You’ve received your Xbox Live kit, and you’ve fired up the demo of Moto GP online only to find you can’t make a turn to save your life ? Are you getting tired of slamming into other riders and ending up flat on your back on the side of the track ? Maybe you find yourself slamming the brakes to make it through every turn ? Then it’s time you learned some of the basics of Moto GP to improve your game, and maybe you’ll make it through those hairpins and win a few races ! The following guide should help you, the Moto GP beginner, start playing better now. We’re going to break the tips down for you to make it easier for you to decide what to work on first.
Which rider to use ?
I can’t stress this enough, you need to build your own custom rider ! Have you ever noticed all those racers blowing past you on every track ? Well, you can rest assured they have built custom riders and so long as you use the stock riders, you’ll never catch up with them.
How to build a rider ? First off, you need the full version of Moto GP. So, you’ll either need to rent/buy/borrow a full copy of Moto GP for a few days. Start off with a custom rider, and go through each and every training session. As you make it through the various training exercises, not only will you learn to handle a bike and rider, but you’ll also keep earning points to improve your custom rider. Make it through all the training successfully, and you’ll have a rider that blows the doors off the riders that come with the game. And yes, you can use this custom rider in the demo version of Moto GP. Play against the computer as often as you can, and so long as you win, you’ll gain even more points towards a custom rider.
And the fun thing about a custom rider is that you can choose the paint job for his/her bike, and custom colors for the leathers.
Handling basic turns
Are you getting really tired of sliding out even in the most basic of curves? Then you’ll need to learn to stop using the brakes so much, and instead just letting off the gas.
When you come up against most curves, you should take your finger off the gas at least five bike lengths ahead of the turn. By the time you get to the actual curve, you should have shed enough speed that you won’t need the brakes at all. Try to get the bike down to around 80Mph as a beginner. As you get better, you can go faster through turns (I’m up to 100Mph on most turns), but for now, try to keep the bike around 80Mph.
Once you’ve shed the speed, you need to choose your “line” through the turn. Good riders will get their bike to the outside of the turn before they get to the turn, and so should you. Once you’re on the outside, you should start leaning in to swing across the turn, from the outside to the inside. Your turn should be more like a glide, not a sharp cut across the turn. If you can imagine a diagonal line drawn from the outside of the curve (at the beginning of it) and ending on the inside of the curve (at the end of it), that’s the line you should try to get your bike to follow. And do not attempt to accelerate or use your brakes once you’re following your line. Speeding up with snap your bike like a whip, whereas breaking will cause a slideout. Once you’re past the main apex (bend) of the turn, then you can lay on the gas and get caught up.
When it comes to hairpin turns (those ultra-sharp u-turns) you should do one of two things: shed a ton of speed beforehand and try to glide through the turnvor try cutting through the grass instead of taking the turn itself. Sure, cutting the corner can feel cheap, but plenty of beginners do it (heck, so do many advanced players). Once you get the hang of turning, you can start practicing actually riding through a hairpin turn, but as a beginner, feel free to cut through the grass. It’s also a great way of avoiding big packs of riders who are bunched together trying to make a turn.
As I mentioned in the turning section, you should not brake before, during or after a turn. But let’s be reasonable, sometimes you lose track of things and need to slow down in a hurry before hitting a turn. If that’s the case, you should always try to use your front brake. It can slow you down quickly and won’t cause the bike to slide out. If you’ve been paying attention to your racing, you’ll notice that whenever you use the back brake during a turn, the bike tends to wash-out or fishtail, and you have to desperately scramble to keep it upright. The front brake doesn’t do this, so learn to use it to slow down.
If you’re really in a bind and need to lose a ton of speed that the front brakes just can’t do quickly enough, then you have two options:
- Use both brakes at the same time. This will practically stop the bike dead in its tracks, but it’s better than crashing. If you figure it out, a crash can cost you 10-20 seconds, whereas just getting back to speed from a dead stop will only take 5-10 seconds. So it’s obviously better to stop dead than to wipe out.
- Cut into the grass a little bit. Don’t go for a long stroll in the grass, just ride it for a few seconds. You’ll slow down real fast. Be sure you don’t try using the brakes while in the grass or else you’ll wash out and crash.
Ok, there is one other option for slowing down, but you will not be looked upon favorably for doing it. Unfortunately, you sometimes just have to do what you have to do. The third option is…if you’re sure you want to know this…is to bump against the sides or back of a bike in front of you. This is incredibly rude, and if you do it too much, you’re going to make a lot of enemies quickly. Get famous for doing this, and people will stop playing against you altogether. But every now and again, desperate times call for desperate measures. As a final note, depending upon the speeds of you and your victim, you can cause a crash, which is obviously not something you want.
Sometimes, in the excitement of the race, a lot of beginners will bunch up in a big pack as they all try to be the first racer through the first turn. It’s a very bad idea. All it takes is for one guy to wipe out, and everyone else in the bunch will go down with him. I know this from experience, as I was in a 12 bike pileup early on in my Moto GP playing.
Pick up some friends
When you’re using Xbox Live, the friends feature lets you create a list of buddies you like to play against. This is a great way to find players who play at your skill level, and are just a ton of fun to hang out with. I have a friends list of some great racers, and some not so great, but they all are fun to race and offer up a ton of challenge whenever we play (heck, the trash talk from some has me laughing so hard sometimes that I end up running into walls and other racers).
Some online play notes
Here we’re going to talk about some rules of the road, and common courtesies you should exercise when playing Moto GP online. First and foremost, is don’t be a toad. Sounds pretty obvious right ? Well, you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve seen a losing rider decide to turn his bike around and race against oncoming traffice, crashing anyone they can along the way. Sure, it’s kind of funny, but not when people are racing to improve their worldwide ranks. In one game I was in, I was in second and just couldn’t get past the first place player. Suddenly, he got taken out by a toad going the opposite way on the track. Sure, I won the race because of it, but it was a hollow win.
Anyone playing poorly will find that there will be negative feedback submitted against them to Xbox Live, and they will get booted from games quickly. Yes, Xbox Live allows the person running the game to boot anyone they want. And I’ve seen it happen to plenty of toads so far.
Remember in the braking section how I mentioned a desperate method of slowing down by tapping other bikes ? Well, if you’re going to have to use it, at least apologize for it when you do. It’s a common courtesy among players of Moto GP online to apologize any time you tap someone or cause them to wreck. So don’t forget to apologize, and mean it when you do ! So long as you do, people will keep racing with you, but tap too many bikes, or cause too many wrecks, and don’t apologize, and you’ll find yourself bounced from many races.
When you’re in a game lobby, you’ll see icons alongside your name, and the names of other players. These indicate the status of those players.
- Thumbs up: Ready to race
- Gear: The racer is in their options menu
- Flag: Just crossed the finish line
- Helmet: Still racing around the track
You’ll also notice that while racing, some riders appear to hop around even taking huge flying leaps across areas of the tracks. These are people suffering from ugly lag, their connection is having problems, or is generally to slow to support the game. So what Moto GP does, is it shows them as flying around the track. To the laggy rider, everything looks normal, to everyone else, it’s a hilarious session of flying bikes. Not to worry though, the game keeps track of their actual racing time, so even though it may look like they passed you a mile back, they won’t beat you unless their time is better than yours.
Ghost riders may also appear in an online race. These ghosts appear whenever those riders are using the demo version of Moto GP, so they don’t have the track your group is racing on. They can race on the track, even though they don’t have it available to them, but they have that translucent blue ghost appearance to them. It doesn’t affect their racing, or yours, it’s just a little different.
So, to sum it up, if you’re going to play online, be sure you get customized, and learn to play fair. Oh, and have a great time at it !