Last updated: March 7th, 2023
Assetto Corsa is the simulator app that I learned how to run my very first home simulator setup. The physics are excellent which makes actually learning how to drive a car in the simulator so much easier. I’m a big fan of the platform. Thankfully, there’s a thriving community that agrees and they, over the years, have developed an entire mod ecosystem for AC to make modifying your Assetto Corsa setup really, really easy.
So, today we’re going to look at the “must-have” mods for AC and some of the ways you can explore the Assetto Corsa mod ecosystem safely.
Assetto Corsa (AC) is a good place to learn how to make car setup changes and to get some practice if you’re learning a circuit for real life.
In fact, that is why I bought a simulator in the first place. Assetto’s coverage of UK circuits is excellent – it even features Cadwell Park, which I suspect a lot of people haven’t heard of. Think of it as a much smaller Nordschleife, just, in Lincolnshire in the UK. For any circuit that you really want that doesn’t come with the default installation, you can bet they’ll be a mod for it.
Do mods exist for Asetto Corsa Competizione or just Assetto Corsa?
Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione have their differences and today we’re going to focus purely on Assetto Corsa, which allows mods where Competizione does not. This is why, for example, the sim drifting community prefers Assetto Corsa. There are so many mods it’s amazing, although it’s always best to go with pre-vetted recommendations to make sure the quality is high and there are no potential security issues with the downloads. Another small caveat is that mods for Assetto Corsa drivers are available on the PC only.
What are the best Asetto Corsa Mods?
- Assetto Corsa Content Manager
- Custom Shaders Pack
- Sol Mod
- Pure Mod
- Race Essentials
- Race Sim Studio
- Legends Ford ’34 coupe
- Targa Florio
- Ginetta G55 GT3
- DT Mods Presents Honda NSX Type S ’22
- Lego Speed Champions
- 2REAL – Daikoko Realistic Traffic Simulation
- Protech P91 Hybrid Evo
Assetto Corsa Mods take the shape of apps, weather, tracks and cars. You can add a little-known driting circuit from somewhere in Japan, race tractors or a double-decker bus, or get a livery (skin) that you really like. You can even race Lego cars and play with all sorts of settings to bring racing software first launched in 2014 up to 2022’s expectations.
How to install an Assetto Corsa Mod
We’ll get on the piece of software called Assetto Corsa Content Manager in a moment which handles all of this for you, but I think it’s important to understand where mod files are saved and what they look like (in terms of file extensions, zip files and so on!).
The “AC root” directory as we’ll refer to it frequently is located in a folder at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\content
Inside the Assetto Corsa content folder, there are separate sub-folders relevant to where you’ll save the mod files. If you’ve downloaded a track mod, that’ll go into the tracks subfolder. There’s also a sub-folder for cars, drivers, weather and so on. Usually, you unzip the zip file to the appropriate subfolder.
When you manually download a mod zip file, there will be a folder inside the downloaded zip – unzip that entire folder into the correct subfolder. Some mods use an MSI installer but not many! It’s worth pointing out that it’s necessary to have Assetto Corsa closed while you’re adding mods as it’ll check for new mods when the game starts up.
There is always an easier way, of course. That easier way is Assetto Corsa Content Manager.
Assetto Corsa Content Manager
Assetto Corsa Content Manager is a community-made Assetto Corsa launcher (literally a replacement for the existing .exe file) which updates the existing UI to make the software easier to use and critically, easier to modify. It improves the layout of the UI making it more intuitive, and easily adds updated features to the overall graphics package, with new cars, new tracks, and improved sounds that Assetto Corsa features to keep the game up-to-date in comparison to more modern racing games.
You can download Assetto Corsa Content Manager directly from the downloads section of the assettocorsa.club website.
Assetto Corsa Content Manager gives you a list of useful new features and improves a lot of the existing stuff including:
- Management for cars, car skins, showrooms, fonts, weather and other types of content
- Repair tool for obsolete car mods or mods with common errors
- Flexible filters
- Car setups, Quick Drive, control presets and replay sharing
- Content installation, built-in web browser to find and quickly install new mods
- Car previews updating, using either Custom Showroom or AC Showroom
- Livery editor
- Weather editor
Once Content Manager is up and running you can install mods either by dragging and dropping a downloaded zip file or directly from the assettocorsa.club website.
As you’ll see from the homepage, the website aggregates the most popular cars and tracks and rates them by popularity. Provided you have the content manager installed, you can use the “Install” (pictured above) link which will open Content Manager via a dialogue popup in the browser, much like a Zoom invitation does!
Assetto Corsa Content Manager couldn’t make it easier to start modifying and improving Assetto Corsa – it’s brilliant as a beginner but so convenient too. A must-have for your Assetto Corsa setup. And I mean, a must-have – look at how the tyre smoke is moved by passing cars thanks to the way particles are rendered using the custom shaders pack and Sol, which we’ll be looking at in just a moment:
Want to learn how to mod Assetto Corsa to make it look and sound even better? Let’s do some mod installations!
How to install Assetto Corsa Content Manager
To install Content Manager for Assetto Corsa, follow those few steps, Firstly, download Content Manager from the website:
Then, open the downloaded archive and move the file “Content Manager.exe” to AC root folder:
Then open the AC root folder at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\content. Rename the file “AssettoCorsa.exe” to something different like “_AssettoCorsa.exe” or “AssettoCorsa_old.exe”.
Finally, rename the file “Content Manager.exe” to “AssettoCorsa.exe”.
CM is now the default executable launcher for Assetto Corsa. When you open Assetto Corsa, you’ll be running the enhanced Content Manager version.
You’ll also need Assetto Corsa Content Manager to install the Custom Shaders Pack for Assetto Corsa (CSP) and the Sol Mod for Assetto Corsa. What are those? Read on.
Custom Shaders Pack for Assetto Corsa on PC
The Custom Shaders Pack (CSP) is a collection of modules that gives Assetto Corsa many new features. The “weatherFX” module is like a graphics SDK (software development kit) that gives Assetto a whole new look and advanced capabilities such as day/night cycle, 3D clouds and enhanced lighting. The Custom Shaders Pack is also needed for Sol.
To install the Custom Shaders Pack for Assetto Corsa on a PC, download the CSP zip file from here, and drag and drop the zip file into the Content Manager window.
Next, open the “install” menu and Install CSP which should appear at the bottom of the dropdown menu like this:
If you intend to install Sol, you’ll need at least CSP version 0.1.76. If you’ve installed an earlier version, go to settings > CUSTOM SHADERS PATCH > Select the “ABOUT & UPDATES” tab and choose a version 0.1.69 or higher:
Sol Mod for Assetto Corsa
Sol is the graphics mod to get for Assetto Corsa. The patch adds an incredibly enhanced experience graphically, a better cloud and sky renderer, wet circuits, nighttime running and so on.
How to install the Sol mod for Assetto Corsa
To install Sol, download the zip file from RaceDepartment here. You need to be logged in and a download button will appear on the top right of the screen.
To install the patch, you’ll need 7-Zip to unpack the zip file (not sure why they use 7-Zip but no worries).
Open the Sol zipped file, then, in the zip, go into the folder /MODS and then /Sol 2.2.x.
Copy the folders: apps, content, extension and system into your Assetto Corsa root folder. Confirm to overwrite existing files:
To activate the Sol apps, just go to the “Ingame App” settings inside Content Manager by navigating “SETTINGS” > “ASSETTO CORSA” > “APPS”
Getting started with the Sol mod
When you’ve completed the Sol installation process detailed above, you’ll find a lot of new track and weather options become available inside Assetto Corsa Content Manager.
For more on Sol 2.2, there’s an excellent, detailed video on Sol 2.2 which I recommend you watch here:
Currently in development, at v0.148, Pure is the spiritual successor to the Sol Mod, created by Peter Boese – seen earlier in the list. This is the next step of his weather and graphics system called “Pure”. Pure addresses many of the problems associated with Sol.
While Pure is still a development version, it has over 10,000 backers on Patreon and is definitely a mod to watch as it gets closer to a full release version.
While Race Essentials is no longer being updated, it’s still available if you can get into this page on the Assetto Forum at Racedepartment: http://www.assettocorsa.net/forum/index.php?threads/raceessentials-v1-4-6.41103/ – failing this, here is a working download for the last version of Race Essentials:
Race Essentials replaces the dashboard in the standard AC setup. It has a lot of features, in fact, it basically shows you everything you need to know about the car in one place.
Race Sim Studio
Race Sim Studio produces some absolutely stunning car mods for Assetto Corsa:
When you buy the car mods, they arrive via a download link contained in an email so be sure to download the zips and save them somewhere in case you re-install Assetto Corsa. Race Sim Studio recommends using Content Manager for Assetto Corsa to install their mods which, is the same drag and drop then install process that we outlined while discussing the Custom Shader Pack. You can install them manually, too – by copying over the “Content” directory in the supplied zip to the AC root, like this:
Legends Ford ’34 coupe
One of the most popular and driveable car mods for Assetto Corsa is the Legends series Ford ’34 Coupe:
This is the Legends race car mod actually built using real-life legends data by a real-life legends mechanic with legends racing experience. So, pretty definitive stuff! This free mod includes over 60 real-life skins from the Finnish series from 2014 – 2018. The mod has a very popular following, and as the reviews say, it’s a great fun one-make race car. It’s great as an entry-level machine for those new to oval racing in spite of AC’s limitations for running such a race type.
Targa Florio from SimxxMasters
A great and very historically well-known challenge, the Targa Florio has run since the 50’s and still runs today. This track mod is free and gives you the opportunity to tread in the footsteps of greats such as Sir Stirling Moss!
Ginetta G55 GT3
I’ve driven one of these at Donington Park in the UK. Ginetta has several dominant racing models in GT3, GT4 and a junior class (called Ginetta Juniors). The G55 is mighty, huge and intimidating but very light on its feet and a joy to drive. A proper endurance racer that has stood the test of time. And, thanks to Shaun Clarke, it’s available as an Assetto Corsa mod too:
Check out all of his cars including a Radical SR3 rs and a Seat Cupra. Very cool.
VRC Modding Team
If you’re still looking for the perfect car mod, take a look at this collection from the VRC Modding Team.
The prototype “Revenge” really stands out as an awesome LMP1 style prototype mod – much fun can be had with this beauty:
The Revenga R13 is a sports prototype racing car built by French constructor Oracle on behalf of Swiss-based team Revenga Racing. It is a variation of Oracle 07, created to compete in the LMP1 class. It would later be renamed by Alpino to Alpino 480 when it was rebadged to run grandfathered into the Hypercar class in 2021.
Lego Speed Champions Raceway
Developed by Tyrone, you can find this mod on Racedepartment by following this link. Probably one of the craziest, but most fun mods for Asetto Corsa, this adds a new circuit to AC that, as you can see in the pictures, turns the simulated environment into Lego City!
As you’ll see you can race “standard” cars or carry on modding and add a Lego Audi Quattro and the Lego Hot Rod. Brilliant.
DT Mods Presents Honda NSX Type S ’22
This mod from DT Mods is based on the Original Honda NSX (NC1) Mod developed by BLACK BOLT, han zhao and Jerry Wei. It’s free and unencrypted and is available from Denny’s Patreon for free (although donate if you can!).
According to the OP, the aero parameter on the free download is slightly wrong, making the car launch itself into the sky when going through Quiddelbacher Höhe and Schwedenkreuz. Because of that, Denny has edited the car’s aero.ini to fit all the aerodynamic surfaces to the 3D model’s correct position, angle and size.
You can download the edited data.acd with adjusted aero on Google Drive here.
2REAL – Daikoko Realistic Traffic Simulation
Have you seen the Assetto Corsa videos where the driver appears to be driving alongside ordinary (and sometimes very heavy) road traffic? That is an Assetto Corsa Mod called 2REAL.
2REAL traffic mods for Assetto Corsa are considered the most realistic traffic mods for AC, with the potential for up to 1000 cars in different speed zones, and behaviours such as cars stopping at intersections and traffic lights.
Obviously, the action can get as intense or easy as you’d like – 2REAL’s developers recommend a maximum or around 420 cars.
Installation isn’t quite as simple as the usual mods, however, there are plenty of instructions and instructional videos available to watch.
To install 2REAL traffic mod in Assetto Corsa:
Firstly, you need to activate the Traffic Planner Tool. You only have to do this once, so if it’s already installed on your sim racing PC, you’re good and you can skip this section. If you haven’t installed the Traffic Planner Tool, download the files from the first download link on this page:
Drop the downloaded data folder in the directory: C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\extension\lua\tools\csp-traffic-tool
Traffic Planner is now activated.
Next, download the files from the second link (in the picture above), unzip traffic.json and surfaces.ini and copy them into C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\content\tracks\soyo_daikoku\pa\data
You’re almost done, to get started open Assetto Corsa and access the traffic planner settings via object inspector -> tools -> traffic planner (in-game). Use the mod in practice mode.
Here’s a handy how-to-install video if you’re stuck with 2Real:
Protech P91 Hybrid Evo
The Protech P91 Hybrid Evo for Assetto Corsa might look a little familiar as the mod version of Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo (the one that broke the lap record at the Nordschleife)
The model, created by Racesimstudio, can be purchased here.
Hopefully, this is plenty for you to be getting on with, suffice it to say Assetto Corsa’s modding community is absolutely thriving, and, as the simulation platform approaches its 10th birthday, shows no sign of losing momentum.