• This Website Is Not For Sale
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Learning This Game For A Beginner?

Discussion in 'Automobilista' started by AfxTwn, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. AfxTwn


    Hi everyone, I have bought this game after watching a few videos on YT and wanting to get into sim racing. I am a complete beginner to sim racing and don't know how to drive IRL so I am coming at this with completely fresh eyes.

    I was hoping people could advise me the best way to learn and what sort of progression path I could take when playing the game (as in which car to start with, which track etc). Seeing as the game itself doesn't have any tutorials or career mode then getting started is difficult unless you're already familiar with this style of game.

    I have had a few goes in the Mini's and a touring car and an F3 car and played online with someone from the Steam forum but as they didn't have voice chat we had to rely on text-based chat and was difficult getting our points across when having to stop every so often to type.

    I have tried driving manual and while I can shift gears via my Logitech DFGT's flappy paddles, as I don't drive IRL, I don't know when to change gear and it's very hard to concentrate on the road and look at my in-game HUD/steering wheel for RPM points and other information and so I found driving manual very tricky.

    I am used to playing games such as the Need For Speed franchise and Burnout Paradise with my 360 controller and this is a world away from AMS.

    I know I have missed the recent members-only AMS Academy (which would've been perfect for me to get started with) but is there any chance that this event will be repeated in the future or are there any other ways I can learn to play the game and sim racing in general?

    Thanks for any advice you can give.
  2. xnorb


    I also don't have a driver's license but that doesn't stop me from enjoying simracing :)

    For the absolute start i would suggest sticking with the Minis as due to their low power output you should have enough time to react and correct mistakes.
    Once you mastered the driving basics i suggest advancing to Formula Vee or the old Opalas as those cars teach you so much about racing physics while still being slow.

    A good track to start with is Cascavel as it has a nice collection of turns and bends without being too complicated to learn.

    If your only experience with cars so far is to press one button to accelerate and one button to brake then i'd suggest heading over to YouTube and looking for "how to drive a car" tutorials - or even more specific ones like "when to shift gears". What applies to real cars also applies to simulated cars.
    Of course racing and driving are 2 completely different ways of moving a vehicle so although the basic concepts are the same you will do things a little bit different in a race car than you would in a regular street car. For example are you in most cases shifting up when the revmeter is in the reds and not at around 3000 RPM as you maybe would in your car.

    Once you are familiar with how to operate the car and want to dive into actual racing there's the Skip Barber Racing School video which is recommended often:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. AfxTwn


    Thanks very much for the reply. I have been watching lots of YT videos about driving and I get the basic principles such as cornering and when to enter/exit the corner and about driving manual but what I am struggling with is putting all that into practice in the game.

    When you're on the track and you have a corner coming up (I generally try to follow the tyre marks as much as possible as I assume that's the best racing line), I don't know what to look out for on the track to know when to brake/downshift or what I gear I should be in or speed I should be at.

    I know there are signs on the track showing various numbers which I assume are speed indicators but are those just general guides and am I supposed to brake as soon as I see them?

    It's all very confusing and I know it will vary from car to car and track to track which is why I would've like to take part in the AMS Academy as that would've provided me a driving school scenario and more one-to-one teaching to help me understand things.

    I understand that much of learning is about practicing but if you don't know what you're doing, then all you're going to do is continue to make mistakes and not learn what you're doing wrong and how to improve.

    I find a lot of the YT videos to either not be appropriate for my level (a complete beginner) as they assume you're already a sim racer and have some experience and are just looking to improve on certain aspects or they can be a little vague and not specific enough as again they assume you're familiar with certain terminology or aspects of racing.

    As I have a Logitech DFGT with stock pedals, I don't have a clutch and instead I have paddles or a basic forward/backwards shifter. Perhaps it will be better to use an automatic car while I am learning to navigate a track and then once I am used to this and overall speed and braking, then I could move on to learning manual shifting?
  4. alexSchmurtz

    SpeedyMite Racing Staff Premium

    Not sure if using automatic shifting would be a good idea: it is tougher with manual tranny of course, but at least you will know what to do with more practice. You would have to start all over again when switching from automatic to manual and that would seems even more difficult I guess…
    Try to first stick to the same track and car, even if it becomes boring after a while… Mini is perfect; Lancer Cup (R, the small one) should be an easy start too. Xnorb is right, Formula Vee or the old Opalas are good for learning too but in a second time I think…
    Very good to follow the tyre marks, yes. You also can see a braking zone with darker marks before each corner: that's when you should start braking! As for the signs on the side, they usually gives the distance left to the corner: 150 meters, 100, 50. Not sure what they look like at Cascavel… You can use one of this sign as a brake marker, or something on the side of the track: a tree, a parked car,…
    Try to had some ais also (not too many maybe), and do not hesitate to adjust their pace to yours: the number is not important, the point is to get them even with your lap time (you will have to adjust with your progresses of course). Following an ai can help you a lot: it will show the racing line, when to brake and to accelerate. When in pit, you can also view them from inboard: that way you should see when they gear, which speed they use in each corner. Could help you also!
    Could luck, don't get impatient! It will come with time… :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. xnorb


    Well, that's true for everything that you're learning.
    No matter if it's a playing an instrument or learning how to drive :)
    Comes with time, just hang in there.

    You need to find markers for yourself - where you brake and accelerate will also change a lot over time as you get more comfortable with driving itself and with the car's behavior.
    Spectating AI where they brake and how much they slow down is usually a good start. If you don't make the corner - nothing lost, no 200.000$ car wrecked, no bones broken. Just respawn in pits (or even better disable damage at first) and try it in a different way next lap.

    Where to brake: Sometimes at the 100 sign, sometimes between 50 and 100, sometimes just lift off and cruise through the corner. It all depends on the turn, your speed and the car.

    There's lots of practice required before it's getting relevant what you're doing "wrong".
    You can check out many YouTube how-tos on racing, but if you are more than 10 seconds off the pace of the 100% AI in AMS and tend to spin every few laps then you might want to focus on basic things first.[/QUOTE]

    I wouldn't suggest this approach.
    Shifting is rather uncomplicated (especially if auto-clutch, auto-lift and auto-blip are on) and it's an important tool (short-shifting, shifting down for engine brake....) and you're better off learning it from the get-go. Just like you don't learn to drive an automatic in real life first and then learn how to shift.
  6. ThatRacingGuy

    I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened Premium

    I will buy a headset in the near future..
  7. Slalom823

    RDTCC S10 Champion Premium

    I would definitely watch the above skip barber video. I would also suggest watching the iracing school as that has some useful information. https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFB47FE28B00FD472 Hopefully you like the idea of learning and improving over time as that can be much of the fun. Learn the basics and focus on those, you can become very fast without being fancy. I would suggest that you so some reading on high performance driving and learn the basics of weight transfer and car control as well as braking and the driving line.

    Also while the tendency is to drive too hard and crash, I would suggest starting slowly then increasing pace bit by bit. Use the brake markers or solid objects as a reference of when to brake. For example you may brake about 40 feet before one of the brake markers and find that you have room to brake later and may try only 20 feet before the marker next time.

    Also if no one already mentioned it there will be more premium academy events.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I'd personally argue against the Mini. Its a FWD car and its dynamics in no way represent how the vast majority of sim racing cars behave. In many ways I think its a very hard car to drive well (but that is just my personal limitation). I'd instead recommend the Lancer R/RS cars. They come default with ABS/TC and have lower power output and much more traditional control dynamics.
    For manual shifting (an essential skill you need to develop, screw automatic shifting) use the HUD gear indicator, either the default one (press the '5' key once) or the new DynHUD one (press the '5' key a second time) and just shift up when the gear light turns red. For downshifting you have to understand the nature of the revs in the engine, that it has a limiter and that you want to downshift so that when you go down a gear it doesn't rise up to the limiter. For learning shifting habits you can in fact go by sound along with LED shifter lights (many cars have them) as well.

    Watching these might help you understand shifting habits in these cars, at a circuit you can actually drive no less. ;)

    Down the line definitely get into the Formula Vee. It will school you in throttle control and brake modulation. Its rather similar-ish to a Skip Barber though its tech is much more erm... crappy is what I'd say. Its crappiness is what makes it great though.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. As another absolute beginner that happened to choose AMS as my first sim I'm gonna sneak in here and ask a question too; Where should my eyes be looking? I found myself using the tire wear racing line because of my habits of using racing lines on non-sim racers. But today I just started fixating on the turn apexes. And maybe its in my head but I felt a little smoother (racing 125cc direct Karts 99% of the time). Should it be a little bit of both "line" and corner apexes? Or heavier on one? Or something entirely different? Thanks.
  10. Slalom823

    RDTCC S10 Champion Premium

    In real life vision is very important. In the sim it is important but can be more forgiving if you don't look far enough ahead. In general look far ahead and you should be looking at three main parts of a turn. First your turn in point where you initiate the turn of the steering wheel. Then your apex point where you should be clipping the inside of the turn. In some cars and some tracks that is as close to the curb as possible, others it can be putting the inside wheels onto the curb. Then the third point should be your track out point. You should be looking ahead and before you are at the apex you should be looking out at the track out point.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. xnorb


    Well... "everywhere" is maybe the correct answer here ;)

    But in the end cornering is about hitting your brake marker, your turn in point and your steering input. If the corner entry is correct and your steering input is correct you will always hit the apex and if you hit the apex at the correct speed then you will be able to apply throttle at the optimal time.

    When it comes to cornering the basic rule is: Steer as little as possible.
    Meaning that the general approach would be: Start as far out as possible, get as close to the apex as possible and exit as far out as possible again.
    Of course it's all dictated by the shape of the corner and what's following the turn. Combined turns / chicanes might force you to basically screw up turn 1 to get the entry and exit right for turn 2.

    Isn't the Lancer a 4WD and therefore representing an even smaller race car class?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. What's better then learning how to drive with a sim like AMS?
    I drive IRL but that doesn't mean that i'm fast.
    My approach is:
    1- always drive in manual, thats a big part of the fun
    2 - get a track and stick to it, make it your test track,you'll remember corners after few laps and you can concentrate more on other stuff.
    3- Don't try to drive at the limit from the start, it' easier to find out where the braking point is.
    When i drive the minis i start to brake at the 150m sign and see how much speed i can carry into the corner, i slowly start to brake closer to the corner in 25m blocks till i'm confident.

    The first thing you need to learn is lapping without crashing.
    If you watched already YT videos you just need to practice and practice.

    Personally when I need to learn a new track i have a look at YT videos onboard cameras and in game follow a car at short distance to see where it brakes.
    After that it just a matter of practicing, I started to race AI at 75, just above that i was just collecting dust, now in the well known tracks I race them btw 100 and 105.(I'm still 1 sec behind the top grid online)
    On YT you'll find a lot of videos made by simracers with almost any track-car combination.
    that's my experience....
    Welcome to the Simracing community and good choice with AMS :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. I think I missed this, but the most scientifically supported answer is wherever you want the car to go.

    Basically we tend to end up driving the car wherever we're looking so that's where your eyes should be. As you progress through the corner you start with brake points, then to apexes, then to the exit line.

    Look where you don't want to go and you'll probably end up running right into it.

    Maybe, I hadn't checked. That I don't know tells you how much it matters. Its a very neutral feeling car. The Mini however feels very backwards during corner entry/exit compared to RWD. Not so much with the Lancer.

    Copa Marcas however feels hard to explain but better than both while being FWD but they're dedicated race cars so they'll always feel better. Then again if I was incharge of training a newbie I'd throw his dumb ass into the FVee and make him suffer through it Cotton Hill style.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. AfxTwn


    Sorry Gilles, I hope you don't think I was being ungrateful for your help or hinting about the headset. The session with you was great and really useful for me.

    I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the replies and suggestions, it's great to have such a friendly community willing to help and encourage beginners. I've got a lot of homework to do but as has been suggested I will pick a car and track and stick to them for a good while and learn to drive the car and try various techniques.

    I will stick with manual gears and start off slowly and then build up as I go along. I have now become a premium member so I will definitely take part in the next AMS Academy.

    I chose AMS as all the reviews I'd read said that it had some of the best FFB for this genre and it just looks really good fun so I'm glad I did.
  15. Dan Costa

    Dan Costa
    Fear the Crazy Dan Premium

    Hello @AfxTwn

    If I may, here are my tips in order of importance for a total beginner.

    Subject: Making all the information on screen less overwhelming by delegating tasks to your other senses.

    You have two eyes, and both can't be looking simultaneously at everything on screen, hence, overwhelming!

    # Delegate gear switching to your ears.

    # Commit to memory what gear you are on at all times.

    # 30 cars on track, but only two matters

    # Rules exist so they are common to everybody and you dont have to make your own as you go.

    # Obsessing with relative time distances to your opponent wont make you faster

    Regarding learning how to drive fast, although i do have my opinion, aside from common practices, each driver will have an opinion that matches his own style.

    So, I believe racedepartment offers much better ways to learn this with their hand held rookie classes.

    • Like Like x 3
  16. xnorb


    That's basically a great rule and especially when you go on track racing the first times a very important rule, but way down the road you want to also look 3-4 cars ahead.

    Can't even tell how often i got off track because i checked the relative distance to people around me :)
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Thanks for all the tips everybody. Does anybody know of a SCE or AMS track that has a "skid pad" area like some of those videos?
  18. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    First thing to learn would be driving in a straight line, accelerating and braking without locking tyres.
  19. Martin Vindis

    Martin Vindis

  20. AfxTwn


    Hi Martin, yes I've signed up for the next event this coming Thursday as I think that will be a great, practical way for me to learn while getting feedback in real-time.