Vehicle performance depends heavily on terrain types as designated by the vehicle's road preference (asphalt, mixed, off-road). The main terrain categories are:
- Asphalt Roads ... most are nice, flat roads, usually two-lane, but occasionally some bounce your vehicle around for no apparent reason
- Dirt Roads ... large, wide dirt roads, some cause vehicles to bump around or cause the tires to hunt grooves in the road (or the shoulder if a wheel gets caught in the shoulder trough)
- Dirt Trails ... smaller, two-wheel, weed-covered trails and narrow "goat trails" with lots of bumps and "grooving"
- Off-Road, Light ... stream beds, flat dirt patches on the ground, fields with light / sparse / short weeds (ie: the weeds don't cover your vehicle)
- Off-Road, Heavy ... snow, sand, fields with dense / thick / tall weeds (that can cover your vehicle)
Note: Forests are off-road, but they're light or heavy depending on the actual terrain they're on. EG: a wooded forest on lightly weeded grass will be light off-roading while scrub bushes on sand will be heavy off-roading. The trees and bushes you can slam into just add obstacles to the off-roading, they don't change the off-road type.
Asphalt Vehicles Edit
- Asphalt Roads ... best performance, because they hug the asphalt, even on bumpy asphalt roads. So, top speeds & best grip come into play. Some may still hunt around on the road and get sketchy at top speeds, so you still need to keep control or risk flying off the road.
- Dirt Roads ... good performance, although looser grip and lower top speed. They can bounce you around, causing the tires to come off the ground and lose speed, causing a perpetual cycle where you gain speed then bounce and lose speed then gain traction and speed again. Some dirt roads have invisible grooves that cause some vehicles tires to hunt around on them, making you struggle to keep them under control as they veer around.
- Dirt Trails ... these pose a problem due to more bumps, and a very narrow "friction band" to get traction on. It's a pain to find the friction band, and even when you do you get bounced right off it. So, it's almost like driving off-road.
- Off-Road, Light ... these areas will reduce your speed to around 1/2, and cause you to slip around while steering, making short cuts across grass fields a pain (but doable if necessary).
- Off-Road, Heavy ... these areas will reduce speed to 1/3, cause you to spin your tires trying to get going (usually causing the throttle limiter to chitter away annoyingly, too), and your steering will be all over the place. Basically, avoid at all costs.
- Asphalt Roads ... good performance, but some hunt along the bumps in the asphalt making them veer around against your will. Some have a little TOO much grip, making turns challenging unless you can handbrake into a drift.
- Dirt Roads ... these things live for large dirt roads with good speeds and manageable drifting. Most handle the bumps and grooves well.
- Dirt Trails ... these are manageable, but some vehicles get bounced around by the bumps a little too much, hunt the grooves in the road and veer around, or have a difficult time finding the "friction band" to get going on. Like asphalt vehicles, these small dirt trails can prove a problem.
- Off-Road, Light ... light off-roading handles well, making grass fields or dirt patches ideal short-cuts if needed.
- Off-Road, Heavy ... the minute you end up grill-deep in thick weeds, sand or snow their performance suffers. Speed drops to about 1/2 speed, and they steering loses some control. If you can plow into it with a good speed then a short jaunt can be manageable. But, if you find yourself skidding out into it while missing a turn, you'll end up at a stand-still with your tires spinning while trying to get going. (Which can be a race ender).
- Asphalt Roads ... this is no problem, but they'll never be as fast as a comparable asphalt vehicle. Some off-road vehicles have too much grip making turns sticky w/o the handbrake for drifting.
- Dirt Roads ... these are easy pickings, and most even the bumps and grooves out on them. However, a few classes (buggy, muscle car) still like to hunt the grooves and get bounced around.
- Dirt Trails ... performance here depends more on the size of the vehicle, as an off-road motorcycle will chew through dirt trails while an off-road muscle car or buggy will bounce around and struggle more.
- Off-Road, Light ... off-road vehicles live for this, and it provides a good short-cut with maybe a 10mph drop in speed. Handling is about the same as a dirt road.
- Off-Road, Heavy ... heavy off-roading can drop the top speed down 20-30mph. The grip & handling is still good, but sloppier. You have to judge the cost/benefit, though (ie: as long as you get ahead and don't wipe out vs. sticking with a road that takes the longer way around).