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How to not suck at rFactor?

Discussion in 'rFactor' started by JHeaton, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've had rFactor for ages now but never really put much time in to it because, honestly, I'm terrible at it. One of the main issues that I have is exiting corners. I like to drive open wheel mods (currently using FSR with the hopes of improving enough to participate in one of the online series but that's not looking likely at this rate...) and it seems that I constantly have the following issues:
    • Can't hit braking points correctly. Either I brake way too early and arrive at the corner too slow, or else brake too late and overshoot, meaning I'm running wide through the turn.
    • Struggle with traction coming out of the corners. This one is the weirdest one; I try to be gentle and feed in the throttle gradually, but either I end up putting down too much power or else crawl out of the corner and then get up to speed, by which point I've been passed.
    Generally, my lap times are anything from three to ten seconds off everyone else's and I can't see how to get better. When I put in a perfect lap where everything seems to go well, I'm still miles behind and it's frustrating because it seems no matter how much I vary my braking points, pressure applied to the pedals etc. I just can't seem to iron out the above problems and make progress. It's very rare that I can string together a lap where I don't make a mistake and it's getting to the point where I'm considering just giving up.

    Does anyone have any advice on how I can maybe work out why I can't get these things right and start to actually drive the sim properly?

  2. Rui F. Martins

    Rui F. Martins
    Premium Member

    If i were you i would try to get a less powerfull car and try to improve in it and then move to the more powerful car. Besides that, just keep trying and don't give up. :)
    Maybe try to do some rfactor club races, it could help you, there are some races with the gp2 cars, even of you're slow you may improve by doing those races, and certainly you will have a good time. :)
    I hope this helps, i don't know what i can do to help you more :redface:
    • Like Like x 5
  3. Indeed, try to join some races with real people, or just random practices. Following others/being chased by others is the best way to learn.
  4. For braking try to use/find some kind of marker around the ideal braking position to make it easier. For formulas 100-meter board is usually about the right place to start braking.
  5. Car control, if you manage to get it decent your laptimes will come down massively.
  6. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    I have similar objectives to the OP. Want to get into FSR Trophy etc.
    Experienced at many Xbox sims and about 1 sec off the pace in F1 2011.

    After another similar experience in the 2009 BMW Sauber I figured as the post above suggests I would learn progressively as per the game developers intentions.
    So Ive just been doing my time in the R factor trainer-upgraded now to Advanced.

    At Toban reverse at first I was doing 1m:59s.
    Finally learned the track and found where I could push more and where to be cautious.
    Line and gear selection were big issues. Found could use a gear higher in some, needing a gear lower in others.
    Managing the car is a skill and a challenge even in this little car. esp under brakes.
    It finally started to flow and by race time I was at 1:49 10 seconds off!.

    In my view the sim is so good that its the things that make you fast on a real world track make you fast in game: (I have a small amount of real world racing exp in high perf sports cars in Club Sprint events and endurance Karting). Balancing the car with your inputs, geting it turned in to apex, learning the track.
    The car won't turn in correctly unless you are at the right speed, in the right gear and the car is balanced. Totally off throttle and it will plough, too much throttle and it will oversteer etc.

    Orchard Hills (Oval) obviously required reducing wing to min and longer gears. having done that was .115 off pole.

    By seasons end I will have enough credits to buy the F3 car and that will be next! leaving F1 in garage till schools out.

    Conclusion: Start at the beginning and work on basics of car handling, line, gears selection, braking.
    and Enjoy, its very real.
  7. 3 words: Practice, Practice, Practice! That is really the only way I have gotten used to it, and only recently have I turned off traction control, stability control, abs and auto gears. Keep those on at first if needed.
  8. Be careful with "practice", because bad practice will lead you nowhere ;)
    • Like Like x 2
  9. There is a typical thing i see in simracing. Thats the no-fear factor.

    Basically, people approach a track very agressive from the start, thinking they are quick right away. These people often find themselfs limited to a certain lap time because of all the overdriving they have been doing from the start of the session.

    The way how i approach tracks is just by underdriving the car from the start: braking very early in the first few laps and generally finding the lines to get on the throttle as early as possible. Lap by lap i will brake later and later until the end of my braking point matches the point where i go on the throttle.

    So for me, i find most time under braking, and its always a good thing to know where you can find the time on track.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Something else to consider is wheel set up. You may want to check those and lower the sensitivities a bit to make sure your getting the full range of motion on the pedals. If brakes and throttle are behaving like ON/OFF switches it's gonna be hard to control braking points and power on exit.

    Thanks to Will I was helped by changing to a slower steering ratio in touring cars. Gave me better car and tire wear control. Although open wheelers have quick steering so you're probably OK there.

    Good luck. I'm in my second full year and still about 1-2 seconds/lap off alien pace.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Touring Cars/GT cars: 540° with 17 to 22 steering lock (15:1 to 12:1 steering ratio)

    Open Wheelers and LMP (Heavily track dependant): 360° to 540° with 10:1 (F1) to 15:1 (Slowest) steering ratio

    Classic cars: Varies a lot, from 540° to 900°+ with a lot of different steering ratios, as high as 20:1.

    Example of how to calculate the steering lock with steering ratios:
    450°/10:1=45 45/2(rFactor takes one side, not both)=22.5 steering lock with 450°

    Yes, I am very much maniac...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Rui F. Martins

    Rui F. Martins
    Premium Member

    @William Levesque
    for example for open wheeler and LMP's the steering ratio goes from 360 to 540, how do i know if i have to increase or decrease the steering ratio inside that value?
    is it by trying it out, or i should pay attention to something specific to know what to do?
  13. The steering ratio is independant of the degrees of rotation

    Degrees of rotation: 360° to 540° (Use less if it's a high speed track, more if you have tight hairpins à la Monaco)

    Steering Ratio: 10:1 to 15:1 (Decides you steering lock when you match it with your degrees of rotation)

    400° with 12:1 = 16.6 > 17 steering lock (Less turning radius)
    540 with 12:1 = 22.5 > 23 steering lock (More turning radius)
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Some people set the wheel to be like the real car, if you prefer realism. Others just use one set value that they're used to.

    Once you have your wheel rotation set in the Logitech Profiler, for instance, use the in-game steerig lock setting to set the steering ratio as described by Will.

    You want to set the steering lock to the minimum amount that allows you to get through the tightest corner, or in some cases, out of the pit bay. By keeping the lock at minimum you don't waste wheel motion for a turning radius you don't need and it gives you the most precise steering. That is if the wheel range is 540dg and you are turning the wheel 45dg, but only need 40dg than you aren't going to use that last 5dg and you won't be as precise in your steering inputs. Make sense? Was that the question?

    EDIT: DOH! Ninja'd by Will! Again!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. I have a lot of trouble with traction, I can't seem to get off a start line or out of a slow corner cleanly, I know it's all about throttle control but it just seems like there's no middle ground, it's either way too slow or way too much throttle and a squirrely back end.
  16. In that case john, the best thing you could do is soften the rear suspension on the car so its easier to control. The better you get at it the stiffer you can run the rear.
  17. Well that's about how I start, especially when I drive given car for the first time on that track.
    Latest example: I run a small, non-official league with friends with WTCC2011 mod. Now we are scheduled for our final round and Mt. Panorama track. I started very slow with some basic setup changes I always make because of driving on gamepad (my steering wheel is broken and I currently can't afford any good wheel). I started with laps well in 2.40''s but after 2 90 minutes practice sessions we made I have lowered my time to 2.23.5xx. It is still about 1-1,5 seconds of the best, but I don't even think about getting that fast. I loose about 0,8-1,2 seconds in middle sector and I am currently working on that part. I am trying to improve balance of my car with setups, but I am not changing too much so that I don't unbalance my car in 1st and 3rd sector. But I think I still can work on my approach at some corners, and that is where I am looking too.

    As for braking, I always search around a track for some objects, shadows, trees, etc. so that I use them as orientation. Usually that is when, for example 100m board comes to predetermined spot on my monitor, or when I pass under the bridge, etc..

    It is good to familiarize yourself with track before you start pushing. And also, when you start pushing explore your limits. We have an advantage rFactor being a sim, so that there is no money or time lost if we wreck our cars...
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Rui F. Martins

    Rui F. Martins
    Premium Member

    I ussualy use the track objects (brigdes, trees, etc) and the distance boards, but i always try to find any kind of marker besides the boards, because in some tracks these may be hit and get out of place, if you have a "spare" marker you won't lose your marker and it will be easier to adapt to the new situation
  19. I think alot of people skipped a pretty important part. How is your car set up? What are your tire pressures, suspension and traction control settings.
    Doesn't matter how clean you get off a corner, if your pressures are off your traction is going to be horrible. I'll adjust the rear pressure to help with my eagerness to get back on the power sooner in the apex (while watching tire degradation and temps).
    Don't shy away from traction control either, almost every type of racing has it. Obviously don't take this overboard, the minimum you can still be competitive with while still learning to feel the car. Most TC is only needed for specific corners where speed may be wanted to be kept higher without the risk of loosing the rear end.
    Also, if the rear shocks are too stiff than the power is not sent to the ground and the tires just spin. Same with slow and fast bump settings if your loosing the car over bumps (hitting curbs!).
    I understand how complicated it can all be if your new to racing, but it all adds up. Smoothness and efficiency (keeping the momentum) really are more important than braking points and straight speed. Carrying speed through the corner and staying on line.
    "Slow in, fast out". Obviously the word "slow" shouldn't actually be slow, but the sooner you can get onto the power out of the corner the better your straight speed will be. You'll learn how to push your entry speed quicker once you get your balance down.
    But to get onto par with competitive lap times will take quite a while.
    Consistency is also very important, just because you did a 1'44"32 one lap, but your others are all 1'50's doesn't show that your learning, it shows you got lucky.

    *Don't take anything I say as fact, I'm not a professional, and have no actual in car racing experience. I feel my laptimes and consistency are more than competitive.
    Nothing will be more benificial than practice and more practice. I probably have thousands of hours in practice for myself, but I still keep practicing to try to get those extra tenths, or just see where I can get an extra 3mph at the end of the straight.
    • Like Like x 1