A new contender is coming for the sim racing crown - welcome to Rennsport.
When you think of the best sim racing games, you probably immediately think of iRacing, Assetto Corsa, and rFactor 2. But in 2023 Rennsport will try to unsettle the established order.
The new ultra-realistic sim racing game boasts cutting-edge Unreal Engine 5 graphics and an emphasis on esports and modding. But can Rennsport stand out in the crowded sim racing market? We’ve got everything you need to know about Rennsport right here.
Latest news - Exclusive Rennsport interview with Competition Company
Ahead of the first round of the ESL R1 tournament, we caught up with Competition Company to find out how Rennsport is revolutionising sim racing.
Beta gets delayed
While 2023 is full of excitement about Rennsport, the closed Beta that was planning to be running by the end of January has been delayed.
In a statement released across Rennsport's channels, the delay only seems minimal but it's not a great omen for the rest of the year.
With ESL R1 still steaming forward, it's a bitter blow to the sim racing community.
With state-of-the-art physics, a graphics engine powered by Unreal Engine 5, and a focus on modding and esports, Rennsport (that’s German for “racing”) aims to be “the most realistic racing simulation possible.”
That may sound like a bold claim, but the team’s credentials at new German developer Competition Company include “professional drivers, racing strategists, programmers and esports experts.”
Only a handful of cars have been revealed so far. Confirmed cars include the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, Porsche Mission R, Porsche 911 GT3R, and BMW M4 GT3.
With a focus on German GT3 racing cars, Rennsport appears to be aiming to rival Assetto Corsa Competizione.
However, including the electric Porsche Mission R suggests other car types will be added, but the roster seems to predominately focus on thoroughbred race cars.
Looking ahead, Competition Company told RaceDepartment it aims to have "hundreds of cars and hundreds of race tracks" in "three or four years."
Players can race around accurately recreated versions of real-world tracks.
Only two tracks have been shown so far: Germany’s Hockenheimring and the Goodwood Hillclimb made famous by the Festival of Speed.
Sim racers will be used to tackling Hockenheimring in games like Assetto Corsa and iRacing, but the Goodwood Hillclimb is a welcome addition rarely seen in racing games.
The last racing game to include the famous Hillclimb was Gran Turismo 6 (not counting Assetto Corsa mods) back in 2013, so Rennsport's recreation should be much more accurate if it's laser scanned.
Competition Company also plans to add the Nurburgring, Red Bull Ring, and Monza along with other unannounced tracks in the final game.
While we don't have much information to go on, a short Rennsport gameplay video gives us an idea of what to expect from the ambitious new sim racer.
Featuring a Porsche 911 GT3R racing around Hockenheimring, the early gameplay footage looks promising. It showcases realistic vehicle dynamics, authentic engine sounds, and smooth performance - even at this early alpha stage.
For now, Rennsport is PC-only. This will allow Compe to make the most realistic racing simulation possible. No system requirements have been revealed yet, but it goes without saying that you’ll need a powerful PC to run Rennsport at maximum settings.
However, in a recent Tweet Competition Company said “console versions are planned for post-release updates.”
Aside from Assetto Corsa Competizione, console sim racing games are rare, but Rennsport could fill this void.
ACC’s impressive PS5 and Xbox Series X|S ports have shown that current-gen consoles can deliver an uncompromised sim racing experience on the latest hardware.
There’s also a focus on user-generated content.
Modding tools will allow the community to expand the game with custom cars, tracks, and liveries. Using a companion app, players can then manage and trade assets with other players on online marketplaces.
As games like the original Assetto Corsa have shown, modding support will help expand Rennsport's lifespan for many years.
Like Raceroom Racing Experience, Rennsport will be free to play with access to a limited number of cars and tracks. A subscription model will also be offered giving access to all content and features.
VR support is also planned for a more immersive racing experience.
Esports and online multiplayer
As well as modding, Rennsport also has an emphasis on esports. Competition Company has partnered with ESL Gaming, best known for hosting tournaments for games like Battlefield 4, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Halo.
Now, ESL Gaming is ready to embrace virtual racing, using Rennsport as a modern platform.
In a Q&A with RaceDepartment, Competition Company confirmed the online multiplayer can be tailored to your racing style, whether you want to compete in endurance races or short sprint races.
Rennsport's online multiplayer will also have ranked races, leagues, and broadcast options for streamers.
Initially, online player counts will be limited to 12 in the beta but will increase in the final game.
Rennsport doesn't have a firm release date yet, but Competition Company is targeting a December 2023 release window.
However, a closed beta is set to start in January 2023, with the aim to gain feedback from the sim racing community. Players can try Rennsport by signing up for the beta on the official website.
After that, an open beta is due to launch in spring 2023.