Last week, Rockstar posted the first part of their official guide to GTA Online’s new Stunt Race Creator. The Creator was the crown-jewel of the Cunning Stunts series of DLC. We call it a DLC series since it entailed four updates spread across the space of a month, so it might as well be considered one “saga”.
Cunning Stunts has really left its mark on the GTA Online community. Here we are, well over a month after the first of the fours stunt-themed updates launched, still talking about it and its impact. Granted, the attention is well deserved – Cunning Stunts is the single most positively received and praised update since Heists.
Cunning Stunts also marks a change in Rockstar’s approach to GTA Online. Gone is the criminal angle, over-the-top but ever grounded in reality. Players have clawed their way up the proverbial food-chain from being simple street criminals to experienced bank robbers, to yacht-owning VIPs all the way to becoming the CEOs of massive illegitimate corporations.
All of these feats are ones which the average player cannot realistically achieve in real life, and hopefully doesn’t want to. Even so, their depiction was inherently realistic. Though unlikely, pretty much everything in GTA Online through the Further Adventures in Finance and Felony update can hypothetically occur in the real world.
Then came Cunning Stunts, which has players race around stunt-tracks equipped with death-traps and massive jumps, suspended hundreds of meters mid-air, winding around the skyscrapers of Los Santos, or hovering above the surrounding sea. It features green speed-boosting pads, launching high-speed race-cars across gaps which would be impossible to clear in the real world.
The whole sensation started out as a low-info tease jotted as a post-script to the first tease of Finance and Felony. Initially marketed as only being an update to the Content Creator, this idea later grew up to be the most derivative GTA Online DLC yet.
Cunning Stunts itself was probably made due to delays affecting the Stunt Race Creator. Rockstar took the cars that were probably intended for the Creator update and bundled them with some officially made stunt races to make the smash hit update. GTA Online then received two further packages of vehicles and stunt races in order to tide players over until the Stunt Race Creator dropped in earnest.
When it did, the update to the Creator added hundreds of props and some new features to GTA Online’s official tool used for the creation of fan-made jobs. As such, even players well versed in the use of the Creator found that they could use a pointer or two on the new mechanics. Rockstar delivered a guide of their own, which we have since adapted on our page.
This brings us to the second part of the Stunt Race Creator guide. While the first one looked at basics on how to begin your project and some general tips, this second part will delve deeper into some of the elements of the Creator, helping you craft some truly memorable Stunt courses.
First item on the menu are props. Around 200 of them, actually. That’s the approximate number of new props that have been added to the GTA Online Content Creator’s already extensive prop library. Now, when you’re dealing with that many new resources, it would be wise to get to know them first. However, we mentioned that last time around, so let’s see what new tips are on offer.
Templates are a great way of speeding up the process of building your track. These are larger sections of pre-configured props put together in a particular way, saving you the effort of manually snapping each bit together. You can also save your own templates in case you want to reuse a section of your race down the line.
When placing your props, precision is key in differentiating a race that is “good enough” and a race that is supreme. Fine-tuning is important, and using the quick-zoom function while a prop is selected will allow you to adjust the height of the piece in question in order to line it up with the adjacent element.
The real staple of a race for the ages is creativity. Sure, all stunt props have an immediately apparent intended function, but you can re-orientate them in absolutely any fashion. Be creative and devise new and unintended functions for your props to really show off your prowess at creating a well-thought-out and derivative map.
GTA Online’s Content Creator always had a limit on the number of props any given map may contain. Though this limit has been increased with the Stunt Race Creator, there is still only so many bits and pieces that you can add. If any of you deal with 3D modelling, then you’ll be familiar with this method, as it is not unlike optimization:
Cut fodder wherever you can. Use larger props instead of multiple small ones in all cases where doing so does not interfere with your intended function. If you have a long, straight tube section, instead of constructing it from several smaller tube pieces, use a ‘Tube Extra Long’, for example.
If you are going for a varied and high-octane track containing a ton of various stunts built from all kinds of props, you’ll need some simpler connecting sections to contrast the epic stunt. Building Blocks are perfect for this purpose. Remember, making a stunt race is like cooking a delicate meal: you must balance it.
Another great way to string together larger set-piece stunts is with the Tubes that have become so iconic for the update. The Tubes can bend and spiral both upwards and downwards, so they are perfect for a change of altitude or a subtle transition between two sections. Then again, the Tubes need not be a place of peace, as there are spinning gate traps that can be set inside Tubes.
Be careful with placement though, as a misaligned Tube could cause your players to congest following the bump, as it causes a sudden loss of speed. Staying on the topic of Tubes, you need not worry about players missing a checkpoint by wall riding in one. The circular checkpoint prop has been sized to match the inner circumference of the Tubes.
While Building Blocks are simple at first glance, they might be what make or break a race. They are perfect for patching up holes, or for the construction of your own custom “props” used for stunting. The most basic example is rotating a Building Block to create a makeshift ramp. Speaking of ramps, remember to stay creative – they can be used for more than just jumping.
Now that you are better acquainted with the props themselves, it’s time to put them together and form your custom GTA Online Stunt Race. However, even if individually, you know how to handle your props, you’ll need to be able to bring it all together in an organised and cohesive manner in order to create a truly notable course.
When building a Stunt Race, there are two things you should be doing often, and especially after getting ready with a given section of the map: saving and testing. Saving is crucial because of the fickle server connection some players are experiencing. There is no autosave feature for maps made in the GTA Online Content Creator, and some players have reported losing hours and hours of work.
Testing, on the other hand, will help you identify issues and correct them before a given section is connected to so many others that editing it to solve the problem would require extensive backtracking. This, again, causes you to lose progress by having to reverse-engineer a solution.
Planning is crucial for a well designed Stunt Race. Kind of like putting together a puzzle, it pays of to spread out the pieces. Roughly position your props around where they will be in the final version to get a feel of how things build upon one another before fine-tuning and tweaking.
When building a stunt race, you have the option to choose between a Stunt Track and a Stunt Raised Track. Advanced players, however, may choose to have both in a single race. To connect your tracks, there are two neat methods: Bends and Track Link props. Both are specifically geared for transitions between two separate tracks.
If you’ve played on some of Rockstar’s official Stunt Races that were added to GTA Online with Cunning Stunts and its two smaller updated, you’ll have noticed that some of the courses have branching sections. These are achieved with the new Secondary Checkpoint feature, which has also been added to the Stunt Race Creator. However, to prevent getting tangled in all of your routes, plan out the path of primary checkpoints first.
Stunt Races are different enough from regular land races to warrant being careful in terms of mechanics. Always remember setting the starting grid to the stunt layout, and place checkpoints and respawn points around major set pieces in a way that doesn’t break the race. Testing comes in handy here.
Speaking of checkpoint placement, when dealing with such a crucial part of your Stunt Race you might want to reconfigure the layout completely a few times. Luckily, Rockstar altered the “delete all” feature to also take secondary checkpoints into account, making the process more streamlined. If you’re building a large and complex race, it pays off to keep in mind that the number of checkpoints is capped at 68.
The creators of Stunt Races also have power over how lucrative their tracks will be. You can add bonus modifiers on RP for example. GTA Online players will be grateful for stunts awarding RP, especially if your map is heavy on flashy tricks.
Remember, since these are stunt races we are talking about, balancing form with function is key. Your race must work well and be efficient, but it shouldn’t be dull. If you haven’t hit the prop limit, but are done with your course, throw in some decor to make it even more pompous and impressive.
For better or worse, the majority of Stunt Races in GTA Online are located primarily in the southern side of the map, and with reason. The geography of this part of the map lends itself well to these courses and Rockstar has realized this. With the city of Los Santos being here, as well as a varied wilderness, you can make all kinds of interesting races.
Sometimes you can spare props in terms of decor by weaving your track around the notable buildings of Los Santos, or the various landmarks in the country around it. Another great way to reduce prop count is by using the map as it was intended – GTA Online is full of roads already, why not use them?
Stunt Races are about obstacles and traps as much as they are about flashy stunts. You can use the natural hazards of Los Santos and Southern San Andreas to your advantage – and to the dismay of your racers.
These are all the tips and tricks Rockstar has chosen to share with the community. Even though this is merely the tip of the iceberg, many of you creative fans have already created amazing Stunt Races with the new Creator. Hopefully these guides will help you with the upcoming contest which will seek to find the best and most challenging Stunt Races the community can muster.
Have you built any custom Stunt Races for GTA Online?