Not too long ago, GTA Online received the Stunt Race Creator update after about a month of fanfare and lead-up supplied by Cunning Stunts and its pair of mini-updates.
Some time ago, back when the summer was just kicking off, Rockstar announced plans for a pair of DLCs which were intended to fill the game with new content in order to please the unruly masses who were disappointed with the "one lowrider a week" setup that characterised April.
The first of the two updates announced were Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, and the second was the as of then unnamed update to the Content Creator. At this point, not even the theme of stunts were revealed, we just knew that GTA Online's official tool for creating fan made jobs would get a facelift.
Well after the launch of Finance and Felony, the update called Cunning Stunts was finally revealed. It detailed a new kind of race coming to GTA Online - stunt races - as well as plenty of new vehicles. True enough, the update launched with all that content and more, but the update for the Content Creator was nowhere to be seen.
Rockstar confirmed that the Stunt Race Creator would be coming to GTA Online at a later date. It was released three weeks after the launch of Cunning Stunts, with two smaller updates having been released in between the two to tide the community over.
Now that the Creator is out in its full glory, players have the chance to create their very own insane Stunt Race courses and share it with their fellow GTA Online fans. Plenty of new props and features have been added to the Content Creator to help in the creation of the best tracks the game has seen.
However it might be a bit daunting to jump into the creation of Stunt Races with all of these new features implemented. The updated Content Creator has slightly different controls and a new UI compared to the pre-Stunt Race Creator version, so even if you've mastered the tool before, this guide might come in handy if you want to build the most popular tracks.
When starting off with a new Stunt Race track, you'll start off the same way as when making a Land Race. You'll need to name your race, add a description, define the route type and so on - you probably know all this. If you don't, you should consult Rockstar's official GTA Online Race Creator Guide.
Next up, you'll be selecting race placement, again much like in regular races. You'll select the trigger, the lobby camera and place all of the checkpoints that the racers will need to reach. Once you're done with all of this, the fun part of placing the props begins. Here, players who have already used the Creator extensively are at an advantage. following the update, the full library of props has expanded beyond 500, and if you want to make the best race possible, you'll need to be familiar with the resources you have at your disposal.
Unfortunately, the number of props you can use in a single race to capped to 150 plus 20 dynamic props. While this does limit the scope of your project, preventing certain overly elaborate designs, the limit also helps rein in your wild imagination in order to invent something feasible. At a quick glance, 150 may not seem like much, but remember that the best fan made jobs for GTA Online all conform to this limit.
Many of the props you'll see now that the update has been released will be stunt props. These are booster pads, massive loops, hoops of fire, etc. Basically anything related to racing but far too outlandish to be a real thing. The new props pretty much override any other setting, meaning that if you started building a land race and add a stunt prop, the Creator will automatically re-categorize the job as a Stunt Race.
Let's take a look at those new props that have been added to the GTA Online Content Creator, broken down to categories. Regular Stunt tracks are the building blocks of a down-to-earth race, literally. These elements sit on or close to the surface, much like regular land races. Stunt raised tracks, on the other hand, are those props which are elevated into the air, or are used to connect the regular tracks with those up in the sky.
Stunt raised tracks were the props most often used in the marketing of Cunning Stunts, as they were used to create all of those impressive shots with the race-courses winding around the skyscrapers of GTA 5. The other type of extremely heavily featured props, even taking the center stage in the original teaser post, are the Stunt tubes.
These tubes have pretty much become the icon of Cunning Stunts, and come in all kinds of varieties. You have your regular tube elements, bends, start and end points, gaps, speed boosters and built-in rotating walls that act as traps. These tubes are all emblazoned in patriotic red, white and blue, with some stars thrown in for good measure.
Stunt Building Blocks are like the metal frame holding up a massive billboard - it isn't what your attention should be focused at, but without it, the whole thing would collapse. Building Blocks are large, rectangular flat tiles. Whether you want the poor GTA Online players racing your track to get a little breather, or you need a tidy surface on which to work, this is the prop that serves said role.
Stunt ramps are one of the funnier additions to the GTA Online Content Creator. Not because of what they are or how they look like, but because players have been making makeshift ramps with the Creator literally since it was released. Of course, the official ramps newly added look a lot better, are more cohesive and allow for greater versatility in implementation, but still.
The official ramps come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, allowing you to find the perfect ramp for any situation. Since catching air is the backbone of stunting, these ramps are some of the most essential props for creating Stunt Races. Sure, you can take a different creative approach and build a map with no ramps in it, but chances are the overwhelming majority will indeed have such ramps.
The craziest elements used in Stunt Race courses are given their own category as Stunt Set Pieces. These are usually large, elaborate props that may not be easy to clear for the players. One of the most obvious example is the massive spiral loop features in screenshots. You can use these props to really turn your custom GTA Online race into a bonafide Stunt course.
While Stunt Signs aren't as glamorous as Set Pieces or essential as Ramps, they are a necessary addition as well. Maybe you have a great idea for a challenging stunt or trap which you add to your map, but the poor players racing for the first time may just crash if not given some warning in advance. These signs are a great way to control the traffic on your custom race.
While loops may be a hallmark of stunt races, so are speed and decor. The Stunt Special category is reserved for those props which help players alter their speeds with assistance in order to successfully clear obstacles, as well as other Stunt props which don't fit in other categories. These include booster pads, slow-down pads, rings of fire, or the PA system props.
Finally, you have Dynamic props, which include things like massive footballs, bowling pins and similar wacky props. The Stunt Map we recently covered that brings a bit of Rocket League to GTA Online uses such a dynamic football.
Now that you are familiarized with the props, it is time to make some decisions which will define your stunt track. You'll need to select which of GTA Online's many vehicles will be used for the track, as well as the overall color scheme of the race. You'll also select if the race will be standard, rally or non-contact. To many player's dismay, the official Stunt Races released by Rockstar were all set to standard.
The release of the Stunt Race Creator was run with promises of not just new props, but new features as well. While there are tiny additions here and there, Snapping, Stacking and Overriding are the main new additions to the GTA Online Content Creator.
Prop Snapping seeks to help creators with the alignment of their tracks. Having two parts of your course being misaligned by a few inches is unseemly and in some cases may completely break the race, however authors don't always catch these little discrepancies. Snapping makes managing this aspect easier.
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If you want complete control over the feature, you can activate Triggered Snapping, which only snaps upon the press of the assigned button.Luckily, snapping carries over categories, so you can snap together Tracks, Raised Tracks, Set Pieces and so on. If you plan on using a given prop multiple times, you can always use Chain Snapping, which will allow you to easily create snapped duplicates of the currently placed prop.
When it comes to Prop Stacking, get ready to turn of the feature on and off often. Prop Stacking, as the name implies, allows you to build one prop above another, opening up countless new possibilities. However, seeing as the number of buttons on Controllers are (woefully) limited, this has been bound to the same one as edit. It's also good practise to check the tool-tip for the currently selected prop, as you don't want to waste time by going back to re-select your intended prop.
The Override feature is used when you want to align every prop in your custom GTA Online Stunt Race perfectly. These let you alter the X, Y and Z values of the given prop, changing its position in the world as well as its rotation. This enables fine-tuning your odds and ends, even after they are placed through editing the prop. While some console players have reported an issue where the props spin out of control occasionally, this is still a rare bug and easily fixed.
General Hints & Tips
Templates are a great way of speeding up the process of building your track. These are larger sections of pre-configured props put together in a particular way, saving you the effort of manually snapping each bit together. You can also save your own templates in case you want to reuse a section of your race down the line.
When placing your props, precision is key in differentiating a race that is "good enough" and a race that is supreme. Fine-tuning is important, and using the quick-zoom function while a prop is selected will allow you to adjust the height of the piece in question in order to line it up with the adjacent element.
The real staple of a race for the ages is creativity. Sure, all stunt props have an immediately apparent intended function, but you can re-orientate them in absolutely any fashion. Be creative and devise new and unintended functions for your props to really show off your prowess at creating a well-thought-out and derivative map.
GTA Online's Content Creator always had a limit on the number of props any given map may contain. Though this limit has been increased with the Stunt Race Creator, there is still only so many bits and pieces that you can add. If any of you deal with 3D modelling, then you'll be familiar with this method, as it is not unlike optimization:
Cut fodder wherever you can. Use larger props instead of multiple small ones in all cases where doing so does not interfere with your intended function. If you have a long, straight tube section, instead of constructing it from several smaller tube pieces, use a 'Tube Extra Long', for example.
If you are going for a varied and high-octane track containing a ton of various stunts built from all kinds of props, you'll need some simpler connecting sections to contrast the epic stunt. Building Blocks are perfect for this purpose. Remember, making a stunt race is like cooking a delicate meal: you must balance it.
Another great way to string together larger set-piece stunts is with the Tubes that have become so iconic for the update. The Tubes can bend and spiral both upwards and downwards, so they are perfect for a change of altitude or a subtle transition between two sections. Then again, the Tubes need not be a place of peace, as there are spinning gate traps that can be set inside Tubes.
Be careful with placement though, as a misaligned Tube could cause your players to congest following the bump, as it causes a sudden loss of speed. Staying on the topic of Tubes, you need not worry about players missing a checkpoint by wall riding in one. The circular checkpoint prop has been sized to match the inner circumference of the Tubes.
While Building Blocks are simple at first glance, they might be what make or break a race. They are perfect for patching up holes, or for the construction of your own custom "props" used for stunting. The most basic example is rotating a Building Block to create a makeshift ramp. Speaking of ramps, remember to stay creative - they can be used for more than just jumping.
Now that you are better acquainted with the props themselves, it's time to put them together and form your custom GTA Online Stunt Race. However, even if individually, you know how to handle your props, you'll need to be able to bring it all together in an organised and cohesive manner in order to create a truly notable course.
When building a Stunt Race, there are two things you should be doing often, and especially after getting ready with a given section of the map: saving and testing. Saving is crucial because of the fickle server connection some players are experiencing. There is no autosave feature for maps made in the GTA Online Content Creator, and some players have reported losing hours and hours of work.
Testing, on the other hand, will help you identify issues and correct them before a given section is connected to so many others that editing it to solve the problem would require extensive backtracking. This, again, causes you to lose progress by having to reverse-engineer a solution.
Planning is crucial for a well designed Stunt Race. Kind of like putting together a puzzle, it pays of to spread out the pieces. Roughly position your props around where they will be in the final version to get a feel of how things build upon one another before fine-tuning and tweaking.
When building a stunt race, you have the option to choose between a Stunt Track and a Stunt Raised Track. Advanced players, however, may choose to have both in a single race. To connect your tracks, there are two neat methods: Bends and Track Link props. Both are specifically geared for transitions between two separate tracks.
If you've played on some of Rockstar's official Stunt Races that were added to GTA Online with Cunning Stunts and its two smaller updated, you'll have noticed that some of the courses have branching sections. These are achieved with the new Secondary Checkpoint feature, which has also been added to the Stunt Race Creator. However, to prevent getting tangled in all of your routes, plan out the path of primary checkpoints first.
Stunt Races are different enough from regular land races to warrant being careful in terms of mechanics. Always remember setting the starting grid to the stunt layout, and place checkpoints and respawn points around major set pieces in a way that doesn't break the race. Testing comes in handy here.
Speaking of checkpoint placement, when dealing with such a crucial part of your Stunt Race you might want to reconfigure the layout completely a few times. Luckily, Rockstar altered the "delete all" feature to also take secondary checkpoints into account, making the process more streamlined. If you're building a large and complex race, it pays off to keep in mind that the number of checkpoints is capped at 68.
The creators of Stunt Races also have power over how lucrative their tracks will be. You can add bonus modifiers on RP for example. GTA Online players will be grateful for stunts awarding RP, especially if your map is heavy on flashy tricks.
Remember, since these are stunt races we are talking about, balancing form with function is key. Your race must work well and be efficient, but it shouldn't be dull. If you haven't hit the prop limit, but are done with your course, throw in some decor to make it even more pompous and impressive.
For better or worse, the majority of Stunt Races in GTA Online are located primarily in the southern side of the map, and with reason. The geography of this part of the map lends itself well to these courses and Rockstar has realized this. With the city of Los Santos being here, as well as a varied wilderness, you can make all kinds of interesting races.
Sometimes you can spare props in terms of decor by weaving your track around the notable buildings of Los Santos, or the various landmarks in the country around it. Another great way to reduce prop count is by using the map as it was intended - GTA Online is full of roads already, why not use them?
Stunt Races are about obstacles and traps as much as they are about flashy stunts. You can use the natural hazards of Los Santos and Southern San Andreas to your advantage - and to the dismay of your racers.