DiRT Rally

DiRT Rally

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DiRT Rally > General Chat > Topic Details
Pug Apr 6, 2018 @ 4:49am
How to get better at this game?
Hi, I know how to drive quite well in non-sims. I play Forza quite a bit, and I'm quite good. But when I play this, I just suck.

Any overall tips or ways to get better? Please list below.

I use a Xbox 360 controller to play.
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Showing 1-15 of 25 comments
MongoJon [VR] Apr 6, 2018 @ 5:39am 
Simple answer, you have to invest a lot of time get good. Also, get a wheel and pedal set if you can.
Wedgewood Apr 6, 2018 @ 5:54am 
Dont over-control the car, use the least amount of inputs as possible and keep it real smooth. Don't try to go fast, try to keep it on the track and the speed will come naturally.
mr. z Apr 6, 2018 @ 5:55am 
Practice, 100 - 200 hours and you are pretty good (I've done over 600 hours).
Pug Apr 6, 2018 @ 5:58am 
Originally posted by Wedgewood:
Dont over-control the car, use the least amount of inputs as possible and keep it real smooth. Don't try to go fast, try to keep it on the track and the speed will come naturally.
Okay, that's something useful I didn't know.



Originally posted by sipppe:
Practice, 100 - 200 hours and you are pretty good (I've done over 600 hours).
As they say, practice makes perfect.
mr. z Apr 6, 2018 @ 8:02am 
I'm using Logitech pad - most of the control comes from accelerate/brake, trying to keep steering movements as minimal as possible.
silvanob2 Apr 6, 2018 @ 8:11am 
Originally posted by sipppe:
Practice, 100 - 200 hours and you are pretty good (I've done over 600 hours).

3000 hours is the record actually :)
Originally posted by sipppe:
I'm using Logitech pad - most of the control comes from accelerate/brake, trying to keep steering movements as minimal as possible.
that is also a valid recommendation.

Also: try playing with as little or no assists as possible. A lot of steering on loose surfaces is indeed done by utilizing your drive-train to your advantage. And by shifting the weight around the car's corners where it is needed the most. Brakes are the quickest way to manipulate the vehicles dynamic weight-distribution back-to-front. Hence a lot of drivers use left-foot braking to simultaniously gain fine control over both throttle and brake at all times.

But this is advanced driving-technique, which should really be perfected only after you have mastered the car without "over-driving" it. Rally-driving is also about managing risks and knowing where you can go "all-out" safely and where to restrain yourself and preserve your car's health.
Skiddy McCrash Apr 6, 2018 @ 9:41am 
In depth explanation for making the switch between circuit racing and DiRT Rally http://psracingpro.com/tips-faster-stage-times-dirt-rally-racing-game/
invision2212 Apr 6, 2018 @ 11:35am 
the one thing that greatly helped me was not driving using the overhead camera where you can see the entire car. it feels wonky as hell playing the game like that,
instead use inside the car or hood view and try that for a few hours.

you can try these controller settings in advanced, i played with this for a long time before being sastisfied with it.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1342242172

and this is where i ranked a few days ago using those settings online weekly 2010 event this week

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1351000045
Pug Apr 6, 2018 @ 12:09pm 
Originally posted by invision2212:
the one thing that greatly helped me was not driving using the overhead camera where you can see the entire car. it feels wonky as hell playing the game like that,
instead use inside the car or hood view and try that for a few hours.

you can try these controller settings in advanced, i played with this for a long time before being sastisfied with it.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1342242172

and this is where i ranked a few days ago using those settings online weekly 2010 event this week

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1351000045
Okay thanks.
necrogoatlord Apr 6, 2018 @ 12:52pm 
Overhead cam or chase cams work great for games that have physics where the car steers on a center pivot; ex. old Codies games, most NFS titles and such.
mr. z Apr 6, 2018 @ 12:57pm 
Actually this feels the same!
David Gossett Apr 6, 2018 @ 2:54pm 
How to get good at this game... So, it's gonna take a while... like a long while to get good, but if you stick with it it'll teach you some cool car control tips.

First off, find any rally lesson you can on Youtube or anywhere and just learn. There is a ton of stuff that will help you out there that would take 2-3 pages to just scratch the surface here. Go there, learn as much as possible and come back here.

One of my personal faves from the legend himself... https://youtu.be/ZbTbZfUKChY

So, just to attempt to scratch the surface of Rally tips anyway... here we go.



#1 Start slow and build up, and slow in/fast out, aka 7/10's

The difference between surviving a corner and utterly destroying your car is more minute than you think in DiRT Rally. If you bomb every corner as fast as possible you will wrap your car around a tree. Eeking out half a second on 2 corners won't get you very far if you destroy your car halfway down the stage. It will take a while to get fast stage times, so ignore the ai times, or the multiplayer times and work on car control first. Now when you do get better, always keep your mind on finishing the rally instead of beating the ai on a stage.


#2 Understeer is evil

In most (non sim) racing games, (and in real world factory setups for most cars) there is a bias towards understeer. This makes the cars accessible and easy to understand. In Rally, it just makes you slow and fairly likely to send yourself off a cliff. Even with a good setup, you will still incounter understeer, but it's best countered when predicted than after loss of front axle grip. Basically, with a one lane, tight, gravel road... there is no room to go wide, especially on stages with drop offs or obstacles off the track.


#3 Weight Transfer/Management

Ever notice if you slam the brakes the front of the car dips down, or when accelerating from a stop the front of the car lifts. This is KEY to rally. Where a traditional circuit racing car would have a stiff suspension to minimize body roll and even distribute weight across the car, rally cars have to survive jumps, bumps, etc. Also, a stiff suspension and low ride height will either bottom out a rally car or lift wheels off of the ground, thereby reducing traction. Because of this, rally cars exaggerate weight transfer and body roll, but we can use this to our advantage.

To quote Colin McRae "In rally you never have total grip, you just have to find the balance." When braking, the weight shifts to the front, giving the front tires more grip and less to the rear tires and vice versa for heavy acceleration. Also, during corners the outside tires will receive more grip due to body roll. So we can "adjust" the balance of the car simply by modulating steering, braking, and throttle. Not enough front axle grip, use left foot braking mid corner, not enough rear axle grip, maybe just accelerate slightly (I know that seems counter-intuitive). A lot of Rally techniques boil down to weight transfer. Left Foot Braking, Scandinavian Flicks, lift off oversteer, etc. all are just ways of adjusting which tires get more grip.


#4 Dips, Crests, Camber, Incline, and Jumps

If you've ever ridden a rollercoaster you've probably experienced "airtime" and positive G Forces from dips or banking on turns. As a car goes over a crest, even if it doesn't leave the ground, the car's momentum alightly counteracts the force of gravity, giving the car less grip overall. On the flipside, while going through a dip in the road, it's momentum pushes it down against the road with more force than just the weight of the car, giving more grip. Camber, is essentially the same as dips or crests, but either banking into a corner, or outwards. You'll often hear this described as "off camber/on camber." You have to be aware of dips, crests, and camber whether it's called out in the notes or just visually because they can have a drastic influence on how you can take a corner.

Also, going downhill and uphill will affect the balance of the car. The car is more likely to understeer while going uphill since more of the weight is in the back, and downhill you are more likely to experience oversteer. Downhill oversteer is especially pronounced when braking, since it just exaggerates the weight transfer to the front. (Fourketa Kourva has a gnarly left 3 that you have to be aware of this for)

As for jumps... they are fun, scary, and look impressive, but sometimes it benefits to brake before them to get your wheels on the ground sooner than if you hit it flat out. You can't accelerate, brake, or steer in the air, so you have to consider what is after the jump before you hit it. Otherwise, you'll send yourself flying into a tree, sign, car, or even worse... spectators. You really have to take jumps on a case by case basis. The first jump on the second Koryfi Dafni video I've attached actually was one of those cases where it was better to brake, land, then get on the power than to just floor it threw the whole thing.


#5 Sometimes sliding is as effective at slowing the car as braking

Even with good weight transfer, if you lock the front tires from braking, you won't slow down faster and you won't be able to steer. So, sometimes initiating a slide is more effective at slowing the car down than if you slammed the brakes. You can scrub away some excess momentum and still influence the direction of the car in oversteer. It's a great tactic that can help you get around corners, but don't go pulling the handbrake around every corner.


#6 Car Setup tips

Brakes

In normal every day driving and in most racing games, the brake bias is firmly towards the front. It prevents you from locking the rear unintentionally and sliding, but it detracts from the maximum amount of braking you can do with all four wheels. I typically set my brakes up for as close to 50/50 as I can get with a slight front bias. Weight transfer evens out the difference and gives the most braking force allowed. Basically, get a feel for it, and as you get better, start going towards as close to a 55/45 or 60/40 front/rear brake balance as you can. If you need to start with a heavy front bias, don't feel bad though.

Suspension

Suspension wise, it depends on personal preference, the stage, experience with weight transfer... etc. On gravel and snow, I tend to prefer a softer than normal suspension setup. On bumpy or uneven surfaces a stiff suspension may cause a few wheels to lift off the ground, thereby reducing traction. With a softer setup, the wheels are more likely to be on the ground, but weight transfer will be more pronounced. With extremely soft setups the car might be unstable, this is where dampening comes into account.

For tarmac, a stiffer setup is preferred, though, if you go off the road slightly it may be more likely to cause problems from hitting bumps. Also, Monaco is a mixture of snow, ice, and tarmac, so you really have to pick how much you want to compromise on that stage.

Differentials/Drivetrain

Just try them out... it's better to feel the difference than for me to type out a description. FWD will straighten out on power, but feel understeery by default, RWD will feel extremely oversteer prone on dirt/gravel/snow, forcing the driver to feather the throttle on corner exit, and AWD is the best and worst of both. Some older cars will allow more fine tuning with a center diff, but the 2010's and RX cars have a default 50/50 split. For differential settings, basically, you want to optimize the power delivery for the feel you want out of the car on throttle.

Side note, some of the stock setups on cars with center diffs is a bit frustrating. The 2001 Subaru for some reason has a 60-40 front-rear bias, which is actually the opposite of the real life car.

Gearing

Once you feel comfortable with a car, start optimizing the gear ratios for each location. If first gear is too short and you're just spinning wheels at the start, raise it and spread the gears a little closer between them. If you're not hitting 6th gear, shorten all the ratios so that somewhere on the entire rally you are close to top speed. Overall, you'll see more benefit from preferring acceleration over top speed over several stages.

#7 Minimum input and Oversteer bias

So, personally, I set my car to slightly prefer oversteer by default. The front suspension is softer than the rear, brakes are as far center as optimal, stiffer rear diff, softer front diff, slight rearward torque bias (if possible), etc. That way that I can point the car with slight adjustsments to braking, weight transfer, throttle, steering, etc. Scandinavian flicks are useful in extreme low front grip situations, but it's not as fast as if I could get the car to do the same line with minimal input. At the same time, too much oversteer will slow the car down. So it's a balance between how much angle is the fastest. Most of the time, it's best to have the car pointed just slightly ahead of the corner.

#8 Predicting the road ahead

Eventually as you get more comfortable following pace notes, you'll start to get a mental image of the road ahead. There's a lot of information to digest in a very short period of time, but always focus on certain key words to warn you of dangers ahead.

For example: a "right 4 over crest" is a more dangerous corner than just a "right 4" but say a "right 4 through dip" could potentially be taking at a higher speed. Or a "left 5 caution" is probably a warning of a tighter corner directly after the corner. A good rule of thumb is to slow down more than normal any time your co-driver says "caution", "double caution", or "crest."




Anyway, I hope this helps. It will take a while to really get a grip on the cars in this game. This first video was back when I only had 100hrs in this game and I was consistently high-mid tier-top tier in most events, and 220+ hrs later I'm shaving 10-15 seconds off my old times and crashing fewer times. The stage is Koryfi Dafni (probably one of my faves) and I my fastest time back with the 2000's class was like 2:56 (the first vid is 2:58) and now I just put up the 33 best time on that stage at 2:45.8.

https://youtu.be/gCeG83vuwNE

https://youtu.be/vPkcIx14kYI
https://youtu.be/n2E6n349i8U
Last edited by David Gossett; Apr 6, 2018 @ 3:01pm
Nano606 Apr 6, 2018 @ 7:15pm 
My tip would be to start slow. Start off in the 60's cars. When i first started like everyone i wanted to play a 4wd monster, so i jumped into a car that was too fast for my skill level at that time and could not get through a stage. It was just too much information for me to process, which lead to crash after crash. So i started driving the 60's cars and when i felt confident in the car and had gotten a feel for it i upgraded my cars - Mini-A110-Sierra-1995 WRX-etc. Trying to master each one as i went. This allowed me to get all the basics down and increase speed whilst still being able to be competitive.
Pug Apr 7, 2018 @ 1:51am 
Originally posted by davidjoshuamusic:
How to get good at this game... So, it's gonna take a while... like a long while to get good, but if you stick with it it'll teach you some cool car control tips.

First off, find any rally lesson you can on Youtube or anywhere and just learn. There is a ton of stuff that will help you out there that would take 2-3 pages to just scratch the surface here. Go there, learn as much as possible and come back here.

One of my personal faves from the legend himself... https://youtu.be/ZbTbZfUKChY

So, just to attempt to scratch the surface of Rally tips anyway... here we go.



#1 Start slow and build up, and slow in/fast out, aka 7/10's

The difference between surviving a corner and utterly destroying your car is more minute than you think in DiRT Rally. If you bomb every corner as fast as possible you will wrap your car around a tree. Eeking out half a second on 2 corners won't get you very far if you destroy your car halfway down the stage. It will take a while to get fast stage times, so ignore the ai times, or the multiplayer times and work on car control first. Now when you do get better, always keep your mind on finishing the rally instead of beating the ai on a stage.


#2 Understeer is evil

In most (non sim) racing games, (and in real world factory setups for most cars) there is a bias towards understeer. This makes the cars accessible and easy to understand. In Rally, it just makes you slow and fairly likely to send yourself off a cliff. Even with a good setup, you will still incounter understeer, but it's best countered when predicted than after loss of front axle grip. Basically, with a one lane, tight, gravel road... there is no room to go wide, especially on stages with drop offs or obstacles off the track.


#3 Weight Transfer/Management

Ever notice if you slam the brakes the front of the car dips down, or when accelerating from a stop the front of the car lifts. This is KEY to rally. Where a traditional circuit racing car would have a stiff suspension to minimize body roll and even distribute weight across the car, rally cars have to survive jumps, bumps, etc. Also, a stiff suspension and low ride height will either bottom out a rally car or lift wheels off of the ground, thereby reducing traction. Because of this, rally cars exaggerate weight transfer and body roll, but we can use this to our advantage.

To quote Colin McRae "In rally you never have total grip, you just have to find the balance." When braking, the weight shifts to the front, giving the front tires more grip and less to the rear tires and vice versa for heavy acceleration. Also, during corners the outside tires will receive more grip due to body roll. So we can "adjust" the balance of the car simply by modulating steering, braking, and throttle. Not enough front axle grip, use left foot braking mid corner, not enough rear axle grip, maybe just accelerate slightly (I know that seems counter-intuitive). A lot of Rally techniques boil down to weight transfer. Left Foot Braking, Scandinavian Flicks, lift off oversteer, etc. all are just ways of adjusting which tires get more grip.


#4 Dips, Crests, Camber, Incline, and Jumps

If you've ever ridden a rollercoaster you've probably experienced "airtime" and positive G Forces from dips or banking on turns. As a car goes over a crest, even if it doesn't leave the ground, the car's momentum alightly counteracts the force of gravity, giving the car less grip overall. On the flipside, while going through a dip in the road, it's momentum pushes it down against the road with more force than just the weight of the car, giving more grip. Camber, is essentially the same as dips or crests, but either banking into a corner, or outwards. You'll often hear this described as "off camber/on camber." You have to be aware of dips, crests, and camber whether it's called out in the notes or just visually because they can have a drastic influence on how you can take a corner.

Also, going downhill and uphill will affect the balance of the car. The car is more likely to understeer while going uphill since more of the weight is in the back, and downhill you are more likely to experience oversteer. Downhill oversteer is especially pronounced when braking, since it just exaggerates the weight transfer to the front. (Fourketa Kourva has a gnarly left 3 that you have to be aware of this for)

As for jumps... they are fun, scary, and look impressive, but sometimes it benefits to brake before them to get your wheels on the ground sooner than if you hit it flat out. You can't accelerate, brake, or steer in the air, so you have to consider what is after the jump before you hit it. Otherwise, you'll send yourself flying into a tree, sign, car, or even worse... spectators. You really have to take jumps on a case by case basis. The first jump on the second Koryfi Dafni video I've attached actually was one of those cases where it was better to brake, land, then get on the power than to just floor it threw the whole thing.


#5 Sometimes sliding is as effective at slowing the car as braking

Even with good weight transfer, if you lock the front tires from braking, you won't slow down faster and you won't be able to steer. So, sometimes initiating a slide is more effective at slowing the car down than if you slammed the brakes. You can scrub away some excess momentum and still influence the direction of the car in oversteer. It's a great tactic that can help you get around corners, but don't go pulling the handbrake around every corner.


#6 Car Setup tips

Brakes

In normal every day driving and in most racing games, the brake bias is firmly towards the front. It prevents you from locking the rear unintentionally and sliding, but it detracts from the maximum amount of braking you can do with all four wheels. I typically set my brakes up for as close to 50/50 as I can get with a slight front bias. Weight transfer evens out the difference and gives the most braking force allowed. Basically, get a feel for it, and as you get better, start going towards as close to a 55/45 or 60/40 front/rear brake balance as you can. If you need to start with a heavy front bias, don't feel bad though.

Suspension

Suspension wise, it depends on personal preference, the stage, experience with weight transfer... etc. On gravel and snow, I tend to prefer a softer than normal suspension setup. On bumpy or uneven surfaces a stiff suspension may cause a few wheels to lift off the ground, thereby reducing traction. With a softer setup, the wheels are more likely to be on the ground, but weight transfer will be more pronounced. With extremely soft setups the car might be unstable, this is where dampening comes into account.

For tarmac, a stiffer setup is preferred, though, if you go off the road slightly it may be more likely to cause problems from hitting bumps. Also, Monaco is a mixture of snow, ice, and tarmac, so you really have to pick how much you want to compromise on that stage.

Differentials/Drivetrain

Just try them out... it's better to feel the difference than for me to type out a description. FWD will straighten out on power, but feel understeery by default, RWD will feel extremely oversteer prone on dirt/gravel/snow, forcing the driver to feather the throttle on corner exit, and AWD is the best and worst of both. Some older cars will allow more fine tuning with a center diff, but the 2010's and RX cars have a default 50/50 split. For differential settings, basically, you want to optimize the power delivery for the feel you want out of the car on throttle.

Side note, some of the stock setups on cars with center diffs is a bit frustrating. The 2001 Subaru for some reason has a 60-40 front-rear bias, which is actually the opposite of the real life car.

Gearing

Once you feel comfortable with a car, start optimizing the gear ratios for each location. If first gear is too short and you're just spinning wheels at the start, raise it and spread the gears a little closer between them. If you're not hitting 6th gear, shorten all the ratios so that somewhere on the entire rally you are close to top speed. Overall, you'll see more benefit from preferring acceleration over top speed over several stages.

#7 Minimum input and Oversteer bias

So, personally, I set my car to slightly prefer oversteer by default. The front suspension is softer than the rear, brakes are as far center as optimal, stiffer rear diff, softer front diff, slight rearward torque bias (if possible), etc. That way that I can point the car with slight adjustsments to braking, weight transfer, throttle, steering, etc. Scandinavian flicks are useful in extreme low front grip situations, but it's not as fast as if I could get the car to do the same line with minimal input. At the same time, too much oversteer will slow the car down. So it's a balance between how much angle is the fastest. Most of the time, it's best to have the car pointed just slightly ahead of the corner.

#8 Predicting the road ahead

Eventually as you get more comfortable following pace notes, you'll start to get a mental image of the road ahead. There's a lot of information to digest in a very short period of time, but always focus on certain key words to warn you of dangers ahead.

For example: a "right 4 over crest" is a more dangerous corner than just a "right 4" but say a "right 4 through dip" could potentially be taking at a higher speed. Or a "left 5 caution" is probably a warning of a tighter corner directly after the corner. A good rule of thumb is to slow down more than normal any time your co-driver says "caution", "double caution", or "crest."




Anyway, I hope this helps. It will take a while to really get a grip on the cars in this game. This first video was back when I only had 100hrs in this game and I was consistently high-mid tier-top tier in most events, and 220+ hrs later I'm shaving 10-15 seconds off my old times and crashing fewer times. The stage is Koryfi Dafni (probably one of my faves) and I my fastest time back with the 2000's class was like 2:56 (the first vid is 2:58) and now I just put up the 33 best time on that stage at 2:45.8.

https://youtu.be/gCeG83vuwNE

https://youtu.be/vPkcIx14kYI
https://youtu.be/n2E6n349i8U

That's a lot of info. Thanks.

Originally posted by Nano606:
My tip would be to start slow. Start off in the 60's cars. When i first started like everyone i wanted to play a 4wd monster, so i jumped into a car that was too fast for my skill level at that time and could not get through a stage. It was just too much information for me to process, which lead to crash after crash. So i started driving the 60's cars and when i felt confident in the car and had gotten a feel for it i upgraded my cars - Mini-A110-Sierra-1995 WRX-etc. Trying to master each one as i went. This allowed me to get all the basics down and increase speed whilst still being able to be competitive.

I just wanted to learn how to play, I've just moved to the 70s onto a Lancia Stratos.
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DiRT Rally > General Chat > Topic Details
Date Posted: Apr 6, 2018 @ 4:49am
Posts: 25