11 winning tips for GTA Online's Cunning Stunts races

The GTA Online update Cunning Stunts takes over the skies of San Andreas with implausible tracks to test the limits of your racing abilities. Ramps, loops, tubes, and more wrap around iconic Los Santos landmarks and through Blaine County canyons to provide the ultimate thrillride. Whether you're a seasoned racer or a fresh in the driving seat, we have a set of tips to help you take that coveted checkered flag.

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Time to race

To get started, head to any of the pink Stunt Series markers where you'll have the option to either join the lobby for the next race immediately or 'go on call' to be summoned when the race is about to start. You can also highlight any of the Stunt Series markers on the map and select 'Start Job' to jump into the lobby for the next event, and either of these routes should guarantee you a full grid of opponents to race.

If you'd prefer to choose the specific race yourself, then go through the menus Online > Jobs > Play Job > Rockstar Created > Stunt Races and select your event, though you're much more likely to end up in an empty lobby this way.

Get a boost

The boost start mechanic from standard GTA Online races still applies to Cunning Stunts, but with lots of competitors fighting for space on narrow raised tracks it's more important than ever to get a head start. We were able to consistently receive a boost by hitting accelerate just as the starting horn sounds, so practice getting the timing right and you'll always have the best start.

Pick your path

A number of the races split into multiple paths, so select your route then clock the colour of the checkpoints to be sure you're following the right ones. For tracks such as Duel where at points you go head-on with other racers over jumps and crossroads, keep an eye on the minimap as you approach these intersections to try and avoid a time-sapping impact.

Wall ride

When heading through tubes, riding up the walls can help you maintain speed while going around bends, so you don't have to force yourself to stay on the level - just try not to go too high or you may overshoot and flip your vehicle. Riding down the wall can give you a little boost of acceleration and speed, so time this with exiting the tube for an advantage.

Green means go

The green pads on track give you a speed boost, so it goes without saying that you should aim for as many of these as possible. Straddling two at once won't give you any extra oomph, though some tracks have an alternating pattern of green pads which you can drive down the middle of to get the benefit of both sides. Avoid the red pads where possible as these slow you down, though don't swerve them at the cost of going off the track!

Look ahead

Obstacles that feature in Stunt Series races include spinning barriers and rotors, or actual wind turbines in the case of one track, and colliding with them will completely kill you speed allowing you opponents to dash past. Keep an eye on the track ahead to spot these obstacles as you approach, so you can track their movement and change course accordingly to avoid them.

Ring the alarm

At certain areas of each race you'll hear a klaxon alarm sounding, but don't just ignore this as a background effect as they often warn of a dangerous obstacle or jump ahead. Stay focused if you hear a siren and be ready to react during the following section of track.

Loop the loop

Driving through loops can be disorientating, especially if you're not using the first-person camera view, and if you try to correct your steering too much you risk swerving completely out of the side. Make sure you're aiming straight down the track on your approach to a loop, then don't touch the steering as you barrel around and you'll emerge unscathed on the other side.

Ramp it up

None of the races we've entered so far have required taking off ramps at an angle, and doing this will almost always result in falling off the track. Aim to hit ramps as straight as possible, and watch out for opponents ramming you off course - or give them a last second nudge so they don't have time to correct.

Lights, camera, action!

Another new feature in Stunt Series races is the Stunt Cam, which is triggered automatically on certain big jumps. This may look cool, but it can sometimes be difficult to see where you're landing if it zooms out too far, so if you can't spot where you're going to touch down then hit the d-pad to switch back to your normal camera.

Don't fear the respawn

As almost all sections of these races are suspended high in the air, once you drop off a track there's almost always no route to get back on it again. Unless you happen to be by a section at ground level, hold down that respawn button the second you start helplessly tumbling away from the course - don't even wait until you land. It can be frustrating, but at least this is the quickest way possible back on track to start chasing down your rivals again.

Looking for more help? Then check out our GTA 5 guide and GTA 5 cheats for everything you need to beat Grand Theft Auto 5.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.