Since first Underground tuning is a very important part of every Need for Speed game. Basically we can tune our car in two ways: visually and mechanically. Very often the right setups are the element that separates the winners from the loosers. There are made within hours of testing and are the most secret weapons of the best NFS clans and players. Besides, the optimum setup depends on the player's racing style in many ways. But it's always good to know what makes what.
All of the mechanical tuning is in the Performance menu. Like in previous games, also in Carbon the parts have few levels: street, pro and racing. But this time the availability of the specific part depends on the car's level too. You cannot put the Carrera GT's turbo into Golf, it's obvious. The scale of modification depends then on the capabilities of a car so it's simple that your first car won't match the best in the game. Besides, differently from Most Wanted the parts are also split by tiers. It means that if we unlock tier I gearbox street package, then we cannot mount it in tier II car. It's also different for bonus cars, such like Audi Le Mans. We cannot tune them at all, visually nor mechanically.
Let's now focus on explaining where, what and how. When we buy a part, we have those mysterious three options, which can be set in three positions each. They are the one that decide how our car will handle on the street. This is how it goes:
- Engine - Torque / Horsepower. That's nothing different but the dyno setup in an easier way. Setting up our car more into torque will affect in better acceleration, but at the expense of power, and what comes with it - the maximum speed. And opposite - more horsepower will allow us to reach higher speed, but the car will accelerate slower. It's no secret that on curvy tracks it's better to use higher torque and set up higher horsepower on the tracks, where we have long straights.
- Transmission - Acceleration / Top speed. This shows mainly the gear's length. More acceleration set means shorter gears, which are more dynamic, better to accelerate, but also they will "end up" in shorter time and the range of speed able to reach on specific gear will be lower than if you set up the transmission for top speed. Remember that it connects with the engine setup in many ways, eg. the gear's length also depends on how the engine is set up. It's good to stay with one scheme, for example if you want to use more acceleration, set up the transmission in the same way.
- Suspension - Oversteer / Understeer. The suspension tuning controls how the car will handle in corners. Understeering means that while cornering the front of the car will have the tendency to drift and will "drag" the car to the inside of the corner, while oversteering is the popular rear escaping. It's a very important setup, with it we can compensate the car's natural parameters by trying to equal it's, for example, base oversteer by set upping a little understeer. But like any other setup, this one depends on the player's driving style.
- Nitrous - Power / Duration. The nitrous is a very important thing which can even decide the winner. If we put more power then the NOS will give us more speed, but in the cost of duration. Otherwise, setting it to duration will make the power a little bit lesser, but it will last longer. Again, it mainly depends on the track on which we will race.
- Tyres - Drift / Grip. Be careful with that one. The rationality tells to use grip tyres, but who said that NFS is rational? With a car with grip tyres it's more difficult to cut sharp corners. On the other hand, using "Drift" for Dodge Viper is a sure ticket to the wall in every corner. Generally, for most of the cars the optimal setup is different, but if you don't want to test the difference between the types of tyres, use the default setup.
- Brakes - Front bias / Rear bias. Brake's balance is important in cornering. If we put more braking power to front wheels, then they will block faster and the car will lose it's steering. When we put more braking power into rear wheels, then it's very probable that its rear will have the tendency to drift more often. Generally this setup is all about brake's balance.
- Turbo - Low RPM / High RPM. The last available setup is about turbo. It's modification will basically set the moment in which the turbohole effect will appear. The turbohole is the range of RPM when the charger sleeps calmly. Now, the turbo set to low RPM will make the car accelerate better, but then on high RPM it won't be that effective, so it will affect on the maximum speed. Differently, high RPM turbo means that low RPM range will be one big turbohole, but then, when it blasts.. :) It's good to synchronize the turbo with engine and transmission.
It's good to know that the specify elements affect on each other in two "groups": those, who affect the car's acceleration and maximum speed and those, who change it's handling. The only one good method for making an optimum mechanical setup is to test, test and test, so you can find the best setups for your driving style, your car and the track. It's also good to be consequent in tuning the parts - acceleration tweaked gearbox with high RPM turbo doesn't have to be the best combination. It's a little bit different, when it comes to handling - there one setup can equal another to get the desired effect. Good luck tuners!