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How to find the best AI difficulty level in F1 2021

Reading time: 5 minutes
F1 2021
With the new F1 2021 now out, here's how you can find which AI level will suit you best.
Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

Have you been driving the Williams and winning races by 30 seconds whilst your teammate is fighting for 19th place? Are the other competitors pretty much just letting you pass them? Well you may have a terrible case of 'too low of an AI level'.

So you foolishly put the AI on maximum level, pick the Mercedes and now you qualify last a few seconds off the Haas that qualified ahead of you. Don't worry, you aren't exactly bad, you just need to find an AI level that works for you.

Now unfortunately, Codemasters haven't gone down the route of Kunos who in their title Assetto Corsa Competizione, offer a driver test in a Lamborghini Super Trofeo car at Monza in dry, wet and night conditions. Judging by your driving, the game suggests an AI level difficulty and you can go from there.

But alas, the F1 game doesn't provide you something like that so we are forced to do it ourselves. So here is what we recommend you do to find your ideal AI difficulty level.

Pick your driver carefully



Head to Grand Prix mode and select your driver. We would recommend Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas as you will be wanting to measure yourself against your teammate, and it's safe to say that Bottas' teammate is probably the best benchmark.

An image of Valtteri Bottas and his stats.Valtteri Bottas has always had impressive stats. Photo credit: Codemasters / EA


Then you will want to pick a track that has every type of corner. Traction zones, long sweepers, variations in line, so even though it's not the best track for racing, we recommend the Spanish Grand Prix track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

To avoid throwing in unhelpful conflicts that will ruin the experiment, set the weather to dry throughout. Go with short qualifying, then with your preferred assists and settings, you're good to go!

If you want to learn more about AI and how deep learning can help them outperform a human, check out our previous article:



Use Qualifying as a test session



Now a setup can make a world of difference, but for this test we will be using the 'default' setup since the AI are unlikely to be furiously searching for setup guides on the internet.

Since the ERS system is so important on the F1 games, what you want to do for qualifying is go for your out-lap with your deployment set to 'None', begin your lap and do your entire qualifying lap in 'Hotlap' mode and then afterwards, return to the pits. Yes this may seem like common knowledge to a lot of avid F1 gamers, but not everyone knows this trick.

Keep putting on a new set of soft tyres and going back out until the end of the session. Once done, compare the times between yourself and your teammate and whether you are slower or faster. For every second you are faster than your teammate, drop it by 10 and vice versa if you're slower, and keep redoing the test until you find yourself in a sweet spot of being roughly the same sort of pace.

An image of the in-game menus in F1 2021, showing AI difficulty.Testing on AI difficulty 80 (top) and 85 (bottom). Photo credit: Codemasters / EA


After a few sessions, you will eventually find yourself being a few tenths quicker and that's when you know you've found your ideal AI level. Then you are good to go for racing the AI on all circuits.

The times set on the Barcelona circuit won't be 100% representative among all circuits as there will be ones you don't gel with or that the AI will always be better at. If you are more than a second apart from your teammate, consider tweaking the AI level accordingly.

Let's go racing!



Now you're set to go and compete in your My Team, Driver Career or Grand Prix modes. Don't be afraid to revisit this test if you ever feel like you're unable to match the AI and be sure to stick around for more guides to help you further enjoy your F1 2021 gaming experience!

What AI level do you typically run at? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
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