Nascar Rivals Beginner Tips

Fans of racing games who want a more realistic take on the professional racing scene may want to consider getting Nascar Rivals. Unlike other casual racing games, Nascar Rivals simulates the 2022 Nascar Cup Series, giving players a means of using both existing teams and custom ones in order to prove their supremacy and perhaps even rewrite history – potentially replacing 2022 champion Joey Logano with their own version of events.


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Aside from the game’s similar team-management system to other games, Rivals is unique with its “rivals” system, allowing player drivers to forge friendships and rivalries with other AI drivers depending on their performance in the race. With these things in mind, just what should Nascar Rivals newcomers do in order to work their way to absolute supremacy?

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10/10 No Shame In The Difficulty

Difficulty Settings in Nascar Rivals

One of the most important things players should consider Nascar Rivals would be its inclusion of Difficulty Presets, something it shares similarities with others racing games. At its core, this difficulty slider adjusts the intensity of the races in general, as well as how tricky it could get for players to both control their vehicles and establish their supremacy in races.

The Difficulty Presets range from Casual, Normal, Hard, and Expert. Each setup affects a set of Gameplay characteristics that involve car identifying, damage, and race length, as well as Driving characteristics that involve driving aids and AI settings. It’s ideal for players to start from Casual and progress their way upward as they get a hang of the game, with Expert giving the most “realistic” experience for console play.

9/10 Ease Up On Gameplay Expectations

Racing with a vehicle in Nascar Rivals

Given its nature as a console racing game for a portable handheld like the Switch, Nascar Rivals isn’t necessarily an extremely “difficult” game compared to other hardcore titles like Project Cars. Players would immediately notice that the brake and gas don’t provide as much input on the get-go, and it’s only when using a Switch Pro Controller that there are more precise inputs for these controls.

Another important reminder for players in this regard is to remember the kind of third-party wheels they’re using when playing Rivals. For instance, the racer-popular Hori MK Wheel isn’t fully compatible with the game, making it slightly more problematic to use than the usual wheel.

8/10 Adjust Specific Settings To Preference

Two racers in heat in Nascar Rivals

There’s a reason specific settings exist Nascar Rivalsand how this fully optimizes one’s racing game experience is the most important use of this menu. Instead of focusing on how to make the races more challenging, Nascar Rivals players may want to start adjusting these options to their liking.

It helps to remember that while there aren’t any custom option setups players can apply to their experience, there is a range of things players can still adjust for their experience. These include options like damage, race length, tire wear, flags, and even DNF or did-not-finish settings.

7/10 Join A Team First In Career Mode

Driver selection in Nascar Rivals

As with others Nascar racing games, Nascar Rivals also allows players to relive some of the most exciting Nascar races out there with its Career Mode. With this mode, players can choose to either create their own team or join a pre-existing team, both of which will eventually branch out and allow players to choose to play as more teams depending on the kinds of things they can achieve in the course of the game.

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For newcomers, it’s best to join a team first in order for players to slowly gauge the overall management experience. Remember, the game needs players to fulfill certain objectives for the teams they’re choosing, and these objectives usually “match” with a particular playstyle that a certain team is encouraging. Using these teams and trying out these respective styles is a great way for players to familiarize themselves with the game’s deeper career mechanics before eventually branching out to form their own team.

Goals may require players to pull off stunts in Nascar Rivals

Similar to others racing games, Nascar Rivals also allows players to handle teams and their respective sponsor goals. Under an Incentive Contract, players can choose to try and fulfill an Easy, Normal, or Challenging Goal, each with slowly-increasing monetary rewards as well as Momentum that boosts the player’s car in matches.

While it’s easy to grab a difficult challenge and fail, players need to remember that this does put the team in a bad light with sponsors. In order to circumvent this, players may want to choose challenges that are easier for them to achieve, even if these are just Easy or Normal Goals. The point here is to establish reliability to meet expectations for sponsors, so there’s no rush for supremacy just yet.

5/10 Grab A Super Speedway Car

An intense race in Nascar Rivals

Unlike other racing games on consoles that focus on street races, Nascar Rivals gives players a quick tour of the many kinds of races players can participate in, similar to the overall franchise. These include Speedway, Short Track, Super Speedway, and Road Courses – all of which also serve as categories of specific car ranges.

This makes team management rather tricky, as players don’t just need to pay attention to winning races, but ensure they have a car that is built specifically to handle these challenges. For the beginning player, it’s ideal for them to start grabbing a Super Speedway Car. While the Daytona 500, the season’s first race, often encourages a usual Speedway or Road Course Car, opting for a Super Speedway Car can secure players relatively safe spots for both the Speedway and Super Speedway Races in the bulk of the season.

4/10 Think Long-Term When Upgrading Cars, Engineers

Upgrade menu of Nascar Rivals

As with other racing games, Nascar Rivals also allows players to upgrade their various vehicles. In the game proper, players can improve on various departments of a certain car, namely Engine, Aerodynamics, Suspension, Speed, and Accuracy – all of which with their respective sub-categories. Likewise, players can also improve upon their various staff and personnel such as Engineers to further improve the kinds of buffs they can provide their cars.

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Ideally, players should have maxed out upgrades for these two (2) departments, right? However, players need to remember to conserve their limited resources before going crazy with their upgrades. For instance, players may first want to consider building a decent car and a decent team that has middling performances for the first season, and slowly build their way to a niche in the seasons to come.

3/10 Check Calendar For A Basis In Planning Upgrades, Decisions

A sample calendar in Nascar Rivals

Contrary to other generic racing games, Nascar Rivals instead follows a career mode that is more strictly constrained in its original material. For instance, Nascar Rivals follows the standard Nascar Cup Series, which is a series of 36 races that start in Daytona and end in Phoenix. Depending on the player’s settings, allowing DNF will have players forfeit the race if they crash hard enough. Likewise, simulations are available for players who don’t want to compete directly but still manage to earn credits in the racing game.

What’s interesting here is considering the number of races first when deciding on the kind of upgrades and purchases for one’s team. For instance, there are six Road Courses, six Super Speedway Races, eight Short Tracks, and sixteen intermediate Speedway Races. In turn, it’s ideal that developing a Speedway Car for these races is the way to go. This is also probably an ideal order of prioritization when choosing specific cars.

2/10 Practice Against Other Players In Multiplayer

A racing match in Nascar Rivals

One of the best ways Nascar Rivals players may be able to train their way to the top is to actually capitalize on the game’s multiplayer option. This allows up to sixteen players to contend with themselves or a number of AI cars, with a host being able to choose most racing details that the game often sets in a race. Theoretically, this option for the racing game can make for more enjoyable party nights for players who have their Nintendo Switches with them.

However, one better way of using this mode is to constantly practice against both real players and AI. With this mode, players may be able to hop straight into a race and practice their strategies against other AI drivers and especially real people. It helps to practice new tactics against other real racers, as this determines how likely the AI ​​is to react a certain way based on how real players react to the player’s approach.

1/10 Establish Rivals, Partners In Matches

Potential rivals in Nascar Rivals

Unlike other racing games that are straightforward in their approaches, Nascar Rivals is rather more specific in its “social” component. As the name implies, the game’s AI is more careful in studying the patterns of players and their behavior when competing with other racers.

For instance, players get into rivalries with other racers if they do them dirty throughout races, making these drivers more eager to ruin the player’s day in matches. Likewise, players who help or work well with other drivers will have them statistically likely to help players in future races. Theoretically, friendly drivers may be able to pin down aggressive rivals to ensure they’re not as intrusive in a player’s progress.

Nascar Rivals is currently available on the Nintendo Switch.

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