If you’ve been on iRacing for long enough to get out of the fixed series and into the opens, you’ll know exactly how important setups are for your car. They can quite literally be the difference between first and last place and the higher the strength-of-field, the more that they will determine that.
You can do your setups yourself if you’d like, and this is a really good idea to at least have a go at some stage in your sim racing life. It means that you develop a deeper understanding of what the car is doing and how to drive it. You can also tweak other peoples settings to be more consistent with the way that you drive, and also to try and squeeze every last millisecond out of your lap times.
Creating your own setups is time-consuming though and with the busy lives that most of us live, we’d rather spend the small amount of free time that we have available actually racing… I know I would.
I don’t create my own setups for the reasons just mentioned. I have played around with them before and I have an okay idea on what tweaking certain things do, but I do not have the time or want to create my own.
Below I’ve listed a handful of places that you can find your own setups, some are absolutely free and some will charge a small monthly subscription fee.
If you’re new to iRacing then this article on how to get started in iRacing will be helpful for you.
Once you’ve read this article on where to find iRacing setups, I wrote a guide on how to install them.
Virtual Racing School
An extremely popular service, Virtual Racing School (commonly referred to online as simple VRS) provides professional setups for all official series on iRacing.
VRS offers three different subscription plans. $4.99 per month for their Dedicated package, or $9.99(or $99.99 if you pay for a year in full) for the Competitive package. They also offer a free tier, however, it is pretty limited in what setups you’ll have access to.
The long and short of it is this. The $4.99 tier will give you access to one car setup that you choose when signing up. I believe that you can change this on a month to month basis but you will ever only be able to download one car’s setup. I’d really only recommended this tier if you only race one very specific car and you don’t plan on racing anything else.
The $9.99 tier gives you access to setups for every car in the service. This means that if you want to just jump into a random IMSA race one day, or maybe give the F3s a try, then you’ll have a great setup available for you, ready to go.
A very nice added bonus with VRS is that you’ll have access to all their telemetry software and logging data. This is a topic for another article, but it is a very nice software that you can use to see exactly where you’re losing time and compare your laps to the pros, down to the millisecond. Hugely helpful in becoming a faster driver!
You can view and compare different packs here.
Craig’s Setup Shop
I’ve only been using Craig’s Setup Shop for a few months now but so far I really like it! Craig is the official engineer for G2 Esports so he really knows his stuff when it comes to sim racing.
It’s very easy to use whether you’re accessing it from their web interface or their downloadable client. I personally use the client as with a click of a button I can have the setup files downloaded to my iRacing setups folder and ready to go for the race. No more cutting/pasting or drag and dropping between different Windows explorer windows.
Craig’s Setup Shop costs $5 per month/$15 per quarter/$50 per year and this will give you access to all of the setups that are available. It also has a very active Discord server where you can discuss sim racing and get notified about new setups, etc.
One of the super nice things about Craig’s Setup Shop is the fact that you can also pay by subscribing to his Twitch account. That means that, if you have Amazon Prime and link it to your Twitch account then you’ll be able to use the free sub that you get with that on Craig’s Twitch account and get the setup service for free. That’s exactly how I do it as I’m already paying for Amazon Prime.
Alright, this is the first of the free ones, and honestly, it’s kind of a pain in the ass.
The iRacing Forums are really good in general. I spend a fair amount of time on them reading up on all sort of things about cars, gear, computers, whatever, however, when it comes to finding setups on the forums I’ve found it to be really hit and miss.
The more popular the car/series the higher the chance that you’ll be able to find a setup. Some series are very generous with people posting up their setups each week. Some are far more secretive. You’ll find that there are often a lot of setups posted when a new car has just been released.for example, the somewhat recently released Supercars has a lot of setups floating around when they first came out as people were experimenting with them.
Personally, I wouldn’t rely on the iRacing forums to find setups. As I said, they can be a good resource but they can also be very hit and miss and, personally, I would rather just go directly to a resource that I know I”m going to get a quality setup each and every time.
Setups4i.Racing is actually a giant google drive filled with all different sorts of setups for a huge range of cars. Some of the setups aren’t as up to date as VRS or Craig’s Setup Shop are but for a free service, it is pretty damn good.
The setups that Setups4i.Racing are actually really good, especially for a free service, and if you can deal with the setups not being updated as fast as VRS or Craig’s Setup Shop then this is the go-to service out of the free options.
I would definitely suggest that you check out Setups4i.Racing over the iRacing forums if you’re after a setup just to get you on the road as quickly as possible.
Personally, I’ve used all four options mentioned above at some time or another.
Currently, I am using Craig’s Setup Shop as it was pretty much free with my Twitch Prime subscription and the setups are on-par, if not better for my driving style than VRS.
I still have an active VRS subscription as well but for the time being, I am using that for the software and data that they provide and not as much for the setups anymore.
The downloadable client that Craig’s Setup Shop offers as well is really nice, mainly because I’m lazy, but also because it keeps everything organized and is fast. I hate jumping into a practice session only to realise that I didn’t put my setup in the setups folder. This is something I don’t have to worry about with Craig’s.
Setups4i.Racing I would slot into the best of the free options. Super simple, nothing fancy about the layout of how it’s done. Good quality and stable setups for free. You can’t really ask for much more.
The iRacing Forums come in at last for me as they’re just inconvenient and unpredictable. I want to be able to just find a setup for the car I want to drive and know exactly where to find it. I don’t want to have to waste my time searching pages and pages of posts to try and potentially find a setup that someone has posted, only to do the same thing again a week later.