As we noted in our review, Gameloft’s GT Racing 2 [Free] is a great addition to the long line of excellent full-featured racers on iOS. While its freemium underpinnings are relatively benign, there’s still plenty of opportunity to get caught in that trap of feeling the need to pay in order to advance. The purpose of this guide is to provide some tips and tricks to avoid getting into those situations.

The Freemium Basics

All the freemium elements in GT Racing 2 are centered around spending the game’s premium ‘Cash’ currency. Cash is used for a variety of different things. For example, you can use cash to purchase mechanics, which allow you to upgrade multiple vehicles at the same time or upgrade one vehicle faster. Cash can also be used to instantly unlock vehicles that are still locked behind a star requirement, instantly speed up vehicle upgrades and as a last resort be used as an alternative to the game’s standard currency when purchasing cars and upgrades. Thus, you’ll notice that a lot of our tips center around timer management and planning out upgrade cycles.

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Save Your Cash for Mechanics

This should be the number one rule when thinking about freemium in GT Racing 2. Mechanics are incredibly important because they allow you to upgrade multiple vehicles at the same time and better mechanics can also shorten the time it takes to perform upgrades. They also are pretty expensive as well. Considering their importance, it makes perfect sense that I’d highly recommend that you save every bit of premium currency earned so you can put it towards increasing your inventory of mechanics. You’ll notice a lot of the forthcoming tips are centered around not spending cash for the primary purpose of saving it for mechanics.

Don’t Use Your Cash to Fast-track Upgrades

Make no mistake, the whole purpose of GT Racing 2’s inclusion of upgrade timers is to encourage impatient gamers to spend that precious cash on advancing the timer. I ask that you don’t give into what they want you to do and to practice restraint. Later on in this guide we’ll provide some specific guidance on how to effectively plan your upgrades to minimize the amount of time you’ll have to actively wait for upgrades.

Try to Purchase a New Car As Quickly As Possible

The beginning of GT Racing 2 is the hardest in terms of dealing with its freemium aspects. Once you start an upgrade on a vehicle, you aren’t allowed to race it on a track until said upgrade is finished. Thus, you may find yourself at the beginning of the game unable to participate in matches as you wait for upgrades to finish (which thus nudges you rather blatantly to spend cash to speed it up). The biggest remedy to combat this tactic is to purchase a new car. Owning another car will allow you to are with that vehicle while you’re waiting on an upgrade on another car.

Feel Free to Replay Previously Won Races for More Basic Currency

While GT Racing 2’s premium currency is primarily reserved for speeding up upgrades and purchasing mechanics, it can also act as primary currency when you’re trying to purchase a vehicle or upgrade that you can’t afford (the game will then helpfully ask you if you’d like to spend cash to supplement the lack of common currency). This is probably the rest thing you can use your cash on. Players can freely replay races already won for a decent amount of basic currency. Since most of the currency earned during a race is based on actions taken, (such as taking perfect turns, overtaking cars, and beating lap times), it’s definitely possible to earn a decent amount on replaying races. Even better, you can also earn more experience towards your overall level which bestows cash for each level-up.

Plan Your Vehicle Upgrades Wisely

This tip is more common sense than anything else, but good time management is always the best defense against freemium timers. Set up lengthy upgrades when you know you won’t be playing awhile. During extended play sessions, I’d suggest upgrading a car that you don’t plan on playing during that session so that way it’ll be ready to drive by the time you’re prepared to upgrade the car you’re currently playing (so that way you always have an able-bodied vehicle to earn more stars with. Once you get more than one vehicle, it’s also a good idea to always have an upgrade going on a car that needs it (unless you’re saving up for a big upgrade).

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Just Play Through the Campaign As Intended

One of the complaints we noted in our review of GT Racing 2 is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to purchase a car in a higher tier when just starting out unless you shell out a decent amount of premium cash to unlock the ability to purchase it. Based on that, I’d highly recommend just sucking it up and playing through the campaign as intended, buying cars that are already unlocked and earning stars until the vehicle of your choice is unlocked. Yes, it kind of sucks but considering how rare cash is earned during normal play, there are far better things to spend it on (namely, mechanics).

Don’t Ignore Multiplayer

If you’ve got the skill, multiplayer in GT Racing 2 has the potential to be a pretty good way to earn normal currency. While you won’t earn stars which are used to unlock new vehicles and races, multiplayer, balances that out with bestowing more currency, especially if you win a match. I’d suggest holding off until you have a pretty beefed up car, but once you have one, it never hurts to play a few matches between AI races.

As is usually the case with freemium games that feature timers, a lot of the above tips are relatively straightforward and based on planning on common sense. However, it always bears repeating just in case. I personally don’t believe GT Racing 2’s timers are particularly onerous, but following the above tips should mitigate most of the impact they have.

  • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

    First person to post, "Here's an idea, win by not playing free to play games!" wins...

    NOTHING. ;)

    • Holcman

      Glad you got that out of the way ;)

    • devensega

      I presume you are somewhat bored of the same message being posted all the time. But you do keep putting the same article up week in week out so perhaps you are going to have to live with it ;)

  • http://f1archives.com/ Gregz0r

    "Sometimes, the only winning move, is not to play."

    • defaultuser12

      Well done sir

  • tomj315

    All the idea behind free to play games is like an casino. It's based on that people play and when they buy the first thing they just can't stop. You just need to stop before you buy the first.

  • Mess

    Whilst I like these guides, I am getting increasingly fed up with the dual currency games (I have a lot of patience for them too). It is possible to do freemium without needing it; Asphalt 8, football heroes to name but two. Notice how you tend not to need "win without paying" guides for these.

    ps Couple of Typos:

    "are with that vehicle"
    "Probably the rest thing"

  • Kane

    It's a shame we need people to write articles on how to win without paying ca$h. Miss the good old days.

    • dariusjr98

      This thread is like a broken record.

  • clompah

    Heres an idea. How about you don't play freemiums? Do I win Eli?

    • defaultuser12

      Careful. TA/Eli doesn't put up with dissension.

  • fishypandaman

    I could look past the freemiumness if the game was fun. But it just isn't fun.

  • Taclys

    How about we just don't play--*batman slap* NO. ENOUGH.

    Does no one appreciate a 1,000+ word article telling you how to save cash? Seriously?

    • Rip73

      I do.
      I've had the game about a month and find everything in the article to be exactly right.
      Its more or less the pattern I followed so far and at this stage I can't really see what I'll actually need any iap for.
      So following even some of the guidelines Eric lays out will actually help people out a lot even though the game is very easy to progress in anyway even with the freemium elements.
      His point about the mechanics and following the game as it is laid out, ie not buying cars early and waiting until they unlock through stars is particularly useful.
      A very useful article. Nicely done Eric.

      • H4nd0fg0d

        Kudos to you

  • Calgaryairportlimousine

    the graphics look pretty good

  • Kevin McCarty

    Hi, I use a hack for GT Racing 2 that gave me Unlimited Cash Credits, Double XP and more. Here it is: g4mehacks .com/gt-racing-2-hack/

  • T S

    So far at class C, I have seen no need for a second mechanic although it would speed up upgrades. I almost always have a car that can work on stars and if I don't I can race for cash. Saving my premium currency to eventually use either for premium only cars or for the high end upgrades that require it.

    Overall a very well done freemium balance.