There are three swoop tracks in the entire game, only one of which is mandatory. The goal is to get to the finish line as fast as possible. Basically its a race against the clock, while avoiding obstacles and hitting the boost pads. Control is vital here, so if your game stutters at all due to a slow computer, turn down your graphical settings in order to have a smooth ride as possible. This alone can help shave seconds off your time. In any case, to get a good time, you must follow these basic steps:
First and most obviously, don't hit any obstacles. If you hit even one, you might as well quit and start over (except for Taris, more on that later).
Second, learn to shift. Don't shift too early or too late, as that slows you down. Shift slightly after the gauge indicator is completely full and flashing. Mashing the shift button also slows you down so don't do it. This also includes shifting exactly when the light turns green. If you try to start too soon, and you'll end up wasting valuable time, (more so than if you had been slightly late).
Third is to not over-steer. This too will slow you down.
Fourth, you want to try to shift gears before going over a boost pad, not after, even if it isn't ideal shift, as this will give you a much bigger boost in speed than otherwise. The exception to this is when you are shifting to the highest gear. Using a boost pad while in the highest gear does very little to compensate for the drop in speed resulting from a non-optimal shift.
Fifth make sure you only hit the right boost pads. Near the beginning you want to hit as all of them if possible. But later on, you don't want to hit every one, as that is not only impossible, but it can actually cause you to swerve into obstacles while attempting to do so, severely slowing you down. Also contrary to what one might suppose, hitting too many boost pads can actually slow you down. Once you hit max gear, the speed boost from hitting boost pads is minimal, thus going out of your way to hit every one will actually increase your time. Once you hit the highest gear, only hit boost pads that are in your line of travel.
Finally reload, reload, reload. Some of the times to beat can be quite difficult so patience is key. You need to get the hang of a track, before you can start posting good times. If you're getting frustrated, it might be good to take a breather.
If you are playing the ipad version, I received the following advice from Josh which you may want to try out, which I will quote verbatim.
"...Steering the swoop racers are impossible on the iPad, but I found a way to win.
I couldn't even get close to winning a single race on the iPad version by trying to steer with my finger as is insinuated by the controls. I was dis-heartened when several blogs and reviews reported the Swoop Racing on the iPad so bad it was unplayable - when all of a sudden I found the answer and won everything.
- Steer with your thumbs! And crank up the sensitivity!
- In game, Go into Options, Gameplay and turn up the Touch Sensitivity all the way.
- Race holding the pad in both hands and steer with your thumbs on either side side of the screen, tapping/stroking almost brushing the way you want to go with the corresponding thumb.
- Tap repeatedly so it also changes the gears - don't worry about changing early, it doesn't matter - it certainly didn't matter to me when I shifted.
- Full sensitivity for Tatooine, half for Manaan. You swerve more on Tatooine.
I suddenly lost 5 seconds off my time, and clocked both tracks in 20 minutes once I used my thumbs."
The times to beat are as follows:
This is the only mandatory race. It is ridiculously easy to win the first time. In fact it's rather difficult NOT to beat it. After beating it once, Redros or Anglu will beat your time by a quarter of a second, so you'll have to beat your own best record. The easy way to finish this track is to just go straight the first race, without avoiding any obstacles.
- Initial: 38:43
- After 1st win: Your time -0.25 seconds
The second race should be a cake walk, so long as you avoid even one obstacle, you'll win. In fact it's actually hard to not win, as each successive race you'll get faster. Note that you can only race 5 times before exploding.
To actually get a good time, go ahead an barely win one race, and then keep losing until your mechanic tells you that you're going to have to win or die. Then go ahead and race seriously this round. You want to hit the first eight boost pads, at which point you should be close to or at max gear. Once you hit that, stop worrying about hitting every boost pad, and start focusing on going straight an avoiding obstacles, only hitting boost pads that are easy to get to. Stick slightly to the left of the center, and you'll hit enough boost pads, as there aren't too many obstacles in that area. On the fifth run, if you race well you should be able to hit under 21 seconds.
The times to beat are as follows:
This map can be quite difficult to master, but it's easier than the one on Manaan. As always you'll want to hit every boost pad near the start. Shifting is important here as well, as you'll need to shift just before the 1st, 3rd and 7th boost pads. This is imperative, even though the shifts themselves are non-optimal, the boost pad more than makes up for it. If you did a good job of shifting, it's possible to get an optimal shift at boost pad 7.
- Garm 23:90
- Yuka Rill 23:29
- Zoriis 22:51
Anyways continue hitting boost pads until the 12th (the one on the left) after which you should hit your last shift and max your gear. Hit the boost pad up ahead, and then try to stick just right of the center. There are plenty of boost pads here, and a relatively clear line down to the finish. This should be enough to help you beat Zoriis' time.
The racing bonds you get here should be sold on Yavin station if at all possible.
The times to beat are as follows:
I find this to be the most difficult of all the swoop tracks, but nothing that you can't handle with some practice. Like Tatooine you'll need to hit the first 12 boost pads, though the timing when it comes to shifting is different. You'll want to shift halfway between the 1st and 2nd boost pads, then again right after the 3rd. The most important shift is ahead, right before the 7th boost pad. If you can't make this you won't get the best time.
- Queedle 23:82 (you will skip this race if you help him)
- Casandra Mateil 23:25
- Hukta Jax 22:50
- Queedle Champ 22:48 (only if you gave him money to upgrade his bike)
Again as Tatooine, you should hit your max gear just after the 12th boost pad. However unlike the other tracks, there isn't a clear line you can just coast up to get to the finish safely (hence the higher difficulty rating). I usually stick to the right for three boost pads, until you seen an obstacle up ahead, after which I stick just right of the center and hit the remaining boost pads, making sure I don't swerve into the obstacles nearby. If you do this you should be able to handily beat the Champion's time (which varies depending on whether you help Queedle or not).
Click the following links to see footage of the races:
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