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A Guide to Understanding Co-Driver Calls in Dirt Rally 2.0 and WRC 10

Rally sims like Dirt Rally 2.0 and WRC 10 allow you to listen to the calls of a co-driver, who tells you about the course ahead in note form; here is a guide to understanding those notes.

For some sim racers, hearing your co-driver say “And left 3 into right 6; jump maybe, and left 2 don’t cut” is a firm action plan for the next 10 to 20 seconds of your life. For others, it may as well be gibberish. If you’re in the latter crowd, this article is for you. This is a guide to help you understand those potentially confusing co-driver calls in rally games.

The first thing to understand is that these calls matter. It is possible to survive a rally stage without knowing the calls, but understanding and listening to the co-driver calls is the most effective way to get faster in rally games like Dirt Rally 2.0 in WRC 10.

In these games and numerous others, your co-driver will call out the upcoming corner or corners. This allows you to tailor your approach speed and angle to maximize entry and exit speed to save time. Here are the most common calls to listen for.

Rally Sim Co Driver Calls 02.jpg


Numbers
  • 6 – the fastest of the numbered corners; can often be taken at full throttle or with a slight throttle lift
  • 5 – slower than a 6, a 5 will almost certainly require a lift of the throttle on approach
  • 4 – slower again, 4’s require a careful approach; you’ll need to take considerable speed out on approach
  • 3 – a 3 is a slightly tighter 4, and the difference between the two is difficult to perceive for new drivers. 3’s and 4’s are arguably the biggest challenge when learning, since taking out too much speed when entering the corner is a common source of lost time for beginners
  • 2 – 2 corners are definitely slow. Approach with caution
  • 1 – the slowest of the numbered corners, a 1 requires players to slow their cars right down when approaching
Other Corner Types
  • Flat – a section or gentle bend that can be taken with ease at full throttle
  • Acute / Hairpin – corners that form an angle smaller than 90 degrees fall lower than the numbering scale; these require a slow approach, and as your skills grow you can experiment with handbrake turns and Scandinavian Flicks to save time
  • 90 / Square – a square angled corner, commonly found on road stages
  • Chicane – a quick succession of opposite corners; plan your entry angle carefully to maximize your speed through chicanes
Helpful Calls
  • Caution – a hazard is ahead; new or inexperienced drivers should reduce their speed to avoid colliding with a roadside object or going off the road
  • Tightens – a succession of corners that gets tighter. For example, “left 4 tightens 2” begins as a 4 and ends as a tighter and slower 2
  • [Rock / Tree / Logs] In / Out – roadside objects that you could collide with; for example, “left 3 rock in” means there is a rock at the inside (apex side) of the corner
  • Narrow(s) – the course becomes narrower (tighter left to right) ahead
  • Unseen – a corner or object can’t be seen from the normal approach angle; for example, “right 3 into unseen hairpin right” means that you should be aware of a hairpin when exiting the preceding right hand corner
  • Over Crest – a distinct crest in the road lies ahead; this can often obstruct your view of upcoming corners
  • Jump – the car will become airborne when driving over an upcoming crest in the road
  • Bump(s) - a rough section that can upset the car’s balance; use caution if the area precedes a corner
  • Opens – the road will become wider ahead; this gives you more opportunity for a faster corner exit speed
  • Maybe – the road ahead has different possibilities; for example, “jump maybe” means the car may or may not get airborne depending on how fast you exit the previous corner
  • Keep Left / Right / Middle – the fastest or safest driving line is achieved by placing the car on a certain area of the road as you proceed
  • Cut / Don’t Cut / Small Cut / Big Cut – hazards ahead may prevent or hinder cutting (don’t cut / small cut), or flat corners with open apex areas will offer more of a chance to cut (cut / big cut)
  • Over Bridge / Through Gate – a gate or bridge is ahead
  • Through Water – standing or flowing water is ahead on the track; this will commonly slow the car dramatically, so aim for the narrowest part of the water if possible
  • Tarmac / Ice / Dirt – the road surface ahead will change
  • 50 / 80 / 100 etc. - a distance of road; for example, “30, and left 5” means that a straight section of road 30 meters long precedes the upcoming left-handed corner
  • Junction – two roads intersect ahead
  • Short / (very) Long – refers to an unusually short or long corner
  • Brake / Hard Brake / Slow – advanced warning that you'll need to slow the car considerably to successfully take subsequent corners
There are numerous other calls, but these should be enough to get you through most of the common rally sim driving scenarios. And yes, you can add your “Samir, you are breaking the car” jokes in the comments below!
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

Nice little write-up. Good for new guys certainly. My biggest problem with these calls are they always seem to be 1 number higher than I can take them. For me, a 4 is almost always in 3rd gear and a 3 is almost always in 2nd gear. It's probably just my less than stellar driving ability, but that's the way I see it..
 
I learned the hard way that I should definitely listen to the co-driver about my car placement. I've had way too many runs ruined because I ignored the "keep right/left" callouts (this is actually how I managed to crash out of one of the stages in RDRC earlier this year :roflmao:). Will definitely pay more attention to it from here on out.
 
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Nice little write-up. Good for new guys certainly. My biggest problem with these calls are they always seem to be 1 number higher than I can take them. For me, a 4 is almost always in 3rd gear and a 3 is almost always in 2nd gear. It's probably just my less than stellar driving ability, but that's the way I see it..
The numbers don't necessarily indicate the gear you should use.
 
Nice little write-up. Good for new guys certainly. My biggest problem with these calls are they always seem to be 1 number higher than I can take them. For me, a 4 is almost always in 3rd gear and a 3 is almost always in 2nd gear. It's probably just my less than stellar driving ability, but that's the way I see it..

Even if it often fits, the estimated degree of the curve has absolutely nothing to do with the gear. A three is always a three, regardless of whether you crawl into a curve in first gear or go nuts in fifth.
 
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I want to buy some WRC this end of year, in general what is best in terms of FPS and FFB for an average PC with G27, WRC 9 or 10?
 
Nice little write-up. Good for new guys certainly. My biggest problem with these calls are they always seem to be 1 number higher than I can take them. For me, a 4 is almost always in 3rd gear and a 3 is almost always in 2nd gear. It's probably just my less than stellar driving ability, but that's the way I see it..
the Numbers don't compare to gears they are just how fast and slow to take the corner, a WRC car will take a 4 Left a lot faster then a lower power older car for example.
 
I miss the famous call from DR 1.0 in Baumholder: "Left 5, don't cut, be brave". Too bad they redo that in DR 2.0 and it just reads as a normal note.

This is very useful, thank you! I am very familiarized with the calls already, my issue still lies with the tightens / narrows / opens calls. I often don't take those in consideration, which can be an issue. Also, in the beginning I wouldn't trust Phill when he said "keep left / right / middle". I would place the car where I wanted. It usually did not end up well. :roflmao:
 
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Even if it often fits, the estimated degree of the curve has absolutely nothing to do with the gear. A three is always a three, regardless of whether you crawl into a curve in first gear or go nuts in fifth.

Well, ya see.. When Colin McCray came up with this number system it was in fact designed as such, with the number representing which gear. I guess since some of the cars in these games only have 5 gears while others have 6, I can see your point. But the fact is that's what the number system was designed for.
 
Is this a hint of a release coming? Please, oh please Rally Gods, deliver us some more rally tracks! Dirt Rally 3.0???
 
My problem with these game's co-drivers is not what they're saying, but the timing they do it. Even if I delay the msgs to be called right before the corners, they still fell off-time. Miss the older rally games that could be less realistic, but at least they communicate me what I was supposed to do exactly when the information is needed to be known.
 
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I want to buy some WRC this end of year, in general what is best in terms of FPS and FFB for an average PC with G27, WRC 9 or 10?
I'll go with 8 if you allow me... You can use the awesome mods found in this site! It's also the most polished and best looking (at least after mods) and with the best car sounds. The copilot is quite robotic though.
Career mode is almost the same in 8, 9 and 10. I bought 10 at launch and I kind of regret it. It's still fun, but so unfinished... I tried 9 and except for the new rallies (and some old gone), it feels the same as 8. But the mods for 9 are not working.
 
My problem with these game's co-drivers is not what they're saying, but the timing they do it. Even if I delay the msgs to be called right before the corners, they still fell off-time. Miss the older rally games that could be less realistic, but at least they communicate me what I was supposed to do exactly when the information is needed to be known.
I Totally agree. The timig is not always bad, but it is really inconsistent. It varies a lot depending on how many turns are in a chain. In WRC games, when driving WRC cars and you have a quick series of turns, you end up driving almost ahead of the notes.
 
This is a great read for me, as a lover of all things racing, I never understood Rally drivers. Maybe it was always ocd, that I never wanted to race in dirt on purpose. Kinda want to possibly dip my toe in Rally now.
 
I've always scratched my head wondering how in the hell is someone supposed to be in that gear, when the Co-Driver calls a turn number that's two numbers higher than the gear I am in. Reading this showed me the error of my ways. LOL
 

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