MotoGP 21: Beginner's guide - Tips and tricks for how to beat the beast, assists, setups, cornering & more

After a long wait, MotoGP 21 is out on-time and to the high quality we expect from Milestone.

We absolutely love MotoGP 21 and to see exactly why, check out our full review!

If you're starting out in the MotoGP games or want a refresher for '21, we've got you covered right here with our beginner's guide!

Tutorials are your friend

Like any racing game, MotoGP 21 comes with a lot of options when it comes to difficulty settings and driving aids. When you boot up the game, you'll be given three choices when it comes to more general difficulty settings. If you're new to MotoGP and/ or motorcycle games, we recommend going for "Easy".

MotoGP21 Difficulty settings
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CHOOSE YOUR DIFFICULTY: MotoGP 21 helps you when it comes to choosing the ideal challenge level

After this, you can take part in a quick tutorial to teach the basics of riding a Moto3 bike. We recommend you give this a whirl, even if you're experienced, as the handling model has been updated from MotoGP 20.

More tutorial sessions will be available for you to try out later on. Again, these are hugely helpful in gaining valuable experience in-game, especially if you're a newbie.

Swim in the shallows before you jump into the deep

When it comes to Managerial mode, we recommend starting with the AI turned down so you can find your feet. 20% is the lowest setting, but if you find this too easy, turn it up gradually. You need to find the right balance between success and challenge.

If it's "the beast" that you're struggling to tame, don't worry, there are a lot of options available when it comes to your bike. Everything from the ideal racing line, to allowing mistake-correcting rewinds are available to be added in.

You can change these settings through the main Managerial Mode hub. Pressing triangle on PS/ Y on Xbox for "Riding aids". You can also edit your "race options" such as AI difficulty by pressing square on PS/ X on Xbox.

MotoGP21 tutorials
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THERE'S NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP: The assists are there to help you, use them if you need to!

Remember though, the more bike assists you have enabled, the slower your potential pace will be. For example, if you have automatic brakes enabled, you won't overshoot a corner, but you will be slower in the braking zones than you would be if you slammed the anchors on manually.

As you feel more comfortable, you can begin to take away assists. Starting with the automatic brakes and then the physics simulation levels.

Setting up for success

You can be the best rider in the world, but if your bike isn't set up correctly, winning races simply won't be possible.

Setups vary from circuit to circuit, as each track layout is unique and different settings for the bikes are required. Which setup is best for you is again unique for each player and depends on their driving style.

MotoGP setup guide
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THE SWEET SPOT: Setups are vital to being quick in MotoGP 21

Just like last year's game, MotoGP 21 comes with a "guided setup" feature. This helps you tweak the bike using your race engineer as a guide. You state what your problem areas are on-track and the setup will change accordingly.

Of course, you can alter the setup yourself, as descriptions are given for each area of the bike. When you're starting out, though, this can be a venture into the unknown.

It can be a laborious process, but the best way to improve your setup and driving is to put the hours in on-track. There's no substitute for time spent out on-track, so make use of the free practice and warm-up sessions during race weekends, they're vital!

You can of course have a practice in "Quick mode" too. Whether it's time trial or a Grand Prix, you can practice any scenario here.

We've got some great examples for setups if you're struggling, though. These are for MotoGP 20, but the fundamentals have remained the same for '21.

We will be adding setup guides for MotoGP 21 soon, so stay tuned to our site!

Knee and elbow on the tarmac

Riding on two wheels is vastly different to driving on four. Anybody that has tried the MotoGP games out after playing games like F1 2020 will know this.

The straights are the same as always, just foot to the floor. Cornering and braking though, is a real challenge if you've never done it before on a bike.

MotoGP start jerez
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A WHOLE NEW WORLD: Bike racing is nothing like car racing

You need to brake and turn-in way earlier than you'd expect on a MotoGP bike. When you're turning in, you'll need to feather the throttle. A little power will keep the revs up and prevent the bike from rolling over too easily.

For corner exit, ease back on the throttle, don't stab it on. Wheelspin is a big issue, especially if you have traction control turned down. If that happens, you'll spin the rear wheel and lose both time and tyre life. Your main focus should be on the braking though, as this is the hardest aspect to racing to get right at first.

Overtaking is difficult in MotoGP, as both the inside and outside line offer enough grip to overtake riders. This means you've got more opportunity to attack but your rival also has more of a chance to defend. You've got to be patient and just like your driving in general, practice makes perfect.

Crazy online lobbies

Like most online racing games, playing MotoGP 21 online can be as fun as it is infuriating.

When you're in a lobby full of complete strangers, you only need one to spoil the party. Smoothness is the aim of the game, being consistent with your laps and hitting the apexes will see your lap times and finishing positions improve.

Lag is the eternal enemy of online gaming, but this is something that's becoming less and less of a problem as internet speeds increase.

You should always remain vigilant of this issue though, especially with riders from other continents. Give riders more space than you would the offline AI, just in case they lag into you and cause a crash.

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