The Crew 2 – Out today! – how to succeed in Motornation

By land, air and water, The Crew 2 hits Xbox One, PS4 and PC today with a hearty “neeeeeeeeeeow.”  With that in mind, we thought we’d share a few quick things you should know when making your first tyre-tracks, contrails or wakes in the game’s open-world USA.

Progression

The goal in The Crew 2 is to reach the top of the game’s motorsport tree. Progression sees players earning Followers and money by taking part in Main Events (races and challenges), Skills (smaller challenges) and other activities. Earning Followers allows you to rank up through the game’s Status levels from Rookie to Popular to Famous, and then Star. With each Status level you hit, you unlock new racing disciplines and events within the game’s four Racing Families (Street, Freestyle, Off-Road and Pro-Racing.)

Once you get to Star rank, you’ll have unlocked all 14 of the game’s racing disciplines – though don’t fret, the team plans to add a whole new discipline for free every three months, starting with Hovercraft in September. From Star rank upwards, you’re classed as an Icon, and start working your way through a new series of Icon levels. In these, you’ll earn extra Loot for every 10 levels you pass, and a free vehicle for every 100 (up until you hit 600.)

Main Events and Skills aren’t the only way to pick up Followers and increase your Status. Once you unlock Dynamic Freestyle by finishing the Freestyle family’s first test event, you start earning Followers for tricks and actions you perform while free-roaming the world.  The game keeps track of over 70 actions (such as flying under bridges or near-missing other cars) – and chaining these together causes the numbers to go up even faster.  With this in mind, it’s often worth making your way between events by vehicle rather than using fast-travel – not only will you pick up more Followers, but you’ll also have the opportunity to take in some of the beautiful scenery.

If you fancy progressing in a relaxed manner, why not check out the Photo Album? After completing the Off-Road family’s first test event, you’ll unlock photo mode with its 12 sets of photo challenges (you’ll find these on the right of each Racing Family’s events menu, and will be notified when you’re passing a photo opportunity in the game world.) Some of these may require you to take pictures of particular wildlife or locations, while other might involve snapping certain actions or vehicles.  Either way, ticking them off will bring in Followers and money.

Finally, if you’re down for a treasure hunt, listen out for the ping of your radar – this indicates that there’s a Live Reward nearby.  Follow the ping, find the Live Reward box and earn yourself Loot parts and Followers.

Vehicles and Loot

In order to keep your Follower count and Status rank on the up and up, you’ll need to upgrade your vehicles. In The Crew 2, each vehicle has its own performance level and fits into a single discipline. If you want to race the same vehicle in multiple disciplines, you’ll have to acquire different versions – for example, one car might have separate Street Racing, Touring Car and Rally Raid forms.

On successfully completing Main Events (and some Skills) you’ll pick up Loot parts for the vehicle you used.  These parts come in different categories such as engine, transmission, exhaust and ECU – and equipping each changes aspects of your vehicles’ performance (check out the stats to the right of the Vehicle screen as you scroll through the parts to see where the differences lie.)

These Loot parts come in a variety of colour-coded rarities: grey is the default (Common), while green is Uncommon, blue is Rare and purple is Epic. The higher the rarity, the more affect the part will have on your vehicle’s performance.

On top of this, some Rare and Epic parts come with something called Affix.  Parts with Affix give you additional perks while equipped.  There are 40 different Affixes (Affixi? Affixen?) which fall into three main categories: Earnings (you might gain more Followers for winning races, or increase your chances of finding rare Loot parts), Vehicle (your boost might recharge faster, or you might get better grip off-road) or Gameplay (your radar distance might increase, or your scoring-ability improve.)

Multiplayer

As you free-drive, free-fly or free-boat around the USA, nearby online players will appear on your map and in the game world – with players from your friends-list taking priority over strangers.

To get fully immersed in the multiplayer action, you’ll want to form a Crew. To do this, hit the Options button, select Roster, and pick up to three players from your friends-list. Your chums will receive an invite to join your Crew and, once they do, you’ll become (dramatic music) The Crew Master.

You can then tackle all of the game’s Main Events and Skills (aside from those in the LIVE Extrem series) co-operatively. Whenever The Crew Master enters an event, Crew members will be invited to join them. If your Crew members haven’t yet unlocked the event or don’t have the appropriate vehicle, fear not – they’ll automatically be given access and loaned the right ride. If one of your Crew completes the event, then everyone wins and can access the next.

Being part of a Crew also gives you more opportunities in free-roam – for example, flying in formation with your Crew earns you more Followers.

For those who don’t fancy rolling with a Crew, there are plenty of ways to interact with other players asynchronously.  For example, if you set a record within a Skill, your friends will be notified and given the option to challenge it.  This also applies to Highlights: in-world challenges based on specific conditions and parameters (a ground speed record in a particular area, for example.)  Records are broken down into Personal (your own), Friends (your friends-list) and World (all Crew 2 players) – so if you’re feeling particularly fruity you can aim to challenge the best in the world. You’ll also see these kinds of leaderboards on main Main Events within the game. You can keep an eye on how you rank overall by checking the leaderboard in each Racing Family’s HQ.

While taking on Skills and appropriate solo Main Events (such as time trials) you’ll see the ghosts of higher-scoring friends and other players. Don’t be scared – this isn’t Transference – these ghosts are there to show you how it’s done, and offer a great opportunity to pick up tips and improve your line.

Later this year, The Crew 2’s second major update will introduce a whole new PVP multiplayer mode which we’ll have more details on in the coming months.

The Crew 2 is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.  For more on the game, check out our previous coverage – and stay tuned for all the latest.

The Author

Phil is so incredibly old that his earliest gaming memories involve those late-70s TV Pong clone machines made by Binatone, typing BASIC games into the one-piece keyboard of a Sinclair ZX80 from magazine listings, and the static burble of Commodore 64 tape loading. He does Marketing things in Ubisoft's Guildford office. He's been at the company for 20 years. The numpty.