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Drivetar Guide

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Before we get too far into this there is one simple fact that you need to understand -- and that is just what the Drivatar is.

Back in the day (in previous games) the system that was used to create competition in the game for the single player campaign was AI based. Basically what the creators did was to generate computer-controlled drivers who provided the competition.

The problem with the AI drivers -- and there was a problem -- is that they are too predictable. While they provide some competition, that competition is not on the same level as is found when the player is facing other human drivers. So what is the solution? That would be the Drivatar.

What the Drivatar is...

The solution to the problem with competition in the single player campaign was actually a rather clever though involved one. Turn 10 opted to create a very complex AI that is based not upon charted paths and patterns, but upon the actual driving habits, choices, and performance of other players -- and you. Don't forget you.

When you first start playing the game the first four or five races are used to develop a basic driving pattern for you that is coded into your Drivatar. In addition to the overall aggression level the process also covers the following:

  • Consistency in following the driving line.

  • Speeds for entry, through-run, and exit from curves.

  • Acceleration habits for the rest of the track variety

  • Apex positioning.

  • How often you leave the designated track zones.

  • Contact habits - particularly in the crush at the start of the races.

  • Mistakes.

Now as if that was not already complicated, the system then factors each of these on a track-by-track basis, creating a unique program for each of the Tracks so that what you end up with is a pattern with lots of variables that can be inserted.

Now you know what a Drivatar is. Consider this though - those elements do not just apply to YOUR Drivatar being used in races for other players, it applies to each and every one of the Drivatars that belong to your mates as well as the randomly selected Drivatars that join them to make up the pack of drivers you are racing against in the single player campaign!

So what you end up with is something very different than simple AI plotted opponents... You get as close to human as it is every likely to get.

Now that does not mean that racing against the Drivatars of your mates will resemble your experiences in actually racing your mates, since the game cannot factor in variables like mood, humor, anger, and the basic unpredictability of a human opponent. But it is a very nice change from mindless AI, right?

Tricks You Can Use

When you are racing against Drivatars there are a couple of tricks you can use -- that they will not -- that can help you to eek out an advantage over the really good ones. In other words the Drivatars that belong to some of your mates that may just be a little better at the specific track you are racing on.

The first of the useful tricks is drifting -- the Drivatars you are racing against will NOT drift a corner, but you can! Drifting a tight corner is often the fastest way to turn it in a controlled fashion.

Cutting Corners is another tactic you can use to avoid damage in the crush at the start of each race. Bearing in mind that you are going to get a dirty lap either way -- cut the corner or hit a few opponents in the crush -- both will cause a dirty lap flag but the former allows you to advance in position and not take damage whereas the latter? Not so much.

Strategic Curve and Turn Aggression

This may not sound all that obvious but it should because it is the single most important tactic you have on your side.

Being aggressive in curves and turns is where you find the strategic advantage in this game. On the straights with most of the Cars in your race being pretty much equal, you are not going to experience dramatic differences in speed.

What that translates to in simple terms is that you will not find yourself dramatically changing positions on the straights and in shallow curves on the track. No, the dramatic -- race winning -- changes come in the approach to and follow-through on hard curves and turns.

This is where your aggression should be focused -- that is assuming you do not have realistic damage turned on because if you do, in addition to taking hurt in the crush at the start, all that screeching you hear as you aggressively take each corner and curve is damage you are doing to your tyres.

Still the curves and the turns are where you are going to create the gaps and comfort zone you manage in each race because the Drivatars are going to go in a much more conservative fashion in them.

Continuous Learning

One thing you should bear in mind as you progress is that your Drivatar continues to learn from you, so if you are aggressive versus other drivers it can become so as well... Not a good idea if you don't want to be thought of as a paint bandit - just saying.

Drivatar Earnings

Another issue that has been debated and the source of considerable attention is the earnings that your Drivatar brings in while you are offline or when it appears in your mates races... First there actually is a cap on how much your Drivatar can earn, so if you try averaging their income over the number of races you are going to get a lot of different numbers.

Second, your Drivatar and its skill is based on each track, not really overall, so its earnings are going to differ from track-to-track.

Finally if you are at all curious about the state of your Drivatar, when you are not racing hit up the Forza Profile from the Main Menu, then select My Drivatar.

Here you can see the stats for your Drivatar, including all sorts of information starting with the Overall Stats, which are the stats used in your driving to train your Drivatar up, but the more significant stats are the track stats, which follow to the right in that menu.

By reviewing the track stats that will give you a better notion for which Tracks you have trained well on and which you need to still work on. Ideally you are trying to get your Drivatar to 100% Sync on each track - so reviewing which tracks you have not yet accomplished that on tells you which you still need to train on.

That is food for thought as you work on your Drivatar.

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