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F1 2020: How To Improve On Controller

F1 2020 may seem difficult when playing on controller. However, this guide will explain the main keys to improve your skills as a gamepad player. Everything from the way you steer to how you adjust your settings. But it also comes down to how you actually play the game itself. Different strategies may help.

F1 2020: How To Improve As Controller Player

As an F1 2020 gamepad player, we’ve all struggled to find the smoothness in steering and becoming competitive. As for all controller player out there, I’m going to explain to you how you can play races of above 90% difficulty. Although Codemasters improved the controller handling, it’s still not the optimal option to use for a racing game. That’s, on the other hand, why I’m going to give you some F1 2020 advice below on how to improve on controller.

If you haven’t bought the game yet or completely new to the game, you might want to look into this beginner’s guide. That’ll explain the essentials to generally become better at F1 2020. Otherwise, enjoy the reading!

Plan Ahead 

The way you plan ahead of a race in F1 2020 plays a huge role for the final result. For players who use controller, it’s even more important managing your strategy since you are generally slower than wheel users. For that reason, make sure to always plan ahead of every race weekend. Personally, I have made the mistake in skipping the planning stage and starting the race directly. It’s not a good idea. It’s not even a plan. Before you enter the race weekend, analyse the track and decide tyre compound and change your car’s setup depending on the track’s corners and condition. For a track like Monza, which mostly has high-speed corners, a downforce reduction would increase top speed and improve lap times. For Monaco, you will need as much downforce as possible because the track has very sharp corners.

Alfa battling with McLaren

Alfa battling with McLaren

Another detail that might improve your lap time by some split seconds is fuel managing. Before starting the race, you have the ability to adjust the amount of fuel. You might want to add as little fuel as possible in order to save time. However, you might end up crossing the finish line with another 2 laps of extra fuel. That is very unnecessary. During the race, you can see the car’s fuel consumption and change if you want the car to have a low, standard or rich fuel consumption. You may want to switch to rich in the beginning because the first lap is the most important one. That’s the lap when most overtakes occur. 

Race Strategy

You may disagree with me, but you should practice on defending rather than pushing the car beyond its limit and, hopefully, overtake the driver in front of you. You are slightly slower than wheel users and, therefore, defending your position is a more simpler task rather than trying to catch up to the car in front and end up having a wheel-to-wheel battle. It’s very risky since we’re not very smooth on a gamepad. 

Custom livery on your F1 car

Custom livery on your F1 car

One common thing that some players don’t think about is drafting. Drafting is when another driver is placing their vehicle behind you to avoid air resistance and may therefore catch up and overtake you. At these moments, try not to place your vehicle straight in front of the driver behind, especially on straights. Otherwise, the car behind you will catch up by the next corner and you will end up in a wheel-to-wheel battle. In order to prevent drafting, you can place your car on the other side of the track. Another strategy is to go zigzag, which is a cheeky way to block the car behind. Of course, it works and is very effective but mind that the car behind will suddenly get an opportunity to place their car next to you and that’s when the zigzag strategy doesn’t work.


The worst race strategy, yet the most effective one is to crash into everyone and pretend it was an accident. Although it’s nothing I recommend, it’s still a strategy that works. I would avoid that strategy in online races to keep the racing clean, but if you’re so desperate for that trophy, you can go ahead and ram. 

Controller Settings

Controller settings for F1 2020 the game

Controller settings for F1 2020 the game

Luckily, in F1 2020, controller settings aren’t something that needs any major changes. You may change just a tiny bit, but too much won’t necessarily help. The default settings are pretty decent, though you should avoid changing deadzones. The only thing that could be changed is linearity for steering. The purpose of linearity is somewhat self explanatory. It changes how harsh you can turn in the game compared to controller. Increasing linearity means that you can turn harsh on controller, but turns more soft in-game. Same thing goes with braking linearity. Braking too harsh will lead to locked tyres, but increasing linearity for braking means you can press the trigger further without locking. 


Adding assist is the way to go if you don’t want to put too much effort into practicing. The only thing it doesn’t help with is the way you steer the car. That means you still need to learn the layout of the tracks and make sure you take the corners properly without oversteering or understeering. With assists, you won’t feel the same realism, but it sure helps you preventing accidents. The main assists you should use in order to master the game on controller is traction control and anti-lock brakes. They will keep your car steady on the track.

For those who prefer having the assists off, it shouldn’t be too difficult either. The car usually spins up to third gear if you go full throttle, but it will cost time. With a gamepad, it’s very difficult maneuvering a spinning car because the a controller’s joystick is sensitive on steering. On the other hand, that’s why you might want to change linearity on steering 

F1® 2020 | Launch trailer

And those are the main keys to improve on controller in F1 2020. I hope this guide gave you some help for future Grand Prixs.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar photo

    Thanks Mikael!


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