The latest edition to the Codemasters, now EA, Formula 1 franchise is out now with F1 23. The game offers a heavily revised handling system although career mode has seen little in the way of fundamental changes. Still, this segment of F1 23 can still provide a whole heap of fun and this guide will set you up to commence your journey either as a driver or a team boss and driver in My Team.
Below, you will read:
- The two different F1 23 career mode options
- The length of F1 23 career mode
- Two player F1 23 career mode
- F1 23 career mode changes
The two career modes explored: Driver and My Team
As with every release since 2020 of the racing game, F1 23 features two career modes in Driver and My Team. Driver career has been a part of the game on and off since 2010, and it again sees you able to create your own driver with custom race number, avatar, and helmet, and race for any of the official F1 teams.
Should you choose this option, you will replace a team’s driver, but be able to select the teammate you have, for example, whether you want Fernando Alonso or Lance Stroll as a teammate at Aston Martin. As you can in My Team, upgrades can be bought for your car and these are achieved by completing Friday and Saturday practice programs and for reaching and exceeding goals in qualifying and the races.
The Friday practice programs can vary, but they largely boil down to these;
- Fuel runs
- Tire wear tests
- Race performance
- Qualifying simulation
- Initial track knowledge run
The fuel and tire wear runs test out the amount of fuel you use per lap, and the amount of tire wear you accumulate over a lap as well. Race performance is all about going as fast as possible on a set of tires over a few laps to beat a race simulation lap time to see how your car will perform in the Grand Prix.
Qualifying simulation is a low fuel, high pace one-lap run where you will aim to beat a fast target lap time to gauge an idea of where your car will qualify for the race. Finally, the initial track run is just about going through marker gates and getting up to speed with the track you are racing.
There are two points targets for each practice program, 30 and 50 points, indicated by green and then purple when you have completed each run. The more points you earn, the more you can spend in R&D upgrading your car. To receive the higher points, you have to have the best fuel economy and tire saving as possible, and be as fast as you can on the race and quali runs. These same practice programs are also present in My Team career mode.
The practice programs will earn you points to spend upgrading your car on four areas;
Durability upgrades will make components such as the gearbox and turbocharger more reliable and less prone to failure, while powertrain upgrades help with things such as ERS efficiency and overall top speed.
Aero and chassis work in similar ways, with the former improving the downforce and aerodynamic efficiency of your car while chassis upgrades reduce the weight, help with the balance, and can ensure you have better tire wear than rivals.
My Team career mode
My Team returns again for the fourth year and will see the player take on the role as both a team boss and driver. As well as the usual R&D that develops the car in both driver and My Team career, the latter sees you take over the day-to-day running of a team as its boss, including areas such as the simulator, PR department, engine, aero, etc.
This provides an even greater challenge for players, and there is the option to start as a lower funded team at the back of the grid for added challenge. As team boss, you will also handle sponsorships, hire a second driver as your teammate, and can pick any of the current power unit suppliers to power your car.
One other big difference between the two is that in a driver career, you are free to move teams either mid-season or at season’s end whereas you are glued to your own outfit and narrative in My Team, although mods enable transfers to happen on PC only.
Manage each department to improve morale within the team, ensure upgrades are applied without any failures, and keep your finances in check. Facility upgrades to areas such as the wind tunnel and simulator are available, but overspend and you will end up bankrupt. Remember, you are managing a cash flow in and out of the team, and paying for things such as your power unit and teammate’s salary.
Career mode allows for a choice of calendar and season length
Something available to players in both Driver and My Team career is a change in calendar length. This was brought in for the first time in F1 2020, allowing players to run either a ten, 16, or full season length calendar in their career modes with the added bonus that this could be changed season to season.
In F1 23, we also get access to the Portimao, Paul Ricard, and Shanghai circuits, none of which are on the 2023 F1 calendar. From the second season onwards of your career mode, they can be added to your own custom calendar allowing you to simulate your own 2023 Portuguese, French, and Chinese Grand Prix’s. The calendar length is selectable in both My Team and Driver Career.
The F1 game’s popular two player career mode returns
First added to the game in F1 2021, two player career mode allows you to link up with a friend and create your own dual career mode together online, driving for the current teams on the grid.
While you can work together as teammates, the game also allows you to both drive for opposing teams, and even move away from your own teams to either link up as teammates or to break that relationship. It’s a mode that fans have loved since its introduction and one that was hankered after for many years by some.
Like with the offline career modes, the practice programs are present. Should you be in rival teams then you have your own programs to complete individually. Programs are shared out if you are in the same team as each other.
Why there aren’t big changes to the career mode in F1 23
Something that has disappointed many players of this year’s game is the lack of major enhancements to career mode. Other than a couple of tweaks to reallocate point allocation, both Driver and My Team career modes are the same as they were in 2022.
EA and Codemasters look to have put most of their focus onto the return of Breaking Point, the F1 23 story mode experience, and the new and somewhat convoluted F1 World online section of the game. Given that career mode is perhaps the games biggest selling point, the lack of any major changes here isn’t Codemaster’s best move, and it has apparently led to sales falling by 46 percent compared to F1 22.
So, is F1 23 worth buying? Despite these lack of changes, F1 23 delivers a more rewarding career mode experience compared to F1 22. The ability to add in the extra three tracks to the calendar is a nice bonus, and the much improved handling makes the cars a joy to drive again. Both Driver and My Team continue to offer different but incredibly engaging F1 experiences. All in all, the game is a big step up from F1 22 despite the lack of changes in the career modes.
Hopefully for F1 24, the upward trajectory can continue, but with the addition of a more engaging, refined and feature-rich career mode.
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