Driving well on ice
The 2020 version of Trackmania has introduced new surface types including ice. If you're reading this guide, it's probably because you've been on the ice for the first time. It's a fact, the ice is complicated to tackle because of its lack of grip.
In this guide you will find all the tips you need to understand how ice works and how to keep control of your vehicle.
The particularities of ice
Before going into detail, there are several things you should know. Ice has its own characteristics, which you will not find on other floors:
- When you drive on ice, your wheels freeze. You can see this clearly as they turn white. It is important to understand that when you leave an icy area, your tyres will remain icy for about 4 seconds.
This means that you will continue to experience the effects of ice for a few seconds after leaving this surface. Be aware of this slight loss of grip once you reach the next surface. Remember to look at the trajectory to follow afterwards to prepare for it as soon as the icy area is over. This will reduce movement and the risk of unintentional slipping due to the loss of grip. Note that you lose ice on your wheels more quickly if you drive straight ahead.
- The smoothsteer can save you (exclusive controller trick) and should be used as much as possible when entering a bend.
- It is essential that you take into account gear changes, even more so than on other types of ground. On ice, a change in speed during a turn will inevitably lead to a spin. Remember to slow down or even force the lower speed if necessary.
The different blocks
As you progress through Trackmania, you will come across different tracks that are made up entirely or partially of ice. There are actually 4 types of blocks different:
The ice walls
The "high" bobsled blocks
The "low" bobsled blocks
Managing flat surfaces
Flat surfaces can be straight or curved. In both cases, there is an effective way to maintain speed while staying in control of your vehicle.
Straight line: Wiggle technique
- What is the Wiggle for?
Please note that this technique is only effective if you are driving at least 235km/h. The Wiggle allows you to gain more speed than driving in a straight line by pressing the accelerator. This is not an exclusive ice trick and can also be used on other surfaces such as grass or dirt.
- How does the Wiggle work?
This skill is not particularly complex to understand or perform, but you have to be very precise. Simply hold down the accelerator and make small jerks to the right and left. Your car should zigzag slightly and gain speed.
Curve: Performing a skid
The initial idea you might have would be to simply turn in the direction of the turn you are taking, whether it is wide or tight. While this may work in some situations, it is not the most effective method on the ice.
- How does skidding work?
In order to do your turns well on this surface, you will have to do a "drift", but it is not a real drift like on the tarmac. Here are the steps to follow:
You must first position your vehicle at a particular angle. Place the car at an angle of 90° or more to the road. Depending on the situation, a larger angle is required, to the right or left depending on the direction of the turn. Then you have to countersteer. If you need to reinforce the skid, simply press the brake button.
To get out of the skid, release the throttle. You can also use the release to readjust your steering, putting your wheels back on straight. Note, however, that this will cause you to lose speed and it may be better to find a line in the circuit that allows you to put your wheels straight back on.
Mistake to avoid: make sure you don't oversteer in either direction as this may cause you to spin or prevent you from continuing the skid. Also, make sure that no gear changes take place during the turn, otherwise you risk going off the road!
To train, refer to circuit 23 of the training maps and circuit 20 of the 2021 summer campaign for more challenge.
Managing ice walls (wallride)
When it comes to ice walls, the aim is to spend as little time as possible on the wall, to minimise the loss of acceleration and in some cases the air-time.
To do this, you can take the second line as a benchmark (see photo) and try not to go too far beyond it. Also, the wallrides will ask you tomake a minimum of inputs to get the most appropriate and efficient trajectory. So remember to analyse the line to be taken to know how to enter the wall and with what speed.
If you have Standard access at minimumYou can replay the circuit 12 of the 2021 summer campaign to train for this wallride situation.
Managing bobsled blocks
The management of the bobsled blocks is possible with the keyboard but will be much more difficult than with the joystick. You'll actually find it easier to use the controller because it allows you to smoothsteer, which is not the case with the keyboard. It will take some time and practice, but you will soon see that your efforts will pay off.
The following information relates to blocks that form bends. When you are in a straight line, whether in a low or high block, just stay in the centre.
The low blocks
In order to succeed in driving on the low blocks, you have at your disposal two markers: the red line at the bottom and the yellow line at the top. The aim will be to keep your vehicle between these lines trying as much as possible not to cross the yellow line. This will require you to adjust the steering angle and maintain it. Note that the steering angle will vary depending on the angle of the turn.
As mentioned above, you can do this with the keyboard, but with more difficulty. To control the steering angle, you have to tap your arrow keys.
To practice, refer to the circuits 3 and 19 of the training maps.
The high blocks
As for the low blocks, the top block has different lines. The best way to approach these blocks is to keep your vehicle between the two nearby red lines at the bottom. As the speed increases, you will need to bring the car closer to the top line, without the outer wheels of the vehicle passing the highest red line.
The steering angle is situational, but for this type of block, you should be able to hold the car in place if you steer by 50%to the right or left. However, when the speed is really high, these blocks can become difficult to control and may require you to steer further.
Again, you can try to maintain your keyboard position, but this will require more input and training. It's a fact that the controller will still be much more efficient.
To practice, refer to the circuit 3 of the winter 2021 campaign (requires at least Standard access) or circuit 16 of the autumn 2021 campaign. For more bobsleigh tours, take a look at the campaign TMS Bobsleigh Trackmania School club (requires Standard access at least).
Bonus - Trick on the ice
While you won't normally need this little trick to complete a circuit, the 360° can be useful to know to catch a mistake on a run that you wouldn't want to make again!
To train, see you on the day tour on 20 November 2021 "Mick'Ice" by Micka_TM, a tutorial is integrated in the map (requires Standard access) at minimum).