The Rally discipline is the main attraction of the game and the discipline you'll spend most of your time in. While most achievements are self-explanatory, the order in which you should attempt unlocking them can vary, therefore I will lay down a basic strategy that will allow you to unlock all of the achievements that have to do with this mode in the most time and effort efficient way.
Go to Career and then Rally. The first event is an introductory one that is supposed to show you the ropes and features only one stage. Follow the instructions of the co-driver (who you can change for Nicky Grist soon) and do whatever you need to do without worrying too much about anything. The Fiesta is of the R2 category, which consists of FWD cars without much horsepower so even if you get on the throttle early, you won't get a lot of understeer. After completing the event you will unlock:
If you manage to come first you will also unlock:
After the DiRT Clubman Cup, enter the DiRTFish Graduation Rally, which is again in the R2 class and features two Michigan stages. Once again, things are still pretty simple, so don't stress about your performance too much. Focus on making mental correlations between what you hear (pace notes) and the road ahead, in order to gain more experience in processing the pace notes and reacting accordingly. Consider changing the setting of the pace notes so that they are being called out earlier that the default setting. Any setting between the middle point and the earlier possible will do.
These two championships offer a good chance to unlock some other achievements as well, if you haven't already done so "by accident", since the complexity of the stages is still low. If you haven't unlocked though don't worry, there will be plenty of chances to get them later. These achievements are:
This one unlocks if you complete a stage without going off once. "Not going off" means to keep the car within the limits of the road and not just avoiding getting a time penalty or having to reset the car. This achievement's easier to pop while running in the two aforementioned championships due to their simple(r) stages, but you can obviously get it easily later as well, depending on the difficulty settings you're running. An easier AI setting will allow you to reduce your pace in order to keep it clean and still post a good time, while a big amount of restarts will allow you to re-run these stages so you can familiarize yourself with them.
This is a recurring achievement from DiRT Rally, which requires you to win a stage while using the headcam for its whole duration. This is again easier to do now rather than later, unless you prefer using the headcam anyway. If you don't or just want to get this one out of the way, start one of the stages in these championships and once the car is at the start line and before the lights go on, switch to the headcam. Now win the stage without ever changing the camera and you'll help further increase this 7.7%.
"Little help" is unlocked by selecting "Recommended Repairs" on the Service Area. Service Areas appear every few stages depending on the number of them within a single event. Do this the next time you come into the Service Area and avoid doing it again. To learn more about prioritizing repairs and other details, take a look at the part of this walkthrough where we talk about the Weekly and Monthly online events.
Earning the Fearless bonus in a stage essentially requires you to go balls to the wall and drive aggressively. While it isn't actually known what triggers it, try to run either of the two first championships and stay on the gas as much as possible within a stage. Given the nature of this achievement, this is the only one that you should try now instead of later, but it is still totally possible to unlock it sometime during this run for 100% completion.
Next up are the National Rally A Licence championships. You can always see how many podiums you need to advance to the next tier or licence in the Rally career, by taking a look at the grayed-out symbol of the next licence and the fraction under the lock icon. Both of these championships feature the R2 and Group A classes and two events with two stages each, both in Michigan, the same environment as before. They are not as simple as the first two, but they're in Michigan with which you should be familiar by now. These championships are the first chance you have at unlocking the following two achievements:
"Textbook" unlocks by winning either event, regardless of the vehicle class you're in and there's a possibility you've unlocked this already. "A bonafide underdog story" though, requires you to be the fastest driver of the whole event, while still driving a car which belongs to the smaller class. In this instance, enter either of the two championships with the Fiesta and do your best to beat the Group A cars until you pop both of these achievements. The AI difficulty setting here is key for your success, so if you're struggling to achieve what would be impossible in real life, bring it down to "Competent" and try again until you're sitting at the top of the table.
After basking in your success and looking down at the loser AI crews that couldn't beat you with their better cars, you'll unlock the International Rally 3 Licence and this is where things start to get interesting.
The International Rally 3 Licence contains six championships that are now opening up the variety, both in the environment and the car classes. Your first attempt should be at the Contemporary Open championship, which still allows R2 cars (that Fiesta is really proving its worth) in case you still can't afford a R4 class car yet. It's in Australia and Wales, the first being similar to Michigan and Wales being quite different, so take your time to familiarize yourself to that. The Welsh Valley Rally also has a R2 class, but in reality you can drive for other teams too if you're not interested in actually acquiring your own cars at this point. I do advise though to take a look at the classifields/dealership for anything you can afford and isn't in the R2 class, by prioritizing the R4 or the Kitcar class, since the cars in those categories are the cheapest ones that can get get you into a faster car class at this point. Rallying for other teams will of course progress the career, but you need at least one car from each class for the online achievements that are coming up after we've finished with the single player career, so keep in mind the fact that you need to invest in some cars eventually. I'd suggest the Evo for the NR4/R4 and the 306 for the Kitcar class. Buying a car from the Classifieds, regardless of its category will unlock:
From here on out there isn't much to say or advise on, since progressing further into this part of the career simply requires you to keep winning enough titles and advancing to the next group of championships. The requirements become stricter so you'll need to win more titles percentage-wise and each championship has more events, with the events having more stages and the weather settings offering much more variety. Moreover, the complexity and length of the stages increase as you progress further, but if you've kept the difficulty settings the same, there won't be much of a difference, you just won't be progressing at the same pace as previously.
As the events grow bigger in duration, you need to start paying more attention to your car if you find yourself damaging it a lot. Going for the following achievements will at the same time make your team more solid and your success easier:
This is related to you purchasing various facilities for your team personnel. A bigger dining area will keep them happy, almost Sims-style, while a bigger garage will allow you to own more cars at the same time. Keep spending credits in this department, but don't overdevelop in a single aspect. Try to keep most facilities on the same grade, which is indicated by letters from E to A.
A similar mechanism can be found for the cars, since each subsystem can be upgraded with higher quality parts that will make your life easier. While the game will remind you automatically if your car's parts are on the "weaker" side when trying to leave a service area, make sure you upgrade the parts you seem to be damaging the most as quickly as possible. The drawback here is that higher-grade parts take more time to repair, but you will be improving your engineers at the same time, so there won't be an issue there. Eventually, you'll get all parts of a car to grade A, unlocking:
Winning five titles across these championships will unlock the next tier and along that the following achievement:
You now need to win three titles between the two championships. Doing so will promote you to the Global Rally Series championship, DiRT 4's version of the WRC. By now you should have gained enough experience with all five environments and most categories, since you're going to need that for the GRS. It takes place in all 5 countries and features six stages in each one. It isn't much different from anything you've done so far, it's just that the championship itself is the longest, the weather settings are random and not always set to clear weather and night stages are also more common. Select the category and car you like and have a go. Once again, don't hesitate to drop the difficulty down a bit or all the way down to Competent in order to win:
That's the end of the Rally discipline, even though we're obviously not done with Rallying. Let's continue with what's according to my opinion the least interesting discipline of the game, Landrush.
Before we do that though and to save some time, go to Events > Competitive > Community Events > Weekly Event. Check out the Online part of this walkthrough for the required information.
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