Guide To Success (Spoiler Warning) The streets of LA, as in all games in the Midnight Club series, are a brutal, unforgiving, traffic infested maze of short cuts, side streets, highways and downtown main roads. However, there are a few tips and tricks to make your time in LA a little bit easier, and a few which will save you alot of time. Unfortunately, the nature of the game means no matter how many tips and tricks you know, if you're a bad MC player, you will still struggle until you have fully adjusted to the main game itself, so with that in mind don't expect instant success from anything here and let's get started. Controller Type MCLA supports completely customisable controls for both wheel and pad, which is great, so the first thing you want to do is set your own custom set up right from the start by going to controller options in the pause menu and finding custom in the list. Neglect buttons such as changing music track, convertible top, hydraulics to make sure you have weight transfer, handbrake, look back and gear changing for both control methods. The wheel and pad present there own advantages and disadvantages, with MCLA being an arcade game more then sim, the wheel might not suit everyone however the wheel does work great regarding steering inputs etc. Wheels Advantages: - More precise inputs making dodging traffic less likely to turn into a tank slapper slide. - Much easier to corner smoothly, again avoiding unneccessary sliding. - Also easier to control a slide properly as sliding into a turn and gripping out is a useful technique. - The 'clutch trick', presenting a massively unfair advantage against pad users, strongly advise against using this online but in an FWD or AWD car, pumping the clutch while the gear is in top gear can take you from 0-200 in an Evo, faster then any Ninja or exotic. Unfair, but it works. Oh and in a RWD car with stock handling you can do some damn nice drifting, which is good fun. Disadvantages: - Slower reactions, going lock to lock is slower then a pad, which can be a problem but not often. - One major disadvantage is there's no way to weight transfer forwards and backwards in the air, the best you do is hold weight transfer down and hope it flattens you out in time. Pads Advantages: - Quick movements, quick reactions. Can also be a disadvantage if you're overly agressive with it. Disadvantages: - See above - Difficult to be precise without practice Driving Techniques - Right at the start of the race, hold the handbrake and throttle to perform a burnout, release the E brake on go for maximum speed launch and hopefully, the holeshot. - Use the same thing combined with turning to turn on a dime after a crash or for whatever reason you need to stop and turn. - Use the handbrake to perform a J turn if you end up facing backwards AND still rolling, hold the E brake, turn and release when ready to accelerate forwards and continue. Practice to master. When stationary, use the E brake and burnout technique to do a 180 whilst 'burning' out and launch in that way, it gets you up to speed quicker. - Slide the car INTO the turns to help slow it down, but don't slide all the way through or your exit speed will be damaged. - Brake and handbrake at the same time when attempting to do a quick 180. It'll turn you round much faster. - Try not to slide to much at high speed, particularly on the busy highways, to much sliding can result in a big accident if you're between traffic. - Nitrous baby! Look ahead, use with caution, and try to save 1 or 2 shots incase you crash to help get back up to speed. Don't rely on it. - Avoid driving on the incorrect side of the road unless you can see clearly ahead, don't be afraid to crossover for the best racing line (even on blind turns), but avoid it for long open sections where traffic can surprise you. You have to risk it on blind turns at times in order to stay with the competition. - Look on your mini map, watch for shortcuts, the next turn, etc. Be in the correct gear before the turn, often over-reving in that gear as you brake to help you slow down and start your initial slide. - Drive with the main map if you're confident enough, this blocks most of your view though so for easier route planning for deliviries etc. Pause the game and hit select (or just hit select) to enter the main GPS, however this can't be done online becauser the game won't pause! - SST, or SlipStream Turbo, stay in the slipstream of an opponent (doesn't work in cruise) and a yellow gauge will increase around your tachometer, turning green when full (the car ahead will have white lines to signify you are in the slipstream and charging your SST. When the gauge goes green it's go time, use like nitrous (even the same button but it will use SST instead of nitrous when the gauge is full). You don't need to remain in the slipstream to activate, you get a second or so after pulling out before the gauge turns yellow and decreases again. Obviously don't boost when it's dangerous, ie approaching turns, heavy traffic etc. Note: can only be used when fully charged. - Special Abilities are useful, one in particularly very useful, and usage of them will be detailed below. Special Abilities These power ups can often save your life, or more specifically, one can time and time again. You get to choose from Roar, EMP, Zone and Agro. Roar - Basically sends traffic ahead everywhere out the way, and also knocks opponents off course to. EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) - Slows down nearby enemies put simply. Zone - Slows down time making it easier to dodge traffic in tight gaps. Agro - Makes you invincible for a short period and traffic becomes cannon fodder as do opponents. So which is the one to have? Roar hands down is the most useful of the 4 simply because used properly you can cancel out the effects of all of the above and get all the perks in 1. 1 - Use on opponents before sharp turns, it'll will knock them wide so they miss the turn, crippling their chances of victory. Used best by being as close as you can on the inside to knock em wide with Roar. 2 - (Cancelling out the need for EMP) - Why EMP someone to slow them down? Roar also slows enemies down by causing a swerve and works at much longer range. 3 - (Cancelling out the need for Zone) - Why Zone through a small gap when you can make the gap bigger with Roar? Use to split a hole in traffic. 4 - (Cancelling out the need for Agro) - Why Agro through traffic when you can make a gap in it with Roar? Use to split a hole in traffic. General Tips. The Obvious, or seemingly. - Traffic is going to be a major problem for you in LA, particularly on the overcrowded highways, use paths, grass or anywhere you can find that traffic won't be when trouble is brewing up ahead. As for the highways, between the car pool lane (the lane furthest left) and the normal flowing traffic there is a wide (ish, enough to fit a car through) gap which you should utilise and you can follow this gap through most of the freeways to avoid traffic. Just be careful on the steering. - Speaking of highways those pesky on/off ramps are usually really tight turns with traffic mid way round, save yourself time and effort by riding your car along the wall before the bend really starts, this is the fastest way around and traffic is not a problem. However, this method is one I do not encourage to use online because if you ask me, it's a bit cheap to use walls as rails but fact is it works. - Using the GPS and abusing it in single player is a great way to spot shortcuts, seeing as you can stop the action any time and look for the grey areas on the map, grey areas are accessable, yellow is proper roads. However, not all shortcuts are beneficial, some are to risky, some slow you down, learn which ones work. Using the mini map is often enough to spot most cuts, but not all of them are marked. Shortcuts are important, lesser so to begin with, and more so as difficulty increases. - Lose a pink slips race? Fear not, go back and win your ride back BEFORE you win theres. You could also back up your save before hand if you're really afraid of losing your ride. - Get used to restarting races, it's unlikely that you will win every race first go. My current average restarts is 0.2 per race, which seeing as I used RX7s and Evos almost all the way through right up until the very end of the game, is pretty low. - Wager spots cycle around the same few tracks, the wager spot near the beach has reasonably short, not to difficult tracks. Once you are confident, or even when you're not, as difficult is selectable, you can earn plenty of money. The later in the game you are, the bigger the wagers get, don't spend to much time earning money though, for reasons explained later. The Less Obvious - Fed up of driving everywhere? Race editor allows you to jump ANYWHERE you want. Pause the game and enter Race Editor, hit create race and then for one all traffic disapears, which is nice if you want to drive there. More importantly though you can jump around, hit select and you will get a top down view with a cross hair. Go to your desired location, hit select again and you're done. Exit Race Editor and all the maps blips will load again, the only problem is you can't see blips when in Editor, so use the GPS before entering race editor to get the general location and then teleport with Editor to turn a long haul into a 30 second drive. Note: Only use this method later in the game, use the cruising time to practice your driving and learn the city and physics better early on. - Want to unlock all the visual bits and bobs for your car? You will notice as you gain ranks in say the tuner class, more tuner bumpers etc. unlock. This takes far to long and can be frustrating right? Fear not! Pick a car in your desired class, pause the game and enter arcade mode. Look in 'Landmark Race' for the track called 'Downtown to Sunset Music'. Put the number of opponents on 5, this stops the cops interference, difficulty on easiest, traffic off, weather whatever you like, time of day, whatever you like. Now this track can be done in under 40 seconds in a Range Rover Supercharged with the correct route, this route involves going straight to begin with (hit view race to see what I'm described by pressing triangle when setting the options, or use the GPS) on Olmypic Blvd. between the 5th and 6th right turn (zoom in as far as you can on the GPS) there is a grey area, a park to be precise. Cut through there to hear up some stairs (north west exit of the park)and keep heading west on Wilshire Blvd.. 2 blocks down from there there is another long grey area, again with plenty of grass. Cut through here to be heading north on a road (San Vicente Blvd.) which leads straight to the finish. Use all of your nitrous right at the start to make your time as short as possible, if you crash don't worry you'll probably still win. Also make sure power-ups are off in the options before starting the race, special abilities will still be available. Hit race again each time you finish and just keep racing until you have the widebodies in that class. 150 Rep per race is low, but when it's this easy and short, this is much much quicker, 10 minutes including loading times, will get you a rank. Note: This method also helps increase your special abilities level so use the other abilities like zone and race with cars that they are activated on. You don't need to actually use the abilities to increase it's level, just finish the race with a vehicle which has it. Nice way to get the trophies. Note 2: Don't bother doing this early on, there's no need to unlock things you shouldn't buy, 'what?' I hear you say, see below. - 'Money money money, must be funny, in a rich mans world.' You want to be as rich as you can, but naturally there's a nice little way to make you as good as infinitely rich. During career, avoid buying any vehicle except the Ninja ZX14. Don't waste money on visuals, do a bit of paint, put some new rims and dimensions and you have a respectful looking car. Feel free to add performance upgrades, just don't shell out for entirely new cars. Why? I hear you scream as you desperately want to buy that Lamborghini, Saleen S7, Ford GT, as soon as you can. You get all the cars you need through the course of career through DUB tournaments, the Challenger Concept, S600, Murcielago, 280Z, Evo, Camaro RS SS, Eclipse and more are all won from various events, some in DUB Edition which gives some free performance stuff but a horrible body kit usually. Don't both selling these cars, because you shouldn't be spending money. Buying the Ninja is the only purchase neccessary, because it's the fastest thing by far, but should only be driven on a pad. It's also cheap. - All these cars, and all that money racking up is to make a deal with Karol at the end of the game, or near it, give him $1,000,000 when he asks you to and from then on, EVERYTHING, yes everything, is free to you, cars and upgrades. Sell your expensive DUB Edition cars to make the difference if you're short a few bucks, or alot. The Murcielago alone is alot of cash. - So you've made the deal with Karol, and keep getting the same cycle of races with no extra % completion being added to your career stats and you're still not at 100. Confused? So was I. Check your trophies, see how there's ones for the 'Tuner Champ' etc. for each class and the City Champ. Now get ready for some frustration, I, nor anyone I've asked or places I searched had a definate answer of how to trigger these. However I have my hunches. Some of them may challenge you right away because you raced one type of vehicle alot, which is great, the more who challenge, the better. To trigger the rest I suggest using the rank trick to maximise your rank in that class, then enter normal career races and just keep winning and hoping. Enter normal races rather then constantly racing wagers so you get cruising time between races, and time for you to be challenged. _________________________________________ What Not To Do? (By Turbo Lag) A few general things which you shouldn't do during a race: - Never, ever use nitrous unless you're ready. If you're coming to a definite win, there's a lot of traffic and it's a tough spot, just hold off and take the win. Sometimes using nitrous here, combined with knowing you'll win can lead to misery. - Like nitrous, don't use your special just for the sake of it. If you're using Roar, watch out for this as you might end up making traffic ram into you. - Going quicker in a race might not be the best way. If you're in heavy traffic, it's rather best you slow down rather than risk the inevitable chance of crashing. Traffic can appear out of nowhere, watch out for it. - Don't smash through fences. Funnily enough, sometimes running over fences at a certain angle could flip you're car or even have a type of 'aqua plaining' effect. - Don't take shortcuts which you're not too familiar with. Some shortcuts have walls and bits sticking out which could easily wipe you out. - Avoid jumps and ramps at all costs unless you're 100% sure you'll make it straight. Sometimes you'll hit these ramps slightly off angle and this could upset your entire race. If you do hit one of these ramps, immediately use the weight transfer. Sometimes even just holding down that button straightens your car in mid air automatically. Some more general not to do's: - Don't bother with visual parts when using the career mode unless you want them for another reason. They cost a lot and it's pointless when you're not showing anyone else. Waste of money, move on to the performance parts instead. - Don't bother with extra races in career mode, do the main one's instead. Your main goal should be achieving the $1million dollar deal. You'll easily make this amount of money with the main races. - Don't need to bother doing races on "hard" difficulty. Just do it in easy, you'll still get a lot of cash and it'll save alot of time. Money is something you don't need until the deal is done. Random bits: Want money and rep? Do highway races. Use your Roar ability to knock the opposition out of content just before you flash your lights, it'll take them a long time to recover and the race needs no skill at all to win. _________________________________________ Thats all I can think of right now, will add more as it's suggested or if I think or find anything worth adding, hope this helps but remember, most of these tips apply to offline career mode, some of these things still apply online, but things change as the traffic turns to almost zero or complete zero, and special abilities can no longer be used, etc. Comments and feedback appreciated.