We’re still waiting for a good NASCAR game to arrive. NASCAR 21: Ignition is not one of them.
After Motorsport Games took over the license from 704Games, which developed five NASCAR Heat games, NASCAR: 21 Ignition had potential. Sadly, it failed to live up thanks to its technical issues, underdeveloped career mode, and oblivious AI opponents.
Thankfully, Motorsport Games is working on some major NASCAR 21: Ignition updates to improve the experience.
To give us an idea of what to expect, Motorsport Games has released a roadmap detailing all upcoming NASCAR 21: Ignition updates. As well as fixing bugs, these updates will introduce quality of life improvements and new fan-requested features.
Stage racing comes to NASCAR 21: Ignition
The first NASCAR 21 Ignition patch (update 188.8.131.52) drops in January at an unspecified date. Stage racing is noticeably absent in NASCAR 21 Ignition, but not for much longer.
With the update, players can turn Stages on in Race Now and Career. This will be a welcome addition as Stage racing has been part of NASCAR since 2017 to create closer racing.
Private parties in online multiplayer are also missing in NASCAR 21 but are coming in the first patch requiring at least six players and capped at 18 players. This number will expand to a full grid of 40 players later.
In addition, a new corner cutting penalty will invalidate lap times on Road Courses in online races, Race Now, and Career mode. You can also turn this option off.
Test drive the Next Gen NASCAR Cup Series Ford Mustang
Launching in February, update 184.108.40.206 will add a Next Gen Test Mode. This free update lets you take the next-generation Ford Mustang Cup Car for a virtual test drive at Daytona International Speedway before its real-life competition debut next month.
iRacing has already beaten Motorsport Games to the punch, though, as the new Next Gen NASCAR Cup Series Ford Mustang debuted in iRacing last year.
The second update will also add an option to disable camera shake effects in all in-game camera angles.
Free PS5 and Xbox Series X|S upgrade
Finally, update 220.127.116.11 coming in April will include a free upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players. This update is “optimised for the incredible performance of the latest generation of console hardware,” so expect improved visuals and a smoother frame rate.
Cross-play is supported too, enabling PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players to race with friends on last-gen consoles.
Motorsport Games is also working on a future update enabling players to show off custom liveries created in the Paint Booth online in the Shake & Bake and Bump & Run playlists.
Will these updates improve NASCAR 21: Ignition? Time will tell, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Let’s hope Motorsport Games can learn from its mistakes and make NASCAR 22 a better game straight out of the box.