EA Sports WRC Setup Guide: How To Tune Your Rally Car

EA Sports WRC Setup Guide.jpg
Circuit racing is one thing, but rallying is an entirely different beast. For anyone needing a pointer on what adjustments to make, here is our EA Sports WRC setup guide.

Image credit: EA Sports

In sim racing, one of the most difficult elements to get one’s head around is setups. There is a reason motorsport engineers go through half a decade’s worth of training before being let loose on a race car. However, for some reason, sim racers are expected to understand what an Anti-Roll Bar does.

Well, in most cases, one’s understanding of motorsport engineering is far from optimal. As a result, working out the setup page in most simulators requires a lot of trial and error. So to save you a lot of time, we decided to put the setup menu in EA Sports WRC to the test. Whilst we are not professional engineers either, the time we have put into understanding the tuning page helped us put together this handy guide.


Do you have understeer in-game? Is the rear feeling vague even on the straights? Do you wish for a touch more straight line speed? This is the guide for you. Here are all the most important tweaks to make to your car in EA Sports WRC.

EA Sports WRC: Basic setup advice​

Before jumping into the setup screen, one would be best completing a Shakedown run. First of all, in EA Sports WRC, this allows the player to claim an additional set of tyres. But more importantly, it gives the player an idea of how the car handles the location and stages. From there, you can go about making tweaks.

After the first Shakedown run, it is important to address the basics. There are a couple of standard setup changes that are needed at the start of every EA Sports WRC rally. These would be gearing, ride height and braking.

Gears, Ride Height and Braking​

Gearing changes are best suited to specific rally locations. For instance, faster rallies will require longer ratios whilst mountain passes will require shorter ones. In general, we would advise not to touch the individual ratios, rather adjust the final ratio. This avoids any strange torque holes. As a general rule of thumb, the likes of Sweden, Finland, Kenya and Estonia will work best with longer gears. Monte Carlo, Corsica, Croatia, Japan and Greece are all suited to shorter ratios. The other rallies should work fine with the standard settings.

EA Sports WRC Setups - Different locations require different tuning.jpg


Ride height is a setting that will most likely require tuning at the start of every stage. After a Shakedown run, you will notice if your car hits the ground at all or not. If it doesn’t, try lowering it. Typically, the lower the car, the more agile it will be. This does lose its validity with extremely soft setups which can benefit from additional travel to rotate the car. But for the easier setup tweaks in EA Sports WRC, set your suspension as low as possible without ever bottoming out. For example, tarmac rallies should see minimal ride height whilst Kenya’s bumps will require maximum clearance.

Finally, the brakes traditionally do not require much tuning in rally games, contrary to circuit racing. In fact, extra rotation usually comes from the handbrake, so setting the bias rearward is not a great idea. However, there is certainly an argument to tweaking the Brake Pressure. Lower grip surfaces such as loose gravel or wet conditions will be safer with less possible pressure. This will avoid lock-ups and keep you on the island.

Understeer vs Oversteer in EA Sports WRC​

Now that we have covered the basics, it is time to go over more specific setup challenges. There are two major balance terms that drivers either like of dislike. In rallying, it is important to have a car you feel comfortable with, so it is best to tune towards your preference; understeer or oversteer. By tuning away from one, you will move towards the other.

In sim racing, many racers hate understeer. In fact, rallying is traditionally all about rotation, so sliding is extremely common. Therefore, an oversteering setup is beneficial in EA Sports WRC. To get said results, here are some tweaks to carry out in the setup screen.


How to Fix Understeer​

First of all, go to the Alignment screen and add more Front Toe-Out. This helps with corner entry rotation. However, it can transfer into understeer later on in the turn if done excessively.

Next, open the Springs menu and compare the front and rear Spring Rates. To remove understeer, one must ensure the Front Springs are Softer than the Rear. In fact, softer suspension provides more grip, so by stiffening the rear suspension, one takes away rear traction, helping the car rotate.

If the understeer comes on more towards the mid-corner phase, it may be worth revisiting the Alignment menu and add Rear Toe-Out. This helps kick the rear axle out, akin to rear-wheel steering. Much like the Spring Rate tweaks, one can also touch on the Anti-Roll Bar to dial out the understeer in the latter part of a corner. Both mid-corner and exit can benefit from a Softer Rear ARB if one is experiencing understeer.

If you are struggling with corner exit understeer, it is time to play with the Differential settings. This does depend on the car as FWD, RWD and AWD act differently from these tweaks. However, an Open Rear Differential will help to give power to the outside wheel, and power you out of the turn.

Optimise the car balance for your driving style.jpg


Setup Changes to Fix Oversteer​

Whilst less common, certainly in the rally scene, some drivers do dislike a car that oversteers. In fact, a rear end that steps out too much can become a problem when it comes to finishing a stage safely. So for those looking to dial out some oversteer, here are some tips. Essentially, one can simply reverse everything we mentioned for the dialling out understeer.

The easiest change when trying to move away from oversteer is to add Rear Toe-In. One can add Front Toe-In, but this does tend to be reserved for extreme cases. In fact, it is a rather powerful tweak, so expect understeer after making this change.

Much like the section on understeer, it is important to get your Spring Rate balance right. So to dial out oversteer, try stiffer Front Springs and softer Rear Springs. Finding the right relation between the two is crucial to optimising the car’s overall feel.

Tackle bumps with your EA Sports WRC setup.jpg


In EA Sports WRC, the tarmac physics are still not quite perfect. In fact, there can be some mid-corner float from the rear end. This is due to rally cars having a lot of body roll as standard. So to dial this out, try a stiffer Rear ARB. Also, softening the Front ARB can help maintain a good balance front to rear. This adjustment will help on all surfaces, but it will be most prominent on tarmac.

Finally, on-throttle oversteer can come in two ways. Either the car progressively slides as you get on the throttle, or the car loses traction in a more sudden way. For the first case, try slightly Locking the Rear Differential to keep the inside and outside wheels spinning at the same rate. In the second case, move towards an Open Rear Differential.

EA Sports WRC: Setup Roundup​

If the past 700 words were too long to go through, why not check out this simple-to-follow table. Find all the setup tweaks you may need for fixing understeer and oversteer in EA Sports WRC.

SettingDial Out UndersteerDial Out Oversteer
Front ToeToe OutToe In
Rear ToeToe OutToe In
Front SpringSoftStiff
Rear SpringStiffSoft
Front Anti-Roll BarStiffSoft
Rear Anti-Roll BarSoftStiff
Rear DifferentialOpenLock in most cases

There are a number of additional setup tweaks one can make to alter the balance in EA Sports WRC. Introducing rake by lifting the rear Ride Height will help with turn-in. Adding Front Camber will also help the front end dig in, reducing understeer. However, the above are the first one should go to when experiencing balance issues.

Softer is Safer​

Once you are happy with the overall balance of the car, it is time to ensure your safety on upcoming stages. With lumps, bumps, dips and ruts covering the majority of rally stages, one must put together a safe setup. Whilst it will have an impact on the overall agility of your car, this does mean softening the suspension.

Ultimately however, it is best to perfect one’s balance before helping the car to tackle road imperfections. So before making all four springs softer, make sure to retain the balance from front to rear.

Make your Setup Safe.jpg


In the same vein as softer suspension for tackling bumps, it is worth addressing Dampers here. This is the element of suspension that reacts far quicker than the springs. So they are most used when it comes to bumps and holes in the road. The Bump value affects how much resistance the damper has when contracting whilst hitting a bump. The Rebound value affects how fast it regains its original length.

In general, these are too tricky to touch on in a rally event. With just five Shakedown runs, there is not enough time to perfect the settings. However, if you find that bumps unsettle the car too much, try reducing both Bump and Rebound values at the Front. This should make the front end more compliant on impacts. If you do touch the Front Rebound, make sure to reduce the Rear Rebound equally to avoid the rear end bouncing after landing.

Remember to keep your changes minimal, and only make a few tweaks between runs. Keep trying your new setup as you go, and do not be afraid to revert to the original settings to compare. Good luck!

What setup changes do you make most often in EA Sports WRC? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
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Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

This article seems to be a mess. Never in all my time playing with setups have I heard someone say to add front toe out to combat oversteer. The point of front toe out is to add turn in. Turn in = corner entry oversteer.

Meanwhile you put "dial out understeer" on both columns of the chart up there.

And only fast dampers affect the ride handling. Slow dampers have nothing to do with bumps and jumps and everything to do with cornering.
 
Thanks for the guide, but I have to agree with the above comment regarding the guide.
I feel some of the info needs to be updated.

I am no tuning expert but I can't say I've ever heard of anyone saying reduce rear ARB to help with understeer.

Both columns say understeer.

Regarding toe in and out....in a couple other titles, I've noticed they use toe in and out opposite, which is odd. I can't remember how WRC does there?
To me, looking at tires from head on...
Toe out would would angle the tires away from one another.
Ex. Toe out on the front to help with turn in
Toe in, the tires point inwards towards each other, usually on the rear to help with stability and oversteer.
 
Seems you can do whatever you want in order to "dial out" understeer :D
(ok obvious where the typo is, just found this humoristic)
 
That guide would be amazing if it would only tell us how to not have the setups get corrupted every other day. :cry:
 
There's too much wrong here to be useful even after fixing the obvious typos.

- Brake balance is very important in getting the car to turn, you can't just expect to be yanking the handbrake constantly.

- Opening up the rear diff does not help you put power down better, it does the exact opposite and causes "one-tyre fire" that reduces your acceleration.

- Softening the rear ARB will do nothing to help with understeer.

- Front toe-out will not help "fix oversteer".

In general, these type of guides confuse the different effects of the spring rates, ARBs and slow dampers into one big oversteer vs. understeer discussion without regard to whether we're talking about corner entry or exit, steady-state cornering, or lateral/longitudinal load transfer. Which is fine for beginners, but it then leaves a lot of further questions like "why should I increase front spring rates vs. reduce rear ARB if they supposedly both do the exact same thing?". Such questions cannot be answered without further understanding that there are different states of the system under which "understeer" and "oversteer" can happen.
 
Is there an in-game telemetry or app that shows the spring rates in real time?

A bit difficult to judge rates and ride height without it.
I randomly hear a thud coming from I guess the rear?
Can't tell if I am bottoming out or a hard bump?
 
Hey guys,

Over the weekend, I see that there were concerns over the Front Toe and Anti-Roll Bar settings in this piece. Initially, I wrote this up after spending a good few hours testing the game, but perhaps with a limited number of cars, mostly focusing on the JWRC and some FWD historics.

This morning, I have compared my findings with more powerful AWD cars and, more importantly, RWD cars. It turns out that Toe values do better reflect circuit racing setups for these models. As a result, the article has been amended for Front Toe-In/Toe-Out.

As for rear ARB settings, I do still feel that a softer rear helps rotate the car on mid-corner and exit. However, this is mostly on loose surfaces, where controlling oversteer is potentially more important that preventing understeer.
This is also the reason for the Rear Diff tips as the open more open side helps get the car to rotate as you get on the gas, a Codies physics engine trait also present in DR2.0.

Thank you all for pointing out these issues. At the end of the day, I am just a racing fan that enjoys tinkering! Always happy to learn more.
 
How many of the stages have an actual modelled surface? I know the Safari rally does. But many of the non-tarmac rallies appear to be just equivalent to tarmac covered with the graphics of a loose surface.

Set-ups for real rally stages that are rough and irregular are quite different from tarmac (or something that looks like a loose surface, but is actually as smooth as tarmac).
 
I found a really simple solution against understeer in EA WRC. Just turn the wheel more. It shouldn't work, but it does.
 
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