem to get myself out of the Rallys, but that is a VERY personal thing. I love sliding around in the dirt, but then again it may be something that I get tired of over time and I may end up on a track with everyone else.

Sort of like flying low headspeed or Speed flying, vs smack 3D. I never got into smack flying. I loved getting 10 minute flights with my TDR gracefully flying in all orientations or at the opposite extreme white knuckle speed flying with my TDR 2 when I could barely keep sight of it at either ends of the course.
Did you know 100% that you were going to fully enjoy the sim racing experience when you initially bought Fanatec or was it a calculated decision?

I'm having a work buddy who's into PC gaming and PC building spec out a PC build cost today to see what I'd be looking at in Canadian dollars, just for fun. By the time I get a T300 and a playseat challenge, I'll be walking a thin line with my wife in terms of hobby dollars this year with my recent Logo 480 purchase, (still needs electronics installed and setup). PC won't happen for awhile, but something to work toward.

I was a low RPM guy up until this year. Low RPM and smooth 3D was my style, but after a fair amount of sim practice this winter, I became fully comfortable in all orientations and unlocked a lot more 3D transitions. Low RPM felt boring so upped my RPM this year by a good margin. That rejuvenated my heli interests again.
 

RCHeliguy

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Jan 19, 2019
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Did you know 100% that you were going to fully enjoy the sim racing experience when you initially bought Fanatec or was it a calculated decision?
I actually had no idea at all if I would like this. I got it all on a whim. I just thought I'd give it a shot and make sure what I had gave me a good idea what it should be like. I also set up a flight rig and got into VR at the same time. After starting out strong enjoying Dirt Rally, I complete dropped driving sims for almost a year. I got into Eve Valkyrie and used my flight rig for about 3 months solid, then I started playing "In Death" a room scale VR game and didn't use my flight sim either. I was at the point of considering selling off my sim equipment. Then I started getting back into it this January and got a Sim-Lab P1 cockpit and NLRv3 motion system, etc.. My build thread is below.
https://www.racedepartment.com/thre...cockpit-with-motion-and-tactile-build.165289/

I am not suggesting that you spend a chunk and definitely not more than you are comfortable spending. There are no guarantees that you will love it and more importantly, these are toys and should be near the bottom of your life priorities. This is one of many of my whims and as much as I'm sucked into this right now, I'm just enjoying it until I don't.

RC Helis are the only thing that consistently held my attention for over 5 years. Lots of deep dives and lots to learn. I finally hit the point where I had pretty well mastered things and hit a wall that would require far too much flying to make any appreciable improvements.
 

ryguy76

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Apr 4, 2019
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I actually had no idea at all if I would like this. I got it all on a whim. I just thought I'd give it a shot and make sure what I had gave me a good idea what it should be like.
Wow, just checked out your build. I thought I went big when I got into something new! That looks amazing. I hadn't really even considered the possibility of adding motion to the seat.

My kids are still pretty young and "family experiences" are high on the list of priorities still but Daddy also likes his toys, lol. I think a TM T300 and the Playseat will be enough for me to get started and I can go from there. Looks like skies the limit!
 
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RCHeliguy

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We are at very different points in life. My youngest graduated from college last Spring, and my wife and I have basically been empty nesting for a little while which means we have a lot of adult time together and I have lots of "me" time.
 
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ryguy76

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Apr 4, 2019
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I have had another thought... Rather than buy the Playseat Challenge that might become obsolete if I got more into it, what if I bought the NLR Wheel Stand that's modular?

https://www.simulation1.ca/products/next-level-racing-wheel-stand/

I could then add on a fixed 3-monitor stand if/when I swapped to PC:
https://www.simulation1.ca/products/next-level-racing-monitor-stand/

And possibly the NLR chair or some permanent DIY chair.

Another option is the Trak Racer FS3 stand, which seems nice based on more wheel adjustability (concerned with lack of depth and tilt on the NLR stand), but then it's not as modular and is a wider foot print.
https://www.simulation1.ca/products/trak-racer-fs3-racing-simulator-steering-wheel-stand/

Thoughts?
 

RCHeliguy

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Would you be interested in a Wheel Stand Pro. I've got one collecting dust. I have the attachment for the Fanatec shifter as shown. All the typical wheels and pedals bolt up to it. I'd be willing to pay it forward, if you you'll pass it on when you are done with it, I have no problem letting it go for shipping.

This was the very first time I had my controls setup, but it wasn't long before I was pulling a seat out of a wrecked car. I ended up with a seat for $45. It was a fully manual 2006 VW Passat seat and I've been very happy with it. You might find something inexpensive locally if you ever decided to go that route.
rig_2849.jpg