When should you make sim racing setups changes?

When you're a beginner

If you're just starting out with sim racing, you can get by with the basic setups your sim provides. There's much to learn before you start tweaking things like Anti-Roll Bars, Aerodynamics, or any other setup component. It's more important to learn to follow racing lines, learn driving techniques, and keeping the car on track. After you are comfortable with all this, then it is time to learn about setup changes.

When should you make setup changes

Setup changes are mainly made to solve problems. The problem every sim racer is facing, is that they're not as fast as their competitors. This problem can luckily be solved in a number of ways:

  1. Changing your driving style
    First of all you should try to change up your driving style to accomodate the car/track combination. Often times we're kind of settled in the safest driving style that keeps us on the track, but it's very rarily the fastest way to get around a track. So learning to make a few changes in your driving style can already net you a couple of seconds in lap time.
  2. Making setup changes
    When you're squeezing every last tenth out of a car, and you just can seem to change anything in your driving style to go faster, then it's time to look at the setup. A custom setup is meant to accomodate two main things; the track you're driving on, and your own driving style. This seems very self-explanatory but a ton of people don't think this through when diving into the setup screen. If you're driving on a track with tons of corners, less aero might not be exactly what you're looking for. The same goes for your driving style. When you're oversteering in a ton of corners, you might not want to make your car even more responsive. So keep this in mind when formulating a goal for your setup.

Think about the problems you have out on track, what might be costing you time so you can look for a way to solve those problems with setup changes.

Here's a couple of guidelines you can follow when you want to start making setup changes:

  • Have a goal in mind (Do you want to reduce oversteer/understeer? Do you want more straight line speed? Have a goal like this in mind when making any changes)
  • Make one setup change at a time and test it out (by driving a few laps)
  • Test out different racing lines (you want to test if your newly created setup is still effective when you're racing other drivers)