F1 23 Controller Settings Guide: Improve Your Control & Lap Times

Racing F1 23 with a controller is one of the most popular forms of controlling your car. It is very important to optimise your F1 23 controller settings, to give you the best control for the fastest lap times.

F1 23 Best controller settings

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F1 23 is one of the most accessible Formula 1 games in a very long time, and it’s played by a wide variety of gamers, from sim racers to those new to racing games and Formula 1 fans. One of the most popular ways to race F1 23 is with a controller, such as an Xbox controller, PS5 controller or a gamepad.

With a controller not providing quite as much fine level of control as a racing wheel, it is important to correctly set up your controller for F1 23, to ensure you have the maximum amount of control.

Using the correct F1 23 controller settings can improve how the car feels to drive, how stable and easy it is to drive, as well as allowing you to push harder and lap faster. That’s right, good controller settings can actually improve your lap time.

And the great news is that EA and Codemasters have actually added a new setting specifically to help controller players fine-tune their steering. But more on that a bit later on.

In this guide, I’ll run through the best F1 23 controller settings, along with a quick how-to guide on how to set up your controller in F1 23, and some button mapping recommendations.

If you are using a racing wheel, check out our F1 23 racing wheel settings guide, or our recommendations on the best racing wheel to buy for F1 23.

Watch our F1 23 controller settings video

Below is a complete run down of our controller settings in video form. If you’d rather continue reading, continue scrolling to read our F1 23 controller settings guide.


Calibrating your controller in F1 23

Before we look at recommended controller settings, you should first check that your controller is correctly calibrated in F1 23. This is a very quick and easy test and is available in the controller settings in F1 23’s options.

Follow the quick guide below on exactly how to calibrate your controller in F1 23 and test that all buttons and inputs are working.

  1. Head over to the controller settings menu

    The controller calibration in F1 23 can be found in the controller settings menu. This is in the settings screen, under the vibration and force feedback sub-menu. You will have to choose a controller profile to continue. You should see Xbox or PS5 controller presets. Choose one of these to continue.

  2. Start the button test

    After choosing a controller profile, enter the controls menu. The first thing you should do is ensure all buttons are registering in-game correctly. So start the button test by pushing the corresponding button that is shown in the bottom right of your screen. For Xbox & PS5 controllers this is the select button but may differ if you have a third-party controller.

  3. Perform the button test

    You’ll now see your steering, throttle and brake on the right-hand side of the screen with bars next to each one. Move your analogue stick left and right and push your throttle and brake triggers. This should move the dial across the line to show that the inputs are being recognised. You can also press any other button and it should appear on the right-hand side.

  4. Adjust your calibration settings

    If you aren’t reaching the full 100% of movement, you can make tweaks to your deadzone and linearity to adjust these inputs. I’ll provide more of an explanation below so you know what to adjust to fix certain issues.

The correct calibration settings

While performing the button test, if when you move your analogue stick from left to right, you see the bar on the right hitting -100 and 100, you know that your analogue stick is performing correctly.

The same applies to your throttle and brake. You will want both bars on the right to be at zero when neither trigger is being pressed. Then you should see a gradual rise up to 100 as you press each trigger.

If you can’t reach 100 with either the analogue stick or the triggers, or you have a different value other than zero when not pressing anything, it means a few calibration tweaks are required. These can be done in this screen.

In the calibration settings, you’ll see that you have three settings for each input; deadzone, linearity and saturation. Each of these settings can be changed from zero to 100, and each will affect your input in different ways. Below is a quick explanation of each setting.

Controller Calibration settings F1 23

Adjusting your controller calibration settings

You’ll see that you have these three settings for each of your steering, throttle and brake. Each setting will change each input in the same way, but will only affect the specific input that you change. So if you change your throttle linearity for example, it won’t change your brake or steering settings.

New to F1 23 is the steering rate setting which is the first item in the calibration menu. This has been introduced to help controller players fine-tune their steering.

What is steering rate in F1 23?

Essentially, the steering rate affects the speed of the in-game steering. Higher values will make the in-game steering turn faster and more aggressively. Lower values will slow the rate at which the in-game steering changes.

For example, if you set the steering rate setting high, and then push the analogue stick all the way to the right. Then in-game, the steering wheel will turn to full lock pretty quickly.

If you reduce the steering rate setting and perform the same test, the in-game steering wheel will move much slower. This helps controller players find that sweet spot of speed vs sensitivity.

F1 23 Steering rate explained
What is deadzone on a controller in F1 23?

The deadzone settings will change how much you have to push or move an input before it is registered in game. This will create a deadzone at the start of the input travel.

The deadzone setting in F1 23 is incredibly helpful if you notice that the value of the throttle, steering or brake isn’t at zero when there is no input being applied.

Increasing the deadzone setting will ensure that no input is applied in game until you apply any movement on the trigger or analogue stick. The higher you set the deadzone, the more input will need to be applied before anything is registered in game.

It is only recommended to increase the deadzone of any input if you are noticing any steering, throttle or brake input when these aren’t being used.

A common issue is with the brake applying a tiny bit of input forcing your DRS to close when on a straight. This can happen by simply resting your finger on the brake trigger while not actively braking.

If you notice this, you can increase your brake deadzone to eliminate this. You can also adjust the steering deadzone to improve your car stability down straights, avoiding it from feeling too sensitive or twitchy.

Linearity explained

The linearity setting in F1 23 will change the input curve of your throttle, steering or brake. As standard, you will have a 1:1 linearity curve which is a shown as a straight line in many sim racing games. This means that when you apply 30% throttle for example, 30% throttle will be applied in game.

Ideally, this is what you should aim for and what you would want. However, some racers will like their inputs to be more or less sensitive at the start or end of their travel.

A common use for this is to increase the steering linearity. This will make the car less sensitive at the start of the analogue stick movement, and more sensitive towards the end. This enables finer adjustments to be made, especially at high speed.

Saturation explained

The saturation can be seen as an overall sensitivity setting in F1 23. Increasing your sensitivity will decrease how far you need to press on a trigger or move your analogue stick to achieve 100% input.

This is helpful if you struggle to reach 100% input even when a trigger is fully depressed, or your analogue stick is as far as it will go to either side.


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Other than using the saturation settings to fix the inability to reach 100% on a button test, I would recommend leaving the saturation settings at, or as close to zero as possible.


Best controller calibration settings

Below are our recommended controller calibration settings for F1 23. These mainly focus on ensuring your car is both stable, and you have the maximum amount of control at the beginning of each input travel.

  • Steering rate – 100%
  • Steering deadzone – 5
  • Steering linearity – 40
  • Steering saturation– 0
  • Throttle deadzone– 0
  • Throttle linearity– 50
  • Throttle saturation– 0
  • Brake deadzone– 0
  • Brake linearity– 35
  • Brake saturation– 0

You will see above, that I have increased the linearity for all of the main controller inputs. As mentioned earlier, this will adjust the linearity curve of each input.

The goal of this approach is to give you more control over finite inputs. Increasing the linearity for your steering for example will allow you to make more gradual inputs, giving you finer levels of control and precision.

Throttle management, and avoiding wheelspins and oversteer is a vital part of mastering your car in F1 23. Driving without traction control on a controller can be one of the hardest parts of F1 23, so giving us more control over our throttle input at slower speeds will help a lot.

Increasing the throttle linearity will mean that as you press the throttle trigger to around 25-30%, you will only really be applying around 10-15% throttle input in game depending on your linearity setting. Essentially, this increases and opens up the window of precision when applying fine levels of throttle input.

This will in turn give you better control of your throttle, especially at low speeds when it is so easy to break traction and spin your car. The same idea applies to brake linearity, giving you finer control and precision over your brake input to help avoid locking your wheels.

Finally, you’ll also see that I have increased the steering deadzone a little. This will reduce any tendency for your steering to twitch or move from left to right as you travel in a straight line.


Best controller force feedback settings

Next, after correctly calibrating your controller, we can move on to adjusting the controller force feedback settings in F1 23. These are the settings that will affect how much vibration you feel through your controller under certain scenarios.

  • Vibration & force feedback strength – 150
  • On track effects – 100
  • Rumble strip effects – 90
  • Off track effects – 65
  • Wheel damper – 50
  • Understeer enhance – Off
  • Maximum wheel rotation – 290°

Force feedback settings explained

Much like when racing F1 23 with a racing wheel, the force feedback and vibration in a controller is important to give you feedback for how your car is interacting with the track.

Controller vibration and rumble effects can indicate that you are losing grip, or that the track surface is changing. And this is the knowledge that can help you decide how to respond and is vital to have the confidence to push your car.

F1 23 Controller force feedback settings
Vibration & force feedback strength

Starting at the top, the first controller setting to change is the vibration and force feedback strength. This is a master setting that controls the overall vibration strength that you’ll feel through your controller.

Increasing this setting as I have done in my recommended settings will increase the overall vibration strength and give you much more vibration when on track. This is important to open up and expand the range of vibration you’ll feel.

The minor subtle details such as tyres scrubbing across the track or small track details will now be enhanced so you can feel them more.

Some premium controllers such as the Xbox Elite Series 2 and the PS5 Dualsense have vibration in the triggers, and these provide great feedback, especially under braking and acceleration.

These trigger vibrations can help you learn the limits of grip by vibrating as you start to lose grip or lock your wheels under braking.

On track, off track and rumble strip effects

The on track, off track and rumble strip effects in F1 23 will change the intensity of vibrations through the controller as you drive over these specific parts of a circuit.

Changing the on track setting will change how much feedback you get from changes in track surface which is important. However, the off track and rumble strip effects are much more down to personal preference as these won’t affect your speed too much.

Many F1 23 controller racers will actually lower these two effects to avoid them becoming overwhelming and improve the chances of gaining control if you do go too far off track.

Wheel damper and understeer enhance

The wheel damper setting doesn’t affect controllers in F1 23, as it changes the weight and the damping in racing wheels. The same is true of the understeer enhance, which is designed to make a racing wheel feel light when understeering.

Maximum wheel rotation

One of the secret controller settings in F1 23 for those who race with a controller is the maximum wheel rotation. Many will leave this set to 360 as that is the default rotational lock of an F1 car’s steering.

However, lowering this setting when racing with a controller, can actually give you an advantage and we can use it to improve our precision and potentially find lap time.

The trick is to lower this setting to the maximum angle that you would need to turn your steering wheel. This setting directly controls how much in-game steering you can apply. The lower you set this value, the less your maximum steering lock will be in-game.

This means that at a value of around 280-290, you will see that when you move your analogue stick all the way left or right, your driver won’t actually rotate the steering wheel a complete 180 degrees. This does have a direct impact on track like Monaco, where at the hairpin, you will need as much steering lock as you can achieve.

However, at most other tracks, you will never use the full steering lock. So the thought here is to reduce the maximum wheel rotation to give you more precision across the remaining steering. By reducing this value from 360 down to about 290, you will have finer levels of control and precision across those 290 degrees, than you would have across 360 degrees.

This setting will really help you find additional precision, and when paired with the increased steering linearity in the calibration settings can really have a big impact on your speed on track.

A lot of these settings should be set very differently if you using a racing wheel. If you are using a racing wheel, I’d recommend checking out our recommended racing wheel settings for F1 23.


Customise your controls & button mapping

The final step of setting up your controller in F1 23, is to adjust your button mapping. Here, you can change your button bindings, allowing you to change which buttons change gears, control your MFD and more.

F1 23 Controller button mapping

This is very helpful to allow you to feel comfortable during a race in F1 23. The last thing you want is to try to remember which button controls your DRS or adjusts your on-throttle differential mid-race. Each button should be easy to remember, and you shouldn’t be using any brain power to use them during a race.

If you are using a premium controller such as those from SCUF, or an Xbox Elite Series 2, you do have additional buttons to map thanks to the additional inputs on these controllers.

One of the main buttons to change would be your upshifts and downshifts. Many sim racers like these to be assigned to the shoulder buttons, leaving the face buttons for other controls such as DRS and overtake. While others will prefer the change gear buttons to be on the face of the controller.

Whichever your preference, simply scroll down to the button you wish to change, select it with A or X, and then press the button you wish to change it to.

Once you have mapped all of the buttons, back out of the controller settings, which will prompt you to save the settings as either a new custom profile, or to overwrite the current profile.

A few recommended controller buttons to change would be to map your brake bias and on throttle differential. Both of these functions are used regularly throughout a race, and the brake bias is often changed heading into each corner to maximise braking performance.

I would recommend mapping these to the right analogue stick. Simply tapping this up or down to increase and decrease a setting is very intuitive, and after a few laps you’ll remember to do it by default without even thinking.

To change your button mapping in F1 23;

  1. Head over to the settings menu, then navigate to ‘Controls, Vibration and Force Feedback’.
  2. Then select the racing wheel or controller that you wish to use. Click ‘Edit mappings’.
  3. Scroll down the list to find the input that you wish to change.
  4. Click the input you wish to change, and then press the button you want to change it to.
  5. Save and leave this menu to finish button mapping.

Overview

Hopefully, these controller settings will have you improving both your lap times and how comfortable you feel racing F1 23 with a controller.

But remember, so much of the controller setup is down to personal preference. If some of these settings don’t feel right, simply use the settings that do feel good, and adjust the others to your own personal preference. Using the tips mentioned in this guide can serve as a basis to adjust your F1 23 controller settings from.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a controller good on F1 23?

There are some F1 23 drivers who are incredibly quick using a controller. Using a controller to play F1 23 has the benefit of being able to make much shorter, faster movements. Compare moving a joystick to rotating a steering wheel. This speed of movement can allow controller players to position their cars in ways those racing with a wheel may not be able to.

What controller is best for F1 23?

Some of the very best controllers for F1 23 include the Xbox Elite Series 2, the PS5 Dualsense, and the SCUF Insinct Pro controller.

How to increase the sensitivity of controller in F1 23

You can increase the sensitivity of the steering, brake and throttle of your controller in F1 23 by increasing the saturation setting. This will increase the overall sensitivity for your inputs on a controller or a racing wheel.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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