ACC 1.9 update first impressions review

ACC Update 1.9: First Impressions Review

Assetto Corsa Competizione

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Assetto Corsa Competizione received its “biggest update ever” yesterday. Join us in our first review of all the additions in the ACC 1.9 update.

Image Credit: Kunos Simulazioni

We’ve been going on about it for weeks, but it’s finally here. We can stop speculating about the new update for Assetto Corsa Competizione and start racing with it. The new version of the game brings plenty of improvements and addresses a number of community concerns.

From new content to physics changes and additional tools and options, there’s a lot to dive into. But what are the greatest changes and which parts of the new version are not so good? Here is our review of ACC update 1.9.

A Successful ACC Physics Update

For ACC update 1.9, a total review of the suspension and tyre physics has taken place. Kunos has worked tirelessly to bring bump stop and tyre flex up to spec. Overall, the changes appear to work well, with more compliant cars over bumps and more flexibility in how the tyres act depending on pressures.

The run to Cascades is much easier in the latest ACC update
The run to Cascades is much easier in the latest ACC update. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

A great example of the more compliant cars can be found when driving at Oulton Park. In the previous 1.8 version of the game, the right-hand kink prior to Cascades, called Denton’s, would kick cars off track if they ran too close to the inside. In fact, a large bump near the apex proved too much for the older bump stops and spring rates to handle. As such, taking the racing line would result in a spin. Now, cars get unsettled by the large imperfection, but greater compliance means the car stays stuck to the tarmac.

The same goes for a number of kerb stones, dips and bumps around the British tracks which tend to feature the bumpiest surfaces of the game.

Force Feedback Improvements to Boot

From the minute you jump into this new version of the game, you will feel the difference. Improvements to the force feedback have made a remarkable difference in how the wheel moves in your hands.

Seemingly gone is the vague nuance that once plagued Assetto Corsa Competizione. Now, you have great feel of what the car is doing. Unlike previous iterations of the GT3 simulator, this sense of control comes from both the front and the rear. This is excellent for drivers that tend to push the edge of grip, as slides feel more catchable. That is, if your tyres are in the correct window.

Unnerving at the Extremes

While the overall physics changes work well in-game, they do tend to provide an odd feeling at the extreme end of the spectrum. The new tyre pressure settings in particular appear to push racers into the correct pressure window, despite the wider performance range.

If the tyre pressures fall too low, you can feel the tyres flexing which leads to a tricky feeling to understand. In fact, the tyre tread surface may remain stuck to the tarmac. But, the wheel rim and in turn the rest of the car, moves around.

ACC update 1.9 at Valencia
ACC update 1.9 at Valencia. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

At the rear end, this feels like a slide, but correcting it will result in a spin. The best comparison one might find is the sensation of an overly powerful rear-wheel steer system. On the front however, one might compare the feeling to that of a steering dead zone. The vagueness in the front end is certainly unnerving.

“Well simply stick to the pressure window then,” you may be shouting. Given Assetto Corsa Competizione‘s dynamic weather system, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

If a race begins in the bright sunshine and you decide to run with lower pressures to start with for better mechanical grip, a slight temperature change can knock your setup completely off kilter. In the case of slight rain, the impact of a cooler track surface will be plummeting pressures.

This is certainly part of the challenge in ACC and what makes it unique in the simracing market. But those with experience in older versions of the game will need to adapt to the new feature.

Great Content

Alongside the new update came the 2023 GT World Challenge Pack. This DLC pack brings a trio of brand-new GT3 models and a track from the 2023 European SRO calendar. Assetto Corsa Competizione fans can now race the Ferrari 296 GT3, the Porsche 911 992 GT3 R and the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 2 around Valencia.

As one can expect from Kunos, the cars are all of the highest detail. They each have their own individual personalities and quirks. One can feel the pendulous swing of the Porsche’s rear-mounted engine. The Ferrari’s turbo V6 requires plenty of spooling to get the most out of its ponies. The Lamborghini is a songful racer with the typical raging bull dart-like direction change.

New cars in the 2023 GT World Challenge Pack for ACC
New cars in the 2023 GT World Challenge Pack for ACC. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

As for the Ricardo Tormo track, it too is exquisite in its level of detail. The surface feels great, the kerbs look wonderful in the Spanish sunshine, and even better is the environment surrounding the venue. Once again, Kunos has done its research to include several fan-made murals, spectator spots and legends of the track. One can spend just as much time exploring the circuit’s surroundings as they can driving it.

Thankfully, and unlike the American Track Pack, the AI seems very comfortable on the Valencian circuit. At the highest difficulty, representations of the best GT drivers in the world match the online lap record times. Moreover, in the heat of battle, there don’t appear to be too many corners with which the AI struggles.

What do you make of the 1.9 ACC update? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!