Mastering WipEout Omega Collection
The clubber's racer, WipEout has always been a breathtaking mix of mad sci-fi visuals and banging beats. It's back with a vengeance on the PS4, with WipEout Omega Collection combining the fast-paced action of the earlier entries in the series with the 4K bells and whistles that it's brand of futuristic racing has always deserved.
But it's no Mario Kart – WipEout Omega Collection takes some true skill to successfully master.
And that's where we come in. Read on for our selection of WipEout Omega tips, tricks and techniques you need to race to first place every single time.
Pilot Assist is your best friend as a rookie...
Like most WipEouts before it (mainly because it’s made up of three of the previous entries in the series), the Omega Collection has a feature known as Pilot Assist switched on as standard. This is basically a mode that automatically adjusts your speed as you’re zipping around the many tracks of the anti-gravity racing leagues.
WipEout’s sheer speed can be a little disorientating if you haven’t played an entry before, so don’t be afraid to keep Pilot Assist switched on as you get used to the sharp turns, jumps and gravity-defying loops that make the series’ track design. However, keep to single-player content when using the feature.
… but it’s only going to slow you down once you’ve improved
We say keep to single-player races because taking the fight for racing dominance online is a whole different level to competing against AI. In the meantime, as you grow more accustomed to the minutia of controlling of superfast floating ship, you’ll start to notice Pilot Assist actively costing you precious seconds as it defaults to the most reasonable speed on a given corner.
Winning races, even against AI, often comes down to how fast you take a corner without striking the wall. It’s a fine balance, but it’s one you can’t master with Pilot Assist on. So head to the Game Settings menu and deactivate it. You’ll notice its absence straight away, but your skills will be better for it in the long run.
Fly out the gates with a Boost Start
Outside of most traditional racing simulators, everything from kart racers to physics-defying off road games usually feature a trick that enables you to launch out of the starting grid with a little extra speed. This trick is a must-have - every player worth her or his salt will be using it online so get it added to your repertoire.
To pull off a successful Boost Start, you’ll need to press down on the accelerator button (it’s ‘X’ by default) just before you hear the word ‘Go!’. It’s a tricky timing to nail down, but you’ll know when you have pulled it off as your engines will glow a successfully fiery red. It’s not a huge burst of speed, but it’ll propel further than those that don’t manage it.
Don’t be afraid to remap the default controls
The default controls for WipEout Omega Collection will usually map the buttons on your DualShock 4 to the classic layout we most associate with the series (with accelerate on ‘X’, use item on ‘Square’, absorb item on ‘Circle', air-brakes on ‘L2’/’R2’ and ship movement on the analog sticks). It works for some players, but it’s not the optimum way to play.
Here’s the biggie - use the D-pad to control your ship. Sounds mad, we know, but the narrow track design of WipEout requires careful and short adjustments. Using the analog sticks simply gives too much leeway. Also try adding the accelerator to ‘R2’ and air-brakes to ‘L1’/’R1’ - it’s more of a modern positioning, but it suits the shape of the DualShock 4 far better.
Know when to decelerate, and when to air-brake
Unlike a lot of other racers, inertia plays a huge part in how you navigate the twisting chicanes and undulating stretches. Speed is everything, so decelerating too much is tantamount to throwing the race away (but go too fast on too sharp a turn and its wall-crash city). The key is knowing when to take your foot off the futuristic gas, and when to hit the air-brake.
A lot of this comes to instinctively knowing a track’s design, learning how long it takes to reach one corner from another. Only air-brake if you’re faced with a super sharp turn - most others can be negotiated with slowing naturally for a brief second. In other words: practice, practice, practice!
Speed Pads often show the perfect racing line
Speed Pads (those glowing blue arrows scattered around most of the tracks in WipEout Omega Collection) are your way of increasing your speed and performing crafting overtaking manoeuvres. Hitting every single one is key to getting gold medals in the offline modes of the game, but they also serve another important purpose.
Spend enough time on a given track and you’ll start to see the most advantageous route around its course. It’s not obvious at the start as many Speed Pads are grouped in twos, side by side, but fighting for the fastest time will reveal these invisible racing lines. Find them, follow them and win like a pro.
Avoid crashing into a racer’s rear at all costs
Okay, this one might seem incredibly obvious, but you’d be surprised just how often it can happen in WipEout and just how disastrous it can be if you’re a) racing with a fast time in mind or b) fighting to secure that elusive gold medal finish.
Problem is, the sheer speed you’re usually going means hitting a Speed Pad or using a Boost power-up at an inopportune time can lead to a catastrophic loss of speed and a huge hit to your damage metre. Don’t think slower, instead be mindful of other racers and only use boosts when the path ahead is clear.
Prioritise Speed Pads over Weapons
Unless you’re taking things to the fast-paced fisticuffs of Combat mode, you should never be adjusting your course to collect a new power-up or weapon. Those red pads might seem tempting - and few things give you as much of a rush as turning a fellow racer’s ship into blackened slag - but they’re just a distraction in any other mode.
Tying into our advice regarding finding the invisible race lines embedded into each track by the developer, make sure you’re always adjusting your path for Speed Pads. WipEout might love its weapons, but the best offensive in this super-fast series are fast times and smooth, confident handling.
Dominate Combat mode with a slower pace and Plasma
Now we can discuss Weapon Pads. In the world of Combat mode, those items are the new gods. Whether you’re using them offensively, or absorbing them defensively, these pickups are your ticket to weaponised glory.
To really score big and dominate the match from the off, don’t race off like a regular bout. Instead, keep your speed reduced and pick off other racers from behind. We found getting close to a pocket of enemy racers and firing off a Plasma power-up was perfect for taking out more than one at once. Get aggressive and use that position to lay waste to your enemies.
Have faith and turn early to survive Zone events
First introduced in Fusion way back when, the brilliant yet utterly brutal Zone mode is a must if you’re looking for the full WipEout experience. Since you’re in a special Zone-style Ship for this mode, a lot of your prior knowledge of a ship’s capabilities aren’t so helpful as regular races. This is all about knowing how to handle increasingly greater speeds.
The best tip for lasting in this ferocious mode is learning to turn before you’ve actually reached it. Sounds crazy, but you’re moving so fast that by the time you’ve moved your thumb, you’re already making the turn itself. Think of it racing a track a second or so ahead of time.