Dedicated Servers that don't use the Steam servers |

Dedicated Servers that don't use the Steam servers

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AOR PC GT3 S12 T2 Champion
Dec 9, 2018
At the start of this season I looked into making the deployment of a dedicated server a simple as possible with the idea that it could be quickly thrown up on a cloud service like Digital Ocean in the event that peer-to-peer is flaking out. The priority for quick deployment comes from trying to avoid cloud compute costs where there is a pre-configured server waiting to be booted up which in some cases (Digital Ocean at least) still incurs cost, but also to make it easier to deploy multiple servers on the same machine. It should be noted that there is no real reason to deploy to a cloud service but they certainly have better internet than I do!

I just want to race, what do I need to do?
Connecting to servers in game requires Steam but Project Cars has "sportsplay", which is designed for use offline at LAN events. This does however work over the internet but it requires clients to add an argument to the game's launch options:


That is pretty much it. I believe this will stop peer-to-peer servers from showing up in the lobby list but you should see a list of dedicated servers, one of which will be the server running on the IP and port specified in the launch options.

How might I run one of these servers?
There are countless forum threads and guides about how to download and run the Project Cars 2 dedicated server so I won't go into specific detail about that. What I have done is wrapped up the deployment, as mentioned earlier, so that it can be done as fast as possible (on Linux) using Docker. The project is hosted on Github which goes in to more details on what exactly it does (it's basically just a fancy copy and paste).

I should note that I haven't actually tested a sportsplay dedicated server properly yet aside from getting a friend to join one. If it does look promising though, I plan to make the deployment project a little more complete and perhaps not require Docker so that it can be run and deployed even more easily.
  • Informative
Reactions: Marvin

David Novitzky

Formula 3 Reserve Driver
Jun 9, 2018
Shooter was "lagging" by going sideways all corners for half a lap. But that was towards the end of the session.
Would need to test with 20+ cars


Assetto Corsa Coordinator
Staff member
AC Coordinator
Premium Member
Dec 23, 2017
Had a race at the end there with like 12 people (not certain on that) ran absolutely fine. Including having @GIXXERosg in from NA, so it handles higher latency connections as well as the P2P servers do at least.

There was a few moments of lag through the night. In the instance that David mentioned I seen everyone lag, but to them it was only me, so could have been a local issue at my end. During other sessions we had some occasional issues, but chances are they were local to the machine that was hosting the server (at short notice today @paleez grabbed a laptop and set it up for PC2 server, so it may well have had some background tasks going on).

Overall, considering the context of the testing, I'd say its been some positive results.

Its too early for a conclusion, but so far it seems that, providing all is well with the servers CPU + Network load, there is every reason to expect it to be at least as reliable as a P2P lobby, if not more so, due to no need for steam to say online, presumably reduced requirements for upload bandwidth on the clients side, and less/no scope for one badly performing client in the P2P network directly affecting others.

Will hopefully test more over the next few days, ideally with even more people in the lobby, and update here.
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2 times PC Project Cars 2 Champion
Staff member
PCARS Coordinator
AC Coordinator
May 6, 2015
Once we got everyone on, it seamed to run very well last night.
We don't normally have issues on the Monday / Tuesday practice races, but it's certainly say this should be used as a 2nd option with we get any P2P issues on Wednesdays!

Had a couple of times when ppl joined in and would DC again.
Restarting the game resolved the issue for some
And switching steam to 'Offline mode' resolved it for others!

Awesome work @inkychris
  • Agree
Reactions: Shooter80