(Pocket-lint) – Gran Turismo 7 is finally out, and with years of time since the last numbered entry in the PlayStation’s marquee driving game franchise it’s been brilliant sinking back into its detailed world of car parts and racing.

While the game has a pretty effective on-boarding system that gets you up to speed nice and gently with a slow ranking up of the cars you can buy and earn, and the races you can enter, there are still so many different parts that it can take some getting used to. Here are some tips to get the most out of your first few hours with GT7.

Ditch auto-braking

When you start GT7 you’ll be offered a few different levels of assist, and off-puttingly only the highest-level option lets you brake for yourself – the other two both have auto-braking on by default. This can be changed before you even start your first race, and we recommend at least trying without it.

Being able to brake for yourself is key to getting faster times, as the game will explain to you shortly down the line, so learning to drive without that key assist is a huge step. If you’ve been using it happily, that’s obviously no problem, but we really recommend that you try to go without it.

Don’t neglect your licences

After your first few races in the game, you’ll get access to the Licence Centre, a location in-game where you can take short challenges to build up to earning successive licences to prove your driving ability. It’s basically racecar driving school, and while it starts off slow it’s worth persevering with.

For one thing, each licence you complete will earn you a nice gift car to play with, but the challenges genuinely help you learn the mechanics of racing more quickly. On PlayStation 5, at least, the loading times mean they’re a breeze to move through and retry, so we’d recommend giving them a proper go.

Menu books are the way forward

GT7 introduces The Cafe, a new spot on your map that’s basically the main questline for the game (as it were). You can visit it at any time to pick up a Menu Book, which effectively gives you a few goals to complete, and return to it when you’ve ticked the right boxes.

This might be tuning a car or getting a few podiums, but either way it’ll help you grow your automotive collection and will also give you a useful focus as you get started. There are characters to talk to, as well, each offering up some nice car trivia, so it’s a great way to spend your time in-game.

Stay clean

When you drive a clean race in Gran Turismo 7, free of crashes or contact with other cars, you get a hefty 50 percent bonus in the credits awarded at the end. This means it’s often better to race clean and come second than it is to get physical and nab first place, unlike in a more chilled racer like Forza Horizon 5.

As a rule, racing clean is more rewarding in the long run than being a bully on the track, and it’ll stretch you more to time your overtakes properly and avoid spilling off the track, so we recommend you ditch any arcade sensibilities and race like it’s real life.

Drool over Brand Central

Once you unlock it after a few races, you’ll be able to visit Brand Central, a showroom where you can buy new cars made in or after 2001, and even though you won’t have the credits to buy a supercar for a while, we recommend going in to take a look.

Part of the joy of Gran Turismo is in just looking at top cars recreated perfectly, and here you’ll be able to see the cars of your dreams in glorious high resolutions. They look stunning, you can see them in gorgeous photographic scenes without having to buy them, and it’s a great way to remind yourself of the sorts of ride you’ll be able to drive after some time in the game.

Sony Interactive Entertainment / Polyphony DigitalGran Turismo 7 tips and tricks: Get started with this detailed racing game photo 11

Try different views

GT7 doesn’t have dozens of different camera views to select from, sticking to just five, but we recommend that early on you cycle between them a bit and try driving with them to work out which you like most. For us, the cockpit camera will always feel the most grounded and real, for example.

That said, the chase camera behind your car lets you get the best view of the environment around you and also shows off the game’s visuals to their best, so if you want more of a visual showcase it’s a great option. Whichever you like most, be sure to actually try them all out.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Britta O’Boyle.

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