Welcome to Trackmania!
...What actually is Trackmania?
Trackmania is purely an arcade racing game down to its core which has had many titles over the years, starting from ‘TrackMania (Original)’ which was released in 2003/2004 up until it’s most recent title “Trackmania Turbo” which is set to be released in 2016.
Alongside Trackmania’s many games there is an active competitive scene which can be seen in the titles ‘Trackmania 2’ and ‘Trackmania Canyon’ where they have many different online and offline tournaments throughout the year, with an ultimate world championship tournament at ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup) where only the best can compete.
Starting out in Trackmania might be hard at first for newcomers or even players that are familiar with Trackmania but want to take that extra step. But there are so many different things to explore! You can build your own maps, drive the car you ever dreamed of, play against anyone in the world beat, your friends over and over or even meet the world’s best players at ESWC. Below will have helpful information to help you towards reaching your goal, which could be smashing the public mini server or hunting that elusive world record.
Personalising Your Game!
Trackmania offers various ways to completely individualize your game experience. So many colours and designs you can change to whatever your artistic soul desires.
Trackmania is a highly customizable game where you can choose any nickname you desire and any colour scheme to go with it. Every Trackmania game uses the same nickname colouring and text altering techniques which include the 3-digit RGB Hexadecimal, italicizing, bolding, shrinking, expanding and putting shadows on your nickname.
To edit your nickname, click on "Profile" and then on your name on the top of the screen.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR CAR
Whilst every car in Trackmania is exactly the same in speed and handing, you want to get around in style! There are plenty of different options you could go with customising your ride which includes; changing the stock nation which Trackmania already has available for you, wipe the slate clean and paint your own car with the default car model. You can download the car you like, then put the zip file into your own Skin folder - by default User\Documents\ManiaPlanet\Skins\models\stadiumcar. If this folder doesn't exist yet, just create it.
There are a few things to be mentioned about the differences and possible advantages to the three cameras, but essentially it all comes down to which one you prefer and get used to over time. Camera 1 is positioned farthest away from the vehicle. In contrast to camera 2 and 3, this camera will not change position when your vehicle does. The placement of the camera will give the best overview and makes it easier to predict the course of the track, especially before hills and jumps. However when driving under tight passages or tunnels, you might lose vision of your vehicle.
Camera 2 is positioned lower and closer to the vehicle and will follow the movement of the vehicle at all times. The most noticeable disadvantage with this camera is when driving with opponents on as they often tend to cross your line of sight, especially during jumps or drops.
Camera 3 is positioned in front with no vision of the vehicle or its slide marks at all, which means you have to rely on your game sense. This is the most static camera since it will not move while you are braking, in contrast to camera 1 and 2. This camera benefits of a longer hiding distance of your opponents that are in front of you. Combined with the fact that camera 1 and 2 will allow you to see opponents closing in on you from behind, arguably makes camera 3 the best suited camera for driving with opponents forced.
Controlling The Game
Whether you play the game on a keyboard, gamepad or even joystick you need to make the game feel comfortable with whichever peripheral you decide, but there are key differences you must understand before you choose. There are differences in each category, but one isn’t better than the other, it is whichever one you decide to play with and feel more comfortable in playing with.
The most common and readily available peripheral for users to race with, it differs from the gamepad and joystick in that steering the car has no delay, you press either left or right, the car will respond automatically and will steer in that direction as much as it can. Word of advice for keyboard users, bind your ‘Brake’ button to something other than the ‘down arrow’, preferably something that is on your left hand, whilst steering with your opposite hand. For example ‘spacebar’ or ‘Ctrl’, is much more comfortable and easier to play with.
The big appeal for the use of gamepads or ‘controllers’ is that you can determine how much you control the car, different to the keyboard which has no delay, the gamepad has the ability to be able to finely maneuver through turns. Setting up sensitively for the gamepad to your preference is advised to what you feel most comfortable with, which can be located in the game options. It is a more comfortable way to play the game than the keyboard, seeing as you can have the gamepad in any position you desire such as sitting on your lap.
The rarest of the three by far, and the most difficult to play with. With similarities to the gamepad it has the bonus of having the maneuverability of steering and being able to set the sensitivity of your steering, but being less comfortable than the gamepad for having to have to sit on your desk to be able to get max control out of the joystick. A wheel also counts as joystick!
The Driving ‘Styles’ Of Trackmania
Trackmania has many different styles which include Tech, Fullspeed, Dirt and more, all explained in the following paragraphs.
Widely recognised as the most popular and competitive of the styles, tech optimizes the skill ‘drifting’ which allows players to race through the map with optimal racing lines to finish as fast as possible. Usually played on maps with many turns and tight corners, one will need to master drifting to be able to master tech maps.
Fullspeed is what the name entails, racing around the map without letting go of the accelerator and never or rarely using the brake. Maps in this style usually have tricky loops and wall rides that might be intimidating for newer players.
Played primarily on the ‘dirt’ terrain with some mixes of the standard road, your car will act differently than it would on the road, being mindful of what gear you are in and what line you take can be a sizeable difference in your final lap time.
These tracks can be anything from small, tricky road only maps to traverse over some terrain, or massive minutes-long block mix terrors, understanding how to control your car is key on many RPG maps and not highly recommended for newer players.
Nascar utilizes a mix of fullspeed and part drifting, usually played on a leveled map with no loops or wall rides. Many Nascar maps are created in mind of many real-life tracks in the world, for example most of the Formula 1 tracks have been made into Trackmania maps.
LoL-Maps / Lunatics
The randomn factor on lol maps is not rejected at all like in all other styles. They look like their construction has been made without any rationnal sense, that's why you can find every style/difficulty. It's just depending on the craziness of the Creator. Also they are usually miniature in size, some are difficult to complete, some are just brainless fun.
So Many Formats!
In Trackmania there are different game formats which determine how you play out the certain map you are playing. The primary formats are time attack, rounds, team rounds and cup, but there’s more!
Whilst playing in ‘time attack’ mode the map is on a set time limit which is predetermined by the owner of the server, usually around 5 minutes for most servers. In the X amount of minutes you will try to improve your time in the time limit, only your fastest time is recorded so go hard or go home!
In the format of ‘rounds’ consistency is key, there is no time limit on the server and the only goal is to finish. You only have 1 chance per round to finish, if you crash or fly out of the map you will not have a good time. Points are tallied up on the position you finish, the higher the position, the more points you will receive.
Exactly the same as rounds but differs in that it is mostly played in the competitive scene of Trackmania. Teams can have any amount of players battling each other at a time for example 5 versus 5. Each different teams points will be tallied up at the end to determine who won the round, the team who wins will receive a point.
Cup is similar to rounds but the difference is that cup servers tend to have a point limit, when an individual reaches that point limit he must finish in first place to secure his ranking.
Laps is mostly used for Formula 1 or NASCAR challenges. This format makes you drive the same course for a certain amount of laps, just like in real motorsports. The first one to finish all the laps wins the round and receives the most points. Several rounds are to be played on each map. TEAM CHASE This unique mode is one of the newer additions to Trackmania. Team Blue and Team Red each consists of a varying amount of players driving at the same time. The last one to go through a checkpoint has to be the first one of his team in the next checkpoint. Communication is the key to win in this mode, since your mates need to know whether they have to let you pass or to speed up. If you’re interested in playing this mode competitively, Paragon-eSports has put a lot of effort into making it possible.
Pursuit is the Trackmania equivalent of “cops and robbers”. The round starts off with a single cop while all the other players are hiding on the map. Once the cop has found you, you’re able to sneak out and find a different hideout while he’s chasing you. The moment you get caught, you respawn and turn into a cop. The round ends when the time limit is over or the cops have caught everyone on the map.
Building Your Own Maps!
You can find the editor right in the main menu. Click on "Editors" and on "New map" afterwards. Simple mode, which gives users access to a limited amount of content but can still be utilized to build some interesting tracks, mainly used for newer track makers for an introduction to the editor. Advanced mode which gives track editors access to the whole range of editing power they desire, used by more experienced track makers.
Create Your Own Server
In this game you don't need to find a server host, or buy components to make people able to play online with you. You can just open your own server and make it public or private, although you might have to adjust your ports to enable online matching. Find out more about servers here.
Titlepacks are kinda comparable to the map editor, but it’s not only for maps, rather for whole environments. You’re able to manipulate many different things, such as map parts, music, mountains and literally anything you can think about right now. Keep in mind that you need to download each title pack to play on the servers they are installed on, otherwise the game won't let you connect.
Online and Offline Records!
Many servers in Trackmania have recording systems, that may either be; Local Records, which are only specific to the server only, no other servers can see these records at all. Dedimania Records, which are the games online world ranking systems which are global across every server in the game (if they decide to have Dedimania on their server). and finally, MX or Offline Records. These records are played offline which means the player was not playing on a server at the time and uploaded his replay file to the Mania Exchange website which you can personally visit, download and play any Trackmania map you please (that are uploaded to the website!).
This part is based on znik's wonderful Steam-Community Guide. Once you’ve been cruising around and figured out that some people’s times are just impossible to even come close to, you’ll start wondering; “How are they so good?” - As you might have already guessed, there are several techniques and methods to improve your gameplay, explained in the following paragraphs.
Sliding / Drifting
One of the most characteristic aspects of Trackmania 2 is drifting. Instead of pressing your brake button and slowly moving around the corner, you’re able to make your car drift. This makes you enter and exit the curve with a lot more speed, but it’s not as easy as it sounds...
There are many different types of drifts, each of them help in different situations. Power sliding is the most important drifting technique in Trackmania to become a faster driver. To be able to pull off a power slide, you need enough speed and an appropriate angle to enter the turn.. You start by turning to the left or to the right, followed by braking. That means you will end up holding your acceleration, turn and break keys simultaneously. To release the power slide you simply stop braking or turn in the opposite direction. This will result in a much more speed-efficient turn. To recognize a power slide you have to look for three or four slide marks following your car. To adjust your car’s position a little more you can start tapping on the break button, it will delay the car’s movement and position.
Speed sliding is mostly used on Fullspeed maps, although it’s also rarely seen on tech maps. In order to get a successful speed slide you need to reach at least 410 km/h. During the slide you have to make sure that you get power slide-marks, but keep those as close together as possible. In theory you will have three or four slide marks, but they should be as close to each other so it looks like you have only two lines. This technique will give you a slight boost in speed.
This technique can be used when you do not have enough speed for a power slide. First you steer into a direction, then you stop steering for just a short amount of time, then hit the brake button and instantly start steering afterwards again. The tough explanation will seem pretty easy in the tutorial, so don’t worry if you can’t instantly imagine what you’re supposed to do.
When doing a grass slide you preferably need more speed than a power slide and you need a drop or jump to make it work. Right before the drop or jump, you have to flick the car a lot to either of the sides and then prepare for a power slide. The reason to why you get a grass slide and not a power slide is because of the much higher horizontal rotation on the vehicle.
NOSLIDE / NODRIFT
When a power slide fails to activate, the result will be a no slide. This happens mainly because of braking before turning or not having enough speed to activate the power slide. This can be recognized by having only two slide marks following your car. It means you will not be able to activate the power slide during this state unless you get a transition. Although, if you’re a very experty expert you’ll be able to still pull off a Neo Drift.
Mastering The Mechanics
Controlling your vehicle in the air is very important to prepare the car for the most optimal landing. Depending on how the track continues after the jump or drop, you basically have two techniques that will affect how the car behaves in the air. Right before the car lifts off, you can quickly press a turn button to make the vehicle rotate to either of the sides. You can also counter-turn during air time to decrease the horizontal rotation. After a jump or drop you can also stop the vertical rotation of the vehicle by quickly tapping the brake button, also known as air-breaking. Air-braking can also be useful to make your car land sooner and smoother with either your back or front wheels. Unless you encounter a full stop or very tight corner, you should always try to have less air time and more time on the road accelerating. When jumping or dropping, you can decrease your air time by making a diagonal line from lift off to landing, also known as flow trick.
WALLBANG / WALLBOUNCE
This technique is often used in hairpins (180 degree turns) where you quickly need to slow down your car before entering the turn. Instead of braking or using any type of slide, you can save time by crashing full speed into the correct side of the barricades, then you are going to bump back in the correct direction (Caution: Very buggy!). You can continue power sliding after the wall bounce if needed. This needs timing and practice and often comes with a high risk, high reward.
RAMMSTEIN / BORDER
These are the dotted metal sidelines on each side of the track, often referred to as the “rammstein” in Trackmania. You should be wary about crossing these because of their unpredictability in terms of bugs or small bumps. Its instability, change in grip and small elevation make it possible to use them for a power slide where otherwise a power slide is hard to achieve.
SLOWDOWN / GEARDOWN
The result of changing to a lower gear while power sliding or turning on dirt. The car will slow down significantly and will potentially interrupt an otherwise good racing line, unless the track is optimized for it. To avoid a geardown you have to monitor your engine sound and make sure it stays in the same gear during your power slide, preferably low to mid torque.
Competitions and Tournaments
Trackmania also has a competitive scene. There are quite a few organizations which keep hosting online or offline tournaments, some with prize money, some without. Here’s a list to the most valuable and impactful teams, tournaments and organizations.
These tournaments are not played at any events such as LAN-parties or conventions. Forcing you to play at home makes those tournaments much more accessible than offline competitions since you don’t have to pay any travel cost. You can find all the date and details of any tournament on the ManiaCalendar!
Electronic Sports League (ESL)
ESL has been around for a long time hosting all kinds of tournaments, from serious prize-pool tournaments like EMS, to smaller challenges such as national battles or even fun- and night-cups, covering all the different driving styles. To date, their biggest success is the regular ESL CPS (ESL Competition Premiership) which is held two times a year for tech drivers. As of May 2015, ESL has created a “Competition Titlepack” with new blocks to play with and will use it for their future cups and leagues.
TRACKMANIA MASTERS (TMM)
TMM was originally the title of a competition, created by Team HOT. Their first tournaments were hosted back in 2008 and have exploded in popularity since. Nowadays, TrackMania Masters is an established team of players that host different kinds of tournaments such as the original TMM Team Cup, True Talent Cup (TTC) and other fun events.
Electronic Tournaments (ET)
Known for hosting many United tournaments, ET has become one of the major households for Trackmania competitions since. Even though they have many different leagues such as the United League (UL), or TWL (Trackmania World League), Formula ET (FET), their most successful series probably are the Giants Cup (GC), followed by the simultaneous Stadium Team Championship (STC) and Nations Cup (NC) which share the same mappack.
TrackMania Tournament (TMT)
With their first tech competition back in 2009, TMT has regularly been hosting a tournament each summer and has attracted many teams every season. Their map style is a bit shorter than many other tech competitions and is one of their reasons to success.
Ultimate F1 Racing (UF1R)
Holds approximately 1 hour races on F1 tracks and includes qualifying during the week before as well as a grid start and several different pit stop strategies. Players are put into F1 teams of two drivers for the whole season on a (flexible) calendar which is decided by the admins pre-season.
Black Angel Racing Team (Ba)
Black Angel team is known for serving the community F1 and DIRT championships known as BaRally Championship and Ba Championship F1. Holds approximately 45 minute races the week after a real life Formula One race on a version of the real life track created in TM2S, with mandatory pit stops. Players may choose which team they drive for or create their own.
Nascar Racing League (NRL)
One of the leading NASCAR competitions for TrackMania, offering three different types of races; Stadium Cup, Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup. Their newly launched Stadium Racing Evolution (SRE) title pack is a great success and compliments their league with many new and useful blocks to build with.
Dix Doigts en Eventail (DDE Staff)
Mostly known for hosting the ZeratoR Cup, a single-player competition and the traditional 24h road, DDE Staff also provides other endurance races such as the 6h mix or the 4h road.
Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC)
The Electronic Sports World Cup is a worldwide competition of video games, starting locally with national qualifying, to end with a world final, gathering all the cyber-athletes in Paris, France. Starting back in 2003, ESWC is now one of the biggest offline event for E-sport competitions around the world every year.
2006 - Dorian 'Carl' Vallet (FRA)
2007 - Freek 'XenoGeaR' Molema (NED)
2008 - Kalle 'frostBeule' Videkull (SWE)
2010 - Fredrik 'Bergie' Bergmann (NOR)
2011 - Erik 'hakkiJunior' Leštach (SVK)
2012 - Tim 'Spam' Lunenburg (NED)
2013 - Carl-Antoni 'Carl Jr.' Cloutier (CAN)
2014 - Carl-Antoni 'Carl Jr.' Cloutier (CAN)
2015 - Carl-Antoni ‘Carl Jr.’ Cloutier (CAN)
Gamers Assembly (GA)
Since 2000, Gamers Assembly has been hosting offline events aimed at the French community. However, their prize-pool often attracts international players as well. There are Canyon, Dirt, Tech and Valley tournaments every year.
The Gathering (TG)
The Gathering has been hosting TrackMania competitions in Norway regularly for many years, however their focus on E-sport has dropped significantly the last couple of years, resulting in lower prize-pools and fewer foreign players attending.
Impactful Communities and People
Stay up to date by following the most prominent sources for Trackmania E-sport coverage.
- TM Twitch group
- TM Mania Exchange
- TM Dirt community
- TM RPG community
- TM NASCAR community
- TM Viewer
- TM Wiki
- TM Doc
- Additional info
- Authors: Asserich, Tazbolt, Speedy and mali based on the Community guide by Znik