Tips and tricks for AC - 1 year of simracing and RD

Raresch

500RPM
Premium
Jan 5, 2019
591
504
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Hi there fellow simracers,

I've been simracing for a bit more than a year now, and I've learned a lot and I still have lots of things to learn (god d*** dampers and toe). With the RD community, I only raced Assetto Corsa, even though I have ACC as well, and Sunday we had a GT3 race at Brands Hatch and one guy asked for some advice.

I was slow in the beginning also, even if in real life, around my friends, I am the fastest when we go GoKarts, for instance. And compared to the fast guys on the server, I still am slower and I am nowhere near to be the best. But I have some experience with the game, and I would like to give my opinion for newcomers (as I see that the dedicated thread had disappeared). Any advice might help the new guys and with closer competition comes better races. So to put it forward, there are 2 things you have to learn:

1. The game itself. How to control the game, not only the car.
2. The racecraft and the car you are driving. Most say the Z4 is very nice for beginners. I couldn't cope with it. But you might find it easier to drive. If you have time, you should go for 30min practice sessions with every car.

And now, specific things I've done and I would like to do If I would have started today, with the knowledge I have:

3.1. Take it slow and learn the circuit first. Don't find only the best lap time, find the best consistency. I still suffer from this, trying to get the best laptime ... I am trying to correct it now. In the past, I was qualifying 10-12th and end up in 20th anyway because I was making lots of mistakes. I did yesterday too (GT3 race at Brands Hatch mentioned above) because I have not worked at my consistency from the start. @Kek700 @GEO147 are some of the most consistent guys out there. Nice to have from whom to learn.

3.2. Try to work at keeping the car on the black stuff. Doesn't matter if you brake harder initially, try to keep it on the circuit. In the first races I had, more times I had faster times at the end of the race, than in qualifying, just because I knew the circuit better. Learn the circuit, slowly first and keep increasing the pace. Try to get yourself challenges, at least this is what I did when I've started: 5laps without getting on grass - 10 laps without getting on grass - finish the fuel tank without getting on the grass. After every challenge I made something different: going faster in that corner, trail-braking here an there, If I could, and so on.

4. Trail-braking and slow in-fast out. Trail-braking is really important. I still don't know if I am doing it right enough.

5. Get a stable chair. When I first started I was using an office chair with rollers. You can't apply brake pressure correctly and you have no way to trail-brake. When I switched to a wooden chair, I was 2s faster just by doing that.

6. Mount the pedals on something stable, pressing to a wall or something stable. I've made myself (with my dad's tools) a wooden box to put the pedals in place.

7. Be smooth with your inputs.

8. Something I've learned pretty recently: be smooth, but rotate the wheel from the start all the way to the steering angle you want to turn, and after the apex release it smoothly. Thank you @HF2000 and @hf2001 for this tip. This is something more advance, so just focus on nailing the apexes: outside-inside-outside (this could change based on the track layout, thou).

9. Use the base setup first and then try to change something or take one from the setup market (you have to be very patient with the website) or from youtube or from RaceDeparment. But try the base setup first and adjust tyre pressure (more important in AC than tyre temps) and gearing. After that and after you know the circuit you can use a setup.

10. Don't be scared of the blue flags. I sometimes was and made mistakes. Just be predictable.

11. Be sure to use the whole track. Use a reply. Sometimes you think you are at the limit, but you might be 1m or even more on the inside of the track.

12. If you don't have a monitor big enough, correct FOV is pretty useless (I know, some will argue otherwise). But I have a 29inch monitor ultrawide (so it's actually only 24inch, but longer). Using a correct FoV would make me see only a fraction of the apex, and no, your brain would not complete the big picture (and I am an urban planner, I see things in 3D better than most), just because the brain doesn't know where the apex is in the first place, especially when you just learn the track. Don't go with 50 FOV, but neither with 22, if you have a small screen. I went for immersion, setting the FOV so that my fist has the same dimension in-game, and the adjusted slightly. I have 36 fov now, and that gives me enough awareness for the apexes, and also enough sense of speed. @RasmusP has a very good topic about this on RD forum.

13. This should have been higher, but get yourself some pretty nice apps. I would recommend:
-Race Essentials (even thou some guys prefer the other one. RE is harder to find, thou)
-ProTyre
-RealTimeApp (from AC) or, I've changed this with ACTracker (it has prettier colors and you can distinguish easier the blue flags and the guys you lap)
-Helicorsa or Car Radar (I like car radar more, it is easier to spot the differences).
-Map Display (the one that shows the whole circuit at once)
-Content Manager + Sol
Optional:
-SubStandings
-ACRL Fuel
-Track description, to remember better your turns.
-CrewChief for better immersion, for a spotter and for someone to constantly push you further and further :))

14. Something I have to do more often also is to race with AI more, so I could be better at racing in crowds and overtake and pass easier and safer.

Also, in this last year, I would like to special thanks @Craig Dunkley for answering all the silly questions in my early career (get better soon) and to put all kinds of races so we could try all sorts of cars. Thanks to @Denis Betty for making me want to drive some old manual cars from time to time. They really help to understand the balance and to control the GT's better. Thanks to @JoelK and @Chris Down for all the silly questions about setups and for helping me with the Audi R8 LMS'16 in the GT3 class. Thanks to @Medilloni for being in almost every race one of the markers I want to pass and to all the racers out there that helped me be better along this year.

May the crisis unite us and make us better. Simracing allowed me to enjoy a hobby I couldn't have in my city (not so many opportunities for motorsport in Bucharest, there is one GoKart track in the vicinity, with no public transport access, and another, closer to the city, but launched in march 2020 when everything is closed) and might be a new way to distract for you also. All those guys above and all the modders that created some of the cars and tracks made be realized that even after 4-5 years now, AC was and still is a very good choice for simracing

Thanks for reading.
 

GEO147

500RPM
Premium
Sep 21, 2018
895
655
Great post Raresch. Not sure I'd class myself in the consistent category but I agree with everything else.

And yeah above all else:
"Get well soon Craig"
 
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manu68

500RPM
Premium
Sep 29, 2011
541
344
Great post raresch. I remember myself having some battle with you on the track on GT3 races. I dont have much time to race online , and you are now probably a lot quicker as I am, but I hope to see you someday on the track !

I am busy with another passion of mine (vintage racing bicycles), but I should train more my driving skills !
 
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Mr Deap

250RPM
Jan 3, 2016
386
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I learned to do the complete opposite. I'm coming from pure arcade games. Everytime I read those it almost feel people are trolling hard.
 
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bsmooth

250RPM
Jul 27, 2015
498
130
62
Great post, I still have the chair with rollers, and yes braking is very hard. Still trying just to keep up with the AI at around 95%, and its great to start at the back and learn. Great races are those I actually finish.
Still not even sure what trail braking is, since I only drive with one foot.
 
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Raresch

500RPM
Premium
Jan 5, 2019
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Still not even sure what trail braking is, since I only drive with one foot.
Is there a physical issue involved? That I can understand. If not, you should start braking with your left foot, especially in paddle sifting cars.