Opinion: 3 Absent Features That Hold ACC Back

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Assetto Corsa Competizione is a popular choice among sim racers. Our editor Luca has been competing in an ACC league and is critical of certain features that are lacking on the platform.

At the start of 2023, I decided to follow many of my heroes and finally get myself a sim racing PC. Being inspired by the VCO Esports Racing League, my aim was always to get as good as I could on a range of different platforms, those being iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione.

Despite starting with ACC as I had played the PlayStation port, I found myself racing and enjoying the other two a lot more. I always wanted to not get too comfortable on any game, which is why with the sim racing outfit I am a part of United Sim Team, we committed to an ACC league.


After a few false starts, we joined the SimZone Rags to Riches league which began in early September. It is the same league that the likes of Jardier and George Boothby are racing in to qualify for the SimGrid x VCO Grand Finals. We of course won't be joining them in that, since they are aliens and I am a mere mortal.

Despite the pace deficit, it is still a very fulfilling experience. But in my time getting up to speed on ACC and also endurance racing on the platform, there are a few things I've noticed about it. Details that make me wonder how on earth ACC-focused drivers have done without them for five years.

Fixed Setup​

On iRacing, rFactor 2 and now even F1 23, it's possible to lock setups for all drivers in an online race. For newer drivers, this is a collective sigh of relief since the difference between a good and bad setup can be huge. ACC has never had fixed setups, which is quite daunting for those newer drivers.

When I got my LowFuelMotorsport licence, it was when the Hungaroring was the track to take the test. I didn't change the setup at all, and all seven of my lap-times were above the time that LFM had set. But then when I started doing LFM races, the drivers who were more knowledgeable with setup were understandably much quicker.

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New players would be afraid to change just one of these incase it completely ruins the whole car. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni


Of course, the argument for open setup races are that it does highlight the best drivers who can find the right setup. But for me? I resorted to bought setups from different providers, editing them slightly to suit me. Because starting from scratch is way too daunting.


Whilst not as detrimental to the enjoyment, there is always that voice in the back of your head saying "if you made this change, you could be leading". Fixed setups are not always the level playing field-setter everyone claims it to be. Someone's driving style may suit that fixed setup more than another.


But for new players starting out, it is almost impossible to catch up without getting paid setups. It would have been nice to have the option to lock the setups to the four presets for all drivers.

Lone Qualifying​

Despite every iRacing player insisting their sim is the most realistic, a lot do not seem to mind having lone qualifying. This is where each driver has the track all to themselves at the same time, without fear of being impeded or impeding someone else.

ACC does not have this either. So if you have ever done a league race on the platform, you have inevitably been part of the traffic jam before the last corner. The feeling of compromising someone else's lap is not a nice one, especially if you are improving yourself. It is a lottery!

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These traffic jams wouldn't happen if there was lone qualifying. Image credit: UKOG on Twitch

Like with open setups, you can make the case for the fact that ACC is merely not sacrificing immersion for the sake of convenience - which is a very good point! In the real world GT3 championships, they may be able to send drivers out on their own in qualifying. But the conditions will never be the same so there is always an advantage afforded to some.

But there is one element that is - quite frankly - inexcusable as to why it does not feature.

Teammates Cannot Alter Strategy​

Last but by no means least. Someone who played a big part in helping me understand ACC complexities was one of my teammates, Brandon. With his help, I came to learn how to get the most out of the car when it came to tyre pressures and executing pit strategies.

Brandon always said to keep the tyre pressures between 26 and 27 psi for their optimum operating window. But because of different driving styles, the starting pressures would have to be different between stints. So we had to have those pressures pre-selected in pitstop presets.

But with that comes the issue. Whoever is not driving cannot change the strategy.

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Jardier had very little to do whilst his teammate Barrier drove. Image credit: Jardier on YouTube

On iRacing during an endurance race, you can change the strategy when you are not driving, setting how much fuel goes into the car during the stop and whether the tyres are changed. Therefore it saves your teammate who is driving the trouble of having to do it themselves. Since, well you know, they should be concentrating fully on the track and what is happening ahead.

Why the Limitation?​

Why does ACC not have that? All that the driver who is not currently driving can do is call out gaps and lap-times to cars around them. They cannot even look at their car's tyre pressures or fuel number! Not being able to see this when spectating other cars is understandable since it would not be fair. But it is putting too much responsibility on the one driving at high speed.

With the new Assetto Corsa follow-up releasing next Spring, let us hope this is not something that is carried over. Endurance racing is a team effort, and any driver spectating on their team's car should be able to directly change the strategy.

What features absent from Assetto Corsa Competizione do you believe should have been in the game? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
About author
Luca [OT]
Biggest sim racing esports fan in the world.

Comments

Premium
Opinons:

Fixed Setups:
They're not all they're played up to be. The fixed setup can fit you and it can also hold you back. Somebody who can extract a good time advantage from a custom setup won't be beaten by a newbie anyways, even on the same setup. Driving capabilities first, setups second.

Lone qualifying:
There is no lone qualifying in the SRO GT World Challenge, the series that is simulated in ACC. ACC is simulating the real life series, not iRacing, crowded qualifying is a part of that. The Superpole laps are single car events.

Pit strategy:
Probably an issue with how ACC handles driver swaps, but I agree that would be a good thing to have.
 
i agree about the fixed setup thing, ACC should offer that option for the servers if the ones running the server choose to enable it.
i disagree about the lone qualifying as i think this makes ACC more 'lifelike' since on these GT3 racing weekends you always qualify with others together on track - except these big endurance races where its the shootout etc.
and about the teammates not being able to alter strategy, i dont care to have an opinion since i only drive races that are not longer than 60min tops (and these also rarely).
 
Premium
Fixed setup is a bad idea. If you really want that, you have the Porsche Cup car and to an extent GT4 anyway. On GT3 the setup makes or beaks the car, it would not have the effect you would desire. It would not help anyone and just increase the gap between skilled drivers and the average Joe.
Yes but... I wouldn't mind betting that there are many simmers (is that the correct term?) who would welcome 'fixed setup' races. The guys with the advantage of setup knowledge and who prefer open setup races, won't choose the fixed setup races, unless they are just gong-hunting.
 
IMHO, the game is limited o it's concept. I know that complaining about the game just having GT3 and GT4 cars could be comparable to complain that Winning Eleven games don't have basketball matches... but ACC only have GT3 and GT4 cars and this is a deal breaker for me.
 
IMHO, the game is limited o it's concept. I know that complaining about the game just having GT3 and GT4 cars could be comparable to complain that Winning Eleven games don't have basketball matches... but ACC only have GT3 and GT4 cars and this is a deal breaker for me.
I'm not entirely against a single series game, BTCC for example, GPL being another. Modern GT cars just don't do it for me and the terrible VR means I don't really load this up very often. Next time I upgrade the graphics card I may try it again but even with a 4090 it still doesn't sound great in VR.
 
It would not help anyone and just increase the gap between skilled drivers and the average Joe.
You claim fixed setup would increase the gap between skilled drivers and the average Joe, but I simply think its not true. I have no idea how you arrive at that conclusion. Counterpoint: the average Joes drive with standard aggressive and if fixed setup would increase the gap, the aliens would also drive with standard aggressive.

Also when we are talking about a fixed setup feature we are talking about the option. Even with that feature not every rce has to be fixed setup.
 
Fixed setups will make lots more ppl race online! Most ppl don't have the time to spend on trying crazy setups that are most often unrealistic anyway. I mean, it's a hobby, looking at damper rate data isn't exactly the most exciting thing in the world ;)
 
I am going to go with front end grip. I have given up on trying to feel the car using tire pressure, suspension changes, rake, wing.

I just aim the car and hope for the best.
 
several issues that is keeping AC current and ACC behind are the ability to build your own tracks and update it. Thats huge in keeping a title relevant. Keeping everything off the HDD killed it. Another is the ability to run a variety of tracks regardless if they're GT3, IMSA whatever...

The modding community is what keeps titles alive and relevant. Just look at Assetto Corsa 1 today verse its original release. Night and day.
Thanks internet, you're welcome kunos.
 
several issues that is keeping AC current and ACC behind are the ability to build your own tracks and update it. Thats huge in keeping a title relevant. Keeping everything off the HDD killed it. Another is the ability to run a variety of tracks regardless if they're GT3, IMSA whatever...

The modding community is what keeps titles alive and relevant. Just look at Assetto Corsa 1 today verse its original release. Night and day.
Thanks internet, you're welcome kunos.
But modding don't make any money for the devs, and cost you resources to make sure things are moddable and deliver support for modders.
DLC's make money.
 
But modding don't make any money for the devs, and cost you resources to make sure things are moddable and deliver support for modders.
DLC's make money.
i beg to differ. They can make a fortune by releasing professionally made tracks, liveries and various updates the modders are doing. Hell they could even sell it as a subscription.
 
But modding don't make any money for the devs, and cost you resources to make sure things are moddable and deliver support for modders.
DLC's make money.
There will be some game sales, specially when the mods bring stuff people are interested in, like driving on a Japanese highway cutting people off.
 
But modding don't make any money for the devs, and cost you resources to make sure things are moddable and deliver support for modders.
DLC's make money.

Just two examples spanning the years: I bought Half Life for the counterstrike mod, before it became a standalone. I bought AC because of the mods.

I see AC recommended a lot as a 1st dive into sim racing with mods always mentioned.

So I don't see how an attractive feature doesn't entice people to purchase your product.
 
Just two examples spanning the years: I bought Half Life for the counterstrike mod, before it became a standalone. I bought AC because of the mods.

I see AC recommended a lot as a 1st dive into sim racing with mods always mentioned.

So I don't see how an attractive feature doesn't entice people to purchase your product.
I am just going to reply with this:

If modding was that lucrative for devs, Kunos would have made, or allowed mods in ACC. They don't, and won't, because the residual they would get from sales with heavy discounts would never offset what they can get with the DLC packages, and by keep selling the game as is now.
 
Lone qualifying makes me cringe.
I have very conflicting thoughts about the fixed setup topic.

From one side I wish with all my might that this came to be reality so all the people crying about setups would receive a very strong slap in their ego's faces having to come to terms with the cruel reality they tried to avoid confront.

After the change basically nothing would change in the top positions and the same people that was always winning keeps winning anyways because skill issue, with the additional issue that now almost nobody likes the balance and handling of their car because of the fixed setup. And additionally I would love to see the setup selling business going bankrupt and in flames.

From the other side I would hate to see what inevitably is going to happen if we are given a choice among fixed setup servers and open setup servers: every open setup server would be unpopulated. This is the same kind of phenomenon that happens with monza and spa servers, and gt3 servers in games that have many other kinds of cars to pick if they are any harder to drive.

People swears to want a realistic and hardcore simracing experience, but then they avoid rainy races, difficult tracks, difficult cars, short races, drive cars that have electronic aids in real life so they can hide behind a realism facade to not loose face having to admit that they struggle without those aids, and they also demand fixed setups. There is a lot of hypocrisy and posturing in simracing.

The strategy and setup changes locked to other team mates is something that I find soul crushing, every team mate should have access to make changes to strategy and adjustment to setups while other team mate is driving, and also they should have access to telemetry in order to help them to make the decision making.

It would create a somewhat new simracing figure of the telemetrist-setup engineer team mate, one that does or does not drive but is participating in the even optimizing performance and making setup and strategy calls.

I hope that kunos can build their next game with those features included from the very conceptual phase of development of that game. Of what I'm sure is that they are very aware of it.
 
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