iRacing Builds 101
Build week. Season 1. Week 13.
You’ve heard these terms before tons of times from the iRacing initiated, but what does it mean? If you’re new to the service and want to know how our content updates and public race schedules work, look no further!
What are Seasons?
iRacing’s public racing is broken up into four Seasons per calendar year. Each Season represents a new opportunity for you to hit the track in public series up and down iRacing’s License ladders (A, B, C, D, or Rookie level) and race for the championship across your favorite racing disciplines and divisions. Each iRacing Build deploys after one Season has ended, and just before a new Season will begin.
How does the Season schedule work?
Seasons start at midnight GMT on the Tuesday after a Build is deployed. Seasons typically last 12 weeks (with the occasional 13-week Season depending on the calendar). Each week, every iRacing public series takes on a new track, with drivers looking to score the most points possible in public races across various series in order to earn a championship. When the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday, the track changes to the next one on the schedule for each series.
What is Week 13 and how does it work?
Because of the interruption of iRacing service during each Build week, a special, isolated week called Week 13 (sometimes 14) takes place at this time. Week 13 hosts its own, single-week championships, with tracks changing every day instead of every week. Many of these series are designated as “fun” series, meaning they don’t impact iRating or Safety Rating, and can either feature our newest content, or unexpected combinations of cars and tracks that don’t run in the real world.
Are there series that span across multiple Seasons and Week 13?
A select group of official series, such as the NASCAR iRacing Series, don’t follow the traditional Season model. These series exist instead to mirror the real-world championships that inspire them. Series of this nature continue to schedule races across multiple Seasons and may even stage races during Week 13, and typically crown their champions at the same time that their real-world counterparts do.
What are Builds?
Every three months, iRacing releases a brand new Build of the sim. Each iRacing Build is a comprehensive quarterly update of the sim that includes new and updated car and track content, adjustments to driving experience, and additional features in the sim. Think of it as getting a brand new product every three months—one that includes everything you loved about the sim before, plus as many new features as we can throw at you!
When do Builds happen?
Builds happen regularly every three months, and are deployed on the first or second week of March, June, September, and December (typically on a Tuesday or Wednesday). During this time, iRacing is inaccessible for public or hosted racing; users may still access Test Drive or the iRacing Forums at that time. When the deployment is complete, users may log back into iRacing and try out the new content and features!
Is new content only deployed during Builds?
On occasion, we’re able to release a highly anticipated car or track months before a Build. Certain content may also be delayed until a handful of days or weeks after a Build after product testing and development is completed. However, a majority of new content and features will be deployed immediately with new Builds.
What is the difference between Builds, Patches, and Hotfixes?
Patches and Hotfixes are smaller updates centered on specific parts of the iRacing service. These are deployed regularly throughout the year, in order to continue delivering the optimal sim racing experience for users. Patches and Hotfixes are not designed to be regular sources of new content the way that Builds are.
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