Can you guys help me become an expert at Gran Turismo 5?

#1 Posted by TheJohn (569 posts) -

Hello community!

I've recently acquired a copy of Gran Turismo 5, and yesterday I dove into it, headfirst. I've never cared about cars, and I have no experience with driving games, so this sucker is a little bit daunting, to say the least. I don't even have a drivers license.

I've been playing the game for about five hours, have tuned a couple of cars and won some races. When I follow the race line I usually do ok, but now I'm at level 9 and the challenge is getting palpable. Due to my lack of understanding of what the different parts of a car do, I'm just using cars that look good and I'm randomly throwing cash at stuff that mean nothing to me in the tuning shop. I'm guessing this is not the best approach as the game gets harder, so I'm prepared to educate my self about this stuff.

So if you got anything that'll help me do gooder at this game, I'll be happy. Like, what should I look for when choosing transmission? And are 4WD better than FF? And should I worry about washing my car, like ever? I know I could probably ask google about this stuff, but you guys are usually cooler.

Help me, Giant Bomb community. You're my only hope. Sorta.

#2 Posted by Monosukoi (13 posts) -

Hey there.

GT5 can certainly be intimidating to the uninitiated racer, but once you break the learning curve it's a great game!

My first recommendation would be to definitely do the Licenses. The very early ones are quite basic, and might seem like a chore at first, but I'd imagine they're pretty important if you've not played many driving games before. Stuff such as learning the right driving line into a hairpin turn, for example, is really useful in the long run.

I wouldn't worry too much about tuning your cars at this stage - you can do some very tangible stuff like engine improvements and weight reduction if you like, with those you should immediately have a discernible difference. Some of the more complicated tuning options like fully customizable suspensions, transmissions and LSD can be completely avoided at this stage, but just remember for future use that when you're comfortable with the game they are a very deep and complex way of perfecting your car to the way you want it!

One 'tune' you could definitely use is buying some better tyres for your cars. The softer compounds can feel a bit like Cheat Mode on the earlier tournaments, but it all depends on one's personal skill and their desire for a challenge. Softer tyres let you carry a ton more speed into the corners and brake a lot later. It's up to you - decide whether you want to learn "properly" or whether you just want to win and earn some more credits and EXP.

I wouldn't say using cars you like the aesthetic look of is wrong at all! If you like what you're racing with then it's all good, right? Don't use something that someone says is good but doesn't appeal to you. That will come later, sadly there are times when using something you don't particularly enjoy is necessary. Also - I don't know if you've seen it but every car has Performance Points (PP) and engine power (BHP), if you match your PP and BHP roughly to the PP of the CPU cars in the race, you should get pretty close/exciting racing. A lot of what winning the events is about is what car you bring to the track. As long as you have the right entry requirements, a similar PP and BHP you can win races in a competitive manner. Don't worry about the difference in drive types such as 4WD, FR and FF just yet. There are big differences, yes, but for now I'd concentrate on learning driving lines.

The different aids on offer can also help you - but again it depends on how 'pure' you want your driving experience to be. If you ever plan on racing online, it's probably best to get used to having most of them off, as most online lobbies ban roughly ~80% of the available driving aids. For now, the two I would keep on would be Driving Line (sounds like you've used this), to get you used to the tracks, and also ABS (anti-lock braking system), which prevents your car from locking its' wheels when you're braking - trust me that's a good thing! You can keep Traction Control on - which stops you sliding around when you accelerate out of corners - but eventually you'll want to get rid of it. The rest, unless you feel like you particularly need them, should probably be avoided, they have a tendency to make you slower in the long run since you get used to bad habits. For now keep the transmission on Auto. You can worry about using Manual when you're comfortable with everything else, but Manual is definitely the quicker option and affords you more control.

You should also make a note of your control system. I'm presuming you're using a DS3? In the options, you can change the controls to suit you. Personally I like having accelerate/brake on R2 and L2 respectively. I believe the default uses the Right stick in an up/down configuration. I find that the triggers provide more comfort and more control. Also it might be a good idea to turn the Steering Sensitivity to maximum (or your preference), as it lets you have quicker movements on the Left stick.

I think that's about it for now - if I've confused you or bored you I'm sorry! One last tip - check out GT Planet, there is a huge community on that website and extremely active forums.

#3 Posted by TheJohn (569 posts) -

@Monosukoi: Dude! Thanks!

That was exactly what I was hoping for. Basic enough for me to understand, and still packed with enough good advice that I feel like I've learned something. Much appreciated!

Is there a place where I can see the PP and BHP of the CPU cars before each race, or do I have to go into the the dealership and read up on them there? I'm beginning to realize that this might be a pretty deep rabbit hole I've dived into. But it has been fun so far.

#4 Edited by doejonathan (198 posts) -
@TheJohn: You can see what kind of cars you're about to face just before you load a race in A-spec or B-spec. There are three or four icons above the race you are about to enter, one for Entry requirements, another for your Garage and a third one that will show you the typical car selection the CPU drivers will use. CPU will hardly ever use Racing Soft tires and like Monosukoi said, they're make a huge difference. While money isn't as hard to come by with the latest patches installed, it's still a good idea not to tune your car too much, as it takes away any challenge.  
If you ever feel like trying your luck online, keep an eye out on the Giant Bomb Race Night sticky, we've been low on numbers and a little less active lately, but when we drive it's always good fun.  
edit: if you want to know what tire-selection your opponents use, the only way to find out if by crashing into them and realize they probably are on Comforts and you aren't, or load up a replay and select a different driver on the right side. The left side of the screen will show their tire-selection. Their full tune setup and PP are never shown anywhere I believe.
#5 Posted by Lego_My_Eggo (1082 posts) -

You should definitely do the license tests and watch the videos that explains the course beforehand, it explains everything you need to do to pass the test and how it affects the car. And if you don't know what a part will do to a car there is often a question mark icon you can select that will tell you what the part will do. And just remember to brake before a turn and not during it, you can break this rule sometimes, but its best to think of the grip of your tires as % number and you can never go over 100%. So if breaking uses 70% of your tire grip and turning in a corner uses 80%, doing both at the same time means your tires simply don't have the grip and will send you skidding out of control.

And the difference between the different drivetrains (FF 4WD RWD FWD) is where the power is going (which tires) and how the shifting weight of a moving car effects the control. So for example if you have a front wheel drive car it is easy to control because the power is going to the front wheels, but when you accelerate the weight of the car transfers to the rear wheels which means less traction in the front tires effecting acceleration and steering and will usually have understeer. Alternatively a rear wheel drive car sends all the power to the rear tires so when you accelerate you increase the grip to the back tires and help acceleration, but it is much more easy for you to lose traction in your rear tires in a turn if you try to accelerate in a turn and will usually suffer from oversteer. And 4WD can send the power to all 4 tires, and will even transfer it from the tires losing traction to the ones with traction so you don't waste power, making it good for off road, but it also adds more weight and can suffer from understeer like FWD.

There are times when some drivetrains are better then others, like using a 4WD car on dirt and snow tracks while a RWD will spin out at every turn, but it has more to do with your driving style then anything.

#6 Posted by TheJohn (569 posts) -

Thanks guys. This is really helping. I've finished the b grade license now, and managed to get a silver on most of them. Will attempt the next collection of tasks tomorrow.

@doejonathan will I need a mic to get the most out of the race nights? If and when I dare to participate, that is.

#7 Posted by Red12b (9344 posts) -


we usually don't use mics because it killed some of the connections of some participants, but, since only a few of us turn up now, (says the guy who hasn't turned up in a month....) it should be fine,

I have enough free time to start turning up again so...yay!

I agree with what monosukui said, get race soft tyres as soon as you can, it'l be like driving a brand new car, and that one upgrade will be enough for most of the early races,

You should also save up for a nissan GTR as it really is the one car that can do most of the events, and you can get it up to 800 bhp

#8 Posted by DarthOrange (4124 posts) -


Do these race nights still happen? If so when and who should I add?

As for the question asked here , add some friends who have been playing for a while and have cars that you can borrow. They can be really helpful, especially when you're just starting out and don't have that much money to spend on cars. It leads to less grinding and more racing. Or you can always just find a good podcast and grind away.

#9 Posted by The_Grindilow (434 posts) -

My advice would be to stay away from ridiculously powerful RWD cars for now, as they are horrificly difficult to drive. Go for the nice handling cars (Lotus, Ferrari, German cars tend to handle pretty well) until you get used to the way the physics in the game work, then start experimenting with the more powerful, tail happy cars.

#10 Posted by TheJohn (569 posts) -

Again, thanks a bunch.

I've passed the national A license, and man, some of those suckers are testing my patience. But I've gotten a ton of good advice from you guys, and I seem to get better at the game. I'm still fucked if the AI have cars as good as mine, but I'm learning and enjoying my self immensely. I'm even recognizing car brands in real life.

I moved the accelerator and brakes to R2 and L2, and that made a lot of difference. The racing tires are probably helping a lot as well. My "main" car is a Mazda RX-9(or RX-7? I forget...) that is fun and fast. I've been winning stuff in the amateur bracket with that one. It does what I tell it to, and I have a great feeling of being in control when I use it. I did however buy a sweet Lotus Europa Special '71 from the used car dealer, and have been dumping credits into that one as well. It's pretty much impossible to keep it on the road, but now and then I'm able to make it through a hairpin with a combination of dumb luck and feathering the throttle, and it feels amazing!

I was not prepared for the need to have so many different cars to be able to compete in all the races, so I've had to grind for cash, but I need the experience, so I'm not complaining. Come to think of it, I'm having a blast. I was actually planning to finish the Witcher 1 and 2 this week, but thanks to you guys I'm gonna keep doing this thing for a while it seems.

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