We don’t have automatic cars in Ireland, so everyone learns to drive stick, Although I haven’t met a friend yet that plays a racing game on manual. Guess we are just weird that way
Same thing here. I too play automatic. The only friend I know that uses manual also has G25, so… : ).
I have a G-25 and drive manual, trying generally to stay true to the way a particular car drives in real life.
I’ll make exceptions for ultimate performance in multiplayer.
Extreme case: Driving a 1979 F1 car in rFactor with the stick and heel-toeing is pure nirvana, but if racing other people i’ll “cheat” by shifting with the paddles and braking with the left foot, which leaves my right foot free to blip the throttle on downshifts, which is necessary if you leave autoclutch off, which is rewarded by the game with some little performance increase. Automate anything and you’ll be leaving a few tenths of a second here and there.
Auto-shifting is generally too slow to be competitive in multiplayer. And for me takes most of the fun away from the game.
Manual isn’t really about shift times at all though, it’s about controlling where your engine sits in the rev range. Power output depends on revs, and you can’t expect optimal performance in every situation with an automatic shift. I hate driving auto in real life (hire cars usually) because I don’t like the feeling that something else is in control. In racing games I can only deal with manual if I use a wheel, because then my gear shifting muscle memory comes into play and it feels perfectly natural. It also leads to better control especially on tracks with plenty of corners.
I usually just take the train.