For fans of MotoGP, the yearly release of the officially licenced game by Milestone is an occasion. Here is our MotoGP 23 Beginner’s Guide to get you set up.
Motorcycle racing does not get much love in the sim racing space, probably because of the lack of access to realistic motorcycle-based racing hardware. But even on a gamepad, the likes of the officially-licenced MotoGP, Isle of Man TT and even the Ride games are immensely popular with the fans.
In MotoGP 23, you can take to the 21 tracks from the 2023 season (including the cancelled Kazakhstan GP circuit) and six historical venues on MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 bikes. So if you are just diving in to MotoGP racing for the first time, we compiled our best guide to getting you setup on MotoGP 23 as well as how to best utilise the assists.
Guide to Setup MotoGP 23
The three classes all feature their own characteristics to control, which have a major impact on how they race and ride. The entry-level Moto3 bikes are low-power draft fests and provide a rapid learning curve, perfect for newcomers.
With some electronic help from traction control, they are perfect for getting to grips with the game. Furthermore as they are so low on power, they always produce pack races even against the AI.
The Moto2 bikes are where power starts getting intense and one must think more about how they are riding. Getting on the power in this class is a true challenge at every corner given the lack of traction control. But with the MotoGP class up next, making sure you’re able to cope with the stress is important.
Finally, the MotoGP contenders are mindboggling space ships. Although one can theoretically jump on these beasts from day one in-game, it is certainly best to work one’s way up to them. That being said, these top-of-the-range models do benefit from more electronic aids. Traction Control, Anti-Wheelie and the Ride Height device all help the rider stay in control. However, when it comes to the Ride Height Device, it does make for an extra thing to worry about.
Every manufacturer, team and rider from this year’s running is present in MotoGP 23. So you can have fun controlling your favourite rider. Equally, every track from the 2023 season is in-game making for a long career mode.
MotoGP 23 Game Mode Guide
In fact, the Career Mode was one of the main selling points of the game in the run up to its launch. With an RPG approach, it puts the player in the skin of a real rider thanks to key decision-making moments and varying opponent characteristics depending on how you interact with them.
But this isn’t the only way to play MotoGP 23. In fact, there are several Single Player and Multi Player modes.
On the offline front, these include quick races and time trials, full-length championships and a Tutorial mode dubbed MotoGP Academy. Hop online and you can participate in ranked multi player races. In a unique move in the modern gaming scene, a split-screen multi player mode is also available.
In order to stand out on-track, there is a great level of customisation in the game. Many editor modes allow players to alter the appearance of their bike, leathers and helmet with colours, designs and decals.
Use the Practice Sessions
Within many of these game modes, those that feature qualifying, it’s important to run laps in every practice session. In fact, the real-world series pushes riders to set fast laps in Free Practices 1 and 2 by combining a competitor’s best times in each session and putting together a leader board.
From this leader board, the top 10 go through to the final qualifying session. Those remaining outside of the top 10 must battle it out in a first qualifying session in which the two fastest riders go through to the final session. Unfortunately, this rule remains even if one elects not to take part in Free Practice. As a result, those that only want to do qualifying and the race will always risk starting in the bottom half of the grid.
Not only is it important for one’s grid position, but setting laps in practice also allows one to fully learn a track. On bikes, this is all important as braking too late or missing a turn-in point can easily lead to a crash. Dip a tyre onto the grass and you will be sent flying.
To prevent yourself falling off at every corner, there are a number of so-called Neural Assists that are new for MotoGP 23 and perfect for newcomers. To learn more about the best assists in the game, we have a guide here.
MotoGP23: 3 Useful Gameplay Mechanics
Braking is one of the most fundamental mechanics when it comes to MotoGP 23. Using a gamepad to brake can be inconsistent and hard to get used to. Not a problem, here’s a few settings you can use to make sure you’re hitting your braking markers every time you leave the pitlane.
To give you the best stopping power, we found that having your rear brake bound to the square button on the controller (Or Xbox equivalent) was the most natural. whilst having the weight forwards and backwards bound to the left vertical joystick.
The front break disc does 80%-90% of the hard work, making sure you don’t over heat it is essential for consistent breaking.
Creating and fine tuning setups is a major part of sim racing, and it is no different in MotoGP 23. To get the very best out of the bike, setups need to be regularly changed and adapted depending on which circuit you visit.
For example, if you where to compete at Portimão in Portugal you would want to run a hard tyre on the front axle and a medium tyre on the rear. Conversely, move over to Argentina and you would struggle with anything but mediums on both axles over the course of a race distance.
Suspension geometry and fork stiffness is obviously adjusted to bikes. However, if you are coming from a game such as iRacing or rFactor 2 you will most likely be able to make a rough starting setup fairly easily.
How To Make A Great Start
The key aspect of making a good start is diminishing any wheelspin or front axle lift. If your front wheel lifts of the ground and you are still accelerating, you will end up flat on your back.
Keep the front axle pinned to the ground and make a small but noticeable adjustment to the right, then to the left to help your front tyre achieve maximum grip potential. This is especially useful on a rubbered in track.
MotoGP 23 Rider Assists Menu
Now we come to assists. Before exploring the different options at one’s disposal when it comes to rider aids, it’s important to find the menu. Many players spend a lot of time searching through the Settings to find the Assists page.
Ultimately their efforts come to naught, because the assists simply aren’t there. Unlike any other racing game, the rider aids in MotoGP 23 are only accessible in the Career menu or once in-game in the pits.
Whilst in the pits or navigating the Career screen, hit X on an Xbox controller (square on Playstation). This will open up the Game Experience tab where you will find all the assists and aids in MotoGP 23.
MotoGP 23 Bike Aids
Newcomers to racing games often see electronic aids as assists for rookies. Their immediate response to finding the screen is to turn them all off and drive without the arcade-y safety nets. Well, we’re here to tell you that most real-world bikes and cars feature Traction Control, ABS and ESC. That is certainly the case for MotoGP bikes.
So for the most realistic experience, you should run with all these settings firmly on. What one can do however is change the strength of each assist whilst riding on-track. At the bottom right of the screen is an MFD HUD element that allows one to, much like in ACC, alter the level of each electronic assist.
Using the D-pad, one can navigate this menu and increase or decrease the aid levels according to track conditions. Depending on the bike class, a certain model may lack certain electronic aids. Selecting Real Electronics Aids in the Game Experience menu will automatically set what is available to you depending on the bike.
Elsewhere, riding a bike is certainly different to driving a car. They are slower on the brakes, turning in takes a lot longer and one must be more patient on the throttle. As a result, it can be a good idea to use the simplistic Trajectory Aids for a practice session before going into a race. Just make sure to associate the trajectory with physical markers rather than solely using the graphics.
MotoGP 23 Neural Assists
Aside from the many realistic rider aids that feature on MotoGP bikes, the 2023 game features a number of additional assists. Introduced this year, Milestone calls them Neural Aids. Focusing on three main areas of riding a bike – braking, steering and acceleration – they act much like the basic assists of arcade games but in a more intelligent way.
Assisted braking and steering in games like Forza Horizon 5 may be intrusive. But, these Neural Aids in MotoGP 23 do a great job of making the player feel in control despite the assists. In most cases, one will only truly feel the assists kick in when you do something wrong.
Put the intervention on Moderate and the game will only save you after making fatal errors. Even then, it won’t pull any magic tricks. The aids will simply execute inputs the player could, if they had the knowledge and experience.
This is why one might find a more satisfying experience by removing Neural Assists altogether in MotoGP 23. You will never truly learn how to control your bike with the safety wheels fitted. But at least you’ll have fun earlier on in your gaming experience rather than playing through an entire Moto3 season before understanding how to complete a crash-free lap.
What tips do you have for a MotoGP 23 game beginner? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!