If you want to join an F1 2020 league but don’t know where to start, this is the guide for you!
Photo credit: Jacob Hancox
Racing against the AI in F1 2020 can be a lot of fun, but it can also be rather predictable and frustrating at times. Similarly, there are many issues with public multiplayer lobbies, where there always seems to be someone out to ruin your race. One of the best ways to enjoy the game is by participating in competitive league racing.
Any league worth its salt will have stewards, so you won’t have to worry about being crashed into as much as in public multiplayer. Furthermore, competing with real humans tends to give a more fulfilling experience than battling with AI cars.
While there is a Leagues mode built into the game in F1 2020, we would recommend looking for third party organizations if you want a professional league racing experience. Taking the plunge can feel daunting and confusing, so here is a guide to help you get started!
1. Find your Schedule and Platform
First and foremost, you will need to ensure that whichever league you choose to race in is compatible with your timetable and location. Different leagues race on different days and times each week, and so you should work out which time and day combination works best for you. Once you’ve done that, you can search for a league which fits your schedule.
Often, a league which works for you time-wise will also be based in a similar part of the world to yourself. It is worth considering this factor, and making sure that you aren’t racing in a league which is based on the other side of the globe. If you’re racing with very high ping, it can cause all kinds of issues both for yourself and for the drivers around you on track. That being said, some parts of the world don’t have too many league racing opportunities, so don’t let this hold you back unless your connection is truly terrible.
One final consideration which doesn’t relate directly to your in-game performance is which platform you are racing on. Some of the bigger league racing organizations run leagues on PC, Xbox and PlayStation, but many leagues only operate on one single platform. So you’d best make sure that a league operates on your platform of choice before you sign up!
2. Think about Pace and Assists
It is also important to be aware of your own skill level, both in terms of your pace and in terms of the assist you require. Sometimes leagues will allow all assists, sometimes they will allow a few but not all, and sometimes they won’t allow any. If, therefore, you rely on the racing line and automatic gears assists then you should make sure that whichever league you decide to apply for is accommodating. Nothing would take the fun out of things faster than suddenly realizing you have to drive without assists for the very first time.
In terms of your level of pace, many leagues will have a sign-up process that involves potential participants providing proof of their speed so that they can sort them into the correct division accordingly. If you find yourself having to submit time trials, avoid making the mistake of spending ages pursuing the perfect lap. If you do so, you will likely find yourself placed in a division where the average pace of your competitors is far greater than your own.
That being said, don’t sandbag your time trials either. Winning every race by a landslide after purposely getting placed in a lower bracket isn’t much fun, and the league’s admins will likely work out what you’ve done and move you up a division anyway.
3. Optimize your Setups and Practice
Once you’ve actually signed up and been placed in a league, you’ll want to get practicing! Before you get started putting in lap after lap on time trials however, there are a couple of things to consider.
Setups are of critical importance in F1 2020. Make sure that you have a setup which can work for a whole race and which you are comfortable racing with before you start practicing properly. Simply using the fastest setups in time trials is not a good idea, as these setups are designed with one lap pace in mind. In a race situation, you may find them difficult to manage and they will likely wear out your tires very quickly. Instead, take a look online for race setups, or even create your own with our F1 2020 setup guide!
So now you’ve got your setup, you’re finally ready to start practicing. Though it may be your first instinct, try to steer clear of using time trials to improve your pace. You will get a far more realistic and useful experience if you use Grand Prix mode to practice instead, as this way you will experience tire heating and wear. More importantly, you will be able to develop better consistency in an actual race situation. Remember to use the same race length and qualifying settings in practice as you will be racing in the league, so you’ll get the most accurate simulation possible.
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