Welcome class! In lesson two of our Angry Birds Go Offensive Driving course we move away from the Driving Line to cover the art — and joy — of Drifting. This lesson was written by @les-toreadors of Pigineering and adapted for the ‘Nest by @amslimfordy. Note, let’s jump right in!
First off, Angry Birds Go! is not a PC racing simulator, so you don’t really have to deal with the specifics of drifting. No power-overs, no clutch-kicks, no opposite locks. And we don’t need handbrakes either. All you have to do is cause wheel-slip by steering input and the game will drift the kart. The look and feel of the drift will depend on the kart’s configuration and tuning stats. This works much easier in practice than to describe in text, so here goes!
Drifting is not just a theatrical spectacle. You gain a significant amount of points if you drifted through an entire course instead of just going as the crow flies between corner to corner. It’s not difficult to drift in this game because the player does not need to manually counter-steer, so don’t bother to attempt opposite lock, if you over-correct you’ll just veer off the wrong way and crash.
Do note that the game gives you “drift points” in any game mode so long as it detects wheel slip. You don’t need to be sliding 45 degrees round a corner as even minimal steering input grants you additional points, as the game assumes any form of wheel slip as drifting. So don’t be afraid to meander a bit down the straights for just a bit of additional score for bragging rights (if you have enabled Facebook integration in the app, ABGO generates a simple leaderboard per event).
Not only is drifting useful for a score, it is also possibly the most fun part of driving in Angry Birds Go, especially when you have a very high top speed and low amounts of grip. Who needs handling down a Seedway anyway, when you can drift from start to finish like a vintage motorcycle racer! Karts with 6 wheels or high handling scores generally do not drift well, the high amounts of grip or slower steering means you lose a lot of speed if you try to maintain a drift by forcing large and unnecessary steering input. So if you’re a drifter, stick to the kart type that gives high top speed, high acceleration, and merely “adequate” handling!
After some practice runs, you now should visualize a course like a racing driver – the track should now look like the image below in your trained racer’s eye. Red Bird exited the previous corner with a classic four wheel drift. He is now aiming for the boost pad en route to the inside of corner 2, where he will drift as close as possible to the apex, then straighten out for the last downhill stretch to the finish line in Seedway 1.
Red Bird’s driving line allows him the following benefits over follow the center of the road:
- By aggressively steering to pass as close to each apex as possible, Red travels the least distance to the finish line
- By immediately aiming his vehicle trajectory for the next apex in line, he reduces the time needed to reach the next corner
- And by doing so, he minimizes the chance of an aggressive pig overtaking him on the straight, because if an opponent tried to pass him on the inside, he would be cut off by the early bird, and if an opponent tried to pass on the outside, it would be difficult if not impossible without the use of power-ups
- Additionally, due to the positive camber of the track, Red steers for the lowest point of the next corner in terms of elevation, and that confers even more bonus speed!
So, we should drift through everything?
You could, and are certainly welcome to try! But Moustache Pig the expert circuit racer would shortly chastise you for causing such things as “excessive tire wear”, “being a showoff” and important sounding bits like “scrubbing off too much speed”, which is actually very relevant once you get to the Rocky Road levels.
Once you progress to Rocky Road, you are required to purchase a completely new and different kart. The new vehicle has six wheels, not four and is significantly bulkier. Those six wheels give you far more durability and grip jumping and crashing everywhere down what looks like the side of the Himalayas mountains, but as a byproduct of all that traction, you will lose a tremendous lot of speed when maneuvering.
So to beat Rocky Road, you’ll have to adapt and evolve your driving strategy, for you are no longer doing a downhill drift in Japan, but conquering a World Rally stage in what feels like a typical road legal all-wheel-drive car – great traction, but much more conservative at the limits. It’s definitely safer for the average Joe, but to go quick around a track in it, you’re going to use a wildly different technique that can be gleaned from our previous discussion about driving lines!
In conclusion, there’s no hard and fast rule to whether to drift or not. It depends on the course, your vehicle, its tuning and most importantly, your driver personality. Do not be afraid to experiment in ABGO, it’s just like Need for Speed, but with bacon.
All Offensive Driving Course Lessons
- Lesson 1: The Driving Line
- Lesson 2: Drifting
- Lesson 3: Wheel to Wheel Combat
- Lesson 4: Tuning Strategies
- Lesson 5: Energy Management (coming soon)