F1 24: How To Drive With Manual Gears

Learning to drive with manual gears in F1 24 can be tricky. Drivers change gear on average of 50 times each lap. Follow our top tips for learning to drive F1 24 with manual gears.

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F1 24 Learn To Use Manual Gears

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Driving F1 24 without assists is a challenge. The handling physics have been tweaked in this year’s Formula 1 game, making the cars trickier than ever to control. Throw in having to change gear on average of 50 times each lap, and surviving a race can become increasingly difficult.

Driving with manual gears can be tricky to learn and a tough assist to disable. However, it can lead to increased immersion and faster lap times.

In this guide, I’ll explain how to manually change gears in F1 24. I’ll look at how to configure this assist and offer some tips on how to learn to race with a manual gearbox more easily.

Should you use manual gears in F1 24?

The first question is whether you should use manual gears in F1 24. Answering this comes down to a few areas.

If you are striving for maximum realism or as much immersion as possible, you should certainly try using manual gears. Doing so emulates the process a real-world Formula 1 driver goes through every lap.

Manual gears also gives you the potential to be faster in F1 24, and during a career mode, you can make your gearbox last longer. Shifting earlier will result in less gearbox wear, allowing you to make your gearbox last longer during your My Team or career.

Are manual gears faster than automatic gears?

One of the common questions regarding manual gears is, do they make you faster? When using manual gears in F1 24 correctly, you can certainly be faster than with an automatic gearbox. This is because you can optimise the timing of your shifts.

When approaching a corner, it may be beneficial not to shift up just before you start braking. Holding a gear longer in this scenario can be faster than an automatic gearbox.

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You can also short shift when exiting corners, which can make accelerating without wheelspin considerably easier. Short shifting is the art of changing gear earlier than normal to put less power through the rear wheels.

How to manually change gears in F1 24

Changing gear manually in F1 24 is an incredibly simple process, although learning the perfect time to change can be a bit trickier.

Setting up manual gears

It starts by setting the gearbox assist in the settings to manual rather than automatic. This option can be found in the assists section of the settings from the main menu. You can choose to set manual with suggested gear which will show you the recommended gear on screen.

F1 24 Manual Gear With Suggested Gear Assist

How to change gear manually with a controller or racing wheel

With manual gears enabled, the process of changing gears up or down is different depending on whether you are using a controller or a racing wheel.

  • Changing gears using a controller
    With a controller, you will have two buttons configured to change gear—one for upshifts and the other for downshifts. You can change which buttons are assigned in the control mapping settings.
  • Changing gears with a racing wheel
    On a racing wheel, you can change gear using the paddle shifters on your steering wheel. Most formula-style steering wheels have these built in, while some circular wheels may require a set of paddles to be added.

Tips for learning to use manual gears

While learning how to change gear is pretty simple. Learning when to change gear is a bit trickier. We have a few top tips on how to time your gear shifts perfectly in F1 24.

Learning when to change gear

There are a few things you can do to make learning the perfect time to change a bit easier. Some of these tips are used by real-world Formula 1 drivers, while others are F1 24 specific.

  • Listening to your engine
    The first tip should come fairly naturally over time, and that is to listen to your engine as an indicator for when to change gear. You can hear the frequency of your engine noise change as you reach the top of the rev range. You will want to change gear just before you run into the rev limiter which will sound like a fast bouncing sound.
  • Watch your rev lights
    You will have a set of rev lights on your HUD or on your steering wheel. These lights up as your engine revs. When they reach the perfect point to change gear, they will start to flash. Keep an eye on these to know when to change gear.
  • Enabling the suggested gear assist
    In the assists menu, you can choose to use manual gears with the suggested gear. This will show the recommended gear on screen. Although this isn’t realistic, keeping an eye on it will help you know what gear to aim for.
  • Enabling the audio beep
    You can enable an audio beep when you reach the perfect shift point. This is something that many Formula 1 drivers use in real-world racing. It can sometimes be hard to hear the engine, so a loud audio beep can be a much better indicator of when to shift.

Shifting up is certainly the easier gear change to get right. Downshifting can be much trickier, as you’ll often need to change down through many gears very quickly as your car slows down.

If you downshift too quickly, your car can become unstable and the rear axle can even lock up. If you downshift too slowly, your car won’t decelerate as fast as it should which will make your braking zone longer.

One of the best ways to know how many gears to downshift is using the recommended gear assist. This is incredibly useful as it will show on screen which gear to shift to. You can then confidently know that you may need to change down 4, 5 or 6 gears for example.

One tip to know if you are shifting too fast is by watching the rev lights. If all of the rev lights light up when changing down a gear, then you have shifted too quickly. Try to time your downshifts so that every time you shift down, only a few rev lights are lit up.

F1 24 cockpit camera

Short shifting

Short shifting is one of the most commonly used shifting techniques. It involves you changing up a gear before reaching the optimal rev range. There are a few reasons you may want to do this.

  • Better traction when accelerating from slow speeds
    One of the main reasons for short shifting is to prevent the rear wheels from spinning. When accelerating at slow speeds, your engine will rev quickly. Over-revving at slow speeds can cause your rear wheels to spin. Shifting early will dull the power to the wheels as you accelerate, which can help maintain traction.
  • Preserve the gearbox
    Short shifting can help if you are racing in a career mode and want to prolong the life of your gearbox. Not revving your engine as much during any session will result in less gearbox wear.
  • More traction in wet weather
    Much like accelerating from slow speeds, short shifting in wet weather can help with extra traction.
  • Save fuel during a race
    You can short shift if you need to save fuel during a race. This uses the same principle as preserving your gearbox life. Revving your engine less will result in better fuel efficiency.


Hopefully, by using the tips in this guide, you will be able to transition from automatic to manual gears in F1 24. If you prefer to race with automatic gears, don’t sweat about it, manual gears are not required to enjoy F1 24, especially if you prefer a more casual experience.

Those who are striving for realism and want to eek out every bit of potential speed should certainly look to make the switch. Using our tips can make the switch a bit easier when disabling F1 24 assists.

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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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