Setups 101: A Beginner's Guide to setups - How to get the most out of your car

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One of the most daunting things about starting sim-racing is the myriad of settings now available.

From individual tyre pressures to aero angles to camber and caster, there is plenty to learn.

Table of Contents

Firstly, let's take a look at the basics and get you on the way to mastering those pesky setups!

Keep it simple

One of the biggest things to learn is that it is far easier to make a setup worse than better.

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iRacing Huracan
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ANY PLACE: Setups vary across games and track, even cars!

Many of the default setups in these games are already tuned in a general way to the vehicles you'll be driving.

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As such, it is imperative that you make small changes initially. Only do this once you have a standard lap time with the default setting.

This is to make sure that you know whether or not changes to a setup are actually improving your lap times, or making them worse.

Take it slow to go fast

It is super important that you make any changes gradually and slowly.

GT Sport Nurburgring
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CRUCIAL: The right setup is even more important on longer laps with few pit stops!

Changing camber by 2 degrees before you've even gone out on the track to test it is not the best idea!

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Instead, make small adjustments, and to just one individual component at a time. This will prevent you from making a drastic change across the car that you will struggle to change back.

As such, make an effort to change things purposefully and slowly.

Every change has an impact

Each and every change you make, will have a direct impact on the feel of the car.

Belgium TN 1
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SETUP TIME: A good setup can make or break a qualifying session in any sim!

It may massively help your speed on corner entry. However, it is very likely that another element of the car or your track performance will suffer.

Effectively, you are trying to find the quickest possible setup for your car throughout the entirety of your lap. These setups are all about compromise, and finding the best compromise possible!

It is also important to thoroughly test the car after each change. There is no right or wrong answer, the quality of a good car for the driver is in its driveability, so make sure to test, test and test again!