Assetto Corsa Evo and the Mod Dilemma

RenoF1 Lewis Hamilton Ferrari mod.png
Image credit: OverTake user RenoF1 / Kunos Simulazioni
We finally know the title of the Assetto Corsa follow-up, but the question remains as to whether it will feature what has made the original such an icon in the sim racing space, mods. However could that cause issues?

Assetto Corsa Evo was teased during the release of the Nürburgring 24H to Assetto Corsa Competizione before being finally officially revealed.

The original Assetto Corsa is a much beloved title due to its mod compatibility. Therefore you can drive just about anything.

Want to drive Targa Florio in a 1934 Maserati? You can do that. Maybe you want to drive an F1 car on one of the tracks that never made it onto the F1 game like the Sakhir Outer Layout or a future track like the Madrid Street Circuit. You can even race a dinosaur or a banana on Rainbow Road from Mario Kart if you wanted to.


The possibilities are endless on AC, with the playerbase's imagination running wild. Unsurprisingly, after Kunos developed a GT-focused licenced title in Competizione, many of the original's players continued to play AC. Now though, Assetto Corsa Evo is promised to be a true follow-up to the 2014 released game and it is set to release in early access this Summer.

But with that comes the burning question of whether or not it will be mod-compatible. While this is undeniably one of the factors that keeps the original AC alive and kicking for those that drive on a PC - almost ten years after its release - things are not quite as easy when it comes to Assetto Corsa Evo.

Developers vs. Modders​

Remember when rFactor 2 became available on LowFuelMotorsport, an automated matchmaking website that became prominent thanks to its inclusion of ACC? Since rFactor 2 launched its own automated matchmaking system, LFM has closed down its rF2 servers.

But if you played LFM's rF2 races in that time, you will have noticed that they used third party mods. In contrast, the only content in rF2's own automated matchmaking that was not official and could be found in the rF2 Steam Store were mods from ISI.


Many of our own community members have asked why Kunos do not formally embrace modding which makes their game so appealing. Well, it could come down to one simple fact: modding is kind of the biggest grey zone legally when it comes to our beloved sim racing titles.

Modding and legal implications are extremely complex topics, with factors like IP rights of real-life cars, tracks, logos and more, playing a big part in it. Players appreciate the immense amount of content available in the original AC including official DLC and community creations - but the question remains how it is going to be handled in Assetto Corsa Evo.

Mods vs. DLC​

During the original Assetto Corsa's lifespan, eleven sets of DLC packs released for the game with the most recent one being the Ferrari Pack, released 19 September 2017. In this pack are the likes of the 330 P4, which is a Le Mans icon, the modern and road-legal 812 Superfast, and Formula One cars like the championship-winning F2004 and the SF70-H from 2017.

The danger there is that an unofficial third-party mod that either costs much less or are completely free could sway a potential buyer of a DLC pack to getting that instead. The world of mods made by amateur hobby devs can fluctuate in terms of quality, but a mod that is of high enough quality can pique curiosity and channel interest away from official content that the studio spent enormous amounts of time and resources on.

Assetto Corsa Japanese Car Pack.jpg

What would keep players purchasing official content and not automating to fan-made mods? Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

In essence, both sides are facing different challenges. For a studio, the standard has to be equal across the board, meaning every car and every track has to work in every possible scenario (such as rain, night, dusk, dawn, etc.). It also has to work on consoles, if the title is supposed to be released on these systems.

Modders, on the other hand, face way less of these variables. To put it bluntly, they do not have to take care that their creations work in any hardware environment the rest of the game does, or is compatible with other content. But take the Nordschleife for ACC, for example - the eagerly-awaited official version has seen player numbers shoot up to a record high, not at last due to its immense level of detail Kunos were able to produce.

Lack of Enthusiasm​

When we covered the announcement of the Nordschleife coming to Assetto Corsa Competizione delaying the release of the now-named Assetto Corsa Evo, there seemed to be a good amount of people who were not too disappointed. For instance, @Hoksu left the following comment on the article:

"Imo there's no particular hurry to release AC2, AC1 with the huge modding community is a great title that constantly improves, ACC is magnificent for racing modern GT cars and it's about to get a lot better. Delaying AC2 a bit is perfectly fine to me"

Of course, there are plenty of people who did not pick up ACC and many who only are eager to play Evo. But the sentiment of Hoksu is a surprisingly common one. The sustained lifespans of AC and ACC have raised the expectations of players, but Kunos has made sure to put out high-quality products that brought elements to the table that have not been found before - so we can probably expect as much with Assetto Corsa Evo.

Would no mods in Assetto Corsa Evo be a dealbreaker for you? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below.

UPDATE APRIL 9, 21:00 UTC:
Due to inaccuracies, we have updated the article.
About author
Luca [OT]
Biggest sim racing esports fan in the world.

Comments

Would no mods in Assetto Corsa Evo be a dealbreaker for you?

Of course, it's 2024, modding community is growing up day after day, just look how AC feels different, with CSP for example, added day and night cycle, and even rain. I have nothing against paid DLCs as long as they are high quality, but blocking your game from modding is a like a shotgun shot in the knee. Let people enjoy game just how they want, no reason to block it, they are the reason why your company even exist at first place.
 
Most mods are overrated. Plus dealing with the clutching of pearls from the moders are tiresome. Downloading some mods in the past required over twenty links because the modders " wanted their credit" and wouldn't allow a one install file. Now, years have past, and some links are dead and still nobody remembers who contributed to the mod. Good job modders.

Nowadays, Mods are mostly for online anyway, so if you don't play online, most suck. A lot of them suck regardless.

Plus, the most modable Sims are the most incomplete, broken, and abandoned ones. Rf2 has basically been abandoned to be rebranded as LMU without mod support and the brainwashed masses celebrate the studio, while demanding AC Evo have them. Cognitive dissonance much?

AC is, by far, the worst sim on the market and if it wasn't for ACC, I would have absolutely NO faith in AC2. That being said, not allowing mods and creating an ACC type simulator with multiple types of cars (like AMS2) would be a much better approach if we take past history as a trend. With all its faults, AMS2 is the best sim on the market because it was not moldable and primarily focused on single player.

Creating a game for online play primarily and moddability will be a recipe for a horrible single player racing sim which is what I care about and if one believes the polls and statistics floating around, more people than online players.
 
EA Day 1 AC user here. As long as there is plenty of 1st party content, modding is not a big priority for me.

Yes, AC has been lifted to new heights thanks to modding, but it's more like that "skinny" Homer meme. Behind every pretty screenshot or cinematic video there are hours of tweaking, CSP bugs and infinite unexplained settings, mods that might look great from the outside for screenshots but cockpit view & physics are neglected, different BoP from different modders for cars within the same category, exploitative monetization of mods of licensed and/or ripped content, etc. The modding scene of today's AC is a far cry from the modding scene in the first years.

Since the major features that were modded into AC (night/weather) are core features in modern sims, I would take one cohesive package of a game with long term support incl. additional content and with modding as the cherry on top, rather than modding as the focus. As much as I love AC and consider it to be #1, I am ready for something new, fresh, on a clean sheet.
 
> with it effectively being open source (well, almost) meaning one can create mods for just about anything.

It would be nice if the author wouldn't use words the meaning of which they don't know.

Is this how the quality of writing at Overtake was, all this time? Glad I didn't see it.
 
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Most mods are overrated. Plus dealing with the clutching of pearls from the moders are tiresome. Downloading some mods in the past required over twenty links because the modders " wanted their credit" and wouldn't allow a one install file. Now, years have past, and some links are dead and still nobody remembers who contributed to the mod. Good job modders.

Nowadays, Mods are mostly for online anyway, so if you don't play online, most suck. A lot of them suck regardless.

Plus, the most modable Sims are the most incomplete, broken, and abandoned ones. Rf2 has basically been abandoned to be rebranded as LMU without mod support and the brainwashed masses celebrate the studio, while demanding AC Evo have them. Cognitive dissonance much?

AC is, by far, the worst sim on the market and if it wasn't for ACC, I would have absolutely NO faith in AC2. That being said, not allowing mods and creating an ACC type simulator with multiple types of cars (like AMS2) would be a much better approach if we take past history as a trend. With all its faults, AMS2 is the best sim on the market because it was not moldable and primarily focused on single player.

Creating a game for online play primarily and moddability will be a recipe for a horrible single player racing sim which is what I care about and if one believes the polls and statistics floating around, more people than online players.

The hell are you smoking? In most games (especially old ones) mods gives second life. Also there are lot of websites, hell, even Steam Workshop when you just press one button, like "subscibe" and boom, mod is yours and installed. And in what world mods are for online? Also, it's just rF2 devs fault that they've abandonded rF2, what mods has to do with it?

2/10 because I've responded.
 
Certainly not a deal-breaker, but in terms of the game's lifespan... well... i believe things are beyond clear there.
That being said, If ACE does turn out to be moddable, and if the simulation depth does turn out to be at 2024. levels (which is paramount and fully expected), i think not many car modders (apart from the ones that are already doing proper job with the original) would be able (or even care) to comprehend that complexity and we'd probably get even more half-a**ed content than we have for the original AC. That's not something I'd want.
Could currated UGC perhaps be the solution?
 
Would no mods in Assetto Corsa Evo be a dealbreaker for you?

Yes, if mods won't be available I will skip it.

RSS/VRC/URD/CM-CSP/SOL-PURE and a number of other independent creators have shown how to build on the solid foundation of AC propelling the sim to the next level and keeping it relevant until this very day.
 
EA Day 1 AC user here. As long as there is plenty of 1st party content, modding is not a big priority for me.
Same here I agree, I think this time, they will have to focus on the console market more content wise.
The high sales figures they archived must have been due to the constant PC sales this game as had through out the years, with the help of the modding community, whether it be AC apps, Graphic mods, Skins, Vehicle and Tracks mods, none of which the consoles have and for that reason I guessing no mods and they will focus on more high quality dlc for console and PC.
 
Much more interested in being able to customize and tweak every little detail of a game/sim, from the visuals to the UI to the gameplay, as opposed to the inclusion of car and track mods.

If mods are allowed, great - it's nice to have more content. But I want a CSP-level amount of control over settings and options much more than having (mostly) subpar 3rd party car and track mods.

However if mods are not allowed, KS will need to regularly crank out a generous amount of high-quality cars and tracks...
 
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Would no mods in Assetto Corsa Evo be a dealbreaker for you?

Yes, if mods won't be available I will skip it.

RSS/VRC/URD/CM-CSP/SOL-PURE and a number of other independent creators have shown how to build on the solid foundation of AC propelling the sim to the next level and keeping it relevant until this very day.
RSS/VRC/URD are not mods in the traditional sense. There are selling commercial products that can be added into AC. And often provide worse value than 1st party content.

CSP/Sol/Pure solve a problem for AC that will not be a problem in any new sim.
 
Difficult to have an opinion until we know more about what ACE will be like.
I love AC, it is by a factor of 30 my most played Sim, I have thousands of cars and hundreds of tracks, all the CSP trickeries and Sol weather simulation. When just for the pleasure of simulating driving it is my first choice, same when simulating any championships from Dawn of Motorsport to the present era.
My second favorite Sim is ACC, played more than the rest by a factor of 10.
Do I want mod in ACC? No, it does not need it, even if it was available.
Would I still play AC without mod? Not as much, as the official content while being very well made in all aspect, is very limited. It is like a little bit of everything.
So, depending on what ACE is going to be like, I may wish for mod or not.
I trust Kunos, above all developers, to understand the community and deliver yet an other fantastic Sim. From NetKar Pro to ACC, they have always made me happy.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have updates from the mod community for AC with content and graphics, on a weekly, when not on a daily basis to keep the experience fresh. How about the new LCS (Linear Color Space) in the latest preview?
 
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Premium
> with it effectively being open source (well, almost) meaning one can create mods for just about anything.

It would be nice if the author wouldn't use words the meaning of which they don't know.

Is this how the quality of writing at Overtake was, all this time? Glad I didn't see it.
Open source is a term that originally referred to open source software (OSS). Open source software is code that is designed to be publicly accessible.

Damn, I didn't know that clearly.
 
The demand of mods will depend on how complete and feature-rich ACE (hats off to Marco Massarutto and his guerrilla marketing tactics, that's one hell of an acronym) is as a game. I think it escapes people's minds how barebones AC was in vanilla state, and how it hinges on Content Manager being one of the best 3rd party softwares for simracing titles ever in history. Yes, it's not THAT hard to setup, and once you have it working, it doesn't require constant tweaking. But sometimes I read users saying "Yes, with X paid mod, CM+CSP+SOL+PURE+RARE+INSERTRANDOMNEWMODBETTERTHANSLICEDBREAD, who needs Y game"...and I wonder if they realize what they are proposing is impractical to say the least. Usually, when somebody speaks of mods, he/she thinks of content first, and some extra tweaks later. For AC, many times it meant a way of adding features that were not present.

ACE, first of all, needs systems as baked-in concepts that just work. Local yellows, full course yellows, formation laps, rolling starts, P2P systems, DRS, fleshed out pit rules, full day-night cycle, full weather system, online AI racing, AI co-driving, mid-race saves...list goes on. As many of these features are in ACC already, one can predict they will be there for ACE too.

I think ACC is a living proof that a simracing title can have modding blocked but still enjoy a long and successful life if it's supported, improved, content is provided during its lifespan (which by now is about 5-6 years IIRC), and more importantly: fulfills its objectives by simply delivering the goods on the focus it has. Like it or not, iRacing is another example.

Do I prefer modding to be an option? Of course I do. Do I think it's better for the health of any game? Yes, it broadens the options and extends the lifespan of any game, and it can also generate some revenue to devs and publishers for years to come, even if they keep on developing and releasing new titles. Do I NEED for ACE to be moddable? That will depend on what kind of product does Kunos deliver this time.

Maybe a smart tactic is to just keep the modding possibilities locked out of public for a 4-5 year period, so you maximize sales of the main release with DLC extras. Then you lift the blocks while you stop its support and shift focus into new developments. But for this to truly work, the game in question needs to come out swinging proper.
 
Most mods are overrated. Plus dealing with the clutching of pearls from the moders are tiresome. Downloading some mods in the past required over twenty links because the modders " wanted their credit" and wouldn't allow a one install file. Now, years have past, and some links are dead and still nobody remembers who contributed to the mod. Good job modders.

Nowadays, Mods are mostly for online anyway, so if you don't play online, most suck. A lot of them suck regardless.

Plus, the most modable Sims are the most incomplete, broken, and abandoned ones. Rf2 has basically been abandoned to be rebranded as LMU without mod support and the brainwashed masses celebrate the studio, while demanding AC Evo have them. Cognitive dissonance much?

AC is, by far, the worst sim on the market and if it wasn't for ACC, I would have absolutely NO faith in AC2. That being said, not allowing mods and creating an ACC type simulator with multiple types of cars (like AMS2) would be a much better approach if we take past history as a trend. With all its faults, AMS2 is the best sim on the market because it was not moldable and primarily focused on single player.

Creating a game for online play primarily and moddability will be a recipe for a horrible single player racing sim which is what I care about and if one believes the polls and statistics floating around, more people than online players.
Unfortunately AC’s massive user base even after 10 years directly contradicts your opinion of what’s “best”

There’s also a side of modding - the creators- which allows them showcase their talents and in a lot of cases, fill in gaps for missing content.

Wouldn’t expect you to understand that, since something like broken links are a trigger for you.
 
Would no mods in Assetto Corsa Evo be a dealbreaker for you?

I'd rather buy content packs from Kunos directly. So, day one Early Access purchase for AC-Evo (and any paid DLC bundles offered) for me without a doubt. I've supported Kunos from the start.

For me, Kunos are the most consistent dev out there, so it's a no brainer for me.
 
if evo is done correctly, it will allow cars and tracks to be added without a lot of fuss. car modders shouldn't need to fully understand 1000 different values in .ini files to get the tire model correct. there should be MORE support for modders and MORE tools to allow them to add content with a consistent quality. basically, as little as possible should be left in the hands of modders to get it right. as much as possible should be provided, like textures/materials, tire models, lights, etc... when you see AC modders saying how kunos themselves couldnt even get some of the tire values right in the original content, then something went wrong somewhere.
 
I'd say facts speak louder than words. I don't think Kunos expected AC to be one of the most played sims on Steam 10 years after release. When they stopped developing it they even said weather and day/night cycle was impossible without rewriting the whole thing. The fact that one man would prove them wrong in such a wonderful way for AC (x4fab) and the community shows them exactly what people want from AC2.

So, if Kunos have their eyes half open and wish for AC2 to be at least as good as AC, they know what to do/not to do. AC basically showed (not only) them the recipe during the last decade. BeamNG's success is due in large part to the same thing.

And if they do leave it open to modding, I'd like to echo what's been previously said: please make physics - especially tires and suspension, the 2 most important components - a bit more comprehensible and able to take real world data directly.

We all understand that AC2 can't have all the cars and tracks we want in the box. If you care for having a product that people will enjoy 10 years from now, Kunos, please put yourself in a modder's shoes in order to allow yourself to make the right choices for all of us car lovers out there.

If you care about having AC3 out in about 5 years, then I think I'll stick to AC.
 
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