Most racing games give you a track list and let you go racing. DIRT 5 is not most racing games.
Codemasters has opened up the genre with their Playgrounds mode, where you can create the race of your dreams.
But how do you go about actually building and creating a Playgrounds arena that players want to race?
Stand out from the crowd
Speaking with ConnerSpeed6 about DIRT 5’s Playgrounds, it’s the endless possibilities of the mode that excite him the most.
“DIRT 5 brings something completely different to the table and that is Playgrounds.”
“When building these Playgrounds events you are limited to your imagination. There’s really no stopping your creativity whenever you are building these things.”
There are thousands of blocks and endless combinations of jumps, corners, and barriers you can use. But bringing a trail to life can seem like a monumental challenge.
ConnerSpeed6 is a prolific Playgrounds creator, who produces some of the longest and most challenging Playgrounds Gate Crasher routes around.
“The whole point of building Playgrounds routes is fun.” says Conner in his latest video “You want to make sure that your route stands out amongst the crowd.”
His sure do! But how does he do it? In his latest video, Conner lays out some of the key components of making a fun Playgrounds route.
How to map out your Playgrounds arena
The number of possibilities and enormous arena you have at your disposal can be rather daunting.
Conner gave us some advice. “I lay out the blueprint of the route itself, and then build around that.”
Because you can plant blocks in the sky as well as on the ground, you can map out your Playgrounds route from start to finish using some of the jumps and transitions that Conner lays out in his video.
After that you can add the surrounding touches that really bring the course to life. There are tyre walls, rings of fire, stacked up buses, and even enormous pipes you can sweep through.
Removing exploits to make lapped events
Gamers being gamers, people that play your Playgrounds will look for any way around an obstacle. While you can lay out an ideal tour in Playgrounds, if you aren’t strict enough with your jump and barrier placement there will be people that can knock 30-40 seconds off their time simply by shortcutting.
One of Conner’s specialties is creating lap events, where you have to complete the circuit a number of times in order to get all the checkpoints.
To do that, you have to remove any exploit.
“It’s not always easy to make it so you can’t just drive through a checkpoint, back up, drive through the next one. That’s why there’s usually a jump before a checkpoint.”
His Endurance Rally Circuit requires several laps, and doesn’t allow for any shortcuts thanks to his layout of jumps and the secure nature of his routes. Not everything is perfect first time though.
“I reshared the Nitro Rally Cross circuit 6 times” says Conner about one of his more impressive Playgrounds. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes into it.”
Get creative, but be clear
While reproducing your favourite circuit is always a temptation, we’ve found that the best Playgrounds are truly inventive and bring something new to the game. Even if it is just wild jumps and handbrake hairpins, DIRT 5’s gameplay is so much fun that you don’t need to spend hours designing a complex Playground.
Within that though, you want to make it clear where the driver is meant to go. That means signposts if you are using an open space, or encasing your route in barriers.
With a lot of the bigger blocks and things like shipping crates it can be easy to create dark spaces and hard 90-degree turns. That’s where the flashing light signs become really key to making an enjoyable Playground.
Conner’s video takes you through all that, along with how to utilise transitions, and what you can expect from the lifts and jumps. Making a smooth arena without any rough landings and awkward turns is going to be the best way to have the community fall in love with your creation.
Want more DIRT 5 tips? Look out for the next part in our series, where ConnerSpeed6 takes us through key tips for mastering Gymkhana events.
If you haven’t got it already, you can buy DIRT 5 NOW at all good retailers on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC.
If you haven’t upgraded to next-gen consoles yet then don’t worry, DIRT 5 is available on Xbox One and PS4, and comes with a free upgrade to next-gen should you pick up the console for Christmas. Just remember, discless consoles will require digital entitlement to upgrade.