Whether it is categorically swerving more towards having more realism as in the case of simulation games or more adrenaline-pumping action attributable to arcade games, driving games across every gaming platform will always have its niche on the market. Regardless if you are a solid fan of driving games or a casual player who enjoy diving into just about any game across any genre, driving or racing games are among the types that are fairly easy to get into.
Despite there being an abundance of driving and racing games on both the Google Play Store and the App Store, Dr. Driving remains as among the top driving/racing games on both mobile platforms. Since its release back in 2013, Dr. Driving has earned more than 100 million downloads from the Google Play Store alone and maintains a good standing in top lists of games while keeping largely positive average user reviews as well. Although lodged under the racing genre, Dr. Driving actually has a little more of a simulation feel to it, especially considering the various challenges it offers.
Dr. Driving does not come with any bit of tutorial and you will be able to take on different challenges and game modes as soon as you jump in on the app. There are single player challenges that you can repeatedly take on to hone your driving skills as well as earn coins and you can also compete with a friend or a random player in an online match. Coins you earn are needed to purchase some cars as well as repair the vehicles you actually use.
The interface can seem a little tricky at first but you will get used to it in a short while. Even for inexperienced players with little to no background in driving games on mobile, Dr. Driving is neither too easy nor too difficult for anyone to make decent amount of progression in, given time and some practice.
If you are itching to get off the Kos, which is your starting vehicle, and get better cars as well as improve your performance across every challenge in the game, our Dr. Driving beginner’s guide has all the necessary tips and strategies you need to do just that!
1. Tinker With The Settings
Regardless of how optimized default control settings are in any game, it will certainly never cater to everyone. Most especially in the case of driving games, perspective, actual control layout choices, and even the sensitivity level of the steering wheel. You can opt to go for a quick ride or two for a good feel of the default control settings but be sure to try and make adjustments to the settings as you may discover a more suitable configuration for yourself.
The camera or the driving perspective can be changed through the camera icon at the upper left side of the driving screen. Clicking on it will cycle you through 3 different modes of view and your last choice stays within the same session. For the rest of the options available, however, you need to access them through the gear icon at the bottom of the home screen.
You can make toggle both the background music and sound on or off if you like but the other options available are more likely to have significant effects on your performance. For the control setup, the default layout has the brake and gas pedal on the left of the screen and the steering wheel on the right. Your next option is to switch the control layout and have the steering wheel on the left and the pedals on the right. Depending on which country you are in, one is definitely more suitable for you than the other.
Dr. Driving also provides a third control option, more comparable to most driving games on mobile devices. This third option actually lets you steer your car by tilting your device left or right. This comes with the accelerator at the bottom right side of your screen and the brakes at the bottom left.
This is what we consider as the best choice especially in terms of being able to switch between accelerating and braking faster, if not more conveniently. However, if you are not accustomed to having your device tilting regularly while playing, then either of the other choices are decent picks as well.
Another important option to peek into is the sensitivity level for steering. By default, Dr. Driving makes it fairly easy enough to make a left or right turn as well as a u-turn but by increasing the sensitivity level, you can make it even easier to turn. Keep in mind that a higher sensitivity level for steering is not necessarily better especially in the case of carefully switching between lanes or making turns on a VIP escort challenge.
In line with where the steering wheel is, you can also switch between driving on the left side of the road or the right side. Naturally, you would want to follow whichever rule of the road applies to you when you actually go for a drive in a bidirectional traffic.
Finally, Dr. Driving also lets you choose how distance is measured. You can opt for kilometers and meters or miles and yards. While it may all sound rather trivial, distance is a core aspect of driving challenges in Dr. Driving so choosing the measurement unit that you are more familiar with can help you make more precise estimates.
2. Precision And Safety Are More Important Than Speed
Although Dr. Driving is categorized under the racing genre in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, there are actually no challenges in it that put you on a race track. What you will be situated in is city driving where challenges involve various aspects of driving that you are likely to experience in real life like maneuvering in traffic, parking, managing fuel, and even ensuring your passengers’ comfort along the way.
In essence, however, the challenges you take on in Dr. Driving can be considered as a race against time, given that there are time limits within which you are to accomplish your goal for the most part or at the very least, timeliness becomes a factor that affects your overall performance. With time limits in mind or not, there is always a natural tendency for players to complete every stage or challenge they take on as fast as possible, prioritizing speed over everything else.
Dr. Driving may reward you with higher points as well as more coins if you accomplish challenges faster but it is important to keep in mind that precision and safety in driving has a much higher weight. In fact, even the slightest contact with the street and aisle barriers as well as other vehicles at even the lowest of speeds can instantly end your run and a scene with a traffic police giving you a ticket ensues.
Regardless of whether or not you are experienced in other driving games or even a professional driver in real life, it takes time and practice to get fully accustomed to Dr. Driving or any other driving or racing game, for that matter. This is most especially true considering that Dr. Driving typically situates you in crowded traffic where switching lanes and even making a simple turn can prove to be very challenging.
With even slight contacts able to instantly result in a challenge failure, what you should rather go for is staying on the mission or stage as long as possible even if you do not actually complete it. For the most part, completing challenges on your first run is a feat that you should not expect and while you are ready to take several attempts on any challenge, you might as well focus on mastering the sensitivity levels and maneuvers required to ace each challenge. Dr. Driving, after all, is a game of patience as much as it is a game of skill and precision.
Another important point to consider in Dr. Driving is that there will be repair costs you have to spend on every once in a while. Accidents are a sure way to incur repair costs and your car’s speed at the time of the impact. There will certainly be a time later on to test just how fast you can accomplish every challenge. If you are just starting out, then it is best to keep maintenance costs at a minimum as you will need your coins to purchase other cars and upgrade them as well.
3. Attempt To Clear Every Challenge First
Dr. Driving hosts 9 unique challenges that you can enjoy as part of its single player game modes. Although you can already hop into an online match as well as challenge a friend when you run the app the first time, we recommend honing your skills first through the different challenges. You will have a record that gets lodged with every stage completion marking the score to beat in each challenge moving forward. For starters, though, focus exclusively on attempting to finish each one as carefully as you can.
The Lane Challenge is among the more basic game modes in Dr. Driving where being in the “correct” lane earns you coins. In this challenge, you will easily notice 3 arrows at the upper right side of your screen and one of them will always be highlighted at a time. All you need to do is to go or stay in the lane corresponding to the lighted arrow to earn coins.
The real challenge here comes with the oncoming traffic as adhering perfectly to the correct lane will be difficult considering random vehicles ahead of you. Naturally, you should only choose to swerve to the supposed lane if you are certain that doing so will not lead to any accidents as being on the safe side will lead to a longer time on the road with more opportunities to earn coins.
The Speed Challenge is where you can put your itch for racing to the test as your aim here is to get from point A to point B in the least amount of time possible. There is the usual flow of traffic along with turn here and there. This is among what we consider to be the easier game modes to complete but you will consistently be coming back to it over time to secure better records and earn more coins.
The Highway Challenge works very much like the Speed Challenge except that there will be no turns you have to make and you will stay in the 3-lane highway from start to finish. For some, this game mode may even be a little easier than the Speed Challenge. The only point to consider here is that since you will be exclusively on the highway, you should be more watchful of how fast you are going.
This is what we consider as among the more challenging game modes, especially for beginners. To be able to drift, you will need to achieve a certain level of speed. You need to perform enough drifts to fill the meter on the left side of the screen. Only the first turn will have no traffic and you will soon have to be able to navigate through other vehicles and at the same time perform drifts on every turn.
Along with speed, you also need to make sharp turns at intersections. While you would normally hit on the brakes and slow down on the intersections for smoother turns, you should make it a habit to do just the opposite in the Drift Challenge. Likewise, instead of staying in the leftmost lane before turning left, it is best to stay on the opposite lane before turning to have a wider area within which to drift. Once your car starts drifting, swerve to the opposite abruptly direction to keep it straight.
Drifting certainly takes some time to master but this game mode is a great way for you to master and apply drifting across other challenges.
Fuel management is among the less common features that come with racing games, especially the more arcade-oriented ones. In Dr. Driving, the Fuel Challenge stands as the only game mode where you will need to manage your vehicle’s fuel. You will need to reach the finish line with the fuel you have and running on empty and coming to a full stop results in instant fail. The usual traffic is present as well to add to the challenge.
Fuel management basically relates to how efficient you are in terms of hitting the gas pedal and the brakes. Keep in mind that releasing the gas pedal once the car starts moving does not instantly lead to a halt, which means that you should consider letting go of the gas pedal more often.
Likewise, if you hit the brakes longer and more often, it just means that you will need to hit the gas pedal more often as well. This is basically capitalizing on the first law of inertia and optimizing your vehicle’s movements without necessarily consuming fuel.
The VIP Escort Challenge is what we consider as a game mode that is more suitable for when you have racked up more experience and funds. What matters most in this challenge is the passenger’s comfort, which is synonymous with smooth driving. By smooth, we mean no sudden stops or turns and especially no accidents.
Imagine driving with a glass of water on your dashboard with the aim of not having any spills from point A to point B. Although the VIP Escort Challenge is a lot more tolerant than that, the idea is to drive as carefully as possible considering the time limit.
The Parking Challenge can be a very intimidating game mode as it is also one of the more challenging tests that student drivers in real life also have apprehensions on. The Parking Challenge in Dr. Driving actually requires you to perform parallel parking with vehicles in front of as well as behind the designated spot you need to park your car on. All 4 wheels need to be within the yellow mark although it does not have to be perfectly at the dead center of the yellow borders.
There is a time limit at the left side of the screen within which you have to successfully park your car. Even if the timer runs empty, though, you can still earn some coins so focus on completing the challenge in your initial attempts and do not mind the time. What poses as an extra challenge as well is that you will need to drive some distance to get to the designated parking spot and it involves traffic as usual.
For your initial attempts, exercise extra caution as what you would want is to have more practice sessions in the actual parking. You may want to toggle across the different camera views as soon as you get to the parking spot. Once you hit the brakes and come to a full stop, you will see the gear selector on the screen. You have to choose the “R” to reverse and “P” for park.
As an added tip for an easy parallel parking, park to the side of the parking spot and align your front wheels to the front door of the car ahead of the parking spot. While backing up, initiate a turn once your car’s front wheels are aligned to the other car’s rear wheels. Once you are close to hitting the car behind the parking spot, move forward and steer straight into the car ahead. Make adjustments if necessary, but that is the gist of it.
Yet another unique game mode that we consider as among the challenges more suitable after gaining some experience, the Broken Brake Challenge is just as it is titled. You will basically be driving around with no brakes and proceed to push through traffic and a lot of turns as well. The whole concept actually sounds very intimidating especially for beginners but once you have amassed enough driving experience in the game, you can actually manage to pull this off with a bit of effort.
You can consider this game mode as a test that mixes fuel management and drifting. Without brakes, you will be compelled to ease down on the accelerator. Your car naturally slows down if you do not press the gas pedal and drifting in turns or even on a fairly straight path also reduces your car’s speed. Like all other game modes, safety and patience will be key to accomplishing this mission.
The Truck Challenge in Dr. Driving is pretty much the same as the Speed Challenge except you will be driving a truck. In essence, it is unique in that you will not be able to utilize your other vehicles but the critical aspect of this game mode is that a truck is much more challenging to maneuver. Relative to this game mode, you can appreciate Dr. Driving’s attention to physics since you can feel the difference in weight as you drive the truck.
Just like the other game modes, you should consider taking it slow in this challenge. Although the truck is not that much wide compared to other vehicles, its length is something that makes it a lot more challenging to maneuver. Squeezing yourself between other cars and switching lanes on the road will be a lot more difficult and even the simplest of turns will be extra challenging as well.
4. Carry Out Car Purchases Strategically
Dr. Driving provides players with a total of 27 other vehicles to unlock and upgrade in addition to the default KOS one. 15 of these vehicles can be purchased with coins or gold while the rest can be rented for 30 minutes using gold as well. Each vehicle has unique starting stats that can be upgraded and belong to 1 of 4 different classes. In terms of the car’s class, which is C, B, A, or S, it is important to note that car classes do not determine rarity or grade but rather the vehicle type.
C class vehicles like the KOS are compact cars and typically excel in terms of fuel efficiency, while lacking in almost every other attribute. B class vehicles like the AYH are sedans, which specialize in comfort and have better overall stats compared to compact cars save for fuel efficiency. C class vehicles like the SH are SUV/AUV types and have average stats, making them perform fairly decently across each of the challenges. Finally, the S class vehicles, which are the most expensive of the bunch are sports cars that expectedly excel in terms of speed.
Considering that you will be driving the KOS for quite some time before you earn enough coins to purchase your next vehicle, it is best to consider your performance across all the challenges you have attempted at this point. Given the different standard characteristics that each vehicle has based on its class in relation with the types of challenges we discussed earlier, you should be able to determine which ones are most suitable for each game mode.
If you are having more difficulty in one or a couple of the game modes you have attempted, or even completed, then you can consider to purchase a vehicle that will boost your performance in that particular challenge. On the other hand, you can capitalize as well on challenges where you reap better earnings in general. If you feel that having a more suitable vehicle for that particular challenge will result in even more coin earnings, then consider the next purchase as an investment and a means for you to earn coins at a much faster rate.
With regard to options on spending gold to rent some cars for a few minutes, we recommend saving your gold instead for cars that you can purchase. Given that gold is a premium currency that is rather difficult to earn, it is best to spend them on purchases instead of merely rents. If you are inclined to spend some gold just for the feel of driving a superb vehicle, then at the very least practice a lot first and make the most out of the limited time you get to spend using the rented car.
5. Set Vehicles Up For Different Challenges
Unlocking and upgrading as many vehicles as you can are among Dr. Driving’s features that contributes a lot to what makes it exciting and addictive. Each of the available vehicles, including the starting one, are decent in their base forms and you should actually be able to clear any applicable challenge with any of them.
For better results and records in the challenges, though, upgrades directly contribute to each vehicles performance so investing in these upgrades is a must if you aim at acing every challenge. Although the initial upgrade is a mere 50 coins on base stats, you can expect costs to rise along with the upgrade levels made.
There are 6 different stats or parts of each car you can upgrade or invest in. The Engine is responsible for the vehicle’s acceleration and top speed so investing upgrades on it is mostly suitable for cars you want to take on the Speed and Highway Challenges. Having stronger brakes help controlling the vehicle better in terms of regulating speed and while upgrading this is pointless for cars you use on the Broken Brake Challenge, it is very useful for Drift challenges and all other game modes in general.
Better tires mean more grip and less skids and contribute to making your vehicle more maneuverable in traffic. Like brakes, upgrading tires also improve the vehicle’s performance across every challenge you partake in. Fuel capacity is only important in the Fuel Challenge so if you want to upgrade this, consider it only as a priority for the compact car you use for that challenge.
Comfort is an attribute important largely on VIP Escort Missions. With sedans being the best vehicle class for these missions, consider upgrading this attribute for sedans that you want to consider specializing for this specific game mode. Finally, a higher durability for your vehicle means less damage from accidents. Although careful driving is the best way to reduce, if not eliminate, repair costs, investing in durability is also a commendable investment option across every vehicle that you own.
Looking into these attributes and considering the typical requirements of each challenge in Dr. Driving should be your basic determinant of how to spend your hard-earned coins more efficiently. You can always hold off on upgrades as you want to save them to make another purchase but in some cases, investing in these upgrades lead to earning coins at a faster rate, leading to a faster acquisition of other vehicles.
Just as an example, you can opt to save 2,000 coins first to buy the B class AYH. Along with your KOS, you should perform well in both the Fuel Challenge and the VIP Escort Challenge. You can then invest in upgrading the KOS’ Fuel or the AYH’s comfort and further increase profits earned from the challenges each one specializes in.
On the other hand, you can push to save 5,000 coins and purchase the S class ESDAS first. If either the Speed or Highway Challenges are your main bread and butter in the game, then you can subsequently upgrade this car’s engine, as well as its brakes and tires. There are as many ways to go about spending your coins efficiently across purchases and upgrades. The important point is that you have planned beforehand on which challenge or challenges to capitalize on and focus your investments on improving your grind on these challenges.
Despite having its sequel, Dr. Driving 2, being available on iOS and Android platforms for quite some time, Dr. Driving still has its own set of fun and exciting gameplay and features that give it a familiar, yet different feel from its sequel. If you played and enjoyed either one, then you should definitely try the other. Likewise, if you enjoyed reading our beginner’s guide and want to share some more tips, strategies, or even your experiences in the game, you are very much welcome to share them below in the comments!