No Simba, in PC racing if you want to race online you esentialy HAVE to join a league because public servers are either empty 99% of the time, or the game's set up for league play. iRacing for instance puts you in online races, no offline, you can set up private leagues but it's all online, all league based. There's no casual play. Same for GT Sport. Same for stuff like pCars 1 and 2, R3E, even rFactor 1 and 2, and older titles.
Racing games do not lend themselves well to casual play a great deal, and actually no gamepad controls are definitely not what you want for a high end racing game. You absolutely NEED a wheel and pedal set to be anywhere close to competitive and staying on the track on PC sims, and things like Forza benefit greatly from wheel/pedal sets. Basically the gamepad input is slowed down to make it easier to race with a pad, BUT, you then have the problem of not having as much control.
Also at least on PC it's a giant wang waving contest over who has the best rig setup, and again with the league organizers, I know of several sims all the way down to the smaller ones who have plugins that kick gamepad drivers from servers on PC. Plus, there's the 'sim dads' who sit on the forum and tell new guys oh you need X wheel and pedals, that cost $2000 to be anywhere near competitive, and new racers don't know better. To be fair to the sim dads, there's a huge difference between a cheap $20 wheel and a $200 one in terms of input, so yeah you kind of get what you pay for with controllers.
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