Night racing settings tips for rfactor

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Night racing settings tips for rfactor

Post  Matt Lewis on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:56 am

Some handy tips gathered from various sources for ensuring your rfactor runs fine in night racing scenarios. These are in addition to the usual detail settings that everyone can access.

1- Shadows settings
The biggest performance hit in rfactor is the shadows, more so at night when headlights cast more shadows than daytime. If you have them set to full then dropping to high will make a massive difference. If you can struggle with a full grid, dropping this potentially double frame rate. best of all - the only thing you lose are the in-car shadows (and possibly from the barriers) but you don't even notice the difference after a few mins.

2- Headlight optimization
rFactor stores your user options and settings in a file called (your username).plr. There are two lines in the (your username).plr file which allow you to adjust the graphical performance of rFactor when racing at night.

To access your .plr file:

Use windows explorer, or My Computer, and navigate to your rFactor folder.

Navigate down to the "Userdata" subfolder.
Within that folder, you will see another folder with the name you setup as your driver name in rFactor.


Find the file named (your username).plr. You can open this file with any regular text editor. Notepad or Wordpad are both fine options.


Scroll down about 2/3rds of the way, until you see the following lines:

Max Headlights="8" // Max headlights visible relative to your car.
Headlights On Cars="0" // Headlights illuminate other cars.

The "Max Headlights" line determines how many headlights rFactor draws, in relative distance to your car. This number includes both cars in front and behind.

The "Headlights On Cars" line determines whether or not all headlights drawn will reflect off car bodies. This effect can put a great stress on your system. Not only does it have to draw realtime reflections when the headlights of your car illuminate your opponents, but it also draws realtime reflections from the headlights of all your opponents when they shine on other cars. Depending on how many headlights you have set in the "Max headlights" line, this can grow exponentially very fast, suddenly putting very high stress on your system.

3- Visible cars
This has quite a performance hit (especially on BTCC mod where the models can be very FPS hungry) however, if you set it to low then you get cars 'popping' in and out of view which is very distracting. I normally lower the shadows first, then the track detail and then adjust the number of visible cars to as many as i can get away with. A minimum of 10 seems to be a good starting point.


The race start and the first lap is the most stressful for the hardware so you should test with an AI race and alter your settings until it's acceptable. It doesn't need to be perfect as things will ease a LOT after the first lap but in needs to be smooth enough that you can get away safely. You can display your frame race by pressing CTRL+F. Ideally you need to be running above 60+ FPS for most of the race but you can get away with a drop to 50ish at the startline and odd occasions.

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Re: Night racing settings tips for rfactor

Post  Chris English on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:00 am

Also while people are messing with their .PLR file can I ask you all to check this post - especially the virtual rear view mirror part.

http://wsvr.forumotion.co.uk/t1058-rfactor-plr-file-edits

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