Learn how to enter and perform a powerslide with our Trackmania beginner drift tutorial.
Photo credit: Nadeo / trackmania.com
Time to let your tyres scream! The key to perfect lap times in Trackmania is drifting. However, in order to master every corner, there are multiple ways to perform a slide. Our guide teaches you when and how to drift in Trackmania.
Why drifting makes you faster
Whenever you cannot take a corner at full speed, the fastest way to get through it is to drift. A good slide is not only faster because you carry more speed through the turn, but you’re also able to be more precise with your car. However, be aware that a drift in Trackmania cannot be performed on grass, dirt, or ice.
The most important thing you need to remind yourself of before drifting or even starting is the racing line. The fastest way through a corner is always to approach it as far on the outside as possible. Then you turn in and get as close to the inner apex as possible without touching it and back to the outside on the exit. However, if there is another corner following the one you’re currently passing, don’t exit too far on the outside. You always need to be able to reposition your car properly for the next corner entry.
For more information on the racing line, check out our dedicated OverTake tutorial:
The classic drift aka the powerslide
But now, let’s get to the real deal. Luckily, the methods for drifting did not change over the years and different Trackmania games. A drift in Trackmania can only be performed if you go faster than 180 kph. Otherwise, you end up doing a so called noslide, which is much slower and almost never the preferred option.
For a classic drift, also called powerslide, approach the corner on the outside. As you come closer, start steering into the direction of the turn. You need to steer for roundabout half a second before you can start to drift. To begin sliding, tap the brake while still steering. As soon as each of your tyres paints a separate tyre track on the ground, you’re in the drift.
The perfect drift is always about finding the maximum speed to go through a corner without leaving the racing line, crashing into the apex wall, or going into the barriers on the exit. It takes a lot of practice to get a feeling for this, so do not get demotivated if your first tries fail. Once you’ve slowed down to the optimum pace after the corner entry, you release the brake and stay on the throttle. The drift ends as soon as you stop steering.
Drifting through narrow corners
Some corners are too narrow to drift through them using full throttle. In these cases, it is useful to stay off the gas pedal in order to remain on the racing line. Remember, as long as you see four separate tyre tracks on the ground, you’re still in the drift.
Another special, yet no rare kind of corners are the ones which get narrower towards the end. In these cases, you want to perform a repetitive slide by tapping the brake again and again. In doing so, you basically string together multiple slides which helps you not to get pushed too far to the outside of the turn.
Other ways to enter a drift
You don’t always need your brake to initiate a drift, though. When going faster than 400 kph, you can automatically start a slide by steering into a certain direction for a short time. This speed drift is favourable for absolute high-speed corners and because it is faster than using no drift at all. If you want to cancel a speed drift, simply make a quick counter steer into the opposite direction you’re sliding. You now go straight again with maximum grip.
Trackmania circuits are known for their bumps and jumps. You can use those to start a drift as well. Before taking off with your car, slightly steer into the direction you want to drift to after the landing. If you’ve hit the right angle, your car will automatically enter a drift once you’re back on the ground. This technique needs some practice as well in order get a feeling for hitting the right angle.
Drifting in Trackmania is a key technique to score competitive lap times. While it is fairly easy to learn the basics, the perfect drifts are hard to master. Be patient during your practice and remember to learn the racing line for the tracks you race on, as it dictates where and how you want to slide.
Now that you know the basics of drifting, it is up to you to develop your skills in Trackmania.
What is your best advice for drifting in Trackmania? Tweet us your opinion @overtake_gg or leave a comment down below!