Assetto Corsa is basically Gran Turismo for PC. The game offers a great selection of cars and tracks, features very realistic physics, and it can deliver an outstanding virtual driving experience when combined with a wheel and pedal set. Unfortunately, the base game is quite rough around the edges, as it features an outdated user interface, dated graphics, and very few customization options. However, with mods, this can be changed.
Read also: 10 Must-Have Car Mods for Assetto Corsa
Compared to other sim racing games on the market, Assetto Corsa features an outstanding modding support. You can virtually mod anything in this game. From cars, tracks, and liveries, to HUD, physics, AI, and graphics. In terms of modding support, Assetto Corsa is basically Skyrim of racing games. As such, it’s no surprise that a fully modded Assetto Corsa installation can weigh between 150 GB and 200 GB.
Mods can greatly enhance Assetto Corsa racing experience. In this guide, we’ll solely focus on the most essential apps and plugins that every Assetto Corsa player should have. These mods upgrade vital parts of the game, so having them is a must if you want to enhance game’s graphics and gameplay mechanics. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 essentials apps and plugins for Assetto Corsa!
1. Assetto Corsa Content Manager
The Content Manager for Assetto Corsa is the Alpha and Omega of Assetto Corsa customization. Besides allowing you to install new mods and customize your cars, tracks, and championships, it also adds a new custom launcher to your Assetto Corsa Installation. This means that this app functions as a replacement for Assetto Corsa’s ugly interface, and should be used as the game’s “new main menu”.
The Content Manager also allows you to quickly create new races, view race results, preview cars in custom showroom, apply new car setups, modify game’s graphics, search online races, and many other things. The app is actively supported by its developer, Ilya Usupov, and is available in Lite (free) and Full (paid) version. We strongly recommend getting the paid version, not only because it’s cheap (you can pay as low as $1 for it), but also because it unlocks numerous other features (like split screen), and makes the whole modding process super easy. You can download the app from here.
2. Custom Shaders Patch
This is another must-have app for all players who want to upgrade and enhance Assetto Corsa’s outdated graphics. Made by the same people behind the Assetto Corsa Content Manager, the Custom Shaders Patch (a.k.a. CSP) functions as an extension to the game’s graphics engine, and adds a ton of cool features that improve game’s visuals.
The CSP adds new dynamic lighting engine to the game, as well as fully scriptable dynamic weather engine, local reflections, bounced lighting, temporal anti-aliasing, sparks, smoke effects, grass, turning lights, and more. It also serves as a programming framework for other mods that enhance game’s graphics, so downloading this is a must if you want to visually transform your Assetto Corsa experience.
SOL is a weather simulation system for Assetto Corsa. It greatly enhances CSP’s dynamic weather engine, and adds volumetric clouds, lighting bolts, thunder, weather seasons, etc. Coupled with CSP, SOL basically transforms Assetto Corsa into the ultimate sim racing game with Gran Turismo-level graphics. SOL also adds additional time of day effects, weather transition effects, different types of clouds, and even track wetness. You can download the latest version of SOL from RaceDepartment.
4. RainFX (CSP)
RainFX is one of the coolest and the most graphically demanding plugins for Assetto Corsa. It is basically an integral part of the premium version of CSP (which you can download from Ilya’s Patreon page), so you only have to enable it in the Content Manager’s graphics settings to see its glorious effects.
What RainFX basically does is that it adds rain simulation physics engine to the game. It allows you to actually see the rain in-game, and it adds dynamic water puddles to race tracks, as well as water particle effects on windscreen inside the cockpit view. The plugin also automatically enables other features, such as dynamic windscreen wipers, water splashes, etc. The only downside is that it’s very graphically intensive, so don’t bother installing it if you don’t have a GPU equivalent to GeForce GTX 1070 or better.
CrewChief is an app that takes immersion in Assetto Corsa to a whole new level. It adds an AI-powered Radio Engineer and Spotter which are constantly in communication with you as a driver. They can provide you with information about your current track position, lap time, gap to your opponent, remaining fuel, car damage, overtake opportunities, etc. The app also supports voice commands, and is fully functional in online races. CrewChief also works with other games, such as iRacing and F1 games, and it features multiple sound packs which you can choose from. This amazing app is completely free, and can be downloaded from CrewChief’s official website.
Sidekick is a super handy app for Assetto Corsa that adds an additional HUD element which displays all the important information about your car’s performance. Besides featuring a small speedometer and current gear indicator, it also displays timings (including current lap time, last lap time, best lap time), deltas, lap number and current position, fuel info and tyre info (wear, temperatures, pressures). The app can also show brake temperatures, notify you about FFB clipping, and it’s interface is fully customizable, meaning you can hidde displays you don’t want to see. The app is available at RaceDepartment for download.
Hitting another car in games like Need For Speed and Forza Horizon is like poking your best friend with a finger in real life. It’s fun, and it’s not painful. In Assetto Corsa it is a matter of life and death. Hitting another car while driving at 150 mph can send you into a barrier and completely destroy your car. Also, if you plan to race online and hit other cars, be prepared to receive penalties and get disqualified. To avoid hitting other cars, Helicorsa is here to assist you. This simple, yet powerful mod for Assetto Corsa adds a HUD element which displays position of other cars around you. It basically functions as a radar that tells you where are other drivers. The mod can be downloaded from here.
8. ACTI – Assetto Corsa Telemetry Interface
If you want to perfect your driving skills, and compete with other professional sim racing drivers, then you’ll need the ACTI (Assetto Corsa Telemetry Interface). This is a mod that with an in-game app allows live access to and recording of Assetto Corsa telemetry data. It records telemetry data in Motec i2 compatible log files, and it allows you to analyze you gear shifting, throttle and break usage, your steering angle, and many other things. It is an incredibly useful app, as it allows you to analyze your driving and improve your skills, as well as gain deeper insights in your car’s handling.
9. CamTool 2
The CamTool 2 app for Assetto Corsa is designed to create cinematic shots and custom replays. With it, you can create stunning videos and montages of your races, as well as gain control over game’s camera to freely move around and watch replays from different angles.
The app packs a lot of useful options which allow you to transform camera, or track specific cars. Unfortunately, using this app on low-end systems will cause some performance drops, so consider recording in slow motion and speeding up the video later to improve quality of your cinematic shots. For most high-end systems, this performance hit will be negligible, so feel free to use it as you like.
10. Gran Turismo HUD
If you are a Gran Turismo fan, or simply want to make Assetto Corsa’s UI more appealing, then you’ll love this mod. Featuring textures from the original game, this mod adds Gran Turismo HUD elements to your screen. The mod adds original Gran Turismo speedometer and tachometer (which are available in two different variants), as well as fuel gauge, lap count indicator, and timings widget.
The mod also introduces new UI elements for replay, new animations, auto resolution scale, auto speed unit selection, as well as support for triple-screen setups. The developer of this mod also made the Inital D Arcade HUD mod, so be sure to check it out if you are interested in this kind of stuff.
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