Want more realism in your sim racing experience? Ricmotech provides top-quality steering wheels, shifters, paddles, simulator seating, and more. They even create PCs specifically for the demands of sim racing. For the most realistic experience on the track, Ricmotech has your back.
For example, F1 22 has both steering and braking assists, which automatically turn and slow the car down in corners, respectively. Other assists go even further beyond, such as with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) assist and the traction control assist. Whatever the assist, they all serve the same overarching purpose, and are great for anyone learning to drive these extremely fast cars.
Of course — and this is to be expected of any sim racing game with assists present — they actually hold players back when it comes to outright pace and setting good lap times. The F1 2022 game in particular is a really good example of this, with several assists actually slowing players down significantly. This is due to the fact that many of the assists in the game work in ways that either reduce the power coming from the engine, go for less optimal braking or turning points, and similar compromises.
Naturally, those with no sim racing experience might find it difficult to discern which of the assists in F1 22 hold them back the most, and which ones are actually more helpful than detrimental. But as always, that’s why we’re here: to give you the details you’re looking for. Read on to find out more in our F1 2022 assists guide.
Where to Find the Assist Settings in F1 2022
Before anything else, we should go look for the Assists menu. You can find it in several places, with the first and most obvious one being from the main menu. Simply navigate to the Home tab, then go into Game Options, Settings, and finally Assists. The Assists menu actually shows up as the first entry here, making it very easy to find.
Otherwise, you can also find it through the pause menu when you’re in an active session. Just pause the game by pressing the appropriate button on your input device, then go into Settings, and then Assists once again.
The Assists menu looks like this:
F1 2022 Game Assists Tips
Don’t Use the Driving Proficiency Presets
Now that we’re here, the first thing we recommend is to switch the Race Style setting found in the upper right corner of the screen to Expert. Expert shows all of the assists available in the game, allowing you to fine-tune your assist setup as much as possible.
We suggest avoiding the first setting, Driving Proficiency, altogether. While it does cycle through preset setups based on your skill level, tweaking each individual assist still yields much better results overall.
Time to get into the assists themselves. First up is Steering Assist, which automatically turns the car into corners for you.
This setting should typically be the first to go. It’s not really a driving game anymore if you have this enabled, after all. But if you’ve got zero experience with racing games, it’s alright to leave this setting on for your first few hours. Once you get more used to the cars’ steering response and cornering speeds, then you can just go back and disable this.
Braking Assist automatically applies braking force to the car when approaching a corner, especially those tight enough to warrant slowing down.
This setting is actually very useful for beginners, especially after considering that there are 24 tracks in the F1 2022 game. With an average of around 13 to 15 or so corners in each one, memorizing every single braking point and knowing how hard one should hit the brakes can be daunting at first.
We recommend leaving this setting on for your first several hours. Don’t be afraid to disable it thereafter, though, as being able to brake manually allows you to choose braking points according to the situation. For example, you may want to brake slightly later than someone you’re trying to overtake into a corner — something which the Braking Assist algorithm doesn’t account for.
The Anti-Lock Brakes setting, also known as the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) in real life, prevents the front wheels from “locking up” when applying too much braking pressure in heavy braking zones. Locking the wheels causes them to point straight ahead, preventing any turn-in for the duration of the effect. This is very bad, as you will find yourself running wide out of a corner at best, and crashing into a wall at worst.
This also causes the front wheels to stop spinning, robbing the car of precious traction and scraping rubber off the surface of the tires. Less rubber on the tires means less grip, which worsens over a lap and costs you valuable time. It also throws a wrench in your strategy, as you may have to pit earlier to compensate.
Out of all the settings here, we strongly recommend leaving ABS on until you reach a point where you can call yourself a very experienced driver. Knowing exactly where the limit of braking pressure is and getting the most out of the brakes without locking up is something that even real life Formula 1 drivers mess up occasionally, and it’s incredibly easy to do so in F1 22.
Once you master the balance in this regard (with techniques like trail braking, etc), disabling ABS thereafter will save you a ton of time. Having ABS off means shorter braking distances, which means you can afford to brake later than someone with the assist enabled.
Traction Control (TC) reduces power going to the rear wheels from the front engine whenever it detects a mismatch between the track surface conditions and torque, such as when applying too much throttle too quickly coming out of a corner. This prevents wheelspin, which is one of the primary causes of oversteer and undesired sliding.
This assist is one of the worst in the game when it comes to reducing outright pace, since it cuts power from the engine as mentioned above. However, professional F1 drivers like Lando Norris have gone on record in the past saying that disabling TC in the Codemasters F1 games is unrealistic, and that the Medium setting is actually closer to how the cars feel in real life.
Considering that it’s much easier to send the car into a spin in this year’s game due to the new aerodynamic model, Traction Control is now even more important than ever. We recommend keeping it at Medium; Full is just too heavy-handed to be any useful. If you’re feeling adventurous or feel like you have a light enough touch on the gas pedal, disabling TC can significantly improve your lap times. The car becomes incredibly twitchy with it off, though, so it will take a ton of time to get used to.
Drift Assist is just like Traction Control, except it only applies to the Pirelli Hot Lap Challenge sessions in F1 22. Unlike TC, though, this only has two settings: On and Off. If you are new to drifting, we recommend leaving this setting on. If you don’t care about the drifting sections of the game, though, you can safely ignore this assist.
Dynamic Racing Line
Much like in Gran Turismo 7, the F1 2022 game also has a racing line assist. The one here is actually a bit more useful than the one in GT7, since it shows a more gradual progression of the recommended braking pressure for each corner. To this end, the Dynamic Racing Line shows green on the line itself to indicate throttle application, and goes from green to yellow, and then to red depending on how much braking should be applied.
We definitely recommend keeping this on at least the Corners Only option. Truth be told, with how many tracks and corners there are on the Formula 1 calendar, practicing every single turn is just not feasible for those that don’t have the time to invest into doing so. The Dynamic Racing Line makes jumping into the seat and going around on track much simpler on an every day basis.
As for the type, it’s really up to you. 3D is more visible, but 2D is also just fine.
Now we come to what is 100 percent the most important assist to talk about: the Gearbox. Manual gear shifting has to be the most intimidating aspect of driving — not just in sim racing but also in real life. It’s even harder in F1 22, where the cars go at much higher speeds than what you might be used to on public roads.
Before anything else, though, it’s worth talking about how the gearbox works in a Formula 1 car. F1 cars use an eight-speed sequential gearbox, controlled by paddle shifters located just behind the steering wheel. As opposed to an H-shifter gearbox, which uses a physical lever to change gears, a sequential gearbox requires you to go up and down the gears in order.
H-shifters, which are present on manual transmission road cars, have the ability to “skip” gears going down (higher to lower). F1 cars do not. Also, there are three more gears in F1 cars compared to most road cars, which only go up to fifth gear.
There’s also the issue of input devices and how they differ in terms of shifting gears. A dedicated steering wheel is the best at this, as all of them have paddle shifters built in. Gamepad players might experience more growing pains in this regard, though, as there isn’t really an easy way to bind the gears to the buttons on a controller.
If you own a wheel, then we recommend going for manual gears off the bat. It’s absolutely worth doing for one good reason:
The act of short shifting — that is, to shift up before the car’s revolutions per minute (RPM or “revs”) hits the redline — is extremely useful in saving time in each lap. Short shifting keeps the revs down to a healthy minimum, which prevents unnecessary wheelspin and wear on the engine. The former in particular is important to qualifying well and winning races, as it is much easier to control a car that isn’t losing traction to wheelspin.
Short shifting is practically required coming out of low traction corners, such as the hairpin (turn 11) in Suzuka. In wet weather conditions, it becomes even more vital in preventing the car from sliding out due to the slippery track surface.
This is bar none the most compelling reason to switch to manual gears. Short shifting is just so crucial to higher performance in these kinds of cars. Therefore, if you have the means to do so, we highly recommend setting the Gearbox assist to Manual with Suggested Gear. This way, you’ll have full control of the gearbox, while having the luxury of seeing what gears are best for each corner on your heads-up display.
Aside from this, it’s just plain fun. There’s nothing quite like the feeling being in control of the gears. Trust us when we say you’ll never want to go back to automatic gears once you’ve tried manual.
The Pit Assist setting automates slowing down before the start of the pit lane, and drives the car for you within the pit lane itself. The pit lane has a speed limit, after all, which causes time penalties to be handed out if exceeded.
We recommend leaving this on if you’re a new player, but turning it off if you know what you’re doing. Turning Pit Assist off allows you to brake as late as you dare right before the pit lane line, which can save you a few tenths of a second on a pit stop. The Pit Release Assist setting, on the other hand, automates the part where you have to hold the clutch and rev the engine right before coming out of your pit box. Our advice for this setting is the same as the previous one.
As we mentioned in our F1 22 basics guide, all Formula 1 cars are equipped with a hybrid powertrain, with the electric component known as the Energy Recovery System (ERS). The ERS provides extra horsepower to the engine when deployed, at the cost of battery power. F1 cars recover the lost energy through the conversion of kinetic energy and heat, allowing them to deploy power anew.
The ERS Assist setting automates the use of the Overtake button, which injects maximum power from the battery into the engine to help facilitate overtakes and increase straight line speed. We do not recommend enabling this setting, as proper management of the ERS throughout a lap and an entire race distance is only really possible with manual control.
Instead, we suggest taking the time to get a feel for how much battery power the car consumes over a lap, Overtake mode enabled and disabled. From there, you can choose when to deploy Overtake mode and when to hold back in order to harvest additional energy.
The Drag Reduction System (DRS) allows each car to open a gap in their rear wing in order to reduce aerodynamic drag. Drivers may only activate DRS when they are no more than one second behind any car directly ahead of them, whether they are on the same lap or not. Along with ERS, DRS is there to help with overtaking.
This is an easy one. DRS Assist automates the opening of the rear wing when all the prerequisites are fulfilled — but opening the rear wing involves simply pressing a button bound to the DRS function. We suggest disabling this setting, as you get more immersion without it with a tiny tradeoff.