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F1

03 Aug 2020

F1 2020: My Team has changed the game but it needs a more balanced AI

F1 2020 is quite possibly the best Formula 1 game ever made. This year's official F1 game came out earlier this month and we love it.

Out of all the new features, My Team is the most impressive and adds substantial value to F1 2020.

As impressive as this mode is though, the game isn't perfect and there are some issues that need to be addressed.

One of the problems is the balance of pace with the AI, as it varies from track to track. Codemasters can solve this issue, but we first need to understand the problem before dealing with it.

An age-old problem

Out of all the components of a video game, the artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the hardest to perfect. Programming a machine to imitate human behaviour isn't easy and racing is no different.

Making the AI equally fast across a 22-race calendar is also tough and something that's even harder at new circuits like Hanoi.

f1 2020 zandvoort

GOOD BUT NOT PERFECT: F1 2020's AI is the best we've seen but needs work

When playing your first season of My Team, it's not uncommon to qualify near the back of the grid before finishing the race near the points.

Yes, one lap pace is different to race pace, but the disparity in F1 2020 is massive. You can equalise this by lowering the difficulty by five points or so in qualifying compared to the race, but this shouldn't be down to the player.

The AI need to be equalised across the season to aid immersion. It's not realistic to qualify 7th in the Netherlands then 21st the following week in Spain, for example.

Let's not forget how much the AI has been improved this year though, it's markedly different to F1 2019. The racecraft when it comes to pit-stops and their on-track attacking and defending are the best we've seen.

How it can be solved

The beauty of modern gaming is that patches can be released for games post-release. Both the Williams and Mercedes liveries have already been updated by Codies and the cars' pace should also be.

It might not seem like it, but all of the cars and drivers are programmed to do laps of a certain pace through algorithms within the game.

f1 2020 black mercedes bottas full

UPDATED: Codies should patch the AI's pace like they have for new liveries

Either qualifying pace should be slowed down or race pace increased to make the experience more consistent.

Furthermore, in general, the AI needs to be slowed down at high-downforce circuits or speeded up at low downforce tracks.

Every player has their strengths and weaknesses, just like the real-life drivers, so it won't be perfect and it shouldn't be.

However, when Lewis Hamilton is setting lap times faster than his real-life pole in Q1 in Hungary, you know something is wrong. For those wondering, that was in the first season on 102 AI and I qualified 21st.

It should also be noted that some cars are in the wrong places on the vehicle performance index. This isn't Codemasters' fault, they only had data from pre-season testing in March to go off, but it can be corrected.