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[Opinions] Racing with assists vs without


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Hi, I wanted to know your opinion on this topic.

First of all, I'm an average driver at the most (for you to have an idea, I use a Thrustmaster TMX wheel and finish among the top 10 with 85 AI level, not very far from the front row).

Anyway, I think I've reached the top of my game and it seems I can't go a step further (I'm talking about improving my lap times, leaving out setups). So, I was wondering what's your opinion about racing using some assists vs racing without assists, and if you think that they can help to improve your lap times.

The only assists I don't use relate to steering and braking, but with anti-lock (screenshot below).

In a nutshell, which assists (if any) do you think have a major impact improving your lap times if you happen to master them and play without them? Manual gearbox? Traction control? Both? Neither? I've never tried manual gearbox, seems quite difficult, but I did try deactivating traction control and it doesn't seem something I can race without!

Thanks!

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Edited by rayloriga
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Straight away shift your traction control to medium and start getting used to it, you're losing so much acceleration speed out of slow corners and top end speed on straights it's worth at least half a second a lap depending on circuit. Just make sure you're accelerating in a straight line and you shouldn't have a problem, once you're used to that you can try dropping it to 0. 

Manual gears is something that must seem daunting but if you take on a short track like Austria and practice there, you'll get a variety of corners to tackle and that will serve as a good guide for all other tracks as well, in the end they're all just collections of similar corners. With this, auto gears can't short shift up out of a slow corner so you're losing a lot of speed through this as well. 

Depending on how you're using the racing line, you should turn it off. If it's a reference point then it's just another tool but if you're just following it then you're not learning the tracks, you're better off turning it off and getting used to tracks so you can see which corners you can push it and brake later and which have a better line than the one the game says. 

ERS assist means nothing in time trial but in races you should turn it off and assign a button to Overtake, the AI will manage it in this version of the game and you can just toggle overtake to attack or defend positions or get better acceleration out of a slow corner, higher top speed on a straight, whatever you want but the key is you will have the choice to make. 

DRS assist I don't care about really. 

ABS is an interesting one, everyone uses it online so if you race online without it you're at a disadvantage. Though I hear speeds with off or on are either equal or ABS on is faster so can mess around with this as you feel comfortable. 

The pit stuff is up to you, makes no difference to lap speed. I have them on so I can swig beer at pit stops. 

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I would say, You should use (or don't use) any assist that makes racing fun for you. I wouldn't listen to anyone trying to put you down for using assist. It's a game and you should tailor this experience to your liking.

I started with all assists at first and slowly took them off. Now i am using less of them but i am not under pressure to keep pushing for "real experience of no assists". I would say to try TC on medium, corners only line and manual gears, and see how you like it. Main goal should be enjoyment from racing and not pushing at all cost to the detriment of it. 

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Just now, Aeghnor said:

I would say, You should use (or don't use) any assist that makes racing fun for you. I wouldn't listen to anyone trying to put you down for using assist. It's a game and you should tailor this experience to your liking.

I started with all assists at first and slowly took them off. Now i am using less of them but i am not under pressure to keep pushing for "real experience of no assists". I would say to try TC on medium, corners only line and manual gears, and see how you like it. Main goal should be enjoyment from racing and not pushing at all cost to the detriment of it. 

Agreed and I hope I didn't come across as putting him down for it. That wasn't my intention at all. 

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Just now, KNT2011 said:

Agreed and I hope I didn't come across as putting him down for it. That wasn't my intention at all. 

My post wasn't an attack on yours in any way. Was still typing while You replied.😃

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Thank you both, you just gave an honest opinion and I didn't feel discouraged at all 🙂

I think that it's a matter of trying different combinations and taking them as a new challenge to make the game even more enjoyable.

Edited by rayloriga
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14 minutes ago, rayloriga said:

Thank you both, you just gave an honest opinion and I didn't feel discouraged at all 🙂

I think that it's a matter of trying different combinations and taking them as a new challenge to make the game even more enjoyable.

Edit: What I miss in the game is a single, unlimited "practice mode", so you can learn the tracks all you want. Otherwise, you have to play a Career/Grand Prix mode and use their limited practice sessions.

The game has a time trial mode in it, where you can run dry and wet tracks.

If you was to try learning without assists, I would recommend going to manual gears first. You would be surprised how much extra control of the car you can get once you get accustomed to manual gears.

But as already stated in here by others, always use what gives you the most fun experience.

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24 minutes ago, Ialyrn said:

The game has a time trial mode in it, where you can run dry and wet tracks.
 

Thanks, for some reason I thought it was an online mode (play "against the world's fastest" got me confused)

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Agree with most here; the advantages to learning to drive without assists are huge if you can pull it off.  I unfortunately have to keep some of the assists on due to the fact I'm currently stuck playing with a controller but there are certainly significant performance advantages to be had if you're taking off assists.   I'm stuck with automatic gears for example.  I've tried in my limited time with F1 21 to go to manual gears but there seems to be an issue with button responses.  Almost like it's not being recognized as it should which becomes problematic when trying to shift up/down through the first few gears when you need that quick response.

My other challenge is the anti-lock breaks.  No matter how gentle i try to be with my left finger on the trigger for the brakes I almost always lock them up.  I'm good at feathering the throttle trigger with my right hand but I just can't get it down with my left for the brakes.  I suspect this is due to me being right handed in a way.   So i keep that one on.

Traction control I've always run at medium, but I've been turning it right off more and more as I get better with the throttle trigger and play with the controller settings.  I've got it at a good spot for me that I run most tracks with it off now. 

The big key as you remove assists though is to be patient.  I wouldn't suggest jumping into an online, league, or career mode race for the first time with your assists off.  It'll frustrate you and everyone around you to no end.  So try it out in time trial first, or in practice sessions so you get used to it.  Or just run a decent length individual grand prix to get used to it.  If you're anything like me I suspect you'll need a whole bunch of laps at each track before you can master it, especially the throttle out of slow turns and especially if you are switching to manual gears.  Once you get that rhythm and memory pattern down at each track it gets easier; but it does take time.

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A different perspective would be to ask whether you would gain more pleasure from going faster whilst knowing this is because you have some assists on? You may or may not and either is totally fine, but it's a consideration.

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7 minutes ago, TwistedWays said:

just turned all my assists off and currently slower then with assists but way more rewarding for me personally running without them

Which is exactly how I feel 🙂. I race without assists but not because this makes me faster. It doesn't!

I wouldn't personally switch all assists off at once though. If it works fir you then great but I would suggest a more gradual approach personally. In particular I wouldn't want to switch TC off before having mastered manual gears.

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5 minutes ago, TwistedWays said:

@Ultra3142 i took them off slowly until all was left was TC and ABS and i decided to lose both same time first week was ruff but now im almost back to my original pace and get more enjoyment from game with the accomplishment

Just realised I'd mixed you up with the OP 🙂.

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that was until i got yet another game breaking bug as i am stuck as carlos sainz my team is broke online is broke i have no game modes left to play that arent busted so just deleted game i am spending more time trying to find fixes then actually playing the game so ya play the game how you want just be happy you are one of the lucky ones whos game kinda sorta works some of the time

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In my opinion it is as many have pointed out already, you should be looking into making the game fun. I'd just add that fun and performance walk more hand in hand than we'd think initially: the rewarding the experience, the more time you're willing to put into the game. They'll improve in tandem in the long run.

Personally:

  • Manual gears was the single most impacting assist to turn off in both fun and performance. Like a straight bump on them both. Before I thought the game was fun going round and round controlling a F1 car. After switching to manual gears, now that felt like being in control of a F1 car. You get to dictate how it will go and how it will perform and you get to fight against every handling issue out there with manual gears. In automatic it felt like a squishy gun, just point and squeeze. Very rewarding!
  • Traction Control was in the same vein but initially put out more of a challenge. It was only a matter of an hour until I got the gist of it – which is not to say I would never spin again. I still spun a lot on the first days, but it was like getting something wrong and instantly knowing what you did wrong, so it's ok. Just like with manual gears, I'll never get the assist on again and will positively avoid the game if for any reason I'm forced to play with them, and I'm talking strictly about fun here. AT and TC on full are simply a washed out experience now.
  • ABS is an interesting one. I only turned it off on F1 2021. On both 2019 and 2020 I felt it was too much of a challenge with not much for a reward for getting things right. Now I'm loving it off almost to the same degree as TC. 

Brake and steering assists are not even assists. It's a "hey grandma, play with me" mode so I didn't even bother.

And I'd go the exact same order as above, but following @KNT2011 tip and turning TC to medium right away. Same order for impact on performance, as per your original query. 

Other than that, try to log at least some 30min of pure driving with each assist off before giving up to frustration as there is going to be a learning curve, that's inevitable.

And don't put everything on your plate in one go. 

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I myself turned off braking assist 2 weeks before this game came out. I the turned TC to med 2 weeks later then completely off 2 weeks after that. How I make the decisions when to change Ive got a notebook with my fastest time for each track, when I can repeat or break those times I would move on. My suggestion is run career mode 10 race series 5 lap races by the time ya get through the 1st season you more than likely should see improvement ,rinse and repeat. LUCK!

 

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I would suggest one more thing when turning off assists. Switch off your HUD or at least delta and timing section of it. It helped me a lot when i didn't focus on my lap time and just drove around the track without trying to push.

Edited by Aeghnor
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16 hours ago, marioho said:

And don't put everything on your plate in one go.

@rayloriga I couldn’t agree more with this. I use a wheel and pedals.

I used to use ABS, TC and racing line. Everything else was manually controlled (gears, DRS, ERS etc).

Like you I reached a place where I was maxed out - I read turning off assists would make me faster and so decided to race with everything off.

I think ABS and TC made the most difference to my lap times in that order.

My process (in F1 2020) to turn these off follows.

I turned off racing line first, and found I needed to re-learn the tracks, as I was in “autopilot” mode with it on. Spent a lot of time in TT to rectify that - initially I drove around with racing line on looking for braking, turning and acceleration reference points, also watched a lot of hotlap videos. I then kept it on and tried using these reference points instead of the line. Once I got comfortable with that I turned it off and then fine tuned these braking/ turning points further. One thing that helped me a lot was looking much further ahead - spotting your braking/ turning/ mid corner/ exit points ahead of time, and then reacting to that with the car. With the line on you tend to only look in front of you, as it were. 

Next was ABS - thankfully (because I was training myself to trail brake with it on), it wasn’t too much an adjustment for me, although I did increase the setting which makes the initial brake travel less sensitive (brake linearity I think, to 30), initially to avoid lockups. Over time I’ve managed to reduce this to a comfortable level (15).

Last (and most difficult), was TC. I really struggled with this, but kept at it. Went to medium, then off. For me medium to off was much harder than full to medium. And even with medium TC I still had a heavy foot - I realised the only way I’d conquer it is by turning it off and going through the adjustment process. Once off, I increased the throttle linearity to make the initial travel less sensitive, and this really helped (had it set to 50 I think). Like brake linearity, I’ve managed to reduce throttle linearity down to a comfortable level (15) over time.

The whole process did take a handful of months playing intensively (like 1-2 hrs a day), and I was doing nothing else other than trying to get on top of this during that time - no races, TT etc. I imagine it’ll be different experience for everyone, and will also depend largely on how you currently trail brake and feather the throttle out of corners before you remove these assists - those who use ABS and TC tend to either be fully “on or off” with the brake and throttle, whereas without assists you have to be much better at modulating these inputs through a corner. Smoothness of inputs is key.

You could begin practicing modulating these inputs with ABS and TC on to get halfway there (as I initially did), and once a bit more comfortable modulating, turn them off one by one. From experience I’d say this is useful, but once you choose to turn something off, keep it off, and persevere - I switched TC between medium and off back and forth a few times but in hindsight, it just prolonged the process.

It’s been really rewarding (and frustrating at times) to learn to drive without the aids, and thankfully it is faster for me and totally worth it. I found it to be about 0.5-1 sec faster a lap overall and the game is much more enjoyable and challenging. I also race online like this as well. Given it was now second nature, I had no real issues adapting to the new handling model in 2021. I don’t think I will ever go back to assists now and am glad I went through it.

I still spin out at times and overshoot braking etc, but I know it’s when I’ve been too greedy or not smooth with those inputs.

I agree with others on this - do what works for you and makes it fun. It is a game after all and you can change your settings anytime you feel like. 

All the best,

🖖🏽

Edited by Monzie83
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15 hours ago, Aeghnor said:

I would say, You should use (or don't use) any assist that makes racing fun for you. I wouldn't listen to anyone trying to put you down for using assist. It's a game and you should tailor this experience to your liking.

I started with all assists at first and slowly took them off. Now i am using less of them but i am not under pressure to keep pushing for "real experience of no assists". I would say to try TC on medium, corners only line and manual gears, and see how you like it. Main goal should be enjoyment from racing and not pushing at all cost to the detriment of it. 

Awesome post.... in just about every game/sim forum I’ve came across.  You very rarely see threads or any posts for that matter where someone openly talks about using assists or any difficulty lower than driving gods.

 

And even on this forum you see posts from sim fanatics who always shoehorn in they set ai to maximum,  or they don’t use any assists because they are not in real F1.   

Yes welldone your good. But it’s not a sim. First and foremost it’s a game it’s sold in the gaming section. So if you play offline against the ai.  Play at the level you find most fun.  End off the day doesn’t matter how hard you set the ai to... it’s still nothing like racing humans on a real track... 

Project cars 2 forum used to be fun... just post the word game and the sim fanatics were on screaming at you.  

If you do or plan to compete on line then yes turn off assists  and practice using time trial... ai won’t help with your racecraft... but it will make you more aware.

if you only play offline set it up so you win.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Monzie83 said:

Next was ABS - thankfully (because I was training myself to trail brake with it on), it wasn’t too much an adjustment for me, although I did increase the setting which makes the initial brake travel less sensitive (brake saturation I think, to 30), initially to avoid lockups. Over time I’ve managed to reduce this to a comfortable level (15).

Last (and most difficult), was TC. I really struggled with this, but kept at it. Went to medium, then off. For me medium to off was much harder than full to medium. And even with medium TC I still had a heavy foot - I realised the only way I’d conquer it is by turning it off and going through the adjustment process. Once off, I increased the setting to make the initial throttle travel less sensitive, and this really helped (had it set to 50 I think). Like brake saturation, I’ve managed to reduce this down to a comfortable level (15) over time.

Awesome post, thank you. Any chance you're referring to linearity instead of saturation?

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1 hour ago, rayloriga said:

Awesome post, thank you. Any chance you're referring to linearity instead of saturation?

Yes, on reflection I think that’s the right name. 👍🏽 I will amend my post for accuracy.

Edited by Monzie83
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