Assetto Corsa Competizione Beginners Guide
Assetto Corsa Competizione is coming to Xbox and PS4 imminently. And this will give a lot of console sim racers their first glimpse of this stunning GT3 racing simulator. Jumping in to such a hardcore simulator such as Assetto Corsa Competizione can be quite a daunting prospest. There are a plethora of options, not common to most main stream racing games.
In this Assetto Corsa Competizione beginners guide, our goal is to give you all of the knowledge you need to get started in your ACC career. We will cover the basics such as setting up the game, control settings etc. And then we will move on to more advanced pieces of info such as racing etiquette, and achieving multiplayer ratings.
Below is a quick contents of information, so if you are already familiar with certain aspects of ACC, you can skip right to certain sections.
- Getting started
- Steering wheel recommendation
- ACC in-game settings
- Wheel setup & force feedback
- ACC game modes
- Car & tracks
- Realism settings
- Weather conditions
- Driving assists
- In-game HUD
- Heading out on track for the first time
- Racing etiquette
- Car setups
- Multiplayer ratings
Before you start with Assetto Corsa Competizione, you should look at this racing sim in a similar fashion to the F1 series of games. ACC is a complete licensed season of the GT series. It features GT3 cars only, across a realistic season, racing against real licensed drivers.
This is amazing if you are a fan of the GT series, as you will recognise the cars, the liveries, the teams and the drivers. However, ACC is very different from the F1 games in terms of its driving experience.
At its heart, Assetto Corsa Competizione is a full racing simulator. It favours realism in every aspect of its gameplay, compared to the F1 games which sit between arcade and sim racing. This makes ACC very unforgiving if you approach it with an arcade racers hat on. You will find that you have to drive the car like you would a real world car. You shouldn’t look to be drifting around corners. Not if you want to be fast anyway!
With the simulation aspect of Assetto Corsa competizione comes the recommendation to use a steering wheel peripheral. Driving ACC with an Xbox or PS4 controller is possible. And some players can be mighty fast with a controller! But you will get much more fun and immersion driving with a racing wheel.
Steering wheel recommendation
And on that note comes our recommended steering wheels for Assetto Corsa Competizione. If you currently don’t own a racing wheel for your Xbox or PS4, you can dip your toe in the water with a cheaper wheel. A wheel such as the Logitech G29 does a good job of giving sim racers a glimpse at how racing with a wheel can feel.
I say it only offers a glimpse, as the technology in the Logitech racing wheel is fairly basic. If you are happy to trade a little more money for a much better product. Then a racing wheel such as the Fanatec CSL Elite is our pick of the bunch.
The Fanatec CSL Elite comes with a few bundles, and is compatible with both PS4 and Xbox One, although you need to purchase a different wheel for each console. This premium racing wheel offers the best force feedback in its price category, is extremely well built, and you can customise your steering wheel to suit your taste.
We would recommend looking at getting an F1 style racing wheel right from the get go. This will emulate the type of steering wheel that is found in the GT3 cars of ACC. A wheel such as the Fanatec F1 Esports wheel offers a fantastic experience for the price and is our recommended racing wheel.
ACC in-game settings
Now on to Assetto Corsa’s game settings themselves. The very first thing you will want to do once you jump in to the menus of ACC, is to set up your driver profile. Head over to the diver customisation and setup your name and customise your drivers look. You can create a custom helmet, custom race suit and change options such as your country and name abbreviation.
From the driver profile screen you can also check your driver rating and in-game stats, but we’ll cover that a little further on.
Secondly, jump into the options from the main menu. Here we can tinker with some of the actual game settings. You can change options from your driving assists, gameplay options and on-screen HUD. First thing we will do is setup our wheel to ensure it is calibrated correctly. We don’t want to jump out on track, approach the first corner just to find our brake pedal doesn’t work properly!
Wheel setup & force feedback
Jump in to the settings labeled controls, where we can adjust all of our wheel settings. The first thing you should do is ensure the correct wheel is selected. You can do this by looking in the bottom left of the screen, where you will see the name of your wheel.
Once it is recognised, you should test all of your pedals and wheel inputs. Do this by simply pressing on the pedals and turning your wheels. You will see on screen that the bars under your brake and throttle will go up and down. This indicates that the game is recognising your inputs. Perfect.
Once we are all setup with the control inputs, we can move on to the force feedback settings. This is where you dictate how strong your wheel will be, and how it reacts. You may want to play about with these to suit your driving style, but to start we would recommend using recommended settings.
The link above will take you to our recommended force feedback settings. These are designed to give you a solid baseline, allowing you to feel the car and road as you should. After you have driven a few laps or sessions with the above settings, you can start to tinker these to your own preference.
Once you are happy, you can save these settings as a preset. This will ensure that your controls stay the same every time you drive.
ACC game modes
Now we have all of the baseline settings adjusted to what we need, we can think about jumping out on track. ACC features a variety of single player and multiplayer game modes. Career is probably where you’ll spend most of your time if you want to race single player. Or the multiplayer lobbies if you want to race against other drivers.
For now, we will recommend jumping in to a single player practice session. This will give you a chance to drive any track with any car, with nothing at stake. You can push the limits of your driving, learn each track, and spend time tinkering in this game mode.
Once you click in to the single player session, you will be presented with a variety of options. In the large boxes you will have your car and track selection. Underneath that you will find your weather, assists and realism settings.
Lets start from the top and work through each of these options.
Car & tracks
Assetto Corsa Competizione features every car and track from both the 2018 and 2019 GT Series. This gives you a nice variety of different GT3 cars to race with. And plenty of opportunity to find a car which you like.
A great place to start before heading out on track for the very first time, is to choose a car that you like. If you have a soft spot for Audi R8’s, then by all means choose the Audi R8 LMS in-game.
All of the cars handle and drive differently, so you should slowly try to work your way through them as you play further. You may find that you really don’t like how some cars drive, but you have a real connection with another. If this is the case, then stick with what you enjoy.
In terms of tracks, all of the included tracks in ACC range in terms of difficulty. For your very first practice sessions we would recommend jumping in to an easy track such as Monza. This will give you a great platform to learn how the game’s physics engine works, and how the car feels. This is important to understand before jumping in to harder tracks.
If you go straight for the trickiest circuit you will start your ACC journey being frustrated at how hard it is to drive. When in reality it could just be the car and track combination you had chosen. If you want to try a fairly easy combination, go with the Audi R8 and Monza as a starting point.
The realism settings will dictate how realistic the game is… Kind of obvious right. Here we can change the amount of damage you will receive if you hit anything. As well as the tyre and fuel wear and variable brake temperatures.
There are also a few rule options here such as limiting the amount of tyres you get in a session, whether penalties for dangerous driving are enabled or not, and your formation lap options.
For your first practice session, leaving all of these to off or zero is the way to go. We don’t want to have to worry about tyre and fuel wear, as all we want to do is start learning the game, the car and the track.
The weather conditions in Assetto Corsa Competizione is stunning. The game boasts a wide range of weather such as cloudy, to light rain, to a full on storm. And these can all be set to be dynamic, meaning during a race the weather can change. There is nothing like starting a race in the bright sunshine, just to see the clouds roll in and the rain start. It adds excitement and unpredictability to a race.
However to start with, you don’t want to jump in to a wet session. This will increase the difficulty massively. Instead you should run your first few practice sessions and races in clear conditions with dynamic weather turned off. Only once you feel confident in the car you are driving should you turn on dynamic weather.
Racing in the rain will make the car slipperier on track. You will have to brake much earlier than normal as it takes longer to slow down. And you will have to wait until you are around the corner and in a reasonably straight line before accelerating.
The final option before we can jump in to our first practice session are the driving assists. These are a selection of assists which will make the car easier to drive. These are great for new players as they can make the car more manageable and show you the best way to drive a new track.
Working through them from the top. You should set your gearbox to manual. This will allow you to change gears yourself, which is something you definitely want to do if using a racing wheel.
You can leave your engine start, wipers, lights, and pit limiter to automatic for now. If you want to add immersion later down the line you can turn these on. This will give you manual control for all of the above.
We would highly recommend leaving stability control set to off. If you turn this on, it will add an artificial stability control to stop your car from spinning. This doesn’t feel natural, and wont let you feel the true limits of the car. In the long run it will only hamper your driving ability. Having it set to off from the start will let you learn the cars much better.
The ideal racing line is a great feature if you are learning new tracks. It will show an on screen line for when to brake and accelerate through corners. It will also show you where you should be on track. Over time you will want to turn this off to add to the immersion of the game. But to start with it is highly recommended keeping this on until you learn each track.
Once you have gone through all of the above, you should be ready to jump in to your first practice session. Click start and wait for the session to load. As soon as you are in to the practice session jump click drive. This is will put you in to the pit lane. From the pit lane there is one last thing you should do before driving your first laps.
You will notice as soon as you jump in to the cockpit, your screen is full of on-screen graphics. These show you everything from your position, lap time, tyre temperatures and more. These options are completely down to personal preference for which you have displaying on-screen at all times. You can go in to the options and turn all of them off, or just some of them. Or you can leave them all enabled.
Running through them, in the top left corner you will see your lap times. This displays your current lap time, as well as your best ever lap and your last lap. This is a great HUD option to keep enabled so you can see how much your lap times are improving by.
In the bottom left you will see your driver’s name and car number. In a race, this will show other drivers as well, and will indicate your position in a race. Again, this is a great option to keep enabled so as you race you can see where you are in the field of cars.
The bottom right of the screen shows the most amount of information. It shows your rev counter, your speed, engine modes, fuel and your tyre and brake temperatures. This is probably the most important HUD option. The rev counter and speed can be disabled as you will be able to see it in cockpit view already.
However the tyre temperatures and brake temperatures give you great indications to how you using your tyres.
Blue Tyres & Brakes
When they are a blue colour, this means they’re cold. When your tyres and brakes are cold they wont perform as well.
Green Tyres & Brakes
When they go green, your tyres and brakes are in the perfect condition and are giving you maximum grip.
Yellow Tyres & Brakes
When the colour goes yellow and red, you are overheating your tyres and brakes. This means you are driving too hard or your car is setup badly. You should initially look at changing your setup to be better on your tyres, and then adjust the way you are driving. Driving more smoothly will help keep your tyre temperatures down.
This bottom right corner also shows your fuel levels, which is key during a race. You can monitor how your fuel depletes and when you need to make a pit stop. And it also shows your engine mode. All cars have multiple engine modes which you can cycle through during a race. Different engine modes are designed for different uses giving more or less power.
Heading out on track for the first time
Wow, we’ve come along way already! We have finally covered all of the setting options of Assetto Corsa Competizione on Xbox and PS4. And now we’re ready to drive our first few laps on track.
The main thing to remember when driving out of the pits for the very first time, is to take it slow. Don’t push any of the limits of the car or track straight away. You should give yourself plenty of time to brake, accelerate cautiously and follow the racing line.
The most important thing is to just have fun!
You shouldn’t focus on your lap time yet, or try to get close to other cars on track. Instead just take everything in and enjoy your driving. You should use these first few laps to get used to your car, experiment and learn what everything does. You should get used to pushing the brake and accelerator pedals. Push them harder and softer to see how your car reacts.
Practice shifting with the pedals on your racing wheel, keeping an eye on your RPM. Don’t shift too late otherwise you will damage your car (if damage is turned on). And try not to shift too early as you will lose time by doing this. Overall, just get in to a good rhythm in these first few laps.
You should also pay attention to your racing wheel. Get used to the feeling of the force feedback through the wheel, and pay attention to when it is happening. You will notice your wheel will shake when you drive over bumps and kerbs. You’ll also notice more subtle force feedback when your car’s tyres start to slip.
Just keep putting in laps and enjoy!
Once you feel comfortable with your car, and the way it behaves. It might be time to jump in to a single player race session. This will allow you to experience racing with other cars. You’ll also get to test out out a race weekend format, from practice to qualifying to the race.
Before you do this you should try to accustom yourself to the racing etiquette within Assetto Corsa Competizione. You should learn the flags and what they mean, and how to drive alongside other drivers. Below are a few different circumstances you will encounter and a brief overview of how to handle each one.
Practice, qualifying and the race
Throughout a race weekend there are three types of session. There are the practice sessions. These give all drivers a chance to get out on track and learn the track and their car. There is no real consequence to practice so you can try different car setups and different racing lines.
Use this time to really get used to the track. You can keep the racing line on for these sessions if you don’t know the track layout. There are other cars on track at the same time so try not to get in anyone elses way. You can pick up a penalty which will carry over in to the race if you do something dangerous in practice. So just keep to yourself and learn the track.
After practice comes the qualifying session. This is where you set your fastest time to determine where you will start the race from. You should already have a good setup from the practice session and be comfortable with the track. Now is your time to shine.
Again, don’t block other drivers. This is more crucial here than in practice as everyone is trying to set their best lap time. If you are on a slow lap and are being approached from behind. Move out of the way and don’t slow the car behind down.
When you are about to start your own fast qualifying lap, ensure you are a reasonable distance from any cars in front. You ideally want empty road ahead of you so you have no distractions and can focus on running your fastest lap.
Finally there is the race. This is the main event and where are of the points are decided. Try not to get in to any accidents as this will only hinder yourself, and race a clean race. This is probably the most important thing to focus on. In your first few races you may not finish overly well, but if you race a clean race that is the most important thing.
During the race there are a few key parts to focus on. You have the start of the race. This is where all of the cars will be grouped closely together. Everyone is fighting for position at the start and is the most likely time in the race for an accident to happen. You will also notice that everyone will be driving a little slower on the first lap.
Because the cars are bunched together there is a ripple effect when slowing down for corners. Ensure you brake early and don’t get caught out by the car in front braking before you do. The most important thing during the first lap of a race is to stay out of trouble. If you get caught up in an accident on lap one, it’ll be very hard to get a good race result. If you run a clean first lap, you will be well set to run a good race.
During a race you may notice certain coloured flags popping up. These flags indicate an event has happened or happening and give you the heads up. A yellow flag indicates there has been an accident ahead of you. When driving in to a yellow flag area, keep your eyes peeled for any cars that may have had an accident. You should slightly slow down a little as well to ensure you don’t get in to any trouble yourself!
After the yellow flag zone has been passed, you will see a green flag. This indicates that you have passed the accident and the track is safe to race on at full speed.
If there has been a really bad accident, you may get a safety car on track. The safety car will drive at a set speed and all racers will have to follow it slowly. This gives marshals the time to clear the obstruction that caused the safety car. During a safety car you are not allowed to overtake, so stay behind the car in front and match their speed.
If you see a blue flag, this indicates a faster car approaching from behind. The blue flag in ACC differs from the blue flag in the F1 games slightly. When drivers are given a blue flag, they aren’t under any obligation to let the faster driver past. Instead, it just tells the driver that a faster car is approaching.
You are not allowed to battle the faster car behind or hold him up, but it is up to them to overtake you. You do not have to slow down and let them past like in the F1 games!
Once you start to delve in to the career mode or feel more comfortable with your car and racing, you can start to adjust your car setup. You will find this when you are in a session in the pit lane.
Out of the box Assetto Corsa Competizione gives you a few baseline setups to use. These range from aggressive to stable, and give you a feel for how the car behaves when setup differently. These are great to get started with, and you can switch between them at will.
Once you start getting more competitive and are looking for tenths of a second, you should look to get a custom setup. We have a lot of custom setups that have been created and tested by members of the community and ourselves. Give these a whirl if you fancy a nice custom setup.
READ MORE – View our complete ACC beginners setup guide
One of the most appealing aspects of ACC, is racing against other drivers. Games such as iRacing have created whole communities of sim racers who race with other drivers online in leagues and competitions. ACC is looking to replicate that success with this GT3 racing simulator.
Before you are even allowed to race online however you need to meet a few criteria. These come in the form of ratings. Your ratings essentially dictate how good of a driver you are, and rates you across different sectors. These include your track rating (TR) which indicates how fast you are. And your safety rating (SR) which indicates how safe of a driver you are.
There are numerous other ratings which break down these two categories further. All of your ratings can be improved by racing faster, and safer, both online and offline.
Increase your track rating by completing clean laps, and putting in fast lap times. For example you gain a star by completing a single clean lap, and two stars for two consecutive clean laps. The best way to increase this rating initially is to jump in to practice mode and lap your favourite circuit.
You can increase your safety racing by… well… racing safely. If you put in clean consistent laps, and race closely to other cars this rating will improve. You also gain safety racing by completing clean races against the AI. One of the best ways to increase your safety rating is to complete quick races against the AI without incidents.
So there is our complete Assetto Corsa Competizione beginners guide for Xbox and PS4. Of course these tips can also be used to get started in the PC version of ACC.
Hopefully this will help you through your first few play sessions with Assetto Corsa, and let you know what to expect. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy your racing. Enjoy your time with ACC.
If you want to increase your involvement with ACC, why not join a community or a racing league. You will find many ACC racing leagues and communities for all levels of driver. Just remember that a slow clean driver is much more appreciated by the community than a fast driver who likes to use other cars as dogdems!
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