View Full Version : Tuning and Setup Tips by Community Manager NFSCoulter (always up-to-date)


Elle
05-01-2011, 08:51 PM
That's the collection of NFSCoulter's (New Community Manager) tuning and setup tips.
I'm going to update it every time.

It might be confusing with that amount of text but here's a tip:
Press Ctrl + F. There's a feature popping up above the page. Type in the subject you're looking for.
The links will bring you to the original news blog post on NeedForSpeed.com (http://www.needforspeed.com/)

Subjects:
- Drivetrain (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-drivetrain?cat=870)
- Handling Setup 101 (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-handling-setup-101?cat=870)
- Sway Bars (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-sway-bars?cat=870)
- Springs (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-springs?cat=870)
- Aerodynamics (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-aerodynamics?cat=870)
- Stance (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-stance?cat=870)
- Alignment (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-alignment)
- Standing Mile (http://www.needforspeed.com/post/shift-2-unleashed-tuning-tips-standing-mile)


Drivetrain:

I’d like to begin by discussing one of the simpler, yet extremely valuable, changes you can make to your car: Gear Ratios. Gear Ratios can be one of the easiest fixes you can make to slice precious seconds from your lap time. Depending on the track, giving your car taller or shorter gears can make a huge difference in top speed and acceleration. Like any bit of tuning you do, it’s going to be give-and-take. You give up top speed, but you get acceleration and vice versa.

For example, I like to use the Porsche GT3 Cup R and race in the FIA GT3 category. While the Porsche is fantastic in the corners, the power of the Lamborghinis and Corvettes allows them to walk away when we hit the straights at Road America. To counter this, I shortened the Final Drive of the Porsche from 4.0 to 2.0, giving me more acceleration out of the turns, allowing me the quickness to keep up with the others as they power down the straight. (In the beginning, stick to adjusting only the Final Drive to avoid messing up your shift points!)

As further proof, I tried setting the final drive to 8.0 and did a few hot laps. The result: I was 10mph faster at the end of the straights, but I was so slow accelerating out of the other turns that I was about 1 second slower on my lap times. (For fun I also took the Porsche GT3 R to Hazyview and ran .3 seconds quicker with 0.0 gears.)

I use Road America as an example because it only has medium-length straights where you can allow yourself the ability to trim top speed in favor of acceleration. At tracks like the Dakota Tri-Oval, Enna Pergusa, or Monza Jr., set your gears to a taller setting (6.0+) because those extremely long straights will give your car the time to climb up to those high speeds.

To see the most dramatic change, take a Class D car and shorten the final drive as far as it will go. I took a bone stock, Volkswagen GTI and set the final drive to 0.0. The result from a lap around Mount Panorama was 3 seconds quicker! The Class D cars take so long to hit their top speed, it’s better to just give them a lot of acceleration because it’s rare you’ll find a track you’ll be pinging the rev limiter down the straightaway.

It’s a delicate balance, but there is a sweet spot on almost every car and track that will maximize your speed and minimize your lap times. Utilize the live tuning options and find what works!

General Rules:

Short Gearing (2.0 and less):
- Class D cars
- Short tracks with short straights and/or lots of corners (Hazyview, Suzuka, Brands Hatch, Riviera)

Average Gearing (2.0-6.0):
- Any car Class C and above
- Tracks with a lot of variety (Laguna Seca, Road America, Dubai Autodrome, Shanghai)

Tall Gearing (6.0 and higher):
- Tracks that favor extremely long straights or constant high speeds (Dakota Tri-Oval, Enna Pergusa, portions of the Nurburgring, Monza Jr.)
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________


Handling Setup 101:

When you do the evaluation race at the beginning of your career, you’ll get a recommended set-up based on how you performed in that race. But that’s not written in stone, so feel free to tweak and tune to get the controls and cars to feel just right for your driving style. As you get more comfortable, you’ll be able to tune every car in the game to its unique specifications. But early in the game, as you’re more focused on earning XP and leveling up, I recommend some quick adjustments to get you on the track sooner.

For example, in OPTIONS, highlight GAMEPLAY, and set the HANDLING to Novice and turn your STEERING ASSIST on. You can also turn on BRAKING ASSIST if you have issues slowing down for corners, however I left this off as I was simply concerned about keeping the car pointed straight. You’ll now have a great foundation to tune from. As my crew chief always says, “It’s much better to tune a car to improve it, than to tune a car to make it less-worse!” In this case, I couldn’t agree more.

Go ahead and try out these gameplay settings and if you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________


Sway Bars:

As any driver will tell you, there are (at least) three parts to a corner: The entry / turn-in, the apex, and the exit. What’s great about SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is that each car reacts differently to corners. In general, you want your car to have the fastest exit speed possible, but some suffer such bad understeer or oversteer that you spend precious time correcting your steering instead of getting back on the accelerator. At the forefront of this issue are the sway bars.

When tuning, adjusting the sway bars can mean the difference between your fastest lap and the gravel trap. There are front and rear sway bars which react differently based on their stiffness. A soft front sway bar will cause oversteer, while a stiff front sway bar will cause understeer. The opposite is true for the rear sway bar. Therefore, by setting both of these to a certain point, you can find a happy medium with your car.

The Need for Speed SHELBY Terlingua Mustang, for example, along with most of the muscle cars in the game, has horrible understeer. Its big, heavy engine block makes the entry to corners much more difficult, especially on a technical track like Laguna Seca. I knew thatsetting both sway bars to 0.0 would shoot me right off the track with massive push, while leaving the front at 0.0 and setting the rear at 10.00 would cause the Mustang to act like a drift car. Here’s what I love about tuning: Tiny adjustments can make all the difference. Instead of going overboard as previously stated, I made a small tweak to the front sway bar, softening it from 6.0 to 4.0, and all of a sudden, the car was dialed in. I shed nearly 1.5 seconds off my lap time.

A small car like the Lotus Elise has the opposite issue. Every time I came tearing around the corner, the rear-end felt like it was going to step out on me. I was so busy worrying about oversteer, that I would take each corner much slower than I needed to. The rear sway bar was already pretty soft, but I tried making it even softer (0.0-1.0). The result was a car with great turn-in, and the wheels would just barely stick through the corner, never breaking loose. It felt like I was racing right on the edge through each hairpin, kink, and chicane, which is exactly where I want to be.

The key to sway bars is to make small adjustments, don’t do anything drastic. Heavy muscle cars tend to push while the lighter cars want to fishtail. Make a few small corrections and they’ll all be handling like the well-balanced race car you want.

General Rules:

- Softer front: Oversteer
- Stiffer front: Understeer
- Softer rear: Understeer
- Stiffer rear: Oversteer
- Make small adjustments: No more than 4.0 in either direction
- Heavier cars: Tend to have understeer
- Lighter cars: Generally have lots of oversteer
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________


Springs:

Continuing from where I left off last week, I thought I would finish the Springs category. Sway Bars deserved their own blog because I feel they have a far greater impact on handling than the rest. That being said, once you have your sway bars tuned properly, adjusting spring rates and bump stops can act as a complement to them.

I’ll come right out and say it: I love the GUMPERT apollo. I’m not sure if it’s the looks, or the absurd Performance Index the Works conversion gives it (2354!), but I love it as an alternative to all the Lamborghinis and Paganis I see. That being said, I spend about half of my energy just trying to keep the car on the track. The back end simply has a mind of its own.

Adjusting the sway bars helped, but there was still more to do. I needed to tone down the movement of the rear-end, while still maintaining the ability to turn into the corners.

Stiffening both springs to 6.00 essentially turns the car into twitchy, uncontrollable jackhammer. Trying to hit a high-speed sweeping corner with stiff springs will send you shooting into the wall due the wheels having zero give. Every bump in the road is felt, and you’ll find yourself skipping outwards consistently as the tires lose contact with the pavement.

Softening both springs to 0.00 will cure the twitchy feeling, making it easier to control on the straights, but the turn-in becomes much more difficult since there is a lack of responsiveness and slight increase in body-roll.

My personal preference is that I’d rather have to catch the tail trying to step-out, than wait for it come around in a turn. I found comfort in a setting that gives me a responsive front spring rate 4-5.00, and 3.00 in the rear. If you don’t like trying to tame oversteer, set the rear a bit softer.

With that fixed, I moved onto bump stops which cured one of my biggest annoyances with the apollo: Bottoming out. With the Works package, the GUMPERT sits extremely low, and constantly scrapes on rough sections of the track. By setting the bump stops at 15.00 in the front, and 20.00 in the rear, I fixed bottoming out altogether.

The trade-off here is that I gained precious MPH, but the car becomes a little bit squirrely. If you find sparks shooting out from underneath your car regularly, increase your bump stop on the front and rear until they stop, just remember that the higher you go, the less control you have. I would only recommend adjusting bump stops if your car rides extremely low.

A well-balanced car like the BMW 135i Coupe has a ride height that’s fine, negating the need for bump stops (or a change in ride height itself). That being said, it really isn’t as responsive as I’d like in corners. After playing with the sway bars (Front at 6.00 and Rear at 3.00), I set both Springs at 3.00 which resulted keeping the car balanced, giving me a little bit more turn-in, a touch of controllable oversteer, and more speed out of the corners.

If all else fails, keep remembering the three parts to a corner: Entry, Apex, and Exit. Each needs to be smooth in order to be fast.
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________


Aerodynamics:

One of the most important terms in racing verbiage is downforce, which is a major part of your car’s aerodynamics, and is vital whether you are cornering hard or trying to reach top speed.

In SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED, controlling your car at 200mph is a must. No one wants to scratch that beautiful paint, right? At high speed, adding downforce can certainly help you corner. What you’re doing is pushing the front or rear of the car into the ground, giving you more traction.

With the lovely BMW 3.0 CSL Gr. 5 that came in this week’s Legends DLC, adjusting the aerodynamics can make a big difference. By increasing front and rear downforce, you gain much more grip when cornering, but trim your top speed because you’ve created more drag.

The opposite is true as well. I set the front and rear downforce to 0.00, and the top speed increased about 4-5mph; however, these settings made the car difficult to control, making the tracks feel more like a skating rink than tarmac.

Setting the front to 0.00 and the rear to 10.00 gave me loads of understeer, making it nearly impossible to turn, whereas dialing the front up to 10.00 and the rear to 0.00 gave the car massive oversteer. It handled just like a drift car (hint hint!).

In the end, I settled on a front downforce of 8.00 and rear of 5.00. I prefer a little less traction in the back as it allows me to get the tail around on highly technical tracks.

As you can see, large changes to the aerodynamics can cause problems; however, adding or removing a little downforce can shred at least a second off your lap time.

General Rules:

-Increased downforce (Front or Rear): more grip, less speed
-Decreased downforce (Front or Rear): less grip, more speed
-Lots of front, none in the rear: Massive oversteer, drifting
-Minimal front, lots of rear: Understeer, push
-Small adjustments equal faster lap times
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________


Stance:

While shooting sparks may look cool when they’re shooting up from behind your car in SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED, chances are you’re losing valuable speed at the same time. That being said, if you can minimize bottoming out while still keeping the car low, you’re in the best position to succeed.

Many of the body kits put your front splitter and rear diffuser a mere inch from the ground. Lowering your stance too far in the front or rear can result in one of those pieces scraping the asphalt during weight transfers or a bump on the track. A low center of gravity is paramount when cornering. If your car is as high as it can go, there will be an increase in body roll and a lack of stability, which will certainly harm you when cornering.

The Audi R8 Coupe 4.2 FSI quattro is one of the most balanced cars in the game, but set the front and rear ride height to 10.00 and all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself fighting the car to stay on the track. Take them both down to 0.00 and I found I had mixed results. The car handled a little better, but any bump on the track caused sparks to fly out, essentially indicating extra friction and drag that I didn’t need.

Stance can be important with any car, but I wouldn’t recommend tinkering much with it. Making a minor change, then adjusting the bump stops is the best combination I’ve found to keep the center of gravity low without bottoming out. If you’d like increased grip, lower the front to about 2.00-4.00 and that should be plenty.

General Rules:

-Raised Stance: More acceleration, increased body roll, less traction

-Lower Stance: Better center of gravity, more grip, chance of bottoming out

-Don’t lower to less than 2.00

-If front and rear aren’t the same, keep the front lower than the rear
__________________________________________________ _____________________________


Alignment:

Usually when you hear about alignment, it’s because you’re at the body shop and they’re explaining to why your car is pulling to the left. In racing, changing your alignment can mean better acceleration, steering, or braking.

Steering lock is one of the more interesting changes you can make to your car in SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED. By lowering it completely to 0.00, you have essentially eliminated any chance of turning whatsoever. In the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, doing this turned the car into a freight train, plowing me straight into the tire wall.

That being said, if you don’t like the twitchy, over-responsive feeling you get when trying to make small steering adjustments on straights, trim your steering lock down to 19.00. If you go lower than that, you won’t be able to maneuver on highly technical tracks. The steering lock is certainly one I would recommend tuning to your taste.

The caster angle is one that I found really didn’t have that much of an effect unless your car is pushing 200+ mph down the backstretch. Even then, the differences are minimal. Caster angle ultimately aids in straight line driving, but it wasn’t really that noticeable in the Veyron. That being said, somewhere in the 8.00 to 10.00 range is where I would keep it.

The heart of adjusting your alignment lies with the toe angle and the camber. They both play a crucial role in your handling, acceleration and braking. Tweaking the front and rear toe angle changes the horizontal angle of the wheels, essentially setting the front part of the tires closer or further apart. Toe-out will increase responsiveness, but as always, do it in moderation. The Bugatti feels natural with toe angles of 19.00 in the front and 21.00 in the rear.

Front and rear camber adjusts the vertical angle of the wheel, with negative camber increasing cornering ability. This is because if you tilt the top of the wheel inward (negative), when the car turns and the weight rolls to that side, more rubber will meet the road.

On the other hand, positive camber will improve your acceleration and braking. I don’t have exact figures as it’s tough to measure a 0-60 in a Bugatti, but after maxing-out both Front and Rear camber to 36.00, the increased acceleration was definitely noticeable. Keep your cambers a touch on the higher side, with the rear always about 5-10 higher than the front. It’s important to keep traction in the front wheels!

The next Tuning Tips blog will be the final one, but stay tuned (get it?) because we’ve got something great planned to follow it up!

General Rules:

Steering Lock:
- Adjust to your own comfort
- Lower - No response
- Higher - More response

Caster Angle:
- For higher speed cars
- Aids in high speeds, set lower for more control

Toe Angle:
- Adjusts distance between the front of the tires
- Toe-In - Better straight line
- Toe-Out - Improves responsiveness
- Keep somewhere in the middle, 19.00-21.00

Camber:
- Adjusts vertical angle of wheel
- Negative camber leads to better cornering
- Postive camber leads to better acceleration
- Keep rear angle 5.00-10.00 higher than front
__________________________________________________ __________________________


Standing Mile

With the release of the Speedhunters DLC pack for SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED yesterday (May 17th) came two new race modes, along with a 14 new cars. The former features a drag strip, allowing you to channel your inner Vin Diesel and live your life a quarter-mile at a time. The other new race mode is similar, but still very, very different. The “Standing Mile” is a one-mile speed trap where you try and achieve the highest MPH possible. It’s not about who reaches the one-mile marker in the shortest amount of time, it’s about who is going the fastest when they cross it.

Knowing this, the car you’ve tuned perfectly for Laguna Seca or the Nordschleife isn’t necessarily going to be the best here. It’s all about maximizing your top end speed in a straight line.

In my limited time with the DLC pack, I’ve been trying to get the Pagani Huayra Speedhunters Edition to top out right as I hit the finish line. On my first pass I was only going a paltry 210mph. Immediately I went to tune the Pagani’s drivetrain. As mentioned in a previous blog, the drivetrain adjusts the gearing, allowing you to have more acceleration or more top speed. I maxed-out the final drive to 8.00 and instantly my speed reached 222mph. The Pagani was just barely beginning to stretch its legs though. I went gear-by-gear and maxed them all out, resulting in 249mph.

To show what a difference a minor adjustment can make, I took 7th gear down one notch on the Pagani and my trap speed plummeted 15mph.

I wouldn’t recommend maxing out your gears for all cars though. Ideally, you’d want to be about to redline in your final gear as you cross the finish line. For some, that may mean adjusting individual gears to get the most out of their car. As a general rule, if your revs are dropping anywhere below half of the redline when you shift, that gear is too tall. Adjust it toward acceleration (one notch is usually plenty) and you should be able to carry your power through to the next gear, instead of feeling a lull in acceleration.

Having found the sweet spot in the gear ratios, I started looking for other ways to increase speed. I lowered my downforce completely, which boosted me to 257mph. Combine that with increasing negative camber and raising tire pressure and I was approaching a much more respectable 265mph.

Each individual car will require a bit of trial and error, but getting the Drag Pack (instead of the Works package) is a good place to start. Follow that with your gear ratios, camber adjustments and tire pressures, and you’ll be squeezing out more mph with every pass.

General Rules:

-Set your Gear Ratios to a much taller setting than stock

-Individual gears may need to be tweaked in order to maximize performance. When you shift, if the revs drop too low, try adjusting that gear more toward acceleration

-Downforce should be very low

-Negative camber should be increased

-Tire pressure should be increased

Elle
05-19-2011, 12:55 PM
I opened the thread so you can post your own tips as well!
Go ahead and help other gamers, when your know a trick to get a better time or to control your car.

FstrthnU
05-30-2011, 04:08 AM
I'll just post a couple tips. Until that guy posts the last tuning tip section, I think this should work.

The default tire pressures are way too high (50/50). Both should be decreased to somewhere between 26 and 34. Keep them relatively close. It might be different for the supercars, but for most of the sports cars, it should work.

Also, when tuning gears, you'll probably want to make sure 2nd and 3rd gears take at least 3-3.5 seconds or so to reach redline. Any shorter, and the gear isn't tall enough (you'll be shifting too often). Any longer, and you'll be out of your power band. 1st gear should take about 2-2.5 seconds (it's your lowest gear, so it should be quick). You probably won't hit redline on 5th gear on a regular track, but if you are, then you probably need to tune it a bit shorter (towards acceleration). You should never need to use 6th gear on the majority of the tracks.

Finally, you'll definitely want to save a configuration with a higher steering lock and other settings to turn tighter on street tracks like Riviera or Shanghai.

HazewinDog
07-06-2011, 03:23 PM
Can anyone help me out on Standing Mile?

I fully upgraded (+Drag Pack) the older version of the Mazda RX-7 and now i want to tune it so i can reach a nice topspeed for standing mile. But the thing is that by default the first 3 gears (and the 4th too actually) are much too short, while the 5th gear is WAY too long. So the first thing i did was setting the main drive fully to speed and then after that i messed some with the individial gear ratios, as described in the Standing Mile section here. Well.. it doesnt seem to get any better.

So if anyone could help me out, i would really appreciate it :)

T0MMY
07-07-2011, 12:43 AM
for me, I used a R34 engine swapped with R35 engine with all drag stuff installed.
For tuning, all I've done is just moving everything to speed such as aerodynamics, gear ratios and final gear. My R34 manage to reach 420Km/h without any problem with some NOS it will reach 440Km/h, It is sufficient to beat the Twin Turbo Viper

HazewinDog
07-10-2011, 07:01 AM
^Tommy, for me NOS does not work at all in drag and standing mile events. and that is one of the MANY bugs the new pack brings, so im really hoping for the patch to be released soon...

T0MMY
07-10-2011, 08:37 AM
it works fine with me.

anyway, EA confirm that there wont be a third patch. The DLC patch is the last patch for PC.

HazewinDog
07-10-2011, 12:00 PM
whaaa? :(