Drag Racing Tuning Tips

There was a huge amount of interest in the Drag Racing car upgrades in our previous post.  We hope the setup info improved your game so that you could beat many opponents.  However, as you’ve probably noticed, you need to buy the tuning pack to properly take advantage of your race machine…

[If you're keen to have an edge against your friends with a decent tuned car (and you don't have time to learn how), then 'like' us on Facebook where you'll be able to see all the upgrade settings and car tunes which we've shared in our comments so far.]

In this article we teach you how to tune your machine with a second gear launch start.  (Don’t worry we’ll explain this later).  But first you need to focus on getting your money and respect points.

I know I’ve explained this before, but I found out that actually the respect points aren’t that hard to get.  There are two ways of pumping this up fast: 1) is to go and download the other promotional games and collect free respect points (don’t worry you can remove those games after you’ve gotten your respect points)… or 2) go into Race Online > Bet and Race with a fully tuned beast and then you’ll be laughing!

If money is what you’re lacking then you’ll want to go into Race Online > Pro League and go into the best level where you’re getting 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.  Notice, I don’t just say the highest level outright, because this might not be where you’re winning the top places.  (Remember you’re competing with the world here, so it’s no surprise that you may be outmatched).  So if you’re not on the podium then you’ll probably earn more money and respect points in a lower category where you are on the podium.  This is where there’s a slight discrepancy which you may be able to take advantage of.  Look at the Upgrades page with the setups and you’ll notice that some cars are the top race vehicle for multiple levels.  That means that there’s a slightly higher chance that the ultimate race drivers would upgrade …. say… their Lamborghini from a level 5 to a level 6.  In otherwords your competition might just move up… leaving a slightly higher chance for you to rinse the newbies in level 5 with a Lambo.

Second Gear Launch Start

You can do this by pressing on the accelerator and sliding down to the gear tab.  You don’t need to lift your thumb off the screen.  The reason for doing this is because this requires less accuracy with your gear change from 1st to 2nd.  Therefore it’ll drastically improve your launch consistency and reduce the chances of you losing points in the Pro League.  Also, it’ll give you perfect launch starts which will increase your income…. And we like giving info and methods which are easy to replicate!

After doing a second gear launch start, you want to use the nitrous at the same time of your 3rd gear change.

Technically speaking though, if you’re using one less gear then you’re reducing your gear progression, and so you won’t be reaching the most ultimate times.  Your lap finishes would be faster driving the normal way, but it needs a lot of practise to get the first gear change correct because you need to time the accelerator, and gear up at the correct rpm.  But that doesn’t matter because we’re going to show you that you can at least be pretty darn good with one gear less!

Engine Logic

To understand the numbers fully, you’ll have to know that the game is modelled on a real engine.  So you can goto these websites to understand how everything ties together with real engines. (HowStuffWorks, Wiki Page on Gear Ratios).  Otherwise, here’s a quick overview of what we understand:

  • The gear ratios represent the amount of engine spinning we’re going to turn into wheel spins and it’s a reciprocal relationship.  So if it’s a high number, then we’re going to get less wheel spins, but more Torque or Force.  If it’s a low number, then we’re going to get a higher number of wheel spins and less torque  (… less than 1 would be overdrive).
  • At the same time, Torque is related to acceleration… if you have greater Force, then the car will accelerate faster.  This is where you start seeing some relationships form.  You initially want to start the car with more force to accelerate hard, and eventually you want to overdrive to reach your top speed.
  • Generally the engines have some rpm ranges which are better for transitioning (like sweet spots), so you want to try and set the ratios so that the rpm between gears isn’t too drastic (and is near the sweet spot).
  • From a more practical standpoint, you’re only going to care about the gears relative to one another.  So if you’re adjusting numbers between two gears and you bring the numbers closer together, then when you gear up, the resulting rpm would be higher and you would need to gear change earlier.  If you increase the difference between the numbers, then when you gear up, the resulting rpm would be lower and your next gear change will be later.  Try this yourself and make sure you keep an eye on the rpm once you’ve changed gear.  Notice, that this rpm level all depends on the speed you’re going… therefore you should always start with the lower gears and perfect them before moving on to the higher gears.
  • The final drive is also a ratio but has a multiplier effect on the engine spins.  It’s actually the most important figure and can affect everything else.  This is the hardest to understand and the numbers here are the other way round.  So if you have a high number, then your engine spins will be amplified more … we’re presuming that the torque would be less too and so you get slower acceleration.  If you have a low number then you’ll have lower number of spins and a high torque which would enable higher acceleration.  For this final drive you want a balance between amplification and torque, so you’ll generally be in the middle.  To get an ultimate drive you’ll be tweaking this figure in the thousandths.


The rough flow you should follow is:

  1. Set your Final Drive, First Gear and Second Gear figures for a  2nd gear launch start.  Take note of the rpm and the amount of wheelspin.
  2. Identify if you’re going for a quarter, half or mile long race.
    1. The longer your race, the more important your top speed is, and therefore your highest gear ratio needs to be as low as possible.
    2. If you’re in a short race, then your top speed may not even be reached and therefore the rpm for perfect transitioning is more important.  In otherwords there may be very little time between the gear changes.
    3. If in doubt, then just aim to tune so that the rpm is quite high between each gear change.
  3. 3rd gear is when you’re using the nitrous, so you need to understand the forces, and basically watch/listen for wheelspin.
  4. Finish adjusting the remaining gears (4 – 6 or 7).
  5. If you’re losing the long distance races, then read point 2), and reduce all numbers from 4th gear downwards.
  6. If you were aiming to get a really fast time, then tweak your final drive first… i.e. the assumption is that the gears are in what you think are roughly the best setup for the current final drive amount.  Then adjust your gears if you feel you can squeeze an inkling more ability out of them.

Tuning method for a second gear launch

  1. Load up the car stock settings and set the Final Drive to 1.000
  2. Then do a second gear launch in a test drive. Take note of where the red needle is on the rpm counter.  This is where the needle will jump to when you gear up if your final drive wasn’t 1.000
  3. Now change your 2nd gear and test drive until you get the red pointer is roughly where the red bar on the speedometer starts.  (Engine details above help explain this… if the rpm is too low, then bring the numbers closer together.  If the rpm is too high, then increase the difference between the two).
  4. Now begin raising the final drive until you start getting some wheel spin.  You can see the wheel spin from the lit up icon on your dashboard when you drive.
  5. Now continue to raise the final drive, but keep an eye on the speedometer needle.  Your aim is to get as high a FD as possible, without the red needle falling.  If it’s stationary and then it increases in rpm, then that’s good.  If the rpms fall before it increases, that’s bad and you want to reduce your FD.  Once you’ve done this then you’ll have the optimum launch start setup (for your current gear 1 and 2 ratios).  So the FD is not too low so that it wastes time when you start, and not too high to cause you to lose traction with wheel spins.
  6. Before I go any further, I should make it clear that it’s possible to have a different FD with  different gear 1 and 2 ratios.  But your FD has an amplifying effect on all your gears… so herein lies the problem – what FD is perfect for your car overall?  Unfortunately, you don’t know, and it’s largely trial and error… if you’re a pro tuner, then you want this low so that you can adjust your gears in the thousandths.  If in any doubt here, then just start with the stock gear 1 setting, and tune from there.
  7. Third gear is slightly different as you’re using your Nitrous.  This third gear and Nitrous act as a pair.  Increasing the duration time is the same as reducing the third gear ratio because both reduce the force applied.
  8. Set the NOS to around about 2.5 to start off with.  Increase your 3rd gear ratio until you see the wheel spinning happening when you gear to 3rd and activate the NOS.  Take note of what rpm is seen when you change to third.  If the setup is such that the resultant rpm is really low, then you’ll need to increase your 3rd gear ratio so the resultant rpm is acceptable whilst increasing your NOS duration time.  The reason for not letting the rpm fall too low is because you want the engine to be in its active rpm region as explained earlier.  Getting this right takes practise and guess work, but its similar to how you adjusted the [FD, 1st and 2nd gear] set.
  9. The next thing to do is alter the remaining gear ratios.  They should be handled in a group where the higher gears are affected by the lower ones: so as you change a 4th gear, you’ll alter the 5th and 6th gears at the same time.  If you change a 5th gear, you’ll change a 6th gear too.
  10. If this is your initial tune, then do a few trial runs and look at where the rpm needle falls for each gear change.  Alter each of the ratios such that the rpm needle is pretty high… almost at the red section.
  11. Now you’ll find that you may be gearing really fast, or the engine and rpm is maxed out so the needle bounces at the top or is at the maximum limit for a period during the race.  This is no good for us as it wastes valuable race power and speed.  So start reducing your 4th, 5th and 6th gears together in small increments such that you reach the max rpm just before the finish of the race.  You’re effectively spreading your transitions across the gears any making full use of the engine.

Right… that’s a huge brain dump and enough information which should help guide you on how to tune your car for a second gear start.  You can apply the same logic to first gear start too (… have a  think about it).  In my next post I’ll gather some acceptable tunes which should help you get a low race time, and put some tips together about how to take your tuning to the next level.

Drag Racing QR Code
(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your Android phone to goto the Android Market)

[If you're keen to have an edge against your friends with a decent tuned car, then 'like' us on Facebook where you'll be able to see all the upgrade settings and car tunes which we've shared in our comments so far.]

Developers: Creative Mobile