Note – The information in this article is mainly aimed at the latest F1 22 video game, but the information also applies to the older F1 2021 and F1 2020 games, if you’re still playing them online.
It is still early days for the F1 22 video game, but it seems to be a slight improvement over the unstable and flawed online mode of its predecessor F1 2021.
However, F1 22’s online lobby system remains confusing and overly complicated, to the point that if you enter a random open lobby with the default settings of the online game, you are not likely to have a great experience, especially if you race 25% in a random open lobby with players you do not know.
There are ways to reduce online lag/pinging with game consoles, but even doing everything possible on your part, the online experience is often not exceptional in F1 games, so we want to provide some useful settings templates that players can use to get the best online gaming experience in F1 22.
Here is a very quick summary of the best lobby settings to adjust when racing online on F1 22:
- Go to Rules & Flags and turn Safety Car Off.
- Turn Rules & Flags down to Corner Cutting Only
- Keep Corner Cutting Stringency on Strict
- Go to Simulation Settings and turn Damage to Off or Reduced.
- Also make sure Ghosting is On
- Leave all other lobby settings as they are.
We will explain in more detail why these settings are recommended, but the main problem is the excessive use of the safety car and the overly sensitive penalty system that tends to ruin open online lobbies when there are people racing without having the best racing technique (to put it nicely).
Let’s look at the whole issue of online lobby settings in F1 22 in more detail, analyzing the best settings for different scenarios.
A typical race start in an open lobby (carnage)
Best settings for open lobbies (25% race distance).
This is the most common scenario where using the default lobby settings is a disaster and makes the game really bad to play online: when you are in an open lobby with random players and you are racing at 25%. In 5-lap races the Safety Car is turned off by default, so the problem is minor.
Here is what needs to be changed to make the game more playable in 25% open lobbies:
- Turn Safety Car Off (Rules & Flags)
- Turn Rules & Flags down to Corner Cutting Only
- Corner Cutting Stringency to Strict
- Damage Off or Reduced (Simulation Settings)
- Ghosting On (Simulation Settings)
These are the main settings to change; don’t worry too much about the others. The lobby settings menu is a bit cumbersome, so we chose the crucial settings in the Rules and Flags and Simulation menus, which cause the biggest problems online if they are left on the wrong settings.
The best Rules and Flags settings for open lobbies (safety car can be turned off or reduced):
Then make sure that the damage is turned off or reduced and the Ghosting effect is enabled from the Simulation Settings menu:
If you take care of these settings, you at least have a chance to race online properly in F1 22. However, entering random race lobbies at 25% with the settings provided by the game (especially with the safety car activated) is a disaster; here is an overview of what happens in this case:
If you leave the Safety Car on – In random open lobbies, the Safety Car keeps getting activated 2-3 times per race, which means there is almost no real racing in a 25% race. In addition, there are constant bugs with the Safety Car, penalties for illegal overtaking wrongly assigned, disqualification of multiple players, braking of cars in front of the train once it is formed, and loss of the wing. It does not work properly when taking into account the usual carnage that occurs in random lobbies with inexperienced drivers, so it must be disabled.
If you leave the full rules/flags turned on – It’s a nice idea in theory, but again with the carnage in the open lobbies, it doesn’t work. You will continue to receive penalties for being hit by other cars, as well as meaningless illegal overtaking penalties, and the real-life rules are not always followed properly. This is why you need to lower the rules level to Corner Cut Only in casual lobbies, but to counter this problem, make sure that the corner cut severity is still set to Strict, to make sure that players are penalized if they cut the track limits too often.
Damage – I think it defaults to Reduced in the lobby options, which is fine, since you can’t use Simulation settings in open lobbies. There is too much carnage and you almost always end up taking damage. If you prefer, you can also turn it off.
Ghosting – If you keep Ghosting turned off, there are too many collisions because cars keep spinning and crashing, and you end up driving into crashed cars on the track without having time to react, since there are always cars spinning in random lobbies. However, I think it is on by default, which is fine.
Best lobby settings for league races (experienced players)
Everything we’ve covered so far assumes that you play F1 22 in random open lobbies, with random players you don’t know, which means a lot of idiots who don’t know how to race properly (unfortunately, this is harsh but true – I’ve been playing these games for 10 years online).
However, what happens if you play in official leagues, or at least in lobbies with players you know well and have good racing technique?
In this case, you can be a little more open with the lobby settings, since the skill level is higher and therefore there are likely to be fewer crashes, spinning cars, retirements and first-lap carnage that can trigger all the bugs in the game and make it less playable.
Here are some changes to the lobby settings that may be possible with more skilled players or good leagues:
- Safety Car – Can be set to Reduced or Normal if racing is more clean. Even with cleaner racing it can appear too often though, and it still has bugs and appears to be if anything even more sensitive than F1 2021. Personally I’d put it on Reduced.
- Rules & Flags – Can be set to Full, but be aware that the penalty system is still quite sensitive and can give unfair penalties. I’d personally still leave it on Corner Cutting Only.
- Damage – Can be set to Normal or Simulation/Full if the racing is clean and fair.
Here’s what I’d use for a lobby/league with more skilled racers:
Is it better to enable or disable the Safety Car in F1 22?
This is the crucial question to get the best online experience with F1 22, since its activation or deactivation makes a big difference in the quality of the game when running a race of 25% or more distance.
Here is a concise answer:
As a general rule, the safety car should be turned off in F1 22 online multiplayer when racing in 25% open lobbies with random players, as it tends to intervene too often and ruins the game experience. It could be turned on in league races with more experienced players, but with a reduced setting, as it can still appear too often.
Simply put, in random open lobbies there are too many idiots racing for the safety car to work properly, as there are almost always a large number of crashes and retirements, especially on the first lap, that keep triggering the safety car and ruining the race.
In a 25% online race of 13-14 laps, you often spend as much time behind the safety car as you do at full speed in the open lobbies, so it’s not even worth it! In most of the 25% online races I’ve done in these F1 games, there are 2 full safety cars of 2-3 laps each, plus a virtual safety car at one point, so it all unfolds too much with all the carnage that comes with racing in open lobbies with random players.
Here is a more complete breakdown of the different online/offline game scenarios for F1 22, complete with suggested safety car settings for each:
- Online, 5 lappers – Safety car is off by default anyway.
- Online, open lobbies, 25% races – Safety car is best turned off as is deployed too much with all the accidents and retirements you get in random open lobbies. You end up spending half the race behind the safety car.
- Online 25%/50% league races, serious/skilled players – Might work on reduced or standard if the skill level is higher and there are less crashes/retirements, but Reduced or Off would be my recommendation.
- High level e-Sports – Safety car is almost always turned off because it simply doesn’t function reliably for high level competition.
- Offline Grand Prix/Career Mode – Can be on or off as per personal preference, as works pretty well offline in my experience. Frequency can also be Reduced, Standard or Increased as preferred.
You adjust the safety car settings from the Rules & Flags section of the race settings menu:
As a side note, if you are competing in an open online lobby and you actually inherit control of the lobby because the previous host has left, sometimes the lobby options are still locked/frozen and you cannot change them, even though you should be able to since you are the new lobby host (crown symbol next to your name).
Unfortunately, this is one of the many bugs in these F1 games. In this case, you will have to create a new lobby by going back to the Multiplayer menu and selecting Social Play, then Create:
Once you set up a new lobby as a host, you should be able to change all lobby options, including turning the safety car on/off.
For more information on how to reduce game console lag, see also our other article on reducing home network lag to get the best possible connection for online racing.