Codemasters’ popular F1 series returns with F1 22. Things are somewhat different this year though, with Electronic Arts acquiring the developer and EA Sports serving as the publisher. With the Formula One racing sim coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC on July 1st, what are some of the biggest changes that fans can look forward to? Let’s break them all down here.
F1 22 brings new car models, updated physics and new rules, mirroring the real-world 2022 Formula One World Championship. The reintroduction of ground effects, changes to aerodynamics, restrictions to the number of aerodynamic upgrades that can be done over a race weekend and the course of a championship, and Standardised Components are just some of the major changes. It’s a fairly new experience, both for the players and Codemasters, so it should be interesting to see how it plays out.
20 Drivers and 10 Teams
For this new season, there are 10 teams like Switzerland Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen, McLaren F1 Team, and Oracle Red Bull Racing to choose from. There are 20 drivers in total. Regardless, you have renowned names like Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg,Valtteri Bottas and Mick Schumacher to choose from.
Last year’s Story Mode, Braking Point, is gone but Career Mode is still here. Taking place over 10 years, you’ll work your way up and look to make a mark in the world of Formula One racing. A variety of changes have been made throughout like the implementation of Department Events, and Sprint Races, with the sprint qualifying format available in Imola, Brazil and the Australian Grand Prix for Career players (though they can also be enjoyed in singular races and Grand Prix mode).
The iconic pair of Anthony Davidson and David Croft can now be replaced with F1TV Pro commentator Alex Jacques, Sky Sports pit lane reporter Natalie Pinkham, or Canal Plus analyst Jacques Villeneuve. Racing engineer Jeff is also finally gone, replaced by Marc Priestly (with a real Formula One headset used to record his audio).
New and Returning Tracks
Several tracks from previous years like Imola, Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring in Austria are returning in F1 22. The newest addition, however, is the Miami International Autodrome in Hard Rock Stadium with three Drag Reduction System or DRS sections. Codemasters has yet to outline the full selection of tracks available – last year’s edition had 21 tracks, not including DLC – but it has confirmed changes to select tracks.
Essentially, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, Albert Park in Australia and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi have been updated to match their real-world versions. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya features updated off-tracks in Turns 10 to 14 while Turn 10 has a brand new layout. Yas Marina Circuit moves the Turn 5 hairpin and removes the chicane while Albert Park Circuit features repositioned outfield walls and updated turn layouts along with more detailed heights. As such, they should offer a fairly new experience for fans.
New Race Day Options
Throughout F1 22, you have a lot more freedom in how you handle the presentation. Take Formation Laps and Pit Stops. You can either drive through them with the “immersive” setting or use the “presentation” setting to let the AI do the work as you listen to the commentary. You can also time your pit stops with a button press. Depending on your timing, you can have a longer or shorter pit time.
MyTeam Career Mode Changes
In addition to Pit Stops, Sprint Races, Formation Laps and Safety Car Periods, MyTeam has a number of new additions this year. Department Events return, providing several different outcomes (and also apply to regular Career Mode) over a season. There’s also a new start option where your team can start out as true underdogs – at the very back of the field with little money and resources. Of course, you can also choose a team that’s in the middle of the pack or a Championship caliber team with an extensive budget and infrastructure. Another interesting new feature is Crew Errors. Depending on how your team is managed and the outcome of Department Events, your crew’s performance may be affected.
Another new feature is Adaptive AI, which is intended to help less experienced players stay competitive. In GamingBolt’s interview with creative director Lee Mathier, he described two options – the first will slow the AI down if the player can’t keep pace or makes mistakes. The second adapts to the player’s skills, staying competitive and even overtaking the competition but also adjusting themselves all throughout. This should ensure that even experienced players face some challenges in the short and long term.
F1 Life is the newest addition this year and a first for the franchise. It provides a dedicated location that players start the game from which can be personalized. Friends playing the game also appear and in the Multiplayer lobby, you’ll see other players also hanging around. As for what you can show, there are Trophies, the new Supercars (which can be taken for a spin in Hot Laps), clothing, accessories and more. Think of it as showcasing the more glamorous side to being a Formula One driver. Unfortunately, this means that classic F1 cars won’t be returning.
If you’ve had to deal with Dual Entitlement in the FIFA and Madden series, then great news! It’s also included with F1 22. Dual Entitlement allows for upgrading one’s PS4 or Xbox One versions to the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S versions at no additional cost. But there’s a catch – you need to purchase the Champions Edition for $80. This provides access to both the PS4 and PS5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions with the ability to switch back and forth between the different generations.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on F1 22, then the Champions Edition provides another benefit – early access. Purchase it and you can play the full game on June 28th, a full three days before the worldwide launch. The Champions Edition also includes the F1 Starter Pack, 18,000 PitCoin, new MyTeam Icons and the F1 22 New Era Content Pack for $80.
Even with the addition of ray tracing in this year’s edition, the PC requirements for F1 22 are somewhat manageable. An Intel Core i3-2130 or AMD FX 4300 with 8 GB RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti or AMD RX 470 is required at minimum. For ray tracing at these settings, you’ll need a GeForce RTX 2060 or Radeon RX 6700 XT. Recommended requirements include a Core i5-9600K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, 16 GB of RAM and a GTX 1660 Ti or AMD RX 590. Ray tracing requires an RTX 3070 or Radeon RX 6800 at these settings. In both cases, 80 GB of available space is needed for installation.
For the first time ever in the series, F1 22 will introduce VR support for PC. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Valve Index are all supported. Speaking to GamingBolt, creative director Lee Mather described the experience of playing in VR. “We’ve spoken with drivers on so many occasions about how it all feels relatively calm to them, and it’s not as hectic as you’d think. 200 mph becomes the norm and time almost slows down. The player will feel what that’s like. They’ll be able to admire the amazing detail within the cockpit, and really feel the scale of the circuit’s surroundings and elevation changes.” Also, though there are no immediate plans to support PlayStation VR, Mather says to “never say never.”
4K Ultra HD, 60 FPS, 120 FPS on Xbox Series X
In terms of resolution and frame rate, F1 22 will be targeting 4K resolution at 60 FPS on the Xbox Series X and PS5. Interestingly, the Xbox Store listing notes 120 FPS as a feature. Perhaps the team will implement a higher frame rate option for those with compatible TVs? Time will tell.
Split-Screen and Multiplayer Support
In terms of multiplayer offerings, players can expect split-screen for two players and online multiplayer. Specific changes and new additions for the latter have yet to be fully detailed but you can expect cross-gen multiplayer support for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players along with PS4 and PS5 players. Support for cross-platform multiplayer for two player Career Mode and Online Social races will arrive in a post-launch update.