Codemasters has officially lifted the lid on F1 2022 (or F1 22 as it’s now officially called), the next entry in its annual Formula 1 series. Launching July 1 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S, the game will also receive VR support on PC, making it the first F1 game to do so.
Coming to Steam, Epic Games Store and Origin, we don’t know which VR headsets are currently supported on F1 22. However, we expect everything to be fine if you own an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index , or Oculus Quest 2 (via Oculus Link). Currently, there’s no word on a native version of Quest, PlayStation VR compatibility or if it will support PlayStation VR 2 when Sony’s new headset launches.
So what else has changed this time around? A few good things, as it turns out. Alongside cooperative multiplayer and the usual roster updates – we’ve got the full lineup of all 20 drivers and 10 teams – 2022’s newest location, Miami International Autodrome, also debuts with the Miami Grand Prix. A new adaptive AI system for “less experienced players” has also been implemented, adjusting the pace of AI cars based on your performance.
Otherwise, a new “F1 Life” mode has been confirmed, a customizable hub that lets you collect “supercars, apparel, accessories, and more”. Formula 2 mode returns with content from the 2021 and 2022 seasons, providing a training ground with options for different season lengths, before stepping into the big leagues.
My Team also returns for the third consecutive year, allowing you to choose a starting budget to create your own F1 team in a race management mode. This should not be confused with Frontier Developments’ upcoming F1 Manager 2022 game, which has a similar but expanded premise.
Virtual reality could be a game changer
However, it’s F1 22’s VR support that we’re most excited about. As a lifelong F1 fan who owns multiple VR headsets, I’m completely sold on Codemasters’ decision. Sure, it’s disappointing that VR support is currently limited to PC – in all honesty, I can’t imagine we’ll ever see this running natively on Quest 2 without significant compromises – but there is an immersive VR offering that can’t be beat.
Of course, F1 22 isn’t the first racing sim to support VR, far from it. Gran Turismo Sport, Project Cars 2, Driveclub VR, Assetto Corsa and even Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0 all put us right in the driver’s seat. I haven’t gone through all of them but what I tried I had a great time.
So F1 22 isn’t the first racing game to do so, not by a long shot, but there’s something incredibly exciting about the addition of VR to the world’s premier motorsport. We’ve always been able to play these games from a cockpit view, but you’re still limited to seeing things through a TV or monitor. By making the jump to virtual reality, it puts us right in the heart of the action, in these 360-degree worlds.
Personally, going up against leaders like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc seems slightly terrifying, especially at the speeds F1 cars can achieve. We’ve all seen how hard these guys struggle to position themselves in real life and it doesn’t necessarily end well. I’m not talking about controversies like last year’s title, but remember Monza? When there are points to be won, accidents often follow.
Still, these close battles are exhilarating to watch, so if VR gets me straight into the action, count me in.