When you’re starting with esports racing, you’ll get in touch with iRacing one day. iRacing is considered one of the best racing simulations and a lot of professional race drivers like Max Verstappen play the game regularly. But there is something that separates iRacing from most other racing games: It’s pricing policy can be very confusing. What do you have to pay to play? How expensive is iRacing really?
We start with the very basics. Let’s say you want to try out iRacing for the first time and see how you like it. To get into the driver’s seat you have to get a membership for at least a month which costs $13. Without any further costs, you can now start the engines. At the moment there are 26 cars included to every membership, from Dirt Cars like the Ford ’34 Coupe to high tech racing cars like the Riley Mk XX Daytona Prototype.
So now let’s get on track! There are 21 laser-scanned tracks you can immediately drive on, including legendary places such as Silverstone and Daytona International Speedway.
You also have to pay no additional costs to compete in online races or tournaments. But there can be limitations for you here. If you want to take part in a race or tournament that is being driven on a track not included in your basic membership, you will have to purchase it. The same thing goes for cars.
After you spent some time on iRacing there will certainly be the point where you want to extend your collection. A great thing about iRacing is you don’t have to pay for content you don’t want. Whether you love Formula 1, NASCAR, or IndyCar, you can just choose between your preferences when it comes to cars and tracks. A track costs either $11.95 or $14.95 in iRacing, depending on how much effort the developers had to put into laser-scanning the track. Cars are always at $11.95.
However, if you want to race in certain cups or tournaments you might have to buy some more tracks. In this case iRacing offers you discounts if you buy several content pieces at once. Those discounts are:
• 10% discount if you buy three cars or more
• 15% discount if you buy six cars or more
• 20% discount on all future purchases if you bought a total of 40 or more cars
• Own everything? You will get a 30% discount on all future content purchases
iRacing also features several special offers from time to time. Keep your eyes open for those and use the standard discounts to minimise your expenses.
If you started buying extra content, chances are pretty high you will get stuck with iRacing for a long time, trust us. As always with subscriptions, fees will get more cost-effective if you sign up for a longer time, so you might want to lower your monthly costs by getting a long-term membership.
The standard costs for iRacing memberships are:
• $13 for one month ($13/month)
• $33 for three months ($11/month)
• $110 for one year ($9.17/month)
• $199 for two years ($8.29/month)
Like with cars and tracks, there will sometimes be discounts for memberships.
What is the maximum cost?
Let’s get to real business now. You want to own everything. Every track, configuration, and car available. What will that cost you?
We start with the cars. Besides your 26 starter cars there are 68 cars you can buy at the moment. We buy 42 cars for $11.95 and get a 15% discount granted by iRacing for each car. This is actually cheaper than just buying 40 cars to immediately unlock to the 20% discount, since we would have to buy car 37-40 without a discount then.
We now get the discount of 20% for all other purchases, which makes the remaining 26 cars cheaper for us. In the end, we spend $675.18.
Let’s go on with the tracks. There are currently 80 tracks you can purchase in iRacing. Spa-Francorchamps, Le Mans, the Nordschleife – we buy ‘em all. We still have our discount of 20% active and tracks cost either $14.95 or $11.95. After adding everything to the cart we have to pay $873.68 for all the tracks.
All in all, our bill grew pretty big: If you want to own everything currently available on iRacing, you have to pay $1.548.86, excluded your membership.
Those numbers shouldn’t discourage you from getting started with iRacing. As we said before, the great thing about iRacing is that you only have to buy what you really want. Also, iRacing offers a lot of bundles and special offers. Look out for those and watch your collection grow without too many expenses.
Of course, prices and discounts can change from time to time and more items will be added to the shop. This calculation was done on March 25, 2020.
Images source: iRacing
Tags: tutorial, community, iracing
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- 20% Loyalty Discount: Purchase 40 pieces of eligible content (cars/tracks) and receive a 20% discount from that point forward. In other words, once you own 40 pieces of eligible content, every content purchase after that is automatically discounted by 20%
- 30% Loyalty Discount: Purchase all available, full-priced content (cars/tracks) and receive 30% off the total price. This discount is calculated at the time of purchase, which means, if new content becomes available in the future, this would need to be purchased in order to receive the discount again. For example, if there are 100 pieces of content available and you already have purchased 97, you need to purchase the remaining 3 pieces in order to receive the discount, even if you had previously received the discount
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Nobody Wants To Sell Me An iRacing Bundle
Once the near exclusive domain of pro-drivers and the hardcorest of hardcore racing game dorks, iRacing has seen thousands of new users sign up for their hyper-realistic racing sim since Covid-19 shut the world down. Driven by televised races featuring real drivers and you know, the desperate need to spend as little time in our own heads as possible, iRacing is more mainstream than ever. I wanna give it a whirl!
So how come I can’t buy an iRacing bundle? How come nobody is dangling a little button with a pricetag on it in front of me, a guy who is desperate to get embarrassed on a virtual race track in front of a bunch of Jalopnik readers? It’s weird!
From what I understand, my options are as follows: Call up one of the pro rigmakers and talk to them on the phone about what I want (I don’t know!) and spend enough to buy several high-quality junk cars—or learn a bunch about gaming PCs, order one, somehow find a wheel, a stand, a seat and some monitors, and get it all set up.
The thing is, my level of interest in building a PC or learning really anything about PC specs is profoundly low. I know it’s lazy and I’ve definitely spent hours researching other, dumber purchases, but I just can’t bring myself to wade into the world of PC parts.
The always helpful Tim Stevens offered to walk me through a PC build, which is so nice! But I’m chasing after kids and trying to figure out Jalopnik.com and wrenching, doing Zoom calls, etc. and I don’t want to reveal the true depths of my stupidity to a guy like Tim.
So far I’ve been trying to buy a Logitech/Fanatec/Thrustmaster wheel on eBay, where they’ve become very dear because they’re sold out everywhere else. I’ve been also been clicking on ads for PCs, and sending them to Bozi and asking “Will this run iRacing?” “No, you need a different GPU/Graphics Card/Power supply” he says. I don’t want to know what that stuff is and I definitely don’t want to screw it all together several times before it works correctly.
What I want, is to fire up Duck Duck Go, enter keyword “iRacing bundle” do some clicking, wince really hard and start waiting for boxes to show up. I to consume iRacing like I consume other consumer-grade garbage in times of high stress. But searching turns up no useful results for iRacing Bundle, or iRacing rig or any other permutations. Seems like by now, some enterprising e-commerce operation would have indulged my shameful urges, but no. You’ll have to wait until I figure this out myself before you get to watch me cause a deadly turn one pileup in a spec Miata. Watch this space!
.iRacing Onboard Lap: Porsche 911 GT3 R at Spa Francorchamps
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