Six beginner tips to be faster in Trackmania
TrackMania

Six beginner tips to be faster in Trackmania

These pro tricks will help you to set the fastest times in Trackmania!

Photo credit: Nadeo / trackmania.com

Jumps, loops, dirt, ice, boosters and halfpipes. Trackmania is no ordinary racing game and usual techniques do not bring you far in Nadeo’s arcade racer. Here are six essential tips to edge out your opponents and friends in the game.

1. Use the airbrake

This is a small but very effective trick a lot of beginners do not know. Whether you do a big leap or a small jump, you always want your car to land on all four tires simultaneously. Wiggling around after landing will cost you tenths and seconds. Landing smoothly allows you to get the best acceleration possible.

In order to stabilize your car mid-flight, it just needs one small button tap! Immediately after take-off, tap the brake for a split second. Your car will stop rotating mid-air and your landing will be super smooth.

2. Avoid airtime

Speaking of jumps, here is our next advice: avoid airtime! When you are in the air, there is no way you can accelerate. This is why you want to spend as little time as possible without ground contact.

Avoid smaller jumps
Avoid smaller jumps in sections like these. | Source: Nadeo / trackmania.com

For example, when reaching a downhill section, try to go for a sharp turn shortly before the descent to avoid a flight. This might cost you some time at the jump itself. But since you are able to accelerate much more because you spent more time on the ground, your overall lap time will significantly improve.

3. Hit walls to be faster

There is no car damage in Trackmania, so use this fact to your benefit. When you arrive at a sharp corner or a U-turn, it would usually require you to brake long before you reach the apex. Since there is no damage in Trackmania, you can slide into the corner with more speed and use the outside walls as a fast means to slow down your car.

However, make sure you hit the wall with the side of your car. This not only stops you immediately, but also puts you in the perfect position to accelerate straight away. Hitting the wall with the front or rear destroys your time since you have to relocate the car first before going on with your lap.

4. Drifting is key

Drifting in Trackmania is easy to learn but hard to master. However, even basic skills in drifting already make you way more competitive. You should drift in each turn that is too sharp to drive at full speed.

To perform a drift in Trackmania, your car needs to go at least 180 kph. When approaching a corner, fully steer into the turn and hit the brake as you enter it. Your vehicle drifts as long as you hold the brake button.

Drifting requires a lot of practice, so do not worry if your first attempts end up in the wall. Work on your skills and see your lap times shortening with each and every try!

5. Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle

It might sound weird, but driving in a straight line is not always the fastest way to go in Trackmania. Using the so-called wiggle will make you faster on straights. To use this technique, you need to be at least in fourth gear which activates around 235 kph. Using the wiggle while being slower than this will cost you time. Also, the wiggle only works on dirt, ice, and grass.

But what is the wiggle? On a straight, constantly steer to the left and right at frequent intervals. Do not steer too heavily but try to keep the car in a relatively straight line. On dirt and grass, your steering frequency should be relatively high. However, you have to steer a bit slower on ice since this surface is the most slippery in the game.

It is useful to test your wiggle skills on a test straight. Drive the track in a simple straight line first. Then challenge the ghost while doing the wiggle until you are faster than it. To find the perfect wiggle, you can challenge your time over and over again until you feel ready for the regular stages.

6. Internalize the track

As we mentioned, tracks in Trackmania contain various surprises and difficult passages for you. It might seem trivial, but to reach the best time possible, it is important to know the track you are about to face.

How to drift and slide in Trackmania
Source: Nadeo / trackmania.com

Do not try to set a new record the first time you hit a track. Play it cool and recognize the critical sections. Where do I need to drift, where can I wiggle? Once you have committed everything to memory, try to go for the first hot lap. Activating Bronze, Silver and Gold ghosts can be very helpful as they will show you a good racing line.

Now you are ready to outpace your friends at Trackmania. What are your tips to become faster in the game? Tell us in a tweet @overtake_gg!

Maik Jahn
Born and raised close to the Nürburgring.