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NFSU: Gallery/Highest Drift Score/Tips

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Jun 13, 2003
[email protected] in san francisco
NFSU: Gallery/Highest Drift Score/Advice

Hey all,

After the monstrous size the other NFSU thread got, thought I'd throw this up in a new one. After beating the game once, using varying Medium/Hard levels, over the past week or so, I went through and played the game again, every race on Hard (without cheats/trainers of course). Just thought I'd share a few things I learned along the way, as I flew through it quite a bit quicker the second time than the first.

Also thought it'd be nice if we could have one thread to show off our cars too. Here's my RX-7 fresh off her last victory.


Some thoughts:
1) Shortcuts are a waste. There are a few that are actually worth it and which I used each time around, but the majority suck. You have to slow down significantly, it usually throws you back a few spots, and you only get a measly 100 style points.

2) Drifting in races is a big no-no. There are very few turns in the race where you should actually drift (the ones that are 90degree turns). Otherwise, you really want to stay away from drifting. You slow down way too much for it to be worth it. (The style points aren't worth it, see point 3). Rather, on difficult turns, I found tapping the HandBrake (rather than holding it down to drift) far more effective. The gain in turning efficiency was significant, but with a very small drop in speed. However, tapping it one too many times causes you to start drifting, so you want to find that balance.

3) Style Points: If you've played the game, you know that style points is everything. It's how you unlock all the upgrades. I found the most effective way in the beginning of the game (when your multiplier is <3) to accumulate style points is through near-misses. Each consecutive near-miss (ie. One after the other without actually colliding with traffic) gives you multiples of 100 style points. IE. first near-miss, 100. second consecutive near-miss, 200. third, 300... until fifth, sixth, seventh = 500. If you hit traffic, then it goes back to 100. Once you're at your fifth consecutive near-miss, you can really rack up your style points, since you get 500 points for each next consecutive near-miss, and those add up quickly. I usually went for near-misses with oncoming traffic, since they awarded me with a near-miss most of the time. Driving close by a car that's going in the same direction as you didn't really give the near-miss unless you were ridiculously close to the car, so close that I would often hit it and lose the multiplier. So I found that typically, it wasn't worth it. It takes a bit of time to get used to getting as close as possible without hitting it, and the faster you go, the less close, I found, you need to be to count as a near-miss. It's difficult at first, especially since oncoming traffic suffer from "magnetic syndrome", but after awhile, you get the hang of it.

Once your multiplier is at 3x, I found it far better to get your style points through the drift races. As someone pointed out in the earlier NFSU thread, you get a lot of style points in drift races, and with a high multiplier, these really add up. Once (including multiplier), I was getting around 60,000 style points per race, I just redid that drift race over and over until I got "enough" style points. Know that once you're over 3,000,000 there are no more upgrades, and all unlocking occurs by winning races, so there's no need after that. This is what I did, got over 3,000,000 early, since later on in the game, the races really get tough and all you want to focus on is winning the race, not gaining style points!

4) Drafting. Drafting is really quite useful, both in races and in drags (especially). The drafting algorithms are pretty significant in this game, and you really catch up quickly when you're drafting well. (It gives you some "freebie" style points too). Particular in the drag races, I found even without all perfect shifts, if I drafted well, I could still pull out the win.

5) Cars: This will probably be the most subjective part of this, but here are the cars that I used throughout the game, in this order.

i) Maza Miata
ii) Tiburon
iii) Impreza
iv) Sentra SE-R
v) Celica GTS
vi) RSX Type-S
vii) RX-7

All the other cars I didn't like, or thought these were better.
My first time through, I thought the Skyline was the best, but after hearing good things about the RX-7, and trying it, I too am a convert and think it's the best car in the game. It's pretty slow off the line, but really picks up in third and fourth gear. However, I really didn't like the drift handling with the RX-7, frankly, I thought it sucked and took forever to recover. I personally like the RSX Type-S the best in drift races, and traded my RX-7 for it each time a drift race came about. The handling is tighter I find, and recovers much quicker. With the RSX Type-S, my best drift score was 230K.


6) Winning Sprints/Circuits: In the latter parts of the game, the races start to get pretty hard. I found that there are 2 strategies to win.
- With the Lead: If you have the lead, no matter how far ahead you are, know that the cpu will make the other cars catch up. I've been 18sec ahead going like top speed in 6th gear, and they still were catching up ridiculously fast. So don't get frustrated over it, it's going to happen. I found it extremely helpful in closing out the race to continually look behind you (I recommend making that key something that you can easily push without disrupting your handling. I used my "0" key on my keyboards right-hand side numpad). When they get close and are about to pass you, cutting them off and hitting them really slows them down. Other than that, you pretty much can't make any mistakes. Don't drift turn (just tap the handbrake) and as they say in 2fast2furious, "save the spray" for the end. There's usually a bit of a straightaway at the end for you to give a last go. I usually try and save half the tank for the last section, just in case.
- From Behind: We all ***** about cpu catchup, but it helps you too. If you're behind, you find that the cpus slow down a fair amount until you're about 2secs behind, at which point they speed up again to about your speed. However, each race, I found that if you're behind, they give you one chance to win. Either they inexplicably stop/slow down a LOT (! I know! I couldn't believe it!) or they crash. You have to take advantage and not screw up at this point, because if you do, they don't give you another chance. You might as well restart at this point, since you're not going to win. Also, don't use your nitrous on straightaways. I found it's just wasted, as the cpu matches your speed. You can't go fast when they go fast. You need to go fast when they go slow. IE. You'll find that on certain turns, or on twisty sections, they slow down significantly to make the turns. I found using nitrous at this point really allowed me to overtake the cpu's. Of course, it's hard to stay in control and go fast at these points, but it can be done. Good use of tapping the handbrake is worth its weight in gold here.

7) Winning Drags: As people mentioned in the earlier thread, don't just waste all your nitrous in one long spray. Use it in short bursts to switch gears as quickly as possible. I found that with certain cars, getting a "perfect start" off the line is reall hard, and that it's easier/better at times (for instance, with the RSX Type-S) to redline off the line. It'll redline for a second, and then drop back down to about 6,000-7,000, and go back up to red line really quickly. Right in between there is where you have to shift from 1st gear to 2nd, and get your perfect shift. After that, I do short spray intervals to switch gears as quickly as possible. Also, as I mentioned before, DRAFT! It really helps you keep up and catch up. There are some cars where you can't redline off the line, since it never "drops" back down to 6,000/7,000 for an instant, but rather stays at redline. In this case, you have to just try for the perfect start. Short shifting off the line doesn't hurt you too much though, not like it does when shifting in between other gears anyway.

8) Winning Drifts: As I said before, I really like the drifting with the RSX Type-S. I found it to be the best. Some tips: SPEED KILLS. You definitely want to go fast into the turns, close to red-lining 2nd gear. (I never go above 2nd gear). I found starting the turn a little bit before the actual turn tends to give more points, and in many turns, going wide does too. Also, some long straight aways can be exploited by just drifting from side to side before going straight again to build up speed for the oncoming turn (like I said, you want to be close to redlining 2nd gear before a turn). I found these inbetween drifts in the straightaways to really help rack up the style points, like, an extra 4-5000. Also, a few things to help avoid hitting the wall. Stop accelerating! May sound obvious, but sometimes I forget to take my finger off the UP key :p . Also, down-shift to first and gear-brake, it helps slow you down. It's saved me on numerous occasions from hitting the wall.

That's all I can think of. I'm curious to know what you guys think, if you've noticed the same things I've noticed, and if you agree or disagree with any of them. Let's see those galleries and let's see those drift scores! I'm going to try and break 250,000. I think it certainly can be done, I remember one race, I lost with 210,000 when first place had 259,000 (!).

A1) Forgot to mention, you should definitely use Manual. I don't know if it's any faster (off the line, or in acceleration) but it definitely helps in your drag races, since you're already used to paying attention to your tachometer. And it's also really helpful to be able to gear-break, and slow yourself down for a turn, etc, without having to break.

A2) Don't waste your time continually updating your vinyls. AFAIK, they don't add to your style points multiplier at all. Originally, I kept adding newer vinyls whenever they became unlocked, thinking they may add to my multiplier, but they don't seem to. So just find one that you think looks good. I just found one good one (one of the uniques that Samantha gives you) and stuck with it.
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Jun 27, 2001
Wash. State
I am about 1/3 of the way through the game and am having a blast. The drifting is fun, but I too found that it is a waiste of time (literally) in a race. If any of you have played Gran Turismo (and i am sure that most of you have) you will have learned how to drive well and also found that drifting in a race is a big no no. To maintain speed through corners you have to start them wide and cut the corner to create the striaghtest line possible withough breaking the tires loose. In NFS Underground you have traffic though and aggressive cpu racers so this can really be a problem. One thing that I have become somewhat frustrated with is that the E brake in Underground is very touchy and I have found it a bit hard to control my steering in the sharp corners with the E brake, but I am sure that I will figure it out and become efficient with it. I think that NFS PO has a better physics model when it comes to the driving of the cars, and I really do miss the damage modeling of that series of the NFS series. Overall though I really like NFS Underground and am now really really shopping for a steering wheel. I am still using the Miata, but am about to trade it in for something a bit faster. The drifting is a blast but my top score so far is only around 90,000. I only have a couple of hours invested in the game so far but should have some time this weekend to play more.


Jan 23, 2003
My highest drift score is around 100,000 I think...

That was with my miata. Now I have a supra, and I can't even get above 50,000!!!!



Senior Member
Dec 24, 2000
Milwaukee, WI
Biggest tip I can give is to use the handbrake in drifting, for those of you who have ever known what it's like to drive a car hard you know how much a hand brake turn comes in handy. I have my e-brake on the right shift key I tap it going into turns pulls alot better drifts usually. Using the e-brake you can get into a turn alot hotter and pull out of it with more points. Other than that looks like alot of good pointers, never did try the RX-7. I used a skyline for the majority, also a miata, a tibby, the rsx and a 350z. To me the skyline was by far the best car in the game because I could put it pretty much anywhere I wanted it, it's responsive as all get out too.


My car has changed a bit since this snap, but this is the gist of it :)

J :cool:


Jun 13, 2003
[email protected] in san francisco
yah, the early drift tracks are pretty crappy, and impossible to really get high drift scores in. to be honest with you, the hardest drift track for me was the VERY FIRST ONE! the one that's just a square, i took me like an hour to beat hard.

i think my 230k was in one of the later ones, hmmm, i didn't check which one it was. i'd estimate around the 70-80th race?

zim: yah, i hated the supra too. for some reason, they made it suck. the rsx type-s, i found to be much easier to control and around the same speed.
hmm, if you've already unlocked the supra, i'm fairly certain that's after all the other good cars (sentra se-r, celica gt-s, and rxs type-s). why are you still running with that miata?

Speedj: did you like the 350z? i remember i unlocked it after the rx-7, and i just didn't like it. yah, but definitely, tapping the handbrake was money in the bank for me.