Alpha Junkers' Driving Tips

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(by Alpha Junkers)

All right! So you want to score on the race track? Want to gain some fame as the 'Racer X' equivalent of Darkwind? Then listen closely, for these are tips that will help you win in a race against unfair odds.

Introduction to Racing

So, you may be a veteran racer, or you may be a newbie. It doesn't matter. I've seen newbies who can beat me at racing, and people who've played for a long time and still not excel in it. It doesn't matter.

What matters is how YOU drive. Winning is everything, losing is nothing... Second place is the first LOSER!

The difference between winning or losing a race can be either $3600, or your best driver. Trust me, I've seen it happen a lot of times.

Racing or scouting in Darkwind is not a game like "Need for Speed". It requires precise calculations, planning and balls of steel. But fret not, this guide will make you a racer. There will be terms used here that I have coined. I take no credit for inventing them, there have been players way before I started out who've been using tricks like these, but I prefer using my own terminology for easier reference.

Without further ado, read on for the tips.

Common Tips

  • Know your race track. If you're not good at it, don't expect to get top 3 on your first try. Different terrains handle very differently. You might be able to drift well on well-paved roads, like the Northern Desert Racing Circuit, but the terrain on Somerset Junkyard Track 1 is a totally different animal. Get accustomed to the track, learn how to accurately traverse hairpin corners, before you try to pull a 120mph powerslide on that tricky turn.
  • Do not be afraid to brake. You're better off losing first place, than your driver's life. Don't use the handbrake unless absolutely necessary though. It cuts off a lot of your speed, and you will find it is slower to gain acceleration when you release the handbrake. Of course, floor the accelerator where possible, but in the event your car's spinning out of control, just swallow some of that pride and hit the brakes for a turn or two.
  • Avoid sliding and counter-steering repeatedly. Don't get me wrong, I encourage powersliding as far as possible (see Advanced tips below). But, if unnecessary, don't keep sliding and counter-steering. You will lose speed. The straighter your steering is, the faster you will go.
  • Go slow if you predict a pile-up of cars. In certain maps, like Somerset Rally Circuit, or more commonly known as Figure 8 track, which I also like to fondly call Satan's track, if you can sense an impending pile-up of cars, go slow. Better to risk losing pole position, than to completely throw out the prize money.
  • Slipstream. I don't know what this idea is about only slipstream specs being able to slipstream, but apparently I've been gaining some speed too on my non-slipstream specs. (Slip-streaming affects ALL cars.... If you have a driver with the Slip-steamer special, it adds to your cars speed in the event.)--JD 00:54, 27 February 2011 (UTC) Anyway, if you think you can outrun that guy in front of you without slip-streaming, by all means go ahead. However, if your driver's driving skill just isn't that fantastic, slipstream a bit before trying to overtake the car in front.
  • Don't powerslide when unnecessary. I know it's cool to drift and powerslide, but if you don't know the appropriate angles-of-approach in the track well enough, you're liable to end up powersliding too early, or drifting out of the track.
  • Predict your opponents. Can't stress enough on this. There is no way of telling where your opponents will move. Sometimes, a little bit of psychology can push the races into your advantage. Other times, you just have to figure out where your adversary is going.

Advanced tips

  • Buffer: During hairpin turns and sharp corners, if an opponent is between you and a wall (or basically, the opposite side of where you are supposed to turn), use this to your advantage. As you powerslide, he will act as a cushion to buffer the rest of your force. You may take some damage in your armor, but you are less likely to smash into the wall, while at the same time maintaining an even greater speed than before. The best way to accomplish this trick is to maintain as close side-by-side proximity to your opponent as possible before powersliding, so you don't lose armor, and you still can latch on to him for buffering support.
  • Tail-twisting/Head-twisting: This is a cheap trick. The idea is to try to stay on either side of opponent, and your tail must either be facing his head, or your head facing his tail. From there, turn your car accordingly so you distort his sense of direction. For example, if your tail is at his head, and you are on his left, turning left will cause him to veer right (assuming he is going straight). Likewise, if your head is at his tail, and you are on his left, turning right will cause him to oversteer too much to the left. This trick takes practice, but in races where cars are moving very fast, this is a good tactic to use to disorientate your opponent. It is, however, a very dirty trick, so don't do it too often if you don't want to make a public enemy of yourself.
  • Momentum: Use momentum to give yourself some additional speed on the last turn, or wherever you think possible. Momentum is the turning force when you attempt to powerslide. It increases the speed at which your car moves in a direction. The greater you can hold the momentum, the farther you can actually push your car. Just be aware that this causes over-steering very easily, so use it only when necessary.
  • Damage speed boost: dangerous trick to use during Death Races, but IMO a good tactic nonetheless. The trick is to get the enemy to fire at you, so you propel a few more MPH. Lighter vehicles work best with this trick, and naturally heavy guns are likely to push an opponent further. Also of note with heavy weapons is that they slow you down e.g. HMG or HGG. Turn a strong flank (or rear) towards an enemy that is firing at you to get that extra oomph in speed. Rear firing weapoms will also increase your speed. Take care when and where you shoot your weapons! The boost in speed you get from the recoil of rear weapons may make you lose control in the corner you are trying to turn through. (Dropped weapons have no effect on speed or heading due to recoil.)--JD 01:02, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Speed is LIFE!: In most combats you will be moving at medium speed (20/40 mph). If you find yourself in a situation where you are taking more shots than you are giving.... GET OUT OF DODGE AND MANEUVER! Use the terrain to block incoming shots if possible and try for a kill shot when you can. Running away from a lost fight is not considered cowardice... It's considered smart! --JD 08:58, 20 February 2011 (UTC)