F1 23: How to Find the Perfect AI Difficulty

Finding your perfect AI difficulty in F1 23 can be tricky. In this guide I'll run through the process of choosing the ideal AI difficulty, along with some tips on how to start to increase the AI difficulty as you improve.

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F1 23 Ferrari Abu Dhabi

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Racing in F1 23 can be an exhilarating experience whether you are racing in multiplayer or single-player against the AI. However, to fully enjoy the game and maintain a healthy balance between challenge and enjoyment, it is important to find the perfect AI difficulty level that matches your skill level.

In this guide, I’m going to look at exactly how to find the perfect AI difficulty setting in F1 23.

Like most racing games, F1 23 allows players to compete in single-player races against AI drivers. The speed of the opponents and the skill level is set by the AI difficulty setting, and this impacts the competitiveness of each race.

Setting the AI difficulty too low may result in unchallenging races, while setting it too high can lead to frustratingly difficult opponents. Therefore, finding the optimal AI difficulty is key to ensuring you get the best overall racing experience in F1 23 and the most enjoyable experience.

Discover how to find the perfect AI difficulty in F1 24 in our quick guide. I’ll run through the exact process I use to easily find the perfect difficulty for the new F1 24 game.

Watch our video guide on how to find the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23


How AI difficulty affects racing in F1 23

Before diving into exactly how to find the perfect AI difficulty, it is important to understand how the AI difficulty settings affect gameplay in F1 23.

This setting determines how skilled and aggressive the AI drivers will be during races. The higher the difficulty, the more challenging the opponents become, requiring you to push your limits to be able to compete. On the flip side, reducing the AI difficulty can make races more manageable but may also reduce the overall enjoyment if they become too easy.

F1 23 on board braking point gameplay

When determining the best AI difficulty, several elements should be taken into account. Firstly, your skill level and experience with racing games play the most important role. If you are new to sim racing or racing games in general, it will most likely be best to start with a lower AI difficulty.

Lower difficulty settings can help you become familiar with the gameplay and let you gradually improve your racing skills. Alternatively, if you are an experienced player, a higher AI difficulty might be necessary to provide a competitive experience.

While AI difficulty is important to represent a good challenge, enjoyment is also important. If you prefer close and fierce competitions, setting the AI difficulty closer to your skill level or slightly higher can ensure thrilling battles throughout a race.

On the other hand, if you enjoy dominating races and achieving victories with ease, reducing the AI difficulty can provide a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.


How to change the AI difficulty in F1 23

The AI difficulty can be set before each race, or from the options menu from the main screen. The AI difficulty option is found in the simulation settings and can be altered at any time whilst not racing.

Unfortunately, you cannot change the AI difficulty mid-race, meaning you’ll have to restart your race or session to experience different AI skill levels.

F1 23 main menu

Testing and tweaking

The process of finding the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23 often involves experimentation and adjustments based on race performance. To start, it is recommended to use the default AI difficulty setting provided by the game which is around the 75% mark.

This is designed to set the AI skill to a medium skill range and present a good challenge for the majority of players.


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During your initial races, pay attention to your performance and the competitiveness of the AI opponents. If you consistently finish races with a lead or towards the front of the pack, it indicates that the AI difficulty is too low for your skill level.

But if you struggle to keep up with the AI drivers or frequently finish last, consider reducing the AI difficulty to make the races more manageable.

Using one-lap qualifying as a guide to AI difficulty

One of the best ways to quickly find your ideal AI difficulty is to utilise one-lap qualifying in Grand Prix mode. Ensure you start the race weekend with equal performance selected which is chosen whilst choosing which driver you’ll race as.

Then participate in the one-lap qualifying and note the results. If you finish low in the order or last, decrease the difficulty and if you finish at the front, you can increase the difficulty.

F1 23 Haas Gameplay onboard

Generally, every 10 points you increase or decrease the AI difficulty by will add or remove roughly a second of lap time from the AI. This does differ slightly from track to track but is a good rule of thumb.

Once you are relatively comfortable with the AI difficulty, you can proceed to a race environment where you’ll be racing wheel to wheel with the other drivers.


Observing AI behaviour during a race

When you do move onto racing wheel to wheel with the AI, do so at first using the Grand Prix mode. This allows you to test your pace against the AI without consequence.

As you experiment with different AI difficulty settings, it is key to observe the behaviour of the AI drivers during races. Note how they approach corners, manage their speed, and react to your manoeuvres.

Following the AI closely is a great way to both learn a track as well as learn where you may be losing lap time, or where the best place for an overtake is.

Whilst following the AI, if you notice that AI drivers tend to brake excessively early before corners, it might indicate that the AI difficulty is too low. In contrast, if AI drivers consistently outperform you in every aspect, it suggests that the AI difficulty is set too high.


Balancing challenge and enjoyment

Finding the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23 is all about striking a balance between challenge and enjoyment. Setting the AI difficulty too low might make races too easy and result in a lack of excitement. On the other hand, setting it too high can lead to frustration and cause you to not enjoy F1 23 as much as you could.

F1 23 Rear wing gameplay Alpine

Ideally, the AI difficulty should present a reasonable challenge that pushes your limits without becoming overwhelming. A closely fought race, where victory is attainable with effort, can provide a sense of achievement and enjoyment.

Adjust the AI difficulty accordingly until you find the sweet spot that keeps you engaged throughout the races. A top tip is to find your skill level via one-lap qualifying as mentioned earlier, and then increase the AI difficulty by a few points. This will cause the AI to be a little faster than you, which encourages you to increase your pace and improve your own skill.

Tips for finding the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23

To assist you in finding the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23, here are a few tips:

  1. Find your rough skill level in one-lap qualifying: Participate in a one-lap qualifying session with equal performance. Note where you finish in comparison to the AI. Too far down the order and the difficulty may be too high. If you finish comfortably first, then the difficulty is likely to be too low.
  2. Gradual adjustments for fine-tuning: Instead of making drastic changes to the AI difficulty setting, make gradual adjustments to find the optimal level. Remember the rough rule of around 1 second of performance every 10-15 points. For example, if you are 1 second slower than the AI around a track, lowering the difficulty by 10-15 points will bring them within your skill level. You can then fine-tune from there.
  3. Test the AI in a short race: Once you feel that you have the F1 23 AI difficulty about right, jump into a race and see how the AI behaves. This environment will allow you to adjust the AI difficulty to really fine-tune the perfect difficulty setting.

Paying attention to game updates

As with any video game, F1 23 will receive updates and patches over time that can affect gameplay mechanics and AI behaviour. In last year’s game, the AI was adjusted to be slower in a straight line which caused some AI difficulty and car setup adjustments.

Pay attention to these updates as you may need to make some adjustments to your AI difficulty settings over time.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect AI difficulty in F1 23 is a process that involves a little bit of experimentation, observation, and adjustments based on your own skill. You can save time by using our method above of a one-lap qualifying session to roughly find the best AI difficulty setting relatively quickly.

By considering factors such as skill level, desired race experience, and closely monitoring the AI race pace, you can fine-tune the AI difficulty settings to strike a balance between challenge and enjoyment. Most importantly, remember to keep the races engaging and competitive, allowing for an enjoyable F1 23 racing experience.


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Article written by Rich

Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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