Acceleration in GTA San Andreas Handling
A lot has changed since GTA 3 and GTA Vice City. We have much more control over how a vehicle accelerates in the GTA San Andreas
Settings Which Affect Acceleration
There are several relevant values in the.
|Effect on Acceleration||Effect on Top Speed|
|Higher value slows acceleration.||No change (different to earlier editions).|
|Higher value slows acceleration.||Higher value reduces top speed.|
|Higher value increases acceleration.||Higher value increases top speed up to the |
|Higher value slows acceleration.||No change.|
|No change.||Limits the top speed. Details are below.|
Actions Which Affect Acceleration
|Action||Effect on Acceleration|
|Driving up a slope.||Decreases.|
|Driving down a slope.||Increases.|
|Leaning forward slightly on a motorbike or quadbike.||Increases.|
|Retracting landing gear of planes.||Increases.|
Recipe for Realistic Acceleration
Real sports cars take 5 to 10 seconds to reach 100km/h, about 30 seconds to reach 200km/h and 1 or 2 minutes to reach maximum speed.
This is much slower than original GTA San Andreas setups but after a while it will feel a bit like Gran Turismo. My GTA San Andreas Handling Overhaul has some realistic setups for the original cars.
The real world mass of the vehicle in kilogrammes. Normally between
This should be much lower than original setups. As a rough guide:
|Value||Type of Vehicle|
|Normal saloon (sedan).|
|Open top cars.|
Should be the maximum possible speed which can be achieved in the highest gear in kilometers per hour. This will normally be higher than the speed the vehicle can reach on a flat road without using nitro boost.
TopSpeed setting has 2 modes. The mode is selected by
USE_MAXSP_LIMIT, which is the 25th bit of the
|0||Normal||Maximum speed is about 20% higher than |
|1||Advanced||Maximum speed is the same as |
A vehicle might not be powerful enough to reach the
TopSpeed limit. Changing
TopSpeed does not change
Sets the normal rate of acceleration. As a rough guide:
|Value||Type of Vehicle|
|Very powerful supercar|
This is the key to realistic acceleration. A high value smooths out the acceleration curve. A value between
120 is good for most vehicles.
USE_MAXSPD_LIMIT entry for the
HandlingFlags setting should be enabled by being ticked in my CFG Studio Handling Editor. This makes
TopSpeed a precise limit.
Flying vehicles (planes) and floating vehicles (boats) have special data in sections at the end of the
handling.cfg file. They also use a completely different method for their acceleration performance which I don’t understand.
The effect of special data on acceleration is not covered in this tutorial. All settings are briefly described in my GTA San Andreas Handling Definition.
All my experiments are based on completely original Taxi handling, driving the car in a straight line on a flat road (the Julius Thru Way around Las Venturas). The Taxi is the modern one, not the old Cabbie thing.
These are the original values. Using them puts the Taxi back to normal.
TAXI 1450.0 4056.4 2.2 0.0 0.3 -0.25 75 0.80 0.75 0.45 5 180.0 19.0 10.0 F P 9.1 0.60 0 35.0 1.4 0.1 0.0 0.25 -0.15 0.54 0.0 0.2 0.51 20000 0 200000 0 1 0
Normal Taxi Acceleration Curve
Now the experiments go from top speed to the way the car accelerates. By comparing this curve of the standard Taxi acceleration to the graphs below, you can see the different effects of different parameters. Note that the standard Taxi has a 0-100km/h time of about five seconds but a top speed of only 144km/h! This is the lack of realism you can expect from the normal acceleration mode.
Acceleration on Top Speed
More acceleration means a higher top speed, as you would expect. The
TopSpeed setting gives an artificial limit to the maximum speed a vehicle can reach.
Drag on Top Speed
With a value of
Drag, the Taxi should keep getting faster and faster as there would be no resistance. This does not happen because the
TopSpeed setting is limiting the top speed, but this is set to only be 180km/h.
Ofer Porat experimented with the original GTA San Andreas cars and published his results. It seems that a car’s speed limit will be 20% higher than the
TopSpeed setting when in the normal acceleration mode. In the advanced acceleration mode, the
TopSpeed setting limits top speed precisely.
Inertia on Taxi Acceleration Curve
This seems to be the key value to better acceleration curves. A higher Engine Inertia value will make acceleration more gradual without lowering the top speed. Unfortunately, the limited top speed makes the car suddenly stop accelerating when it should gradually stop accelerating.
Effect of Drag Multiplier on Taxi Acceleration Curve
We have already seen the effect of Drag Multiplier on top speed, so here we see how it effects the way the car accelerates. Basically, a high drag makes the vehicle accelerate more slowly and reach a lower top speed. Interestingly, a low Drag Multiplier means the car takes longer to reach its top speed, which is increased. Another important part of realistic acceleration.
Notes on Top Speed
It is interesting that the vehicle does not always achieve the
TopSpeed value of 180km/h, which becomes 214km/h in the game. When the
Acceleration is too small relative to the
Drag setting, the vehicle will not reach its
This means that the
TopSpeed setting is simply a limit to the speed of the vehicle. Your vehicle might never actually reach this speed.