Sparrow Racing League tips from an actual Racer
Sparrow Racing League is the hottest new thing to hit Destiny. Giving the game a nice change of pace from the normal go do this, shoot that, and get this formula. But, here’s the trouble: 5th place seems to be your peak. I think I can help you, but first let me explain where I’m coming from.
My normal “day job” is in professional Motorsports, specifically sports car racing. I have held many titles and done many jobs in the industry that I have been involved with most of my working life. I have won Championships with Lamborghini as a strategist and data engineer. As well as been part of winning efforts for the most prestigious sports car races in North America, including: 24 Hours at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and Petit Le Mans.
While the Sparrow racing league is far from actual real life sports car racing, there are several principles and practices from sports car racing that will help you get those 320 helmets and gauntlets we’re all after.
Hit your marks
When we say this to a driver on the track, we are referring to braking markers and reference points on the track, meant to identify the best possible places to brake, turn, and accelerate out of corners. For Sparrow Racing League your marks are the gates.
The gates are critical to not only the boost they give, but the fact they keep your top speed high. Miss just a few consecutive gates, and you’ve lost over 30% of your maximum achievable speed. In many instances, it’s better to get out of the throttle and slow down, if that’s the only way you’ll make a gate.
That said, you aren’t going to hit every gate, and its ok to miss one here and there. Just don’t miss two or more consecutively.
Slow in, fast out
This principal is saying the fastest way around a corner is to go into it slow (relatively) and enable yourself to accelerate out of the corner fast. The same is true for a number of corners in SRL. Some corners, even if you have the trick Sparrow that can turn on a dime, require you to slow down a bit to make the corner.
If you continually find yourself hitting the outside wall (The right wall on a left hand turn, and vice versa) you are simply going too fast into the corner and exceeding the cornering capability of your vehicle. A little lift off of the throttle trigger is sufficient to tighten the trajectory of the Sparrow, get it pointed in the right direction, and allow you to get back to full throttle.
If you do this for the corners you need to, you will most likely get blown by by your competition, until they hit the wall. If you do this right, you will beat them out of the corner 10 times out of 10.
HINT: There’s also no need to hit the brakes in SRL. If you need to, you’ve already done something wrong.
Smooth is Fast
This is oh so very true on track in real life as well as in Sparrow-land. Unnecessary movement squanders your momentum and increases the overall distance you have to travel to achieve the same lap.
If you are swinging back and forth on the straightaways, you’re going to be slow.
If you are taking the longest possible way around a corner, you’re going to be slow.
If you’re running into walls, fan blades, and flying through the air sideways, you’ve going to be slow.
HINT: When you go airborne, land with your Sparrow pointed straight, in-line with your momentum.
Stay Loose and Calm
Holding your controller while Sparrow Racing with white knuckles is the easiest way to tire yourself out and ensure you make a mistake. It’s important to keep yourself relaxed and calm. Speed will be a by-product. Loose and Calm allows you to be smooth, and smooth is fast.
Don’t Hit Shit.
This one is also pretty straightforward, but nevertheless important in real life and in Sparrow Racing. The walls are mostly caves or of Vex-contemporary design, which means lots of jagged edges for your Sparrow to get caught on. These will stop you dead in your tracks, and if you haven’t remained loose and calm, you’ll find yourself with the throttle trigger pinned mashing buttons like you’re playing Eddie Gordo from Tekken when you don’t know the combos and you’re just hitting the buttons randomly.
Also running into things and blowing up is bad. And slow. Don’t do that.
The Most Important Corner is the One Before the Longest Straight
This is so very critical in motor racing. It is in Sparrow Racing as well, just with a twist. The most important gate is the one with the biggest gap to the next gate. Remember, if you miss a gate, not only do you miss a valuable boost, your top speed decreases. If you miss the gate that has some real estate between the next one, you can expect to be a sitting duck.
Run Your Race
It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but the more you focus on their race, the less you focus on yours. And focus is speed.
The issue with video game racing is there is no personal danger and often nearly no penalty for hitting shit in the form of damage. Many people are out there playing SRL like it’s a race in Grand Theft Auto. This is also slow.
The easiest way to combat these idiots, is to run your race, stay calm, don’t hit shit, and drive away from them. The entire game changes when you are leading ahead of the pack by a country mile. It’s also the most conducive environment for winning.
If you do find yourself in a pack of people driving it like they stole it, hang back a Sparrow length or two, and just be patient until they all miss a gate, then calmly and gracefully drive by them on the straight.
When it’s for sure going bad, bail.
There are two types of racing drivers: Those who have crashed, and those that will. No one is perfect, and the best drivers in the world have their bad days. When a bad crash is imminent, you’ll notice that drivers will actually remove their hands from the steering wheel. This isn’t giving up, it’s a safety precaution so that when the steering wheel twists violently upon impact, it doesn’t break their wrists.
You can save some time if you find yourself eminently facing a wipe. Bail. There’s time to be saved in just bailing and getting it over with, as opposed to falling all the way to the bottom of the chasm on the right of the big jump on Venus, and waiting for the wipe.
Apply these principles and you’ll find yourself with lower lap times, more top 3 finishes, more bounties, and more gear. And remember the immortal words of Mario Andretti:
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
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