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How to play DiRT Showdown
This guide contains some simple and advanced tactics for DiRT Showdown online mode, spent and explained by a legend. Have fun!
As I am not the worst player, I am often asked to write a guide about Dirt Showdown. Well, this is my guide now, have fun with it. I have to apologize for my bad english, it is not my first language.
I would recommend you to do the offline career before you enter online mode. It does not take very long and unlocks better cars, which you really need in some online disciplines. Also it is a good option to improve your driving skills at least to a minimum level.
In this category, the cars are meant to be very fast. But this does not automatically mean that the fastest car is the best, because the car does not drive alone, so a good handling is desirable. The most light-weight cars are not good as well, because they can be brought out of track too easy.
Available: free from the beginning Quite a nice car, it is easy to drive even for beginners because of its fine handling. Also it can get quite fast if fully upgraded. The better one of the beginners cars.
Available: free from the beginning This car is okay for the beginning as well, although a bit slower than Beliveau Meteor. Therefore it is given a higher weight, which makes it harder to get it out of its track.
Available: Pro season, 1st event Price: 5.000 $ The first car to unlock, I would not recommend you to buy that one, as it is not much faster than Beliveau, but a lot shorter and weaker.
Available: Pro season, 6th event Price: 20.000 $ This car is the last piece of crap given in its category, meaning it is slow, weak and very hard to handle. Never drive that one.
Jupiter San Marino
Available: All Star season, 2nd event Price: 25.000 $ The San Marino is my first buying recommendation, because it is very fast and quite easy to drive, but also weighs a lot, so it can take some hits. This is also my personal favourite car, which I nearly always drive in race events.
Available: Pro season, Finale Price: 32.400 $ This one is nearly as fast as Jupiter, but does not offer the same level of handling or strength.
Dumont Type 47
Available: All Star season, 6th event Price: 41.000 $ Dumont is a very special kind of car, made to bully and ram the other vehicles. While being faster than expected (which does not mean "fast" though, I am afraid) it is the heaviest of all race cars and can easily turn around every other vehicle. Also its handling is okay.
Available: All Star season, Finale Price: 49.000 $ That one is for some reason the only modern styled car in its category, and perhaps the one that is chosen most often. It offers a very good speed, combined with a handling like a Golf, even at the highest speeds. I personally think it drifts a bit too much, but it never exits track by itself, and is also heavy enough to take a few hits.
Available: Champion season, Finale Price: 65.000 $ Janzen, the second most expensive race car, has got a good base speed, but loses all advantages when it enters the first curve: it slides to the outside faster than you can steer against. I like to use it in offline events although, just because of its awesome look and its even more awesome sound.
Available: Legend season, 8th event Price: 75.000 $ Being the most expensive car, this one is very likely to be taken by new players who have done the career. Never do so! True, it is the fastest of all race cars, but it is extremely hard to drive. But its bad handling is just a little addiditon to its main downside: the weight. Even if you ram another car in it, you are mostl likely to take a turn and loose lots of time. Due to its low energy it is very endangered to get wrecked as well, which really costs lots of time. Additionally, every experienced player will classify you as a complete noob as soon as he sees you drinving one.
Demolition category is the one where the car does matter most, because the more expensive cars are just a lot better than in other categories. A demolition car primarily needs to take hits, but do not forget that it has got to move as well, so a bit of speed and handling are nice too.
Available: free from the beginning This is the worst car in the whole category, I guess the only danger it can be for other cars (except Onyx Runner) is to get stuck in their exhaust and cause some engine problems there.
Jupiter Del Rio
Available: free from the beginning Although not being a very good car at all, the Jupiter is by far better than the Robson. When upgraded properly, it can take you through the offline carrer until you get a better car, but i would not recommend you to enter online mode with it.
Available: Pro season, 3rd event Price: 12.500 $ This first car you unlock in demolition category is quite fast and offers a good handling, but it is too weak to invest money in.
Available: Pro season, 4th event Price: 18.000 $ The Onyx is the worst buyable car for demolition, it does not differ from the Robson a lot in strength and size, although it is a bit faster and has got a very good handling.
Available: Pro season, 7th event Price: 28.000 $ This one is the first good car you can buy. I always use it in offline mode, because it offers great stats in strength as well as speed when fully upgraded. With this one it may be hard in online mode, but it is very good for the career until you have got the best cars.
Available: Pro season, 11th event Price: 30.000 $ The Lafayette's main characteristic is its extreme body length, making it nearly impossible to push off the platform in Knock Out when it is piloted well. Despite of that fact it is just a slow and badly-handling car, I would not recommend it to you.
Available: All Star season, 5th event Price: 43.000 $ The Kessler combines good speed and handling with a high strength, making it the first competitive car in online mode. But I do not think it is worth buying because you unlock the next cars not much later in the career.
Available: Champion season, 6th event Price: 45.000 $ The Coyote is for some reason a very rare car in online mode, although it is very fast and handles good, and also has got a good strength rating. Its only downside is its short body length, making it vulnerable to be turned around in 8Ball.
Available: Champion season, 12th event Price: 51.000 $ This car is without a doubt the best in demolition category. While being quite fast and easy to drive, it is very heavy and powerful, making it nearly impossible to be turned around by other vehicles. You nearly need one for online mode, because every good player uses it.
Available: Legend season, Finale Price: 72.500$ The DMG Titan can not even be considered a car, it is more of a small truck. This makes it the heaviest and strongest vehicle in its category. But it is in fact too extremely demolition focused to be very good. Of course, driving against one is like driving against a wall, but driving one yourself is like trying to drive a wall as well.
Besides offering the only licensed models in the game, this is the category where the car does not seem to matter at all sometimes. Hoonigan cars are basically used for two types of events: Gymkhana and Party ones. For Gymkhana, the difference between the cars is really hard to see. In Party modes, the car needs to accelerare very fast and be short, so it is hard to catch.
Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V.
Available: free from the beginning World's best constructed Gymkhana car, for some reason being the first one available, even before its predecessor, is my personal favourite Hoonigan vehicle. I am often asked if I use it for reasons of honor, but I just think it is the best one. It has an extreme good acceleration and offers the best handling rating in its category. Also it is very small, making it extremely hard to catch for heavier cars.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI GD
Available: free from the beginning The second Hoonigan car you can access at the beginning is not very outstanding. It is neither fast nor short, just use the H.F.H.V..
Available: Pro season, 5th event Price: 6.500 $ This car is quite similar to the Subaru GD, it is big and slow, there is no need to buy that one.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI GR
Available: Pro season, 12th event Price: 15.000 $ The second Subaru in Hoonigan category is better than the first one, because of its shorter body.
Ford Fiesta Gymkhana 3
Available: All Star season, 1st event Price: 22.000 $ Ken Block's third Gymkhana car is nearly the same as his fourth one, the H.F.H.V., the only difference - except for the body - is a slightly worse handling, but great acceleration and low size are the same.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Jun
Available: All Star season, 8th event Price: 25.500 $ The Lancer is used very often, because it accelerates quite well, but it is a bit too sluggish to be very good at party modes.
Available: Legend season, 2nd event Price: 35.000 $ The Saturn's stats seem to be extremely overpowered, but it is not as good as they say. The acceleration is still very strong, but it has got a big weakness in handling.
Mini Cooper S Gymkhana
Available: Champion season, 2nd event Price: 31.200 $ The Mini is a good alternative to the Fiestas, it is even smaller and accelerates on the same level. You can be very hard to catch with such one.
Ford Mustang GT
Available: Champion season, 7th event Price: 33.000 $ The Mustang is very easy to drive and a good option for Gymkhana events, but not competitive at Party modes, because of its big size and high weight.
Ford Escort Mk II
Available: Legend season, 12th event Price: 36.500 $ The last car unlocked in Hoonigan mode, the Escort, is on par with the Fiestas in speed and handling, and has got a small body as well. That makes it quite viable for Party events, but it is extremely strong in Head2Head..
This is a simple race as you know it out of every racing game. Most players in online mode seem to forget that fact, and drive like they were in Rampage. Never do that, it does just throw you back. Do not waste your nitrous at the beginning where everybody uses his one. You are not going to take an advantage out of it there. Try to keep yourself out of the battle and drive a clear line, just like in other racing games. If somebody manages to turn you around, do not make it a big fight, just continue driving as soon as you can, in most situations you will even stay in front of the aggressor. Use your nitrous at the end of curves or when going up a hill, in these situations it is most useful. Also: never give up! The leading players car gets slower, while the other cars are made faster, this makes it possible to catch up very big delays. But the most important thing to do is not using Lombardi at any time, because that would make you a noob.
This mode is basically about getting the best time in the four sectors of one lap. Every sector counts for 10 points, addidionally your end position counts for 10 points. In this mode the cars of the people behind the first are not getting faster, that means if you have got the lead you are going to have peace. Here is also important: never use Lombardi and do not waste your nitrous at the beginning. Generally, this mode is just 50% about driving, the other 50% are nitrous management. Always use as much nitrous as you can for one sector and let it recharge until the next sector you want to dominate then. My general tactics for 3-lap domination races is: 1st lap - 2nd sector; 2nd lap: 1st and 4th sector; 3rd lap - 3rd sector. When you just have got two laps (there is one silly Baja California track where that happens), just dominate three sectors and do not care about the fourth one. If there are more laps, you have got time to correct sectors if somebody beats your times (you will notice that this is not very likely going to happen, unless the other guy also does some kind of nitrous management, which nearly nobody does). The driving part of it is like Race-Off: drive clear, stay out of combat and so on.
My personal records: Online: about 25.000 points at Yokohama Offline: 28.585 points at Yokohama Rampage is what people expect Dirt Showdown to consist of: a big demolition derby, where all players are just put into one big arena and gain points for ramming and wrecking each other. I am not very good at that mode and can not give a lot of hints about it. At the beginning, wait a moment before jumping into the arena, unless you want to be everyones first victim. Some players look at the fireworks popping up besides every player who jumps in, and wait for everybody else to enter the arena by that. You can easily fool them by just driving forward a few meters and stopping again, which will make your fireworks ignite. As soon as you are inside the arena, just try to stay in movement, otherwise you are going to be wrecked within the first few seconds. To deal lots of damage, look for players near walls or other obstacles, and push them against the wall. this deals about twice the damage of a normal hit. Always stay attentively, look back and observe the other players, so nobody can hit you. Still you are not going to win just with skill, as Rampage is mostly luck. The best thing to do if you are good is pressing veto as soon as it appears. Bonus Within the last 30 seconds everybody gets twice the points for his actions. That means if you are nearly dead and there are not much more than 30 seconds left, try to get wrecked as fast as possible, the best way is to park in front of the weakest and worst-placed player you can find, so nobody gets double points out of wrecking you and you do not lose valuable double points time. It is generally better to let somebody weak wreck you than to get destroyed by the strongest player inside the session.
My personal records: Online: 38.000 points at Los Angeles Offline: 35.750 points at Yokohama This very exciting discipline is similar to Rampage, but takes place in an arena with a higher plateau in the middle and some jumps up to it. You do not get points for hitting the other players here, except for a terminal hit, which does only bring 500 points. Instead, you are given 1000 points for pushing another player off the plateau, and additionally 50 points every few seconds you are on the plateau, 150 if you are driving at its border. Many players think it is helpful to start a bit later here, as in Rampage, but that is most likely going to be your death here, especially if you are in a weak car, because the players spawn very close to the edge of the plateau and somebody is going to throw you down then. Just start as soon as possible and look what happens. It is very important to do your Knock-Outs the right way: it does not help you a lot if you push somebody off just to jump after him a second later. try not to be too fast and never jump down yourself. The rest is just like Rampage: stay moving, look around yourself and hit hard if you get an option. Bonus If you see the fireworks besides a jump, a player is going to appear there within a few seconds. Just drive to the middle of the jump with high speed and you are going to push the guy who just jumped in down again faster than he can react. I have done incredible scores by using that tactics.
8Ball is basically the same as Race-Off, but with demolition cars and crossings. The belief of most players to be in Rampage is even worse in this mode. Nobody wants to let you pass, and everybody is trying to turn you around instead of just overtaking you clearly. I have got the same rules as in Race-Off here: clear driving, no nitrous at the beginning (in fact I do most 8Ball races without nitrous at all because the other players are ramming and wrecking each other while I drive away), a bit of patience. I personally hate 8Ball because it depends on luck a lot. If you are first all over the race, but somebody ramms you at the last crossing, 50 meters away from the target, you have got no chance to win. But for such cases there is the rubber band effect, as in Race-Off. If I drop back to last place, my Kohler accelerates and handles like a formula one car, which makes it easier to catch up. Bonus If you really need to turn somebody around (for example if he is very strong or aggressive and going to turn you around if you overtake him clearly), just hit his car a little bit behind its center, if you hit the right point his car will immediately turn around and you will not become a lot slower. Of course this only works with a heavy car. On Yokohama Freight - Okawa Coast (the track with the giant crossing where four ways meet up) always jump at the left side on the big crossing, then you are landing under the crossing jump at the left side and nobody coming from there is going to hit you.
My personal records: Online: 54'50'' at Yokohama Docks 1:18'95'' at Los Angeles 1:06'62'' at San Francisco In Head2Head you have got to complete a Gymkhana course of 12 or 15 tricks faster than everybody else. Basically this is just a matter of practice. It is important to be able to do a donut fastly and clearly. If you are unable to do that, just enter Joyride mode and practice until you can, otherwise you stand no chance in Head2Head. Bonus There are two shortcuts in Head2Head, which save a few seconds each. The first one is at the second donut at Yokohama Docks, where half a donut is enough to complete the trick. Just drift at the outside of the donut, with a bit practice you can complete it without doing a whole turn. The second one is similar, but at San Francisco; it also cuts the second donut short. This is the one where you exit nearly in the same direction you came from. Everybody does a whole and a half turn here, but for making the game believe you have done a donut you just need to do a half one. Using these shortcuts and doing a solid run at the rest is going to make you win against most people.
My personal records: Online: 702.940 points at Yokohama Docks (Container Yard) 717.430 points at Yokohama Docks (Dockside) 658.010 points at Yokohama Docks (Construction Side) 643.830 points at Battersea (Parking Lot+Depot) 655.570 points at Battersea (Waterfront) 568.860 points at Battersea (Parking Lot) 528.540 points at Battersea (All Areas) Trick rush is about making as many points as you can in two minutes, and not about doing as many complete tricks as possible. Do not waste lots of time for one donut, better do a half one. The best way of getting points is alternately doing two donuts, which is possible on all three Yokohama maps and two of four Battersea ones. But before you do that, you have got to get a high multiplier, otherwise every donut just brings you 10.000 points. Be creative here! Find a good route to get full x3 multiplier, then go to the location with the two donuts and do them until the end. Do not care about the game complaining that you repeat tricks, you will get at least 20.000 points for a full donut at the end, unless you are a lot faster than me in bringing your multiplier up. Here also applies: do not do full donuts, just drift as much as you can until you go to the second donut.
This is about reaching six checkpoints and the finish on an open map. You just need a good route here, of course a little bit of driving skills are not bad as well. Do not ram other people, even if they are ramming you. This is not about wrecking cars, but about reaching a good time. Bonus The finish always appears at the opposite end of the map from where the first player catches his last checkpoint. This means, if you are driving against somebody who is very good, just look where he goes and take the opposite way (this works best at Yokohama). Then, if you are faster than him on the first five checkpoints, wait for him to reach his sixth one on the other corner of the map, then you do your checkpoint and you will notice that the target is very close to you.
Smash and Grab
My personal records: Online: 2.080 points at some track That very exciting mode takes place in big arenas, where the players must capture the loot and try to hold it. To steal the loot from the player who has got it, just ram him. But little touches are not enough, because you are not going to get the flag then. If you once have the loot, the mode is a bit easier. Defending the loot is not about being fast, not even a bit. Your car has got brakes and a reverse speed, use them! Turn around, do unexpected curves like a hunted rabbbit. Have a look around yourself to know where the other people are. If you find a good location, you can even park there, because everybody thinks this mode is about speed and you are going to move. For example you can just drive up a little jump, just enough to keep people from ramming you at the side, and wait until somebody attends to enter the jump. Until then you can just park and observe. Of course you need to be away before he hits you, but this is not very hard if you have a look on the other people. Bonus Some camping locations: Battersea Parking Lot: jump on the platform in front of the Power Station, most people are going to drive next to the trucks and wait for you to jump down there. Just stop your car at the platform and wait for someone to get it and jump there as well. Battersea Power Station: the barrel rolls can be very nice and prove your dirving skills (of course just if you can do them, but with a bit of practice and luck they are not that hard). But the best location to camp there are the stairs most people do not even know. They are located on the right hand side of the lower floor near the water. Drive up there and park with the nose to the way down so you can exit very fastly. Most people are going to drive to the way down at the right side and believe you are there. Then they see you camping on the stairs and smiling a bit. If you do not sleep, one player can not even catch you as you jump down the stairs as soon as he attends to drive up there. Nevada: go up the ramp in the edge of the big platform, and keep watching both ramps to your position.
My personal records: Online: 17.600 points at San Francisco This is my absolute favourite discipline. It is mostly like Smash and Grab, but gives you a location to bring the prey - called the flag here.Otherwise than Smash and Grab this really is about speed, but only to the point where somebody is going to steal your flag if you take the fastest way. It is better to reach finish a bit later than to loose the flag. Do not camp at the finish, you would not believe how easy it is to drive around some camping car there. Bonus The new flag always appears at the opposite edge of the map from the last finish. if you notice that you are unable to capture the prey, just turn around and go there, until you arrive the new flag is going to have appeared.