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Joining ranked sessions does not exclude sessions in progress, forcing you to be a spectator


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1.       A description of the issue. 

Joining a ranked session can often end up with you being dropped in to a session in progress during qualifying or qualifying results. As a result, you cannot join the next session as a player. Instead, you are forced into Spectator mode. If you join during "Qualifying Results" you are also unable to Ready up to join at the back of the grid for the race.

The game seems happy to drop you repeatedly into an in-progress session, meaning often you need to try half a dozen times to find a playable ranked session.

In an unranked lobby, I experienced a similar issue; I joined during Qualifying and was unable to see any cars except the one I was spectating, I then had to wait with no graphical update (just a forced pitlane view until I heard the five-lights countdown sound and the race began. At that point only one car was visible on the track, but you could hear engine noise of other cars - the trackside camera was tracking an invisible car.

2.       What version of the game you are using: 1.17, same issue with 1.16.
3.       Game-mode? Ranked online.
4.       Are you able to recreate the issue? Every time.
5.       How often do you see this problem? Frequently.
6.       Have you tried any troubleshooting? Nothing I can do except quit a session and try again...
7.       Any accessories you are using: G27 wheel.
8.       Any screenshots or video of the issue? No, though it's easily reproducible.

DXDiag attached.


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I would be tempted to say this is 'by design'. Ranked will probably involve scoring you with regard to progress in the race and you don't have a qualifying record. It would damage players rank to continually join after qualifying. If this is how you find and move between lobbies I suggest you play Unranked.

I believe you can join the lobby at the end of the race.

It's not really possible to influence the amount of sessions available as that depends upon the numbers playing.

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If this is by design then it's (IMO) unhelpful and very frustrating given how long it takes to join a session - and given the ranked session interface shows no session list, only an option for 5 laps or 25% races.

The matchmaking system should not propose sessions where you are unable to join as a player, it should disambiguate somehow. I know if you're in a race and disconnect, you can rejoin and resume control of your vehicle - if you didn't start the race session, it should at least do something like show an interstitial prompt.

I would like if it showed a continue/different session/cancel prompt, before the game starts to fully load in the session, indicating status. Something along the lines of "This session is <qualifying> / <post-qualifying> / <in race> and you can only join as a spectator. Would you like to continue, cancel and return to the menu, or find a different session?" and show the options there.

I would also expect matchmaking to be able to distinguish if you were a player in the race session who disconnected, and understand to put you straight back into the race in that scenario.

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Agree totally, it’s one of reasons I don’t play online, I Join a game to play not wait ages to join a game then to have to wait 10 minutes or more to actually play after race in progress has ended. Doubt much will change cause this happened in 2018 and 19 versions and multi player hardly changed for years on way game matching and cheating happens( constant crashes into you by other players and your punished not them etc).

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OK. That's a shame if so.

There's also a bug where if you join during a qualifying results or qualifying session, when it ends you see no graphics, you're just locked to an empty pit lane with maybe one or two cars on the grid. No countdowns or other info graphics - then eventually once the other players have loaded in you suddenly hear the countdown beeps then the race begins.

It appears like the game has crashed or you've lost your connection; what is actually happening is that you're spectating the end of quali, all the other players loading into the race then the race start as if you were trackside - no UI or graphics appears to make it a nice spectating experience.

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