How to master the new rallies in WRC 9

© Nacon/Kylotonn
WRC 9 brings three brand new rallies to the series, so we spoke to the game director about how you can master them, with some extra tips for good measure.
Written by Adam CookPublished on
Rally games have always been difficult. Understanding the contours of a damaged course, beaten by the wind, rain and many other tyres before you’ve even touched the track is no mean feat. With the brand new WRC 9 game out today, having mastery of tracks that have appeared in the previous games will only get you so far, because the team at Kylotonn have added three brand new rallies, and that’s on top of touching up the existing tracks thanks to their real-world studies.
We sat down with game director Alain Jarniou to get you the lowdown on the new rallies: Japan, New Zealand and Kenya. Jarniou explained each track so you can understand how to conquer them, along with a few additional tips to help you along the way. So without further ado, over to Alain to help you become the next Sébastien Ogier or Sébastien Loeb.

Real world driving experience can help

Alain Jarniou: Knowing how to drive a real car is a good advantage. As we’re always pushing for more realism, the drivers are familiar with the sensations provided by the driving simulation. We know that many professional drivers are also hardcore gamers. It’s not by chance! I would recommend players remain patient and practise in quick play as much as possible. Even if a rally is tricky at first, when you get used to it, it becomes a pleasure to drive and perform in every single stage.
Key artwork for WRC 9
How's this for spectacular?

Understanding WRC 9’s new Japan rally track

AJ: In Japan there’s a constant duality between the perfect quality tarmac calling for speed and twisty narrow roads. It’s close to Corsica with a lot of turns and deceptive curves – but worse – and drifting is not always possible because of the low width. The technical flow of the stages at the heart of the Japanese forest regularly keeps drivers stuck in second and third gear, making the car setup very important and allowing it to be a real game changer.
Key artwork for WRC 9
Prepare for the most demanding turns

Push it to the limit on the New Zealand rally track

AJ: New Zealand isn’t really a tricky rally: the roads are smooth with a lot of roll and the curves are quite predictable. The so-loved flow of the turns need speed for you to drift, and that’s what’s tricky: the stages are calling you for more speed, more and more, until you push yourself to the fault. Drivers and players can expect beautiful vistas of the lands and sea, but also experience what the WRC drivers describe as the best road flow in the entire rally’s history.
Key artwork for WRC 9
WRC 9 offers jaw-dropping visuals

Adapt to the constantly changing all-new Kenya rally

AJ: Giving life to Kenya has been a challenge for us, and yes, it is muddy! 2020 Kenya is not the same as in the 1980s: it’s less hostile and extravagant, but don’t worry as it’s still difficult and bumpy enough to break your car. Endless plains with roads that are constantly changing profile ask for a lot of adaptivity from the drivers. The rally is on dry dirt, but this quickly changes when the rain starts pouring; just like the real thing, Kenya is dreaded by the drivers and the car mechanics.
Key artwork for WRC 9
Racing in the dark is even more dramatic!

Photo mode: how to get the best pictures

AJ: The action is important, but the background is, too. My advice: find a stage that combines a wonderful vista with the car in the middle of a performance driving situation: turning a corner, drifting, jumping. Of course, you’ll also be able to take photos of your favourite cars in the showroom, too!
WRC 9 is scheduled for release on September 3, 2020 on Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC, with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions to come at a later date.