Powersliding Guide by Ke6dRt

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 11/05/01 | Printable Version

                   Daytona USA (arcade) Powersliding Manual     
                                 Jason Lewis
                            GameFAQs alias: JaSoN
                            Version 1.0 11/5/2001
                                 8:00 pm CST

Daytona USA, quite possibly the greatest arcade racing game, even if 
it's years old. This game was a revolution in it's time, because never 
before did a game look and feel so amazingly real. This game was created 
by Sega's AM2 division, and uses the Model 2 polygon board. It pales in 
comparision to the newer Naomi board, but anyone who played Daytona when 
it was new will tell you that it NEVER gets old.

Powersliding is an integral part in Daytona USA.  Not only does it look 
cool, it allows you to take some of the toughest and sharpest corners at 
insane speeds.  This manual has been created to teach players some of 
the basics of powersliding, as well as some of my own techniques.

Legal stuff: Daytona USA Powersliding Manual is Copyright 2001 Jason 
Lewis. Print this out, share with your friends, whatever. I don't really 
care if you post a modified version of this FAQ somewhere, just as long 
as I receive the proper credit.  And don't let me find out you're making 
money off this.

Version history:

1.0: First version

The bare bones basics

There isn't a single person reading this FAQ who when he or she first 
started playing this game, didn't race the beginner track "turn hard 
left, ride the wall, hope for the best" style.  This certainly isn't the 
way to go.  It would actually be faster to do a controlled braking to 
160 mph (255 kph) and take the corner without sliding at all, which 
wouldn't be a bad strategy, but it won't win races.  In Daytona USA, 
powersliding is the name of the game.  Powersliding is all about forcing 
the car to jump sideways, and making the car slide around the turn in a 
four wheel drift while using the throttle to keep the speed up.  If 
you've ever watched a dirt track race, such as the World of Outlaws or 
the Campionship Off Road Racing series, this isn't too different.

The Mount Sonic turn in the beginner track is the perfect spot to learn 
how to powerslide, just because there are a number of different ways to 
tackle that turn, each with a balance of speed and difficulty.  The most 
basic way to powerslide is by using the brake alone.  This is achieved 
by pressing the brake while turning into the corner, allowing the car to 
slide.  Then when the car has slowed enough, usually by the apex, or 
middle, of the corner, feed the throttle back in to accelerate off the 
corner.  I would recommend slowing the car down to 165 mph (265 kph) for 
your first few slides.  Don't be discouraged if you smack the tail of 
the car on the outside wall a few times, powersliding is an art and 
requires hours of practice.  It has taken me from about the time this 
game first came out in 1994 to just recently to gain the knowledge for 
this game I have today.

After mastering the 165/265 slide, try doing the same thing, except 
slowing to only 170 mph (273 kph) before feeding the gas back in.  
Again, this requires practice.  Luckily, with 8 laps a race, you should 
be able to get a fair amount of practice with only a few dollars.  Once 
you get good at the 170/273 slide, it's time to try something new: 
manual transmission.  This may add a bit of diffuculty, knowing when to 
shift, but the amount of control manual provides far outweigh any added 
difficulties.  Now try this: just about the time you would start braking 
for the turn, downshift to 3rd and press the brake, sliding into the 
corner as normal.  Try slowing to about 175 mph (280 kph) then feed the 
gas back in, keeping the gearshift in 3rd for now.  Later you will find 
that shifting to 4th in the corner will allow for additional 
acceleration, but this would mandate a slightly wider exit.

Advanced techniques

Now it's time to utilize the shifter a bit more than previously.  It is 
possible to powerslide using only the shifter, with no brakes, and this 
method would allow for both faster speeds and more control.  Continue 
practicing on the beginner track for now.  At the Mount Sonic turn, try 
this: instead of downshifting to 3rd, downshift to 1st, and press the 
brake to slow to 175 mph (280 kph), then feed the gas back in.  You 
should notice that the car slowed down a bit faster than before.  By 
using 1st gear, you can slow the car down quickly, yet maintain fast 
speeds through the corners.

You can try using the shifter alone without the brakes, which would even 
allow you to keep the foot on the gas through the whole corner.  Again 
in the Mount Sonic turn, downshift to 1st, keeping your foot on the gas, 
and slide into the corner.  Allow the car to slow to 180 mph (288 kph), 
then shift to 3rd, finish the slide, and finally shift to 4th off the 
corner.  We are now taking this turn 15 mph (23 kph) faster than when we 
started, yet with practice you should notice that this method is 
actually easier to execute than using brakes alone! 

After a few laps, try shifting to 4th in the middle of the corner 
instead of exiting the corner.  This will add a little more speed to 
your exit, but again, allow for a slightly wider exit.  There is still 
however, room for more speed through the corner.  My current strategy 
for this corner is to downshift to 2nd and slow to 185 mph (295 kph), 
then shift to 3rd for a moment, then to 4th as I exit the corner.  
Sometimes when I feel lucky, I shift directly from 2nd to 4th in the 
middle of the corner.  However, this would allow for acceleration 
through the middle of the corner, and that concrete wall sure loves to 
reach out and touch someone.

Of course, not every turn in the game is just like the Mount Sonic turn, 
but practice here should provide you with a strong foundation for 
developing strategies for the other turns in the game.  The next step 
would be to try the Advanced track, which has a nice mix of quick turns, 
long sweeping turns, and one nasty hairpin!  The Expert track will come 
later down the line.  Go ahead and read my Daytona USA Track Guide for 
more information.  Good luck!

I would like to hand my thanks out to Sega AM2, for making such a fine 
game; Eugene Moon, for the novice strategies in his FAQ I used as a 
bumbling rookie; Mark Kim, for his advanced strategies I used to improve 
my game; The Game Room at the Birdcage Walk in Citrus Heights, CA for 
having that 4-player machine all those years; and the Main Event bowling 
alley in Lewisville, TX for having the 8-player deluxe extravaganza, 
which is also the most well-maintenced Daytona USA machine I have 

Thanks for reading my FAQ!  If you have questions, comments, or 
corrections, feel free to email me.