iRacing is an exceptionally good sim racer, and is almost a complete racing solution for dedicated and passionate racers. That said, there are a few external addons that make it even better. We’re going to take a look at the most popular
Most of these, work as separate programs, that will feed off the iRacing API and give you real time information on what is going on in the game/sim.
Crew chief is basically what you would expect of a pit wall crew. It is roughly a combination of a spotter, but will also inform you of gap to other cars, tell you about fuel consumption, inform you on tire status and much much more. It will even calculate how much fuel you need to put in the tank, to make it to the end.
The really great feature about Crew Chief is that it has built in voice recognition. Althought you can talk to Crew Chief, It does not quite have AI status, so don’t expect it to be Google Assistant, Alexa or a motor enthusiast version of Siri. That said, it is really practical when you need information while racing, or if you need to adjust your pit strategy
Personally i have used Crew Chief since i was racing on Project Cars on Xbox, using a phone to run it, and was very very happy with it. On iRacing, it has a few limitations compared to other racing games, but it is not crew chiefs fault. iRacing limits the information that it will pass to Crew Chief, so there will be data that Crew Chief can't help you with, that he would in other games (like tire temperature, damage status and tire wear). This is not information that you would have had anyway in iRacing though, so it is no big issue. The biggest issue for me, is that if you don't render the whole grid locally (if you have set your settings to calculate fewer cars than the whole grid) it will not be able to calculate your position in the race. Although this is a pretty big issue, that i know they are working on a solution for, Crew Chief is still one of the best addons you can find for iRacing.
Crew Chief is surprisingly free but do consider donating a small amount for the job that they are doing.
This is a free software that will replace paint schemes from the somewhat simple options that iRacing offers, to full blown custom paint schemes. Not only will it allow you to load skins on to your car, but it is also needed, to see the skins others are using. This means that you may have used a skin from trading paints, but the ones who don’t have Trading Paints installed, won’t be able to see your skin. There are surprisingly many who do use it though, so if you like looking at often pretty cars, do go ahead and get it!
You’ll need to create an account on their page, and pick your preferred paints on their site, but it works well, and makes races look a lot nicer. Of course you will also some times have to look at the silly paints that others choose but i guess that this is a matter of taste. You can also use it share your own paints and let others race them.
Trading paints is free, but you can upgrade to a paid account, that will let you have additional features if you are into creating and sharing car liveries.
This is maybe my favorite app. It is a timing and dashboard app that has a whole list of information pages you can run on external screen, phones tablets or overlays on top of iRacing. Basically anything that runs a browser can run JRT information screens. That said, i personally have used JRT mostly as overlays. Especially the dashboard, i prefere to run as an overlay, to avoid lag on the rev display. I figured out how to run iRacing in windowed mode (without seeing any of the desctop) and then put the information pages on top of the game. I mostly use the dashboard page and a simplified timing page, that also shows me the other drivers iRating and Safety rating. There are several other pages too, but they all tap into your CPU too much, so i had to limit my usage.
Image of dashboard, from JRT webpage
I initially used the dashboard on an Android phone, but had issues with too much lag. The Rev limiter would not update fast enough so i couldn't use it to change gears at the right time. It might be down to a too slow phone, bad connection or some bad settings (you can adjust the FPS settings for the information). The timings screen though can easily run on a tablet though, and will give you information like what iRating or license the drivers have, what club they are in, what class they are racing, the SOF and much other information that you usually don't have access to!
JRT does not really look that nice, but it has some invaluable information for you and your viewers if you are streaming your races. It has a free and a paid version, but buying the paid version really opens up for some pretty neat features
Setup Sync is a software that lets you share and get setups from others. You can filter setups by car and tracks so that you can get the best setup for each combination, but be aware that the setups are so specific that they don’t always match the weather or track usage that you are racing on.
That said, it is a very useful tool with many handy features
- Automatically download recent setups for your current car / track, as soon as you start iRacing.
- Browse through your recently used setups, then instantly share them, or save them locally if you forgot.
- Search setups by car, track or team and download the ones you don’t have yet.
- Compares your local setups with the online database setups to determine which setups you already own – there is no point in downloading duplicates!
- Subscribe to cars, tracks and teams and quickly search setups that match any of your subscribed items.
- Completely customizable directory and setup naming convention with macros like the setup author, car, track, season and many more.
- Operates on a vast database which is continuously updated by setups added by other users
Although the software is perfect for managing your setups, and getting setups from others, it is really difficult to figure out what setup is best, not to mention what setup is best for you. Your best change, is to keep track of the names of the creators that you prefer and look for setups that they have made.
There are tons of addons for iracing, and i am sure that i have missed som that you may think are better than the few i have listed, so do try others out. For me, these are addons that greatly increase the experience and immersion of iRacing. Let me know in the comments bellow if you know of any addon that you think i should try out!