Online Discipline Progression & Game Modes



May 15, 2014

Today we’re looking at the online multiplayer side of GRID Autosport. It’s something we’ve invested a huge amount of time in and we think you’ll get a lot out of it.

What we have, without doubt, is the largest and most rewarding online game in a GRID experience yet.

We want you to have a similar long-game experience as in some of the best online shooters where you’re always progressing, upgrading and building up your experience. But of course, we also have a range of different jump in and race events and options too, whilst RaceNet extends the experience as ever. We’ve listened to a lot of feedback from GRID 2 and we’ve brought in a few new ideas of our own. What we have, without doubt, is the largest and most rewarding online game in a GRID experience yet. So let’s look at a few things in a bit more detail…



No doubt by now that you are familiar with the five racing Disciplines of GRID Autosport: Touring, Endurance, Open-Wheel, Tuner and Street. When racing in GRID Autosport Online, you’ll find that each of these Disciplines has its own XP Level, reflecting how well you’ve mastered each different aspect of motorsport. These XP Levels combine together into an Overall XP Level, which will attract new sponsors and unlock additional garage space as it increases.

Sponsors and garage space are two valuable commodities in GRID Autosport.

Sponsors and garage space are two valuable commodities in GRID Autosport. Sponsors will set you objectives to fulfil over a number of races, which earn you extra Cash when completed; and extra garage space allows you to store additional vehicles, meaning that you can equip yourself with a wider variety of vehicles and rely on loan cars less often.

While you can focus on your favourite Discipline to level-up and unlock these benefits, it will take longer than a player who distributes their efforts across all 5 Disciplines. If you haven’t unlocked extra garage slots and you’re running out of space, it may be time to consider selling an older car and replacing it with something new!


RaceNet Challenge

Fans of GRID 2 may remember Global Challenge mode, which provided a fresh set of events to compete in every week. Posting the best time or score to a leaderboard among your friends allowed you to dominate track locations around the world, and earn big rewards.

There are six challenges to compete in every week; one from each Discipline, plus one “wildcard”.

In GRID Autosport, we’ve changed the focus of this feature to suit the racing Disciplines. There are six challenges to compete in every week; one from each Discipline, plus one “wildcard” challenge which may use an unusual track and vehicle combination to really test your skills.

We’ve also opened up the leaderboard to pit you against everyone in the world, not just your friends. Think you’re the best Touring Car driver? Now you’ll be able to prove it. Open-Wheel is more your thing? There’ll be a challenge for that too.


The challenges can use any of the Race Types available to a particular Discipline. The Endurance challenge, for example, might test your ability to drive a far as you can in a given time limit, while battling through a pack of AI. A Tuner challenge on the other hand, might give you one drift run to score as many points as you can. Setting the quickest times, furthest distances or highest scores will always be the key to ranking highly in the leaderboards. You can attempt the challenges as many times as you like during the week.

The best drivers in GRID Autosport will find RaceNet Challenge very worthwhile.

For each challenge you attempt, your ranking determines the size of your payout at the end of the week, and you’ll still get bonuses for putting your friends to shame as well. We’ve upped the stakes considerably over GRID 2, so the best drivers in GRID Autosport will find RaceNet Challenge very worthwhile – the top 1% of leaderboard rankings can be very lucrative indeed. There are also “benchmark medals” up for grabs which provide a target time or score to aim for, and extra rewards if you exceed them.

To spice things up even more, you’re allowed to enter your own vehicles in RaceNet Challenge. Having a wide range of well-maintained vehicles with upgrades and carefully tweaked tuning set-ups will vastly improve your chances of success with the luck of the draw each week. If you don’t own an eligible car, don’t worry – you can still compete with a loan vehicle, just like in other Online game modes.

Online Custom Cup

Online Custom Cup is the game mode where you get to have your cake and eat it. Here, you can configure an Event to exactly the way you like it, and the rewards will fit the difficulty options you choose. In GRID Autosport, you can even make a Custom Cup pay out more than a Playlist event if you make it tough enough! Here’s a breakdown of the things you can configure in a Custom Cup:

  • Discipline – pick your favourite style of racing.
  • Vehicle Class – the type of vehicles you want to drive.
  • Race Type – the available Race Types will depend on what Discipline and Vehicles you’ve picked.
  • Number of Events – create a mini-championship up to five Events long.
  • AI – choose whether or not to add AI opponents to the session, which will fill any available slots on the grid. The difficulty of the AI can be changed as well.
  • Tracks – choose the track, route, lighting conditions and race length for each Event.
  • Upgrades, Tuning and Assists – can be disabled individually to level the playing field.
  • Manual Only – turn this on if you want everyone to use manual transmission.
  • Cockpit Cam Only – can be enabled for an ultra-hardcore experience.
  • Pre- and Post-race timers – can be made longer or shorter to suit your preferences.
  • Collisions – can be turned off if you don’t want vehicles to collide with each other.
  • Grid Order – provides a range of options for how you want the grid to be ordered at the start of each race.
  • Damage – can be set to Full or Visual Only. In Visual Only, your car will still crumple in a crash, but it won’t develop any mechanical defects.
  • Flashbacks – the number of Online Flashbacks that are allowed per race can be set here.


Depending on the settings you pick, there is a difficulty modifier which increases or decreases. Therefore a race with Damage and Collisions enabled, for example, will pay out more than one with the same settings disabled. If you normally race with assists enabled, they will temporarily be overridden while you are in a session that restricts them, but you will be rewarded appropriately while you are in that session. When you leave the session, your preferences will be reinstated again.

Online Custom Cup allows you to experiment and combine GRID Autosport’s content in new ways.

Online Custom Cup allows you to experiment and combine GRID Autosport’s content in new ways. If you want to race cars from the Street Discipline on regular circuits, you can do that here. Likewise, if you want to drive Open-Wheel vehicles around city circuits for example, that is also possible in Custom Cup. As the host of a Custom Cup, it’s up to you to make a fun racing experience for your fellow racers.

Lastly, we’ve made improvements to the Custom Search function and the Lobby in GRID Autosport. Finding a session you like should be easier than ever, and you can select your vehicle while you’re waiting in the Lobby for the next race to start.


Party Mode

Custom Cup is the place where you can find Party Mode. Party Mode refers to a group of fun Race Types that we wanted to include in GRID Autosport, even though they don’t fit into the five main Disciplines in the game. These are Demolition Derby, Checkpoint and Eliminator.

When creating a Custom Cup, you’ll find that Party Mode is a selectable option when choosing the Discipline. Once chosen, you’ll have access to a range of Vehicle Classes and these unique Race Types. Due to the off-beat nature of Party Mode, you can only race with loan vehicles and there are no rewards on offer, but there are no repair costs to worry about either (particularly handy in Demolition Derby…!)

Demolition Derby

This classic Race Type returns in GRID Autosport by popular demand. There are two ways to win – be first across the finish line, or the last surviving vehicle. Besides that, anything goes!


You’ll have a limited amount of time on the clock to get as far as you can. Every time you pass through a checkpoint gate, more time is added to your clock. The player who gets the farthest before running out of time is the winner.


Once the race is under way, the elimination clock begins to count down. When it reaches zero, the player in last position is eliminated from the race, then the clock starts counting down again for the next player. Stay out of last place to win!


Online Playlist

Playlists are another familiar feature of the GRID series, allowing players to jump into the action and get racing quickly with the minimum of setup. Sticking with the Disciplines theme, there are six Playlists to choose from – one for each Discipline, and an “Everything” Playlist that will shuffle all of the content in the game.

You’ll also be able to use a new voting system for the next track after each race.

We’ve made a few tweaks to Playlists since GRID 2; you’ll find that races are a bit longer, and that the same Vehicle Class stays in use for multiple consecutive Events. This will help you acclimatise to each vehicle type, so you can get into a groove and experience a decent chunk of gameplay with them. You’ll also be able to use a new voting system for the next track after each race, select your vehicle while waiting for the Lobby, and accumulate championship points which will move you up the grid order.

Playlists use a standard set of rules – collisions and damage are always on with a limited number of Flashbacks, but there are no restrictions on assists or vehicle improvements. As with Custom Cups, if you own any vehicles from the class currently in use, you can choose to use them and make the most of any upgrades and tuning you’ve unlocked – in addition to showing off your custom liveries!

If not, you can still borrow one of the loaner vehicles to race with.

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About Matt Pickering

Game Designer at Codemasters.

The red ones go faster.

View all posts by Matt Pickering

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