The F1 22 video game has a very different handling style to it’s predecessor F1 2021, to mimic the changes in car design regulations in real life F1 for 2022. Much of the downforce now comes from under the car (not the wings), and yes, the handling is very different on the new game as well as real life to account for this.
The bottom line on this is the handling on the F1 22 game can feel very tricky when you first try it out the box, to the point where you find yourself losing control of the car and spinning out a lot.
Traction is especially difficult to control at first – you might find yourself losing the rear end coming out of corners a bit more easily than on previous games. It’s also easier to over-rotate the car and have it spin round coming out of certain slow, medium speed corners, though this is often linked to getting on the throttle too early.
Therefore in this guide, we’ll offer some broad, overall tips to get used to the handling when first playing F1 22, to reduce the likelihood of spinning the car early on. Here’s a bottom line summary:
- Increase Throttle and Steering Linearity (and Deadzones)
- Try Default Setups First
- Apply Throttle gradually out of corners
Let’s look at each point in more detail.
Adjust Controller Settings
This is a useful tip for pad users especially who are struggling with the handling on F1 22 and keep spinning out with the traction especially.
You can make some small tweaks to specific controller settings (throttle/steering deadzone and linearity)
These are covered in the great useful video below:
Go to Settings….Controls, Vibration & Force Feedback, select your current controller setup/scheme, select Edit….Calibration.
Here’s a summary of some changes you can make:
- Steering Deadzone – Can increase very slightly if you’re having trouble with the car twitching on straights. Leave as it is if you’re not having problems
- Steering Linearity – Increase in increments of 10 and test if the handling is feeling too twitchy and unstable.
- Throttle Linearity – Increase in increments of 10 and test if you’re having trouble controlling traction out of corners.
Personally, trying the settings in the video and screenshot above was a bit too much for me, and deadened the car handling a bit too much, so I just moved steering linearity to 10 and throttle linearity to 40, which seems to be good for me early on. Plus moving on throttle differential in the setup all the way down to 50 to make traction more controllable. I can always increase it later once I get more used to the handling.
Try Default Setups First (Important Step)
This is an important tip that many more seasoned F1 gamers (including myself) sometimes skip over. We go straight to using custom setups off other people online, or make out own, without first trying the defaults. On previous games, this might have been OK, but on F1 22 – especially if you’re struggling – it can be a mistake.
This has been confirmed specifically by the F1 games handling designer Dave Greco – try using the default preset setups first, especially if you’re struggling with the game handling out the box.
The handling model and setups on F1 22 are discussed at length in one of the official developer diaries, embedded below (14:40 timestamp especially):
“The default settings (wheel and setup) have not just been put there out of nowhere. They have been actually tested by me on most of the wheels.
The first tip is to learn the game as it comes out default (especially wheel settings) – don’t make any changes. And the second one is for everyone – pad players included – don’t change the setup right away before you learn the car and you learn the new tracks.
So first, learn the game, learn the learn the physics. So learn the force feedback, learn the car, and then start to do your changes to try to find more speed with custom settings, whether it’s wheel or setup”
Dave Greco – Codemasters F1 handling designer.
On most new F1 games, I usually bolt on custom setups right away, and I did struggle doing this on F1 22. But then I took Greco’s advice, and went back to the default preset setups, and it worked much better.
The default preset setups have been set with the wings far enough apart (plus suspension settings), that they’re an accessible way into the new handling model if you are finding yourself spinning out a lot using custom setups.
Here’s what I would do regarding initial setups right away on F1 22:
- Load in the Balanced Preset car setup to begin with – it’s got nicely spaced front and rear wings for stability and a little bit easier handling to begin with. Try other presets for more unique circuits like Spain, Monaco, Monza etc. that require very high or low levels of downforce.
- If traction is really a problem (especially on pad), then move the On Throttle Differential all the way down to 50, to make the traction as controllable and easy to apply as possible.
- Try this setup first, to get used to the handling. Then try modifying and using custom setups.
- If you find the car over-rotating out of corners, to the point where it keeps spinning, also try increasing the Off Throttle Differential. If the car isn’t turning enough off throttle, do the opposite.
- If the car is still feeling twitchy and jerky, then you can also adjust the camber/toe settings. The right-left-left-left combo (2.5/2.0/0.5/0.2) is good for maximum stability.
- Get your setup stable using these presets (or very slightly modded presets), spend some time gaining confidence with the new handling model, and then move onto more customized setups.
Once you are confident with the handling, and ready to try some custom setups, here are a couple of YouTube channels that do car setups for F1 22:
And as regards transferring over settings and setups from F1 2021:
- Greco recommends NOT just switching over wheel settings (force feedback etc) over from 2021 – start with defaults first.
- Similarly, car setups do not translate over well from F1 2021, since the handling model is very different. They won’t translate over terrible, but not great either. Probably best to start with F1 22 presets and tweak from there.
Apply Throttle Gradually Out Of Corners
I’ve found that try to drive the F1 22 cars with the same muscle memory as I had from F1 2021 doesn’t really work, especially regarding corner exit. Initially, applying the throttle out of corners the way I’m used to just span the car.
Therefore, you need to approach corner exit slightly differently on F1 22. You can turn Traction Control up to Full in the Assists Settings, but this can really bog the car down out of corners and reduce lap time.
Here’s some pointers for players using Medium or No Traction Control:
- Aim to get the car rotated into a corner as quickly and sharply as possible without losing control. The Off Throttle Differential is the crucial setting for this – reducing it increases car rotation while turning into a corner.
- For prolonged corners, gently (not fully) and progressively ease onto the throttle while accelerating out the corner, until the car is fully out the corner and pointing straight.
- Also try short-shifting through the gears (quickly shift up gears sooner than the game would do for you if on Automatic gears) when coming out of slow corners, to control traction better and reduce wheel-spin.
- Never apply excessive throttle while the car is still twisted and in the middle of, or turning through, a corner.
- Only go full throttle once the car is fully pointing straight out of a corner.
- If you’re trying to be gentle and progressive with throttle input, and are still struggling losing control of the car out of corners, then increase the Throttle Linearity from the Controller Calibration setting in small increments, as covered in the section above.
See the video below for some more great tips on driving without Traction Control, and for controlling traction out of corners in general on F1 22.
What If I’m Still Having Problems Controlling The Car?
If all else fails, and you are still struggling with losing the car using Medium or no Traction Control, you’ll have to switch back to full TC on the Assists menu.
Just checking out some sim racing YouTube channels and forums, it seems quite a lot of players that were previously fine using Medium or no TC are having to do this on F1 22, as traction is proving very hard to control on this year’s game versus previous years.
If you’re initially faster and more consistent using Full TC, go for this, and then perhaps switch back to Medium/Off once you’re more comfortable with the new game physics. For sure, the bog-down effect out of corners on Full TC can feel horrible sometimes, but it’s easier to drive consistently, so you’ll also be at an advantage in online races over other players who keep spinning when using Medium or no TC.
Another option is to also switch from a pad to a racing wheel and pedals, which will give you much greater control over steering and throttle inputs.
For sure a racing wheel is a large investment, and requires some practice to get used to, but can deliver greater control and speed versus using a pad, once you’ve put the work in to learn it.
You can find a full list of racing wheels compatible with the F1 22 game here.
Related Articles on F1 Racing Games
Here’s some more articles we’ve posted on F1 22, plus F1 gaming in general:
- F1 22 vs F1 2021 games (is it even worth getting F1 22?)
- Reducing online lag on F1 Games (F1 2021/F1 22)
- Track changes guide F1 22 (Spain, Australia, Abu Dhabi)
- Best online lobby/race settings F1 2021/F1 22
- Annoying things about the AI on F1 22
- Fixing understeer or slow pace after 1.06/1.07 patches
- Finding the best AI level for F1 22 (post 1.08 update guide)