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Official Gran Turismo 5 Tips and Tuning Thread

This is a discussion on Official Gran Turismo 5 Tips and Tuning Thread within the Gran Turismo 5 forum, part of the G; I thought it would be good to have a thread dedicated to racing tips in general, and tuning setups in ...

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    The Old Guy
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    Official Gran Turismo 5 Tips and Tuning Thread

    I thought it would be good to have a thread dedicated to racing tips in general, and tuning setups in particular - especially for the races, challenges, tests, etc that are required for the trophies in this game.

    Depending on how it goes, I may include some or all of it in the trophy guide, but if it seems like that's not going to be practical (it probably won't be due to the sheer size of the game), I will just keep this post updated with all of the good tips and link to it from the trophy guide.

    So, once you get the game and start playing, and start having success getting through the events, come back here and tell us what car you used, your setup, etc, or any other general tips you come across.

    Have fun and happy racing!

    General Tips:


    • If you have to use a controller (as opposed to a steering wheel), make sure you change your button mapping to use for acceleration and for braking. You'll need the extra control you get from the triggers.
    • For most license tests and events you'll want to turn traction control off (it defaults to 5). You have to learn better control coming out of corners, but once you do you'll be a lot faster.
    • For B-Spec events, your best bet (especially early on) is just to get a car that is way better than your opponents' and tell your driver to decrease pace constantly, because they will completely suck.
    • Change your oil often, including right after you buy your car (even if it's brand new!). Changing oil will boost the HP of your new car and restore lost HP in a car that has been driven.


    Tips from our resident GT5 expert, G-Rey:




    Tips from our friends at GTPlanet.net:







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    Vous et tres belle, PSN
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    Great idea!

    First and foremost, remember this is a SIM-style game. If Modern Warfare was a "sim" to FPS like GT5 is a sim to racing, I don't think people would enjoy Modern Warfare so much. It's about finesse and precision, learning and reacting rather than trying to simply earn enough for the next-fastest car.

    I know I haven't played the game yet, but the licenses are in the game again, and some people hate having to earn the licenses.

    But NOBODY races a car without the appropriate license. Even the Super License----it's real, and every F1 driver has to pay for and earn one, every year. No exceptions.

    Bottom line, the licenses TEACH you the fundamentals. So as far as tips go for winning in GT5, pay attention to the licenses! I am a certified touring-class driver in association with BMW of America, and they don't LET you race until you show them you can. Learn the fundamentals the licenses TEACH you, rather than just trying to plow through them-----most likely there will be TEXT you have to read----READ THAT TEXT! Read about braking INTO corners rather than through them, and feathering the throttle rather than mashing it like whack-a-mole, and most importantly, SMOOTHER IS FASTER!

    The #1 rule is smooth is fast. If you're jerking the wheel in or smashing the throttle out of a corner, you're not racing. It might work in an arcade-style game like NFS or Outrun or Burnout, but not a real car, and not a sim like GT5. You don't always have to have your foot on the gas or the brakes-----sometimes you have to coast!


    Finally, I want to say this; there are racing aids for people to use because they need them to be able to play the game or they don't have a good racing wheel. But TRY to race in professional physics mode with aids turned off (traction control, ABS, etc). Imagine Rock Band----if you played on easy forever, then went up to hard, you'd be freaking out. But if you play on hard and LEARN to play on hard, you can move up to expert and enjoy the game SO much more-----not to mention you will ALWAYS be faster if you know how to race without aids than anyone will be in the same car with the driving aids and automatic transmission. Always!

    Sorry, I couldn't help it----I can't wait for this game!




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    OK, I've had enough PM's about the license tests that it's time to put something here. I don't have enough free time to go through the specific licenses, test-by-test, but there are definitely some general guidelines that will help.

    --- L I C E N S E T E S T S ---

    First, I want to say the license tests are important! Frankly, I think they should still be REQUIRED before competing in other events. Treat them that way, especially if you haven’t played any GT games before. I could write all day about race physics and theory for front-engine cars alone, but the license tests are a fantastic teaching tool that will attempt to introduce you to virtually every necessary physics lesson and car-type lesson required for the rest of the game, and an essential tool at that if you know little or nothing about real-life racing or haven’t played a GT game before.

    The first tests teach you the most about general physics applied to racing. As the tests progress, they deal more with more complex racing strategies, then more specifically with cars that have different engine placement and which axel(s) drive the car and their respective strategies, and finally with full fast laps and in-race overtaking. For ALL license tests, 3 main strategies can help you throughout.

    1.) DEMOS

    The most essential tool for beating a license test is to watch the demonstration video for each individual test.
    I can't stress that enough (hence the red italics). The game is LOADED with menu clicks and loading screens, so another one can't hurt.
    Click the demo button before each test, and watch, listen, and learn.
    WATCH the controls from the AI driver inputs----pay particular attention to when he brakes, how much he uses the gas in a corner, how differently he takes the "suggested" line, etc. Make mental notes of any dramatic changes, and use them in your tests.
    LISTEN to the narrator. I admit, I LOVE this addition to the licenses, and I love his soothing, English vernacular. He will give you some oftentimes very valuable tips on car attributes or track and physics lessons, sometimes it's even specific information to a meter of a certain track. But make sure to listen! Sometimes he may say something that makes you think "duh, I already know that," but you may not be using what you know in the right spot!
    LEARN what they are trying to teach you. They're not trying to teach you to stop your car. Anyone can do that. They're trying to teach you to understand how long it can take, and how far you can travel when you're trying to stop. The video and the narrator BOTH will teach you things you can use to complete the tests, and if you pay enough attention, sometimes you can even complete a test on your first try.
    Note the demo video loops through the test----watch several times, if it helps, and also be aware that often the narrator's dialogue will continue AFTER the video demo completes a test----one time I think the AI driver did the test 3 times before the narrator was done talking about it, so never miss a learning opportunity!

    2.) THE RACING LINE.
    Listen. The racing line is a GUIDE. It is NOT the most perfect, fastest, easiest, or best line to use----not just in the license tests, but as a rule of thumb for the entire game. Some other racing games have racing lines that come close to being the fastest legal route, but in GT5, use them as a guide, nothing more.
    Some lines on some tracks mark areas for the pits, or help you see the edge of the track better, etc. They are guides, just like the racing line----you can drive through them, over them, but none of them are the fastest, including the racing line.
    So how do you USE the racing line? It’s a learning tool, for sure, to help you become more familiar with the tracks in the game.
    But use the guide as a general AVERAGE of where to travel----you should usually be on one side of the racing line or the other, but the “average” of your position for the fastest line is usually just about what the racing line looks like.
    In other words, if you have a right-turn corner, you should start wider left than the racing line, and apex farther inside right, then exit farther outside left. The goal is to kindof “over-emphasize” the racing line----if the racing line is a ten, you want to turn it up to eleven.
    Now, granted SOMETIMES the racing line is almost exactly what you need to do to pass a test. But I don’t think any test (aside from the stopping tests) will let you use the racing line perfectly to get the GOLD. For that, you have to be more dramatic than the racing line-------again, watching the DEMO of the test can help suggest a more effective line.
    Also note the AI cars in the game follow the racing line almost to a fault. They simply don’t deviate much at all from the racing line. You can definitely use that to your advantage, but also note if you get caught crossing that line, they might end up “punting” you because you’re in their way of the racing line.
    **Special addendum** If you are doing an endurance race, the racing line will help you conserve your tires,c ertainly. But since most races don’t have anything to do with tire wear as much as they do with sheer speed, worry more about making a faster line than a safer-tire line.

    3.) REPETITION
    You might not want to hear it, but repetition is your friend. After all, every race that’s more than a lap is all about repetition and consistency. If you fail the test, try again. And again. Use your ghost to learn from your mistakes, or how you can improve what you got right. Watch the demo. Then watch it again. If you begin to get frustrated with how many times you are failing a test, you may not be learning enough from the repetition. If that’s the case, see above. Repeat the test, watch your ghost, and try to see where you aren’t smooth, or where you can go deeper into a corner, or if your wheels are sliding too much and you need to throttle less in a turn, etc. Repeat, and LEARN. Remember, the licenses are all about making sure you understand how to race ON YOUR OWN because the game isn’t going to teach you later.




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    -------T R A C T I O N - C O N T R O L (aka, “TCS”) ---------

    Traction control, or “TCS” is a feature many people may not even realize is running in GT5. It’s an option for nearly every car, before every race, and by default it’s set to level 5 it seems for all cars with TCS, automatically. I reckon many people who think they are great drivers in GT games don’t mess with TCS settings, and would struggle if they turned TCS off. It does serve a purpose, and isn’t nearly as severe a speed reduction as in real life.

    But the simple truth is, when done properly, controlling the throttle response yourself is quicker than driving with traction control enabled. Racing without TCS is a powerful tool, and ultimately can be the difference between your absolute fastest-possible lap times, and therefore can increase your success for gold trophies in Gran Turismo 5.

    See, literally what traction control does is a computer chip detects a tire spinning (in direct association with antilock brake systems) it actually PUMPS THE BRAKE to the wheel it detects is spinning. Some TCS systems also remove engine power as well, or one or the other. It is a system designed to stop the wheels from slipping, rather than giving you more grip-----the grip you get from TCS is more like a side effect of the wheels being stopped from slipping. If you turn the TCS meter “up” in the game, it allows less wheel spin. How? If you guessed by pumping the brakes more (and/or removing more engine power), you’d be correct!

    “Traction control” may be a bit of a misnomer, but just remember traction is the side effect of stopping your wheels from spinning. It’s a bit like jumping from a building----the act of jumping doesn’t kill you, it’s the sudden stop at the end that can cause trouble…


    For example, many people seem to think traction control can help stop you from being stuck in the snow, but as it turns out, it’s kinda the opposite. Remember, fundamentally a TCS system is designed to stop your wheels from spinning, not to implicitly add traction.


    But if a computer in your car is applying brakes ANYWHERE in a corner, it starts to make more sense why learning to drive without TCS can be faster, yes?


    The trick is that TCS works within a threshold, and that's usually below what the car is actually capable of, which means it CAN go faster but the computer won't let it for a loss of stability. It's a SAFETY feature, not necessarily an accessory to speed. In production cars, it's called "torque-steer," which is a bit like understeer but induced by the TCS removing engine power. Then there's other similar features like limited slip differentials and positraction, which are mechanical systems rather than electronic like TCS.

    In the very first racing classes I took at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC, they put you on a skid pad (a big, tarmac circle kept wet with sprinklers) and ask you to drive around it. With TCS engaged, you can literally have the pedal to the floor and you won't lose control----instead, the car just kinda stops giving you any forward movement with the wheels. No spin.
    Next they do the same thing without TCS, and as soon as you TOUCH the gas pedal, you induce a spin. The purpose is to show you how effective TCS is at keeping you in control on the road (safety is huge to manufacturers), and how much more control you have without TCS when you don't need it, as the next test has you side-sliding around the entire skid pad.

    Of course, without TCS, if you don't know what you are doing you can spin your wheels all day and just make a ton of smoke. Or in this case, you can lose control in a corner, spin too much, induce oversteer, etc.


    But the bottom line is the game isn't going to TEACH you how to race with or without TCS. I think it would be great if there was a "classroom" feature in the game to show drivers how driver aids like TCS and ABS work, but instead, they put that control in your hands.
    And THAT'S why I recommend turning off TCS now, during the license tests. For most of the rest of the game, most people will just pick a faster car or add more upgrades, but the license tests seem to force you to learn to race. Use that! Learn from it. TRY racing without TCS, or try arcade mode on a track you know and turn OFF the racing line and you might be surprised that you actually IMPROVE your time!

    ### NOTE----it may be difficult or even extremely tricky to master racing without TCS with a controller rather than a racing wheel. If you are into GT5, and you are loving learning about racing, get a wheel if you don’t have one (virtually any USB wheel will work) and try turning off TCS, or turning it down in slow steps until you are comfortable racing without it.


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    OK, about automatic transmission vs. manual transmission.

    First, in real life, manual transmissions give you more control over the power of your engine. Driving a manual in everyday driving can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%. Manuals also often have a higher selection of gears, often 6 compared to many automatics set at 4, meaning a manual would have more control throughout the engine’s powerband, and that alone can make you faster. Then all the extra parts in an automatic transmission such as the fan/cooling and hydraulic pump add weight and extra moving parts that can break or need serviced and are not present in a manual transmission. It’s easier to repair a manual transmission. It’s easier to get out of mud or snow or uphill in a manual because there is more control in the amount of torque that can be transferred to the tires. Automatics also usually have a “free-wheel” clutch, which keeps a car moving when the driver removes all input from the throttle, which makes automatics require more brake input because the engine doesn’t slow the car down without throttle input. Some automatic transmissions CAN actually shift faster than manuals.


    But I digress----THIS IS GRAN TURISMO. I don’t think there is much difference (if any) in racing with an automatic transmission in ROAD RACES (rather than rally or drift) regarding speed.

    See, selecting automatic transmission in Gran Turismo 5 does not change the car. For example, it does nothing to add any of the weight associated with an automatic transmission assembly. And of course, there’s no reason to worry about the damage to your car (or associated costs) from overdriving the transmission in the wrong gear (ie, shifting to first when you’re doing 300kph), there’s no reason to worry about getting stuck in the mud, snow, or ice, there’s no reason to worry about fuel consumption, or the lack of a number of gears-----none of these things change in Gran Turismo 5 whether you select an automatic or a standard manual transmission. Most wheels for GT5 don’t even have a clutch, a necessary part of the manual transmission, used to disengage and engage gears.

    In effect, GT5’s “automatic” transmission is just that-----it’s like driving a manual transmission car in-game, but the GAME does the thinking for you about when to shift gears “automatically.” An automatic transmission in real life would shift long before nearing the redline, but in GT5 it seems like it shifts essentially where you should shift were you controlling the gears yourself. I’m not saying manual transmission isn’t necessarily faster in GT5, but it’s definitely not the outlyer-----if you’re struggling to get a gold time, I sincerely doubt the reason is because you’re using an automatic transmission.


    All that means is it’s up to you. Personally, I love shifting gears myself----it’s more engaging, more realistic, and at least I FEEL like it’s more responsive, although admittedly it’s probably not.

    This is ESPECIALLY true if you are using traction control, at all. Being in a lower gear in a side-slide can be beneficial, and may not happen at the correct TIME if you’re using an automatic. With that said, I must add a…

    ****SPECIAL NOTE*****
    Any time you are doing a rally or a drift event, it can be beneficial to be in charge of the gears yourself. Adding extra torque in a side slide, or having a higher rev to turn to when inducing a spin can be hugely beneficial. I could be wrong (I haven’t run any rally or drift events with automatic transmission), but my point is automatic vs manual doesn’t seem to matter much on road races but it MAY have some significance in rally and drift events. Traction control will for sure be the outlyer of these events, regardless, so again like I said above in a separate post, learning how to drive without traction control will be much more beneficial than learning to drive a manual gearbox.




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    Upgrade your tires. Racing tires will be needed unless you're testing a car's stock feel with comfort tires.

    If you have a car you are going to use a lot, or you really want to tweak your times, install a gearbox that lets you manually adjust your gears----being able to adjust your powerband for faster courses can increase your acceleration, or increase your top speed, for example. If you're "topping out" your top speed on a long straight, you probably want to tweak your gearbox ratios.

    Add a sports air intake. It's an inexpensive part (that can be uninstalled if you need to for a race requirement) that should be installed on every car you plan to use much at all.

    Same as above with an upgraded sports exhaust.

    ANY car you buy from the used car lot, do an oil change immediately. I've tested it against a friend online, and it does seem to increase performance but not in any noticeable way in the menus----only on the track, ie., it doesn't increase horsepower, but it does make your car noticeably faster.

    If your used car is quite old and the game lets you (has to have enough miles on it, likely over 150k km), rebuild your engine. It's not cheap, but it will restore your car to "new" quality.

    Turn off traction control. I consider this a general tip because it seems to force you to turn it off for every car (by default, it's set at 5). See above for TCS info.

    Turn on vibration or force feedback if you have it. It seems like a no-brainer, but feeling the road can be just as important as seeing it, especially when you're trying to sense tire movement for side slides in drifting or rally races.

    Hope these general tips help!




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    -------D R I F T I N G----------

    I responded to a drifitng question elsewhere in the forums and I got a little over-enthusiastic, so I'm posting it here as well to have a more complete section.

    First of all, turn off Traction Control. I THINK it is automatically disabled in drift events in GT5 by default, although I know you have to manually disable TCS in GT5: Prologue. Traction control is designed to stop wheel spin (by applying brakes or removing throttle input), but wheel spin is exactly what you need to control a sideways slide in a drift.

    But just like in Prologue, the game doesn’t teach you how to drift. It does a lot to try to teach you how NOT to drift (the license tests coach talks throughout about throttle control and slow-in, fast-out techniques), but not enough to teach you how important throttle control can really be, which is what drifting is all about.

    It doesn’t implicitly matter if your engine is in the front or the rear, or even mid-engine. I prefer front-engine cars anyway, and if you ask me, rear-engine cars are designed for speed more than control, and their ability to drift is often a side effect of their implicit ability to drive quick rather than just fast (ie, a Ferrari vs a NASCAR, they may have similar top speeds but a Ferrari will reach top speed more quickly).
    But you certainly can drift rear-engine cars----weight distribution is important, but torque is more important. You can’t really drift in a front-wheel-drive car. You CAN drift in a four-wheel-drive car, but, for example, when they drift 4WD cars in real life they use limited slip adjustments to make the rear wheels spin faster than the front wheels, which essentially makes it a rear-wheel drive.

    Another very important element is tire choice. Racing tires are designed to be sticky, and consequently they don’t last more than a single race. Comfort tires are implicitly designed to last long, not to race------they will slip and slide and spin and drift more easily than racing tires. If your car has a ton of HP (anything over 400bhp), racing soft or even racing medium tires may make drifting at a lower angle a little more controllable, but for GT5, I usually don’t drift in the super-fast cars and I still recommend comfort tires.
    Of course, if you’re on dirt or snow, you don’t have a choice. But personally, I say if you want to learn to drift on non-road courses, start by learning how to drift a car you already know how to control on a road course. If you can learn to drift on the road, it will make the rally challenges (even the license challenges and the Gran Tour special event) seem almost too easy. The game seems to tone down the gold requirements for the rally events compared to the fractions of a second of difference between silver and gold in most challenges, and although I’ve struggled to reach gold on some events, none of them were rally or drift. The margin of error the game gives you is simply that much bigger, but admittedly, GT games have always been more focused on road racing anyway.


    For the rest of this section, I will use the long right-hand turn at turn one of Suzuka as our example for technique (Suzuka is one of my favorite drifting road courses, and I often practice there just for fun). Note this is a long, fast corner, so it’s a very difficult corner to maintain a drift in at high speeds, but just use it as a guide for understanding how to initiate drift;


    Drifting is a dance, in four steps: turn out, turn in, throttle up, and maintain.

    The key to drifting through a corner is to start your drift BEFORE the corner. Throughout the rest of the corner you will be maintaining the slide, or as I like to think about it, avoiding getting your car back into racing control and the tires stopping spinning. You’re never completely “in control” when drifting, but the key is to be right at the threshold of losing control to keep sliding.


    1.) TURN OUT
    The first step in initiating the drift is to turn AWAY from the corner. In this case, you want to slightly turn LEFT before the approaching right-hand turn. I think most people just turn-in quickly and oversteer. Oversteer is step two, but to exaggerate the turn (and get the most points), you must first turn out to help twist the car farther sideways when you hit the throttle.

    2.) TURN IN
    Immediately following the turn-out step, you want to turn into the corner with oversteer. Turn the wheel as far as you can into the corner----in this case, you will turn the wheel about 10 - 20 degrees left (step 1) before turning as far as you can to the right.

    3.) THROTTLE UP
    Immediately following the turn-in step, punch the throttle. This will apply power to the rear wheels*, but since the engine has so much power, the rear wheels will spin faster than the front wheels, and this is what induces a drift. Don’t FLOOR the throttle-----you want to just give your rear wheels too much torque spin to move at the same speed as the front wheels (if you keep the throttle down your rear wheels will continue to spin even faster, and that’s how you do doughnuts, ie, a drift without the final “maintain” step).

    4.) MAINTAIN
    This is the trickiest step. The first three steps begin and end within a half-second. Maintaining the drift is how you earn points.
    As soon as the throttle up initiates the spin to the right, turn the wheel left to prevent from spinning 360 degrees. Apply throttle pressure in low-to-medium doses to stay smooth, and high throttle if the drift starts to end, using the wheel in constant small adjustments to keep the car sideways, much the same way you adjust your wheel throughout a road course corner through the racing line. Remember, you rear wheels should almost always be spinning throughout the drift. The rear wheels will never be in complete traction on the track-----the idea is that the forward spinning of the rear wheels ENCOURAGES the car to move in the direction the car is pointed (sideways, towards the inside of the corner) but with so much torque and so little grip that the car never takes off into the inside. Even though the corner turns right, the wheel will be turned to the left throughout, in varying amounts, to maintain the drift. Under replay, if you watch the front wheels alone, they actually look like they’re almost running a “normal” racing line----it’s the rest of the car that makes a drift so spectacular.



    Try this experiment----take a very fast car into practice mode (traction control OFF) on the wide “Top Gear” course, and stop the car. Start the car rolling forward slowly, about 30kph, turn the wheel as far right as you can, then SLAM on the throttle. Instant spin. Get a feel for how the THROTTLE is what induces a spin.


    Drifting is tricky. It’s going to be different for every car, and on the different racing surfaces in the game. But turning off traction control makes drifting possible, picking “slower” tires makes drifting easier, and the rest is the 4-step drift dance of TURN OUT, TURN IN, THROTTLE UP, and MAINTAIN. You’ll pick up the first three steps quickly, but the key to mastering drifting and earning the drift trophy is maintaining that side slide.


    Quote Originally Posted by sp33dking89
    Do what the Trophy guide says, pick car and track and when driftin start to drift into the sector and while drifitng try to stay in the middle of the track as you get more points. In the first sector you should aim for 6.5k-7k then the rest should be 1-1.5k. Good luck
    I think the Chamonix track listed in the Trophy Guide is probably one of the better tracks to get the drift trophy on, however the scoring mentioned above can be a little tricky (ie, don't restart the challenge just because you didn't get 7k in the first sector alone).

    I haven't done extensive testing, but from the tracks I've tested, most sectors have 3 or 4 scoring sections, and while the first section USUALLY seems to have the most potential for points, you should still be able to get 2-3k in a good run on the other scoring sections, sometimes much more. If you are only getting a few hundred points, slow down and practice a bit before hammering away at the trophy.

    As a general tip though, that first scoring section, regardless of the track, should be the outlyer in most cases. If you only get 1-2k in the first sector, I recommend starting over----there is no sector that you can't get 3k or more points from (also note that different sectors have different point values associated with the "flags scores"), and once you get the hang of drifting you'll routinely get 8-9k in every challenge. You can get much more than 10k, even twice as much, but there's just no skimping around the fact that if you pull off a 10k run, you did an amazing drift sequence, and you will know it before the trophy dings.



    ------EDIT---------

    I found this video, it's not the best example but it's a good example of one of two of my favorite cars (the Porsche Boxster and the BMW Z4) being tested in a side slide drift with stock options. Watch for the steering input from the drivers-----you can see at the beginning of the turn they turn away before turning in, and listen for when they pop the throttle to induce the slide:

    Toggle Spoiler




    -------EDIT----------
    OK, a special note here, the Sixaxis is NOT well-suited to drifting and rally, compared to a wheel.

    I had a friend over last night who just bought the game and wanted to know about rallying and drifting. We tried in 2-player mode, and it wouldn't let me use my wheel, so we both had Sixaxis controllers.
    But when I tried to oversteer or drift or anything like that, I had a lot of trouble, and I came to the conclusion that the steering is just MUCH slower. When you push the left analog stick all the way left or right, it "slowly" turns the wheels compared to a wheel. The wheel seems to be one-to-one for steering input, but the Sixaxis input seems to be "progressive" and therefore much trickier for a side slide (but then again perhaps better suited for road races).

    I can drift back and forth (like Mario Kart) on straights in my BMW Z4 with my wheel, no problem, but I couldn't force it but once or twice with the Sixaxis.

    I haven't done a lot of testing with the Sixaxis, and I will always say I prefer a wheel but controller choice is a personal opinion, but I couldn't find anywhere to adjust this in the menus (and if there is you have to exit GT-Home entirely), so just be aware that you may have more trouble with the rally and drift events/trophies with a Sixaxis-----just drive more slowly and use your throttle control more aggressively to induce and control your oversteer, coupled with turning in much earlier.

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    --------T U N E - S H O P ----------

    I’m going to go through tuning in order of price efficiency, and I’m adding spoiler tags for car information that can help you understand more about the tuning options but aren’t needed for the game. Yes, you can tune your Toyota Vitz out to 412bhp for about 140k credits, but that’s not efficient or necessary, and takes the fun out of it a bit. I’ve often found I can win races in cars that are competitively much slower than the other cars on the track, so I usually tune just to be competitive, if I do any tuning at all. If you’re spending 10k on upgrades to get 3k from a race win, you’re doing it wrong.

    Also note for some readers, the word “gas” is only used here for vapor or air-----if it’s gasoline/petrol, it will be called “fuel” or a fuel mixture, just like the “gas pedal” should be called the throttle.


    Toggle Spoiler



    INTAKE SYSTEM

    Install a racing air filter first----it’s a cheap upgrade and a significant boost to horsepower by letting more air (which includes more O2 for fuel combustion) into the engine more efficiently. This one is so elementary and important and inexpensive, you may want to stop and think about getting a new air filter for your real car, as well as for every single car you plan to drive in GT5.
    The sports intake manifold is much more expensive (2,500, if I remember right), but for the price, it’s a good increase. Don’t install this part unless you have already installed the air filter, ECU, and better tires. Install this on any supercar over 500bhp.

    EXHAUST

    Another important element where “size matters.” Turn on the sink in your kitchen, and the water will drain out the bottom----but if the drain isn’t big enough, the water will pool. It’s the same with exhausts, only with air----air takes up space just like water in your sink, and it must move THROUGH the entire system to be useful, and that’s how a bigger exhaust (like a bigger drain in your sink) adds horsepower by helping more air to travel through the combustion center.
    The titanium exhaust is expensive (10,000 credits), and should only be used when you 1.) already have all the intake upgrades installed, and 2.) when you are trying to get the absolute most horsepower possible from your car.
    Instead, both the Sports Exhaust (1,500 credits) and the Titanium Semi-Racing Exhaust are better choices for efficiency. If you plan on driving a car more than a race or two, install one of these to pair with your intake system.

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    The sports catalytic converter is a good option, also known as a three-stage converter (three separate intakes), but for the price, avoid it unless you are tuning a car to the max.
    Interesting fact for fellow gearhead trophy hunters here PS3trophies.com----the catalyst that controls the emissions in many converters is actually platinum Ding!


    TIRES
    Essential, but expensive. Anything you plan on racing more than a little, and any time you are really struggling to stay on the track, upgrade your tires. Racing mediums are fine. Racing hard tires are better for longer races, or if your racing style is prone to oversteer (like mine). Slicks are not required until deep in the game, but by then they are often a requirement. Stay with racing tires instead for any non-supercar races you can. But make no mistake-----tires are useful for gaining grip, which nets you both speed AND control. Unless it’s a beginner race or an easy one-make in a car you’ll never use again (trucks?), grab new tires.
    Special note, comfort tires lack the grip of racing tires, but can be terrific for drifting challenges, especially at slower speeds or cars with less torque.

    DRIVETRAIN
    This is a big one, and I’ll do a complete section on this later, and maybe a whole section for limited slip differentials alone.
    For the purpose of this section of the thread, and for any car you plan on driving more than a little, upgrade your flywheel for sure, and your clutch if you can. The flywheel will help your engine gain power more quickly, and the clutch will shift gears faster.
    Clutch:
    Note the more expensive twin-plate clutch is only marginally improved over the reduction in shift time as the less expensive clutch, so don’t waste money if you don’t have to (and likely won’t notice). If you do have a car you plan on racing a lot, especially if it’s a supercar, definitely invest in the twin-plate clutch.
    Flywheel:
    The flywheel is not very expensive, and will increase engine efficiency through the transmission, at the cost of extra weight. Grab the semi-racing flywheel, or go full-racing if you have money to burn, but you likely won’t notice a difference in gain.

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    Carbon Driveshaft:
    The carbon driveshaft will be less prone to vibrations caused by the changes by the pistons on the crankshaft and will weigh less, but this is a very expensive upgrade, and I don’t really recommend it unless you are again dealing with a supercar and you have done virtually every other upgrade and money isn’t a concern.
    Torque-Sensing Center Differential:
    The torque-sensing center differential is for four-wheel-drive cars only, and should be mandatory on any 4WD car you plan on using a lot, especially if it’s set up for rally.

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    Limited Slip Differential:
    The Limited Slip Differential, or LSD, is used to adjust tire rotation when the wheels are off the ground, and limits the difference in rotating speed of left vs right-side wheels, giving more traction while cornering. It is NOT a substitute for traction control. Since this one deals so much with individual driver style and is a costly and complicated upgrade, I will add a link here once I create a new post dedicated to LSD alone. It’s probably my second-favorite tweak to tune.

    TRANSMISSION
    I had a hard time deciding where to put this. It’s a crucial section, but an expensive upgrade, too.
    If you have a car that you MUST use in a certain race, say, a one-make or a classic region race, and you are topping out your max speed while being passed, upgrade to the 6-speed transmission. The 5 speed is less expensive, but I don’t think it’s worth the trade-off per credit.
    However, on ANY car you plan on racing in more than just a few races (especially across different track types), invest in a fully-customizable 6-speed transmission. This will let you bring your gears to a higher limit before requiring a shift, and can be tweaked per-course, per-gear.

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    BODY/CHASSIS
    This one is tricky too, but important. Note anything you do here will be PERMANENT. It won’t matter in most events, but online, I like to have “fair-fight” races with friends, and body changes can be difficult to track and cannot be undone later, whereas most changes can.
    WEIGHT REDUCTION:
    It can be pricey, and doesn’t increase horsepower, and the game seems to severely lack the weight listing in important areas-----online, it shows bhp, but not weight, depending on the screen?
    But make no mistake, decreasing your car’s weight maybe be THE outlyer in winning a race. It won’t add horsepower, so it can be difficult to measure its effectiveness. But if you are at the limit of a race’s regulation for horsepower and you are still struggling, ALWAYS look to [I]tires first[\I], THEN weight reduction.
    Any car you will race more than 3 races, do a weight reduction. It gets VERY expensive, and the returns diminish after stage one.
    ROLL CAGE:
    I actually kinda like body roll-----it can help carry a side slide and induce oversteer, and it’s just more fun. See below, and watch around 2:17 & 2:44 and notice the body roll under cornering around the cones.

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    A roll cage adds stability, which often means more grip and the elimination of body roll. It’s crucial in high-speed rallying and very fast straight-line racing, but note that a roll cage also REQUIRES modifications to your suspension (see below). The game doesn’t force suspension changes when adding a roll cage, you will have to do that on your own.


    TURBO KITS
    I suppose this is where many people turn to first. It does sound like it should be, doesn’t it?

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    ECU:
    It’s 1000 credits, and adds a significant boost to bhp. Always install this upgrade, if nothing else in this category.
    TURBO KITS:
    The low to mid to high-end turbo kits in the game range from 4,500 to 20,000 credits. The horsepower gain per-credit is much lower for the high-end, plus it’s an expensive upgrade. I recommend ONLY adding the first tier of turbocharger until you try it out and see if you need more power, and certainly not before the upgrades mentioned above, ever. If you are tuning a car for high-end competition, you will probably want to reach the high-end kit eventually for the sheer gain of horsepower. Note that the more turbo you add, the more likely you will notice it at higher RPM’s on long straights.
    Then there’s the supercharger. It’s 17,500 credits, so eventually you might look at it and say “hey, I can afford this, might as well install it, plus it sounds SO COOL!” Don’t buy it. You’ll never NEED a supercharger. Only buy one if you want to mess around with it, or if they add sprints and ¼-miles and other time tests like they put in previous GT games. And if you do buy it, make sure to also install the carbon driveshaft.

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    SUSPENSION
    This one is also very important, and will have its own post, in particular because of the price of most changes. Just remember if you lower your car’s ride height, ALWAYS increase your spring rate to counter it. You should also increase your spring rate when you add tires with more grip, but tires are much more important and significant.

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    I will update this post more later and add new posts for LSD and suspension tuning later on.

  9. #9
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    Glad this thread still exists. Nothing like some good confusion about old posts and updated posting dates.

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    With Driving Force GT wheel you have that settings button and there is an option to adjust 4WD.
    Is it same as Torque-Sensing Center Differential? I have never bought that part so I don't know.
    Is it just a glitch that lets you fine tune it without having the part installed or is it something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-rey View Post

    -------T R A C T I O N - C O N T R O L (aka, “TCS”) ---------

    Traction control, or “TCS” is a feature many people may not even realize is running in GT5. It’s an option for nearly every car, before every race, and by default it’s set to level 5 it seems for all cars with TCS, automatically. I reckon many people who think they are great drivers in GT games don’t mess with TCS settings, and would struggle if they turned TCS off. It does serve a purpose, and isn’t nearly as severe a speed reduction as in real life.

    But the simple truth is, when done properly, controlling the throttle response yourself is quicker than driving with traction control enabled. Racing without TCS is a powerful tool, and ultimately can be the difference between your absolute fastest-possible lap times, and therefore can increase your success for gold trophies in Gran Turismo 5.

    See, literally what traction control does is a computer chip detects a tire spinning (in direct association with antilock brake systems) it actually PUMPS THE BRAKE to the wheel it detects is spinning. Some TCS systems also remove engine power as well, or one or the other. It is a system designed to stop the wheels from slipping, rather than giving you more grip-----the grip you get from TCS is more like a side effect of the wheels being stopped from slipping. If you turn the TCS meter “up” in the game, it allows less wheel spin. How? If you guessed by pumping the brakes more (and/or removing more engine power), you’d be correct!

    “Traction control” may be a bit of a misnomer, but just remember traction is the side effect of stopping your wheels from spinning. It’s a bit like jumping from a building----the act of jumping doesn’t kill you, it’s the sudden stop at the end that can cause trouble…


    For example, many people seem to think traction control can help stop you from being stuck in the snow, but as it turns out, it’s kinda the opposite. Remember, fundamentally a TCS system is designed to stop your wheels from spinning, not to implicitly add traction.


    But if a computer in your car is applying brakes ANYWHERE in a corner, it starts to make more sense why learning to drive without TCS can be faster, yes?


    The trick is that TCS works within a threshold, and that's usually below what the car is actually capable of, which means it CAN go faster but the computer won't let it for a loss of stability. It's a SAFETY feature, not necessarily an accessory to speed. In production cars, it's called "torque-steer," which is a bit like understeer but induced by the TCS removing engine power. Then there's other similar features like limited slip differentials and positraction, which are mechanical systems rather than electronic like TCS.

    In the very first racing classes I took at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC, they put you on a skid pad (a big, tarmac circle kept wet with sprinklers) and ask you to drive around it. With TCS engaged, you can literally have the pedal to the floor and you won't lose control----instead, the car just kinda stops giving you any forward movement with the wheels. No spin.
    Next they do the same thing without TCS, and as soon as you TOUCH the gas pedal, you induce a spin. The purpose is to show you how effective TCS is at keeping you in control on the road (safety is huge to manufacturers), and how much more control you have without TCS when you don't need it, as the next test has you side-sliding around the entire skid pad.

    Of course, without TCS, if you don't know what you are doing you can spin your wheels all day and just make a ton of smoke. Or in this case, you can lose control in a corner, spin too much, induce oversteer, etc.


    But the bottom line is the game isn't going to TEACH you how to race with or without TCS. I think it would be great if there was a "classroom" feature in the game to show drivers how driver aids like TCS and ABS work, but instead, they put that control in your hands.
    And THAT'S why I recommend turning off TCS now, during the license tests. For most of the rest of the game, most people will just pick a faster car or add more upgrades, but the license tests seem to force you to learn to race. Use that! Learn from it. TRY racing without TCS, or try arcade mode on a track you know and turn OFF the racing line and you might be surprised that you actually IMPROVE your time!

    ### NOTE----it may be difficult or even extremely tricky to master racing without TCS with a controller rather than a racing wheel. If you are into GT5, and you are loving learning about racing, get a wheel if you don’t have one (virtually any USB wheel will work) and try turning off TCS, or turning it down in slow steps until you are comfortable racing without it.

    Catdave
    I have a driving force pro racing wheel and it makes no difference, you are missing one factor, A RWD car spins with TCS/ ASM off because you cannot FEEL when it is going happen like a real car, I have been driving for 30 years and can feel what the car is doing. So I always use TCS ASM otherwise I end up spinnig out and losing the race, its easier and only a game

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