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rFactor 2 In DirectX 11 Open Beta Coming May 1st

Studio 397 has revealed that the first open beta of their DirectX 11 equipped rFactor 2 title is due to arrive on May 1st.

Studio 397 has revealed that the first open beta of their DirectX 11 equipped rFactor 2 title is due to arrive on May 1st.

The beta version will give players a first chance to experience the much-overhauled look of the simulation. Alongside the announcement, the studio has revealed plenty of more info and previews which you can check out below.

With about a week and a half left until May 1st, it’s time for our monthly update again. We’re sure everybody is looking forward to the new build, and we’re happy to announce that both the DX11 graphics engine and VR support will be released as promised.


Over the last couple of months, we’ve revealed several development screenshots of the DirectX 11 engine to share with you our enthusiasm for the possibilities it brings. The new engine is not only the basis for our VR implementation, but it also enabled a new, improved HDR tone mapper and a bunch of post effects that greatly enhance the overall atmosphere of the simulation. We tried to strike a balance between using these effects to render the real-world imperfections of cameras while retaining the “first person view” you have when racing. At the same time we kept two very important goals in mind: we needed to ensure that, with the same graphics settings, the DX11 engine is at least as fast as the DX9 engine, and that existing content is still compatible with the new engine, so all the content out there can still be fully enjoyed.

We are quite sure we succeeded in both, and we extensively tested the new graphics engine with our community of beta testers. That said, we want to make sure that everybody is able to run this new build without a hitch, which is why we are making the initial release available as an “open beta.” Starting May 1st, anybody can switch to this new build and try it out. It is fully multiplayer compatible with the DX9 build. If for some reason you run into any problems with the new build, you can easily revert to the previous engine with just one click.

We didn’t just stop at updating the graphics engine, though. While we’re at it, we also updated some of our existing content to DX11, so you can expect the first of a series of Studio 397 updates as well. And you’ll be happy to know, these updates don’t just concern the graphics: in some cases we also made changes to and upgraded the physics. The new graphics engine really lets our content shine. It provides so much improvement that we have decided to postpone releasing any new shaders. To whet your appetite, take a look at these new screenshots showing off the new engine and some of the camera post effects in action.

Virtual Reality

If you have been following us on Facebook, you’ve already enjoyed some teaser shots of our VR implementation. We have since added some features such as support for our HUD, including virtual mirrors, as well as a way to browse the UI in VR mode. Mouse control is enabled for the UI, although we are definitely considering adding other options for controlling the VR interface.

User Interface

We know you are eagerly awaiting the new user interface, and we share your impatience. However, because we want to give you the full experience of the new UI and all its capabilities, we feel it is not quite ready for prime time just yet. Although that means we will ship the first open beta release with our existing UI, it will be upgraded to the new UI once that’s ready for release.

As we announced last month, we are now able to easily push updates, and we will use this ability to quickly release updates to the open beta in the upcoming weeks. Our goal is to ensure that we have a stable release for everybody, allowing us to begin phasing out the DX9 build altogether after a few months. In the meantime, our concern is to ensure that everybody has a fully functioning and compatible version of rFactor 2 to race with.


Work on the Radical continues. With most of the graphics in place, our focus has now shifted to the physics and the sounds for this car. It’s not ready to be unveiled yet, but we can tease you with one of the other new cars that we have started working on soon! Watch our social media.


The modding community just recently gained access to an early DX11 build, and we released some guidelines for artists to work with the new rendering engine. Expect to see updates of third party content coming soon. In general, the new engine requires modders to make only minor changes. One area we are still working on concerns “plugins” that render directly to the screen. These plugins will not work properly in the first open beta. We are actively looking at improving our implementation of this functionality overall.

  • HardRock

    These screenshots keep looking better and better. Can’t wait to see such an great improvement on my PC as well.

  • Dynamitry

    amazing what S397 have done it half a year, when ISI did almost nothing in the past few years…

    • 5hitm4k3r666

      Might be worth to boot up the first ISI build and the last ISI build to check if they reall did “allmost nothing”. Alot of the stuff that people consider stunning or awesome in those shots are PP effects that you propably will only notice in replay mode. I am more looking forward to the small refinements like night lightning, reflections and shadows. The rest is a bonus for me. Sure S397 made some good progress in the graphics departement, but I wouldn’t expect a completely different looking game. According to Tuttle most of the content got minor updates to make them work with the new engine.

    • john

      You can’t compare ISI team, which is mostly focused on bringing real life racing experience to computers. Their domain is physics. And not even start to comparing number of team members(and available budget), which now they are 2-3x and at least half of them working on visual upgrade some way or another. It is obvious now ISI made best decision to put S397 in charge. The team, that can contrubute most in areas they lack most. ISI are already more than did own homework and now we waiting what can studio do. I’m sure this will become game, not single “serious” racer should miss.

      • noroardanto

        Well said

  • Layvin Kurzawa

    Looks absolutely stunning, also I can’t wait for the FPS boost performance. Keep it up!

    • noroardanto

      Performance boost is what I’m really looking for, and graphic boost will only makes it even better. Great job ISI and S397!

  • Ricoo

    Please don’t stop with DX11, bring us DX12 too.

    • john

      Usually dx12 games are ground up build for dx12, to really gain all performances dx12 could deliver and is really woth it. I don’t think this is viable option for rf2 right now.

      • Richard Hessels

        Most DX12 titles around now are upgraded DX11 engines. That’s why they show poor multi GPU scaling. One of the features of DX12 was that it would much better use the processing power of multi GPU systems, even from different brands. But none of that i have seen till now.

    • Roger Ramjet

      and loose all players with W7 ??

      • F1Racer

        ‘lose’ – pay it forward 🙂

      • Ricoo

        Yeah and with XP and W98 too. It’s time to look forward not backward

      • Roger Ramjet

        Wouldn’t you think that those on W7 would rather keep playing a perfectly fine game on 7 and when a whole game is built for DX12 that’s when they would choose to go to W10 after they have brought new pc’s to cope with demands of next gen titles..alienating a percentage of income is never a wise move by any company

      • Ricoo

        So the dev should not improve the game because it’s not new anymore?

      • JES

        Yeah they should improve the game, but probably not at the expense of losing 30% of customers, that according to Steam stats still use Win 7.

  • F1Racer

    Well, I just can’t wait for this one ! Roll on May 1st !

  • kosmo1982

    cant wait, looks good!

  • Dani .

    Hope new sims and this reface, boost performance to aceptable levels. I can play Forza apex at 70-100 FPS at full detail, perfectly smooth with full grid on rain/night. Rfactor2 in the same conditions 30FPS at most, same for Pcars, and RRE…

    • 5hitm4k3r666

      You are comparing full blown PC sims with console games buddy. It’s like porting ArmA III to a console … it’s never gonna work. Might also be the reason why Kunos limited their maximum driver count on the consoles for AC 🙂

      • Dani .

        I think you don’t know how to read. I’ve said same conditions same numer of cars included. Graphically, forza is much better than all of them, even much better than pcars, but it runs smooth. I don’t have a potato, as I said, I can play Forza at max settings at more than 60FPS constant and smooth at 1080. That’s optimization but yes i know Forza has much more resources than other sims. And i say I have hope that pcars2 can get good optimization.

      • quf

        Games like Forza and GTSport are less physics intensive compared to Assetto Corsa and rfactor2. Is possible that Forza does indeed have better programming on the hardware level and their graphics engine is better prepared, but they don’t have so many physics resources pulling the performance down, so the CPU is more free to work on the graphics and dedicate less to simulation.

      • Dani .

        Not like that, forza has complex physics, maybe not top sim but complex anyways, and a good AI. And forza uses like 75%CPU 90% of my GPU. Pcars: 50%CPU 100%GPU, Rf2, 40%CPU 100%GPU. CPU not a limit there…

      • wajdi nujeidat

        lol at forza has complex physics!

      • Penteano

        Just because it is using more CPU does not mean it is complex, and in Forza case it really isn’t. Bad or good optimizations (or ports) can do the same result. And considering consoles make proper use of more cores it could be a result of any of these cases (never checked all cores use in Forza). Games actually made for Windows makes better use of single core performance, in that case your CPU is very weak, a Core i3 is better (won’t surprise me if recent Pentium processors are better too). In rF2 case the tire model is not only more complex but it runs about 6 times faster than the other sims in the market so if your processor is not good on single core the problems become more visible

      • 5hitm4k3r666

        I know what I read. The problem is that you don’t understand what “same conditions” actually means. 10 cars in rF2 need propably alot more grunt than 10 cars in Forza for different reasons like tire model complexity, physics processing, damage model etc. That you see ten Corvettes C7R in Forza and the same amount in AC or rF2 on the same track, doesn’t make it’s the same situation. But that you consider Forza your benchmark shows me that I should leave this discussion. Don’t get me wrong, Racedriver Grid was one of the first racing games that I played and I loved it, but it’s not the same level.

      • Dani .

        I am not discussing about to sim or not to sim. I am saying, rf2 does NOT use more than 60% CPU Forza uses it aprox. We can argue about physics programing, but that’s not the point here, and yes forza it’s my benchmark graphycally and in optimization, now after a try, just incredible.

      • 5hitm4k3r666

        How well a sim is optimized has nothing to do with CPU occupancy. You are watching at the taskmanager and draw some conclusions staring at some numbers that have nothing to with the matter of opimization. PCars or rF2 are pretty demanding on the GPU because of their dynamic TOD and weather, something that you won’t find in Forza Apex wich makes this whole comparison pretty useless on it’s own. As said, you are comparing a game like ArmA III with a game like CoD Infinite warfare. 🙂

    • Chillisteak

      What are your specs then? because I can run pCARS, R3E and rFactor 2 easily 90 FPS and I wouldn’t say I’ve got a monster PC, and I’m not one for turning graphics settings down either which I probably should do given I only run VR these days.

      • Dani .

        R9 380, AMDx6, 8gb. Middle range pc.

      • Richard Hessels

        Replace that AMD X6 for a proper CPU. Sims are very CPU intensive.

      • Chillisteak

        That would explain it, used to run a 6300 black edition, struggled with FPS because it was causing a bottleneck. I’d recommend an 8350 at the very least, you’ll see improvements I know I did.

      • HardRock

        Or buy one of the new 6 or 8 core Ryzen’s. I just upgraded my old Phenom II x4 965 to a Ryzen 7 1700 and my FPS doubled in pCARS, using a GTX 1060 6gb. The jump should be similar even with the 4 or 6 core models, as the 8 core variants are quite underutilized in most of today’s games still.

      • Deatroy

        Proper CPU’s are the i5/i7 from Intel or new the RyZen R7 and R5 from AMD. Your one is low-end.

  • Roger Ramjet

    Seems quite a few complain about FPS with RF2, my guess is they havnt tried any builds since the 8/900’s . Hope it sorts you guys out but im guessing quite a few must be running pc’s better suited to RF1 ?

    • Bloomquist

      You live a sad life.

      • F1Racer

        Meanwhile your’s, on here, will be cut very short if you carry on posting like that.

  • BB Racing

    This is a great sim and the owners truly deserve what is being done to it. I am sure that will bring in the players and it will flourish from here. Looking forward to it 🙂

  • Me

    Welcome to modernity…can’t wait to try it!

  • Naeem Ali

    Amazing, the best sim out there, I can’t wait…..

  • Metal Machine

    Kinda wanna dish AC and IR for RF2.Was always a fan of their ffb.

  • zef

    really nice!! the best sim come back!!

  • gimmelbop

    Nice! The difference between this and ISI graphics is insane.

  • Glen Orpheus

    well done Studio 397 for continuing to update this already great sim (“,)
    other such companies would have just released another version and called it Rfactor 12 by now. the dedication from some developers lately is truly inspiring.

  • Leper Messiah

    hmmm hopefully all these improvements will motivate me to fire up RF2 again, looking damn good and the UI changes can’t come fast enough for me either, only R3E and their initial “wheel” monstrosity was worse IMO.

  • Atarikake

    Good to see rF2 inspiring good conversation. And good to see those pics really. Since rF2 went to Steam I have only 100 hours driven. Hard to admit, mostly due to graphics. I will enjoy it’s new life for sure:)
    Hopefully studio 397 can make tempting new single play series. I’m not interested in online driving and e-sports at all, and rF2 has a very good AI.

  • Paul Maguire

    exciting stuff, they should release it as 2.5 or even 3. rf2 name has been tainted over the years. fresh name will do it some good imo

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