Skip to content

The Secrets of the Dash Race Challenge Mode Scoring

December 7, 2011

Here is the short version for the impatient reader: if you believe in conspiracy once you lost a Dash Race, specifically against a computer controlled opponent, then the classic mode is the better choice for you: the first one passing the finish line wins. Straightforward classic formula. Just choose it in the start screen and there you go.

The challenge mode, however, adds a scoring system on top of the classic game. And this scoring system has its own dynamics, and this also implies that you sometimes won’t win though you made it first to the finish. In this blog I will reveal some (but not all!) of the mechanics behind it to make you understand who wins and who looses, and how you can shape up to be on the winner side more often than not (provided you are not driving against someone else who read this as well).

Points are awarded for every move you make. If it’s a faint-hearted short move that took you ages to complete, you’ll get far less than for a bold speedy (i.e. long) move that you quickly decided upon. Let’s call cooler moves better for now: faster, quick completion, more impact and bothering your opponents. The score is over-proportionally higher for such better moves. Two times two squares will score less than one four square move.

Additionally, you are awarded points for tricks. Top speeds, (mean) blocks, cool curves, square dances, (scary) scratches and more: each will provide an uplift on the score for that move. Doing a trick with a fast (long) move will provide much more points than with slow ones.

The absolute score per move is computed relatively to a regular default length of the track. If it’s a long track, then individual scores are lower, but you score more of them. As a result, it doesn’t matter whether you drive on Arkas or do a Boat Race. In both cases you can end up with a similar score reflecting your actual driving capabilities and nerve strength. Once you exceed the regular length of a track, scores are drastically reduced, eventually being zero. So it doesn’t help to do small circles in front of the finish line to gain more points: you’ll get almost no additional points, and you are risking to be disqualified after exceeding the regular track length for an (undisclosed) amount. Instead, heading as fast as possible for the finish line (and at best hitting your starting position or the dedicated sweet spot on tracks with a finish different from the start) will give you a boost bonus that you shouldn’t miss to become the final winner. It is so high that in approx. 80% of the cases this alone will secure your golden cup. So how is the bonus computed? It is the sum of a fixed percentage of the current score of each opponent that is still behind you. The reasoning is that you get a higher bonus if the others fare good, too. If it’s a hot race with good drivers close behind you, then you’ll be awarded more points for the mental strength to surpass them all. If you are winning against a bunch of loosers, you get less bonus, because that’s not a big deal then anyway. Bottom line: the chance for a high score rises with the number of skilled opponents. Which is fair, because it’s much harder to prevail in a 4 player race than with just one opponent.

Sometimes people believe the robots somehow cheat, especially if they win though they didn’t even come in first. Cheating robots, however, is a fairy tale, at least for Dash Race. Technically, robots do their move like any other player. The whole scoring afterwards is done completely independent of who performed the move, human or robot. But robots are not performing bad in general — what else should they do the whole day being locked into that game? The key here is speed. The timing (i.e. how fast you complete a move) is key for the score you are awarded each move. While the robots do their move instantaneously to not bore you, they are accounted for a real-life amount of time for the move (anything else would be pretty unfair, right?). It is a random timing around an average that is oriented along the timing of all participating human players. If one human is fast and one is slow, robots are somewhere in between on average. If all are fast, robots will keep up. There is however a limit to the fairness of the robots (in the end they are a bit human, too…). If you are faring very poor (i.e. do slow moves only), their patience is used up and they will leave you behind. Where this limit is depends on the driving skills that you chose for the robots. Bad robots will align with lower reaction speeds, but Vettel-type of AI drivers won’t care for you if you take your time on moves, maybe drinking a relaxed tea at the same time. If this is what you want, then read the first paragraph again.

In the aftermath of a game, look at the statistics of each participant on the winner screen. Probably the one bringing the golden cup home has an excellent average move time (better than yours). Then click into the details screen of the winner and look what additional trick scores he achieved. Compare that with yours. Probably you then get some insight why you are not on the top of the winner stand.

Don’t get depressed if you won’t win all the time. After all it’s just a game!


From → Dash Race

  1. jan vogel permalink

    Hallo! ich liebe diese Spiel und habe es früher immer auf Papier gespielt.
    ich habe eine Frage: wie genau funktionieren cool curve und economy bonuse?
    Le Gov

    • Cool Curve is mathematically driving approximately a bi-cubic spline over the last 8 points. Economy bonus is awarded if you drove four steps the same “speed” (approx., considering small diagonal deviations).

  2. Speedini permalink

    Could you input the the possibility choosing the start position? I like to start fourth position.
    And any possibility to draw and share tracks?
    Congratulations for your game.


    • The starting position belongs to one of those controversial topics. Be sure that when you win, one of the losers will blame it on your „better“ starting position. So that‘s why it‘s always chosen randomly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: