F1 24 VR Review: A Minor Upgrade Package

F1 24 offers a serviceable update for the annual racing series, though PC VR support continues to leave us wanting more. Read on for our full review.

Codemasters’ latest effort brings Formula 1 back to Steam, marking the third entry with optional PC VR support after F1 22 and F1 23. F1 24 feels lighter without a dedicated story mode, you won’t find ‘Braking Point 3’ here, though it features several positive changes. The new career mode, revised circuits, and new ‘Dynamic Handling’ system offer welcome evolutionary improvements, though F1 24 won’t change your mind if earlier entries didn’t sway you.

F1 24 – The Facts

What is it?: The latest annual entry in EA’s Formula 1 racing series.
Platforms: PC VR (played via Quest 3 with Virtual Desktop)
Release Date: Out now
Developer: Codemasters
Price: $70

Let’s begin with why you’re reading this review: F1 24’s PC VR support. Every race is playable in VR with 360° vision, 2D menus appear like a theatre mode, and controller options are standard gamepads or steering wheel accessories. Race position, speed, and other useful stats are helpfully displayed through your in-game steering wheel to provide better immersion. Some HUD elements can be individually tweaked to suit your preferences.

F1 24 – Screenshot using ‘VR Ultra’ settings

Frankly, VR support doesn’t meaningfully differ from F1 23, but that isn’t a bad thing. VR’s heightened sense of immersion benefits gameplay considerably, making that run to the first corner more tense than playing on flatscreen, and landing high-risk overtakes against Max Verstappen can’t be matched. For F1 24, I mostly played using a Quest 3 with Virtual Desktop, swapping between my Thrustmaster T248 steering wheel and an official Xbox Series gamepad.

Unfortunately, playing in VR comes with several compromises. I’m using a month-old PC with an RTX 4070 Ti Super and Intel i9-12900 processor, which can handle ‘VR Ultra’ settings with minimal performance drop. Even on this higher-end rig, the visuals look comparatively worse compared to the cockpit view in flatscreen, which isn’t always reflected in screenshots. A slight camera shake was also present when stationary. Given the vast range of setups PC games account for, your mileage may vary.

Frustratingly, it took me a while to get F1 24 running well in VR mode. Like F1 23 and EA Sports WRC – Codemasters’ other recent PC VR racing game, I had issues running this on the Steam Link app for Quest 3 and Quest 2. Loading up the game is fine, but using that method, F1 24 infrequently crashes when a race ends, freezing the image on my headset yet remaining playable on the desktop.

F1 24 – Flatscreen mode on Ultra settings

Using Virtual Desktop and choosing ‘VDXR’ on the ‘OpenXR Runtime’ settings fixed this. Using my Rift S was also fine. However, not loading SteamVR first in Virtual Desktop meant F1 24 wouldn’t recognize my gamepad or steering wheel. It’s certainly not unplayable, but when two of SteamVR’s most popular headsets require jumping through hoops, that’s hardly ideal.

And yet, it’s still really fun in VR when everything works. You can feel the pressure as you navigate the tight turns around Monaco with very little room to overtake, just as much as the high-speed thrills of Monza and Silverstone. I had some initial issues with the AI, finding them often unwilling to put up spirited defenses or obvious overtakes. However, AI responses are noticeably better after the first post-launch patch.

The wider game is great fun, and the racing feels pretty slick. Handling these powerful cars feels better and that’s more noticeable during wet weather races. Racing at 70/100 difficulty presents a suitable challenge, and the wide range of assist settings, like automatic gearboxes and pit lane release, make this welcoming for racers of all skill levels. Updates between Silverstone and the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps designs better reflect real-life changes, ensuring these iconic circuits remain entertaining.

F1 24 – Screenshot using ‘VR Ultra’ settings

Career Mode is easily F1 24’s most significant upgrade. Starting in F2 gives upcoming talent like Théo Pourchaire and Oliver Bearman their chance to shine, while legacy stars like Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna present a nice alternative. Otherwise, you can jump straight into F1 with its existing twenty drivers. Pleasing changes like secret meetings with other teams about potentially moving next season, hitting management’s expectations, and on-track objectives all add depth.

Rather than starting at the top with Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, or Charles Leclerc, I find that turning a mid-range or lower-ranking team into a prominent competitor is more rewarding. In my initial campaign before the team performance ranks were updated, I chose the Racing Bulls as Yuki Tsunoda, and eventually earning those wins feels great. The improved rivalry system is another solid change, pressuring you to outperform your teammate each weekend.

Comfort

F1 24 doesn’t include any comfort options, but they wouldn’t be necessary. Motion controls are unsupported, there are no vignettes while driving, and VR gameplay is limited to a 360° view inside the cockpit during races. Third-person cameras are unsupported in VR, though you can look backward during a race. F1 24 also includes accessibility features like a Tinnitus Relief Filter and Colorblind support.

‘Challenge Careers’ is another fun option that provides a career campaign in smaller chunks while competing with other drivers through online leaderboards. Setting up player-owned leagues in ‘League Racing’ is an appreciated option, too. Otherwise, this year’s entry feels almost identical to F1 23, which isn’t surprising for an annual series but not especially exciting.

F1 World acts as your hub for almost everything else. After clearing some initial races, you can dive into multiplayer, time trials, solo challenges, and more. It uses a separate progression system that unlocks better components for your original team, which can be used in career mode. That’s all well and good, but I do wish you could create original avatars instead of preset driver designs.

The only real change here is a new ‘FanZone’ that lets you select your favorite driver and constructor, which didn’t interest me much even as a lifelong F1 fan. Finally, just like previous years, F1 24 also contains a battle pass-esque ‘Podium Pass’ with a free and paid tier that unlocks additional cosmetics, and that’s a tough sell for a full-priced game in an annual series.

F1 24 – Final Verdict

F1 24 is another serviceable annual upgrade for Codemasters’ racing series but for PC VR owners, it’s hard to recommend if you already own F1 23. Going toe-to-toe against some of the world’s greatest drivers in VR remains thrilling, particularly when you land those key overtakes, and the sense of immersion only intensifies that feeling. Unfortunately, the lower-quality VR visuals and technical issues leave much to be desired, even on a high-spec PC.

For everything else, F1 24 remains a fun racer and offers a couple of notable improvements from its predecessor. Career mode is more enjoyable with its new mechanics and handling feels better, though other meaningful changes are minimal. Existing Formula 1 fans will likely have plenty of fun, and I still had a great time hitting the tracks; just don’t expect a major upgrade.

UploadVR uses a 5-Star rating system for our game reviews – you can read a breakdown of each star rating in our review guidelines.

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