View Full Version : From Beginner to Pro (Learning Curve Advice?)

07-09-2017, 20:38
Hi guys,

I have an interesting question for those of you that are now driving in Pro mode and experience no difficulty with car handling whatsoever (in other words, those that are getting as close to a full sim experience as possible with this game).

Do you have any tips on learning curve? For example, what are some of the best ways to progressively develop the skills to work up to pro (how much time should you spend in beginner and intermediate levels, with which assists turned on and off, what about AI levels, etc). I know it's individual to each person, but I'm curious to see someone come up with a full program on what to practice, how to practice it, and how to keep grinding until there's clear progress in the driving. I'm sure some of us on here are geeking out on this enough to know about something like this that's already out there or to perhaps get crackin' on the project.

I know there's videos out there, but stories and written down tips and tricks would be useful. I'm ready to invest the time to apply myself. Loving this game and some offroad sims and I love the rush of adrenaline. I'm a pretty good driver right now but would like to push to a level where I feel like it's more rewarding and like I could almost jump from that virtual car into a real one and get the impression I've picked up on useful learning in PCars.

Any impressions?

Thank you

07-09-2017, 21:08
Here's a good thread to start with: http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?50856-Do-a-good-deed-help-a-rookie!-Guide

08-09-2017, 04:51
Right now I'm also in the process of getting used to no (or realistic) assists, so maybe I can help you while I am helping myself!

Regarding how much time to spend in each difficulty/assist level, I'd say as much as you feel comfortable with, you enjoy it and feel you're getting better. Personally I started by doing lots of laps with my favorite car and track in time trials, with ABS/SC/TC all on. At first my times were less than average, but I kept improving by practicing, racing other people's ghosts and then more practicing! Now I am doing decent lap times, so I've started playing with realistic assists.

A general suggestion for driving with no or less assists is that your inputs must be much smoother, gas, brake, steering, even downshifts must be smoother. Driving style must be changed as well, for example you can't brake and steer without stability control as much as you can when you have it enabled. Finally, setup tuning helps a lot, in particular differential settings and brake bias/pressure.

If you'd like, I can give you more specific instructions, based on my experience. Not sure what's you're level though and if I am really in a position to give you instructions! Have you logged some time trial times? Would be interesting to follow some of your ghosts to check how well you're doing already..

08-09-2017, 08:32
Driver61.com and the Safe is Fast YT channel has good instruction. Scott Mansell's Donington and Spa track guide in Radical you can copy in game.

Don't know your skill or equipment (wheel/gamepad). You want to turn off SC and set TC at 14% (car tuning menu somewhere). You'll learn to control your throttle better.
The hardest thing might be switching off ABS and learning to threshold brake without locking.

Personally: set assists off and try the Ginetta G40 or Group A Mercedes or BMW. Rough driving will make you spin and lock wheels, force you to slow down and drive clean. Throw yourself in the deep end and learn fast.

08-09-2017, 13:23
The G40 is a gem, even at silly places like Monza, had some crazy races in it. So much body roll but the damned thing sticks like a cat on carpet.

08-09-2017, 13:46
Thanks for the feedback everyone. The wheel I use is a Logitech Momo Racing. I'll take your advice cpcdem, and work on getting some great lap times in Time Trial. Gonna share my progress on here, finding it cool to work on this journey with a community to swap stories with xD (I'm new here, hadn't done that in the past and I've been playing this game for months).

I also appreciate tips on which cars to use at first. I'm gonna watch some driving theory videos and take some notes on techniques that will be most helpful, and definitely focus on one turn at a time with less harsh input than what I'm used to (I'm a pretty aggressive driver, so that's gonna get me to learn to pace myself big big time).

I agree there hkraft300, switching off the ABS is the worst part. Pretty darn easy to lose control of the car. I got used to really quick and accurate gear shifting and extremely high speeds with those LMP1 cars and I end up doing some pretty rad driving in them beasts. Going back to slow speeds will feel interesting at first hahah. I'm determined to get great at the actual sim racing experience though, I'm very motivated.

Gonna share abit on how I'm doing with those lap times and first few goe's without assists. Now on to watching a little bit of theory before I head into work :) Getting more and more passionate about this since I got the game. Can't wait for PCars 2!

08-09-2017, 14:20
Also since I got time I'll be more specific about the level I'm at. I drive with all assists on still (but manual - don't think I could ever go back to automatic). The visual assists are helping me get used to the tracks and are helpful to manage to learn them by heart. I'm dabbling a bit in all the careers, running a few different ones at a time, and have a habit of practicing tracks through quick race weekends with different cars to get used to the feel of them. That's helping me land some great results in Career where I grab pole in qualifying and win my races in any type of car. It's how I figured I was ready to take things to the next level. I haven't used the Time Trial feature much but I'll go ahead and do that and keep track of my results, and also do the tiers in order in Career instead of chasing my thrills a bit too hard at first. I'm gonna practice tracks without opponents as well at first in the suggested cars with suggested tweaks when I struggle with assists off, and work on precision with slow driving at first.

Pretty sure that'll bring lots of improvement quickly.

08-09-2017, 14:37
Many people love TT mode but I can't stand it: I'd rather a solo race weekend with some AI.

The slow cars allow you to analyse the reaction of the car to your inputs. In an LMP1 / Formula car everything happens so fast, you're off in the wall with the slightest mistake.

The Caterham Classic is a great car too. Or the Formula Rookie. At Silverstone classic, big wide track. Brake lockups are obvious. Oversteer is obvious and slow enough to catch.

If you like prototypes, and want to turn off assists maybe take the Palmer. Slow and forgiving. Will allow you to concentrate on the racing line.

Remember Real assist option is the most realistic. The game adjusts assists according to the real car's available assists.

08-09-2017, 15:58
If you're losing control of the car with ABS disabled, even when braking in an almost straight line, then move your brake bias to the front. No need to worry about setup in general yet, but this setting will help much (together with differential for the turns). You can assign wheel buttons to move it forward/backward while driving and see the results instantly. Of course you also need to be careful with your brake pedal input, start releasing it gradually as your speed decreases to avoid wheel locking as much as you can.

Regarding showing the visual driving line on, I agree this is very helpful for learning the track at first, but when you are familiar with it already and fast and want to gain the last seconds/tenths of lap time, IMO you must turn it off. Optimal braking points are way later than the visual indicator suggests and in order to be as fast as possible in the turns, you need to be looking at the corner entries, apexes and exits, the visual driving line is usually distracting you from doing that. At least in my case it has helped a lot, after getting used to without it. Also changing the FOV to a more realistic value _I think_ helped as well.

Btw, I also like doing solo races with plenty of AIs and me starting at the back, trying to make my way up, starting from medium difficulty and gradually going to maximum. And I had been playing Grid Autosport a lot in the past, so trust me, if you're used to that AI, then the AI in PCars feels fantastic :-)
But for perfectly learning a track, its details and how to be very fast at it, I think nothing beats time trial, with or without ghosts.

09-09-2017, 10:44
Hi, you wrote you are pretty good? Its easier to give advice if you tell us a bit more in detail about your level.

10-09-2017, 17:40
I think one of the most important things is to learn the track first, get your breaking, entry and exit spot on without pushing the limit. While i feel having assists on initially will help you, it comes to a point where you get so used to them that when you turn them off it leads to frustration. Go without any assist's for a good few TT runs at the same track same car etc. Slow and steady take your time and the speed will come later.

11-09-2017, 04:01
The single bit of advice that made the biggest difference to my skill level was from Ben Collins book, How to Drive.

The bit in question was about focussing on the vanishing point of the track; with is the farthest part of the track you can see from where you are currently.

In short it's about looking past the corner you are in and onto the next one. This is also the reason you should turn off the racing line assist as soon as you know the track layout (or even sooner) as it will only distract you from doing g this and focus your attention back to the bit of tarmac 5ft in front of you instead of the bit 50ft ahead you should be looking at.

The problem with looking to the apex after you've already turned in, means your usually already too late and will miss it. It's all about lining up your trajectory early on (and makes it much easier to brake in a straight line and not lose the car without sc on).

Once you develop an affinity with the sim (or real car) you will be able to subconsciously steer it and the car will go where you are looking. So by looking further ahead you will start to tie corners together much more effectively.

The result will be that even if you are going a bit slower through the current turn to compensate for not having abs or SC going, your overall laptime will be quicker.

It does take some getting used too and might even feel like a step back at first, but slow down a bit and practice practice practice.

Best place to start is in the slower cars and the Ginetta is perfect for this.