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I've read all the articles about F-Zero X and since I started playing a year and a half ago, I've improved a lot at the game. I can't thank you guys enough for the articles and even instructions during streams that I've had the pleasure of learning.
I hate to admit something, but I'm actually pretty terrible with DT turns, and that feels like something I should understand pretty well (TDDs and DTDs are things that I feel I have a better grasp on than DT). Is this something that just takes hours upon hours of practice? Any tips in this regard so I can stop DTing into walls?
Well, I don't know what is specifically causing your problems (especially without any video references) but I can try to narrow it down for you:
Firstly, how good are you at steering without DTs? If you struggle to make smooth, gradual turns without DTs, you might want to focus on improving that first since an unsteady thumb can see you crashing into lots of things regardless if you're DTing or not. Even if that's ultimately not the problem, being able to make small steering adjustments at all times is an invaluable skill to have so you might want to practice anyway . A good place to practice on is Mute City 1 with Jumper settings.
Secondly, how good is your DTing rhythm? If you're pressing Z/R too quickly or too slowly, your DTs will start to become more segmented. Turning with heavily segmented DTs can make you lose speed, make you go wider at first, then eventually make you steer (potentially) too far inwards. Basically, you'll probably crash more often without a good rhythm.
Thirdly, is there any pattern to you crashing into walls? Are you constantly hitting the inside or outside of the corner? DT turning is pretty strong so maybe you're turning too soon and clipping the inside corner? Maybe your angle of approach is wrong and you're too wide at the start of the turn and too far inwards when exiting or vice versa?
Finally, yeah, pretty much everything in F-Zero X including turning and general driving takes hours to truly get the hang of. The same goes for pretty much any F-Zero game.
The faster you press R or Z respectively, the sharper you can turn. Theoretically you can press Z or R 30 times a second alternating every frame this way (NTSC) and pressing R and Z while a side attack is already ongoing will still help to turn even sharper. If you press any faster than that it will count as holding down the button. In NTSC I never get this problem but on PAL I do and the side attack pattern will be segmented.
If you start side attacking before you turn you will maintain the most amount of speed. The more you steer into a turn before you start side attacking the more speed you will lose but also the sharper your turn will be. You'll want to start side attacking before you turn in the majority of cases and only for some really sharp turns (Port Town 2) you want to gently steer into the turn before starting side attacking. It takes a lot of practice to judge what you should do optimally and like JAGG_ZERO said practice on Mute City 1 or maybe Red Canyon and try to take the turns as smoothly as possible. Keep all your control stick movements very gentle and don't do any sudden major adjustments (unless absolutely necessary).
Sorry for no video reference; I'll explain questions.
I'm not struggling to make smooth, gradual turns; I've been learning that for quite some time and for the most part I'm able to do that (I switched controllers and I have one that is more reactive now, so I'm a lot better than I used to be). A notable exception is the DF2 quick turn, but I've been practicing that.
My DTing rhythm seems to be okay, I've been pressing Z/R pretty quickly and definitely see elements of turns, but I've been sporadically doing the turns badly. For example, Sector Beta after DTDing off the last loop over the mines, just going past the finish line for lap two, it's pretty regular I will DT into the wall. Sometimes it's into the left wall (in which I just about come to a dead stop), sometimes it's into the right wall (which I escape with about 1200 KM/h into the straightaway and can get away with it) and rarely do I get out of there and manage to be at 1500 for lap two. I'll make video; I'm planning on streaming X on a regular basis anyway so I'll include clips (it might be lengthy!) for reference.
WMJ, that's what I didn't understand. I thought you had to mash the side attack button. If I'm understanding this correctly, three or four side attack button presses should take you through a reasonable turn?
Also - is side attack turning faster than gentle control stick movements? Curious about the optimization there.
For reference, I almost exclusively do jumper these days. My pattern in DT turning tends to go like this:
1) Before the turn, I position the car so that it's anywhere from the center of the track to near the outside edge. The sharpest, fastest turns are almost always approached pretty wide unless it's a chicane (PT1, DF2, BB2), in which I position it towards the inside.
2) Start turning gently into the turn with just the stick.
3) DT while stick-turning at the turn's sharpest point, and stop DTing when the car is straight again. Generally, if I'm traveling below 1100 kmh and the turn is gentle, the DTs will be more gentle and I will rely more on stick-turning; if I'm at higher speeds and the turn is sharp, I will mash-DT while still gently stick-turning.
However, I don't quite pay attention to what my speeds are so I optimize more towards safety instead of speed, making sure the turns are taken as cleanly as possible without regard to speed.
To answer your last question: The less DTs you use, the faster you'll come out of a turn, especially when you approach at high speeds. Someone more knowledgable can expand on this, though.
For Sector Beta, I couldn't DT quite well there as well.
That's why I do a boostslide there, which let's you still exit with ~1.5k and without losing a lot of energy.
Also for some tight turns you sometimes want to slide a tiny little bit ( slide by just holding to the side with the control stick, no shoulderbuttons ) into DTing like here on Port Town 2:
By sliding before that you lose a bit speed, which can make turns easier, but make sure you don't slide too much, because that can absolutely kill your speed.
Also some slides get easier if you set them up with a DT before it.
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