6. Multiplayer walkthrough
The multiplayer component in Driver: San Francisco consists of six different playlists with a couple of different game types in each playlist. There is also a persistent levelling system in the game; as you gain experience, you'll increase your level to unlock cars, abilities, and new playlists, as well as some cosmetic perks.
Since not all playlists are available right from the start, you won't be able to work on each of these immediately. I will be listing the playlist-specific achievements in the order that they'll be available to you. In reality, though, you'll want to hop between playlists as you find games that are open to you. The multiplayer community for this game is fairly sparse, so you're going to want to just take games as you can find them. Moreover, most of these achievements are much easier when boosted, both because of the difficulty of getting them naturally, or the difficulty of finding a game. I would definitely recommend hitting up the forums or creating a game session when you're trying to tackle these. Playing these out solo will take you a LONG time.
The first playlist available to you is Free-for-All, which consists of two game types: Tag and Trailblazer.
In Trailblazer, a car will be glowing yellow and driving ahead of you, leaving a trail in its wake. You score points by driving in that path. The achievement for this mode requires you to do this for 30 seconds. This sounds unreasonably difficult, until you realize that it's actually a cumulative 30 seconds, not a continuous 30 seconds. That key distinction makes this one of the easiest multiplayer achievements to obtain.
I'm On Fire!
Stay in both trails for 30s in Trailblazer (Public)
Tag is actually the reverse of the old playground game - instead of wanting to avoid being "it" and trying to tag other people, here, you WANT to be "it" and avoid tagging other cars. Your achievement for Tag is to be "it" for 10 seconds 50 times. Unlike the last achievement, this is NOT a cumulative achievement - you MUST hold the tag on 50 separate occasions for 10 seconds each. Holding it for 10 seconds or 60 seconds will still only count as one instance towards the achievement. Let me save you some agony: boost this one. Trying to do this one naturally will drive you insane.
Once you hit Level 2, the next playlist you'll unlock is Racing, which includes two new game types: Classic Race and Sprint GP.
Classic Race is a simple two-lap checkpoint race. Shift is blocked, and car damage is turned off. The first to cross the finish line wins. To unlock the achievement here, you just need to finish in the top three in 10 races. And yes, it will still count as a top-three finish even if you only have a two-person race.
Sprint GP events are series of five short races, with points calculated at the end of each race based on how well you finish. Just as in Classic Race, you can't Shift, and there is no car damage. The achievement here will also require you to finish in the top three 10 times, but note - these are top-three SERIES finishes, NOT top-three finishes in the individual races. Again, top-three finishes count even if only two people finish the series.
At Level 3, you will unlock Takedown, a game which gets a playlist of its own. This is a classic cops-and-robbers race type, with one player attempting to make dropoffs at designated points on the map, and the rest of the players trying to disable them before they can finish. To earn the achievement here, you'll need to complete 25 dropoffs as the getaway driver. You'll have four dropoffs to make each game, so if you are perfect each time, you'll complete this after seven rounds.
Level 4 unlocks the Team playlist, and the Capture the Flag and Blitz game types. When I completed this game, I was unable to find a Team game without having boosting partners with me - be prepared to get a group of friends together just to get one of these games going.
Capture the Flag is exactly what it sounds like - grab the flag, take it back to your marked base, and score points. The achievement here will unlock after you return the flag yourself 10 times. Capture the Flag games are first-to-two affairs, so if you score every time you possibly can, this will take a minimum of five games.
Blitz has one team attempting to drive cars into a marked area, with the other team defending that base area. After one round, both sides switch. You'll need to score 10 times to unlock the achievement here; since it takes either 10 attacks or 20 defenses to end a round. If you are the only one to score, it is possible to unlock this after just one game.
Progressing to Level 7 will unlock Shift Racing, and two more game types: Shift Race and Checkpoint Rush.
Shift Race is a three-lap race similar to Classic Race with one crucial difference: you can switch cars at will throughout the race, so long as you still hit every checkpoint in order. The trade-off here is that car damage is active, and is greatly increased - cars are not anywhere near as durable as they are in the rest of the game, so if you're not careful while driving, you'll be forced to use Shift multiple times. Finish in the top three 10 times, and you'll unlock the achievement here. Once again, you will progress towards unlocking these even with a race of only two people.
Checkpoint Rush has you driving on a highway through a series of checkpoints as quickly as possible. There's a catch, though: once one car drives through the checkpoint, it will quickly start to fade away, giving any other cars a limited window to also pass through them and score. You'll get the achievement here after passing through 1,000 checkpoints. I was averaging 70-80 per game, so it took about 13-15 games. Keep in mind, though: checkpoints in a later game mode, Team Rush, will also count towards this achievement, so you don't have to grind this achievement out here if you don't want to.
Finally, Level 9 will unlock your last playlist, Team Racing, and your last two game modes: Relay Race and Team Rush. Just like the Team playlist, you are absolutely going to want to get some friends together for this one - getting a game is nearly impossible otherwise.
Relay race gives two teams a torch, and a series of checkpoints that you'll need to drive through. The car holding the torch will start losing fuel, and a teammate will need to pick up the torch by bumping into the car currently holding it. The achievement here is unlocked by holding the torch for 20 seconds, 25 times. The wording here is a little bit unclear - you do need to hold the torch 25 times, and you do need to hold the torch for 500 seconds total (20 seconds, 25 times). However, unlike the earlier Tag achievement, your time IS cumulative here. That means that once you're sure you've held the torch for 500 seconds, you can just start passing it back and forth between a teammate to get the remaining touches you need.
Pass the Torch
Carry the Torch for 20s, 25 times in Relay Race (Public)
Finally, if you haven't already unlocked Stay With the Pack, use games of Team Rush to get you up to your 1,000. Team Rush operates just the same as Checkpoint Rush, only that you are split into teams, and the team with the highest number of checkpoints hit by its members wins. The only checkpoints that count towards the achievement, however, are the ones that you yourself manage to pass.
There are also achievements for two abilities that you will unlock during the course of playing multiplayer. Both of these abilities are tied to your ability to Shift, so know that you will not be able to work on these in the Racing playlist. Additionally, while you can use your abilities in Free Roam, they will NOT count towards the achievements.
At Level 5, you'll unlock the Swap ability, which allows you to use your Shift powers to switch your car to another that you've unlocked. To earn the achievement, you'll need to Swap into 20 unique vehicles. You'll only have a maximum of two cars available to you in each event, and the cars available will need to be changed between events by going in to your profile. Additionally, you won't have unlocked enough unique cars to complete this achievement until you hit Level 16.
You can also unlock this achievement by using the Spawn ability, but to be frank, it's far more difficult to use than Swap while still staying competitive. I wouldn't bother.
One last tip: Be sure to keep a running list of cars that you've used, because while the game does have an achievement tracker, it will only track the number of times you've used Swap, NOT the number of unique cars you've swapped into. The tracker will think that you have unlocked this achievement before you actually have.
Swap or Spawn into 20 Unique Vehicles (Public)
At Level 8, you'll unlock Impulse. This allows you to go into Shift and target an opponent's car and send a bolt of electricity at it, damaging it and spinning it out. You'll want to hold A over their car, wait for the bar to fill, then release A while keeping your targeting reticule over their car.
You'll unlock this achievement after successfully using Impulse 10 times. If you're going at this by yourself, try any of the games in the Shift Race playlist, or Trailblazer games in the Free-For-All playlist. But realistically, you're going to want to boost this one. Trying to pull off an Impulse attack is incredibly difficult on an opponent that is trying to dodge you.
Spin out 10 Vehicles with Impulse (Public)
Almost done! All that's left to do is to get your multiplayer level up to Level 38 (which, oddly enough, is NOT the level cap). There's a good chance that you'll hit this just by trying to complete the rest of the multiplayer achievements, but if you are still in need of XP, play as much Takedown as you can. If you're hitting your checkpoints while acting as the getaway, and getting in as many hits as possible while playing as a cop, you can rack up XP here much faster than in any other game. Be sure not to forget about the tutorials, either - these are four short missions which explain each of the multiplayer abilities as you unlock them, and completing them all will net you an easy 20,000 XP.
You will hit Level 38 once you have accrued 438,250 XP across all of the multiplayer game types.
Reach Multiplayer Level 5 (Public)
Reach Multiplayer Level 20 (Public)
Reach Multiplayer Level 38 (Public)
Congratulations! You earned the full 1,000 points in Driver: San Francisco!
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