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PC Basic Setup Guide

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Austin Ogonoski, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Off to do some XMas shopping, so I'll leave you guys with this info.

    Unlike other racing sims, the default setups are VERY good.

    Your very first step should be confirming that you are driving at the absolute limit with the default set. Second step should be installing the performance shaper app to get an iRacing-like live-timing system to see EXACTLY where you need to improve.

    To gain some extra speed:
    Your first change should be tire pressure. On a track with many long straights (Vallelunga), bump up the PSI by 2 or 3 all around. On a track with many rhythm sections such as Imola, lower the PSI by 2 or 3. That'll get you more corner grip.

    The next change should be wing settings. Basically, you want the rear wing as low as possible without causing great amounts of oversteer. Experiment to find the best setting but usually I cut whatever the default wing amount is in half. You'll always want some amount of aero grip on the front end so I leave that setting stock. The exception to this is the Formula Abarth, which responds very well to 16/16 on the wings. My rule of thumb is that if there's giant wings on the car, they're probably there for a reason and you should use them.

    Fuelwise, most cars in AC begin with 30L, I cut that in half to 15L. Depending on the track, this'll get you anywhere from five to eight laps on a tank of fuel, more than enough to eat up the tires.

    The tires should be using as soft of a compound as you can. For fast times, anyways.

    Coast Diff is a simple handling fix; it'll make the car turn-in better by causing lift oversteer when you move the slider to the left. Very handy with the naturally understeering GT2 and GT3 cars. Ideally, you'll want a very SLIGHT amount of oversteer; you'll end up in the sand if you go to 0%, especially in cars like the Lotus 49.

    Rear camber is another handy fix that helps the car behave better in the corners. A negative value will help the car plant better in corners. Gotta really experiment with these settings but usually the default setup provides nice starting values. On places like Vallelunga with long sweeping corners, you'll want a bit more negative camber in order to get more power down on exit, whereas some of the faster tracks like Mugello don't require much rear camber at all because you're already hauling @$$.

    For hotlapping, wheel rate should be as low as it can go to stiffen up the suspension. This'll get you more straightline speed. Dropping the ride height a bit helps, too much will cause problems when you start to run over kerbs. Use your own discretion based on the track. Imola has some pretty steep kerbs whereas Vallelunga's are flat. If you see sky going into Tamburello, your car is too low, bro.

    Gearing, all you really need to adjust is final drive because the default values are quite good. Basically, you want to be around 2-3 mph away from hitting the chip at the end of the longest straightaway in high gear. Unless you're running at somewhere like Vallelunga Club, you won't need to touch the gearing as it's quite good by default for all cars.

    Brake bias is your final adjustment, and it is relative to the front end of the car (example, the value "70" means 70front/30rear). I rarely touch this, but there are some people who will benefit from it. Too much front bias and you'll loop the car. Too much rear bias and you'll create unnecessary understeer.

    Be smart and play around with the in-car aids. CTRL+T enables car-specific traction control, and CTRL+A enables ABS. ABS is a godsend. As for TC, you'll want the lowest setting possible for each car. For example, in the case of the Z4 GT3 car, which has 12 levels of TC available, level 1 is pretty much perfect for competitive times.

    Hope others can add more.
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  2. So we've come to the point, where a girl teaches men how to tune a car :D :p

    Very well written Austin(Tiffanny??)!
  3. Nice basic guide but I am having a hell of a problem with the first step....my stupid talent level won't let me drive at the damn limit!!! LOL
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  4. So you're saying THIS was too low? :roflmao:

    I noticed quite the opposite - too much force at the front and I lock the front wheels WAY sooner than the rears... and I understeer out of the track. Too much at the back and the rear wheels lock first and I spin out.

    Real men don't use electric/electronic gizmos! We even shun spark plugs and car batteries :D
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  5. This is a man baby yea!!
  6. if the servers does not have access to disable all the AIDS, it will be very bad.
  7. And that brings up the whole debate of old school (no aids of any kind; except maybe autoclutch since most people don't have h-pattern) or new school (if the real car has ABS then it's fair game to enable it...same with TCS)

    I don't quite know which side of that fence I am on anymore (I am quite old) with the way cars are now....If you take you BMW or Lotus to the track I really don't think you are going to pull fuses or do whatever it takes to disable ABS. Why should we? This might be a debate worthy of its own thread though.
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  8. What do you mean by "performance shaper app"?
    Can you guide me to this app?
  9. Brake bias is your final adjustment, and it is relative to the front end of the car (example, the value "70" means 70front/30rear). I rarely touch this, but there are some people who will benefit from it. Too much front bias and you'll loop the car. Too much rear bias and you'll create unnecessary understeer.
    This has to be wrong, every real car (and simulator I know) behaves exactly the opposite.
  10. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Member Premium Member

  11. At some point i would hope we get a brake pressure adjustment per car instead of the brake gamma.
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  12. Sorry Austin, I rather disagree with your approach to car setups. I read a month or so ago that the Kunos guys don't have the time and don't put in the effort for the default setups.
    For instance the Evora GTC: the default setup allowed the car to handle naturally, meaning it was compliant during cornering and didn't feel restrained by the setup. However, the default setups are two, three seconds away from the potential of that particular car.
    Times on Nürburgring GT:
    default: 2.02:4xx
    mine: 1.59:2xx (after three hours of testing)
    I saw a similar delta with other car & track combinations as well. Generally, slower cars (Abarth 500) may be faster with an appropriate setup for a particular track. Even with an improved setup made in half an hour, a car is faster and, crucially for endurance races with 40 laps+, more reliable on any track.
    (Just realized, should have made a new thread, woa 1200 words)

    After years of experience I can write up a small (edit after finish: yeah, right) rundown:
    Items on top have higher influence on handling and have priority (do these first). This list applies in general to all cars, virtual (if done right) or not. AC specific notes & sections are included.

    1. Spring Rates

    + Allows the car to react to bumps and track imperfections without losing traction
    + Generally, increases grip at all circumstances
    - Requires a ride height tall enough to ensure that the car does not bottom out
    + Minimises roll under weight transfer allowing a lower ride height to be used
    - Can cause the car to skip or jump over bumps and imperfections resulting in a loss of traction
    -> Front stiffer - increases understeer | Front softer - decreases understeer
    -> Rear stiffer - increases overstreer | Rear softer - decreases oversteer​

    2. Ride Height

    + Reduces weight transfer under braking, acceleration and cornering. Allows stiffer springs.
    + Generally makes you faster
    (be advised of dive and squat of the front suspension)
    - Increases risk of bottoming out the car
    + Ensures car does not bottom out over bumpy tracks. Allows softer springs.
    - Increases weight transfer under braking, acceleration and cornering
    -> Front high - increases understeer | Front low - decreases understeer
    -> Rear high - increases oversteer | Rear low - decreases oversteer​

    Notes: A level car at stand still reacts more naturally. Is the rear higher than the front, the car will be more prone to oversteer - vice versa for understeer. Seek a level and straight road for ride height setups. Remember to empty the fuel tank before tweeking.

    3. Damper settings

    + Allows the suspension to react quickly to bumpy surfaces, retaining traction
    - Speeds up transition to over-understeer
    + Slows down transition to over-understeer
    - Skips over bumpy surfaces as the suspension can't react quickly enough
    -> Front stiff - increases understeer | Front soft - decreases understeer
    -> Rear stiff - increases oversteer | Rear soft - decreases oversteer​

    Notes: The rebound rate should always be two to three times higher than the bound rate. Keep the rebound rate therefore close to maximum. The first bound and rebound rate is a seperate thing, test it at high curbs, at Turn 12 on Nürburgring (fast right hander just before the cicane).

    4. Camber settings

    + Increases cornering grip up to the lateral grip threshold
    - Reduces straight-line traction (only for FWD cars) and stability (for all)
    - Increases braking distance and instability under braking
    + Increases cornering grip up to the lateral grip threshold
    - Reduces straight line traction (exept for FWD cars) and stability (for all)
    - increases braking distance and instability under braking
    -> Front more - reduces understeer | Front less - increases understeer
    -> Rear more - reduces oversteer | Rear less - increases oversteer​

    Notes: Camber settings are great in tuning over-understeer after all of the obove options are exhausted (do Cambers last). Be carefull with increasing rear camber for endurance races - tire degradation will cause oversteer near the end of the race. Front camber has greater influence in braking distance and stability - even greater for more front brake bias. In general, start with low camber values and work your way through.

    5. Toe settings
    Don't mess with Toe.
    More toe value away from zero will make you slower.

    Toe-In (negative values)
    + Increases grip on initial turn-in
    - Reduces lateral grip mid corner
    Toe-Out (positive)
    + don't bother
    - Reduces grip on initial turn-in
    + May stabilise the car during lift-off and turn-in
    Toe-In (negative)
    + don't bother
    - Increases lift-off oversteer
    - makes the car prone to snap-oversteer (different to lift-off oversteer), dangerous
    Toe-Out (positive)
    + Increases stability under braking
    - Increases turn resistance and understeer
    - Makes you slower

    Notes: Increasing Toe-Out (positive values) at the rear is a common and effective practice to increase stability under braking. Generally, the rear toe values have a much higher impact on handling than the front ones.

    6. Anti-role bars
    Naturally, role bars only come into effect during cornering.

    + The car may manage bumps well
    + Improves feel and complience of the car
    - Can cause the car to bottom out during corner roll
    - Soft role bars may require greater ride height or stiffer springs in order to work properly

    + Reduced risk of bottom out of car during cornering
    + May allow for lower ride height
    - May result in loss of traction
    +/- Car feels dartier (reacts faster to steering input)
    -> Front stiff - increases understeer | Front soft - decreases understeer
    -> Rear stiff - increases oversteer | Rear soft - decreases oversteer​

    Notes: Be gentle with Anti-role bars. Set them low first and work your way through.

    7. Brake bias
    Despite my critizism of the default setups in Assetto Corsa, the default values for the brake bias follow the natural driving characteristics of a particular car. The Z4 GT3 has great front brake bias, because of the long bonnet (sry US users: hood) and heavy front. Don't mess with them bias too much. After obove settings are done, shift the brake bias towards the rear (for balance, decreasing braking distance), one point at a time, until you experience instability under braking. After, apply one point bias to the front. You may apply more Toe-Out (postive) in order to increase braking stability, albeit sacrificing corner performance.

    Now, after all that, AC has some proprietary car settings I have less experience with, for instance for total suspension travel (second to last setup page). It seems to give more grip on corner exit, of you lower this setting at the rear, however i can't write a comprehensive piece on that at this time.

    Finally, it is important to alter only (symmetricly) one value at a time (drive one/two laps afterwards) - you will see and feel the changes right away and able to take action accordingly. More experienced users are able to change ten or more values at one go, because they know what settings fit their driving style and can judge the characteristics of a new car very quickly.

    Be water, my friend! (Bruce Lee)
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  13. Great write-up Georg, thanks!

    Would you mind sharing your NurbGP setup for the Lotus? I've hit a brick wall with my lap times on default at the moment, looking for a starting point for tweaking.
  14. mod edit: please add setups to the correct forum here: http://www.racedepartment.com/forum/forums/assetto-corsa-setups.116/

    Just note, that this is one for a quick lap with soft tyers. I have also one for endurance races, which makes the car more reliable and with less "on the edge" driving.
    If you need any more help, just tell.

    Edit: make it "George" - I like it better while speaking / writing in English.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  15. Great write-up George.

    Can you give your opinion on how important tyre temperature is please and if so, how do you add or lose temperature?

    For example, I have been playing with a setup for the Lotus49 at Monza 66 but I can't get the front tyres above about 55C. Assuming it is important, how would you go about raising these temps?
  16. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim
    Premium Member


    I was doing some laps on silverstone with a lotus exos S1, and hell yeah ! tyre temperatures are very important there ! you can't go flat out on the very last corner on your first lap , but you can do it on your second !

    To get high temperature ,you need to decrease tyre pressure ,change toe settings ! making suspension stiffer helps too ! high wheel rate and ARB , high bumps might help too !
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  17. Hi, like a moderator said in my post, I'm gonna soon create a thread in the setup section of the forum and edit-in info about tyre temps (effects and causes) into my existing write-up. Check for it in the next couple of days.
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  18. It really depends on the car. I think the best car for understanding every setup aspects (if you have time and patience) is the FAbarth. You feel every change, and you can really make changes to suit your driving style. In other cars its much more difficult and there is only one really fast way to setup the cars and you have to adjust your driving style. I had to adjust my driving style with the T125 so that after I did many laps and practice I was very slow on my really fast FAbarth setups. I have really no clue about Road Cars and GT cars. But for OpenWheeler (for me) it is very simple. Important is that you understand WHAT you have to change. Oversteer in a fast corner is because of aerodynamical issues, but it can be a mechanical reason, too.
    For example: in slow corners the traction is good. you have a soft ARB in the back and the packers are high/big. In a fast right corner the car is Rolling to the left because of the soft ARB and the high rear wing is pushing the car down, and you hit the packer. Then you have no springs at all. And on the next bump you will loose control over the car. So what I do: I build a logical setup at first. (This is for the FAbarth, because it is by far the best for setups). I think about the downforce, maybe a bit of gear ratios, I know how high I want the car, and if I want it to be stiff or soft, the diff is at 10% front 90% rear at the beginning. Suspension travel is as high as possible, packers are as small as possible. then I go on track and get used to it, where are the corners that are important for good lap times. and then I start tweaking on the aero first, then the gear ratios. then I start with the suspension, you have to feel the problems. you always want to get on full throttle as early as possible and you want your car to behave like you would expect. I play around with the suspension and A LOT with bump/rebound settings. these are very important on the FAbarth. After this is done, I drive some laps, watch the tyres how they behave, and fine tune things to become faster. You need to try a lot until you are happy with the car, and then you can drive faster, because in every situation you know what the car will do. for my setups I personally go to Mugello, because I know this track best of all Tracks (Ferrari Virtual Acadamy) and I know how to be fast there. When I found a good setup there, and take it to other tracks and then just fine tune it. (In Monza of course you need to completely rethink your work)
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  19. @Vincent Buccarello pls edit your post using paragraphs, headings, captions and you may put topics in logical order. Honestly, this wall of text is detrimental for beginners and plp willing to improve, because this is what these basic setup guides are written to cater to. The more experienced guys already know most of this stuff, I'm sure.
    Further I recommend to open a new thread, if you have a long article, a different approach to finding the right setup and want to illicit constructive feedback on your own ideas.
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  20. Can you tell me wich app will do this for AC?