Riders Republic, Ubisoft's new extreme sports game, is out now, welcoming players to its giant, national park-themed playground. With skis, snowboards, bikes, wingsuits, and snowmobiles to choose from, Riders Republic has no shortage of things to do.
When you first hop into the game, though, you may be overwhelmed by the various different options for controlling how bikes, skis, and boards control. Even veterans of the game's predecessor, Steep, might find themselves confused by the new control schemes. In addition, the control schemes affect how many points you earn during events, which can quickly add up and make the difference between finishing in the middle of the pack and winning it all.
With that in mind, we've put together some tips and explanations for what all of the different control options do so that you can be better prepared for getting your start in Riders Republic.
One of the first screens you're presented with when starting up Riders Republic for the first time gives an option to choose between two preset control schemes: Racer and Trickster, which apply identically to skis, boards, and bikes. As the names suggest, the former emphasizes ease of use while in race events that deprioritize stunts, while the latter gives you more granular control over spins in order to rack up big points. What that screen doesn't tell you is that there's actually a third option, Steep, which is built specifically for fans of Ubisoft Annecy's previous game.
If you're a total newcomer to Ubisoft Annecy's games, extreme sports games in general, or are just more interested in going fast without bothering with all the fancy spins, Racer is for you. This scheme gives you full camera control on the right analogue stick, while spins and flips are moved to the face buttons.
In practice, Racer grants you much more camera control, which is an advantage when in a high-pressure race situation where looking around upcoming corners or seeing where other racers are can come in handy. In exchange, you have less control over your stunts, and pulling off complicated combination tricks is much more difficult.Racer mode also lets you capture some sweet angles of the action.
Trickster gives full board, bike, or ski control over to the right analogue stick, meaning that wild stunts are now within reach. Flips and spins just need a flick of the stick, while flip-spin combos like rodeos require a simple quarter-circle on the analogue stick. In addition, you can easily pull off grabs since your fingers are on the sticks already; just add a left or right trigger and push the left stick in a direction to do a grab.
The tradeoff is that camera control is inactive with Trickster. You're at the mercy of the in-game camera, which thankfully has been solid so far in our time with the game.
The Steep preset is meant for veterans of Steep. Like Trickster, Steep prioritizes granular control over spins and flips, giving you the power to rack up huge points totals. However, it moves jumping from the right analogue stick to the triggers or bumpers, while spins and flips stay on the stick. As such, a backflip would be trigger plus right stick down, while in Trickster it would be right stick up then right stick down.
In addition to the controller preset, Riders Republic also (somewhat confusingly) has specific options for in-air control, grinding, and landing. The in-air control options can be toggled on or off, where off doesn't let you modify spins after launching a jump. Similarly, the grind control option is an on/off toggle, where off prevents you from moving your skis or board around after landing on a rail. The landing mode options are where things get a bit more interesting.
Of the three landing modes, Auto is the most forgiving. Meant for beginners or racers, Auto essentially prevents you from messing up a spin, although you can still crash if you try to jump too low to the ground. This is a great option for getting used to the button combos necessary to do the different types of tricks across skiing, boarding, and biking.
The downside is that you do not get a points bonus when using Auto. Riders Republic events treat it as a handicap of sorts, meaning that on higher difficulties you'll have to do even more tricks to hit the top of the rankings.Auto and Steep landing modes are useful if you often find yourself very upside-down.
Just like the Steep control preset, this landing mode is meant for fans of the predecessor game. It's a middle ground of sorts, as it lets you rotate as much as you want but as soon as you let off the sticks, it'll auto-align your character with the ground as much as possible.
This is a great option when you're more familiar with the trick system and want to start pulling bigger, more complex, and more risky stunts. As it is slightly more difficult than Auto landing, the Steep landing mode comes with a small points bonus.
The Manual landing mode requires the most finesse. Unlike Auto or Steep, there is no automatic realignment after letting go of the sticks. That means your character essentially comes to a complete stop in the air, requiring you to be very strong at judging when to end your spins. There is a bit of additional nudging you can do after stopping to try and fine-tune your alignment with the ground, but it is still much harder than the other two modes.
The advantage comes in the points bonus. Playing trick-based events on Manual gives you a large boost, meaning that you can do fewer tricks while still being competitive on higher difficulties.
Whatever control scheme and tricks mode you choose, Riders Republic has a ton of opportunities throughout its open world to throw big tricks across its sports. For more on Riders Republic, you can read about its cross-play, cross-gen, and cross-progression support, and then check it out on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Stadia.