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Resolution Makes PC Swooping Easier
I've stumbled on a great strategy for making the swoop races easier on the PC version of the game; take the screen resolution down to 800x600. This makes both the swoop course and the acceleration pads appear larger, and for some reason, you can turn the swoop bike with much greater sensitivity than when playing at higher resolutions. I must have tried the third tier of the course on Manaan a hundred times with no success at 1280x1024, then won handily after switching to the lower resolution.
Win Every Time!
This is a cheat for winning the swoop race. Use the white button to pause
the race before it starts. Once you're in pause mode, do quick double taps
on the white button and you will essentially "step" through the race in slow
motion. This makes the race much easier to win because you can hit nearly
every boost pad, and switch gears at the perfect moment.
It's important to mention that you don't need to hold the green button down
to keep going - it's not like a gas pedal. you just hit it once to start,
and then again to switch gears. When it's time to switch gears & you're
paused, hit white, green, white in sequence really fast. it will unpause,
switch gears, pause again. then you just keep going. the biggest challenge
when racing like this is oversteering because you don't really get the
"feel" of driving anymore. But after a race or two, it becomes ridiculously
easy to win.
Another tip regarding the boost pad (which applies whether or not you choose
to cheat by using the pause button) get into a back-and-forth rhythm, as if
you are downhill skiing. especially at the beginning, hit every boost pad.
about mid-way, though, there's a pad way to the right that is almost
impossible to get. skip this one because it takes you way out of the way &
causes you to miss several others. If you skip this one, then it's almost a
straight shot for the rest of the race.
General Swoop Strategy
: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning anyway. When going for the fastest time possible, you should never hit even one obstacle.
Don't Tap The (A) Button
: I have seen differences as great as half a second between identical runs where I tapped (A) through the entire run and when I pressed it only when necessary (start of race and when shift meter is full). Tapping (A) when it is not necessary does slow you down.
Keep A Fluid Line
: In the beginning of the race (on all three tracks) you will slalom to hit all of the boost pads that come by. In the middle section, you will want to avoid going too far out of your way to hit a single boost pad. In the end section, when you are moving at a high speed, it is much more important to keep a somewhat straight line to the finish, even if it means missing several peripheral boost pads.
Save Before You Race
: You can end up spending a lot of credits paying for entry fees to race before you've mastered a track. As long as you save your game before you start racing, you can always load up that save after losing 5 races in a row (and 500 credits from your wallet).
Turbo "B" Button
After losing countless races due to bad starts I realized that not only can you utilize the B button as the starting button but also you can use it to help start the race. My general practice was to hold down the A button with the mid portion of my thumb and constantly tap the B button with upper portion of said thumb. This takes care of starting and all acceleration and gear shifting without any penalties. Also of note, I found that some boost pads boost you faster than others, I kept on finding myself getting repeat times hitting the exact same path ending out with 22:57, decided to try hitting a different booster near the end to mix up the path a little and sure enough dropped my time substantially enough to pass with a 22:34. After spending a few hours on the swoop bikes, and after finally having beaten the third tier, I went to cash in on my winnings only to find out that you can hold a maximum of 99 per item in your inventory including race bonds. The prize for the third tier is 80, so if you want to be able to hold them all make sure you sell enough before you race that third tier to make room for them in your inventory.
Turbo "A" Button
I found the best and easiest way to win a swoop race (so far I've won the three tiers on Tatooine) is to keep hitting the A button as fast as you can. It seems you cannot shift too quickly so that method will get you the fastest shift possible. I only wish I had a controller with a turbo button. :) While doing that, concentrate on hitting as many boost pads as possible. I haven't yet determined if keeping a straighter line helps or not. Obviously, do not hit any obstacles or you will slow down enormously (in terms of time). In my experience, every time I hit one more boost I got better time on my race. Regardless, I've found the swoop racing to be somewhat frustrating and difficult to get the top time. I strongly recommend saving and then running no more than 3 or 4 races before reloading.
General Swoop Strategy
Like many others before me, I became the swoop champ of all three courses: Taris, Tatooine, Manaan.
Swoop upgrades are mentioned often by many different NPC's - other racers, mechanics, etc. You cannot upgrade your swoop bike. Because of how often this topic is mentioned, I believe BioWare most likely meant to include it but took the feature out due to time constraints. Regardless, you'll still have plenty of power to win.
1. The cardinal rule is: don't hit the obstacles on the track. This will slow you down more than anything.
2. There are 5 gears. Good timing is paramount. When is the right time to shift? Just before, or at the very moment the "tachometer" at the bottom reaches the red at the right end.
3. While you're racing, hit all the booster pads you can, especially at the beginning where it's most important. Concentrate on where they are. If you're getting up there in speed, skip the booster pads that require you to move one direction or another too quickly, but go for them if they're not too risky. The smoothest line while hitting the most booster pads is the quickest. You'll find a line that works for you - there is more than one winning way - while racing.