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Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3
5.0 Racing Simulation
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Real Racing 3 is a contender for the best mobile racing game ever. With realistic physics, a great selection of cars, and a fairly generous freemium model that lets you keep playing longer than more modern games, it's a must-download for any racing fan.

Released in 2013, Real Racing 3 was one of the first mobile games to challenge the graphical supremacy of consoles and PCs. Through a combination of clever tricks, modern shaders, and improving phone performance, the game manages to deliver real-time reflections and incredibly detailed car models. You've got working rearview mirrors, side mirrors, and more. The backgrounds and tracks are a bit flat, but the textures still hold up when compared to a number of today's mobile offerings. Overall, this is a game that looks good, which is saying something when you consider its age.

Beyond the looks, however, this is a game that takes cars and car handling seriously. The cars are impressively realistic and do what you'd expect cars on a racetrack to do. You'll need to carefully manage your speed and think about racing lines as you zoom around the game's real-life-inspired racetracks. A number of control options and assist levels ensure that you never feel lost at the wheel. In other words, it's a great blend of something like Gran Turismo and something like Need For Speed. With all of the assists off, you'll be able to eke out a bit more speed in exchange for increased danger of crashing and spinning out, while the assist modes will enable you to complete the game's toughest races with your thumbs without too much practice.

Speaking of crashing, the game's freemium model has an interesting interaction with your driving skill. Running your car into things will damage it, which takes time to repair. Real-time, that is. If you suffer a particularly gnarly crash you might not be able to use a car for hours. Not to worry, though - as you progress through the game you'll be able to unlock lots of officially licensed cars, giving you many more to choose from while your primary ride is in the shop.

Real Racing 3 was the first game in the Real Racing franchise to utilize microtransactions and a freemium model, so it received a lot of flak when it was launched for the way the game handled payments. In 2022, however, it's very tame and fair. You can totally enjoy Real Racing 3 without spending a dime, especially if you're patient while you get your first few cars unlocked so you can take advantage of multiple cars to dodge wait times. This is a great game to play on a budget.

Real Racing 3 introduced a revolutionary new AI system that downloads other players' performance data and uses that to fuel AI cars. This means that rather than facing rubberbanding cars that alternate between driving terribly (when they're ahead of you) and perfectly (when they're behind you), your opponents start out mimicking the times of real online players. This produces a totally novel difficulty curve where you're exposed to stiff but fair competition at all times. The game will notably lower the difficulty if it thinks you're having trouble with a race, but you'll likely enjoy the level playing field even without any handicaps. If an AI driver does something, you can do it too, and beating the AI means you're also beating other players.

Overall, Real Racing 3 might still be the best racing game for mobile devices. Despite its age, its great graphics, stellar physics, amazing gameplay, and generous freemium model help make it one of the most fun games you can get, period.


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Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3

How to play

Real Racing 3 has a lot of assist options and control schemes. Figuring out the best choices for your playstyle and skill level will make the game a lot more fun to play and help you get great times on every race.

First of all, though, it's important to recognize that Real Racing 3 is a serious racing sim. This means that in order to get killer times on a race or track, you'll need to actually practice with that race and track and learn a bit about your car, the race's corners, and how the game operates. If you go in expecting to set records with every lap right off the start, you're going to be massively disappointed. Instead, try to choose a mode that lets you retry the race a lot and leisurely learn the track. This can be a long process since you'll have to figure out when to accelerate, when to brake, and when to turn.

When it comes to controls, one very helpful tip is to avoid control schemes with automatic acceleration if you can. In Real Racing 3, cornering is all about managing your speed. If you have automatic acceleration on, the game will hold down the gas pedal the whole time you're not braking. This is theoretically optimal, somewhat, but requires you to have almost perfect braking to get any benefit. In practice, you'll probably find yourself tapping the brakes a lot to counteract the fact that the gas kicks in the moment you let off. Being able to coast or feather the accelerator around certain turns will help you get a lot more comfortable with the car and will probably result in faster lap times for most players.

Okay, so what about assists? Working backward, "traction control" in this game is essentially code for "more brakes." With traction control on, the car will immediately give you a bit of braking force the moment it feels like the wheels are starting to lose grip. This is sometimes beneficial, but if you're trying to set lap records you'll almost certainly want to turn this off.

Braking assist has three levels: high, low, and off. On high, the brakes will come on too early and let off too late. This means that your times will suffer because you'll be going too slowly. If you're just starting out and you want a more casual game experience, it's totally fine to use this mode. If you're trying to be competitive, however, you'll want to avoid brake assist high as much as you can and jump straight to one of the other modes.

On low, brake assist brakes too little too late. In other words, when the brake assist kicks in, it'll already be too late. It's an interesting training tool in many ways, as you can drive with this mode on and use it as a way to judge where the proper place to brake is. It also doesn't interfere much with proper braking, since you'll usually want to be on the brakes before low brake assist kicks in and it'll let go of the brakes at a sane time. While you'll want to turn brake assist totally off if you're trying to set lap records, it's not a terrible assist level to play through the game at if you're learning how to race.

Steering assist is an interesting beast. The big downside to steering assist is that it will penalize you for choosing aggressive lines. If you have any assist on at all, the car will slow down massively the instant any of your tires is off of the pavement. Steering assist will also nudge your car towards slower lines overall and will detract from your times. If you're having trouble controlling the car's steering, think about your control scheme and speed. There's a good chance your steering issues are actually related to your brake and accelerator controls, but they might also be caused by the tilt controls working oddly with your device or hand position. It's totally fine to switch to an on-screen wheel or vice versa!

Are you a Real Racing 3 expert? What are your favorite cars and tracks? Let us know if we missed any tips or tricks in the comments below and tell us all of your best racing stories!




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