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Finding the right gear ratios

Sorry guys, wasn't sure where to put this, so I plumped for Off-Topic as it relates to many racing sims, not just one.

One thing I've always struggled with, ever since picking up my first racing game with any adjustable car setups, which was probably Gran Turismo 1, is finding the right gear ratios.

I understand how to find the final gear ratio, i.e. top gear has to top out just at the point you brake for the corner after the longest straight. But what about the gears in between, how do you find the right gear ratio for each gear?

I've read articles that discuss setting them so that you change up at the peak revs or change down at the peak torque, and that it's all related to the torque/power curves etc. but all that just leaves me confused, especially as with many titles you don't see that data, and even more so as often with addon cars you don't see that data.

I'll take GT Legends or GTR2 P&G and a Porsche 911 as an example. You have 5 gears, naturally you set 5th after finding out, sometimes a few times, how it behaves at the end of the longest straight.

However, you've then got 4 other gears to determine and if you get them wrong your car is going to be a turd.

I usually give up, as I can spend hours trying out various gear ratios for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears to no avail. And when you add Final Drive settings into the mix it gets even worse.

Is there a quick easy and non-confusing way to know/find out which gear ratios to use?

Thanks in advance.
Is there a quick easy and non-confusing way to know/find out which gear ratios to use?

You might try isolating those 4-5 most common types of straights and corners on the lap and try to set the top end of 4th gear there, just like you did with 5th. You also want 1st to last as long as possible so you never have to use it except for the start. On a slow corner, let 2nd gear be your starting point when you accel out of the apex. (unless you have something like the hairpin at Monaco, where 1st gear might not be so bad).

Also, I find the whole thing cumbersome and takes fun out of the game, so I rarely mess with it.


I for one find it very simple to find the right ratios. Interesting that you find it so difficult!
For me it's like this:
You have pretty nicely arranged default ratios (I've never seen a car in a sim with bad ratios at default).
Then you either stretch or compress them all, depending on the longest straight like you said in two ways:
1. Adjust final drive. If that works for the longest straight, great, you're done
2. If it doesn't work, you adjust the last gear.

Mostly the "clicks" are evenly spread so if you go 2 clicks on the 6th gear, then you gonna go 2 clicks on all other gears too.

A few rules though:
1. You want the higher gears as close as possible. So if you stretch the 6th one click higher, definitely put the 5th also a click higher.
If you set the 6th one click lower, you can let the rest as it is!

2. Mid corner shifting is mostly bad! So if you modify the gearing and you need to shift from 2nd into 3rd mid corner for important or multiple corners, change something so you can either shift before max lateral G into 3rd or stay until the exit in 2nd.

3. More wheelspin doesn't make you faster!
If you compressed 6th and 5th for 2 clicks but 2nd and 3rd are fine and you need TC or can still drift at corner exits, you don't need to adjust them.
Simply put 4th only 1 click to make an even transition between 3rd and 5h.

Same the other way around. If you get too much wheelspin and high RPM you can stretch 1st-3rd, adjust 4th and be done.

4. If you have enough power, screw the main straight adjustment rule!
A good example is the Nissan gt3 in assetto corsa around brands hatch. You simply don't really need the 6th gear. Adjusting it down so you can use it puts 1-5 so tight together that you're more shifting than driving! And without a double clutch gearbox you'll lose more time shifting than you gain by the tigher gearing.

5. Summary:
As long as you have enough power in the lower gears (compressing 1st-3rd mostly doesn't give you anything else than being more careful on the throttle) and the RPM transitions in the higher gears are fine, it's all good.
You mostly hear and feel where the problem is. Stretched 6th and 5th and going from 4th to 5th is dropping rpm too much? Raise 4th a click.

Maybe you can give an example with a video where you can't find the right gear ratios so we can help you? :)
Preferebly pcars 1 or 2, ac, acc, rF2, AMS and raceroom. That's the ones I own.