F1 24 Beginner’s Guide: Best Place To Start

Read or watch our complete F1 24 beginner's guide where I run through everything you need to start your F1 journey, from choosing the right difficulty and assists, to tips on how to improve and become faster in F1 24.

Discover the best free F1 24 car setups for all tracks, including race and time trial setups.
F1 24 Beginners Guide

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F1 24 may not be the big change we had all hoped for with a new game engine that has long been sought after. However, EA Sports and Codemasters have made a whole bunch of updates and changes to the formula making F1 24 the most well-rounded Formula 1 game to date.

In our beginner’s guide, I will run through how to get started in F1 24, whether you are new to the series or a returning sim racer. I’ll recommend different assists and difficulty settings for players of various skill levels and share our recommended wheel and controller settings.

Later in this guide, I’ll also examine the different game modes F1 24 offers and where to start, as well as our top tips on how to become faster in this year’s Formula 1 game.

Watch our F1 24 Beginners Guide

You can watch this entire guide using the video below. Alternatively, scroll past our video to continue reading our guide on how to start in F1 24.


What is new in F1 24

I first want to examine what is new to F1 24 and what has remained from last year’s game. If you are returning to the series, you will find many similarities. The menus, various game modes, and on-track elements look very similar.

However, there have been some notable changes that EA Sports is hoping will breathe fresh life into the series. The first of those changes is the updated handling model.

New handling model

Every year, EA Sports makes a range of changes to the handling in a bid to constantly improve the physics and the way the cars handle on track. This year, we’ve seen some big updates to the tyre model and the suspension system.

F1 24 new handling model
Improved tyre model and physics

In Formula 1 games of the past, including F1 23, overheating tyres have been a very common issue, often with a quick and dirty fix to lowering the tyre pressures to their minimum values. In F1 24 there is a completely new tyre temperature model that takes in a range of considerations when calculating the tyre temperatures.

The new tyre model is designed to result in the tyre pressures, track conditions and driving style all affecting the overall tyre temperature to a greater degree than in previous games. This leads to there being a bigger difference between following a car in dirty air compared to having no cars in front of you.

This means that in F1 24, we have to be much more careful of overheating the tyres when following cars closely. Pulling out from behind a car along a straight can help to cool your tyres, as can intentionally driving on wet parts of a drying track. Both of these techniques are used by real-world Formula 1 drivers when dealing with overheating tyres.

More settings for the ERS during a race

Like in older Formula 1 games, the ability to adjust your ERS deployment mode is back in F1 24. This gives the driver much more control over how aggressively the ERS is deployed at all points of a race.

You can choose between less aggressive and more aggressive deployment modes. This will let you attack and defend more effectively whilst conserving your ERS when it isn’t needed. You can still let the game manage this for you if it is too overwhelming, however, many returning players will love seeing this feature back this year.


Updates to car setups

All of the handling model changes I have just looked at affect how you set up your car. With there being a much greater emphasis on the negative effects of following a car closely, adjusting your aerodynamic setup will have a big impact during a race.

A range of new car setup changes have also been introduced into F1 24. The biggest changes are to the transmission setup, which features changes to the on and off throttle differential and a new engine braking setting.

In previous games, the on and off throttle differential was limited to 50-100%. In F1 24, players can adjust the transmission setup from 10-100% giving a much larger range of adjustment. This will factor into how players set up their car for particularly rear-limited tracks, giving more tools to reduce wheel spin.

F1 23 Tyre setup

The new engine braking setting will directly affect the speed of ERS recovery on the entry to corners. Increasing the engine braking setting will result in more energy being harvested. However, it can cause instability and oversteer on corner entry. Lower engine braking settings will result in less aggressive energy recovery but will allow for more stability in the corner entry phase.

Other adjustments to car setups include an increase in the configurable range of the suspension geometry. This ties in directly with the new tyre and suspension handling model. The extra control over these elements of a car setup will allow for more varied car setups in line with different track and race conditions.

View all of our recommended F1 24 setups to maximise your performance at every track.


New career mode

EA Sports has overhauled its career mode this year rather than including a more scripted career like Braking Point from previous games. The new career adds a lot more depth to the single or two-player career modes and gives you much more control over your progression.

While the new career mode isn’t a complete game changer, the refresh does provide a lot of interest for those who love to dive into a long single-player career-focused game mode.

The new career mode in F1 24 allows you to race as one of the current drivers on the Formula 1 grid, from Mx Verstappen to Lewis Hamilton, or even an up-and-coming driver from Formula 2. You can guide them on their own career, forcing driver trades to different teams and building up a car to challenge for the World title.

Rivalries

Throughout a season in career, your on track actions will affect the story that unfolds around you. There is a rivalry system as well as a recognition system, that defines how well you are performing by your achievements during a race.

R&D

You can develop your current car using a revamped R&D system, and if you perform well, you can force the team into developing the car around your needs. However, if you underperform compared to your teammates, they can have more of a say in the direction of R&D.

Contracts and accolades

As you progress through a season and across multiple seasons, you can earn accolades that showcase your overall career performance. These can help you develop your car faster and earn reputation with your team and other teams.

You can advance your career by negotiating a new contract with your current team and holding secret meetings with rival teams in a bid to change teams.

These options flesh out the career mode, making it more in-depth than ever. There are now incentives to race across multiple seasons and challenge for multiple titles.


What to do first in F1 24

After reviewing the changes to F1 24, I want to examine what you should do first when you start up F1 24 for the first time.

You can take many directions, from jumping into a time trial to start putting lap times on the leaderboards to jumping straight into a Grand Prix weekend or a career mode.

Before doing any of that, I would definitely recommend spending a few minutes reviewing some of the options. There are plenty of things you can change to customise your F1 24 experience, and doing so can make it much more enjoyable and comfortable.


Configure your racing wheel or controller

I’d first recommend setting up your controller or racing wheel. This is possibly one of the most important things you can do, as your controller or racing wheel may feel a little off the first time you hit the track. The default settings are fine but can be greatly enhanced with a few quick changes.

I’ll take a quick look at a few settings to change on your controller, as these can make a big difference. I won’t run through all of my recommended controller settings. I do have a guide which covers these in much more detail.

Read our recommended F1 24 controller settings including how to calibrate your controller and all settings to change.

The linearity settings and the maximum wheel rotation are key settings that can greatly affect your controller.

Changing the linearity settings

The linearity settings can be found in the calibration menu and will drastically change how much control you have over your car with a controller. Increasing the linearity adjusts the amount of detailed control you have over each input.

Controller Calibration settings F1 23

Increasing this away from zero and close to 40-50% will mean the input curve adjusts. Your initial inputs will result in smaller in-game inputs, giving you more control at the start of each trigger pull and steering input.


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When playing with a controller, racing with traction control disabled for example can be incredibly tricky as the cars are so sensitive to spinning under acceleration. With an increased throttle linearity, you’ll have much more control over the initial throttle input making applying the throttle without spinning your rear wheels much easier.

Changing the maximum wheel rotation

The maximum wheel rotation setting changes the maximum amount of steering input your driver has. Typically, a setting of 360° is the most realistic as that is the steering lock of a real-world Formula 1 car. However, due to the updated handling model in F1 24, we will want to keep this at around 400°.

In last years game it was common to lower this setting to improve the fidelity of the steering. However, this year, the handling is much twitchier than before. I would recommend starting off with the rotation set at around 400° before potentially lowering it.

I recommend changing and adjusting many other settings, and you can read about all of them in our recommended F1 24 controller settings guide.

Recommended racing wheel settings

Most racing wheels are supported in F1 24, with the most popular wheels having preset configurations. If you use a wheel that doesn’t have its own preset, generally, you can create a custom preset, and it’ll work fine.

When setting up a racing wheel, you have just as many settings that can be changed. I won’t look at recommended wheel settings too much in this guide. I have detailed guides for our recommended F1 24 wheel settings for the most popular racing wheels, and I’ll leave links below to each guide.

Should you use a racing wheel or controller in F1 24?

Does driving in F1 24 with a racing wheel or a controller make a difference? Well, simply put, yes, but the difference comes down to immersion more than anything. EA Sports has done a pretty good job ensuring that F1 24 is accessible with a controller, and some of the quickest drivers even use a controller.

MOZA FSR vs GS vs KS Steering Wheel Comparison

I always recommend trying a racing wheel if you have access to one, as I believe it adds a lot of immersion. However, switching from a controller to a racing wheel won’t necessarily make you quicker, and in some cases, you can even be slower with a wheel as you adjust.

Ultimately, use whichever input method you are most comfortable with. F1 24 is incredibly enjoyable, with both a controller and a racing wheel.


Choosing the right driving assists

After you have changed a few controller or racing wheel settings and feel good, you should look to adjust your driving assists. These will have a big impact on how the car drives and what you need to manage when behind the wheel.

For newcomers to the F1 series, there can be a lot of things that may be overwhelming. Adjusting your ERS modes, changing gears 50 times each lap, or knowing exactly when to brake for each corner are all things that experienced drivers may thoroughly enjoy. However, you don’t have to do any of that if you just want to hit the track for a quick race session.

Tailoring your driving assists will adjust how easy or tough the cars are to drive, and will also dictate how much you need to think about every race. Here you can really tailor your experience, so I recommend running through the driver assists menu at least once before heading out on track.

F1 23 Assists Screen

If F1 24 is your first Formula 1 game, you can enable assists such as braking and steering assists to allow the game to help control the car. If this approach is a little too easy, consider turning these off but instead turning on the dynamic racing line and automatic gears.

The racing line is one of the best assists for drivers of all skill levels. It recommends where to position your car at all points around a lap. The line also changes colour, indicating when the best point to brake and accelerate is. This is a quick-fire way of learning a new track or optimising the line you take through corners.

Below are my recommendations on which assists to enable for a few skill levels.

AssistBeginnerReturning playerExperienced sim racer
Steering assistOffOffOff
Braking assistOffOffOff
Anti-lock brakesOnOnOff
Traction controlFullMediumOff
Dynamic racing lineFullCorners OnlyOff
GearboxAutomaticAutomaticManual
Pit AssistOnOffOff
Pit Release AssistOnOffOff
ERS AssistOnOnOff
DRS AssistOnOffOff

Choosing the right AI difficulty in F1 24

Another tricky setting to get right is the AI difficulty setting. This directly affects how fast the AI drivers are. You can tune this right up to 110%, which results in drivers who are faster in the game than they are in the real world.

Choosing the best AI difficulty for you can take some trial and error. The only way to really know which difficulty is right is to hit the track and see how fast you are compared to the other drivers.

If in doubt, I would recommend setting this difficulty to around 70, heading out into a Grand Prix quick race on a track you feel comfortable at and seeing where you are compared to the AI.

As a rule of thumb, if you are faster or slower by around a second, you can increase or decrease the difficulty by 10-15 points. Each 10-15 points up or down will adjust the AI driver’s pace by around a second.

When you think you have the perfect difficulty for you, before heading into career mode, compete in a few 5 lap races. This will give you an average across a few tracks and let you tailor the difficulty so it is spot on before you jump into a new career or My Team.


Hitting the track for the first time

Now we have all settings configured, its time to leave the pits and head out on track. But what should you do first? Well, that ultimately depends on which game mode you wish to try. You could head into a new career, or hit the track in competitive multiplayer.

But before you do that, I highly recommend running a few practice races or laps in time trial mode. Doing this will get you acquainted with how F1 24 handles and gives you a good opportunity to test that you have the right assists, difficulty and controller settings.

F1 24 onboard TV pod offset camera

The importance of practising

F1 24 can be an incredibly difficult game to master. It bridges the gap between simulation and arcade, and with some assists turned off, just keeping the car on track and facing the right way can be a challenge.

The best way to get comfortable in F1 24 is to practice. How you go about practising is up to you. I love to jump into the time trial mode and put in a few laps. Choosing a track you know can help speed up your progress on learning the car’s behaviour.

During my time practising, I always focus on consistency rather than speed. Driving lap times that are close to each other or slowly improving is definitely better than putting in one fast lap time and five other laps that end up in the gravel or in a spin.

A top tip is to utilise the dynamic racing line, even if you feel that you are a fast driver. The racing line will help you learn any new track that you may not be familiar with, and it gives you a good guide on where to position your car and when to brake.


Different game modes available

Once you do feel that you are up to speed in F1 24, the next decision is which game mode you want to flex your new racing muscles in. You can jump into a career and start dominating the grid, or head into an online multiplayer mode to test yourself against other drivers.

Below is a quick look at each game mode in F1 24.;

  • Time Trial: Time trial is a battle of the fastest lap times where you compete against other drivers around the world to put in the absolute fastest lap times. I love to use time trial to practice new tracks and compare my speed against friends and rivals.
  • Grand Prix: The Grand Prix mode is your quick race option. This mode is ideal for practising competing against AI. You can also set up custom race schedules to compete in custom-style championships.
  • F1 World: F1 World brings progression to the offline game modes. This is your hub for creating your own car and competing in scheduled events, multiplayer races and different scenarios.
  • My Team: The classic My Team mode returns, letting you create a new team and progress through multiple seasons, building your car and team around you. This is a true RPG game mode.
  • Career: The career mode has been revamped this year to bring more depth to your multi-season championships. Race as your own created driver or as any of the current Formula 1 and Formula 2 drivers.
  • Multiplayer races: Test your speed against other real-world drivers in multiplayer races.

Should you use custom F1 24 car setups?

Car setups are a part of F1 24 that let you adjust how your car behaves on track and in different conditions. There are a range of preset setups that are suited for different scenarios, and you can choose between these from your garage during a race weekend or in various game modes.

You can also create custom car setups giving you control over exactly how your car behaves. Creating a custom car setup can in some cases make your car easier to drive and sometimes faster than the default car setup presets.

You can find a range of optimsied F1 24 car setups on Sim Racing Setups.

Below is a quick overview of each part of your car setup and what it changes;

  • Aerodynamics:
    Your aero setup dictates how much downforce your car generates. This can increase or reduce your top speed in favour of more grip through corners.
  • Differential:
    Your differential affects how your rear wheels rotate in relation to each other. Adjusting this can affect wheel spin and rotation through corners.
  • Suspension geometry:
    You geometry setup changes the position of your tyres in relation to the track surface. This affects tyre wear and mechanical grip.
  • Suspension:
    Your suspension setup changes how stiff or soft your car feels during cornering and over bumps. Changing your suspension can greatly affect your car’s balance, responsiveness and stability.
  • Brakes:
    Your brake setup adjusts the power of your brakes and the amount of braking force sent to the front and rear brakes.
  • Tyres:
    Your tyre pressure setup affects the buildup of heat and responsiveness in your tyres.

Read our in-depth F1 24 car setup guide for a more detailed guide on how to adjust car setups and what to change.


How to become faster in F1 24: Advanced tips

If you have F1 24 set up so that you feel comfortable on the track, you can start adjusting various elements to help you find lap time and become quicker. These can range from disabling certain assists to give you more control over your car to optimising your race strategy heading into a Grand Prix weekend.

Race strategy

Your race strategy is an important part of Formula 1. It can dictate how many times you pit during a race, which tyres you use and how much fuel you put in the car. Each of these decisions can greatly change the outcome of a race.

Generally, most races utilse a one or two-stop strategy, meaning that you will pit either once or twice during a race. Which tyres you use during a race will depend on conditions and how much wear the track puts on your tyres.

You’ll be presented with a couple of race strategies at the start of a race. On this screen you will see important information such as tyre wear across each race stint and more importantly, your estimated race time. This is a good indicator on which strategy is best.

F1 23 Race strategy screen

You can jump into a race strategy and customise it to your own liking by adjusting the laps you’ll pit on or adding extra pit stops. When choosing a race strategy, always consider your starting position to see who you’ll be racing.

If you are starting nearer the back of the grid but in a faster car, it may be a better option to use softer tyres to try and force overtakes as an example. If you are at the front of the grid, you may want to pit less to try and control the race at your own speed.

Advanced driving techniques

Finally, as you progress through F1 24 and become more competitive, you may look for more advanced ways to improve your speed. There are a range of advanced techniques that you can utilise in F1 24 to improve your speed and consistency.

Trail braking is one of the most commonly used advanced techniques that revolves around how you brake. Trail braking essentially involves reducing the amount of brake pressure applied as you start to turn in towards a corner.

Gradually reducing your brake pressure will allow your tyres to focus more on rotating the car rather than slowing it. However, keeping some braking force applied keeps the balance of the car over the front wheels giving them more grip to help you turn into a corner.

It is an advanced technique to truly master. However, it is one that you are probably doing to some degree already without thinking about it. Mastering trail braking can really help increase the amount of speed you take into a corner and can in some cases reduce your braking distances.


Conclusion

F1 24 is a game that has a huge number of accessibility options that go a long way in making the on-track action as fierce or comfortable as you need it. With so many options and game modes to choose from, most sim racers and casual players will find something to enjoy, and hopefully, the F1 24 beginner’s tips above make your first outing on track an enjoyable one.


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Frequently asked questions

What difficulty settings should I use?

I would recommend using the assists settings that best relate to your experience that I mentioned above. To find the best AI difficulty, I recommend using the one-shot qualifying mode to see how fast you are compared to the other drivers. Then adjust the difficulty up or down from there.

Does choosing a team matter in F1 24?

Each car in F1 24 does drive differently, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. When choosing a team in career mode or Grand Prix mode, the car’s performance will change. You can equalise performance when competing in single player modes and time trial to make each car perform the same.

What are the best beginner assists?

If you are new to F1 24, I would recommend enabling the traction control and ABS assist, turn the gearbox to automatic and using the dynamic racing line. As you progress, you can start to disable these assists one by one.

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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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