There is an abundance of racing games across all gaming platforms and, for the most part, the racing genre has become an attractive avenue for gamers in general to spend time on. There are, of course, players who consider the racing genre as their favorite, especially the most popular types that involve race cars.
Due to its relative lack of popularity as compared with mainstream racing games, horse racing has become a subgenre that can be easily underrated by players who have yet to even check what they have to offer. While games involving or centered around horses may primarily appeal to horse lovers or animal lovers in general, some horse-centric games can be a surprising treat for gamers who simply enjoy new experiences and challenges.
If you are one of those gamers who enjoy horse racing or have been interested to try something new and different from the usual games you play and enjoy, then Wildshade: Fantasy Horse Races might just be the game you are looking for. Available for both Android and iOS platforms, Wildshade offers a new and exciting way to race against opponents as well as provides breeding and customization options. The closest game types we can compare to Wildshade are actually kart racing games like Mario Kart and Boom Karts, except, well… you ride horses.
Wildshade provides players with a wide variety of horses you can customize as well as race tracks to master. Beyond races, horses can also be bred as you continuously pursue having the ultimate racing horse. Your adventure will certainly be a lengthy endeavor racing from one challenge to another but Wildshade’s simple control scheme and addictive gameplay mechanics make the ride an enjoyable one even for complete beginners.
Win or lose, spending time in Wildshade is certainly an engaging and rewarding experience. While it offers very simple gameplay controls and mechanics, however, it can be considered as among those types of games that are easy to learn yet difficult to master. Actively playing and competing in races ensures that you can make progress in your horse racing career.
However, if you are the competitive type who aims to become the top horse racer and horse breeder, then you came to the right place as our Wildshade Beginner’s Guide comes with tips, tricks and strategies to ace every race and breed the perfect race horse!
1. Master The Controls
Wildshade might be challenging to play utilizing only one hand but using your thumbs on the opposite sides of your device is all it takes to fully be able to perform all the moves and tricks in your arsenal. The virtual d-pad is at the lower left side of your screen while the power-up skill button and the drift button are at the lower right side. Your horse can jump on obstacles but they automatically do each time you run across one.
As simple as it comes, beginners especially players who have little to no experience handling virtual d-pads and buttons may take some time to get used to it. The virtual d-pad in Wildshade can be configured to a fixed position, meaning that regardless of where you touch the device in the d-pad’s area, the d-pad’s position will not adjust to your finger. By default it is not fixed to a position but you can hit the pause button any time during the race to have it fixed and make adjustments to its position
While this is fairly easy to handle, what can possibly happen is that tapping and holding as you maneuver your horse left and right can sometimes lead to touches outside of the d-pad area. In effect, players may often find themselves suddenly losing control of steering and will be unable to make the right turns at the right moment.
Although Wildshade does not have adjustable control configurations under its settings menu, you can easily make adjustments to how you tap and hold on your device to ensure that you have a firm grasp of the virtual d-pad. In any case, it does not take much effort to perform slight swipes while holding the d-pad to ensure that your touch stays well within the d-pad area for the duration of the race.
As a beginner, it is easy to assume that you actually need to tap on the right side of the screen to initiate a jump. However, the simplicity of Wildshade provides for an auto-jump function over logs and similar obstacles on the race track. So long as you have positioned your horse well enough to be within the area of the obstacle to hop over, then your horse will instantly jump over it. There will be no instances of the horse tripping over such obstacles so that is at least one possibility to worry less about.
One of the features within the race that makes Wildshade an exciting one is that there are different power-ups players can nab within the race track and use to gain advantage in the race. Although the powers at your disposal can vary based on the random one you pick up, there is only one skill button to click on for all of them.
In addition to the unique skills to pick up, you also gain energy over time that can be used for a quick dash skill. Energy can be replenished faster as well if you pick up energy orbs scattered across the track but both the energy-based skill and the abilities you gain from the power-up items can be activated using the same button.
Wildshade basically leaves you to use your left thumb to steer left and right while your right thumb is in-charge of using skills and power-ups and at the same time initiate drifts. It all sounds very simple and it should be but the race tracks themselves, as well as your opponents, can make the simplest of control schemes challenging to focus on.
Full and efficient control of your movements and actions will require a lot of practice and patience but it is the most basic aspect of the race to master. As such, for the initial set of races you partake in, it is recommended that you focus on mastering the controls first and ensuring that you can handle it enough to focus on the track and your opponents without distractions as you move forward.
2. Prioritize Campaign Progression
Although categorically a racing game, Wildshade is not just a series of races for you to enter and compete in one after another. The initial race you take part in actually forms part of the campaign and the campaign itself becomes your main key towards progressing in your adventure as a horse breeder and racer. The campaign’s design is made simple and straightforward making it very easy for even complete beginners to understand what basically needs to be done.
Each campaign stage has a power requirement that your current horse must meet and going over the power rating means that your horse’s stats will be adjusted to be fair to that stage’s opponents. Earlier levels may appear easier than the ones you unlock later but this consideration may vary from one player to the next. As each player will naturally have their own preferences and play style, you will come to discover that you may excel in some of the latter stages than the ones you have raced on earlier.
Your performance in the race is graded and you can earn a rating between 1 to 5 stars. It becomes easy to presume that crossing the finish line will net you a 5-star rating or perhaps even a 4-star one. However, it is highly probable to secure the top spot and only get 3 stars while you can also secure a full rating even after crossing the finish line after other racers do.
The idea is that there are several contributing factors that impact your performance in each race and identifying them as well as consciously striving to satisfy each of those metrics within the race can lead to more 5 star ratings across different race tracks. You earn points based on rank, actions, and time and total points considering all 3 metrics determine the star rating you get. Every 100 points you rack also rewards you with a Moon Coin so higher overall points not just earn you star ratings but also Moon Coins, which are a basic currency in Wildshade.
The total stars you earn across every race in the campaign mode also determine the campaign rewards you earn and subsequent race tracks to unlock and participate in. Campaign progression is typically laid out with a claimable reward following 2 consecutive race tracks. It is possible to unlock stages farther in the campaign as well as earn rewards earlier based on your performance in the races you participated in. Without any energy or stamina system in Wildshade, you can always race on previously conquered race tracks in an attempt to secure a higher rating or earn more Moon Coins.
Naturally, you cannot expect to bag a first place victory as well as a 5-star rating on your first attempt on any race track. However, the strategy we recommend is to engage or participate in new race tracks you have unlocked as soon as you can. The idea here is to amass as many stars as quickly to unlock more rewards as well as more race tracks as doing so can contribute to a better repeat performance on earlier levels you want to challenge again.
Even as a beginner, it will be easier to net 3 or 4 stars on a new race track than secure an extra 1 or 2 stars in a previously completed level. As such, it only becomes reasonable to attempt new levels you have unlocked and continue pushing forward with every new one until your current horse fails to meet the minimum power requirements. Once you have reached a temporary dead end in your campaign progression run, then that should be the best time for a cleanup and replay earlier races for a chance of securing a highly-coveted 5-star victory.
3. Understand Horse Stats
Wildshade naturally starts you off with just one horse that you will choose from 3 types at the introductory phase of your adventure. Every race you participate in earns EXP not just for you, but for the horse as well and each new level your horse reaches will earn them some stat increases. For beginners, it can be easy to disregard these stats and simply look at your race horse’s increase in overall power. However, carefully looking into what each of the 5 stat attributes does can help you identify your horse’s strengths and limitations, enabling you to adjust your race strategy or even choose a horse that fits your play style.
Don’t get us wrong, overall power levels are important. However, it can happen that a horse with a relatively lower power level will suit your preference and play style better, leading to more victories and easier chances for full 5-star ratings. A horse’s power determines its efficiency when it comes to jumping. Although we mentioned earlier that jumps are automatically performed when you are at the right position, jumps are very important to do within each race as it provides you with a quick speed boost immediately after. Having higher strength, therefore, contributes to this effect.
Your horse’s acceleration determines how quickly he or she can reach his or her top speed. This is a very important stat to consider at the start of the race and after each fumble so you can catch up more quickly to opponents and recover lost time for those falters. In contrast, your horse’s speed determines top speed and will be generally useful across the entire race track, provided that no fumbles or accidental slowdowns take place.
If you feel that even perfect steering control still makes some turns extra challenging, or if you find that your race horse simply needs a bit more speed in terms of making turns left and right as you dodge opponents and their tricks, then agility is what your horse needs to improve on. A higher agility leads to better steering and is useful for both evasive maneuvers and regular turns around the race track.
Last, but definitely not the least, spirit is the determinant as to how quickly your horse replenishes or regenerates magic points. It is fairly easy to notice how your horse’s magic power increases over time during the race even without picking up magic orbs. However, slight increases in the Spirit stat may not be easily noticeable. Just the same, the rate at which your horse’s magic power regenerates will be quicker when spirit is higher.
With a basic understanding of how each stat works comes a better appreciation and valuation of each one. It can be argued that no 1 stat type is more important than the other although an increase in any stat results in an increase in overall power. The best stat is definitely unique to each player given that individual strengths and play styles define the most important stat for that player.
If you are one who capitalizes on utilizing skills for the most part of each race, then a race horse with a higher spirit stat might be the best for you. Focusing to fumble or fall victim less often against magic attacks and taking stride to leave opponents in the dust may want you to capitalize on speed, power, or even a mix of both.
Having a unique preference as far as play styles are concerned does not necessarily leave you to choose just one stat type over others. A combination or mixture of some stats or even a relatively balanced distribution of stats may even be the best fit for some players. Although you have no direct control as to how your horses’ stats will grow with each new level reached, how you value each stat will help you choose from among your horses which ones to focus on over the rest.
4. Familiarize Yourself With Each Track
Wildshade offers plenty of different race tracks for players to revel in and by plenty, we mean a lot more than what other racing games can generally offer. Although some race tracks are just modified versions of others, you can basically only consider the backgrounds as the only common denominator. Some sectors of the race track may become more easily familiar, but the ultimate goal if you want to become a top tier jockey is to know each one kike the back of your hand, so to speak.
Mastering the controls and ensuring that what you intend to do within each race is as close to the outcome naturally comes as top priority, requiring some repetition in terms of going through similar race tracks again and again. Once you are confident with the controls, the next level of practice should be aimed towards memorizing each race track. This can become a grueling task, even for experienced and veteran racing game players especially since Wildshade does not provide a mini map of the current race track you are on.
Having a mental layout of the entire map enables you to prepare way ahead of time on how to position yourself in every sector of the race track. Your level of precision, as far as steering left and right are concerned, may be perfect, but your position on the track is equally important especially as you make long or consecutive turns. There is such a thing as an “okay” level of maneuvering but a pre-emptive positioning will help you traverse the optimum path even on the most challenging sectors of the track.
An important feature to take advantage of relative to every race track in Wildshade, is that there are always sectors that provide alternate routes. These may be perceived as shortcuts by some layers but not every alternate route necessarily has to be better in every respect. In some cases, an alternate route may be shorter but more difficult to traverse compared to the regular one. Sometimes, though, a different path may not be shorter and at the same time more challenging, but will earn you a power-up or some extra magic orbs.
Taking note of the locations of every alternate route as well as knowing which one is the best for you requires a lot of patience and repetition. The overall impact of mastering this, however, can tremendously improve your performance on the race tracks you have mastered, even with a race horse that is not a perfect fit with your preferences and play style. To some extent, this, along with superb control skills, can matter more than having a horse with better stats.
5. Take Every Opportunity To Drift
Drifting is a feature not as common in every racing game and one that most people surely would not expect in any horse racing game like Wildshade. While the idea of race horses drifting can be amusing to watch and perform, it serves a much bigger purpose than aesthetic appeal and exhibition thrills.
Drifting in Wildshade is actually an important maneuver to perform controlled skids in turns that would otherwise be difficult to go through. Drifting in Wildshade works very much like how it does in car racing games, giving you an extra edge against your opponents if you perform it better than they do.
Drifting is easy to learn yet difficult to master as you need to time your drifts right to ensure that it leads to an advantage instead of a disadvantage. When you initiate a drift, you need to tap and hold on the drift button. You will see a drift meter go from empty to full. The idea is to stop drifting as the meter becomes full to get a short speed boost afterwards.
While drifting, your speed will be reduced slightly. This means that drifting a little off the mark, or doing so without being able to max the meter and claim the speed boost afterwards, will just yield a slower overall time for the race. It is important to understand and accept that a good number of drifts you perform early on may not net you the results you desire but, surely enough, you will get the hang of it and perform perfect drifts moving forward.
6. Push To Move Forward On The Reward Road
As we mentioned earlier, every race you engage in Wildshade, even repeat sessions, earns you something. Beyond the chance of securing more stars, in case you have not yet secured a perfect rating, Moon Coins, horse EXP, and player EXP can be earned. In this sense, there are plenty of reasons for you to continue replaying previously conquered campaign levels on top of practicing and perfecting your runs.
While progression in the campaign earns you extra rewards as well as new levels to test your skills on, reaching new player levels grants you an extra set of rewards via Wildshade’s Reward Road. Your current level, as well as the percentage of EXP you have can be seen at the upper left side of the main screen. Clicking on it takes you to the Reward Road feature, where each level reached comes with a reward you will certainly appreciate.
The Reward Road in Wildshade currently stretches up to level 100 with typically more unique rewards for every tenth level you reach. You can certainly appreciate seeing all future rewards laid out even if you are just starting as knowing what you can get with effort and activity serves as a prime motivator for you to move forward.
7. Strategize On Having Stronger Horses
As your horse continues to participate from one race to the next one, it will earn experience points and reach higher levels. With a constant starting level of 0, each horse will earn stat increases with each new level it reaches. Following your accomplishments in the campaign, as well as your progression in the Reward Road, you are bound to secure new horses, potentially with better stats than your first horse.
Although your first horse will more likely have higher stats than new horses given that it has leveled up, the point of comparison should be each horse’s base stats and overall power at level 0, which is visible in the horse overview window. To some extent, you might want to consider continuing to ride your first horse across the succeeding races as opposed to switching to the new one with better starting stats, but keep in mind that the horse with better starting stats will be sure to grow even stronger than the other one.
Surely enough, you will have to spend a lot more time grinding for EXP for the new horse to be at the same level as the previous one, but it will be more worth it in the long run. Another point to consider is how often you should switch from one horse to the next, especially since you are bound to get better and better horses moving forward. To be honest, we have no clear-cut recommendations as to what specific strategy to follow, as that should depend on your current level and status relative to how soon you will receive a better horse.
Wildshade provides players with an expandable stable to keep numerous horses at once. You can earn some free empty slots as rewards from the campaign and the Reward Road, but beyond those, you need to spend increasing amounts of Moon Coins for additional stable spaces. In any case, only make such purchases when you are about to obtain or purchase a new horse.
The campaign racing and tournament modes of Wildshade certainly carries with it a lot of excitement but while racing is at the core of your adventure, it also involves breeding horses. This feature is almost as exciting as the races themselves, perhaps even more for players who enjoy gacha mechanics or luck-based outcomes.
Breeding horses require you to select 2 horses to mate. At least one of the horses has to be yours while the second choice can be another of your horses or horses provided in the breeding menu. Breeding costs Moon Coins depending on the power levels of the horses to breed. Appearances can be a mix of both horses but, more importantly, the overall power will generally be a range between the power levels of the horses being bred.
In some cases, the new horse can have a total power higher than that of the breeding pairs. However, this will also come with a risk of obtaining a product horse with overall stats lower than both their parents’ individual stats. Breeding may have risks involved and is certainly a game of chance. However, having more options as to which horses to pair with each step forward, presents you with probabilities that can less risky and more rewarding than your earlier options.
Each time you breed horses, make sure that you have a free space in your stable. Breeding will always be 100% successful and breeding lets you keep the horses you paired up. You can free up some space in the stable by selling horses you no longer want for a few Moon Coins. Breeding also earns you ascension crystals, which is the sole resource needed to ascend your horse and take them to the next star grade.
Wildshade still has plenty of adventures and challenges waiting to be discovered but this is where we will wrap up our beginner’s guide for now. Our time spent in the world of Wildshade as well as writing this guide has been a challenging yet wholesome experience and we hope that you have learned a great deal from the basic tips and strategies we provided. If you want to share your racing and breeding experiences, as well as add a few tricks and strategies of your own, do not hesitate to do so and talk to us through the comment section!