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Forza Motorsport 3 Guide
Think you're a master of racing games because you've burned out
on your need for speed? Now that you've done racing ridges, it's
time to step up to a
racing challenge. Powersliding and
smashing into walls may look good for the camera, but when it
comes to legit road racing it's a recipe for looking stupid. And slow.
Success in Forza Motorsport 3 requires an intimate knowledge of
driving physics and racing theory. A healthy dose of knowledge on
tuning and upgrading your car helps, too, so we've compiled all of
our racing wisdom for your examination. Study the tips inside. Put
them to practice. We promise, your lap times will drop like Colin
Moriarty's oversized, beltless jeans.
In this Forza Motorsport 3 strategy guide, you'll find:
An in-depth breakdown of the finer details
of proper racing technique.
A layman's explanation of the
various tuning options with tips for perfecting your car's
Strategies and tips for completing the
game's daunting career mode.
A complete list of the game's myriad cars, sortable for easy viewing.
Q & A
Your chance to ask us questions (and hopefully get an informed answer).
Guide by:
Mark Ryan Sallee
¨ 2009, IGN Entertainment, Inc. May not be sold, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, in whole or part, without IGNÓs express permission. You
may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. All rights reserved.
¨ 2009 IGN Entertainment, Inc.
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Forza Motorsport 3 Driving 101
Braking &
Weight Transfer Drivetrain Types General Tips
Real racing is a very complicated affair, but it boils down to three basic essentials: braking, accelerating, and cornering.
Consider this a lesson in Driving 101.
If you think braking is as simple as mashing the brake
button (or brake pedal), it's time to snap to reality.
Braking is as important, if not more so, than accelerating
when it comes to realistic, technical racing. Poor braking
can dramatically affect your lap times. Proper braking
technique, conversely, will set you up to swing through
corners drama-free and ready to peg the accelerator at
the soonest moment possible.
As a general rule, combining braking inputs with
steering inputs will result in oversteer, often to
catastrophic effect. In simpler terms,
don't brake while
. Braking is much more effective when done in a
straight line, scrubbing off speed much faster than
braking while turning. If you try braking during a hard
corner, you'll effectively divide the potential grip of your
tires between turning and braking. This division of grip
results in both poor turning and poor braking. If you're
braking during a turn, you've waited far too long before
using the brakes.
Since you undoubtedly need to drive through turns
slower than the straights that precede turns, treat
braking as a necessary
for turning. As you
approach a turnÏwell before entering the actual
cornerÏapply the brakes while making as few steering
wheel corrections as necessary. If you time your braking
properly, you'll have slowed down enough that you can
ease through the corner without further need of the
¨ 2009 IGN Entertainment, Inc.
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Much like braking, acceleration doesn't often mix well
with cornering. The effect of acceleration on cornering is
highly dependent on your vehicle's drivetrain (see our
Drivetrain Types
section for more details), but the
general rule is the same. By accelerating during a turn,
you effectively divide the potential grip of your tires
between two functions, acceleration and turning. In
some cars, this results in understeer, during which the
turning potential of the car is compromised, and instead
of turning as sharply as possible the car will push toward
the outside of the turn. In other vehicles, oversteer is
induced, during which the tail end of the car swings out,
making the vehicle more difficult to control in the turn
and crippling acceleration potential.
That said, there are very few times when you can use
the accelerator without touching the steering. The
lesson here is
that you should never steer and accelerate at the same time, but rather that you need to understand
the effects of combining the two actions. The real lesson here is to practice
. If you're deep into a turn with
the steering cranked to the extreme, pegging the accelerator is only going to ruin your turn. It may not be obvious in
theory, but think of the opposite action: If you're running pedal-to-the-metal down a long straight, cranking the steering
wheel left or right is going to severely wreck your acceleration (and probably more).
How you moderate your acceleration should be directly related to how hard you're steering. Through a slight right bend,
you can ease the steering a little right without stepping off the accelerator. If, however, you've just slowed down for a
sharp hairpin, you'll want to only feather the accelerator as you crank the steering to maintain the modest speed you've
set up for the corner.
After you've navigated a turn and pointed the car straight, center the steering and nail the gas to get out of the corner. In
a perfect racing line, it's okay if your acceleration out of the turn results in minor understeer that pulls the car away from
the apex and to the outside of the corner. Use the full width of the course to keep the straightest line possible when
accelerating out of a bend.
Braking &
Weight Transfer Drivetrain Types General Tips
Now that you've got a basic understanding of the effects of braking and acceleration on your ability to turn the car, it's
time to understand a key principle to cornering:
Slow in, fast out
¨ 2009 IGN Entertainment, Inc.
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The gist of the principle applies to every corner you take. Exiting the corner at the highest possible speed is the ultimate
goal of every turn. If you're fast out of a corner, you'll carry that speed into the following straight. But in order to exit a
corner at the highest possible speed, it's necessary to enter the corner slowly.
As we explained earlier, before entering a corner, you
want to apply the brakes as you approach your turn.
From inside the corner, feather the throttle lightly, just
enough to maintain a constant, low speed. Turn into the
corner and aim the car for the corner's apex (more on
this later). Once you've made it through the meat of the
turn, center the steering and nail the accelerator to get
out of the corner as fast as possible.
When approaching a corner, you typically want to brake
along the
edge of the turn. Doing so will allow
you to cut a gradual turn toward the apex. If you come
into a corner from the inside of the track, you'll
effectively reduce the radius of the turn, resulting in a
loss of speed through the corner (and out of it). A more
gradual turn radius, started from the outside of the track,
will allow you to maintain a higher speed while adhering
to your racing line.
The apex of the turn is the point in your racing line that
comes closest to the inside of the turn. Typically this is
where you transition from turning to straightening the car
for acceleration out of the corner. Visualizing the proper
apex will give you an idea of what your racing line
should look like through a particular corner.
After hitting the apex on the inside of the turn, let your acceleration pull the car back toward the outside of the turn. Use
the full width of the course to cut as straight a path as possible as you exit the corner. Staying straight as possible will let
you accelerate more effectively, adhering to the original mantra:
Slow in, fast out
¨ 2009 IGN Entertainment, Inc.
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Braking &
Weight Transfer Drivetrain Types General Tips
Weight Transfer
Now that you've got a basic understanding of proper
driving technique, it's time to look a bit more in-depth
into the physical mechanics at play in high-speed racing.
Weight distribution and weight transfer concern the
effects of weight balance on the handling dynamics of
your vehicle. These dynamics are always changing as
you race, as everything you do affects the distribution of
weight in your vehicle.
When the vehicle is at a complete stop, its weight
balance is at its most neutral. A perfectly balanced car
will have a 50/50 weight balance, with half of the car's
weight pushing down on the front wheels and the other
half of the weight holding down the rear wheels. While
only a few cars actually achieve a perfect weight
balance, this general idea applies.
Naturally, the weight balance of a non-moving car is
instantly changed the moment the vehicle kicks into
motion. Upon acceleration, the weight balance is shifted
. As the car lunges forward, the front end of
the vehicle lifts while the tail end of the vehicle dips
down. This shift in the weight balance dramatically
affects the grip of the tires. Under hard acceleration, the
front tires lose grip while the rear tires gain traction from
the added weight. As acceleration slows, weight balance
gradually returns to a more neutral state.
The opposite effect can be seen under hard braking. As
a car brakes hard, the nose of the car dips down while
the tail tends to lift. In this situation, the weight balance of the car is shifted forward. The front tires of the car gain
traction from the additional weight while the rear of the car loses some grip potential as the pressure of the weight shifts
away from those wheels. This shift in weight balance is why a car's front wheels handle most of the braking.
As weight balance transfers fore and aft of the car, dynamics such as cornering ability and grip for acceleration are
affected. The effects of weight transfer vary depending on the drivetrain type of the vehicle. For more details on the
specifics, keep reading.
¨ 2009 IGN Entertainment, Inc.
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