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Shift it up a gear in CSR Racing on iOS: Hints, tips, and tricks

No need 2 get 2 furious
True Multiformat, thumbnail 1
CSR Racing from Boss Alien and NaturalMotion sped onto the App Store last week, having had a quick run out during Apple's WWDC keynote speech earlier last month (and, bizarrely, a testing period in the United Arab Emirates).

If you're being permanently left watching your opponents tail lights, however, let Pocket Gamer act as the Paul Walker to your Vin Diesel and provide you with some hints, tips, and tricks for being the champion at CSR Racing.

Oh, and, no, you don't need to actually spend any cash to win or buy new cars, although you will speed up the game to some degree if you do decide to splash out.

Pre-Race: The Event types

CSR Racing offers a number of different modes to race in. Some of these have restrictions - either limiting the quality of car you can use or limiting specific values like weight and BHP - and others are effectively cheap ways for you to grind out more cash.

Regulation Races

I like to call these the 'grinders', as they offer up a flat-rate reward and don't increase in difficulty, making them ideal for grinding out cash if your car's not up to scratch for the ladder events.

They're also important in that if you've caved in and bought a higher-tier car for the events you've unlocked, they're the only place you'll be able to race them. An easy way of accruing cash for a car that qualifies for the tier, then.

Ladder Races

These are the bread-and-butter events, designed to slowly increase in difficulty over the course of 24 races. Don't worry about losing: you can always repeat the race if you fail.

The Ladder Races are harder than the Regulation Events in the main, but they do present you with the best way of gathering cash and upgrades for the boss battles.

Daily Battle

Don't worry about car selection here: Daily Battles 'loan' you the vehicle for the task, so failure is entirely your fault.

The Daily Battles tend to be quite easy, however, and offer up fewer rewards than other events at first. Should you play them on consecutive days, mind, the rewards soon stack up quite considerably.

Just remember you only get three shots before they close for another 24 hours, so make sure they count.

Restriction Races

Restriction Races offer up a good amount of cash, but do so at a price. That price being that you're likely to find yourself with a car that can't enter them, especially if you've saved up your coins for a mid-range Tier car.

They're also the only events in which you'll want to go back to the upgrades menu and remove parts from your car.

To do this, use the arrows on the right-hand screen (where you would normally buy the part) and choose to fit your stock / lower-level components instead.


Every few (real-world) hours, some smart-mouthed punk will challenge you to a one-off race for a sizeable amount of cash.

These are repeatable until you finish them, so you don't have to worry too much about failure. They can also prove a welcome distraction from grinding ladder races.

Crew Battle

Nasty, nasty races against the very best in the class, crew challenges consist of eight increasingly difficult events against characters with very silly names ('Max Gearshift', indeed. Pfff.).

The only tips we have for these is to execute a perfect race, and ensure your car is upgraded enough so that they display as 'challenging' rather than 'hard' on the map screen.

Oh, and do not choose to race for the boss's car unless you are willing to spend real money on the super nitros. You will not win, so forget about it.

Pre-Race: Know your enemy

The map screen displays how hard your next opponent will be, and - by extension - whether you'll need to splash some cash on upgrades first.

Opponents ranked 'Easy' and 'Challenging' mean it's possible to defeat them with the current setup; those marked 'Hard' can be beaten with a perfect race (and a bit of luck - see below), but you're unlikely to win.

Anyone marked 'Extreme' will prove to be pretty much impossible to beat in a race, so don't bother trying.

Your opponent's own performance varies from race to race, so if you get narrowly beaten despite pulling off perfect shifts the whole way, it may simply be a case of being unlucky.

If your opponent beats you without going into the "super slo-mo zoom", however, you're due an upgrade.

Pre-Race: Cars and Upgrades

Don't be fooled by the car dealership at the start of the game: you can buy the later cars with coins, just not until you unlock the respective tier.

It won't help you if you do spend £100 on a fully upgraded Viper, anyway - each tier of car can only compete in its designated events (with the exception of Regulation Races), so those of you hoping to 'cheat' your way through are out of luck.

First port of call should be nitros, as these give you a much-needed boost. Then, work on varying upgrades between grip, power, weight, and gear changes.

Don't go for pure power or you'll quickly find your car skidding for a good few seconds between gears (and that's never good).

Every upgrade - no matter which you pick - will lower the estimated difficulty of the races, so while the raw numbers of a part may not look too significant, each step up will improve your chances.

The Race: Starting off on the right wheel

Unlike most freemium offerings, CSR Racing relies just as much on skill as it does on upgrades, with your ability to shift and boost at the right time during a race determining the victor, even if your car isn't quite as strong on paper.

The key differentiator between winning and losing is the quality of the start. Anything less than perfect will leave an opening for a weaker car to beat you to the line.

Resist the urge to hold the gas pedal down before the countdown starts. Instead, try and feather it so that the needle is just above the car's 'sweet spot' (the shift indicator should turn green when it's in this area). When the countdown hits '1', let go and let it safely drop into a perfect start.

Each car has its own rev range where a perfect start will occur, so make sure you don't get caught out when you're driving in the daily challenges or in a newly purchased ride.

Give me a boost

Another element to be aware of is the time at which to deploy the nitros. You'll want to leave them late into the race when your acceleration starts to suffer, but not so long that you run out of track before you get a chance to engage them.

For ¼ mile races, this means you'll likely want to slam the nitro just after you hit 3rd gear. ½ mile races, meanwhile, require a slightly longer wait before applying the boost, dependent on the car you're driving.

One thing you should never do is activate the nitros while wheel spinning (the red warning indicator flashes). Needless to say, you won't exactly go very far.
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Reviewer photo
Will Wilson 5 July 2012
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