Assetto Corsa is the racing sim of choice for a lot of different people. You can drift around, free roam and race other people or your friends online in a super-realistic setting. However, while it does give you a lot of control, realism and a massive amount of mods, the sim isn’t exactly the most user friendly when it comes to beginners.
You see, as powerful as Assetto Corsa is, the game’s default launcher isn’t exactly super useful, especially if you’re looking to download and use mods which we recommend you do. Installing mods manually and keeping track of them can be a bit of a task. Besides, the in-game menu is pretty rudimentary in terms of functionality.
This is where Content Manager comes in handy. Content Manager is a third-party launcher for Assetto Corsa built by an independent group of developers over at AssettoCorsa.club that adds a bunch of additional functionality to the game, making it more usable, faster and more convenient. The best part? It’s free to download. Although, you can donate any amount to the developers and upgrade to the premium version.
Content Manager isn’t necessary to run Assetto Corsa, but it’s a valuable tool that every sim racer using AC should have.
Also read: Sim racing on a budget: Viable or not?
What is Assetto Corsa Content Manager?
As mentioned above, Content Manager is a custom launcher and content management app for Assetto Corsa. The app integrates the game’s online mode allowing players to find hidden servers, tag other players and download any missing content straight from the server joining screen.
If that’s not enough for you, you also get real-life conditions, integrated RSR Live Timings and SRS, content rating, driving stats, best times from various sources, race results history and extended settings for Assetto Corsa, including hardware steering lock option for the wheels that support the feature.
In terms of content management, the launcher comes with car setups, quick drive options, control presets and replay sharing. There are also car previews using either a custom showroom or the AC default showroom. In addition, you get a livery and weather editor and a repair tool for obsolete car or track mods that resolve most commonly found errors.
Content Manager also makes it incredibly easy to install mods. All you have to do is drag and drop the zip file of your mod into the Content Manager, and you’re done. After this, click the menu icon on the top right, and you can install your mods right away.
The custom showroom inside Content Manager features ambient shadow updating, AO baking, full animation support, livery plate generate (with fully customisable rules), an extended photo mode and the ability to create new skins for cars with live PSD-instead-DDS reloading.
The launcher requires the Custom Shaders Patch, commonly referred to as CSP in the community, to further add functionality and better graphics. You get Weather FX — a fully scriptable dynamic weather engine, Lighting FX that adds dynamic lightning, Particle FX for smokes, sparks and grass, various physics extensions, car additions such as reverse lights, turn signals working odometer and other optimisations and fixes. You can see a complete list of CSP features here.
Also read: iRacing vs Assetto Corsa vs DiRT Rally 2.0
How to install Assetto Corsa Content Manager?
Installing Content Manager is rather easy. All you need to do is ensure that you have a working copy of Assetto Corsa on your PC and that you meet the following minimum requirements.
- Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10
- .NET 4.5.2
- Visual C++ Redistributable 2015 (x86)
- DirectX Runtime June 2010
- DirectX 10/11 for 3D-related functions
Unfortunately, console players won’t install Content Manager as mods are only available on the PC. Also, as part of the free download, you only get the ‘lite’ version which still has a lot of functionality compared to the standard in-game launcher.
You can unlock the full version for just about any donation amount that you make to the developers, which adds work-in-progress features and gives you access to pre-release builds. However, even if you think you’re not going to use these features, we recommend donating to the developers.
You can download Content Manager here. Once you’ve installed the content manager, you’re going to have to install Custom Shaders Patch. You can do this by either heading over to the settings and installing CSP from there. Alternatively, you can download CSP from the ACstuff.ru website.
We also recommend installing Sol, a dynamic weather and lighting system for Assetto Corsa that works in tandem with the CSP. It can really take your realism to another level. You can install Sol from inside the Content Manager (premium version only), or you can download it from the Race Department website. Do keep in mind that you’ll have to sign up on the Race Department site before you can download anything from there, but don’t worry, it’s free.
Also read: 7 ways to get faster in Sim racing