By Thomas Harrison-Lord, Justin Melillo and Ross McGregor
This year’s official Formula 1 game, the freshly titled EA SPORTS F1 22 has been revealed, and it includes the new Miami circuit, real-world regulations and changes to the ‘race day experience’.
As expected, all drivers, teams, liveries and venues from this year’s F1 season will be included, alongside the mould-breaking new ruleset that the cars are now developed to.
An updated tyre model and adaptive AI
You can have all the glitz and the glamour, but if the game doesn’t feedback in an authentic manor, things can unravel.
The development team for F1 22 are said to have implemented a brand new tyre model and combined this with a AI on-track rivals that can adjust to your abilities.
Alongside the new aerodynamic packages on the cars, the handling is “more true to life”, according to F1 Senior Creative Director at Codemasters, Lee Mather.
Miami circuit included
The Miami International Autodrome circuit is a new addition to the Formula 1 calendar this year and is set to host the Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix on the 8th of May.
The track, designed by UK-based Apex Circuit Design, is a 3.36-mile street circuit built to produce high average speeds of around 135mph, falling just short of those seen at Saudi Arabia’s comparable Jeddah Corniche Circuit – which was introduced post-release for F1 2021, whereas Miami will be included from the launch of F1 22.
Situated around Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium – home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team – Miami will be the 11th different US location to host a Grand Prix, and the first in Florida.
Featuring 19 corners and a back straight measuring three-quarters of a mile, the track designer has focused on creating an overtaking friendly layout – we’ll see if that translates to open online lobbies alter this year…
Australia, Spain and Abu Dhabi tracks also updated
One bugbear of last year’s official F1 game was the lack of track updates to the, in particular, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Its Turn 10, or La Caixa, was not updated to reflect real-world changes, despite the MotoGP 21 game, which was released earlier, managing to alter the layout.
This has been rectified for F1 22, and the 2021 changes to both Albert Park, Melbourne and Yas Marina venues seen recently have also been implemented.
However, fan-favourite Spa-Francorchamps and other locations such as the Hungaroring have been in need of an uplift for several years now so it remains to be seen if they will also be updated.
My Team returns with revisions
First introduced in F1 2020, there are further updates to the game’s My Team managerial mode where you create and oversee your own F1 team.
This time, there will be the option of selecting a starting budget based on three entry points: Newcomer, Challenger, and Front Runner. We would assume if you’re up for a challenge and want to progress over several seasons, selecting a ‘Newcomer’ budget will see you kick off with a Haas-sized budget.
Last year, a new Quick Practice option was introduced, but the actual practice programmes used to earn car development points were all but the same. These are said to be updated in F1 22 with new scoring systems and on-track visualisations.
F1 Life builds upon Podium Pass
A feature that has been in the F1 games since 2020, Podium Pass adds an in-game XP progression system and optional challenges which in turn can unlock cosmetic clothing and livery items to be used in-game.
This can be paired with the in-game PitCoin currency, for even more extras and there is also a Store to purchase further purely cosmetic additions.
This year, it sounds as if this has been expanded upon to form F1 Life. This takes the form of a customisable hub to show off clothing, accessories and even supercars. This sounds analogous to Hot Wheels Unleashed’s Basement and certainly not driveable road cars. Think of it as a collection of trinkets.
PC VR support
For those racing on PC, you can now experience a Codemaster’s developed F1 game in virtual reality using either an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
This is a feature that many PC users have been clamouring for. At this stage, there’s no footage, but there is one image of the functionality – however forums of comments sections the world over can now breathe a sigh of relief.
There’s no word on whether the upcoming PSVR2 too will be supported, but then it seems it’s generally too early to be discussing specific game compatibility for this headset at this early stage.
Altered race day presentation
This one is a puzzling aspect that we are intrigued to see more of.
You can now select between an Immersive or Broadcast race day option that alters formation laps, safety car periods and pitstops.
Broadcast allows players to remain passive during these instances, through some new cinematics, while ‘Immersive’ adds a little more difficulty with the caveat of potential gains – sounding similar to the Pro Career mode from 2016 that locked you into one camera angle, switched off assists and ramped up the difficulty.
Or perhaps it could even mean players can take part in tyre and brake warming minigames under safety car conditions and before the race starts, with additional processes required to nail the perfect pitstop – let’s see.
Sprint events are in
Do not call it a ‘sprint race’ or ‘sprint qualifying’, it’s just a ‘sprint’.
A new race weekend format for 2021, they were notable only by their absence in the F1 2021 game, so thankfully they are included this time around.
Qualifying is on a Friday evening – with the official pole position being awarded in this session – and then a short sprint is held on Saturday with the results of that forming the grid for the main race on Sunday. Now, the top eight positions in the sprint each receive a championship point.
For 2022, this format will be used for the Imola, Red Bull Ring and Interlagos rounds.
Where is Braking Point Part 2?
The story follows a young rookie coming up the ranks, Aiden Jackson, as he struggles to find his place among the grid. On the flip side, his veteran teammate, Casper Ackerman, struggles with still having the drive to compete, knowing his seat is ready to be taken away for the younger generation of drivers.
They both battle against another young driver, Devon Butler, who instigates friction at every turn. The way that the 2021 story ended left the door open for a continuation, and it would be somewhat of a letdown for fans of this mode not to continue the story into 2022.
Formula 2 is included, but the 2022 season is post-release
As it has been in previous years, F1 22 will ship with last seasons’ Formula 2 grid, and then after release, an update will add in the current, 2022, season.
No biggie, we look forward to the changes later in the year.
EA Sports F1 22 release date
EA Sports F1 22, the official Formula 1 racing game, will release on 1st July 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
If you pre-order the F1 22 Champions Edition, this will include three days of early access, so from the 28th June 2022.
F1 22 editions
There are two versions of F1 22 available to pre-order. Critically, only the Champions Edition includes a next-gen console upgrade, or ‘dual entitlement’. They are:
F1 22 Standard Edition
The game plus:
- F1 Life Starter Pack
- 5,000 PitCoin
F1 22 Champions Edition
The game plus:
- F1 Life Starter Pack
- 18,000 PitCoin
- Miami-Themed Content
- New My Team Icons
- Three-days early access
- Dual entitlement (PlayStation and Xbox only)
Pricing is also different depending on which system you purchase it on. Check out the pricing chart below for each option.