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iRacing Essential Controls

Written by: Jose Cabrera



Time to read 7 min

iRacing in 2023-2024 has introduced a range of new features and controls, making the sim more immersive and efficient to use. In this article I will breakdown what I think the most essential controls are. Keep in mind that some of these options will apply only to some cars/users depending on individual needs.


"Launch Trigger" : A new feature in 2024, allowing drivers to set a pre-determined bite point for a more effective launch, especially useful for those without a hand/dual-clutch system.

Control Assignments

"Enter/Exit/Tow Car" : This frequently used button is your go-to for entering or exiting your vehicle, returning to pits, or resetting after a crash. I always recommend to have this somewhere comfortable.

"Look Left/Right" and "Look Up/Down" : Crucial for racers using a single monitor setup, these controls enhance your situational awareness, allowing you to check for adjacent cars with ease.

"Use custom controls for this car" : A toggle recommended for drivers who switch between different wheels or setups, ensuring each car has an optimized control layout.

Split Time Delta

"Next/Prev Splits Delta Display" : Cycle through the different Delta or Timing Screen available.

"Toggle Display Reference Car" : A toggle for tuning on or off the reference or “Ghost” car.

Auto Text Chat

"Chat Commands" : These are used to be able to send pre-programmed messaged with the click of a single button.

"Pit Stop Commands" : These are commands, or macros used to tell your pit-crew what you want during your next stop.


"Enable Screen and Video Capture" : Toggle this on if you want to be able to use the video and screen capture controls.

"Video Capture" : This will toggle on/off video recording.

"Screenshot Capture" : This will take a screenshot of the current view in iRacing and save it in the screenshots folder.

LFE (Sub/BassShaker Audio)

"Louder/Quieter": Simple up and down volume control.


"Dynamic Objs" : While not a control, this option is the number 1 killer of frame rates. Turn this off if your PC is running slow or if the simulator is running choppy.


"Ask to save on replay": This option will prompt you if you want to save your replay every time you click “Quit”. Keep in mind that with it on, you will get this pop up every time you click “Quit”. If you don’t need the replays, turn this off and save yourself the step.

Sound Levels

"Louder/Quieter": Simple up and down volume control.

Voice Chat

"Push To Talk": This control will open the mic whenever you want to speak on the radio.

"Louder/Quieter": Simple up and down volume control.


"Louder/Quieter": Simple up and down volume control.

In-Car Systems

"Handbrake" : This is where the handbrake would be assigned.

"Second Clutch" : I started using this when I started using hydraulic pedals. Sometimes it’s easier to pull the clutch on the wheel instead of slamming my foot into the clutch when I spin the car. The second clutch option works really well as a back-up if you have clutch paddle on your wheel.

"Second Up-Shift and Downshift" : I found this extremely useful when having issues with a Fanatec Formula V2 wheel. Unfortunately the paddle shifters had started failing, so I was able to assign another set of buttons to work as a back up for my shifters.

"Ignition" : Mostly used for immersion, but this will turn the master ignition on for the car.

"Starter" : Again, mostly used for immersion as this can be set to automatic, but this will fire the engine.

"Headlight Flash" : You will see this used a lot in multi-class racing with cars flashing headlights to communicate with other drivers, or to be annoying… you be the judge lol.

"Pit Speed Limiter" : This is another one that can be set to automatic, but it’s another one of my favorites when it comes to immersion.

"Push To Pass/Overtake" :Engages the Push to Pass in the Indycar and the Super Formula.

"DRS" : If you are driving the newer Formula 1 cars or the Formula Renault 3.5, you’ll want to have the DRS control assigned.

"Tear Off Visor" : For open-wheel cars, there’s the Tear Off Visor. This will clear the helmet visor in game when it starts getting dirty, just like a tear-off in real life.

"Tigger Windshield Wipers" : This will toggle on/off the windshield wipers.

In-Car Adjustments

"Brake Bias Set": This is one is used for general brake bias, it’s the control that will affect brake bias in any car that has brake bias.

"Brake Bias Fine Set": Used in both the Mercedes W12 and W13 Formula One cars, it will affect the brake bias value after the decimal point.

"Peak Brake Bias Set" : Again used in both the W12 and W13 to adjust the Brake Migration value.

"Brake Misc Set": Used for Brake Magic in the W12 and W13.

"Front/Rear Anti-Roll Bar Set": Used to adjust the front or rear anti-roll bar of the Indycar.

"Fuel Mixture": Mostly used for fuel saving during endurance races.

"ABS Set": ABS Control, mostly used in cars with multiple ABS settings.

"Traction Control Set": Traction Control, also used in cars with multiple TC settings.

"Dash Page Set": Used to cycle through pages on the DDU or Digital Display Unit.

"Diff Entry/Mid/Exit": Differential controls for the W12 and W13 Formula One Cars

"Engine Braking": Used to fine tune how the engine is being used to slow the car down. Used on the W12 and W13.

"Throttle Shape": Used to change the behavior of the throttle. Very useful in slippery conditions when coming out of a corner and getting on power.

"MGU-K Deploy": Used on cars with hybrid systems. This will cycle through the different deploy modes.

"Traction Control Toggle": This is used to quickly disable the traction control when needing to spin the car around, or launching out of the pit box or onto a formation lap.

Other Controls

"Increase and Decrease Field of View" : This will “Zoom” the view in/out.

"Shift Horizon Up/Down" : This will pitch the view up or down.

"Inc/Dec Driver Height" : This will increase or decrease the drivers seating height in-game.

"Toggle Telemetry Logging" : A toggle used to tell the system to record data and save it.

"Open The Camera Tool" : Used for fine tuning of the camera controls or configuring to use the camera as a drone.

"Reload Car Texture" : Once you start running custom paints, usually through Trading Paints or if your league has a custom software for paints, then this control is to refresh the paint any time you make a change or every now and then you will notice that your paint will not load correctly and this control lets you quickly reset the paint.

"Toggle Virtual Mirror" : This is for the mirror at the very top of the screen. While this is great to use during racing, I turn it off when I am racing in VR or when I am in a qualifying session. Mostly because it’s a distraction.

"Toggle UI Edit" : This control will let you customize where you have everything placed within the iRacing software, while you are in the car. All of the timing screens, black-boxes and other notifications, can be moved to a custom location on the screen and saved per your preference. To use it you press the key to enable it once and again to disable it. You will see a blue outline around the boxes to let you know that it’s active.

"Toggle Weather Radar" : This will give you a forecast of what the weather will look like throughout the session.

"Active Reset Save Start Point" : Imagine being able to practice the same corner over and over without having to run the whole track, simply by pressing a button. Thats exactly that this is for.

"Activate Reset Run" : This will reset the car to the point set when you activate “Activate Reset Save Start Point”

"Custom Sector Mark Start/End Point" : These are to be able to log timing and be able to see if you are going faster or slower through that specific section.

Black-Box Controls

"Next/Previous Black Box" : These two will cycle through all of the black-boxes.

"Lap Timing" : Information such as best lap, last lap, incidents and other race-specific information will be displayed.

"Standings" : This will display everyone’s best lap in a session.

"Relative" : Arguably the most important black box. This will give you the gaps to the cars in front or behind. This will also show you if cars in front/behind are either back markers or on laps ahead of you.

"Fuel" : Here you will find the controls where your pit crew will add a certain amount of fuel.

"Tires" : This one is to tell your pit crew which tires to replace or which compound to use. In oval racing you can also choose to change only side of tires.

"Tire Info" : Here you can see tire temperature and wear. Keep in mind that this will only upload once you come back into the pits from a drive.

"Pit-Stop Adjustments" : This will show you any available adjustments during the pit-stop.

"In-Car Adjustments" : This one is important to be able to navigate all of the in-car functions. This applies more-so to brake bias and more complex cars, like the LMP1’s, F1 and the GTPs will have a lot more functions available to be able to control stuff like the hybrid system and differential settings.

"Mirror Black Box" : Here you can do all of your field of view, horizon and height controls, you can also adjust the field of view of the virtual mirror, and you will also find the FFB Strength control which is to be able to adjust the weight of the wheel… Something you can configure to do while you’re driving.

"Weather Black Box" : This will give you a weather forecast for your session of several hours.

"Select Next/Previous, Increment/Decrement Selected Control, Toggle" : These will let you scroll and click through all the options inside of the black boxes. The perfect way for a 7-way switch or a 7-way funky switch.

Replay Controls

"Recenter HMD": Used to recenter the view any time it goes out of alignment while using VR.

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