Bandai Namco has launched a new game in the Ridge Racer series, and you can now get it for your iOS or Android device. Ridge Racer Draw and Drift is described as an instant multiplayer drift racing game that allows you to have “fun on the go,” and in order to drift your way to victory, you’ll need to do a couple of things — trace your car’s path by dragging your finger around the track, and make sure you’re drifting at the right time and the right place so you can edge ahead of your competition. Unlike other racing games from big-name developers, this title comes with only a few cars in comparison — 16 of them, all fictional makes and models — and only a few tracks, with only six available. But that’s because Bandai is seemingly keeping it simple in here, focusing on the thrill of racing against real people regardless of where you are, and offering stunning graphics and realistic drifting action.
If you’ve played drifting games on your mobile device before, then this game should come as second nature to you, but if you’re used to straight-line drag racing games, you may find some of the mechanics a bit foreign, and a bit hard to pick up. We’ve got just the right guide for you if you’re a first-time player, as our Ridge Racer Draw and Drift strategy guide, which is the first in a series of two, will focus on beginner tips and tricks that can help you advance through the easier leagues in the game.
1. The Basics Of Drifting
When talking about the very basic fundamentals of this game, we have to start with the drifting mechanic, and how to control your car. As you’ll find out in the tutorial, you don’t have to hit the brakes or the gas, and don’t have to turn left or right to avoid the other racers (which are “ghosts” of other players whom you can’t crash into anyway) or to make your way across the track — everything is done automatically for you, and the only thing you need to do is to start your car, which we will be talking about in the next tip, and to time your drifts.
Your signal to drift is when your car enters the drift zone — that’s a part of the track that’s shaded yellow, with a white strip at the end of the zone. Tap on your phone’s screen to drift, and make sure you’re inside the zone while you’re drifting, preferably just as you’re about to hit the white strip. If you drift while within the white strip, that’s a perfect drift, and that could allow you to gain a lot of ground on the leader, or extend your lead big-time. Drift too early or too late and the opposite will happen — you could fall behind the pack if you aren’t careful and pull off an especially bad drift where you’re either way too early or way too late!
2. Get Off To A Flying Start
As we mentioned above, you would also be responsible for starting your car in a way; if you don’t tap on your screen when the light turns green, your car will start automatically, albeit at a slower pace than most of your opponents. But if you tap just as the light turns green, that’s going to give you a flying start, and put you comfortably in the lead, assuming your other opponents didn’t get off to such a “Super Start” when they were doing their runs across the track. Just be careful not to be too overconfident, as it’s easy to lose such a lead by performing a bad drift!
3. How Does The Path-Drawing Mechanic Work?
Ridge Racer Draw and Drift has an unusual mechanic that ties in to the fact that the game takes care of the dirty work for you, meaning all the driving that doesn’t involve drifting or getting a flying start. That mechanic would involve you drawing your path across the track, so that the game knows where to direct your car. As the game explains, the faster you move your finger across the track, the faster your car will move. But the catch here is that you’ll have to deal with smaller drift zones, and a greater chance of drifting poorly and losing ground in races.
Based on our experience, we’ve gotten best results by dragging our finger quickly in the straights, then going a bit slower in the turns, making sure that we don’t go over the track or “color outside of the lines,” to put things in context. It’s pretty much common sense at work here, though if you aren’t satisfied with the path your drew, you can always hit the lower-right button and try again. The game would also ask you to retry each time you go over the track lines, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to draw the ideal path right away.
4. The Only Way To Move Forward Is To Win
Each race in Ridge Racer Draw and Drift brings you closer to getting promoted from league to league, as you take on tougher opponents and win bigger prizes, may it be in terms of coins (the common currency), orbs (the premium currency), or chests (loaded with stuff to make your car better). And while there is an incentive for placing in the podium — that is, finishing in the top three — you cannot move forward to the next race and a new set of opponents unless you actually win the race. But you don’t need to worry about running out of gas or any other energy unit — the game doesn’t seem to have any, which means you can keep replaying the same race you failed to win until you get it right.
5. What’s In The Chests?
Depending on the type of chest you open, you could get to unlock new cars, or you could get Common, Rare, or Epic cards — these are boosters which you can equip on your ride to improve its stats and effectively help you win more races. Chests are given out each time you finish a race, and are queued up for opening on the lower-left portion of the main screen. You can, however, open free chests every four hours, though you shouldn’t expect any Rare or Epic cards to show up too often.
6. How To Smartly Equip Cards
As a rule of thumb, equipping cards in Ridge Racer Draw and Drift should be done based on the rarity of the cards you have; if you’ve got some Rare or Epic cards on you, you should, by all means, prioritize them and equip them if need be. Common cards may sometimes make sense if you’ve upgraded them well enough and the occasion calls for it, but we’ll get to that in the second part of our strategy guide.
As Bandai Namco has sought to keep things as simple as possible for the casual gamers among us, each car has only three stats, namely Power, Nitro, and Handling. Since you want things to be as balanced as possible across the board, you should keep these stats in mind when equipping cards; each card, after all, improves a specific stat, with the statistical improvements increasing as you upgrade or fuse those cards. Make sure you’re equipping cards with the objective of having a statistically balanced car, and not just considering rarity alone. Always look at the icon and its color (red arrows = Power, blue lightning = Nitro, green steering wheel = Handling), as well as the statistical improvement (e.g. +15 for Power) before choosing cards to equip.
As a bonus tip, it seems that cards universally affect ALL of the cars that are currently in your garage, so there’s no need to equip a new set of cards if and when you unlock a new car.
7. Should You Bother With The Nitro?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to use nitrous oxide in racing games; as anyone who’s played these games should know, nitro gives your car a quick, yet significant burst in speed, and that comes in handy in games that feature drag racing in a straight line. But Ridge Racer Draw and Drift is a drifting game, and that means there are good times, and there are not-so-good times to hit the lower-left button in the race screen and activate your nitro.
As far as we’re concerned, the only good time to activate nitro is if you’re on a straight path, and don’t see any drift zones coming up; if you’re on the second and final lap, you should have an idea of where the drift zones are, and should use this knowledge to inform you as you decide whether to use the nitro or not. The game’s tutorial shows you how to do a nitrous drift, but unless you’re well-versed with the drifting mechanic and able to drift with your eyes closed, so to say, without the nitro turned on, you should NOT use nitro when approaching a drift zone. Just as nitro allows you to shave more seconds off your race time if used correctly, it could cost you even more seconds if you activate it and end up with a bad drift.
8. Don’t Get Too Far Ahead Of Yourself
Although it might be tempting to race as often as you could so you could make your way from strength to strength and get promoted faster, that’s not always a good idea. The game only allows you to have four chests queued up, and you need to manually schedule each of them to be unlocked, doing so one at a time. Once again, take note that it takes four hours for the chests you win in races to be unlocked, and keep in mind as well that if all your four queues are taken, that means you won’t be able to win any chests, even if you win a race in your current league! Unless you’ve got a lot of Orbs to spend to automatically open chests without waiting, don’t rush your progress too much.
9. Watch Ads For More Goodies
Every now and then, the game will ask you if you want to watch an advertisement video to earn more coins, or open a free chest on top of the one you’ve already earned. Don’t pass up this opportunity — all it takes is about 30 seconds or so, and that’s a small sacrifice to earn some extra goodies on top of what you’ve already won.
We’ll be back with another Ridge Racer Draw and Drift strategy guide really soon, so make sure to join us as we bring you some tips and strategies for more advanced players!