iRacing is well known as a racing simulator because of its robust and populated online multiplayer servers. Generally, you can find an online race in just about any car class, at any time of the day. That’s great if you want to hop online and trade paint with other sim racers all over the world, but what if you would rather run a race in single player mode against AI drivers instead of other humans?
iRacing has multiple single player modes to choose from. In this article we will provide a brief overview of the iRacing platform, and dive into the details of iRacing single player modes. You’ll learn about iRacing’s AI system and time trials. Finally, we will share our opinion on whether iRacing is worth it if you only race single player.
Table of Contents
iRacing launched in 2008, and has been a market leader in the PC racing simulator genre since. iRacing is more of a subscription service than a game. Customers have to pay a monthly subscription fee to have access to their cars and tracks. Customers can also purchase additional cars and tracks beyond the free content that is included with the subscription.
You can race many different types of vehicles on the iRacing service. From GT cars to stadium trucks, iRacing has a bit of everything. iRacing is split into four disciplines: Road, Oval, Dirt Road, Dirt Oval. There are multiple official series under each racing discipline. Each has its own schedule, points system, and rules.
AI Racing Mode
AI racing mode is iRacing’s version of a single player mode. In 2019, iRacing added AI mode for the first time. AI mode allows select cars and tracks to be used in single player races and seasons. When it was first launched the AI content was limited to just a handful of cars and tracks, but it continues to expand with each major quarterly iRacing update.
A full list of AI compatible content can be found on the iRacing website.
One way to enjoy single player on iRacing is to create a single AI race. To create a single AI race, just click the Single Race button under the AI Racing section of the iRacing UI. You’ll have complete control over the race. Pick your track, your car type, weather, laps, format, and even the skill level of your opponents.
AI single races are a great way to just have a fun, casual race. They are also great for practicing a track or car that you might be unfamiliar with. There are no skill rating consequences in an AI session, unlike in an official online session.
If you want more simulation than a single race can provide, you will want to try out the AI Championship Season mode. Championship mode is similar to single race mode, where you can control all the variables. The big difference is that you’ll be selecting multiple tracks to race on during your season.
You’ll have to compete against AI to earn championship points after each race. At the end of the schedule, which you determine, the overall points champion will be announced. Championship seasons are a great way to simulate real life schedules and really dive deep into the simulation, without the need to race online against other humans.
Time Trial Mode
The last way to play iRacing in single player mode is to run time trials. Time trials are a blend of single and multiplayer. You won’t be racing around other people on track, but you will connect to an online race server and set a time that is compared to other real players.
The great thing about time trial mode is that you can improve your safety rating since technically they are official race sessions. Another advantage over AI racing is that your lap times and skill will be compared against other real drivers, and not just computer opponents.
Time trials are available for a variety of racing disciplines, and with a variety of cars and tracks. Just like with the online multiplayer sessions, the schedule will change week to week depending on the series you want to race in.
Is iRacing Worth It For Single Player Mode Only?
One thing you might be wondering is if iRacing is worth the cost if you plan to only use single player modes? In our opinion, no, iRacing isn’t worth the cost unless you plan to take advantage of the great online multiplayer system.
There are two main reasons for our opinion. First, iRacing is a service that requires a monthly subscription. If you forget about the online aspect, there are plenty of other racing sims out there that offer a much better value. If you plan to play single player mode only, a game you buy once and perhaps expand with DLC is going to be better. Second, the subscription is only part of the cost of iRacing. You’ll need to buy cars and tracks if you want to race in anything but the few cars and tracks that come with the subscription.
If you enjoy racing against AI opponents every once and awhile, iRacing has multiple single player game modes to choose from. Whether it’s running hot laps and comparing your time to other real humans in time trial mode, or simulating a full race season in your favorite racing series, iRacing has something for everyone. But the value in iRacing’s subscription and content costs come from its incredible online multiplayer racing system. In our opinion, iRacing is best for people who plan to race online in addition to racing in single player mode.
Have you had a chance to try out iRacing AI mode? What sim racing game would you recommend for people interested in only single player? Let us know in the comments below!