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How to read the iRacing changelogs

In equal parts information and whim, iRacing’s changelogs can be vital to understanding the ins and outs of how the platform is working. From Hotfixes to Patches to Updates, in this article, we will explain to you the importance of each iRacing changelog and how they are essential to keep up to date with if you’re an avid iRacer.

What kinds of changelogs are there?

iRacing tends to split updates into 3 different types: the Updates, the Patches, and the Hotfixes. These will typically take place at around 14:00GMT on a Tuesday, though this can differ.

An Update is a major change to the service, often occurring at the end of a season, so new content will be added here, as well as occasional overhauls to existing content. Examples of this include the recent additions of the Mercedes-AMG W12 Formula One car as well as the Knockhill Circuit ahead of the 2022 Season 1 start in December.

Patches are typically in-season updates. These will add content, but will often be matters of in-season changes to existing content. These will often be scheduled long in advance.

Hotfixes will be arranged at short notice, and are the only kind of update that is unlikely to occur outside of the regular timeslot. These are deployed to issue fixes to major issues that are affecting the competition, such as when the NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet Camaros were running significantly slower than the other cars in class despite them being designed to behave identically.

Knowing what you’re looking for is essential when it comes to changelogs!

How will a changelog be structured?

The logs will be split into several key sections, with each individual section split up into subsections that refer to the areas that are being changed or updated. A bit like this article, for example!

The first subject that a changelog will refer to is the iRacing User Interface. This will refer to the desktop application as well as the web client. Subsections will include information such as a track’s pit speed limit, images that are used by iRacing’s clients, and any policy updates that will occur to the terms of service.

The second will be the Simulator itself. In 2022 Season 1 Patch 2 for example, updates in this area referred to software integration for graphics hardware like NVIDIA Reflex as well as peripheral hardware such as Logitech TRUEFORCE.

After this, the changelog will look at the cars on the iRacing service. Sorted alphabetically, each heading will be dedicated to a particular area of car content. This can be an individual car getting their own section, such as the Ferrari 488 EVO 2020 that opened the Patch 2 subsection on cars, or a group of cars, as with the case of the NASCAR NextGen Cup Cars in that patch, or one piece of content that has several variations, such as how the Sprint Cars could have an update that affects anywhere from 1 to all of the 3 variations of the car.

Last, but by no means least, the changelog will look at the tracks available on the service. Again, these are sorted in alphabetical order, like with the cars section. Each track follows a familiar format too, with each item also informing you about which layout or layouts are affected by the changes. Some tracks, such as Daytona and Watkins Glen at the launch of 2022 Season 1 will have overhauls from new scans, whereas other tracks such as the Lime Rock Park will have “seams” between different chunks and textures fixed to prevent graphical errors.

Changelogs don’t lack humour

The big thing that iRacing’s teams do to help you through each update is a fantastic sense of humour. The way that they describe errors that they’re fixing, such as an “invisible and devastating extra bump” being patched out of the newly-renamed Le Mans chicane at Daytona and AI drivers needing to “rethink their ‘send it’ strategy” when they forget to pit in a race. It’s an effective way to get updates across and keep the reader invested in what’s coming next.

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