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I'd like to learn race driving, and since I don't have enough money and since it's not my first passion, I practice with simulators.

The one I'm playing with now is Raceroom Racing Experience from SimBin, but I believe the question should apply to simulators and driving games in general.

My question is, since the main issues I have are concerning the race line and gear shifting, is it considered best to use manual or automatic transmission?

I know it's kind of subjective, but being a common topic I think that some informed advice should be possible.

NOTE: I already know how to drive with a manual gearbox, but in my only experience on a track I noticed that I could hardly keep the right gear for every corner, and I experienced the same trouble with games. So please consider previous experience with manual gearbox (in normal life driving).

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On a side note: is it possible that there are no driving/racing games tags? –  clabacchio May 17 '13 at 17:24
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We try to stay away from genre tags, unless they're necessary. Simulation should fit here, I think. –  Frank May 17 '13 at 17:25
    
@fbueckert I tried to create the tag for the specific game but I can't due to rep –  clabacchio May 17 '13 at 17:40
    
Is this question specific to this game, or is it meant to be applied across all racing games? I've been reading it as a general question, but I just realized it could be asking about just a single game. –  Frank May 17 '13 at 20:06
    
@fbueckert it's meant to be general, but not knowing how things work around here I gave some specific information. –  clabacchio May 18 '13 at 8:54
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4 Answers

Before I had even set foot in a car I was introduced to Gran Turismo on the PS3 and a force feedback wheel with gears and all of the required pedals, including the clutch. This is where I had my first taste of driving.

In my experience part of the challenges linked with driving in general happen to be clutch control, gear changes and the handling/feedback you encounter when making corners. These are mirrored almost flawlessy by the simulation and peripherals used to play the game.

To answer your question I would advise that you always try to match the specific gear setup to that of the particular car that you're driving. Simulation programs do their best to simulate the handling and feeling of grip and power of the car on the road, without the same gear ratios and setup, be it manual, semi-auto or automatic, it would be absolutely worthless, taking a lot from the feel of driving as a whole which is what you want to experience.

The type of gears you should be using are subjective to the car itself, which are normally manual. Some cars also use flappy paddle gearboxs which are semi auto and will help you to become familiar with cars that utilize this setup.

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As you want to learn how to drive actual racing cars, and virtually all racing cars in all formulas are manual transmission, you would be best using manual transmission. With reasonably accurate simulators you can get used to using the engine note as well as the rev counter to guide you for one.

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Look for the debate here. Although I recommend that you use manual transmission, which is carry many benefit than automatic ones (ex: longer and faster acceleration time, more responsive, etc), the choices is entirely up to you, hope this help :)

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In my opinion manual acc is way better, because it makes the game more fun to do this manually in addition to controlling acceleration and braking.

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its bounded with more fun? What does that mean? –  deutschZuid May 23 '13 at 10:25
    
It means you will have more fun with manual, than with auto acc –  Ekonion May 23 '13 at 10:30
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