If you want an easy way of earning money in GTA Online, racing is probably not for you. Check out this guide if quick cash and low-risk rep-building is your goal. That's not to say racing can't be a really nice way of generating money: it's just that it requires skill, and, in the case of Rally Racing, a good degree of player co-operation with a partner you can trust. Assuming you have all that, racing is one of the most enjoyable activities in GTA Online, and enables you to concentrate your efforts on building a garage full of great cars... while developing the skills to become a world class getaway driver. This GTA Online guide will help you win street races.
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Rally Racing in GTA Online
This isn’t the best activity for random players, but if you have someone you know well and can trust, Rally Racing can be a really nice way to earn cash. If requires two people: one person is the driver, while the other person is the navigator. The driver cannot see the checkpoints: only the navigator can – so obviously communication is key (and hence playing with someone you know well being so important).
Speed is of the essence, of course, but missing checkpoints can be disastrous - so drive within your limits and concentrate on hitting every one.
Navigator Tips in GTA Online
You’re the person who makes or breaks Rally Racing. Clear communication is required, so keep chatter to a minimum, clearly state the route ahead using very consistent terminology, and always give your driver plenty of time to react.
The best time to give instructions for the next turn is just after completing the previous turn, and/or when the road is reasonably clear. That’s when the driver can more easily concentrate on what you’re saying. Telling them to do something while they're concentrating on avoiding hazards can result in missed instructions.
Closely watch what your driver is doing, and make recommendations on speed if needed, since you're the only person who can see the course ahead. Figure out what terms work best for you. This is what you’ll need to explain to your driver:
- Easy Left/Right – Continue along the road, but watch for a curve in the noted direction.
- Turn Left/Right - Turn onto another road at the next intersection in the noted direction. This is a turn that’s less than 90 degrees.
- Hard Turn Left/Right – Turn onto another road at the next intersection in the noted direction. This is a turn that’s 90 degrees or more.
- Flat out – Go as fast as possible – no hazards coming up.
- Ease off – Take your finger off the gas, easy turn coming up, or perhaps curves or corners.
- Brake hard into... – Usually accompanied with a sharp left/right turn instruction.
If you want to add even more sophistication to your repertoire, consider these:
- Caution Curves – You can add flat-out, medium or slow if needed.
- Caution Jump – Jumps are usually fine, but if there’s a turn or other hazard or turn directly after it, the driver needs to know.
- Blind... – Use this with additional instructions. It’s quite common for a route to have blind turns and curves, so letting the driver know ahead of time can avoid disasters. Even if the road ahead is clear or straight after a blind hill, it's good for the driver to know this, because they'll know not to ease off the gas.
This might sound overly complex, but if you can get this stuff down and have a driver that you can work well with, both of you can place big bets on your races and reap huge rewards. Don’t forget that you can also use left and right on the joypad to make a visual signal to the driver. The best time to use this is when the turn is imminent – which then ensures you have a visual cue to confirm the audio cue that you should have given a second or two before. However, don't just rely on this, as it's not detailed enough to give specific instructions, and in the event of a road that might have several turns, the driver might end up going the wrong way.
Rally Racing has a particular cadence to it, and the really good thing is that it’s just the driver and navigator for the most part. There are few wild cards in play, making this a really good money generator if you can get it right.
GTA Online Driving Tips
There’s not a lot to say about driving, other than make sure your co-driver is someone you can trust, and request that they make very consistent and clear directions. You don’t want to be trying to interpret what they’re saying in the middle of a race.
Try not to talk, as this might override critical instructions. So even if you’re excited or did something spectacular, save the chatter until the race is over.
Driving flat out when it feels safe is fine, but if you’re not feeling confident about the road ahead, just feather the throttle a little bit. You don’t need to race dangerously fast to win a Rally Race – it’s all about hitting those checkpoints, so while speed is important, make sure you’re driving within your limits. Missing one checkpoint puts the race in the balance – missing two checkpoints is almost always a loss.
Street Racing Tactics in GTA Online
Street Racing is an activity for the skilled, and for the most part, getting to the front and staying there involves legitimate racing tactics. There are no easy cheats here, and if you're not prepared to put in a bit of work to earn your rewards, move on. Racing is not for you. However, if you are serious about racing, make sure you invest time stealing cars and delivering them. This will help improve your innate driving skills and give you plenty of practice. Delivering undamaged stolen cars is the key to maximizing profits, and gets you into a good habit of driving cleanly. Despite all the demolition derby tactics available to you during a race, the best way to win is to simply race from point to point as cleanly as possible.
What car should you buy?
First and foremost, the secret to winning races is to buy a car with the fastest acceleration – not top speed, as many suggest. The reason why good acceleration is so desirable is that most racing involves cornering, and there aren’t many opportunities where you can take advantage of top speed. At least, not for very long. The extra punch out of corners will really help if someone’s on your tail. Also, having fast acceleration from a standstill helps you recover in the event of a crash.
Handling is another very helpful stat. The more predictable and safe your car’s handling, the better the chance you’ll make it to the finish line first. When it comes to upgrading, handling and weight are your priorities, then speed.
The best-balanced cars for both handling and acceleration are these:
- Annis Elegy RH8
- Crotti Cabonizzare
- Pfister Comet
- Obey 9F
- Bravado Banshee
- Benefactor Surano
- Benefactor Feltzer
- Coil Voltic
- Pegassi Infernus
- Overflod Entity XF
- Bravado Gauntlet
All the cars listed above are great drives and are perfectly capable of winning races. However, these three are my faves:
Annis Elegy RH8 is the best all-round sports car for handling and acceleration. It's weak under braking, but if you're driving smoothly, that shouldn't be any problem at all. If you sign up for Rockstar's Social Club, when you buy a garage, visit the Legendary Motorsports website on your phone and you can get a free RH8. That's the perfect start for your Street Racing career.
Overflod Entity XF offers a terrific balance of speed, handling and acceleration, and is a great supercar choice. With a bit of upgrade work, this car is a monster. You can only buy this online, and you'll need a garage to store it.
Coil Voltic has the best acceleration bar none, but its top speed is not particularly good, and its handling is good, but not great. Once you get to the point where you can afford a few cars, it's definitely worth adding this one to your garage. For any race involving a lot of corners, this car will give you a huge advantage, enabling you to out-accelerate your opponents literally at every turn.
Obviously the biggest hazards while Street Racing are other road users, and sometimes it’s really difficult to avoid crashing. However, you can minimize your risk by doing the following:
When going through an intersection at speed, or simply rounding a car, get into the habit of always steering towards the rear of the car you’re trying to avoid. So if the car is traveling to the left, steer right. That might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many people tend to favor a direction, no matter what the circumstances. The higher the speed of the car you’re trying to avoid, the easier it is not to hit it if you steer behind it.
A fundamental racing adage when it comes to cornering is “slow in, fast out,” and that works perfectly in GTA Online races. It’s better to over-brake into a corner if you’re not confident that you’re going to make it, rather than entering too fast and failing to make the turn. Just remember: it’s easier to make up a few fractions of a second later in the race from a corner taken too slowly than trying to make up lost seconds from a missed/overshot corner or collision with an object.
Finally - drive smoothly! Again, an obvious tip, but it's amazing how many players ham-fist their cars. Gentle and minimal steering inputs keeps your car balanced, especially at speed. Try not to over-react to things, and always try to take corners as smoothly as possible, using the full width of the road whenever possible.
Using other traffic as blockers
If you’re approaching an intersection with cross-traffic, and can make it through safely, swerve in front of a car if you know you'll miss it. This will cause that car to brake, creating a temporary roadblock for those behind you. It’s a risk, but as you get more used to racing, it becomes easier to make good calls.
You can also use this tactic by overtaking and cutting in front of traffic while cornering (for example, pass on the left, then cut in front of a car while taking a right-hand corner) to have a similar effect. The car you cut in front of will brake, creating a static hazard for a few seconds, potentially cutting off a good cornering line and forcing your opponent to slow.
If you’re behind, slipstream whoever’s in front. Slipstreaming works from a fair distance back and can give you a huge boost of speed. Watch for opponents doing this to you, and block them if they’re trying to pass.
If your opponents like to ram you, don’t worry too much about overtaking them. Just sit behind and be patient. If you hang tight, it’s really easy to pass them in the last few seconds of a race by slipstreaming. The other thing is that a lot of players simply can’t take the pressure of having another player tailgate them, and often try to speed up to shake their opponent. That means a higher chance of them making a mistake, enabling you to spool out a lead while they recover.
Likewise, if you’re being tailgated, drive within your limits and don’t get flustered. If the opponent wants to take the lead, let them. Drive within your limits and reduce the risk of an accident.
If you want to get physical, the best time to nudge your opponent is while cornering. Take the inside line, and aim the front corner of your car at the rear half of your opponent’s car to maximize the chance of knocking them off their line. If you make contact, brake slightly and take the outside line to drive around them if they're spinning out, or take the inside line if they've over-corrected and are running wide. But really, the best thing to do is simply try to out-race your opponent. Any contact puts you at risk, and using your skills is better than trying to barge your way to a win.
Try first-person perspective
This is a personal thing, but if you’re having problem racing, try switching to a first-person perspective. This helps focus your view ahead and gives you a bit more “tunnel vision,” helping you avoid being distracted by things that might be going on around you. For the most part, if it looks like an object isn’t going to hit the screen area, you’ll miss it. This is very helpful for lane-splitting traffic or squeezing through impossible-looking gaps.
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