EA Sports WRC Gameplay: What To Expect

EA Sports WRC Stages Weather 2.jpg
Ever since the announcement of EA Sports WRC, the anticipation for the latest officially-licensed rally game has been growing. Here is what to look forward to regarding, stages, handling, weather, and more.

Image credit: EA Sports

After years of official titles by Kylotonn, EA Sports WRC is taking over. With Codemasters being part of EA since early 2021, the game has a good base in DiRT Rally 2.0 to work with, but what can be expected once the game releases on November 3rd?

EA Sports WRC: Vehicle Classes​

The new title will not be short on content, as the already-revealed car list showed. With a whopping 78 vehicles being available, rally fans should not run out of cars to race anytime soon. They are split into 18 classes, with the custom Builder Cars forming an additional category.

Here are all the classes you can look forward to:

2023 Season​

  • WRC, WRC2, Junior WRC

Historic​

  • World Rally Cars 2017-2021
  • World Rally Cars 1997-2011
  • Rally2
  • Rally4
  • NR4/R4
  • S2000
  • S1600
  • F2 Kit Cars
  • Group A
  • Group B (4WD)
  • H3 (RWD)
  • H2 (RWD)
  • H1 (FWD)
  • Builder Cars


Builder Cars are the equivalent to MyTeam cars of the F1 series. Players can choose a chassis layout, a number of mechanical parts and even the design of their in-car dashboards. This way, they can create their very own WRC vehicle. Builds that are clearly superior to the others are not possible, however, as Codemasters stated.

Compared to DiRT Rally 2.0, players might miss certain content, however. Check out our resident WRC superfan Michel’s video to find out what is not there, and for his opinion and hopes for the new title.


Stages​

A total of 17 locations will be available at EA Sports WRC‘s launch, with the Central Europe Rally increasing this to 18 later on. This includes all 13 locations of the 2023 World Rally Championship.

What about stage design, though? Well, as we already highlighted, the game will use the Unreal Engine in order to create bigger and more intricate stages than before. EA and Codemasters even used real routes to create the stages for the game, with satellite images and terrain data further upping the detail. This results in stages of up to roughly 30 kilometers for the longest ones. In total, each location will feature 35 kilometers of unique track.

Compared to DiRT Rally 2.0, the overall length of all stages comes in at 200 kilometers more. Chances are that both fans of handbrake drifts around tight corners and high-speed jumps alike will find a playground that suits their preferences.

EA Sports WRC Stages Weather.jpg

Players can tackle stages of up to 30 kilometers in EA Sports WRC. Image credit: EA Sports


EA Sports WRC Gameplay: Surface Degradation​

A changing racing surface is standard in most circuit-based simulations these days, but is a relatively new approach in rally sims. Of course, this comes into play much more on loose surfaces like gravel, sand or snow compared to tarmac.

Just like in real events, cars that enter a stage later face a different surface than those that started earlier. Ruts may have formed or snowy sections compressed to be more slippery - drivers have to adadpt to the ever-evolving nature of the stages, adding another layer to the EA Sports WRC gameplay.

Weather​

Changing conditions are not just restricted to the surface, however. There will be a number of weather conditions available for the stages - and they are part of a dynamic weather system. This means that while players may start a stage in the dusk, it might be completely dark by the time they finish it. Another example is rain: Starting a stage in the dry, but finishing in a downpour (or vice versa) is absolutely possible.

Additionally, all non-snow stages are available to race in any season. Have you ever wondered what the Rally Monte Carlo would be like if it was held in the summer? How about a wintery Rally Finland? You can try these and many more scenarios in EA Sports WRC. This also adds a lot of replay value to each of the locations.


EA Sports WRC Gameplay: Handling​

For many, this is the key question about EA Sports WRC. Will it be a proper simulation, or is it going to be geared towards a more casual audience? Well, all signs point to the former - but not exclusively.

The game's handling is based on that of DiRT Rally 2.0, with its tarmac handling receiving special attention. Game Designer Jon Armstrong, who has competed in WRC, seemed satisfiyed with the handling in a media preview, stating that "the handling is very close to reality." Racers who have a passion for authentic handling will likely appreciate this.

However, this does not mean that anyone who does not want a hardcore simulation experience will be disappointed. EA Sports WRC will include a Dynamic Handling System, which makes use of several assists to ensure players of many proficiency levels will have a good time in the game.

This customizable experience, along with the promise of well-implemented gamepad controls, should make the game very accessible. Players who want the full, authentic experience, however, can even look forward to a hardcore damage model.

Game Mode Deep Dive To Follow​

With a lot of promising info already unveiled, fans will not have to wait long for more. A deep dive similar to the one regarding EA Sports WRC gameplay will be shown on September 27th, shining more light onto the available game modes and features.

EA Sports WRC will launch on November 3rd on PC via Epic Games and Steam, as well as Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5.

What do you think about the upcoming EA Sports WRC thus far? Tell us on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Whatever they say, we know for a fact that it won't be a simulator. Since this is an "evolution" of the DR2.0 physics, then best case scenario it will be the same as DR2.0. And after watching the "gameplay" video in their YT page, it looks like that's the case. At least we will get a better and more accurate depiction than the sloppy hackjob KT did all these years.
One thing that's already annoying me thought is the shading. Weird tint and washed out colors. Why? I thought only KT didn't like depicting reality as it is, but it seems that Codies is doing the same. This can be improved with reshade but still, it's a bad start for me.
 
A "great" thing to expect is now being forced to run EA App under a Steam installation, as confirmed on the product page. As if they couldn't avoid it for online games using an EA Account (SW:Squadrons, or current EA F1 games come to mind).

I'm also expecting it to suffer UE5 stutter issues at release, a good reason to wait before buy. Ego was old, but at least, and other than a few nagging sector points on DR2, it didn't suffer from the awfull frametime issues KT WRC games had.

At least tarmac physics handling revised is very good news.
 
Looking at the lists and the available pre-orders, it seems that EA went a complete different route and is trying to do something different?!
I don't see DLCs, I don't see half the content cut away, I don't see microtransactions and I don't even see a deluxe edition?

Feels way too god to be true, but it looks like EA just though "you know what, it's the first game of this new era and we'll just give the fans what they want and earn money by simply selling a massive amount of copies".
One version, that's it. Pre-orders only get a few extra visual goodies and 3 days earlier access.

I won't believe this until it's actually released!
But if I would believe it, then I'd be hyped AF :D
 
What to expect from a rally game done by a AAA studio holding an official WRC license in 2023? Much less than from an almost indie studio in 2004, that's for sure. RBR still stands proud as the best rally sim NINETEEN years later.

There used to be a time when the holders of an official motorsport license did their best with it, not just their best to milk it with yearly installments. Funny that EA actually did a good job with F1 Challenge '99 - '02, if I remember well. It was a heck of a modding platform as well, the best at the time. And it's not like they don't have the means to do a sim and dumb it down enough for the masses with driving aids in 2023, as the biggest videogame developer in the world. No. The point is that making a true sim out of their F1 and WRC licenses isn't actually on their list. So buying into any one of those franchises isn't on mine and won't be for as long as they make them.
 
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Nice content, but being built off Dirt 2 physics I am not sold yet.
RWD cars had ridiculous handling, tarmac was terrible.

Surface degradation....does the engine have loose surface physics or is this baked like Dirt 2?
Based off your start position.. ex 1-10 fast, 10-20 medium, 30-40 slow rutted.

Looks good and somewhat interested but I'll wait for reviews or Xbox to test it before considering to buy it.
 
Whatever they say, we know for a fact that it won't be a simulator. Since this is an "evolution" of the DR2.0 physics, then best case scenario it will be the same as DR2.0. And after watching the "gameplay" video in their YT page, it looks like that's the case. At least we will get a better and more accurate depiction than the sloppy hackjob KT did all these years.
One thing that's already annoying me thought is the shading. Weird tint and washed out colors. Why? I thought only KT didn't like depicting reality as it is, but it seems that Codies is doing the same. This can be improved with reshade but still, it's a bad start for me.

We can clearly see the game has all the same arcade like handling that DR2 has, and that there doesn't appear to be much improvement in the tarmac handling.

This isn't surprising, I expected this game to be DR2, but with WRC cars, and microtransactions, and that's exactly what it looks like with what we've seen so far.

We aren't likely to see any other rally "simulation" games in the foreseeable future, so we should just try to make the best of it.


What's with the Oven Mitts? Oh Dear :)

View attachment 696201


This game has the same problem that WRCG has with the Rally1 cars, that the decal on the top of the windscreen blocks almost half the windscreen. I was hoping they would cut the decal in half when in the cockpit camera view so we can see....oh well, I guess we'll just have to use the dash cam view.
 
EZ, ATLEAST, the same Quality level of WRC Generations, the SAME type of Physics on road, but the dirt physics of Dirt 2.0
And THE SAME CAMPAING MODE, or at least the SAME options and Modes

I SWEAR IF I SEE A DAMN BLOODY BATTLE PASS like in F1 2023, IM LOOSING MY F***ING MIND
 
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Club Staff
Premium
Looking at the lists and the available pre-orders, it seems that EA went a complete different route and is trying to do something different?!
I don't see DLCs, I don't see half the content cut away, I don't see microtransactions and I don't even see a deluxe edition?

Feels way too god to be true, but it looks like EA just though "you know what, it's the first game of this new era and we'll just give the fans what they want and earn money by simply selling a massive amount of copies".
One version, that's it. Pre-orders only get a few extra visual goodies and 3 days earlier access.

I won't believe this until it's actually released!
But if I would believe it, then I'd be hyped AF :D
I think it might be a hint in that it is called EA Sports WRC.
This might become a thing with yearly seasonal DLC's or something?
 
Club Staff
Premium
Being a SIM racer in 2023 - "be as pessimistic as possible" seems to be the trend. Constant moaning, especially about games that haven't even been released yet, is getting really old.

I'm just happy there are new games / Sims coming out to try :)
 
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Club Staff
Premium
or snowy sections compressed to be more slippery

I hope not... If the snow is compressed, the studs bite in better*. If the snow gets loose however, the studs doesn't bite in, and you will be "floating" on top of the surface just like on loose gravel.
I know there was some years when Sweden was held in the traditional area where it was better to start first, but that wasn't due to the snow being compressed. It was because there wasn't any loose snow on top of the road to start with, so the first car loosened up the snow, or ripped through the ice and created ice-dust on top of it, making it slippery for those behind.
If there is a layer of fresh snow on top of the road, it will be cleaning like on loose gravel, but if it is clear ice/no loose snow at all, the first car has the advantage.

*With studs, the snow doesn't really get compressed anyway.

On a different note. The fact that most of the stages can be run in different times of the year, is something I hope points to the WRC calendar in career mode being able to change, both in terms of what rallies, but also when they are being done. A tiny bit of V-Rally 3 feel where the rallies didn't do all the same stages every season.
I also wonder what the extra rallies are. I would assume it is re-using DiRT Rally/DiRT Rally 2.0 rallies. Like classic Sweden (Colins Crest), or possibly something to the rumours that they scanned parts of Rally Hedemark in Norway some years ago, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand
 
Club Staff
Premium
Being a SIM racer in 2023 - "be as pessimistic as possible" seems to be the trend. Constant moaning, especially about games that haven't even been released yet, is getting really old.

I'm just happy there are new games / Sims coming out to try :)

How can you look at this car in a modern game
wACowZq.png


And not be ready to rumble?

Sidenote, I found it curious that the only cars of that section (WRC 97-2011) that had name in the window or on the car was C.McRae and Solberg&Solberg.
 
Being a SIM racer in 2023 - "be as pessimistic as possible" seems to be the trend. Constant moaning, especially about games that haven't even been released yet, is getting really old.

I'm just happy there are new games / Sims coming out to try :)

Well, everything we've seen so far, this new game isn't a sim, it's a "simcade" just like DR2.
 
I think it might be a hint in that it is called EA Sports WRC.
This might become a thing with yearly seasonal DLC's or something?
To be honest I'd quite like that. Don't try to reinvent the same game over and over again while breaking things.
Using Unreal Engine, the engine coding is mostly provided through Epic so they don't have to figure out how to extend their engine for every adjustment.
Just give us a yearly DLC with a new single player campaign (or extend the existing one), add modes and build upon each iteration while keeping the game the same.
And then patch the rest along the way.

Hopefully they're planning exactly this with the engine change.
And hopefully EA Sports und the Rig footage means it's more sim, than arcade.
(funnily enough I always find realistic handling easier to drive than arcade physics that are often unpredictable)
 

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