Destiny Sparrow Racing League Guide by QuackNate
Good day, sir or madam. Today I will outline the lines I use to win SRL races. Keep in mind that I’m not claiming to be an SRL pro, but I hardly ever get beaten, and when I do it’s because I’m dicking around on a starter sparrow.
We’ll start with some track specific tips for the various sections of each one, then move on to more general stuff, like how side-boosting works, maintaining speed, stuff like that.
Mars: Track specific tips.
When you start out it’s always chaos. Don’t sweat this too much. If there’s a big swarm of crazy racers smashing into each other, go ahead and back off a bit. Be patient and wait for your chance to pass. Odds are it’s coming up very soon. Go just to the right of the big ramp, ideally between it and the little one. You go faster on the ground than in the air, and everyone likes jumping into the gate for some reason.
Let’s look at the first turn. I don’t honestly know why so many people mess this up so bad, but this is a great place to pass. The trick is to cut left hard as soon as soon as you’re clear of the wall, then as you’re about to lose control, side-boost to the left. With a little practice you’ll have come out of this turn at full speed pointed right at the next gate.
Example Note, I did two side-boosts here. The first to tighten the turn, and the second to line up on the gate. The lead up is also a great place to get your bounty kills, lol.
Immediately after that you’ve got the up-down split. Go down, hit the gates. The second gate, the one right before the sharp right turn, is the make it/break it part of this section. Cut right hard just before going through the gate and you should slide through it. Immediately side-boost right and you should now be lined up with the ramp. Find the diamond leading to the next gate and jump straight at it.
Example Note, I like to side-boost left into the lower path to help line it up (I did here) but it isn’t always necessary.
The next section is a straight away, and if someone jumped over you using the upper path you’re probably rocketing passed them now. The first gate you should be aimed straight towards coming off the ramp. I miss it sometimes, just keep practicing. It’s tricky and you’re bouncing around a bit. Try to angle towards the second gate right before going through the first. For the second gate, most times you’ll be aiming straight towards that little rock ramp when heading through it. Side-boost right to avoid it and the next few gates are pretty easy.
Example Note, I had to side-boost off the jump to line up the first gate. That is a fine thing to do! Also, it’s hard to see but I side-boosted the instant I hit the second gate. You’ll save a lot of speed by staying grounded here.
Next is the big left heading into the infamous pillar stairs! Just take the turn pretty loose, and side-boost left near the end to line up with the first gate. Now, turn to aim through the gap to the right of the pillar as you go through the next gate.
Example Note, I break Concept 1 and come off the gas a little during the turn. It helps to line up the first gate coming out of it.
You should land pretty close to the right wall. Line up to hit the next gate while pointed through the gap between the left wall and that pillar. Yes, you’ll probably hit that blind mine. Push to the left slightly and you should be able to hit the next gate. This should rocket you right at the last gate.
Example Nothing to add. I did a good job here! Good job, me!
Cut right as you hit that last gate and you should have a pretty good line on the jump gate. Try to hit it as straight as possible. While in the air, take a breath and really try to appreciate the little things in life. Also look for the gate and side-boost to line up on it if needed. Also do a neat trick. You want to hit the gate and have as much speed as possible going into the fans.
Example Note, the racing helms with the pitch control perk can screw you pretty hard on this jump. If you don’t hold back on the left stick you might end up falling short and not knowing why. I personally don’t even use a racing helmet as neither of the available perks seem super helpful.
Quick note on the fans, if you’re headed right for a blade, just side-boost right and you’ll slip by it. I will say, this is the only spot where it’s more important to play it safe than hit a gate. If you have to let off the gas and dodge around the gate, go for it. You’ll lose less time than if you explode going top speed into a fan blade.
Example Note, you want to look at and aim for the gaps not the blades. When you hit the gate leading into the fans, look for the gap at 3’o’clock. It should line up pretty good. Look for the 3’o’clock gap on the second fanjust before going through the first, and look for the 3’o’clock gap on fan three just as you are passing through fan 2. Watch the clip to see how that timing works out.
Coming into the last slalom you can just push both sticks left and slide into position to line up with the first gate. Just use the right stick to aim at the next gate as you pass through them and side-boost as needed if you’re going to miss one.
Example Clean line here, noting to add.
Now do all that two more times. Yay!
Venus: Track specific tips.
Go right at the start. A lot of folks like hitting that jump on the left, but your side-boost is full so who cares. It should be full at the end of your laps too, so just don’t go to where that ramp is. Ever.
At the end of the right path you’re dumped directly into the first gate. Angle towards the second as you go through, and cut hard right as you go through the second. This should propel you sideways through gate three. Side-boost right before you slide too far and you should be lined up with gate 4. Angle slightly left before you go through to shoot yourself right into the blue cave.
Example Note the side boost coming into the third gate. That is a great place to side-boost!
Coming out of the cave is a sharpish left turn. If you push both sticks left you should be able to slide directly into the next gate without side-boosting. After passing the next gate, turn hard left and side-boost left just as you get to the orange cave entrance. You should be able to line up near the right wall without smashing into it or losing any speed. Stay right and go up top. At the far end of the cave is a little light on the ceiling. Aim your sparrow right at it and cut left a little when you catch air. This is the best line I’ve found for the cave. That light is money.
Example Note, I had to side boost to line up the gate coming out of the first turn. It happens. Also note that this is one of the best passing opportunities on Venus!
Cut right out of the cave and line up to the left of the pillar in the waterfall area. Yeah, you’ll go right through a blind mine, who cares. It should be pretty simple to line up the next two gates from here. When you take the big jump, try to shoot off to the right so you’re as lined up with the next gate as possible.
Example Note, I missed that second gate, but that’s basically the line. That is probably the most okay gate to miss on the whole track since the next one is so close.
This is where a lot of people go up top to avoid the sharp s-turn. Screw those guys. You’re about to make them feel really stupid. Hit that second gate full speed, and just as the tip of your sparrow clears the left wall bank hard left and (gasp) side-boost left. Immediately pull right, HARD. You should hit the turn something like this.
Example Note, it’s hard to see but there’s a left side-boost just as I’m entering that sharp turn. You’ll see the ship jerk a little, that’s where you hit it. Also note that I didn’t side-boost coming out of the turn, I just let the Sparrow slide into place. You’ll get a feel for that with practice.
Hit the next couple gates and side-boost as needed to avoid hitting a pillar. Do a neat trick if you’re feeling saucy.
The next part may take some practice. You’ll do a shallow s-turn to the left, then right. Don’t side boost, just hug the right wall. The angle you want to take on this jump is right through the gate, pointing as close to the right wall as possible without hitting it. Once you’ve cleared the right wall, if you’re headed right for wall in front of you, just side-boost right. Then immediately side-boost left. This should line you up with the “Hydra Gates” pretty good. Just do your best here. Sometimes the enemies bounce you around. If you miss a gate it isn’t the end of the world. Hit the gate as straight as possible.
Example Note, I had to side-boot to avoid smashing into a wall. It is super important not to smash into walls! Also note that I didn’t have to side-boost after the gate and was able to skirt the wall instead. This is great because you save a side-boost, but I usually can’t pull it off. Rule of thumb, if you’re headed face-first into a wall, it’s probably a good time to side-boost.
Do a neat trick, you’ll have plenty of air. Side boost either way to line up with the gate. Cut right hard before hitting the second gate, then cut left hard before passing through the third. This should rocket you towards the finish line.
Example Note, I had to side-boost on the drop to line up on the first gate. It’s hard to predict how you’re going to come out of there, so don’t feel bad about making the adjustment here. I find landing on the right side to be best.
Rinse, repeat. Here’s a full clean-ish lap
Keep in mind, these are the lines I’ve found to work best for me. If you absolutely can’t make one of these turns no matter how much you practice, try something else. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being consistent.
Now for the more general stuff.
Side-boosting, and why it’s the best.
I’ve found it more comfortable to side-boost is by pressing L3 or R3 instead of the shoulder buttons. YMMV. A side-boost essentially pushes your sparrow about two to three sparrow-widths to the left or right when going straight. This can be very helpful for avoiding oncoming obstacles or pushing your way into a gate you would otherwise miss.
But the magic of side-boosting is in the turns.. Watch the turn there carefully. I turn very sharp, and the sparrow starts to go sideways. But I hit the side-boost right as it starts to lose control and it settles everything down. I dropped form 130 to 120 for about a quarter of a second, then was right back to top speed. This take practice, so don’t expect to be great at it right away.
Turning, and why the left stick is bad news.
Everyone knows this, but you turn with the right stick. The right stick does not directly control your sparrow, however, it only controls the camera. Your sparrow reacts to where the camera is pointed. I know that doesn’tsound like it’s two different things, but it is. If you keep your objective, be it a gate or a gap between two pillars, centered on your screen, your sparrow will find its way there.
The left stick does directly control your sparrow. It slowly strafes left or right. Now, this is very helpful when you get used to using it correctly, but it can make you miss gates and slide all over if you’re trying to use it to turn. The left-stick is best used on moderately sharp turns, as you can push both sticks into the turn and power-slide into a nice position. But the basic rule of thumb is the left stick does more harm than good until you really lock in how it effects your sparrow at high speeds. My advice; learn the tracks without using the left thumb stick at all, then learn to use it to fine tune and correct.
Passing, how to get ahead and stay there.
Passing isn’t ever a sure thing. Your sparrows bang off of each other and push you off of your lines. It’s honestly best to not even try to pass until you get to a section you are very comfortable with. You’ll be able to keep control easier when pushed if you’re on a section you have down. I’d wait for a turn you’re good at cut them off there. Just stay close, but not “rubb’in is race’in” close.
Once you’re in the lead, just hit your gates. They’re smaller, but if you practice your lines you’ll hit enough of them to stay in front. The paths I’ve outlined here are very easy and safe once you get a few races in.
If you have any other questions, feel free to hit me up any time.
EDIT: Advanced practices for the true racing enthusiast.
Below you’ll find some more advanced content from the comments section. These are things you can start adding to your arsenal after you have the basics mastered.
From j1h15233: A word on shortcuts.
Very nice guide. No mention of short cuts though? Even after missing gates, there are two short cuts that are faster than following the course.
On Venus, once you fly off the ledge under the ship, you head straight for that gate, make a hard left right before the gate and hit the speed boost as you angle towards the ramp on your left. Once you hit that ramp it’s a straight shot over that tight left/right turn into the next gate.
On Mars, it’s really as simple as trying to hard left through the gate and catch that early ramp or you can just pass the gate entirely. Even a perfect turn by another racer leaves them even or slightly behind you, at least from what I’ve seen.
Note in the Venus one that j1h15233 hits the gate before cutting hard into the ramp on the left. This is probably the best way to take it as you only skip one gate, so you’re only losing about 20whateverspeedunits. It’s super risky, though. Like anything, with practice you’ll get it down and shave some seconds.
Note that he also makes a hard left through the gate on the Mars one. I might start practicing this as well.
From SgtHondo: Helmets are a fine thing to wear.
Quick little tip – i suggest that you DO wear the helmet with the air control perk. When you go off a jump, pushing up the stick will get you to the ground a lot faster (you can hit 190+ MPH). I usually pass people on jumps because nobody seems to realize this.
Fun fact, you lose speed in the air. A few people have commented about how helmets upped their game, but I’ve never player around with them beyond learning to hold the stick back on the gate jump near the end of Mars. I suspected pushing forwards to end jumps quicker was a thing, but thanks for the confirmation, SgtHondo!
From lots of folks in the comments: You spelled “straight wrong”. Also, do tricks. Come on, QuackNate, this was a huge miss. You are dumb and bad at things.
Ugh, I didn’t realize how many times I’d spelled it “strait”.all of them
I’m going to use bold again because the other half of this was an excellent point.
QuackNate is the worst.
No, the other one.
Oh yeah, from NoDairyFruit: Do tricks all the times.
Perform as many tricks as you can when the opportunity arises. It’s never, ever a bad thing to have more side-boost power for clutch moments when you need to correct from, say, a miscalculation of the fan-blades, or someone attempting to push you out of a gate. Each side-boost when used in conjunction with the boost of going through gates increases your speed exponentially for 1-1.5 seconds — don’t miss out on that speed and resulting distance gained!
Tricks aren’t just fancy looking, they add fuel for side-boosting. This can be a HUGE advantage as side-boosting can help you correct a mistake very quickly. This is important because a lot of the tighter turns can be executed flawlessly with a well-timed side-boost, but that does you no good at all if you used your last one jumping out from behind a wall a couple seconds ago.
This is also where the race gear is important. The racing gloves let side-boosting use less fuel, and the racing boots allow you to gain more fuel back by doing tricks. With these in place, if you trick every jump you’ll have pretty much unlimited side-boosts. Unless you mess something up real bad, I mean.
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