A Beginner’s Guide to NASCAR Rivals for Nintendo Switch

NASCAR Rivals is now available for Nintendo Switch, and we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the new game.

The latest NASCAR video game to hit the market is NASCAR Rivals by Motorsport Games for the Nintendo Switch. This is the sequel to last year’s NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ title, which was also released exclusively for the Switch.

Welcome to another year of NASCAR gaming on the go, but this time with rivalries at the forefront. The game can be played on handheld or on a docking station for a TV. It supports single-player career, races, 16-player online multiplayer, challenges, as well as split-screen multiplayer.

I’m going to dive into some of the basics for NASCAR Rivals to get everyone started. From setting up the controls to starting a career, from playing online to customizing your driver and everything else in between, I’ve got everything you need to succeed in the latest NASCAR portable game.


First things first: Set up how you want to play the game. There are four preset difficulty levels – Casual, Normal, Hard and Expert. The lower you are, the easier things will be. More driving assistants will be implemented and the AI ​​will be switched off. Conversely, the higher you go, the harder it gets.

On a Nintendo Switch with digital controllers, the throttle and brakes are not pressure sensitive in any way. It’s more of a constant full-on-full-off feeling when pressing the appropriate buttons. A Switch Pro controller provides more precise inputs. The Hori MK Wheel is not optimized for Rivals.

Turning all assists off would require an expert touch to avoid spinning fully at launch or locking up the brakes when trying to slow down. Start with a lower setting until you are more comfortable, then increase from there. Players can also set custom settings, e.g. B. harder AI, but more assists or vice versa.

At any level, from casual to expert, players can adjust the vehicle setup adjustment slider from tight to loose. There are no custom setups similar to NASCAR 21: Ignition, there is just a slider that makes the car spin more (and possibly spin more) or spin less (and probably be harder to spin).


As is usual with NASCAR console games, the career mode is the big ticket for most of these. NASCAR Rivals sends players directly into the NASCAR Cup Series to compete, but there are two possible routes.

You can either race each season as an owner/driver, or simply drive for an existing team.

The latter allows players to select one of the entry-level teams such as Rick Ware Racing or Spire Motorsports.

Players can choose which driver they want to replace and start their career from there. As players progress, the teams they can choose from and drive for become more lucrative as the goals for each team are met.

As an owner/driver, you assemble your own team, manage costs and staff, upgrade equipment, and work your way to the top of the NASCAR Cup Series.

NASCAR fans can think of it like Tony Stewart driving for Stewart-Haas Racing or what BJ McLeod is currently doing with Live Fast Motorsports.

The ultimate goal is to become NASCAR Cup Series Champion. If you choose one way or the other at the beginning, the other option comes up at the end of the season.


There will be incentive based challenges from sponsors where you can choose how easy or difficult they are. An easier challenge will bring a smaller cash prize. Momentum is something that can be earned during a season that offers a small speed boost.

If you’re struggling to meet sponsorship goals, you might want to consider trying a lower goal. Achieving goals in general is good for the business relationship you share with your sponsor.

Keeping sponsors and finding better rides becomes a little harder if you consistently fall short of expectations. Also, you have at least some income, even from a lower target.

There are four different types of cars for the owner/driver, ranging from Short Track to Speedway, then Superspeedway and finally Road Course.

The first race of the season is the Daytona 500, but choosing a Superspeedway car as a first purchase puts players behind the ball at subsequent speedways.

There are also hireable engineers who help improve the car’s engine performance, chassis and aerodynamic capabilities.

You have to improve both departments (with money) and people (with money). Don’t overspend if you find a place where you’re competitive. You won’t need to fully upgrade until later.

NASCAR isn’t usually about winning everything in the first season, it should be a fight to the top. It’s your fake money, though, so spend it however you like.


The career schedule follows the NASCAR Cup Series schedule of 36 races, beginning in Daytona and ending in Phoenix. Races can be set to different lengths, some can have more options enabled, e.g. B. Yellow flags, stages and black flags.

You can also enable DNFs in Settings. If you fall hard enough, you’ll finish the race without completing it. You can simulate sessions if you don’t want to attend a practice, qualifying, or even a race session.

However, there are now only 36 races and one series to complete. The season is broken down into six superspeedway races, eight short track races, six road courses and 16 intermediate speedway races.

My suggestion would be to build the Speedway Intermediate car first since that is the bulk. After that, which of the other three you prefer. Don’t forget to upgrade staff and departments along the way!

Note that the game classifies Phoenix Raceway as short-haul, so a short-haul car works best there…but that’s just plain wrong.

The title of the game is Rivals, so you get reputation based on how you drive the computer opponents.

You get into rivalries with drivers by getting them dirty and making them harder to run around.

On the other side of the coin, if you partner with another AI driver on drafting and clean passing, you will befriend them, increasing the likelihood that they will partner with you.


Outside of the NASCAR Cup Series career, there are a ton of other modes. Single player modes such as Single Race and Challenges are set to keep players entertained at their own pace.

There are multiplayer options like online or local for players to enjoy the title with others.

Finally, there are customization options that you can access. Both cars and drivers can be created in your likeness for a truly immersive experience.


Race Now is pretty self-explanatory. Choose a series, choose a car, choose a track, drive a single race event.

Race Now is great for getting to know a race track in a racing environment for the first time, perhaps to see how different settings might work.

All 27 NASCAR Cup Series venues are eligible here, some venues will host a second date that can be driven allowing all 36 scoring races to be attempted.


In NASCAR Rivals on Switch, up to 16 players can go into a lobby and compete against each other or against a series of AI cars. A host can set up the lobby and choose most of the details that could be chosen for an offline race.

Options range from the basics like lap count and flag settings and track to the number of assists that can be turned on or off. While NASCAR races typically allow up to 40 cars to start, the system is limited by the Nintendo Switch online gaming system.

Split Screen is a local multiplayer option that allows two players in a session to race offline on a single console. At this point, these are the only multiplayer options available.


The NASCAR Rivals paint booth is similar to the NASCAR 21: Ignition paint booth, both an upgrade and a bit of a disappointment.

There are no more pre-made bases or easy-to-place sponsors, developers have to create their own paint jobs from molds and scale up their own logos to make them a good fit.

A driver can also be created in NASCAR Rivals and this is the same process as always. Details such as facial features, weight, height and uniform can be customized.

When you load a race weekend, you will see your character leaning against the race car. If you win, your avatar will celebrate on the winning track. Make yourself as precise or as wild as you wish.


So what do you think? Are you ready to beat your rivals and become the next NASCAR champion?

Remember that this is a starting guide for beginners. If you have any other questions about NASCAR Rivals for Nintendo Switch, ask them in the comments below.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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