I have grown really fond of Crew Chief mainly because it can do so much more than you’d expect of it! I initially bought the app for my android phone and used it back in the days when i was racing on X-box. Now on PC i have downloaded the program, that is even better than the app i paid for!
Crew Chief is a program that will keep you well informed during a race. It will tell you about your lap times, motivate you, scorn you if you don’t perform, and generally give you information about your performance and those around you. To top it all up, Crew Chief also has voice recognition so you can actually talk and ask your Crew Chief questions! I’ll make a post later, with a list of popular and helpful voice commands, like “How are my tires”, “Where should i attack”, “Pit stop add X liters” etc. To start with though, you’ll need to configure your Crew Chief to even listen to you.
This is of course optional, so the feature is by default, turned off. You can turn it on though, and select between a few options on how and when you want Crew Chief to listen to what you say
- Don’t Listen
- Hold button
- Press and release button
- Always on
Why all these options?
The first problem I had, was that I didn’t want the people I was racing with, to listen in on the commands that I gave to Crew Chief. Mainly because i didn’t want to disturb them, but also because that would reveal my racing and pit strategy. So i needed a way to channel who I was talking with. This became even more complicated, by the fact that i already have two chat options, with in game chat and some times the discord chat.
The solution for me, is to have 3 different buttons to press for each channel. 1 for in game voice chat, 1 for discord voice chat and 1 for crew chief. It’s a lot of buttons to sacrifice on this, but i think it is worth it. For crew chief, you can maybe assign a button on a button box instead of one on the wheel, because I tend to only speak to him on the straights, where as I may need to talk to other drivers while in corners or in very close combats.
4 Options for listening
This is selected by default, and will have Crew Chief turn a deaf ear to you. He will still inform you on anything he is set up to tell you, but he just won’t listen to what you say
For this option, you will have to press a button and keep it held down while you speak to Crew Chief. You then let go once you are done talking. This is in my opinion the most stable option, but maybe not the most handy
Hold and release
For this option, you simply press a button, wait for a bib that tells you that he is now listening, and then you proceed to talk. He’ll stop listening when you finish speaking. This is a great option, and the one i use, but some times you may need to try a few times for it to work
This option works like Alexa or Google Assistant. You say a trigger phrase, like “Hey chief” and then proceed with your question or command. To be honest, i haven’t tried this, mainly because my system resources are limited, and i wouldn’t want it to be wasting too much power listening to me, when i don’t have anything to tell him. It might not be that hard on your system though – i haven’t tested it
How to assign a button
This is very straight forward, but if you are not used to Crew Chief settings it may be a bit frustrating, so I’ll go through it very quickly here.
- First you have to select your input device on the left, highlighted with the blue color in the image above.
- Then select the action called Talk to Crew Chief in the next field, highlighted with green.
- Once you’ve selected that, you can now press the button called Assign Control.
- Make sure to select the mode you want to use.
After you’ve set up the Press to Talk button, you’re set and ready, but do go through the properties of Crew Chief to make sure everything looks like you want it (for example chose between Liter or Gallons, Miles, Km/h etc)
One last thing
There are just a few things left to mention here. Some of the information available will vary depending on what car you’re driving and also what sim you’re driving. Damage and tire wear are not included in the API data from iRacing so you can’t ask crew chief anything about this. On other games it will work just fine though. If Crew Chief doesn’t have the information you’re asking for, he might say he didn’t hear you. Don’t be discouraged and keep trying to ask the same thing again and again. It simply means that he doesn’t know. If you have limited how many cars are rendered in the game, to save resources, Crew Chief won’t know what position you have, even if your computer knows. They are working on improving this, but as of now, positions are really messed up if you don’t render the whole grid.
In the upper right corner, you can set the settings of Crew Chief to each game you use. Make sure that you have selected the correct version of your game, when setting it up.
Stay tuned for a list of popular voice commands that I find myself using most of the time.