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‘The Crew 2’ beginner’s guide

Ubisoft Ivory Tower pulled out all the stops with The Crew 2, an online open-world racing game that not only lets you explore land with cars, motorcycles, and dirt bikes, but also the air and water in planes and speedboats. The range of vehicles and activities can be a little overwhelming to newcomers or those more familiar with a series like Forza Horizon, but with a few tips and tricks, you can quickly become a skilled racer and watch your follower count – and cash – grow.

Getting started

Complete events to gain followers

Unlike in the original 2014 The Crew, The Crew 2 doesn’t feature heavy scripted storytelling to get your character to the “end” of the game. Instead, you’re tasked with becoming a famous racer by competing in events and raising the total number of “followers” you have. Whether you’re in a speed race, a motocross event, or are just doing loops in your plane for fun, you’ll constantly be earning new followers.

Initially, you’ll be a “rookie” and you’ll only be able to compete with a few different types of vehicles, with your first few unlocked for free as you try out the different events. As you rise to “popular,” “famous,” “star,” and “icon” status, you’ll unlock additional types of vehicles and events to complete. It isn’t particularly difficult to hit “icon” in a few days, but you have to know which events to do.

Use the game’s overworld map to zoom out all the way and get a view of the entire United States – on PlayStation 4, you can quickly pull up the map by hitting the touchpad on your controller. From here, you can select any icon on the map to learn how many followers you’ll earn for successfully completing it, as well as the cash you’ll receive. This will come in handy later when you have to purchase vehicles to unlock new types of races. You can also fast-travel directly to an event from this menu – no need to drive all the way there!

Leveling up vehicles

There is one other number  you need to pay attention to. Each vehicle you drive comes with its own base level, and this number gives you a rough estimate of its performance in races. When you select an event on the map, you’ll see your relevant vehicle’s current level, as well as what is recommended to compete. You can race if the number isn’t quite there yet, but you’ll find it extremely difficult to succeed.

To power up your cars, bikes, boats, and planes, you need to equip them with additional car parts the game dubs “loot.” These will drop at the conclusion of a successful race, and you can use them to upgrade your tires, engine, suspension, and more. Though they come in different colors in a similar style to role-playing games’ gear – purple is better than green, for instance – as long as the number of the loot is higher than the number on your current car part, it’s worth swapping them.

If you forget to pick up the loot you earn, you’ll find it available at that particular discipline’s headquarter mailbox. If you forget which discipline the event was in, its headquarters will be the same color as the event’s icon on the map.

If you hear a beeping sound and your mini-map begins to flash, you are near a bonus “live reward,” which contains additional loot. To locate it, keep driving until the beeping becomes more frequent. You won’t find them very often, but they’re very handy for increasing your level just enough for the next race.

What events should you complete first?

Particularly early on, the number of new events you’ll see popping up all over your map can be overwhelming. Not all of these are  great ways to earn followers, however, so we suggest focus on these few specific types to boost your numbers right off the bat.

Street races – The standard mode for most open-world racing games, street races in The Crew 2 will typically reward you with around 2,000 new followers and can be completed in just a few minutes.  Street races are harder than some other events, but practicing them will go a long way toward building your skill.

Rally raids – Like Dr. Emmett Brown said, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Rally raids are off-road races that typically take you through forests, swamps, and other areas a car probably shouldn’t go. You have more freedom to choose your path and you typically don’t have to worry about making super-tight turns, but the follower reward is about the same as a street race.

Motocross – Motocross events are still races, but you’ll ride a dirt bike across a course filled with huge jumps and tight turns. Despite the dangerous façade, they’re actually quite easy events, and you’re able to adjust your course far easier than you could in a car, boat, or plane.

Aerobatics – Flying a plane sounds daunting, but The Crew 2 makes it easy. In aerobatics events, you’ll typically be tasked with performing certain tricks, such as rolls or loops, to earn points. These are quite easy and can be completed very quickly, and once the time has expired you can typically keep doing tricks to earn more followers.

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