Getting 1st place in The Crew Motorfest’s Grand Race requires an array of different strategies and insights, yet none are more fundamental than control settings and vehicle handling. As a note, vehicle upgrades aren’t a factor in Grand Race due to equally distributed perf levels, so we can skip that entirely. Onward to settings!
Best Tips & Tricks for The Crew Motorfest Grand Race
Calibrate your settings
Many players are likely to gloss over some of the settings options, but a few are vital to a smooth gameplay experience.
First, get rid of any distracting UI that gets in the way of your field of view. Turn off emotes! Player names are not too distracting, but emotes will often pop up and obstruct your view in the midst of a race. In fact, using distracting emotes has been a popular strategy to block players’ line of sight during competitive races, so don’t fall for their shenanigans if you want to get 1st place in Grand Race! (And maybe use this to your advantage, but don’t tell them I said that.)
Turn off the driving line. Okay, hear me out. Forza’s driving line is very helpful with accurate indications of when to brake and accelerate. Motorfest’s has been downright misleading so far. If you’re relying on The Crew Motorfest’s racing line, you’re going to be overtaken really fast by other players. The line goes red to indicate braking in sections where I had no issue cornering with full acceleration. You’ll also miss vital shortcuts by using the static racing line this game provides. The racing line will only make you slower during the Grand Race, so it’s highly advised you turn it off until the feedback and accuracy of it gets patched.
Set traction control to Sport. Sport is a fantastic middle ground that allows you to slide the rear of the car when you want while holding the line with grip at other times. The ability to control the rear end of your vehicle is crucial in Grand Race because of the chaotic terrain and the 28 players that will inevitably bump into you. Turning it on its highest setting, comfort, just makes your car rigid and inflexible, which is something you’ll only want during certain tarmac-only races.
A whole article can be dedicated to the settings of The Crew Motorfest, so in an effort to spare the reader a giant wall of text, I’ll make the rest of the recommended settings for Grand Race brief.
ESP: off (don’t want any brake assist!)
Drift assist: off or sport
Motion blur: off
Camera shake: off
Text size: small
Deadzone and linearity: Set deadzone/linearity values very low if your controller has no thumbstick drift issues. Make sure your controller inputs are reactive yet not too sensitive.
Pick a good car
There’s a wide variety of car types in The Crew Motorfest. Want to steamroll everything in your path with a powerful V8 muscle car? Maybe go for a Dodge Challenger SRT. Or, do you prefer cornering perfection and scalpel-like precision? Pick just about any Porsche coupe. Either way is viable for getting 1st place in Grand Race, it all depends on your preference and expertise.
While there are cars with advantages over others despite equal performance levels in Grand Race, it’ll do you good to pick a car that suits your style and that you can control well. In general, the vehicles that do well in Grand Race are ones that are versatile and don’t just specialize in one aspect.
First, in order to have an array of options at the start, it’s recommended you transfer all your vehicles from The Crew 2 to The Crew Motorfest. The Crew series doesn’t hand out cars like candy in Forza Horizon fashion. You must earn your cars like the Test Drive Unlimited series, often through grind, getting first place in events, or through dreaded microtransactions. To avoid all of this, simply transfer your cars from The Crew 2. There are also The Crew 2 exclusive cars that won’t be available unless you transfer them over.
Master the art of terrain management and drafting
The Crew Motorfest is an arcade racing game at the end of the day, with an open world throwing you crazy terrains you wouldn’t be caught dead driving on in a more sim-like experience. The Grand Race in particular has 28 players driving through wild jungles, beaches, and the majestic mountaintops of Oahu. This means no matter what vehicle type you choose, you’ll have to overcome a bit of terrain here and there that isn’t optimal for your vehicle of choice.
Road cars will struggle on dirt, and all-terrain vehicles will lag behind road cars while on tarmac; that’s just the way of it. Choose to drive on the terrain that is best suited for your vehicle, just remember to hit the checkpoints while doing so. You will often find varying terrain during sections of Grand Race. It’s not uncommon for dirt roads to be running along tarmac, with dense jungle shortcuts off to the side. Stick to the terrain your vehicle is best suited for and you will keep pace with the leaders.
Drafting is a simple technique that will assist you across any terrain. Simply stay behind a vehicle to avoid wind drag. You will speed up progressively by tailing another vehicle until the time is right. Make sure not to ram them, though. Avoid using too much nitro while drafting, instead of waiting to use it while/after passing them.
Drifting alone can overcome many terrain difficulties because of the way a drift angles you back pointing in the direction you want. Even if you’re slipping and sliding with race tires in the rain, you can prevent going off-course with carefully planned drifts.
However, it’s worth pointing out that initiating a drift with traction control turned off won’t be easy. You need to decide if you want your vehicle susceptible to drifts or not. For Grand Race, it’s recommended you at least set traction control to the sport setting so that your vehicle can maneuver around rough terrain.
To initiate a drift, you’ll want to kick out the rear of the vehicle when approaching the turn-in point of a corner. To do this, simply accelerate, lightly turn, tap brake no longer than a second, and carefully manage steering as you drift around the corner.
To manage the steering, you’ll need to be good at countersteering. Countersteering requires you to quickly steer in the opposite direction of the corner. Feather the countersteer so you don’t snap your vehicle around the other way. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of throttle control going into a corner and countersteering after brake tapping. It requires a lot of trial and error, but thankfully for Grand Race, there’s a lot of wiggle room for error.
Steer planes using the rudder
Planes are awkward to control for many new players, but they don’t need to be. Try to avoid moving your plane with control sticks when steering as much as you can. You’ll quickly lose the orientation of your plane if you simply steer like you do with cars. Instead, use the rudders to steer using the L1 and R1 buttons. The best aviators know how to marry stick orientation with rudder steering. It’s recommended you get a handle on plane movement and control before starting your Grand Race career.
Know the island
Finally, to be a true monarch of the island, you need to first know the island. A simple rule of thumb across any locale is to avoid obstacles like fences, rocks, and signs to the best of your ability. Obstacles actually slow you down in this game, unlike some other open-world racers where you get rewarded for destruction. It’s an important strategy to stay behind a player who is smashing stuff so that you avoid those obstacles. Drafting others while letting them hit obstacles is a winning strategy.
There’s no cheat guide to knowing the island; you have to enjoy the game and its offerings in order to foresee what obstacles and routes the Grand Race will take you on. Do the Playlists, find the hidden treasures, or just hang out with your crew as you chill out to some cool island tunes cruising through Honolulu or beautiful sunset-laden beaches. You’ll be rewarded exploring the island of Oahu, so take your time to soak in the various landmarks and highways.
Securing 1st place in Grand Race grants tremendous rewards, but it’s difficult to earn them without a familiarity of the island itself.