A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

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A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Ferril » 27 Aug 2007 22:17

What's the best way to play TMN.. That is indeed a tricky and difficult question to answer, but I'll try to give you my thoughts on the subject:

Input device: Keyboard vs gamepad
My point of view is that you can get very good at playning TMN using both a keybord or a pad. It just comes down to how much you practice and learning the tricks of the trade.

If you drive with a keyboard you should imidiately allocate a second key for braking so that you don't have to use the down-arrow.
When I used a keyboard I set "W" as a second brake because it left my hand in a comfortable position.
The thought of using an extra brake button is to make powersliding/sliding much easier (the term varies from community to community). Powersliding is when you come to a turn and you corner using the accelerator-, turn-, and brake keys simultainiously to throw the car into a controlled slide. This way you can take the corner at a higher speed that if you brake in a "normal" (old) fashion.

Keep pressing the accelerator, and as you begin the turn, press the brake key. If you loose control of the slide you can release the accelerator to reduce your speed and regain control. Just remember to start turning BEFORE you press the brake.
You need a certain amount of speed to get the car to slide so it won't work on every corner.

I bought a gampad two weeks ago and I find it much more relaxing to drive with it that with a keyboard. It's also much easier to correct mistakes using a pad, and powerslides come much more naturally. I'm using a Logitech Chillstream, but any pad that connects to a pc will do. Though I recomend going for one with analog sticks since it will make your cornering much smoother.
What key configuration to use on the pad is most certainly a personal preferance. I use my right thumb on the accelerator and my right index finger on the brake button. On a PlayStation pad this translates to X for accelerator and R1 for braking.

When switching between two different input devices, expect to have a decline in driving skill since it takes time to learn how to use the new equipment. I've used my pad for two weeks, and I'm just now starting to set new personal bests on tracks. It takes at least a month of regular play to get proficient with a new device, so hang in there! ;)

Point of View
You can change your view while driving by using Num pad 1, 2 and 3.
View 1: Raised chase-cam.
View 2: Close-up chase-cam.
View 3: Bumper cam/internal cam.

When I started driving I was using view 2 alot and it worked just fine. However when I came back after a three week long brake during last summer I somehow ended up using view 1, and I've stuck with it ever since. I find that it's easier to drive using view 1 because since the camera is raised higher off the ground it gives you a much wider view of the track and you can see "over" obstacles and corners. This will help you to anticipate each turn more easily and get a more correct line through the turn.
I've never used view 3 much unless I'm driving a track with loops that have no MT (Media tracker). I know, though, of very good drivers that use this view with success, so again it comes down to personal preferance.

Graphics settings
When it comes to graphics you yourself know your pc best. I recommend setting the detail level of the graphics so that you have at least a frame rate of 30+. Don't use a higher setting just because it looks nicer. You won't be able to judge corners at high speeds if you have a fps below 25. You can see your fps by pressing "0" (zero).

Driving with lots of cars around you may also cause lag and fps-drop. You can prevent this by limit the number of cars shown simultainiously.
You do this by clicking "Option" and then "Advanced" in the game laucher. On the last tab you'll find an option to limit the number of cars shown. The lowest value you can set here is 8. There is a way to hack this information so that you don't se any cars but I don't know the procedure. Anyway, TMN is an online game. What fun is there to drive online and not see other cars? ;)

[continued below]
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Ferril » 27 Aug 2007 22:17

Driving tips

Basics:
The basics of racing applies to TMN as well as the real world.
To get around a track in the shortest ammount of time you want to brake enough before the turn to take it smoothly and get maximum acceleration out of the turn. The quicker you're on the accelerator the faster your car will go. So; slow in, fast out! :cool:

I'm no master in driving loops and wallrides but the theory is quite simple.
In wallrides you want to go as low as possible and if possible without losing contact with the driving surface. Try imagining the wallride as lying flat on the ground and drive the shortest distance between the two lowest corners. The same applies to loops and cork screws. Set up the car so that you don't have to turn/correct much while in the loop. The shortest distance between two locations is always a straight line, or as straight a line as you can manage.

Jumping:
When you hit a jump and fly through the air your car will start to pitch forward. To stop this pitching motion tap the brake and the car will "freeze" in mid air. Try judging the angle of the landing so that all four wheels of your car hit the ground at the same time. This will minimize the ammount of bounce the car gets from hitting the ground and increase your control.

Sometimes a jump is constucted that you have to brake hard to be able to make the next turn. Try anticipating the turn and angle your car by turning your car at the last moment before you leave the ramp. This will make your car go straight into a slide when it lands. If you need to lengthen the slide, press the brake and/or the accelerator as you land.

Also, if you for some reason need to adjust the length of a jump, do so in the begining of the jump rather than at the end. You should have the maximum acceleration possible when landing. You can reduce the length of a jump by just releasing the throttle or by using the brake. Yes, TMN-cars come with air brakes, or flaps. ;) Good thing this isn't a drivng simulator but an arcade game. :cool:

Powerslide/sliding
[see above for description on how to perform a powerslide]
When you want to powerslide through a turn you need to anticipate the turn and start the slide well ahead of the turn so that you slide into the turn. I find that if I start across the center line of the track when I start my slide I usually get a good "hit" when coming into the turn.

High speed driving:
On tracks that are designed for speed, really high speed, you want to keep your car from sliding at all! Sliding on a speed track will make you lose time. To avoid sliding, release the throttle a bit at the start of a turn you know your car tends to slide, and accelerate through it. Again; slow in, fast out. Though here it prbably is better to say fast inn, faster out :)

Learning a track
There's no use in being the best driver in the world if you don't know the track you're driving. And learning a track can be a pain in the b-hind :cool:
It takes many runs to get every curve right. Breaking points, jumps, landings all have to be memorized.
If you want to learn a track faster I suggest that you join a server online and go into spectator mode (Esc --> Spectator) and watch how the best drivers drive the track. Some players may start to complain about being specced, but I wouldn't pay them much attention. It's a part of the game and they should in my opinion accept it. But if you want to be nice you can ask before speccing someone or sitch between who you're speccing. ;)
Select who you're watching by holding down "Tab" and clicking any nickname.
Be aware of the fact that speccing can be forbidden on some servers.

Another way to learn a track is to download replays uploaded for each track here on TMX and to view them in the ingame editor. You can even drive against the replays and that way see where you are losing time on a track.


I hope this little tutorial will help many of you into becomming better drivers. As in all things it takes time and practice to become better.
I'm not the best in the world at playing TMN, but I've played this game since February 2006 and have picked up some nifty things here and there.

I will add more to this post when I remember more. I'm currently at work but had nothing else to do, so I thought I'd write a guide to help you newcommers discover how great Trackmania Nations is. :cool:

I wonder if this one gets a sticky. ;)

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Maarten » 28 Aug 2007 10:41

You're spoiling it all!! Ah who cares, it's a good explanation.

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Zooz » 28 Aug 2007 11:58

Ferril wrote: Input device: Keyboard vs gamepad
You forgot joystick! :/

I think i'm pretty fast with joystick, though you can't play with only the joystick because you would be unable to use gas and brake at the same time. So my control setup is like this:

Steering: Joystick steering axis
Gas: Up arrow (on keyboard)
Brake: Down arrow (on keyboard)

And it works fine. You have to slam the stick around a bit on difficult tech tracks when there is lots of sharp turning and such, but you can also be much more accurate with steering than keyboard, and steering is much easier than with gamepad (at least for me, i can't handle those small sticks).
Also, I think it's much faster to learn than with gamepad, in the TMS demo when i first started driving with joystick i was taking seconds off my keyboard pb's after a day of joystick driving (although Island isn't very keyboard friendly).
Ferril wrote: Also, if you for some reason need to adjust the length of a jump, do so in the begining of the jump rather than at the end. You should have the maximum acceleration possible when landing. You can reduce the length of a jump by just releasing the throttle or by using the brake. Yes, TMN-cars come with air brakes, or flaps. ;) Good thing this isn't a drivng simulator but an arcade game. :cool:
But if you can, always do your slowing down before you actually take off, then you'll have more speed out of the jump and less air time, which is both faster. You can't accelerate while jumping, so jumping is slower.

Also, agreeing that fast replays are really important and you can learn tracks much faster if you have one, at least if you know the techniques the driver of the replay uses so you can imitate it.
Ferril wrote: I wonder if this one gets a sticky. ;)
Oh well, ok, because you asked it so nicely :P

edit: If I could find the sticky button, that is. Damn tm-forum 3... ^^

edit2: Seems moderators can't sticky stuff any more with tm-forum 3, that's lame :P

edit3: There we go, Blahitis fixed it :)

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Mac Matrix » 28 Aug 2007 22:45

I want to make a correction stated that the minimum opponent limit for the game is 4, not 8.

Also you forgot to mention the varying 'arts' of drifting within the game, which involves different methods of drifting the car - such as the wallbang or rammstein slide (the latter allowing you to drift even at low speed.)

edit

I know how to set the opponent limit to 0 but unsure if I should detail it >_>
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Maarten » 29 Aug 2007 06:49

Mac Matrix wrote:I want to make a correction stated that the minimum opponent limit for the game is 4, not 8.

Also you forgot to mention the varying 'arts' of drifting within the game, which involves different methods of drifting the car - such as the wallbang or rammstein slide (the latter allowing you to drift even at low speed.)

edit

I know how to set the opponent limit to 0 but unsure if I should detail it >_>
Just put a link in here to that topic that was posted here a while ago about drifting. The one with the youtube movies. That was a good explanation.

If you got time I think you should explain how to set it to zero. you explained it to me once, but it still took me a while to get it to zero. Although I switched back to 4. I was starting to feel a bit lonely ha,ha.

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Zooz » 29 Aug 2007 11:34

Mac Matrix wrote:I want to make a correction stated that the minimum opponent limit for the game is 4, not 8.

Also you forgot to mention the varying 'arts' of drifting within the game, which involves different methods of drifting the car - such as the wallbang or rammstein slide (the latter allowing you to drift even at low speed.)

edit

I know how to set the opponent limit to 0 but unsure if I should detail it >_>
Well, in this "rammstein slide" whose name makes no sense, you just do the same but you start the slide on the road's edge (the mesh part in the air or the green part on the side when on the ground) and you'll slide easier and even at lower speeds.
Video:


With the wallbounce, you ram into a wall to slow down and turn, sometimes doing just that is enough to get through the hairpin (it's usually done on hairpins or other sharp turns), at other times you may need to add a slide after hitting the wall by holding the brake after hitting it and sliding like normal.

Wallbounce without a slide:

With a slide:


edit: Made some vids to show it

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Mac Matrix » 29 Aug 2007 20:53

I know the name makes no sense, but Team Diginitas calls it 'the rammstein' on their Guide to Drifting webpage and since Nadeo haven't released an official name of that part of the track nor have I found any other terminologies for it, it's just stuck.
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by DrGrip » 31 Aug 2007 15:15

Clearly it's a gutter... haha. We call it a gutter, and things associated with it are simple 'gutterslide' or '**** gutterbug', etc. :)

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Mac Matrix » 31 Aug 2007 22:05

DrGrip wrote:Clearly it's a gutter... haha. We call it a gutter, and things associated with it are simple 'gutterslide' or '**** gutterbug', etc. :)
I've looked at it and it's actually a raised surface rather than a depression in the road.

I just go by what Diginitas says, just because I like the band too. XD.
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Zooz » 01 Sep 2007 11:34

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramstein_airshow_disaster
?

:P

I believe i've called it "the sidewalk" too, although that might have been in Desert.

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by DrGrip » 02 Sep 2007 03:31

Mac Matrix wrote:
DrGrip wrote:Clearly it's a gutter... haha. We call it a gutter, and things associated with it are simple 'gutterslide' or '**** gutterbug', etc. :)
I've looked at it and it's actually a raised surface rather than a depression in the road.
Well I look at it all the time and naturally its raised otherwise it wouldn't launch you into the air. But well its got holes and if it was raining the water would drain through it...

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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Mac Matrix » 03 Sep 2007 13:24

DrGrip wrote:
Mac Matrix wrote:
DrGrip wrote:Clearly it's a gutter... haha. We call it a gutter, and things associated with it are simple 'gutterslide' or '**** gutterbug', etc. :)
I've looked at it and it's actually a raised surface rather than a depression in the road.
Well I look at it all the time and naturally its raised otherwise it wouldn't launch you into the air. But well its got holes and if it was raining the water would drain through it...
It's got holes in it from all the cars running over it. O_o

@ Zooz - that's probably where Diginitas got it from then :D it got me four out of five runs yesterday on the last corner of CHASE, as I was on all four times to get a 53.6

Stupid bug.
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Ferril » 07 Sep 2007 18:18

And let's stick to the topic. Rambling discussions about what to call a particular slide won't help those that are trying to learn how to do it.
Maybe an admin could clean this thread up a bit ;)
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Re: A beginners driving tutorial to TMN

Post by Trackmaniack » 21 Sep 2007 19:37

Zooz wrote:
Ferril wrote: Input device: Keyboard vs gamepad
You forgot joystick! :/

I think i'm pretty fast with joystick, though you can't play with only the joystick because you would be unable to use gas and brake at the same time. So my control setup is like this:

Steering: Joystick steering axis
Gas: Up arrow (on keyboard)
Brake: Down arrow (on keyboard)

And it works fine. You have to slam the stick around a bit on difficult tech tracks when there is lots of sharp turning and such, but you can also be much more accurate with steering than keyboard, and steering is much easier than with gamepad (at least for me, i can't handle those small sticks).
Also, I think it's much faster to learn than with gamepad, in the TMS demo when i first started driving with joystick i was taking seconds off my keyboard pb's after a day of joystick driving (although Island isn't very keyboard friendly).
Ferril wrote: Also, if you for some reason need to adjust the length of a jump, do so in the begining of the jump rather than at the end. You should have the maximum acceleration possible when landing. You can reduce the length of a jump by just releasing the throttle or by using the brake. Yes, TMN-cars come with air brakes, or flaps. ;) Good thing this isn't a drivng simulator but an arcade game. :cool:
But if you can, always do your slowing down before you actually take off, then you'll have more speed out of the jump and less air time, which is both faster. You can't accelerate while jumping, so jumping is slower.

Also, agreeing that fast replays are really important and you can learn tracks much faster if you have one, at least if you know the techniques the driver of the replay uses so you can imitate it.
Ferril wrote: I wonder if this one gets a sticky. ;)
Oh well, ok, because you asked it so nicely :P

edit: If I could find the sticky button, that is. Damn tm-forum 3... ^^

edit2: Seems moderators can't sticky stuff any more with tm-forum 3, that's lame :P

edit3: There we go, Blahitis fixed it :)
You can use gas and brake at the same time if you set them to buttons, which is what I do. That also enables me to have more precise control over my steering.
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