My review of Codemasters and Feral Interactive's GRID Autosport [$9.99] can easily be my shortest review ever: if you want the best racing game on mobile by far and one of the prettiest game ever to grace the platform, stop reading and go buy this game right now. Why? It's simple, really. GRID Autosport is a fully premium experience with content that will take you forever to complete, a ton of ways to play, fantastic visuals, and highly customizable controls and difficulty level that will suit every player out there. Feral Interactive has really brought a console-quality game to iOS. The port of the game is almost perfect, but expect your battery to drain faster than the gas tank of a supercar and also the rare frame drops when visuals are turned up (even on an iPhone X). Despite these small issues, GRID Autosport is a fantastic game and one racing fans have been craving for.

GRID Autosport was originally released in 2015 for PC and last-gen consoles and represented an attempt by developer Codemasters to bring the series back towards a more authentic racing game (the previous entry in the series, GRID 2, leaned a bit too much towards accessibility rather than realism). And even after just a few laps with a few different cars, I could see that GRID is indeed a demanding, realistic racing game that will challenge even the most experienced racing game player out there. I've been playing around with different cars to get a feel of how they handle, and I've been amazed at how differently each type of car drives. If you try and drive an open wheel car like you drive a stock car, you'll fly out of that track so fast you won't know what happened. This is a realistic racing game first and foremost, and that's what I love about it.

A game with a realistic driving model that nicely emulates the game's 100 cars is great, but it wouldn't be much fun if GRID didn't give players different ways and scenarios to race. The amount of content in GRID is pretty crazy and is nothing you've ever seen before in a game of this genre. Where do I start? For instance, you can start a career in 5 different disciplines (Touring, Endurance, Open Wheel, Tuner, and Street). In those careers, you get to pick a team (each with its own team target, sponsor objectives, and teammates who have their own attributes), and then race in various events, accumulating points and glory. Each of the disciplines has very different cars and tracks, so there's plenty of variety to be found there.

If you don't feel like doing a career (who needs that responsibility), you can just go for Drag championships, Touring, and Sprint Cups, make your own custom championships, do a quick Time Trial or Quick Race, and much, much more. You even have other fun modes like one where the last car in the race gets eliminated every few seconds, a demolition derby, a drift mode, and plenty more. And the best part is that all this content is unlocked and not hidden behind paywalls or timers. You can race in any way you like for as long as you like.

As you would expect from a game that has so many different modes and ways to race, GRID has around 100 cars and 100 circuits, all of them gorgeously rendered (as you can see from the various screenshots peppered across this review). While not every car manufacturer is in the game and your favorite track might not be included, there are so many different cars to race across so many different tracks that you'll have to play for a long, long time before you've ran out of content. And I really like how I can race with cars as different as a supercar or a Mini Cooper since each car requires its own approach and is fun to learn.

GRID probably sounds intimidating so far, and to a degree it really is. This is a serious racing simulator (the game even reminds you of that when you start playing). The good news for those who aren't that into demanding racing games is that the game allows you to make it as easy or as demanding as you want. GRID has several difficulty levels including custom difficulty, which lets you choose automatic or manual gears, various AI levels, a Racing Line, Traction Control and ABS, and even Handling Assist.

You can have the car almost drive itself if you want or have no assists on, the best AI, manual gears, and probably smash your car immediately. And you also have flashbacks, which allow you to rewind when you make a mistake, a great feature given that this is a mobile game and, well, life happens. I fiddled around with the settings quite a bit until a found the one that gave me enough challenge to make it fun but also allowed me to race without killing myself at every turn. And those who are really into cars can even set up every car to their liking, messing with things like gear ratios, differentials, downforce, and so on. The AI is fun to race against and doesn't just stick on the race line (which really bothers me in racing games). It's still an AI, but it's a pretty fun one to take on.

GRID lets you use all kinds of control methods, ranging from tilt to a gamepad, and all of those are highly customizable. That allows you to play the game on a mobile phone with tilt controls if you want or an iPad with am MFi controller. While I had to spent some time customizing my controls, I found that once I did that, I could drive all kinds of cars quite well. The game's controls are pretty responsive except from some odd (and rare) situations where I felt that my touch input wasn't registering. I mostly play it on an iPhone X using tilt controls, and I've been having a blast. The game uses haptic feedback really well, and you'll feel everything, from the tires losing traction to the car riding the curbs to all kinds of other driving-related sensations. And you can even use Force Touch, which allows you to better control acceleration and braking.

In terms of performance and of the mobile porting of the game, Feral Interactive did a good job. GRID is really smooth on an iPhone X, but I've had some weird slowdowns on occasions that weren't because of too many cars on the screen or anything like that. I suspect it might be a memory leak or a bug that I hope gets fixed because when racing at high speeds, any little stutter will cause you to fly off the track. I'm glad we have those flashbacks because they do help remedy any stutter-related crashes. And, as you would expect from any game with visuals like GRID's, your battery will drain fast and the phone to get warm. It's the price we pay for playing such complex games on such compact devices. There's a battery saving option that turns down the visuals, which was a great feature to include in this port.

Speaking of visuals, GRID is gorgeous. The cars, the tracks, everything about the game looks amazing. You honestly can't always tell if you're watching gameplay video or a cut-scene. And it's not just the visuals that are great; the sound is also spot on, with car sounds meticulously recreated and your race mechanic always chattering in your ear. It's really the kind of game you'll want to use to show off your new phone, especially if you have an iPhone X since the game takes over the whole screen (and no, the notch isn't in the way at all).

Is GRID Autosport a perfect game? No, but it's pretty close to that. For instance, the menus could have been all on one screen so I don't have to scroll right and left all the time. And maybe some of the text could have been slightly larger on a phone. But this is me being nitpicky because GRID is a really amazing mobile game that fans of racing should buy immediately. Buying a game with so much content and one that plays so well for just $9.99 almost makes me feel guilty (almost). GRID Autosport is a great port of a great game, and despite a few little issues, it should be a no brainer. If you decide to grab it, keep in mind that it takes about 6 GB on your device and will only play (or at least play well) on an iPhone SE, iPhone 7 or newer, iPad (2017), iPad Pros, and requires iOS 11. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a supercar to drive down a long, long straight.

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TouchArcade Rating

  • 1amgroot

    I was out of town when my iPhone X arrived two weeks ago. Just picked it up this morning. I. Am. Ready.

  • Rothgarr

    Guess I wont be playing on my iPhone 6s Plus...

    • MikeAK

      From what I have read, it works just fine on the 6s+... it’s just not optimized for it.

      • [FERAL] Ellie

        Yes, you're quite right. The 6s models aren't officially supported, but you can play the game on them.

    • islesfan

      It works flawlessly on my 6s Plus. No problems whatsoever. No lag, no crashes...
      It will murder your battery though, but it's well worth it!

    • Tung B 😺🐾

      These kind of whining sickens me
      I guess Apple have the obligation to support the iPhone 3GS then

      It’s been 3 years since the iPhone 6s Plus, and who’s stopping you from buying a new phone? Is this a joke ?

      • DanCJ

        I can only see one person whining.

    • Max

      iPhone SE is supported... and it’s almost identical to your 6S Plus, performance wise

  • Milotorou

    I know I said I wouldnt be buying it because im not a fan of racing games but.... I just won a 20$ iTunes card at work.... and hey ! What kind of guy would I be if I could never try something new or change my mind !? I really want to encourage devs that put so much love into a title ! Also... for Pete's sake I did not buy an iPad pro just to play Hearthstone all day !

    Thanks for the amazing review, im pumped im going to play this later tonight after all !

    • Dasker4444

      That you're lucky

  • Superdio

    Has anyone tried it on ipad 2017? Any slowdown or frame rate issue?

    • 7ape

      It's fine on ipad 2017. I'm uploading a video I recorded to show you.

      • Nigel Murray

        Well? We're waiting.

      • 7ape

        Can’t post it here I put it on YouTube user: sevenape

    • Bob Beck

      I just got it an hour ago on my 2017 ipad pro 12.9. Incredible experience controlling it with a steelseries controller ... i only wish it was 60 fps instead of 30fps, but that will have to wait for a couple more generations of processor advancements.

  • Skylez

    ios 11 only? sorry but not for me

    • Bob Beck

      iOS 11 is awesome ; had a few wrinkles when it first came out but now at 11.2 its working perfectly. What are you waiting for? Pretty soon all new releases will be 11 only.

    • Tung B 😺🐾

      People like you are pathetic... what a joke
      Ever since iOS 1 there would be some losers like you yelp yelp yelp about how bad of an new iOS update is ... lol

      • DanCJ

        Are you just here to troll?

      • Rothgarr

        Without a doubt. I imagine that person must be a blast at parties, but given how they represented themselves here in the comments I assume they lead a pretty lonely life.

  • Gucciipad

    Is it mifi

    • Timmy2x

      Clearly says yes if you read/skimmed the review

    • Thomas Zink

      Yes. It supports MFI gamepads.

    • TheTurtlePet

      It run pretty smooth on my iPad 5,but I haven’t install the hd texture yet.I will install it later and if you want to know how it run just let me know.

      • 7ape

        runs well on mine with hd textures

      • Bob Beck

        I kinda wish it had a 60 fps mode with less HD textures ..Its still amazing fun at 30 fps but it took a minute to get used to.

  • Thomas Zink

    Great game! I hope they being more ports to iOS in the future.

  • Timmy2x

    Check out the “in app purchases” section :0)

    • zergslayer69

      It’s free dlc such as the texture pack and such.

    • Tung B 😺🐾

      Smartass. They are all free download content. Can’t believe I’m seeing a Feral interactive hater here

  • Giacomo Lawrance

    Hoping that eventually support for the Air 2 is added. I know it's unlikely, just really hoping that it is 🙂

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Ultra sick 😷. Wow

  • Jason

    And what's the best racing game these days that's a bit more arcade-like?

    • BoxOfSnoo

      1) This, with the difficulty turned down, 2) F1 2016 - still challenging but definitely more approachable or 3) Real Racing 3, though I hesitate with RR3 because of stupid IAPs and what I think is a weak grip model.

      • MartianLM

        RR3 remains hands-down the best racing game I've ever played (haven't played Forza) and EA totally ruined it with oppressive and never ending IAPs. They were charging like £60 for a single car at one point. Lunacy.

        Gutted no love for Air 2 with Forza.

      • Bob Beck

        This is so much better than Real Racing... though when it comes to RR, I prefer rr2 over rr3 ; the timers and IAP paywalls ruin 3 for me.

    • TheVimFuego

      I know it’s a different kind of racing but check out Rush Rally 2. It’s the best rallier on iOS for my money. Needless to say Grid IS awesome.

  • marksapolloa

    It just needs multiplayer really and then it’s perfect. Been playing on my 6S and it’s fine, you can tell a newer phone will benefit it but I can play it ok. I’ve yet to have a go on my iPad Pro. Nice game and thank God no IAP!!!

    • Cody Baker

      Has multiplayer been confirmed? If so, have they said when it will be added?

      • primalxconvoy

        Even local wifi or split screen would be appreciated. In fact, as there are no iaps, cross platform (iOS, Android at least), wifi/3G online multiplayer would REALLY stick it to Shamesoft's awful, broken Asphalt 8 online play.

  • gsaint73

    I need this for iOS 10.3

    • Tung B 😺🐾

      Who’s stopping you from updating your iOS devices? Lol you are such a joke

  • Monetarydread

    Damn... i was looking for a good racing game to play with my mfi controller. It bummed me out when I saw that the game wasn’t compatible with my iPad Mini 4 though.

  • Orest

    Not available in Switzerland? Why?

  • hydzior

    This game is a joke. its not running even 30fps with stuttering, shitty framepacing (on iphone x and my ipad pro 2016). Visuals are on the lowest settings. Seriously i will say it again. Crappy GPD WIn is running this game 60+ fps with same visuals and 30+ with a lot better one. And this thing is on crappy old Atom SoC. Menu and controlls are laggy.

    • Milo

      I think the joke here is on your side somewhere.

      On my iPad pro 2017 it runs flawlessly, never had a single frame drop, with hd texture pack and not running on low power mode.

      My iPhone 6s plus is running it pretty okay too, I did notice a few framedrops on it though, but...its a 6s+, they dont even promise it to work on it...

    • primalxconvoy

      I hope not. The trailers seemed to show juddery frame rates, though...

    • TheVimFuego

      Running fine on my 9.7 Pro ...

  • primalxconvoy

    Android version won't be out until June 2018 (due to hardware fragmentation, apparently).

    However, I really hope Apple TV and Nvidia Android Shield TV versions also come out. Seeing this game running on the TV, unencumbered by battery life, will be a treat.

    I'd say that, even if we're not great fans of this genre, that we should support this game financially. On mobile, there seems to be two main directions for pricing; either "P2W" or "Too expensive". Cases in point include anything by Shamesoft/Gameloft and EA, or the arrogant prices demanded by Square Enix for lazy ports of old games.

    Grid, however, seems different. The price is fantastic value, and all the DLC is included. Even the Borderlands games, recently ported to Nvidia Shield TV, didn't get any dlc included in it. I really hope that this game becomes popular and sets a new standard for mobile gaming. I rather hoped Nintendo would have done that, but they've become the same as every other mobile publisher.

    • Raphael Alexander

      I would love to just support it, but I'm not getting a fancy android because all the good games aren't released on time or at all. Android gets dumped and an apple device powerful enough to run it is too expensive. The only way to play good games is to buy a $600+ device that would mainly be for playing.

  • Muhammad Ginandjar

    wow the size was almost pc games

  • lezrock

    I'm so with all of you in buying this game: don't stop optimizing and tweating for weaker hardware. Make it run on iPad Mini 4. It's the latest shit in the mini series 😉

  • historiavita

    As a racing game fan, I was definitely excited to play this one. While I agree wholeheartedly with the review as to the game’s depth and complexity, I disagree with the raves about the graphics. They’re attractive and decent, but uneven. For example, the interiors I’ve seen so far look terrible—RR3’s are better. Other players have noted the mediocre lighting models and environments, as well as the lack of drivers. Why no drivers? Omitting a graphical driver is one of my longstanding gripes against those games guilty of it. Maybe Codemasters are hinting at our autonomous driving future. I’m playing on a 10.5” iPad Pro 2 with the latest release of iOS 11, minimal background app activity, no concurrent running apps, and about 180 GB free, so my configuration provides as good a test environment as any for what the game ought to achieve when it’s unrestricted.

    With the game released only days ago, I imagine fixes and improvements will roll out over time. My sense about the game so far is that CM wanted to set a truly high bar for mobile racing sims, but had to balance lofty goals with tech limitations, and we’re seeing these. Weighty, multi-GB downloads are the least of the problems—achieving successful, satisfying performance across a range of devices with varying abilities is much tougher. I’d be interested in knowing what the devs would say they could have done if the game was designed purely for, say, iPad Pro 2 and iPhone X. Maybe we’d have drivers...

  • Max

    The review doesn’t answer what really is an obvious question, speaking about racing games on iOS: how does it compare to Real racing 3 ?
    Is there anyone that could do a quick comparison ?
    Thank you.

    • Nathan Reinauer

      Gameplay-wise, it's very similar: Great graphics, realistic driving, lots of assists to make the game easier if you want, etc. In fact, if someone handed me their phone mid-race I would assume I was playing Real Racing 3 (if I didn't know GRID was out).

      That said, it's been a few years since I've played RR3 so I'm sure there are subtle things that feel/look different if you played them side-by-side.

      Outside of the gameplay, there is a lot that is different. The pay model, obviously, since RR3 is free with timers and loads of IAP and GRID is 100% premium. I was one of the few people that didn't mind the F2P stuff in RR3, but it's still very refreshing to play a similar game without any restrictions whatsoever.

      Also, there's a lot more freedom in how you want to play in GRID. You can do any kind of racing you want at any time, in any mode. In RR3, again, you are restricted to pretty much whatever happens to be next in your career or whatever.

      One big thing RR3 has going for it, though, is multiplayer. I always thought the "time shifted" thing was neat, as it was more interesting to play against AI-ghosts of real people than just straight up AI. Also they eventually added real time multiplayer, which was cool.

      GRID doesn't have any multiplayer at all, which is a shame. But it has so much else going for it that it doesn't really matter anyway. You'll never run out of stuff to do.

      At this point in time I think it's safe to say GRID is the better game. But Real Racing 3 still has a few things going for it and I'll always have fond memories of playing the crap out of it (when I wasn't waiting on timers...).

GRID™ Autosport Reviewed by Tasos Lazarides on . Rating: 5