Despite a tumultuous launch, I am still enamoured with DriveClub. Its mix of arcade/simulation controls with tough AI drivers and gorgeous visuals makes for an addictive combination. With the release of the PlayStation Plus edition delayed, but not cancelled, I thought it might be beneficial to note down a few pieces of advice to help those who will come to the game late (and perhaps help those already playing the game too).
Join a Club
It may sound obvious but for the first few days, the DriveClub servers were not up long enough for me to create or join one. Any progress you make in racking up fame points for your club will not register unless the club is active too (has at least two members).
You may not see the point in joining a club if you just want to play the game in single-player but it is highly beneficial as there are certain cars you will not get unless you level up with a club. These cars also tend to be quite good compared to others in their class.
If you want to join an on-going club, there is a handy tool that allows you to see clubs your friends are members of, as well as those with free club spaces (there is a limit of 6 drivers to a club. Alternatively, create your own and invite your friends to join it.
Learn to Drift
If you read any forums with DriveClub being discussed, the primary moan from drivers is the difficulty involved in drifting. Unlike games like Ridge Racer, drifting in DriveClub requires practice to master. While there is no tuning available, each car is given a drifting stat. This corresponds to how easily the car over steers, making drifts easier to pull off.
Drift events are normally sections of a track split into various sections. Drift sections are where drift fame points are accrued. Speed sections give you points based on, you guessed it, your speed through it. Balancing these two together is vital in earning the stars needed to progress.
The best drifts involve maintaining speed and staying on the track. I would suggest hugging the outside of the track. Not only does it give you more area to use to create longer drifts, but it is easier to brake in the middle of the turn than it is to accelerate.
Grind Fame Easily
One of the best aspects of DriveClub’s fame system is the fact that it rewards you for almost everything. Overtaking an opponent, completing a clean sector of the track, drifting successfully – it all earns fame. You can use this to your advantage to quickly grind fame as drifting in particular rewards you greatly.
Firstly, select the Time Trial single event. Pick a nice, wide track – I use the race track in India, for instance. Finally, choose a car with a high drift rating and begin the time trial. Unlike drift events, the entire track is open to you in time trial mode. It also does not finish the event when you complete one lap – instead leaving it up to you to choose when you want to finish.
To earn maximum fame points, concentrate on drifting through all corners of the track. Try to avoid leaving the road as each one will cost you 250 fame points and 100 more if you hit a barrier. Each lap should earn you between 10,000 and 15,000 points, depending on your proficiency in drifting.
Just make sure you select Finish Event rather than Restart when you’re finished, so that you bank those points.
Redo Earlier Events
As you progress through the levels of both your driver and your club, you will unlock better cars in various classes – sometimes, events where you simply could not beat the fastest lap objective or finish in the top 3 may be more easily achieved with these vehicles. I would advise you to periodically go back through older events, where you didn’t earn all of the available stars and retry them with your new spoils.
Aim for Difficult Objectives Separately
The tasks you are asked to perform to earn stars in some events can be difficult. You may want to earn all three stars in a single go so you can progress to the next event but this is not required. Tackling each objective, one at a time, can make later events far more achievable.
One of the easiest objectives to earn is the clean lap. All you need to do is start the race slowly, staying out of the driving line of the other cars. Then, leisurely go around the track at your own pace and avoid leaving the track or cutting corners.
Keep an Eye on your Accolades
Accolades are additional rewards which you build up in various ways. Using a particular manufacturer’s car or travelling a certain distance will earn you experience in that particular accolade – and like your driver and club, these attributes also level up. Each successive level earns you more fame.
Often you will find that by simply playing through the tour events in the game, you will progress a number of different accolades at a time. Reviewing your profile page might reveal a particular accolade that is close to moving up in level. Going after these tasks might simply require doing a few laps in a certain type of car or completing a few more drift events. Whatever it involves, keep checking back to make leveling your character and club easier.
I hope this helps. If you have come across your own pieces of useful advice, be sure to let us know in the comments below.