Want to render your own take on racing games and need racing game tutorials? Nowadays there’s a huge variety of racing games out there, dating back to the first Mario Kart and coming all the way to the modern ones we have today, such as Need For Speed, Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon, Gran Turismo, and many others. As racing games are classic, they can be very nostalgic for those who grew up playing their disparate genres, in particular arcade, kart, and simulation.
The coolest thing about coding racing games is that they are easy to start with, not to mention that we have various famous engines to suit the needs of all different levels of the required programming for such a task. That being the case, we can have a basic 2D racing game ready in about an hour and a multiplayer more advanced version in a day. So, let us now take a look at the best racing game tutorials you can follow to get you easily into coding your own games with the Unity, Unreal, Roblox, and Godot engines.
Before you dive in, if you’re just starting out, you may first want to check out something like Zenva’s Unity Game Development Mini-Degree to cover some engine foundations first – as most racing games due require some prior knowledge.
Table of contents
What are Racing Games?
Racing games are a genre of video games that recreates the thrill and excitement of competitive racing. These games place the player in the driver’s seat of a high-speed vehicle, which can range from conventional cars and motorcycles to futuristic spacecraft and even animals. The primary goal of racing games is typically to reach the finish line first or within the shortest time. From the classic arcades to modern console, PC, and mobile games, racing games have been a popular choice for entertainment across all ages and demographics for decades.
Here are a few distinct types of racing games:
- Simulation Racing Games: These games aim to provide players with a highly realistic racing experience. They usually have accurate physics models and vehicle handling, often mimicking real-life motorsports.
- Arcade Racing Games: These ones focus more on fun and entertainment than on realism. They often feature over-the-top gameplay mechanics, like incredible jumps, boost powers, and thrilling stunts.
- Kart Racing Games: Incorporating a humorous and light-hearted approach with colorful designs and cartoonish characters, these are aimed at a more casual gaming audience.
Why Learn to Make Racing Games?
Creating your own racing game can be a logical step in your journey as a game developer or even a fun and rewarding hobby. Here are some reasons why learning to create racing games could be advantageous:
- Creativity and Originality: With so many sub-genres and styles within the racing game category, there’s plenty of space for innovation and creativity. You can create a game that reflects your unique vision.
- Learning Opportunities: Designing and creating a racing game provides you with an opportunity to learn and practice various development skills, including 3D modeling, physics programming, user-interface design, and even network programming for multiplayer functionality.
- Monetization: Racing games remain a highly popular genre with great potential for monetization. Either through selling your game, in-app purchases, or ad revenues, it could be a profitable endeavor.
In our upcoming selection of Unity tutorials, we will guide you on how to get started in your racing game development journey. You will dive into the exciting world of game design and coding, harnessing the powerful capabilities of Unity to bring your high-speed masterpiece to life.
This racing game tutorial from Jimmy Vegas teaches you how to create a driving and racing game from scratch with Unity, a very popular and powerful cross-platform engine for the creation of 2D and 3D games. Here, you’ll learn how to implement a car selection screen in order to be able to customize your car, along with the development of interesting features such as a minimap, lap count and timer, cutscenes and music, unlockables, plus a cash system. You can also choose the track you want to race in, as well as have different game modes you can play.
- Project creation
- Textures and car import
- Camera angles
- Lap count
- Lap timer
- Car selection
- Game modes
- Race positions
- Saving and credits
Duration: 7 hours of video training
Access now: How to Make a Driving/Racing Game in Unity
This Unity racing game tutorial by Zenva Academy walks you through the creation of an arcade kart racing game in a style similar to Mario Kart, where players race around a track both on keyboard and controller until they complete a few laps within the specified window of time. The instructor uses Unity’s Input System to create a split-screen multiplayer game mode that you can play with your friends.
- Project setup
- Creating the track and environment
- Kart movement and position
- Camera controls
- Split-screen multiplayer implementation
- Countdown and winning conditions
Duration: 2 hours of video training
Access now: Build an Arcade Kart Racing Game – Unity
With this racing game tutorial series by Pretty Fly Games, you’ll see how to apply the physics needed for a top-down 2D racing game, including how to implement smooth movement and drift to your car. The instructor also goes over how to apply different controller inputs to each car making local multiplayer available for the game. In addition, you’ll learn how to alter the user interface to have touch input implemented for your mobile devices as well.
- Basic game design
- Sound effects
- Checkpoints and laps
- Leaderboard interface
- Car selection
- Local multiplayer
- Mobile touch input
Duration: 6 hours of video training
In this racing game tutorial by Stevie ROF, you’ll build a top-down racing game in Unity where you complete laps by controlling your car with the mouse cursor. Stevie explains the logic behind how to make the car drift around the custom racetrack by going over each step he’s taking with you as he’s coding.
- Setting up the environment
- Mouse pointer control
- Drift implementation
Duration: 1 hour of video training
Access now: Unity3D Top-Down Racing Game Tutorial
In this Unity racing game tutorial series from pablos lab, you’ll go over customizing and adding collision to a 3D model car to make it drift and speed on the racetrack. The presenter will teach you how to add a screen for the car selection, how to implement an AI controller for the car, show the speedometer for your car, include animations and effects such as the drifting smoke, and much more.
- Map import into Unity
- Camera and animation
- Wheel colliders
- Vehicle customization and selection screen
- AI system
- Drift controller
- Adding the drift smoke effect
Duration: 4.5 hours of video training
Access now: 3D Racing Game in Unity
This racing game tutorial series from Imphenzia covers the creation of a low poly racing game with Unity that uses Blender for the modeling of the racetrack and objects of the game scene. Blender is a free and open-source graphics software used for designing animations, artworks, and 3D models.
You’ll be guided through the whole process of the game’s racetrack and visual elements making, the exporting of the models from Blender to be imported into Unity, along with all the scripting needed for the colliders’ logic, wheels, steering, checkpoints, lap system, and even best and last time tracking.
- Importing the car model to Blender
- Racetrack design in Blender
- Shortcuts for the tools in Blender
- Terrain blueprint and decoration
- Exporting the track model from Blender to import into Unity
- Colliders scripting in Unity
- Checkpoints implementation
- Lap count and timer
- Best and last lap times
Duration: 3 hours of video training
Access now: Low Poly Racing Game with Unity and Blender
In this racing game tutorial series, Unreal Joe presents his way of designing a car game with Unreal Engine in a very easy-to-understand manner. Unreal Engine is used by many AAA game companies and also by indie developers, being a real-time 3D creation platform with photorealistic rendering and lifelike animations. Joe goes through the creation of the racetrack and landscape to menu implementation, level selection, and vehicle speedometer and sound in this quick yet very focused series.
- Importing the car model
- Making the track and a pitstop
- Creating a landscape
- Pause menu
- Level selection
- Adding vehicle sound
Duration: 1.5 hours of video training
Access now: Creating a Car Game in Unreal Engine 4
Here in this racing game tutorial, Sir_Fansi Gamedev walks you through a simple project using Unreal Engine to have a racing game running on your mobile device. The instructor creates all the necessary blueprints, respawning function for the car when it gets stuck, and a checkpoint system. Moreover, he goes over the implementation of the AI logic for the other cars in the game too while continuously testing that everything still works.
- Setting up the project
- Creating the racetrack
- Respawning the car
- AI implementation for the other cars in the game
- Checkpoint system
Duration: 30 minutes of video training
Access now: Create a mobile racing game in Unreal Engine
In this racing game tutorial, you’ll follow Marco Ghislanzoni as he creates a kinematic car from scratch in Unreal Engine 5. He shows all the mechanics and physics you’re going to need to have a fully drivable car, testing it with you along the way. He also includes in-car camera view as well as the steering wheel animation for a more dynamic game experience.
- Car and racetrack setup
- Creating the car blueprint
- Steer events
- Adjusting the driving speed
- Adding camera controls
- Collision handling
- Testing the car mechanics
Duration: 1 hour of video training
Although older, this video racing game tutorial series from Roblox gets us through the basics of building the car and racetrack in Roblox Studio, movement scripting, car respawning, the implementation of checkpoints along the game track, and ultimately the game loop logic with the Lua programming language.
- Creating the car
- Designing the racetrack
- Adding checkpoints
- Game loop
- Building a lobby
Duration: 4 hours of video training
Access now: How to Make a Roblox Racing Game
In this racing game tutorial from AstrophsicaDev, the instructor shows how you can use a racing kit he made himself inside Roblox to make your own racing game by adding your own touch to the scenery and making your customized version of the game. He gives you all the instructions on how to arrange the commands for the lights and barriers spread throughout the track so you can choose your own setup.
- Adding racing kit to Roblox
- Custom kart
- Safety lights
- Starting lights
- Kart spawn
- Publishing the game
Duration: 1 hour of video training
Access now: Create Your Own Racing Game – Roblox
Finally, we have this racing game tutorial from KidsCanCode that uses a rigid body sphere as the basis for what will become the car object of the game, demonstrating a very simple way of implementing a 3D arcade-style car game in Godot. Godot is a free 2D and 3D, cross-platform, and open-source game engine. In this video, the instructor shows how to configure the invisible sphere that is being used as the car so that it steers, takes the turns, and goes up ramps as expected.
- Adding a rigid body sphere to the track
- Placing a car mesh at the location of the sphere
- Physics configs to better control the car
- Aligning the car with inclined road surfaces
Duration: 15 minutes of video training
Access now: Godot Recipe: 3D Arcade-Style Car
If you’re interested in making your own games in Unity and getting to know it in depth, Zenva Academy has a Mini-Degree specifically focused on game development with Unity. Created by Unity certified developers, you’ll be creating games of the most varied genres, varying from first-person shooter to RPG, through a curriculum that counts on 25 different projects for you to hone your game designing skills using this widely known game engine.
- Unity setup
- Navigating the Unity Editor
- Scripting in C#
- Designing of level selection screens
- 2D and 3D game techniques
- Game audio effects
- Procedural terrain generation
- Cinematic cutscenes
- Testing and debugging
Duration: 36 hours of video training
Access now: Unity Game Development Mini-Degree
This video tracks the development of a kart racing game made with Roblox by Fluffmiceter based on the Mario Kart idea of throwing objects to the other karts, having to jump over obstacles or contour them, taking speed boosts, spinning around, etc. You can see the new features being added over time as well as the progress made with the camera controls, car movement, drifting, and animation effects. You can also spot some game testing too. This log is great for showing the whole evolution and making off of the scenery and the game physics and logic with each new version of the game.
Duration: 7 minutes
Access now: Roblox Kart Racer Development Log
This video from Fat Dino presents to you his journey of making a racing game in 3 days with Unreal Engine 4. He starts by modeling a simple car object then adding wheels to it, making the car move, then steering the wheels correctly by fixing them to the car with bolts.
The presenter will take you through his personalized car game design with the possibility of using weapons to target the other cars in the game and explode them. He also implements some AI for these other cars, allows car bumps, designs a nice island map for the scenery, and even creates a basic starting menu plus a car selection screen for the game. At last, he plays it with lap count and background music to a really satisfying feel of the final version of his racing game.
Duration: 12 minutes
Access now: I Made a Racing Game in 3 Days – Unreal Engine
With all that, you have plenty of resources to draw ideas from and get inspired by to start a racing game of your own! We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and that you have learned a lot from it.
There’s a myriad of options available in terms of game engines and styles that you can adhere to. It’s up to you to choose whichever suits you better or try different things until you find the one you like the most. Still, we highly recommend checking out resources like Zenva’s Unity Game Development Mini-Degree. This will help you master the foundations of Unity, as well as learn a variety of different genre mechanics – not just racing games. Since it’s also available 24/7, it can also suit any schedule you need it to.
In the end, regardless of your choice, what you can look forward to is having fun implementing it your way!
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