It wasn’t too long ago when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds showed up on the PC landscape and unleashed a seismic wave of “fight to the death” battle royale frenzy. This was quickly followed (and, arguably, utterly demolished) by Epic Games’ Fortnite. And while both games are currently neck and neck with their nearly concurrent mobile releases (having fully saturated every other platform on the planet, they’re both making an effort to gain smartphone domination), this doesn’t change the fact that other contenders may already be leagues ahead.
Following in the initial wake of PUBG‘s rise in popularity, Chinese mobile mega corp NetEase Games threw everything at the metaphorical wall in the hopes that something would stick. Four separate mobile PUBG clones were pushed into the market (three of which made it into North America) with astonishingly few microtransaction opportunities. The intention appeared to be grow market share now, reap the rewards later.
It seems to have worked. Rules of Survival is NetEase Games’ most polished effort, and definitely the most popular, with more than 200 million downloads and 150 million players registered worldwide on both Android Google Play and Apple App Store (plus the game recently launched an even prettier version on PC through Steam). Not content to remain a copy, Rules of Survival has been releasing updates non-stop, and this latest Death Race mode is one more departure from its PUBG clone roots.
How do you play Death Race mode?
This brand new vehicle-based mode allows up to 15 teams of four players (each team gets one vehicle) to participate in massive shootouts and vehicular smash-ups as they race around Ghillie Island trying to remain the last car standing.
The team leader starts out as the driver by default although you can swap out who gets designated driver duties once the match has begun (Since RoS is a battle royale game, most players consider it the least fun role to play. I felt a little like I was playing Mario Kart and it wasn’t a bad switch up).
Since you can’t get out of the car, ramps have been added willy-nilly throughout the map for flying vehicle adventures, and drops pop up on the road like Temple Run upgrades that you drive through to collect. Air drops are common, so when you come across one, shoot it up and collect on the goodies that fate has given you.
The object of the game is to keep your vehicle from exploding and killing everyone, so collision-smashing your way through other players is not the most ideal way of making it to the top. It’s on the other three players to provide most of the vehicular murder.
Tips for the Driver
Communication is key. You have a real edge, especially if you’re playing on one of the mobile versions, if you are able to communicate well with your teammates. Most of the players are playing in public and probably won’t be shouting into their mics, some also won’t have headphones. (If you’re playing on PC, the likelihood of player coordination on the other teams goes way up.)
This is especially important because while the driver is the one in control of the car, all players in it can mod it. While this is handy in terms of making repairs after taking damage, it is much more inconvenient when it comes to vehicle buffs (e.g. changing camo, oil, etc.).
Springs in particular will affect the driving mechanics the most, so it’s much more in your favor if you are the one calling the shots on what’s happening to the vehicle everyone else is riding around in.
Choosing the Right Vehicle
The team leader gets to choose what they’ll be driving throughout the match. From the outset you have a choice between four different vehicles: armed jeep, convertible sports car, off-road vehicle, and pickup truck.
Each have their own advantages. For example, if you’re thinking of sticking strictly to the roads, there’s no better car than the convertible for acceleration and speed. Considering how this particular game mode litters the roads with ramps and acceleration pads, it’s well worth it if you want to keep it to the streets.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll run off the roads and plow through the fields a lot so the off-road or higher defense vehicles might be a better call.
Drive Sporadically As Needed
And only when needed. Let’s face it, it’s hard enough hitting a moving target when you are also situated on a moving target yourself. Give your teammates a break and give them a better chance at hitting what they’re aiming at.
Testing out your juking skills comes when it’s time for you to escape – if, for example, the other vehicle has gone full ramming speed on you, and/or your car is really close to death. Live to fight another 10 minutes by whatever getaway means possible. Your teammates can help by shooting valiantly at your pursuers, but you can foil them by leading them to crash into trees and rocks with some tricky driving.
Check Your Chopper
They don’t tell you ahead of time, but there are upgrades in the loot crates that drop throughout the map that will allow you to transform your vehicle (instantly) into a helicopter.
Figure out the controls ahead of time so you don’t get stuck trying to figure out how to change altitude partway through a battle, just when you got your hands on a hell of game changer.
Tips for the Passengers
Communication is as important for the passengers as it is for the drivers. The driver has plenty of other concerns that you don’t have to worry about – namely keeping your car upright and moving as necessary. It’s your job to do most of the call outs, especially in areas with lots of buildings, where you can often find other teams just lying in wait.
Note: Remember that while the team leader starts out by default as the driver, you can always ask to swap seats and take on the role for yourself.
The passenger role is mostly straight forward. Shoot the other teams, alert your teammates to help you in murdering everyone else. It helps to keep an eye on your vehicle too, but that should mostly be the driver’s job to know when it’s necessary to bug out of a firefight.
Unlike other vehicle-based battles, players aren’t able to exit their vehicle, so you don’t need to watch out for players on foot sneaking up to your vehicle to mine it to kingdom come.
Take Charge of Trunk Inventory
While taking care of the car should mostly be the driver’s job, there are three passengers to split up the business of shooting everyone else. Communication is key, but at least one person should always check out what’s going into the trunk and it probably shouldn’t be the one operating the vehicle.
All players can access the trunk inventory by going through the backpack button. You’ll pick up gear and upgrades by driving through them, and you’ll often clog up what space you have with stuff you just don’t need (e.g. unnecessary ammo for the wrong guns). Drag it off to dump and discard.
That’s it! This guide specifically refers to play tactics in the Death Match vehicle mode. if you’re looking for guides specifically tailored to regular battle royale mode in Rules of Survival, you can check out some Tips for Staying Alive. Stay tuned for more guides and ways to stay on top of the scoreboard!