Listening Music While Sim Racing

Is it worth to listen to music while Sim Racing?

April 15th, 2022

Real racing drivers don’t listen to music during the race. It makes much sense, but in the virtual world, we can allow ourselves to make racing even more fun, since listening to music isn’t forbidden.

But is it really worth it?

I will try to answer it in this post, so let’s move on.

Can you focus on Sim Racing with music?

It depends on the genre and on the specific person. I usually can focus, but not with every song. I was playing for many hours with my favorite songs, and my lap times weren’t worse than the usual ones.

I also didn’t notice any lack in my consistency, but I’ve felt like I’ve been driving like I Was on autopilot. Sometimes I made a few laps without even noticing it, like a machine. It may seem cool, but this could be dangerous if I wouldn’t alone in the session.

In my opinion, most of us should be able to focus during the hot lapping, but I also think, it would be much harder during the race because it isn’t that predictable and repetitive.

There is also one more, extremely important factor:

With music on, you may be unable to hear the game good enough.

While sim racing isn’t a first-person shooter, and we don’t necessarily need to hear every step, our hearing definitely helps us to detect where another driver is, and which element of a track we ran over. In my opinion, it’s very important, especially during the race, and especially for those whose screens don’t allow them to comfortably see the opponents on the sides.

How to play sim racing with music?

Do you like playing games with music on? I get you, me too.

Fortunately, you can play sim racing with music, and what’s more important, you can probably still be good with it.

The “secret” method is to just… Avoid multiplayer sessions.

There is nothing wrong with doing fun hot laps with music or with playing against bots. Even if you ruin their race because of your music, they’re still bots.

If you’re one of these people who can maintain the full focus with music, you can also try multiplayer. It’s definitely possible, but be honest with yourself and verify if you’re really good enough to, at least, don’t spoil the fun of others.

If you are about to play sim racing with music, try to set it quieter than the game.

And don’t get me wrong. Sim Racing is also playable even without any sounds. You still can be good at it even if you don’t hear anything (for example, if you are deaf).

It’s just a bit easier with sound, but you can pretty much replace the sound with two other senses:

  • Quality steering wheel with good Force Feedback – this should easily make you feel all the effects of the track on your hands without the need of hearing them.
  • VR, Triple Screen, or Ultrawide monitor – if you’re comfortably seeing what’s happening in all the mirrors and on your sides, you don’t necessarily need to hear the opponents. It’s still useful, but in this case, not that much.

Do sim racers play with the music?

Yes, many of us are driving with music, but because of the reasons above or inability to maintain enough focus, we do this mostly in single-player sessions.

If you want to start playing sim racing with music on, just give it a try and see how you like it and how well you do it.

If you are planning to try it in an online race, I suggest you to play some casual, public sessions at the beginning.

I would rather advise against trying this during the tournament or ranked session because if like me, you lose some concentration with the music, you can destroy the race not only for yourself but also for others.

I don’t think music can improve something in Sim Racing

Maybe except the fun itself.

If you’re on the other hand wondering if music can somehow help you in sim racing, my vote is no.

Maybe if you’re a very specific person, it can somehow help you with concentration (there are some people who are focusing better with the music on), but the majority of us would be probably a bit worse than without it.

Again, just try it and see how it works for yourself.