RC racing simulator – VRC Pro review how good is it?

VRC Pro is a racing simulator designed specifically for the RC car industry. VRC Pro started development in 2005 and was released by Virtual Racing Industries Ltd after rigorous testing in September 2011. Upon release nearly 2000 users signed up, since then this simulator has grown to be the worlds best RC car racing simulator. It now has 180,000+ registered users, 95+ tracks and 13 classes of RC Cars. The majority of the race tracks are modeled after real world tracks. In 2015 Virtual Racing Industries released VRC Pro on steam. Now you can enjoy this racing simulator along with all your other games.

In my opinion I would say VRC Pro is the best RC racing simulator on the market. It’s much more than a game, it goes much deeper into setups and conditions than any other RC game has. You can change the conditions of the tracks, change setup options and race using your own transmitter.

Disclaimer: I have the “Lifetime All-Inclusive License”, from the VRC-World website. This license offers unlimited access to all the DLC content, all cars and tracks. When you purchase the game through steam it comes with a base of cars and tracks. Additional DLC content is available through steam.

Setup & installation.

To play VRC Pro you don’t need the latest and greatest PC on the market. The specifications are actually quite low considering all the physics at play. It runs just fine on my laptop which is a 5 year old Toshiba running windows 7.

System requirements taken from Steam game page.

You can download the game for FREE from the website. With the free version you currently get 10 free cars and 10 free tracks.

You can play VRC Pro using the keyboard on your computer, which works just fine and many racers do use keyboard or joypad.

To get the most realistic experience from the simulator. I highly recommend you purchase a VRC Pro USB adapter. These are available from Amazon, VRC directly and various other retail outlets.

This little adapter enables you to play VRC Pro with your own transmitter and receiver. Simply plug the connectors into your receiver just like you would with servo cables. Then plug it into your computer via the USB and you are away.

When you first start the game you will be in the pits area. From here you have the following options:

  • Practice
  • Time Trail
  • Events
  • Multiplayer
  • Replay
  • Car Setup
  • Select tracks
  • Select cars
  • Accessories
  • Accounts
  • Options
  • Credits
  • Exit

Track, opponents & AI.

VRC Pro Full Track List:

With more than 95 tracks available there is no shortage of choice. On-road, & off road options are plentiful, most of the tracks are designed based on real world tracks. The tracks are very detailed and feature all the bumps, jumps and corners of the real versions. You can try an off-road car out on an on-road track in practice mode, which is a nice touch.

When you are settled on your chosen track, you can adjust several track conditions:

  1. Race Direction
  2. Race Duration
  3. Qualify Duration
  4. Air Tempreture
  5. Atmospheric pressure
  6. Humidity

The AI is an option to turn on or off and you have 3 difficulty sections low, medium and high. You can then choose how many opponents you want to compete with. It’s not really AI in the traditional sense. Its recordings of other real world users who have set times around the track. This makes it more realistic, if they made a mistake you will see that on track as you race with them.

The downside to this is, if there are no recordings for the track or chosen difficulty rating then you won’t have any opponents. You can however host a multilayer session. You can then invite friends or complete strangers to race with you. Collisions is a feature you can turn on or off, for some this is a great little feature. When collisions are turned off everyone is like a ghost, you can’t be taken out!

Some top level events have the collisions turned off. It sounds a little more unrealistic but with collisions on, unexpected things can happen which throw you off. An unexpected crash anywhere could cost you the race as a result.

Car choices.

On the full unlimited license there are 13 classes of cars to choose from. You have 2 options for each class spec or fully modified. Spec allows you basic tuning options like steering strength, anti roll bars, fuel mixture, gearbox and brake settings. Modified allows you to change almost everything, you can in real life. You can also create multiple setups of the same car to suit different tracks.

Aside from tuning options, you can customize the cars chassis, body shell, esc/engine, wheels, tires, fuel, transponder and more.

Setup options.

You have more setup options available when your not on a track. However when you do go out on track. Simply drive into the pits you can and will will have a few options to make quick setup changes. One of my favorite features as in means you don’t need to close your current session.

The options available do depend on your car selection. Below is the options I had with the 1/8th scale Electric buggy in modified spec.

The community.

The on-line side of VRC is very in-depth. When you log into your account you are greeted with your profile, friends list, race stats and much more. You can see how many members are on-line, how many friends and how many people are playing the game.

  • VRC News – announcements for game updates and company news.
  • Events – under the events section you can look at whats upcoming. This includes start time, event name, the class, number of participants and when the event finishes.
  • Series – these can be filtered by class. You get the same sort of information as the events listing with the addition of your current position for the series.
  • Rankings – this is a list of the best VRC drivers for each class. Top 10 for overal classes and top 3 for each sub class.
  • Forums & Community – the forum is very active. The community tab is an overview of whats happening latest topics, videos, pics etc.
  • Tracks – the tracks tab gives you an overview of each track. This includes current events running and daily results. When you are logged into your account and click on a track, you get your stats for that track also.
  • Components & Accessories – these are virtual items you can purchase. Components include things like bodyshells, engines batteries & wheels. Accessories include things like hauler bags, chargers, pit mats & tools.
  • Clubs – create and manage your own club, or join existing clubs. You can filter clubs based on car class.
  • Tips – section is similar to a knowledge base and is a selection of helpful topics from the forum.
  • Replays, Photos & Videos – upload replays, photos and videos to share with the community.

Gameplay Verdict.

The graphics are pleasing to the eye. Whilst they are lacking in visuals if and its a big if you compare them to some of the latest games available. The tracks are as much like the real version as they can be in a virtual sense. Using your own transmitter gives you the best experience, this game really comes alive.

You can change the viewing angle to follow the car behind by pressing f2. To keep it as realistic as possible I recommend you stick with the default rostrum view. Plus and minus keys on your keyboard will adjust the zoom. The physics are remarkable, the car behaves as it would in real life over jumps, bumps and corners. In the follow mode you can actually see the suspension at work and the car rolling when you change direction.

If you make a mistake and land on your roof simply press the space bar and after a few seconds you will be back on track. You can’t really cut the track. If you do mistake or not your current lap time will not count. You will be reminded by a voice message a few seconds later. Saying “press the space bar or the lap will not be counted” – this can get a little frustrating at times.

Events are structured the same as you would see in real life. Qualifying rounds first (set the amount you want) followed by finals. As you race round, driver positions and lap-times are displayed in the top right hand corner.

There are no actual marshals and the spectators are nice 2d versions of people, think cardboard cutout. But this is a simulator, the purpose of a simulator is to simulate the sport in as life likeness as possible. In my opinion VRC Pro does a dam good job of achieving this. It’s recognized by industry professionals who use it as a training tool. For me personally when I get good times on a particular track it kind of transfers to real life. I say kind of because I haven’t had the opportunity to race on the same track with the same setup to compare.

This simulator is great for setup changes and seeing how they affect the car. For beginners the most important aspect. Is probably that you can try a wide range of cars without forking out the money to purchase them. Granted to get all the available cars you need to have the DLC or an unlimited license. For me it was worth the €199.95 at the time of purchase and still is today.

Image source: VRC-World & Game Screenshots

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