Managing speed in Trackmania
You will soon learn that speed management and gear changes is an important point in Trackmania. In a game based on the stopwatch, one only wants to "accelerate"; at least as much as possible. However, Trackmania rarely asks you to maintain acceleration. You have to constantly manage your speed and estimate the risk involved in holding the pedal for another second.
How do you know your speed?
First of all, it should be noted that in this guide we will be talking about "speed" and "gears". It is therefore important to distinguish between these two terms.
The speed is displayed at the rear of your vehicle. It is essential to always keep an eye on it, or at least to be aware of your own speed. This will help you to manage gear changes better and to overcome many obstacles.
The gearshift bearings
Here are the different levels at which the car changes from one gear to another. Even if it is not easy, or even necessary when you start the game, try to keep them in mind. The gear shift is accompanied bya jerk in the acceleration of the vehicle, anda characteristic sound The closer you get to a bearing, the more the engine "roars".
Here are the different gear change stages:
- 1st - from 0 to 100 km/h
- 2nd - at 100 km/h
- 3rd - at 160/162 km/h
- 4th - at 235 km/h
- 5th - at 341/342 km/h
Note: For speeds 3 and 5, the exact values are subject to discussion in the Trackmania community. The commonly accepted values are specified for these two levels.
As a beginner, you may want to pay particular attention to gears 3 and 4, which are the ones you will encounter the most and which may require special attention when changing.
Once you have mastered the game, remember that if you perform a speed drift, gear shift can take place at a different speed The 4th gear is no longer set at 235km/h, but at 222km/h and the 5th at 314km/h instead of 342km/h.
How to change gear?
In Trackmania, the gear change is automatic. However, you can make it easier to shift from one gear to another. To do this, you will need to be able to :
- Locate the speed at the back of the car and/or listen to the engine and distinguish when a change is about to take place.
- Avoid steering when changing gears. You should have straight wheels ! If this is not the case, the car will lose a lot of speed and will take longer to accelerate again, and therefore to change gear.
Note: This error concerns dirt, grass, ice and plastic; road (tarmac) is not affected.
On the ice, steering during a gear changefor example at the time of a drift, will be particularly important. punitive. Indeed, the the car will spin and go off course. On most circuits, the designers have thought of this detail and you should not have to pay attention to it.
There's no secret, speed management requires training. It is probably one of the most difficult skills to master in Trackmania.
The use of the release
Even if the main objective is to accelerate and ride at full speed, it is sometimes necessary to slow down.
What is the release and what is it for?
The releaseor slackening in French, consists in reduce speed when necessary. There are several situations in which this can be useful.
As the car is limited in its ability to steer, with the impossibility of making angles of exactly 90° for example, it is better to slow down than to brake in order to take the best possible angle in a complicated bend. Also, it may be better to slow down to avoid an obstacle and keep going, rather than continuing to accelerate and lose speed completely when you hit the obstacle. These are just examples, not an exhaustive list.
Choose a fast and short deceleration rather than a brake stroke. The latter will probably be too punishing to achieve the best time, or even cause you to lose too much speed to pass some jumps.
However, be careful not to overuse it. The release is particularly effective when you start the game, and allows you to continue the course without (too) many walls or obstacles, but in the long run this technique should only be used in case of emergency. You will need to mastering drifting to take certain turns without losing speed.
How does the release work?
It couldn't be easier. When necessary, you just have to release the accelerator during a given period.
Forcing a lower speed
Why would you want to stay in a lower gear when the game tends to make you go faster and faster? It's true, it's almost always necessary to make a change to a higher gear in order to gain speed. But sometimes it can be interesting not to change gears right away, but to go for a lower gear.
This method is particularly useful on the ice. As we have seen before, if you shift into a corner, so when you steer, the car goes off course. If you maintain a lower gear, you force the car not to change gear, so you keep full control of the car.
For example, if you are on a bend at 175km/h, make sure you do not reach 235 to stay in gear 3. You can then consider accelerating again to 4th gear, when the situation is more appropriate and advantageous.
It will undoubtedly be necessary to train on certain circuits to know the lines to take and to anticipate them, in order to optimise your trajectory and anticipate the gear changes as well as possible. However, you now have the keys to understanding these gear changes and also to controlling them. Make the engines roar (well, not too much)!