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Learning curve

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by popojan, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    I have been playing AC for some time with RSR Live Timing and I am wondering how much practice is required with a track/car combo. Without a significant practice I have got an All Round PRO-rank today (just few valid laps with default setup and 30 litres fuel) but no wonder I am 29th out of 31 players who completed all the combos, my lap times, all below median, are usually about 110% of respective World Records, and there is a huge gap to the 28th player.

    May I ask you, how much did you practise with a combo before getting competitive? Do only decent players use Live Timing or do I really suck as a novice driver? Shall I delete those mediocre laps not to pollute Live Timing stats?

    Even if I suck I enjoy driving in AC very much, so you can be totally honest to me.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
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  2. 110% off is an eternity. Practice won't get you anywhere at this point, you need to do some studying about track driving. And also make sure that your hardware is set-up properly (no input lag, good framerates, good FFB settings, etc)

    Learning about setups, at least the basics, could help too.
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  3. Good to know, William. Thanks.

    I would not blame hardware, though.
    FPS is steady 60, my G25 is set up properly according to recommended FFB guidelines. Maybe too strong but no clipping occurs.

    What percentage off should I aim for in the beginning? Is there a resource on track driving you would recommend? I could turn on the ideal racing line for the practice, never did so ;) As for car setups I bought "Going Nowhere Fast In Assetto Corsa " e-book, out of pure interest some time ago.

    Hey, my wife obeys city speed limits in AC when forced to try, that is eternity ;)

    Edit: By 110% of WR I mean it takes +10% longer than the WR.
  4. Yep, I know. Anything over 103% (3 seconds on a 1:40 track), maybe 105% (5 seconds for 1:40) on longer, more difficult tracks is too much and that means that your driving lacks basics (even 103% and 105% means some big flaws in your driving, especially in more simple cars). 110% means 10 seconds off for 1:40, that's huge.

    Using all of the tracks/proper racing lines, accurate pedal and steering inputs, etc... I don't really have anything to recommend resource-wise, never really had a need for it (my dad was an ex-racer and thought me on games, haha). I see this one linked a lot, could be worth a shot:
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  5. Thank you for your time. I will do my best to improve :)
    By no practice I meant jumping in a unknown car and driving 5 laps on a half-memorized track with no assists. I hope there is some room for improvement.
  6. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    Talking Door Racing Premium Member

    5 laps is too little if you want to get in the top of RSR. I took 3 months to reach the top 20 at spa in the 458 GT2.
    Search for some videos of the combos and look for their lines and improve until you are about 5-3 seconds off the pace and then it is time to start doing setups.
  7. Learning how a car handles goes a long way for pace, usually it doesn't take very long, unless it's something "extreme" like a F1.

    Knowing tracks inside out is the best thing you can do really... If you know a track perfectly, you'll be able to jump in almost any car and put down respectable times, assuming your driving isn't lacking significantly.

    For me, in a "normal" car i'm within 1 second or so of WR's after 5 laps. Possibly less or more, all depending. But that's because I know almost every single tracks in most sims by heart, lol.
  8. Rami

    #20 FinnTeam Premium Member


    Atleast for me it takes about 50 to 100 laps just to learn a new track. I might just be a slow learner :laugh:
    But after it's well learned it's pretty easy to jump into next car and be competetive quicker. By no means that 50 to 100 laps reveals all secrets of a track, but usually there only finds few tenths or so after that.

    Same goes for finding a setup that suits you in different cars. Once you have enough fiddling with cars done, you're able to find sets that suit you a lot faster. Then there is still one major problem, finding the style and lines each car needs to be driven. And there really is no shortcuts for that, just practise.

    Hope this helped :)
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  9. In normal life I have been in different tracks about 250 laps with civil car and "slow" racing car. Maybe I am slow learning, but after 100 laps in normal race track i am about 1 sec faster than after 20 laps. I have no simulator experience before Assetto Corsa. I start approx November last year. I play about 300 hours in six months. Most of time (over 200 hours) with Ferrari 458gt2 in Spa.
    In Assetto Corsa with Ferrari in Spa I was about 0,5sec faster / 100 laps. That happens first thousand laps. Perfect lap is still waiting. Maybe now when I understand better how cars are handling in AC new track & car combo takes only 500 laps to be in my own "maximum" level witch is usually 1-2sec slower than fastest times.

    For me it is harder to master the car and track in simulator than in real life. Of course faster and trickier car take longer time to be competitive. I think there is difference because feeling in simulator ain´t same than real life. I cant feel G-forces in my static rig and that is biggest difference. Offcourse now after 400h playtime with AC my learning process is faster. Now I can understand better what my wheel is telling to me (and its not much, G27). If you wanna be faster you need also practice and understand the theory of driving technique.
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  10. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Premium Member

    110% is a lot as said above.

    I was in your shoes a long time ago when I went from NFS PU to GTR from Simbin in yesteryear. I was frustrated because I was applying NFS techniques to simracing which was not ideal, pretty much the only thing I carried over was my aggressive braking and even that had to be modified extensively.

    My advice to getting faster, is first to stop being frustrated (if you are at all, I was back then), realise that there is a path to improvement and:

    -Choose a track with a simple layout. My fav track, probably of all time, is Monza. The layout is simple and getting within the 107% rule is/should be very easy, and 103% should follow soon after.

    -Choose a racing car with an FR layout, that is Front engined and Rear Wheel Drive. All GT3 cars are like this, and if you're comfortable choose one. In your case I'd go with the BMW Z4 GT3 or the AMG GT3, both stable and neutral driving characteristics.

    -Set the track/conditions to optimum. I think you might have already done that, if not ask and someone will direct you on how. It's the highest grip setting for tracks, some say unrealistic, but there are times when the stars align and real world grip levels can be even higher (or other parameters can arise whereby cars go faster in real life, it is rare though).

    -Set your AIDS at what you're comfortable with. I've never used TC personally, being fully in charge of the throttle application is the most fun part of race car driving and driving in general. ABS yes, again do what suits you and what will make you gain confidence in your ability.


    -Start with a general setup. Reduce fuel as needed for the stint you wanna go for.
    - When Learning the Track you should always make mental notes of the following:
    • Brake markers - where to brake for each corner at a distance that gives you enough time to slow down and appropriately take the corner, hitting the apex if possible. As you progress you'll improve/shorten the braking distance.
    • Highest Possible Gear for the corner - basically meaning the highest gear you can take the corner in without compromising your corner entry (due to understeer or oversteer if you're in a lower/higher gear) and corner exit (when you have to shift up too soon upon exiting the corner, or not being in the peak power band of your car due to being in a higher gear)
    • Range of maximum Apex speed - this may be personal, but on certain tracks that I know very well, depending on the car as well, I know the maximum apex speed I can reach and I always shoot for that. That speed will usually creep up as your car and track knowledge progresses and you apply your setup tweaks.
    That's all I have for now, you have some advice from some really fast guys on here, me not included. Also taking advice from professionals on driving, like the video posted should come first, what I wrote is my own experience and is more simBro talk with some science/physics sprinkled in.

    It seems like you are a novice to the sim racing niche, and you just shot gunned 8 tracks for an overall rank, and honestly your results fare better than most that try and give up, so you should feel a sense of accomplishment. Dont be discouraged, it's a process getting faster but being the top ranked player means little when you're racing with other people and you have to perform 100.5% lap times in a 30+ lap race while your being chased or chasing for position. It's all fun, and AC/simracing provides that for us speed junkies.

    Enjoy your stay here, ask questions, it's always fun to geek out about car setups, driving lines etc. almost as much as driving. Also if you're premium Santa might be having a Premium Driver Academy starting soon.
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  11. Turk

    Premium Member

    I get the impression you just aren't doing enough practice. Five laps is nothing, it's about enough time to warm your tyres up. You should be looking to do at least 12 laps, but probably 20-30 laps to get any learning out of a season of hot lapping. It will probably take 100+ laps to get competitive lap times. Practice, practice, practice and the time will come eventually.

    If you haven't watched the skip barber video above, do watch it. It helped me a lot on simple things that aren't intuitive. I remember getting my ass kicked by lift off oversteer, watched the skip barber video and once I was aware of lift off oversteer it became a tool rather than an unwanted side effect.
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  12. Wow, thank you very much Cristian for such an extensive post. I will definitely follow your advice. I am not getting discouraged, it is exactly the opposite. Driving in AC feels really good and its fun, even when being so much slower then "the really fast guys here". The cars behave predictable as far as I can tell.

    And I really really appreciate the friendly community here at RD. I was a bit afraid when posting the OP - of not getting responses at all or getting bad reputation for the silly question - but I got exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

    My best result so far is some 106.25% at Spa with Ferrari 458 Italia but I will try FR layout GT3 as you suggest. At a first try GT3 cars seemed to me quite boring (too grippy), but it must have been because I was not driving on the limit.

    I am seriously considering going premium, for all the advantages it brings and also to start taking simracing more seriously :)
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  13. Turk

    Premium Member

    The competition of the races here will certainly improve your time. I don't get to race much so I don't bother with public servers. I've found that I typically start setting my best times towards the end of racedepartment races because it forces me to do a lot of consecutive laps without getting bored or going back to the pits all the time. Offline the temptation is to go back to the pits whenever I have a mistake. Online you just have to work with your mistakes and keep going.
  14. Marian Zelenka

    Marian Zelenka
    The downforce is strong with this one. Premium Member

    Jan, be careful with ever changing tyre model and physics in AC. Times on RSR that were achieved long ago may not be achievable right now. Try to learn how to drive and not just chase some record laps. Just practice and enjoy! Speed will come later.
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  15. Used to be easy to get to top 5 with keyboard and mouse, ever since the ABS update you just dropped 2-4 second per lap on each track.
  16. My advice is simple.

    1. fix your rig:

    a) check your fps while driving. If you are getting less than 60 you are suffering from input lag. Also turn off vsync. If your fps dips sometimes under 60 that is no issue but if it only randomly visits over 60 your driving will be more difficult. Turn off eye candy until you can manage constant 60 fps. If you race against ai or multiplayer you need good amount of fps during starts too. If you are using a tv as your monitor see if it offers a gaming mode.

    b) make sure your equipment is correctly adjusted. Your ffb should not be spiking while driving (not too high). As for pedals I'd avoid using any unlinearity. Any unlinearity will make it harder to brake consistently because unlinearity decreases the window if brake input. If you have unlinearity and you take the unlinearity away your brake pedal will feel more sensitive at first. It will take some time to get used to but in the end you should be able to to brake more consistently.

    c) Seating position. Basically you don't want to sit too far away from the steering wheel and you want to be as close as possible to your monitor. Basically all real life racing car seating advice will apply to sim racing. With your back against the back rest of your seat point your hands straight ahead and your wrist should rest on top of your wheel. Probably little closer than that. With pedals make sure you can reach the brake pedal without having to fully extend your leg.

    d) fov and monitor placement. The most common mistake to make is to sit too far away from monitor. The best place for your monitor is straight behind your wheel base. Not half a metre away from your wheel but as close as you can possible get it. This will give you the best sense of car movement and fov. Fov is then adjusted so that it is natural for the screen size. There are calculators for different sims out there. The fov is a bit personal thing too. If you use the correct fov but you either sit far away from your monitor or your monitor is small your fov will be small too. This can make it difficult to find your way around long tight corners and will cause you issues when racing against other cars due to lack of spatial awareness. So don't worry about using too big fov but don't still go above 15% what would be your natural fov.

    2. Driving

    a) turn of all aids. Even abs and traction control. While some cars use those in real life you want to feel the car fully and let it respond all to your mistakes. You want to practise simple going around the track using the same line every single lap without upsetting the car. Upsetting the car is what you want to unlearn first. Go smooth back on throttle, never release the brakes abruptly on turn in and start your turn in smoothly with your wheel.

    b) drive around the track and pay attention. Everytime you brake notice where you brake. Watch if there are any braking markers. From the first lap even if you have never driven the track pay attention to your braking points. Don't use road surface markings as your brake points though! When you are behind other cars those road markings are not visible to you. So watch your braking points and when you arrive into the corners make note whether you braked way too early or late. Next time around brake earlier or later. Do this always when you drive!

    c) use full width of the track. You absolutely need to hit every single apex of every single corner and on turn in you need to be on the other side of the road right next to the kerb. On corner exit you need to let the car to run wide and use all the road. Repeat as long as you can keep the car on this racing line.

    d) take the car to some skidpad or big open area. Practise your throttle inputs so that you can initiate a small slide and correct it consistently. This is not drifting but practise for your speed improvement. When you start going faster you will occasionally overstep your limits and you need to learn to cope with those situations. Learn to not overcorrect and learn to sense how much of the traction you are using

    e1) start attacking the track for time. Start slowly but not too slow. Brisk pace but still slow enough so you don't miss your braking markers. Focus on corner exits and perfect them. Learn when you can go on throttle on corner exits and work on it so you can on power earlier and earlier. Find the earliest point where you can accelerate out without having to lift the throttle. If you need to lift your corner exit will suffer. 95% of your lap time is about corner exits as you will carry that speed all the way through the next straight following that corner

    e2) start braking later but make sure you are getting good corner exits. Experiment little bit byt trying to carry more speed through the turns. Try turning in later for late apex if the next straight is long and try to carry more speed if you are coming from highspeed straight into complex of corners.

    e3) take breaks, watch other people and don't get frustrated. Sometimes you hit a wall. To get through that wall will require conscious driving until eventually you make an improvement. But whenever you seem to have hit a wall you can switch your focus from single lap time to consistency

    e4) turn off any delta timers and apps you don't need. Those can be distracting

    e5) start reading setup guides and try other peoples' setups.
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  17. Thank you very much Ghoults!

    Your advice is valuable to me and appreciated.

    Several points from first section about fixing my rig apply to me:
    • I am using default unlinearity for brake pedal - went linear before but did not like operating G25 brake in the "light zone" (slightly depressed pedal does not need much force); everything else linear, of course
    • v-sync on till now
    • too wide fov; my too small 23" lcd stands however just behind the wheel base
    • bad seating (i feel really uncomfortable) - either an ordinary uncomfy chair or a comfortable leather office chair wich moves when I brake - gotta fix this as soon as possible!
    But I am even more grateful for the second section about actual driving. I am going to follow the advice carefully, as I am making too many mistakes at the moment. Using road surface braking point markers being the least important. From what you said it seems I often brake too late and concentrate on finding the furthest possible braking point instead of improving racing line and corner exits and general smoothness of my inputs.

    Thanks again.
  18. Galin Dimov

    Galin Dimov

    Let me tell you a bit about me and how I started with simracing which should help you to put things into prospective.

    I started simracing on December 19th 2013 when I purchased AC, Race 07 and GTR Evo. There was no MP in AC back then so after a week or so of driving (mind you, I have been motorsports fan for a long time) I thought I have it all figured out so I joined a race here in RD with the Mini coopers in Race 07. It was a wake up call for me and I (the greatest racing driver :p) was around 7-8s slower per lap. After that I realized that I have a lot to learn so i started watching videos on youtube and reading articles about racing and applying common sense really and here is the most important - I PRACTICED... A LOT! Since that race with the Minis, I have done more than 800h in AC and by no means I am an alien, but until few months ago, when I was racing regularly, (now pretty busy with work) with practicing I could get WR records or at least top 5-10 in RSR (depending on how popular the combo was). At the same time, when I was joining RD races (including the M235i league), I was usually practicing 0 laps and qualifying was my practice time so my results were pretty average which shows that nothing beats seat time!

    So I am sharing my story because it's very hard for someone here to give the "perfect" advice because we haven't even seen you driving but the advice I can give you is to not get discouraged and PRACTICE but do not jump from car to car and track to track. You haven't yet built (and sorry for pointing it out) the skill of going fast so the best way to do it is pick 1 car and 1 track and just stick to those. Set yourself a goal of top 20-30 on RSR (pick up a popular combo, I'd suggest the C7R GT2 as it has not TC and ABS) for example and keep on driving until you achieve it. It may sound ambitious but it's much better to aim high as this will motivate you to push harder. Once your laps get consistent, start looking into setups because I can assure you, with 30l of fuel and medium tires, you will not get an RSR WR :)

    Good luck! :)
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  19. Hello Galin, nice to meet you. Thank you for your story. I will practise as much as I can but 800h is a long time to go with a demanding job and family. No need to feel sorry for pointing out I am slow. Hell I knew that just wanted to know by how much and how to practise to improve fast. And you guys here are giving me great answers. Thank you.
  20. Galin Dimov

    Galin Dimov

    I also have less and less time for simracing but I just wanted to point out how long it takes and there is no shortcut really. The Aliens have thousands and thousands of hours over a number of years in various sims so just like with everything in life, everyone has to decide for themselves if this commitment is worthy :)
    But yes, take my advice and practice 1 car on 1 track...do that for 2 weeks (not kidding, don't swtch the combo at all) and I am sure you will see the results :)
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