There is one universal truth in video games. At some point, every player is a newbie.
As F1 2021 is super-popular, there will be a lot of new racing gamers picking up the series for the first time. Thankfully though, there's plenty of help for newbies in the official F1 game. It's also important for these players to know where to look for help, so here are our five best tips for Formula 1 rookies.
Finding the right difficulty
There's no shame in using assists in a racing game. We all don't have the skill level of the esport professionals, especially when we're first starting out.
F1 2021 has a lot of options available for assists and there are some presets on offer for general difficulty settings. However, we think it's best to go for your own custom settings. To edit your assist settings, go to the main home menu of the game. Select "game options", then "settings" and then "assists".
You should start with most of the assists on, some like Traction Control,ABS and Automatic gears really help beginners. Others like the Braking and Steering Assists are too basic even for newbies and you don't want to be too reliant on them.
As for which AI difficulty to go for, it's hard to say a general value, as all drivers are different. However, 50 is a good number to start at. To find out if that's a good speed for you, start a race in Grand Prix mode in a Red Bull or Mercedes.
If you end up near or at the front of the pack, it's about right. If you win by 20 seconds, turn the difficulty up to 55. If you fall back into the midfield, consider decreasing the AI speed to 45.
Time trial is your friend
Time trial is the best place to practice your control of the car in F1 2021. This is because extra elements like tyre wear, tyre temperature and other drivers aren't present here. It's just you, the car and the track.
This is perfect for practicing your braking, cornering and acceleration, the three basics of driving. If you're coming from racing in another game, you have to remember that the speed you take into corners for Formula 1 cars is unlike any other car in racing.
To give you an idea of where to brake and lift off, be sure to activate the racing line in the assist settings. It's best you do so for the corners only, but if you're a complete newbie, do so for the whole circuit. The racing line adapts to your current speed. If it's red, brake, if it's yellow, lift off the throttle and if it's green, slam the loud pedal down.
Give F2 a go!
Formula 1 cars have a lot of gadgets and gizmos in the car that can be a lot to handle at first. You could be a quick driver, but if you don't activate the ERS overtake and DRS down a straight, you could find yourself being overtaken.
If driving an F1 car is diving too far into the deep end for you, there is another option available in F1 2021. F1 2021 also has the fully licensed 2020 Formula 2 grid in its roster as well.
The F2 cars are a lot rawer than their Formula 1 counterparts. They have a lot less aerodynamic grip and power than the F1 cars. That doesn't mean they're easy to drive though, far from it. They're a real handful when accelerating out of slow-speed corners, so they're great for practicing without traction control.
What's also great about racing them, is that F2 is a spec series, meaning every car is equal in terms of performance. So, it's easier to gauge how fast you are compared to the AI. The races are also shorter, and the strategy is always the same for every circuit. The Feature races are a one-stop, and the Sprint races have no stops.
You've got to walk before you can run and there's no better place to start than F2.
A controversial inclusion in the F1 games are flashbacks, but they're absolutely your friend in F1 2021. Flashbacks are pretty common in racing games these days as they allow you to correct mistakes you've made. These are a massive help for beginners and we recommend activating them above any other assist in F1 2021.
Formula 1 cars are very difficult to drive and you're moving so fast that mistakes are bound to happen. As much as we'd love to, most of us don't have the skill nor concentration to go through a 50 or 100% length Grand Prix without spinning or damaging your car.
So, instead of the entire race being ruined, it's best to use a flashback to correct that excursion. To use a flashback, use the instant replay option while in the pause menu and press Square on PlayStation (X on Xbox) to resume the action from that point.
Please note that you can only go back around 15 seconds, so be quick to use a flashback once a mistake is made. You can choose to have unlimited flashbacks as well, so don't feel like you can use too many.
"Borrow" car setups
There's no shame in "taking inspiration" from other players' setups in F1 2021. To be completely fair as well, real Formula 1 drivers do this, especially to their teammates. So, in a way, it's realistic and it gives you the best possible chance of being fast.
We say it time and time again, but if you don't have the right setup on the car, your pace will be severely limited.
Like the assist settings though, every driver is different. Even the setups which are used by the best esport drivers won't suit everybody. We're here to help though, and we'll have setups for every circuit in F1 2021 being uploaded to our site. Be sure to check Formula 1 section of the site regularly for updates.
Setups Quick Access:
- British GP Setup
- Bahrain GP Setup
- Austria GP Setup
- France GP Setup
- Canada GP Setup
- Azerbaijan GP Setup
- Monaco GP Setup
- Spain GP Setup
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.