The short answer is no, Assetto Corsa is not a free game on PC. It is a premium racing simulation that must be purchased to access the full content. However, there are limited options to try Assetto Corsa for free.
Getting Hands-on with Assetto Corsa for Free
Before deciding to buy Assetto Corsa, you may want to try it out first to see if the realistic racing simulation is right for you. Here are a few legit ways to demo Assetto Corsa on PC at no cost:
Steam Demo – There is an official Assetto Corsa Demo on Steam allowing you to drive the Lotus Exige S on the Vallelunga circuit. This gives you a taste of the physics and handling.
Free Weekends – The developers occasionally host free weekends where the full version of Assetto Corsa is free to play for a limited time, usually a weekend.
Console Trials – PlayStation and Xbox sometimes get free trial periods for Assetto Corsa console versions. You can test it out during these events.
While limited, these do present opportunities to try Assetto Corsa risk-free before purchasing. I‘d recommend watching for free weekends in particular to get the most comprehensive free trial.
Why Assetto Corsa Isn‘t Free
Now you might be wondering, why don‘t the developers just make Assetto Corsa free? There are a few reasons:
Development Costs – Creating advanced racing simulations requires significant upfront investment into research, software, licenses, staff etc. Revenue from game sales helps fund this.
Licensing Fees – Many cars and tracks in Assetto Corsa are officially licensed from real-world brands. There are costs associated with these licenses that must be recouped.
Anti-Piracy Measures – Free games tend to get pirated more often. Paid games allow publishers to implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.
Sustainable Business Model – Paid games with DLCs and discounts provide a profitable business model that funds ongoing development, updates and support.
So in short, Assetto Corsa‘s premium pricing helps cover costs, protects licensing, reduces piracy, and funds future improvements. This enables the developers to keep investing in and enhancing Assetto Corsa over the long term.
Price and Editions of Assetto Corsa on PC
Now let‘s take a look at what exactly Assetto Corsa will cost you on PC:
The Standard Edition which includes the base simulation is priced at $19.99 on Steam. This gives you:
- 33 Tracks – Including Spa, Nurburgring, and Brands Hatch
- 105 Cars – Road cars plus GT, prototypes, historic vehicles
- Singleplayer Modes – Including Career Mode with progression
- Multiplayer – Online lobbies and ranking system
For the full experience including all additional cars and tracks, you‘ll want the Ultimate Edition which bundles the base game and all DLCs for $39.99 on Steam.
Here‘s what‘s in the DLC packs:
|Dream Pack 1||15||3||$4.99|
|Dream Pack 2||10||4||$7.99|
|Dream Pack 3||15||2||$9.99|
|Japanese Car Pack||7||0||$4.99|
During Steam sales, Assetto Corsa sees discounts up to 75% off, bringing the price down to only $5-10 for the base game and $15-20 for the Ultimate Edition. Absolutely take advantage of these seasonal sales to get the best deal.
So in summary, you‘ll realistically spend around $20-$40 depending on sales and bundles to get Assetto Corsa with all content on PC.
Is Assetto Corsa a Sound Investment for Racing Fans?
If you‘re a racing enthusiast debating whether Assetto Corsa is worth purchasing, here are some key reasons why it represents a great value:
1. Realistic Physics and Handling
The driving dynamics, tire models, and physics in Assetto Corsa aim to provide an authentic simulation experience closely mirroring real-world vehicle behavior. Each car truly feels unique to drive.
According to many drivers, the accuracy and nuanced feedback of Assetto Corsa‘s physics exceeds other hardcore racing sims like rFactor 2 and iRacing. This level of realism is a huge selling point for simulator fans.
2. Frequently Updated Over 7 Years
Assetto Corsa first released in 2014 but the developers are still actively updating it today in 2023. Ongoing improvements include new features, optimized performance, and enhanced VR support.
This level of commitment to continued support even 7+ years later demonstrates respect for their community and desire to make Assetto Corsa the best racing simulator possible.
3. Thriving Modding Community
Assetto Corsa has one of the most prolific modding communities in the racing scene. The Steam Workshop features over 56,000 mods adding new cars, tracks, liveries, apps and more.
This endless expansion of free community-created content magnifies the value of Assetto Corsa exponentially. You‘ll never run out of new things to drive thanks to passionate modders.
4. Competitive Multiplayer and Esports Events
Online multiplayer allows competitive racing against others with a matchmaking ranking system. There are also pro tournaments like Sim Racing GP using Assetto Corsa with cash prizes.
The devoted community plus solid netcode makes Assetto Corsa a staple platform for organized online racing and esports. The singleplayer is great but multiplayer is where the fun really begins.
5. Caters All Types of Racing
Whether you enjoy street cars, GT3s, retro F1, drift, rally, off-road, or just cruising scenic tracks – Assetto Corsa does it all through official and modded content. There‘s endless variety and appeal.
Very few racing games offer this level of diverse vehicles and racing disciplines all in one package. Assetto Corsa is a one-stop-shop for automotive lovers.
Taking all these factors into account, Assetto Corsa absolutely delivers tremendous value at its reasonable pricing. For racing game fans, it‘s arguably one of the best investments you can make for a game that can provide hundreds or even thousands of hours of hands-on track time.
Getting Started with Assetto Corsa as a Beginner
If you‘re new to hardcore racing simulations, Assetto Corsa can seem daunting at first compared to more accessible arcade racers. But there are several ways to ease into the experience as a beginner:
Enable Traction Control – This aid helps control wheelspin coming out of corners. Gradually reduce as you get better at throttle control.
Turn on Ideal Racing Lines – Visual guides show optimal braking points and turn-in points on tracks until you learn them.
Start with Slower Cars – Begin with hot hatches or road cars around 200hp. Avoid powerful supercars until you‘re ready.
Use Automatic Gears – Let the game handle shifting so you can focus just on steering as you learn.
Lean on Rewind – Rewind mistakes to retry challenging sections and slowly build consistency.
Lower the AI – In career mode, lower the AI difficulty until you find a competitive-but-fun challenge.
The singleplayer career mode is the perfect place to hone your skills before going online. Take it step-by-step, lean on aids where helpful, and enable assists that allow you to slowly develop at your own pace.
With the right approach, Assetto Corsa can absolutely be enjoyed as a beginner and provide that rewarding sense of levelling up your driving abilities over time.
Final Verdict – Should You Buy Assetto Corsa?
So at the end of the day, is Assetto Corsa worth purchasing for PC racing simulation enthusiasts?
The answer is a resounding yes!
While not free, Assetto Corsa offers an incredible value in the virtual racing space:
- Granularly accurate physics and handling
- Constant updates over 7 years
- Endless content through mods
- Competitive online racing
- Catering to all racing disciplines
Available for only $20-40 when on sale, no other title matches Assetto Corsa for delivering a realistic and comprehensive racing experience on PC with strong singleplayer, multiplayer, and esports integration.
For sim racing fans, Assetto Corsa should absolutely be in your PC library. Just try to buy it at 50% off during a seasonal Steam sale.
At full price, Assetto Corsa provides good value. At 50% off, it provides absolutely exceptional value. So be patient and grab it during the next sale for the best bang-for-your-buck.
You won‘t regret investing in Assetto Corsa – it exemplifies the passion that makes racing such a phenomenal hobby and provides a game all gearheads can appreciate. Strap in and we‘ll see you on the track!