Rally fans have met the release of with excitement, but numerous EA Sports WRC bugs have dampened this a bit. Here are our most important issues that need to be fixed as soon as possible.
When EA Sports WRC launched in early November, rally fans were hoping for a title that ticked all their boxes – a true successor to DiRT Rally 2.0 or maybe even Richard Burns Rally. While is doing many things right, the launch was not free of issues that ultimately limited many racers’ enjoyment.
Granted, EA Sports and Codemasters have reacted quickly by releasing the 1.3 patch not even a week after the official EA Sports WRC launch. The patch did try and mitigate performance issues in particular, for example by adding shader pre-compilation to the PC version. This slightly improved frame rates for many, but did not get rid of frame drops altogether unfortunately. A popular workaround seems to be setting car reflections to low or ultra low in the graphics options.
Console versions were not free of performance issues, either. The patch supposedly improved this, however we exclusively ran the PC version thus far. Please feel free to add your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S experience in the comments!
EA Sports WRC Bugs: AI
Still, the game is playable – and very enjoyable, we find. This is not true in all aspects, however. As a discipline that lends itself to singleplayer racing better than arguably any others in sim racing, rally games need reasonable AI times to compete against. As of version 1.3, their times vary wildly in EA Sports WRC. While community reports suggest they are too slow even at the highest setting, qutting and reloading an event makes their times go unrealistically erratic. Sometimes, the overall results do not reflect the stage results at all, either.
As a result, this dampens the excitement of running rallys in singleplayer modes considerably. Hence, fixing this should rank among the top entries of EA Sports’ and Codemasters’ list. Luckily, there are still plenty of online modes to sink your teeth in.
EA Sports WRC Bugs: Online Multiplayer
Online multiplayer can be the key to a title’s long life. As rFactor 2 recently showed with the additon of its Online ranked racing, it can also revive a game or sim to some extent, so getting it right is crucial. EA Sports WRC has a great base for this – but also two major issues.
There are two basic principles for EA Sports WRC‘s online modes. One is based on time trials, where you race by yourself, then upload your result to compare it with others. This is true for Time Trial (obviously), but also Club events and championships. For the latter, it is not necessary for every participant to be online at the same time. This is the opposite of “traditional” league racing in circuit-based sims, making it a great option for leagues that allow more schedule flexibility for everyone involved.
The other principle is a classic online lobby. While competitors are not visible during a stage except in the progress bar, drivers start stages and service times at the same time. For the ability to directly compare your times, online lobbies are a great way to play. On to the issues, though.
EA Sports WRC Club Events: Damage Reset Bug
A core part of rallying, especially for longer events, is gauging the trade-off between going as fast as possible and trying to keep your car as intact as possible. Service times are far and few in between, depending on event settings of course. Damage incurred on a stage may last until the next service – or even the rest of the rally, should you lack the time to repair it.
Lost turbo pressure at the start of a long stage that is followed by a shorter one before the next service? Tough luck – you have to make peace with getting a car that is seriously down on power over the line. Broke your headlights ahead of a night stage? Better drive extra carefully.
That is, unless you know about the damage reset bug in EA Sports WRC Club events. Doing a full 12-stage rally, you might not want or be able to do it all in one sitting. So should you quit the event to resume it later, you will find your car restored to perfect health, with even your tires being free of wear. Thus, the balance between pace versus caution gets shifted dramatically towards the first.
Leagues or Club events in general either need the honesty of participants not to make use of this, or will likely have to wait until the bug is fixed to put on any serious competitions. Considering the potential of the mode (it even lets you visualize a stage run by different drivers at the same time via RaceNet), this issue should not have to wait any longer than the aforementioned AI bug.
So, online lobbies it is to race with friends and random strangers then, right? While the “standard” multiplayer mode works well for the most part, stutters are present in it. And they become more frequent the more players there are in a lobby, as we found out in an EA Sports WRC multiplayer stream on our Twitch channel.
The stutters can occur in key situations, such as right before a hard braking zone or in the middle of a turn with no barrier but a slope next to it. Additionally, it can simply kill any flow or rhythm you might have even at more forgiving places of a stage.
While these issues come in addition to a number of smaller ones, it would be easy to point fingers at EA Sports and Codemasters. However, it appears that they are not ignoring them, with community manager PJ Tierney engaging players on the EA Sports WRC Discord or on Reddit frequently. If the v1.3 patch is any indication, we can hope for further patches to fix these issues in a relatively short amount of time.
If you have found a bug and want to report it, you can do so on the EA forums. There, you can also get find threads about issues the community has found. Possible workarounds for some issues might be mentioned in some of the threads, too.
What are your must-fix bugs with EA Sports WRC? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!