Your own digital race engineer
Have you always wanted to have your own digital race engineer like Max Verstappen? You can! With CrewChief you have your own digital radio spotter who motivates you during every (online) session and provides you with the information you need on the track. This seems obvious, but there are few if any games where you get really good information from your race engineer or spotter.
The big advantage of a digital radio spotter is that you are less likely to be distracted by looking up the right information on the screen or DDU display. That's a thing of the past with CrewChief! You just ask your race engineer! In this article, we'll take you step-by-step through how to get CrewChief up-and-running!
What is CrewChief?
CrewChief is a free (!) software application for PCs that adds a realistic race engineer and radio spotter to the game. This software is compatible with almost every racing game on the PC. Here you can think of iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione, rFactor2, RaceRoom and F122.
CrewChief provides extra experience and realistic audio while racing. Your personal spotter and race engineer continuously provides you with relevant information to help you on your way to the finish. Here you can think of questions like "What's the gap in front", or "how many laps left". Also, your personal spotter provides you with lap times and alerts you of flagging situations on the track.
Your spotter is even so realistic that he occasionally curses through the microphone as well. And this is really super cool! It's like being addressed by the race engineer of Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. The software is fully customizable and can be completely configured to your liking! How to do that you can read below.
iRacing CrewChief setup
Setting up and installing CrewChief is very easy and only takes a few minutes. The steps below are for setting up CrewChief in iRacing, but this will be the same for almost every racing game. With the steps below, you'll have a realistic race engineer on your side in no time.
Step 1: Download the free CrewChief software
The first step is to go to CrewChief's website and download the free software. Yes, you read correctly. The software is completely free!
Step 2: Install CrewChief
After downloading the software, install this add-on on your PC. Follow the step-by-step instructions and complete the installation process.
Step 3: Download and install the additional sound packs
Once installed, open the application. The next step is to download the sound packs and driver names. If you don't do this, your spotter won't say anything. Also, make sure all personalities are up to date.
Step 4: Configure the settings in CrewChief
Once everything settings are up to date, you can start configuring CrewChief. Fortunately, many settings are already correct in the basics.
Setting your own name and the voice of your engineer and spotter
The most important and first thing to set and choose is your name in the drop-down menu and the voice of your engineer and spotter. Each voice brings a different experience! The different voices all sound very realistic and are a nice addition for even more realism in the game.
Now that you have set your name and spotter click on 'Properties'. A new window will now open. In this window you can configure CrewChief completely to your liking. The application is very detailed and the possibilities are enormous! We will now cover some settings that we personally like a lot.
- Enable Sweary Messages
Checking this option also allows your spotter to curse. And yes, that's cool! Motorsports and racing is all about emotion. And that includes swearing. It gives your spotter personality as well as realism. Leave this setting off if you don't like swearing.
- Enable iRacing auto refueling
This option ensures that your car is automatically refueled upon entering the pit lane according to the in-race fuel calculation. This is a convenient option, which saves you from having to turn the knobs to add the right amount of fuel yourself in all the frenzy.
- Reduce max complaints per session
This option defaults to 60 per session and means that your spotter will approach you every time you make a mistake or have a bad lap time on the track. This can be very frustrating and annoying, as it can take you tremendously out of your concentration. Decide for yourself what frequency is desirable. Personally, I set this one to 10.
- Enabling Voice Recognition
If you race with a headset then this option is absolutely recommended. Enabling this option allows you to communicate with your race engineer and spotter! You can find this option in the bottom right corner of the main CrewChief screen. Instead of preset hot-keys, you can now ask your spotter for information. This makes for tremendous realism and experience on the track. Super cool!
See which settings are comfortable for you
Take your time to quietly review all the settings and set them properly. See what is comfortable for you personally. Want to get the most and best out of CrewChief? Then watch the video below. When you are done configuring the settings, you can proceed to step 5.
Step 5: Start your favorite simulation game
We can finally hit the track! Once you have configured all the settings to your liking, select your favorite game and click 'Start Application'. Now fire up your favorite sim, start a session and enjoy this unprecedented realistic experience! Note: should you still hear the iRacing spotter, please turn it off in the settings.
Latest thoughts on CrewChief
I've had this application installed for several days now and I'm extremely excited! CrewChief is perhaps, along with RaceLab, the best add-on for iRacing and other simulation games.
The big advantage of this software is that it is free and adds a lot of experience and realism to your game and racing experience. The software and user interface (UI) looks dated, but this does not detract from the experience on the track. If you don't already have this add-on, download and install it today. You will not regret this!
In conclusion, then, I can say that this application is without a doubt indispensable. It provides the ultimate racing experience! So, I'm off to the track again soon!
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