Drift FAQ - Need for Speed: Underground
v1.0             by Veen



1. Introduction
	1.1. What is Drifting?
	1.2. What is Drifting In-Game?
	1.3. Which Car Should I Pick?
2. Control
	2.1. Game controls
	      a. A Quick Note on Countersteer
	2.2. Drift Techniques
	      a. Handbrake
	      b. Braking Drift
	      c. Power Over Drift
	      d. Inertia Drift
	      e. Choku-Dori
	2.3. Chaining
	2.4. Turbo or NA?
3. Misc
	3.1. Drift Ranks
	3.2. Specific Car Help
	      a. Nissan 240sx
	      b. Mazda Miata
	      c. Mazda RX-7
	      d. Toyota Supra
	      e. Honda S2000
	      f. Subaru Impreza
	      g. Mitsubishi Lancer
	      h. Nissan Skyline R34
4. Conclusion
5. Contributors and Version History


     All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by
their respective trademark and copyright holders.

     This FAQ is intended for general use.  You may post this on your site
or wherever, provided that you leave everything in this file intact the way
it is.  Do not modify it in any way, shape, or form.  If you see this FAQ
modified elsewhere, notify me at veen@phreaker.net, with the phrase "DRIFT
FAQ" without quotes in the header of your e-mail.

     I make references in this FAQ to certain styles of driving that could be
possibly transfered over into real life.  However, it is important that you
remember that this is a game, and that the people who do this in real life are
professionals and quite experienced at what they do.  Just because you can do
it in NFS:U doesn't mean you can go do it in real life.  As such, you hold
yourself and yourself alone responsible if you go try this in your real car
and hurt anyone or anything.  Follow traffic laws and always use your turn
signals and seatbelt.  That being said... let's move on.

1. Introduction
1.1. What is Drifting?

     Drifting is a variation of motorsports that originated in Japan.  As
opposed to most types of driving, which require a driver to reach a certain
point first, or in the shortest amount of time to be declared the winner,
drifting relies more on style than anything else.  How far sideways you send
the car, and how stylish in general your drift is, the better you score.

     This type of driving has now migrated all over the world, and various
organizations have begun to support it.  Chances are if you live in any
fairly large city, you can find a drift team or organization around yourself.
The best part about it is that you don't need to be rich to compete.  If you
have a fairly well balanced car, you can do it.  It just takes finesse with
the controls and a feel for the car.  Obviously RWD helps, but isn't neccesary.
Due to the magic of the handbrake, even FF econoboxes can drift with some work.

1.2. What is Drifting In-Game?

     Drifting in Need for Speed: Underground has to be one of the most
frustrating parts of the game.  It has a fairly steep learning curve, it's,
tough to win consistently in the beginning of Underground mode, you can't feel
the car adequately through your controller, and it's also the most fun mode in
the game.

     That's right, this is actually really fun once you learn how to do it.
The trick is getting over that steep learning curve.  Once you learn to
control the car solely from visual feedback, you will find that it's
incredibly easy to progress from there.  Don't be discouraged by constant
losses, once you hit that plateau it's all downhill from there.

1.3. Which Car Should I Pick?

     This is almost entirely a personal preference issue.  Due to the fact
that the game exaggerates physics for the drift mode, you can get away with
picking a FF car.  I really can't reccomend it, as this is going to hinder you
once you graduate from Easy mode.  Besides, FF is probably the worst
drivetrain you could have for any type of race.  Go with AWD or RWD.  With the
exception of the Nissan Skyline R34, any of the AWD cars will drift well
enough to be competitive.  They will just require a bit more work and finesse,
and use of the e-brake.  I'll touch more on some of the best cars later on.

     For now, pick the best RWD or AWD car you have available in Underground
Mode. It will see you through just fine, and still be a nice contender for the
rest of the modes.  See?  It's getting easier already.

2. Controls
2.1. Game Controls

     The game controls you will want to have bound to your wheel, joystick, or
pad are as follows.

-Shift Up
-Shift Down

     That's all you need.  NOS is not available in this mode, you don't need
to look around you, and you won't need that horn or anything, either.  Also,
the first thing you should do when you start the drift mode is to hit the view
change button three times.  This will put you in the "bumper cam."  If you
absolutely despise racing in this view, just learn how to do it.  You actually
drift more effectively if you use this view than you would any of the outside
views, and you become a better driver overall in the other race modes.  You
get a feel for where the car is really quick, and after a few seconds in this
mode it's literally a non-issue.

a.  A Quick Note on Countersteer

     A quick note on countersteering.  I will refer to this a few times in the
upcoming techniques.  The basic concept of this, and the easiest way to
remember how exactly to do it, is "steer where you want to go."  This is also
a nice technique that works in real life, if your car starts sliding out of
control and you need to get it back.  Technically, countersteer is where you
turn the front wheels into the direction that your back end is skidding, thus
providing resistance against the skid, and keeping the tail under control,
thereby minimizing your chances of spinning out.  Put simply, when this word
is said in this FAQ, point the wheels down the track where you want to go.  :)

2.2. Basic Techniques

     Ok, now we get into the juicy stuff.  The Drift Techniques.  First thing
is first though, make sure the text below lines up.  Otherwise this is not
going to make any sense at all to you.


     First technique up to bat is the Handbrake Drift

a.  Handbrake

     This is probably the simplest drift.  This is done almost as it is in
real life, though try to remember that this is a game, and does not behave
that close to real physics.  It's an arcade simulation, and close, and it WILL
give you an idea of how to do this in real life, but don't try it unless you
really know what you're doing.

     Anyways, on with it.  Here's your turn.  You are the car "240," going
"up," making this a left turn.

______________   &       \
              \           \
               |           |
               |           |
               |       *   |
               |           |
               |       2   |
               |       4   |
               |       0   |

     You should approach this at a fairly decent speed, maybe about 60mph.
Most turns in the game will do well at this speed in Drift Mode.  Remember,
you aren't trying to get to the line first, you're doing this with style.  If
you have to brake before most of your turns, you're driving too fast.  Keep
the car in control.  You'll get a feel for how fast is too fast when you
start slamming into walls and skidding (not drifting) out of control, or for
too slow when the car just goes sideways a bit and stops dead in its tracks.

     Take this turn above.  For the handbrake drift, you should start turning
the wheel at the *, and hold the handbrake for about a half second to one
second at the &.  Aim for the inside of the turn so that when your back end
kicks around, you can have room to control it.  This will send the tail
around, and you will probably need to feather the throttle and countersteer.
The idea is to keep the tail in control and your car moving.  The handbrake
just helps you get there.  This is the easiest drift to do, and once you learn
it, you'll only need to use it for a short time.  Especially once your car
gets more power.  Just practice this until you get the hang of sending the
tail out and keeping control of it.

     If you're driving a manual, you'll want to shift to 2nd or 3rd when you
start to go sideways, so that you have enough power to control the back end.
This is done fairly decently if you let the computer handle the shifting, but
it's much more rewarding to do it yourself.

     Next up, we have the Braking Drift.

b.  Braking Drift

     This drift works well for hairpin turns.  The handbrake would only send
you into the wall in one of these turns, so we need something a bit more
controlled.  Hence, we just hit the brakes as usual.  This will also have the
added advantage of disturbing the weight transfer of the car in such a way
that a drift will be induced.  You would brake a lot later than you normally
would in a regular race to get this one going, and contrary to what is usually
ideal, you actually steer WHILE braking with this.  Observe

  /                 \
 /     _*-----&-     \
/     /    __         \
|    /     ||          |
|   *      ||          |
|  /       ||          |
| 2        ||          |
| 4        ||          |
| 0        ||          |

     Once more, you are the 240, heading up, making a right turn this time.
Try to steer the car to follow the line up there, but start your braking at
the first *.  Your car will start to skid.  Let off the brake at around the
second *, and slam on the gas at the & to turn this skid into a drift.
Countersteer the car and feather the throttle to keep it under control, and
you should have just taken a hairpin turn with a Great or Superb drift.
Other cars may require different braking points or acceleration points, but if
it's one of the RWDs, this will serve as a good starting point.

     For manual drivers, shift to 2nd or 3rd, whichever pulls you through
drifts better, as you start braking.  Any sooner and you don't brake well
enough to pull off the hairpin, any longer and you lose too much power to make
an effective drift.

     Next up, we have my favorite, the Power Over Drift.

c.  Power Over Drift

     This one is so simple it's funny.  It's also the easiest to pull off once
you've mastered the art of keeping the rear under control.  You can approach
turns really fast with this one, go through them at a blistering speed, and
come out with plenty more speed for the next drift.  The only downfall is that
you need a RWD to pull this off successfully.  FWDs just don't cut it, and the
AWDs are pretty iffy.

______________           \
              \           \
               |           |
               |       &   |
               |           |
               |           |
               |       2   |
               |       4   |
               |       0   |

     Now eariler, I told you to approach this very same turn and to brake
where that & is.  We're going to do this similar, but you're going to approach
it at a medium to low speed.  Next you steer AND mash the gas at that &.
Using the steering and throttle of your car, keep it going at about a 20-45
degree angle through the turn and as far into the straight as you can.  This
won't get you sideways too much, but it'll get you going fast enough to
overcome that pointwise.  You CAN get the car to go sideways, but you'll
really have trouble coming out of it and setting up for the next turn.
Eventually, you'll be able to pull this off at really high speeds.  For now,
just learn to do it from a slow start.

     The beauty of this drift is it's ease of use.  Once you learn it, it'll
be your primary mode of drifting.  You can eventually just power over through
hairpins, low speed turns, high speed turns, and most anything else.  No
handbrake involved.  This is the beauty of RWD, right here.

     I'd reccomend third gear for doing something like this.  It should give
you enough torque to control the drift, and enough power to keep the car going
at a nice speed.  Shift into third as you turn the wheel and mash the gas at
that &.

     Next up we have a little gem known as the Inertia Drift.

d.  Inertia Drift

     This is a godsend for you FF drifters.  It's about the only way, save
some handbrake work, that you'll ever see a drift in this game.
Unfortunately, it can't be continued or done fast enough to score enough
points to really win.  Still, if you want to go ahead and try, here it is.

             _________  \
______________        \_ \
              \         \ \
               |         1 |
               |        /  |
               |       /   |
               |      /    |
               |      G    |
               |      T    |
               |      I    |

     Approach this turn at a slow speed.  Nothing above 55 or so until you
learn this particular technique.  At this point, steer the car to follow the
first line off to the right.  When you get to about that 1, you jam the wheel
back left.  What this does in real life, is compresses the shocks and springs
on the left side of the car, and then springs the weight back over to the
right side, upsetting traction and sending the car into a drift.  Since you
can't sense how compressed your shocks are in NFS:U, you'll need to practice
this a lot before you can do it well enough to even try to compete.

     This also works for RWD and AWD cars, which have a lot better luck with
it.  In these vehicles, after you jam the wheel back left, you can downshift
and feather the throttle to control the drift like you would any other.

     If you're in a FF, you may as well just downshift to 1st or 2nd and floor
it after you hit the 1 to keep the wheels spinning.  In a RWD or AWD, second
or third should suffice.

     Next up is another useful little trick for getting points.  The
Choku-Dori Drift.

e.  Choku-Dori Drift

     This is a fancy way to say "swaying" drift.  A RWD exclusive, it's one
nice trick for either continuing a chained drift, or just getting some extra
points.  It is usually done on a straight, but some turns, like the doglegs in
Drift Track 2, actually require this technique for maximum points.

|      |      |
|      *      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      *      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      |      |
|      *      |
|      2      |
|      4      |
|      0      |
|             |

     To start with, just find a straight and do this SLOWLY.  Go about 40mph
or less, and go in a straight line.  At the first *, jam the wheel left and
hit the gas.  Immediately countersteer to the right, let off the gas.  The
tail should be coming back straight now.  When it gets straight, or just
before, gun the gas again.  Countersteer back to the left, and repeat the
throttle dance you just did.  At each * you should send the tail in it's
opposite direction.  Keep this up as long as you can.

     The real use of this is to continue a drift.  For example, coming out of
a left drift with another left turn up ahead, the rear will be out to your
right.  You can use this technique to kick the rear back to the right, and
then back left again in time for the new drift to the left.  This will chain
two drifts, and keep the point total going up.  Two 2,500 drifts could easily
become a 10,000 Superb.

     As with most other drifts, second or third should suffice.  Third if
you're going faster, second if you're going slower.  Keeping enough power to
keep the rear swinging is the key here.  Not having enough to keep it swinging
will kill this drift.

2.3. Chaining

     Go out and practice these drifts until you can pull them off whenever you
want.  The goal is to get to know which drift to pick for which turns.  When
you achieve this, then it's time to move on to chaining.

     The problem with writing a FAQ on this, is that drifting is hardly an
exact science.  There's also plenty of different ways for different drivers to
do the same turn equally well.  By now though, you should know which drifts
you prefer.  Time to chain them together.

     You should now have a good feeling over the car, and be able to tell what
the rear end is going to do at any given moment.  Using the drifts above, just
keep it going as long as you possibly can.  Choku-Dori through the straights,
do a braking drift through one turn and then hit the gas for a power over into
the next, the possibilities are literally endless.

     For practice, here's two drills you can do.  First off, try to chain a
drift through an entire lap of Drift Track 1.  This will require you to
choku-dori into a power over drift, and then do it back into a choku-dori.
Secondly, try to score an Insane Drift on Drift Track 2.  This will require
you to either modify the choku-dori to clear the doglegs, or inertia drift
through them into a power over.  It can be done either way though, and this is
probably the easiest track to score an Insane Drift on.

2.4. Turbo or NA?

     This is about the only real bit of tuning you can do to your car, and it can
make a big difference.  Some cars don't come stock with a turbo, and you may want
to keep it this way.  A turbo will take a small amount of time to spool up, and if
you are feathering the throttle, this might interfere with your driving enough
that you may want to remove the device.  It's really a matter of taste.  I prefer
to keep the maximum turbo kit on, as I like the additional power and can
compensate for it, but others may prefer the finer control that keeping it off can
give you.

     Some cars do come with a turbo, however.  This is unfortunate, because it
forces you to use a turbo.  If the car is a turbo, you may as well just go with
the maximum turbo kit to remove most of that turbo lag.  Usually the car will be
manageable, even if dealing with the lag drives you nuts.

3. Misc
3.1. Drift Ranks

     The ranks for the drifts are as follows.

Good Drift        1,000
Great Drift       3,000
Superb!           7,000
Colossal!        15,000
Outrageous!      20,000
Insane Drift!    50,000
Drift King!     100,000

     As far as I know, Drift King is the highest, and kicks in at around
100,000 points in a single drift.  You can pull this off, and it is, in fact,
quite insane to do and/or see.

3.2. Specific Car Help

     This section is for help with specific cars.  Each one is different, and
these are the ones I personally reccomend.  I will try my best to categorize
their weakness and strength.  I have also put in which cars are NA (or naturally
aspirated, the cars that come stock without a turbo), and which are turboed.  The
drivelines of the cars are also here for easy reference.

a.  Nissan 240sx

Engine Type: NA, FR

     This car is the simplest to start drifting with.  It's probably the
second best drifting car in the game, tied with the RX-7.  The tail will fly out
at your whim with a touch of throttle, and it stays well under control when you
want it to.  That and the fact that it's an excellent little contender for all
the OTHER modes of Underground make it probably the best one to choose for quite
some time.

b.  Mazda Miata

Engine Type: NA, FR

     Technically the best drifting car in the game.  It sticks to the ground
at VERY high speeds in the drift physics, but if you just hold the throttle in
and jam the wheel to the left or the right, it'll go into an excellent power
over drift without complaining.  Let off the gas and steer the other way and
you can transistion into a choku-dori no problem.  Chaining drifts in this
thing is easy, power overing is easy, everything about this car is easy.  Its
only downfall is it's squirreliness in other game modes.  Fortunately, you can
just choose this car for drifting anywhere but Underground mode and not have
to worry about this.  A very sweet car.

c.  Mazda RX-7

Engine Type: Turbo, FR

     Once you unlock this car in Underground mode, I would strongly suggest you
snag it.  It's excellent in most any form of racing, but it absolutely rules at
drifting.  It takes the versatility of the 240sx, and the speed of the Miata, and
gives it to you in one very nice package.  If you love RWD, this will probably be
your main car throughout Underground mode once it's unlocked, and possibly through
other modes too.

d.  Toyota Supra

Engine Type: NA, FR

     This car requires finesse.  Out of all the RWDs, this one is probably the
worst.  You have to take it slow, you have to carefully plan your drifts, you
have to make sure your foot is so fine on the throttle it's almost scary.
However, you can still pull off decent drifts in it, so long as you're smooth
on the controls.  I can not stress this enough.  Your movements need to flow
like water with this car.

e.  Honda S2000

Drivetrain: NA, FR

     This car is a middle ground between the Miata and the 240sx.  It goes
faster than the 240sx, but still requires a bit of skill to successfully
chain drifts with.  Not a bad choice, though I'd honestly prefer the 240sx.

f.  Subaru Impreza

Drivetrain: NA, AWD

     I think this car is supposed to be AWD, but it behaves more like a RWD.
It's just as good as the Honda S2000, though I think the S2000 is mildly better
at drift.  Still, the Impreza drives drift mode just like it was a rally race.
It's not a bad car for other modes either, and the only glaring weakness it has
is just a bit of trouble chaining some extended drifts.

g.  Mitsubishi Lancer

Engine Type: NA, FF

     A bit more sluggish than the Impreza, and a bit harder to control.  Still
better than the Supra, but doesn't really compare to the real drift kings like
the 240sx or the Miata.  Great for other game modes though, so it's liveable.
It would also appear to be the baseline FF, not the AWD Evo, but it drifts like
an AWD in game.  If you absolutely HAVE to drive FF, at least pick this car.

h.  Nissan Skyline R34

Engine Type: Turbo, AWD

     At first glance, this would appear to be a horrible choice for drifting.
However, the AWD platform and insane amounts of horsepower help it pull
through any drift with incredible control.  It almost behaves like a RWD in
drift mode, possibly to replicate disabling the front wheels for the event.
You can chain some fairly long drifts, you just have to use the handbrake to
keep them going.  The power the car has will more than make up for its weight
though, and the control it gives in the rest of Underground mode make this a
wise choice once you unlock it.  You can at least muscle through the rest of
drift mode with it, or just temporarily swap to a Miata and back.

4. Conclusion

     Well that's about it.  This should serve as a rather nice primer for
drifting, and at least get you started.  Just remember to take it easy, relax,
and be smooth.  Your movements should be fluid and relaxed.  This doesn't go
just for drift, this goes for all forms of driving.  If you have questions,
you may e-mail me at veen@phreaker.net, and if you see something I haven't
covered, feel free to let me know.  I will keep updating this FAQ as new
questions and information come in.  Just put "DRIFT FAQ" without the quotes
somewhere in the title of the e-mail so that my spam filter knows to save it
and not throw it out.

     With all that said, I wish you all good luck.  Drift On!

5. Contributors and Version History

     This section will contain the version history, and a list of contributors
that have helped out on this FAQ, be it by sending me information, pointing out
mistakes, or whatnot.


D12ift 2 Win - For pointing out that I completely forgot a staple of
drifting, the Mazda RX-7, and pointing out that I should probably mention turbo

Numerous - Drift King ranking at 100,000, which I also confirmed myself.  Thanks
for letting me know about this one.

Version History:

1.0 - 3/10/2004 - The First
1.1 - 3/29/2004 - Whoops, forgot the RX-7, Whoops, forgot to put the drivetrains,
also added a small bit on turbos and turbo lag in Section 2.4., and confirmed and
added the Drift King! score.

Copyright Brent Pedigo 2004