Screenshot of the alignment setup for Dirt Rally 2.0.

Dirt Rally 2.0 Car Baseline Setup

Visits: 1885

Preamble/Rant:

There are entirely too many cars and tracks in Dirt Rally 2.0 for me to detail my exact setup for each car and rally. If Codemasters would have blessed us with a way to export a setup file like every other serious racing sim in the world this wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, they didn’t, and EA has bought them out in the meantime, so we all know what that means. Thus, I will declare right here and now in front of the whole world that if they ever push out an update, patch, content, skin, or anything whatsoever to support this sim in any manner. I will seek out and purchase the absolute filthiest, nastiest, mold and mildew infested, most disgusting, 20 race worn never-washed fire suit I can find. Afterward I will sit down with a fork, knife and video camera so that the whole planet can watch as I eat that sucker and wash it down with a beverage of my choosing. I will then proceed to upload that video to YouTube for prosperity to mark the one time in that wretched company’s existence it did the right thing even accidently or more likey failed in its attempt to prevent the right thing from done. End rant.

Now that that’s out of the way. If you take these parameters, plug them in the sim in the appropriate car you will have a car capable of setting a top 150 time at any stage you choose. If you use your shakedowns to dial in your car it will be capable of setting a top 25 run in any segment you choose. Setups are nice in Dirt Rally 2.0 and make going fast and finding the edge more attainable. That said they are not nearly as important here as they are in a hardcore racing sim like iRacing. If Jimmy Broadbent — who admittedly isn’t much of a rally racer — can take a car with basically no setup and after 3-5 hrs of sweating and cursing pull of a top 35 all time in a segment, then I have no doubt that with less talent and the baseline setup laid out here you can run in the top 100.

In general, assume I’m discussing setting the car up for gravel.

Any settings for tarmac the text will be orange colored.

Alignment:

I prefer a car with a very dead rearend. That means I want the front of the car to do all the turning and the back to stay behind not off to the side or trying to pass me up. So my setups always begin like this:

I recommend leaving the Front Toe -0.40°, and Rear Toe +0.80° if you need the rear or front of the car to rotate more of less adjust the Camber to your liking. I usually start Both Front and Rear Camber Angles around -0.75° and go from there.

  • Front Toe = -0.40°
  • Rear Toe = 0.80°
  • More negative camber = more rotation — looser car.
  • More positive camber = less rotation — Tighter car.

One exception would be in heavy rain especially in the high horsepower cars — Group B — then I’d recommend bumping the rear toe angle as high as 1.20.


Brakes:

I use the same brake settings on every stage.

  • Braking Force = one click below maximum.
  • Brake Bias = one click frontward of 50%.

Differential

I use the same front and rear differential settings everywhere. On cars with an adjustable center differential I’ll vary that from gravel to tarmac.

  • Front Driving Lock = one click below locked.
  • Front Braking Lock = one click below locked
  • Front LSD Preload = one click above lowest.
  • Center Differential = adjust to liking I recommend starting more toward Loose as a general rule* — lower number. —
  • Rear Driving Lock = one click above open.
  • Rear Braking Lock = one click below locked.
  • Rear LSD Preload = As close to 80 N-m as possible.

*You may want to adjust the Center Differential more toward the Strong side in ice and snow. It should plant the car and avoid handling issue that come up with an open differential in low grip conditions.

One thing to be aware of when racing with a nearly open differential in the rear, is that it is going to want to propel you straight. If you swing the backend out close to 45° the car is going to want to all of a sudden propel you in that new direction. Usually that’s straight into a wall, bush, tree, or off a cliff. A word to the wise is to be careful how hard you lay in when you use the handbrake in a corner.


Gearing

Every rally you’ll have to make some changes to your gear ratios to maximize performance.

What is important is the spacing or gap between each gear. Whatever you find fastest, and most comfortable, gear ratio wise these rules of thumb will serve you well.

  • On more modern and lighter cars with 6 speed transmissions gears 1-5 should be spaced apart by between 0.110-0.135.
    • 6th gear will serve as an overdrive with a greater gap from 5th around 0.180-0.210.
  • Group B cars with 6 or 7 speeds should shoot for a gap of 0.145-0.180 between each gear.
    • 6th or 7th can have the same gap as the rest or a bit taller at most 0.225.
  • Cars with 5 speeds, should have gears 1-4 spaced out by 0.130-0.170.
    • 5th gear should serve as an overdrive with a gear ratio 0.200-0.280 greater than 4th.
  • Group B cars with 5 speeds each ratio should be spaced out 0.170-0.195.
    • 5th can be the same or a little taller than if desired no more than 0.210.
  • 4 speed transmissions you’ll want all your gears evenly spaced gaps of 0.165-0.220.
  • Final Drive is always set to the absolute shortest — smallest number — possible.

Damping:

There are a wide variety of different dampers on all the different cars. The good news is that dampers are more of a fine-tuning adjustment than something critical to get just right. What you want to start with is as much rebound damping as possible and we’ll let the rest of the suspension take care of bump.

First set all of the bumps — fast and slow — to -5. After that the Bump Zone Division does nothing so set it too wherever. Next take Rebound and max it out at 5. If you want to experiment with running a little more Slow Bump go ahead but set the Zone Division to a low value so you spent most of the time fast and in -5.

What we accomplished here was putting bump reduction into the springs and chassis while the Damper will be responsible for killing the recoil from the springs.

  • Front Slow Bump = -3.
  • Front Fast Bump = -5.
  • Front Zone Division = 2 clicks toward slow.
  • Front Rebound = 5.
  • Rear Slow Bump = -3.
  • Rear Fast Bump = -5.
  • Rear Zone Division = 2 clicks toward slow.
  • Rear Rebound = 5.

Springs:

Springs are very important yet fairly straightforward to setup.

  • Front and rear Ride Height are both going as high as possible.
  • Front Spring Rate will go 2 clicks below Firm –highest setting. —
  • Both Anti-Roll Bars will be set below 10.
  • Rear Spring Rate will be 3 clicks below Firm –highest setting. —

For tarmac

  • Front and rear ride height lowered all of the way.
  • Spring rate either maxed out or 1 click below firm.

For Ride Height there is very little to be gained by lowering the car and a lot to be lost by grounding out, so I leave it all the way up unless I’m racing on tarmac in which case, I lower it all the way. Feel free to adjust the springs to your liking. Just remember too soft and the body roll will get bad. As for Anti-Roll Bar, something is definitely off in this sim with that adjustment. Any more than 10 N/mm and the car just wants to spin around or roll over. It doesn’t respond to adjustment anything like any vehicle I’ve ever encountered so mess with it a little bit as long as both values are under 10 you should be fine.

Related:

Do you have an old phone or tablet laying around? If so, you could turn it into a pretty sweet sim racing dashboard for a couple bucks and bit of your time. That same sight DIY Game Controllers has all kinds of articles on accessories for sim racing. Setting up Triple Monitors, adding Bass Shakers, Pedal Mods, all the way up to Full Motion Sim Rigs. Check it out when you’ve got a little time.