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The Crew 2 tips - how to get ahead in Ubisoft’s great American road trip

The Crew 2

The Crew 2’s big feature is letting you switch vehicles instantly as you travel across its recreation of the United States. So not only do you have a lot of road to cover, there are rivers, lakes, and airspace to take into account. It would take a long time for a single person to chart all that and figure out the best way to utilise it to increase progression. Sounds like you could do with some The Crew 2 tips.

Don’t be fooled by all the cheerful colours and whimsical world-folding moments seen in footage leading up to the game’s release. The Crew 2 has deep RPG-like systems to grind underneath its arcade exterior. This is a proper racing game about going from zero to 220mph.

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If you want to max out your car’s performance, keep your bank account healthy, and raise your Follower count as quickly as possible, you need to go in with a plan. Here’s some help formulating that plan. From vehicle handling to grinding all the systems, these tips will ensure your time on the road – or in the air, or water – isn’t wasted.

Adjust the driving aids

The Crew 2

Traction control and ABS are tucked away within the vehicle customisation menu instead of the game options or control options screens where you might expect to find them. What’s more, they’re only accessible once you complete the trials for all disciplines: Street Racing, Pro Circuit, Offroad, and Freestyle. Once they’re all ticked off, enter the vehicle customisation menu (where you change Performance Parts) and look for the ‘Pro Controls’ button prompt. On gamepads it’s the ‘select’ button or equivalent. Here you’ll find a bunch of sliders controlling the driving aids.

This isn’t just about grandstanding by turning everything off and being a realracer – it’s often a bit easier to race with traction control set to 50% or less, because the car feels a bit more agile and quicker to throw its back end out in tight turns. Try turning traction control down first, then experiment with the other options to find your sweet spot.

Note that you have to set this for each vehicle type – just because you turned traction control off for road cars doesn’t mean off-roaders will carry those options over. You need to set everything manually.

Don’t spend money

The Crew 2

Seriously. Not until you’re quite deep into the game, anyway. The first free vehicle you’re given in every category is more than up to the task and often miles better than most paid options. Your free powerboat is twice as powerful as the cheapest paid model, and it’s the same for planes. Cars and bikes have a wider gamut of performance with many more models populating it, but there’s still no reason to splash the cash on new vehicles until you have a cool million in the bank.

At that point, you will have opened up event types that require specific and quite expensive vehicles like Touring Cars. Now’s the time to invest, when you have the funds to pick the best in the category and go on earning money in it.

There’s no easy way to grind Followers

The Crew 2

In the first The Crew game, it was all about hitting those jump challenges again and again until they coughed up a maxed out platinum car part. Remember those days? Destiny players had their raids, we had ramps. However, working your way up the tiers of popularity by gaining Followers in The Crew 2 doesn’t have an easy cheese method.

Essentially, it’s an expansion of the previous system – winning races earns you Followers, as does pulling off emergent stunts in the open world like driving high speed into oncoming traffic, flying upside down at low altitude, and grabbing air.

My initial experiments while driving from NY to LA indicate that it isn’t quicker to grind achievements like speed trap challenges or racing into oncoming traffic than simply taking part in races. There are still challenges all over the map, including the jump challenges that once were the beating heart of The Crew’s grind, but it doesn’t look like they’re unbalanced in their rewards. At the risk of squandering that lovely open world, the most efficient way to play is fast-travelling to all the unlocked races in your tier, completing them, then grinding all the challenges once they’re unlocked.

Invest in one vehicle ready for the PvP update

The Crew 2

It’s tempting to treat The Crew 2 as a collector sim, picking up throwback supercars like the Saleen S7 just because they’re there. But if you really want to hit the ground running when PvP multiplayer arrives in winter 2018, you need to focus your attention on increasing the PP of one vehicle at a time. That means buying a vehicle that already has among the absolute highest PP values at stock parts, and completing events and challenges with it to pick up that sweet loot and upgrade your parts.

Admittedly, you have months and months to do this, and yes, it’s possible to have a garage bursting with tricked-out supercars, Concord-beating planes, and frankly dangerously quick powerboats by then. Just know that when PvP does arrive, it’ll be all about that PP grind, so it’s best to make a headstart now and get one supercar maxed out.

How to get Live Rewards

The Crew 2

Live Rewards are great big loot boxes dotted throughout the world map, and you earn them just by tracking them down. Hear that ping when you’re gunning it along the highway, and see the pulse on your minimap? They’re indicators that you’re near a Live Reward. They increase in rapidity as you get nearer, and fall silent when you head away from them.

Live Rewards can be placed anywhere – in the middle of a field, within a parking lot, you name it. Drive slowly while you hear that telltale blip and simply react to its changes. When you see a green glow, you’ve found the loot box. You need to open it manually though – it’s ‘Y’ or triangle on controllers.

Hold back on the analog stick when piloting a powerboat

The Crew 2

Quickfire tip time: the title says it all. Your top speed increases as you pitch the powerboat by pulling the left stick back. If you were wondering why everyone else seemed to blitz past you, this is why.

Use your NOS immediately

Every race begins with a pretty straight run. This goes for all vehicle types and disciplines. And since your NOS replenishes at a steady rate, you’re only delaying the point at which you have a maxed out NOS bar for the second time by holding onto it when the race starts. Boost your acceleration off the line and deplete it completely, then wait for the next straight to use the next replenished bar – just don’t hold on too long. Again – it replenishes at a steady rate for the whole race, so the more boosts you can get out of it, the greater your advantage.

Flatten out every corner

The Crew 2

The Crew 2 is a generous game when it comes to meeting checkpoints and following course boundaries. The kind of corner-cutting that would have Seb Vettel swearing over his race radio at you and hours of meetings with stewards in Formula One is a-ok here, so make the most of it.

The obvious exception to this approach is in city races featuring lots of 90-degree corners around tenement blocks and skyscrapers. Not only will those towering monuments of concrete impede your progress, but some of the roadside furniture will too, and it’s not always obvious which bits will fall apart like balsa wood, and which will bring a 200mph supercar to a dead halt in an instant. Lamp posts are fine to hit – bus shelters are not. Bushes: play ball. Trees: dead stop.