NASCAR Heat Evolution will allow users to race with a full field of up to 40 human players in an online competitive multiplayer race. Instead of being hosted by a specific user, like previous NASCAR games, the team has built a new system where each online game’s data is hosted by a server. All race data comes from that server, so the entire race experience is no longer tied to any one player.
There will be three different online lobbies available: No Rules, Normal, and Hosted.
No Rules: If you’re a beginner just looking to learn, bump, and crash (or you just want to bump and crash), the No Rules lobby is for you. This is a great place to practice, try things out, or just have a good time with friends.
Normal: For players who want to test their skills but are still looking for a good, clean, and friendly race.
Hosted: This lobby is for people who are more serious about racing. Race hosts will have the option to decide which level of player can join the race session. For example, if the host only wants racers level 5 or higher, he or she can set that parameter when creating the session. In addition, hosts have the right to boot players from their game.
Within each of these lobbies, players have the option of joining an existing session or creating their own. When creating your own race, you’ll be able to select the track, number of laps, fuel/tire wear, and max number of players. Once a race has been created, it will begin in 60 seconds whether the requested number of drivers have joined or not.
Unfortunately, due to the resources required to balance 40 separate players in one race, caution flags will not be available in online multiplayer. It’s not an ideal situation, but we really believe in the new opportunities that multiplayer on this scale opens up. Pitting will still be available in online races depending on the race length and wear options selected. Finally, players have the option to create a private race and invite their friends. This feature is perfect for NASCAR Heat Evolution leagues that want to host weekly races.
Multiplayer will only feature human drivers on the track, so if there are 24 human players in a session, you will see 24 cars on screen. Your starting position is determined by previous lap times at that track. Those with faster lap times will start closer to the front, helping to ensure that players of equal racing ability are placed near one another for a clean start. If a player quits a race for any reason, their car will disappear from the race, but everyone else can continue to compete for the checkered flag. Players who finish online multiplayer races will get Speed Points, as they do in offline racing. There are also a number of PlayStation Trophies up for grabs for those who compete online.