Here are some tips applicable to all aspects of the game. However, they are essential to finish the races in the first positions, a necessary condition to accumulate points and reach the next tier of races.
AI of the game
Warning: Need for Speed: Shift's artificial intelligence is not to be underestimated; although experts are naturally inclined to increase this parameter to increase the level of challenge, we recommend greater caution than you have been used to doing during previous versions of the game. Moreover, unlike some other similar titles, you are not given any bonus to be able to complete the game and / or a particular level at a higher difficulty, so if you find yourself in particular difficulty, always remember that you can change this setting to make the game compatible with your skills. The best way to progress is to face the different difficulty levels (in the American version called "Tier") included in the game, as they make progress more gradual.
You may have some trouble figuring out how to set the curves to be able to drift, as the feel of the guide has changed slightly from previous versions of Need for Speed. The (heuristic) method is as follows: maximize speed before entering the corner, braking only immediately before entering, shift down immediately (while braking) and have the car move outwards. The stick (or steering wheel) will need to be moved gradually, not abruptly, as there is always an imminent risk of going off the road. In general (and this can be counter-intuitive), it is not recommended to combine the handbrake with the above procedure, as it often interferes with the timing of other maneuvers. Finally, remember that some machines are free from drifting, so you can try as much as you want, but you will never be able to do it. In that case, give up all hope and turn to a guide more sparing of emotions.
Experience / Money
Generally speaking, as in most similar games, your income will grow exponentially as the game difficulty and experience increase. There is only one way to "trick" this process, which is to create races against yourself; However, the premium is not particularly substantial, so we do not recommend it as a standard method to improve your financial condition, only as a supplementary addition. Also note how most of the higher cash prizes are within the racing category that requires drifting, as it is one of the more complicated driving methods to handle.
Manual or automatic gearbox?
Without a doubt, as any driver can immediately understand, the manual gearbox offers enormous advantages over the automatic one, good only for starting from the traffic light in a city context. The moment in which the difference is most noticeable is when you exit a corner in skidding, with the automatic gearbox there will be a fair amount of time before returning to the longest gear, while with the manual you can engage it immediately after exiting the curve, maximizing your chances of success.
As mentioned earlier in the paragraph concerning the gearbox, the best method to tackle the curves, whatever the setting you prefer (therefore, drift or not) is to downshift just before entering, slowing down significantly, and return to stretch immediately after you have passed the curve. You will have to try to be precise; there is a small paradox to take into account: slower cars are significantly better in corners, a clear tradeoff necessary to not over-unbalance the game. Always try to follow the running line during the curve, focusing on slow and above all "fluid" movements, even of your stick, which will be very sensitive to the force of your pressure.
The game's very good AI means that the tactic of "pushing" the other cars slightly off the road, trying to make your way through the tangle of traffic that populates the tracks, is morally allowed. While it is a most effective tactic in case it succeeds, it is also quite difficult to actually understand when it will succeed. The reason is only one: given the complexity of the physical model of the collisions, it is difficult to understand the reaction that an opposing machine will have to your touch: on certain occasions, especially during drifting, they will fly away at the first innocent touch on your part; in other instances, especially during straights, repeated blows to their flanks will have almost no effect on their trajectory, thus making your efforts useless. There is only one tactic that always works and in any case, feasible against an opponent who is almost at your level, but that you cannot definitively overcome: stand behind the enemy's bumper, wait for him to enter the curve, and give a nice nudge when his car is almost perpendicular to the edge of the track, so that it begins to rotate, thus making him lose precious seconds that you can use to fly towards victory.
Below, the names of the tracks that you will find yourself facing along the course of the game, together with a brief description of their characteristics.
Route Length: 1.05 miles
Route not particularly complicated, as you will only have to face four curves to finish it, none of which will put you in any way in difficulty.
Route Length: 2.39 miles
This is one of the most difficult courses included in the game package. The real problem is the level change that occurs immediately after the second bridge, where you will have to try to modulate the speed, under penalty of your sudden death. There are also some quite treacherous corners, especially if you are tackling the track when you are not yet very experienced in driving. Use a car with good traction to make sure you don't go off the road. The total number of corners is 13, and this is the main contributing factor to the difficulty of the track.
Route Length: 2.88 miles
The total number of corners is 18, but almost none of them are particularly dangerous. One real exception: the first. It is likely that you will get there shot at very high speed, which considerably increases the chances of going off the road.
Route Length: 1.06 miles
It is an extremely nervous and complex path, a situation that often puts in difficulty the subjects voted primarily for speed, who will often find themselves going off the road. The curves are extremely tight; counter-intuitively, curves of this kind require a very painstaking and not abrupt control, on pain of starting to spin and completely losing control of your car. By remembering to keep these precautions in mind, you will certainly be able to have a comparative advantage over your competitors.
Brands Hatch GP
Route Length: 2.41 miles
Standard course, especially if faced in the middle of your evolutionary journey as a pilot. You probably won't even remember it. A total of 10 curves to overcome, none of which are associated with peculiar difficulties.
Brands Hatch Indy
Route Length: 1.19 miles
Very fast and fun path, not complicated at all, which allows you to make the most of your fastest machines, without worries related to control. A total of 5 curves, a few, a situation that suggests the simplicity of the track.
Route Length: 1 mile
Similar to the track just described above, very fast all the way, only 5 curves in total. The length is also similar. If you manage to complete one of the two successfully, you will be practically certain to finish first in the other, with the same number of opponents.
Route Length: 1.42 miles
The total of the curves is equal to 8, the route is rather anonymous, since it is too simple to be considered complicated - therefore not a real "challenge" for the expert "- but at the same time too complicated to be able to run quickly carefree .
Route Length: 1.06 miles
Like its partner just described, semi-namesake, it is a rather anonymous track, which you will erase from your memory with considerable ease. It does not present particular complications.
Route Length: 2.49 miles
Warning: several turns are interspersed with gradients, which means that braking during the curve is tantamount to suicide. Therefore, only slow down during the "calm" situations between the various curves, otherwise you risk the big risk of spinning along the sides of the hills in a spin, thus losing several positions.
Ebisu Circuit South
Route Length: 0.53 miles
A fun circuit, you will find yourself overcoming a total of 5 curves, few but sufficient, given the short length of the track. Try to use a car with good acceleration, as the straights are short and do not allow you to pick up any significant speed.
Ebisu Circuit West
Route Length: 1.20 miles
Circuit of medium-low length and quantity of curves proportionate to it, it will not offer you particular emotions, but at least it will be easy to earn points. A balanced machine is undoubtedly the most suitable for success.
Route Length: 0.94 miles
There are only 5 corners, which makes the circuit quite anonymous. You would also be able to triumph with a tricycle, so we do not insult you with overly detailed advice, given their uselessness.
Route Length: 1.49 miles
Slightly less boring route than the previous one, given that there will be 9 complicated curves; none of them will be able to really put you in trouble. Choose the car that best suits you, good versatility is the essential skill to succeed in Need for Speed: Shift, this circuit will test you in this aspect of your personality.
Route Length: 1.41 miles
The number of curves present here is 9, quite given the length. A car with good pickup and good cornering control is therefore a must, as you won't gain anything on your opponents along the skinny straights.
Route Length: 0.31 miles
Completely straight path, there are not even any curves that can put you in difficulty. The most suitable machines, of course, are those with the highest top speed.
Route Length: 2.23 miles
Warning: immediately after the first bend, there is a sandbar that is not easily visible, knowing it you will be able to avoid it (just slow down, thus having enough time to locate it), but going blindly you will certainly be victims of the evil inorganic compound. Immediately after, a corkscrew, but if you are passionate about racing you surely have this typical feature of Laguna Seca in mind.
Route Length: 2.04 miles
It is not an easy path, in many instances you will find yourself making turns on seemingly "blind" corners, without having good visibility. At the moment of the crossroads, stay in the middle, the asphalt is much better, you will certainly earn compared to the opponents who will choose the alternative route. Beware of the chicane immediately after the straight, you will certainly pick up a lot of speed, but it is better to approach the double turn slowly and cautiously, as many of your opponents will go off the road and therefore favor a meticulous approach.
London Royal Mile
Route Length: 2.10 miles
A total of 9 curves do not save the track from total anonymity, there are neither elevation differences, nor hairpin bends of any kind that could put you in rough situations. You will quickly forget.
Route Length: 0.24 miles
Route without any turns, where the only parameter to be decisive is the speed of your vehicle, and wanting your ability to throw your opponents off the road.
Route Length: 12.86 miles
Already from the count of the miles it is clear that the circuit will not be a walk at all. The total of the corners is 70 (!), There are also several level changes along the entire track. Given the total length, although the number of corners is abnormal, there are still many straights that allow you to reach respectable speeds. And this is where the first precautions will have to begin: absolutely avoid picking up speed before the gradients, you would start flying away, slamming off the road and making your car useless. Always try to take wide curves, as bumping into any guardrail will mean giving up first place with confidence.
Route Length: 4.02 miles
Be careful right away, on this relatively long route: the first corner has an angle of 90 degrees, so slow down immediately, especially if you are at your first experience on the track in question. After that, you can simply start the curve earlier. In case the entrance is wrong, you will lose a lot of ground towards the enemies, so avoid this from happening.
Afterwards, you will also find two beautiful consecutive U-turns. Take the first curve outside, then progressively towards the center. Soon after, another corner, but as you are exiting the double hairpin, there will be no need to slow down. The rest of the curves are not problematic, total: 11.
Route Length: 3.17 miles
Immediately after the start you will find yourself in front of a chicane, consisting of 90 degree bends. We therefore advise against taking a lot of speed, waiting to have overcome this obstacle to increase the power to the maximum. After being careful at that point, you shouldn't encounter any further obstacles. The total of the curves is equal to 13, therefore not very many.
Route Length: 2.23 miles
Only one real obstacle, a bend at 3/4 of the way, elbow - but not easily visible (ie: its nature of a 90 ° bend is not easily guessed from different angles). You will have to try to brake, memorizing the circuit well to understand the right moment.
Route Length: 1.63 miles
Short and linear route, only 6 curves for 1 mile and a half, a no brainer you will not remember even after completing it.
Route Length: 4.33 miles
Despite its relative length, it is a rather fast course, which is favored by players who like to run a lot. The curves are rather soft, allowing you to risk overtaking inside almost always, so avoid using too big and not very agile machines. The total of the curves is equal to 13.
Route Length: 1.76 miles
A standard route, neither too complicated nor too easy. 8 curves in total, none of which are particularly complicated, but added together prevent you from picking up speed, as the route is not particularly long.
Route Length: 1.05 miles
A short and fun route, characterized by a total of 5 curves, therefore similar to the first ones (in alphabetical order). It is useful as a diversion to make the most of your fastest machines.
Willow Springs GP
Route Length: 2.50 miles
The number of curves is 8 - not many. However, there is a "critical" point that must be approached with due caution in order to stay ahead: immediately after the flyover-roundabout, there is a 90 degree right turn. Take it on the outside, the AI tends to go inside and cause various accidents, inevitably slowing down the ride.
Willow Springs Horse Thief Mile
Route Length: 1.03 miles
Fast and fun route. The number of corners is commensurate with its nature, so don't expect the emphasis to be on the technicalities of driving; rather select a car fast enough to allow you to outpace your opponents along the short straights that intersperse the curves.
Steering / Brake Settings
This is a side of the game that you don't usually pay attention to, but it can significantly impact your performance. In fact, to make everything more spectacular, the creators have decided to make all vehicles tend to oversteer, that is to say the loss of the rear.
However, you can change the game settings, in the "Gameplay" menu, sub-item "Adjust Control", to make this parameter more realistic and less difficult. The steering dead zone should be set to 15 percent; the throttle dead zone at 10 percent; the brake dead zone always at 10; the sensitivity of the steering around 5; the sensitivity of the accelerator and brake to the same level, approximately; 100% steering speed.
So, analyze the sub-menu related to the tuning, more precisely the part related to the balance. Make sure that the balance is all shifted towards oversteer.
In general, all the assistants made available to you are not useful for the purposes of the game, except perhaps for the steering assistant, during the first moments, which could bring with them some complications due to inexperience. As soon as you have acquired a bit of familiarity, throw the possibilities of help into oblivion, as they would even invalidate your guidance.
The only parameter that we advise you to change, to make the game a little easier - especially by making it less frustrating - is to set the damage as graphics only, making sure that it does not impact the performance of the machine.
Types of Race
It is possible to earn points to improve your Tier level by participating in different racing genres, each of them also characterized by different amounts of points made available to you.
This is the typical "traditional" race, where you will challenge 12-15 opponents along one of the tracks described in one of the previous sections. The number of laps is not fixed, but tends to increase as the Tier level you are at increases. There is also a sub-category, called Endurance, which - as you can guess - has much higher average numbers of laps than standard races.
The "Eliminator" events are of two kinds, based on time and number of laps. In the first version, the last competitor will be eliminated after a specific time interval has been passed. In the second version, however, the competitor will be eliminated at the end of each lap.
This type of event is divided into three different "rounds". At each round, you will be given a score, which you will need to beat. Most drift-based courses are composed of curves taken from other tracks and joined in an almost random (or at least, it seems to be random) way. Note that in order to participate in the competition you will need to use one of the machines capable of skidding without problems (don't worry, it is clearly indicated among the characteristics). You will also be able to see how, near every curve (or almost) there will be some cones: the closer you will be able to pass to these cones, the more points you will be able to earn. As you proceed, you will also notice red and white arrows, alternating: they are the "guide lines" that advise you on the path along which to proceed to maximize the score; at the top left, you will also notice a bar that measures the speed as well as the tilt angle of your car. The bars work like this: the faster you go, the more they tend to light up. When you enter the curve, the bars will move to the left or to the right, depending on which direction you are moving; their rotation will measure your angle of inclination. In case you spin, you only have 3 seconds to go straight back, unlike the standard 5.
The duels consist of 3 rounds; during the first round, you yourself will be pinned to the role of leader; during the second round, however, you will have to chase your opponent. In the event that the victories are 1 each, the third round will be played, precisely to understand which of the two will win. Note that it is not necessary to finish first at the end line to win: it will be enough to put 5 seconds between you and the opponent to secure the victory.
This is a combination of various consecutive events (from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 5); after each event, you will earn points; after the final event, the driver who manages to get the highest total is considered the winner. Each position receives points, the more advanced positions clearly receive a higher score.
Here you will have to be able, quite simply, to get the best lap. You will be given a time limit within which to do as many laps as you can. Fortunately, once the time limit is over, you can still complete the lap.
You are given three goals to overcome and three stars to win; you are set a maximum limit of revolutions, you will have to reach the objectives within this limit.
The objective of the mode is to try to reach the top positions in all the "levels" of skill in which the game is divided, in total equal to 5. To improve, it will be necessary to earn "stars", which can be obtained in various ways: a good placement during the races is the best method, but it is also possible to reach a good level of profile-points during the races.
Career - Tier 1
This type of event is further separated into three categories: Coalition Race; Brand Competition; Race against time. These are the events available from the beginning, as can also be understood from the Tier number. The first type consists of 5 different races, very basic, which try to get you into the world of Need for Speed: Shift, making you familiar with the controls, as well as some money. The second type consists of 4 single races, where both you and your opponents will have the same car at your disposal. In the third genre, the race against time, the victory is awarded based on the person who performs the fastest lap, as you can certainly easily guess from the name.
Career - Tier 2
As the level increases, the number of categories available also increases, here will be seven: Battle, Mixed Event, Drift Race, Mixed Series, US Series, Japan Series, Europe Series. To get to the second Tier you will need to earn 30 stars; the Battle consists of 6 events, similar to the stable competition of the previous Tier, but here you can choose the car; the first to win 2 of the 3 races at your disposal will earn the victory. The mixed event consists of 7 events, 3 of these are based on real races, 3 are races against time, while one will be a challenge against one of your rivals. In order to be able to get to the challenge, you will need to at least get to the podium in each of the previous 6 events.
The drift competition will see you, quite peculiarly, fighting not only to be able to stay on track by performing as long as possible drift, but also to be able to achieve the best possible drift style, which should not be extremely difficult. All other series, from any region, consist of a total of 7 events; 6 of these are centered on the possible varieties seen above; again, the seventh event will be a direct fight against your rival.
Career - Tier 3
To unlock it you will have to reach a number of stars equal to 80. Here too, seven categories await you: Mixed Track, Battle, Brand Competition, various regional battles (3 in all), and an Endurance. In the first genre, you will be transported along different tracks, and you will have to undertake a competition in each of them; in the end, the victory will go to the one who achieved the highest score.
The Battle is identical to the previous Tier; the Brand Competition identical to Tier 1, therefore everyone will have the same car available to compete, not as during Tier 2, where the allocation had been slightly changed. Endurance is simply a normal ride, with much longer duration than the standard. Regional battles are not complicated, but remember that you will be assigned to a specific team based on the car you own.
Career - Tier 4
The number of stars required to access Tier 4 is 180. The events are divided into six groups: Brand Competition, Battle, Reserved for Work, Reserved for Supercars, and Reserved for Marche; one last championship is the so-called Work against Supercar. The first type, as well as the second, are identical to what you have already faced during the previous tiers, so we will not bore you with further descriptions. In the "Reserved for Work" only machines that have been converted to work will be allowed. In the "Reserved for Supercars", only Supercars (level 4) will be able to access. In the "Reserved to the Marche", each brand will promote its path, and you can only participate if your car is of the same brand. In the last type, Work against Supercar, you can choose one of the two genres and you will participate in a "mixed" race.
Carriera - Live World Tour
This is the last championship, the most elitist one. You will need 280 stars to be able to access it. 3 are the series that you can face here: one in the united states, one world, and the final challenge. The first consists of 4 tracks, all American. You will have to be able to reach the podium in all races to unlock the next ones. The second is made up of 5 tracks, European or Jappo; here too, always on the podium. The final challenge sees you racing at Brands Hatch Indy, clearly you will need to finish first to successfully complete the game.