Using driving games to learn manual transmission?

Blueduck577

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I'm on vacation in a place where I cannot drive legally and at the same time, I'm thinking about buying a new car back home in a few weeks. I'm also thinking about getting a car with manual transmission, but I'm not sure if I will like it. I do happen to have a PS3 here, though. Do any of you guys think it would be a good idea to buy a decent racing wheel and driving (not necessary racing) game to learn? Any suggestions? Oh yeah, I also have a pretty old laptop, if there are any older games for this kind of use.

Cheers!

edit: to clarify, I'm talking about stick and clutch, not sequential shifting
 

DaRat

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No, it won't help. You can't feel the release point of the clutch and everything on a video game like you would in real life.

Go out and drive the real thing, it's the only way to learn
 
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No, theres nothing to learn besides the clutch. Knowing when to shift is common sense, if the engine gets loud then you shift higher, if you slow down and then press the gas but dont go any faster then you shift to a lower gear.

Handling the clutch from a stop is the only difficult thing to learn since you have to find the sweet spot for how much you let the clutch out and how much gas you press without stalling the engine, you cant learn that on a video game. I would strongly advise practicing in a parking lot or a vacant road, dont go out in traffic until you can stop and go with a clutch with at least 90% success.
 

Blueduck577

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Ah yes, I'm just talking about coordination though, which I am horrible at. I've never used my left foot for anything besides walking...
 
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all you do is press it down, you use your right foot for switching between brake and gas, the left foot does nothing except pressing that one pedal, you dont need to be coordinated.

As for if youll like it or not, thats usually up to the person. My first car had an automatic and my current car has a manual. I like automatic more, theres less to fiddle with and I dont have to put my drink down to shift if Im at a stoplight and it suddenly turns green. During traffic jams manual's can be infuriating, stopping and going, shifting up and down for just 20 feet, its very annoying. So if you live in a city with a lot of traffic jams then an automatic will be less stressful. Some people like the control of a manual though and hate automatics, automatics sometimes cant figure out what gear they have to be in which can be annoying.
 

NeoGohan

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Ah yes, I'm just talking about coordination though, which I am horrible at. I've never used my left foot for anything besides walking...

I'm with you, buddy. haha. Need to learn stick. But no one I know has a stick car that I can learn from or are willing to let me learn from for obvious reasons XD
 

Blueduck577

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I'm with you, buddy. haha. Need to learn stick. But no one I know has a stick car that I can learn from or are willing to let me learn from for obvious reasons XD

Yes, this is pretty much my reason as well. I would also like to learn in the spare time I've got here, as there are no driving schools around.
 

finalgt

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I learned on the drive home from the dealership with my car. That was the first time I had driven stick. Caveats:

1. I had somebody in the car who drove stick with me.
2. I went to the dealership early on the weekend, when there weren't many people on the road.
3. I made judicious use of the emergency lights. Extremely judicious.
 

snaggletooth

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lmao at emergency lights.

my first vehicle was a standard. 91 jeep yj. drove it off the lot not knowing what i was doing. stalled it a few times. learned how to cheat-rev to start off in first. golden.

now i've been driving standard, all jeeps, for 8 years and i chuckle at folks who cheat-rev or can't get a handle on it at all.

all in good fun though. it's like riding a bike.

and OP, no video-game will teach you how to clutch. it's different on pretty much every vehicle too.
 

heatsinker

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Yea, it won't help. Learning on a motorcycle won't help either; a hand clutch and sequential transmission aren't things you'd normally find in four wheeled passenger vehicles. It'll take some people longer to learn it while others will pick it up almost immediately; the only way to find out is to go find a car and do it.
 

UltraDude

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use a real car and have someone who knows how to drive stick fairly well teach you before you hurt someone :)
 

Tigerblade

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Go out and drive the real thing, it's the only way to learn

Bingo!

On a side note I can't belive you guys drive automatics as the norm, you may aswell sleep at the wheel it's that boring and unresponsive.
 

Spaceman_Spiff

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Bingo!

On a side note I can't belive you guys drive automatics as the norm, you may aswell sleep at the wheel it's that boring and unresponsive.

I certainly agree with your sentiment, but living in an extremely high traffic area, I very often wish during a bad commute day that I had an automatic for everyday driving. Going to and from work generally isn't too fun anyway...
 

Rombus

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If your absoultly dead set about learning via a driving game, check out the [FONT=arial,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]F355 Challenge: Ferrari Theater arcade game, here's a link to a short description:
http://www.primetimeamusements.com/arcadegame.php?id=120

Its the only arcade game i found that actually does a somewhat decent job of simulating a manual transmission.

Of course, this is no substitute to going out there with an actual car and learning yourself, but at least it will give you some experience shifting and using both feet.
[/SIZE][/FONT]
 

Tigerblade

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I very often wish during a bad commute day that I had an automatic for everyday driving. Going to and from work generally isn't too fun anyway...

I've just moved and now hit the crawl too and from work, has taken the fun out of driving to a certain extent for me and I think I'm starting to become waay to aggressive behind the wheel as even tho after I pull away from the main body of traffic I'm always behind a complete and utter tool all the way home :mad:

Still wouldn't wanna go auto, my father-in-law has one and it's just.....so.....bleugggh and feels half the car it should really be.
 

86DRIFTER

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I just started driving and I just got my license. I only drive manual. There is no better way then to get out there and try it out for yourself. Games provide no realistic experience of it.
 

russnuck

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The clutch is all about feel and will differ from car to car, so no games will not help you. I learned to drive on a stick, it took about 30 minutes to get the basics down smooth and then you just keep driving from there. The only thing you really need to "learn" is 1st gear

Some advice that might help...

1) Let the car idle, press the clutch pedal, put the car into 1st gear. SLOWLY let the clutch out until you feel it engage(do not let the clutch out all the way) and the car will creep forward slowly.
2) press down on the clutch pedal
3) repeat until you are confident you have the feel
4) you are ready to give it some more gas and start driving

Learn the shifter, sit in the car with it off, practice going through the gears(use the clutch pedal as you would if driving) so that for the love of god you don't grind the gears in someones car.

Later you can learn heel-toe down shifting, double clutching, and proper high RPM launches ;)
 

joemama

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The way I learned was by driving my uncles old Chevy work truck down mostly deserted rural roads....using a videogame with a fake wheel/shifter/clutch is NOT going to have the same feel but It might make learning in a real car a bit easier.
 
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its 50/50. You just have to have imagination. When you feel the grind point then the car starts to move. its represented well in simulation games, but the only thing thats missing from the game is feeling the sensation of speed. I somewhat learned how to drive stick using GTR2. When i got to the real world, i just wasnt as terrible as most people.

Long story short, games missing sensation of speed.
 

GushpinBob

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You might as well drive an ATV or a bike with electronic manual shifting because having a video game 'teach' you how to drive a manual will only get you that far. Driving a stick is much more involved than just pressing a button or moving a stick to move to the next gear; you have to get familiar with using the clutch properly without grinding gears or stalling the engine.

Also, as many of the other posters stated, the experience varies from car to car. For example, I have driven a small 4-cylinder truck that was prone to stalling unless enough gas was given while slowly releasing the clutch when going into drive. Then I have driven a V8 Chevy truck which had enough power to be put in drive and have the clutch released without touching the gas pedal at all.
 
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Not all cars creep forward when letting the clutch go, many of them stall if you dont give it gas. I fell victim to this myth when I first learned, everyone was telling me to press the gas when you feel the car move foward rather than before, but the car I was using never did that, and neither does my current car. I thought I was doing something wrong so I kept letting the clutch go slower and slower, and kept stalling each time.

Once I started pressing the gas a little and letting it rev while releasing the clutch it became way more easy to learn since I was actually moving, the next step was learning how fast you need to be going before letting go of the clutch completely (first gear pretty much needs the clutch slightly pressed at all times unless accelerating since it will stop the car). As you get more comfortable with your car you wont have to rev the engine before releasing the clutch, youll know exactly when to press the gas as you release the clutch (and this changes with each car)
 

skiddy

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Before I bought my car I didn't drive stick. Did the test drive and actually didn't stall out. My friend drove it off the lot, and I practiced for about 45mins when I got home. I was good to go after that.
 

Ripskin

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Definately do the real thing, I knew how to do it prior to actually trying it out.

My first attempt came when I was working as a valet, first car I get is a Ferrari :\ hard clutch and it didnt go so well lol.

Later that day I got a beat up Sunfire with a great clutch, not tight but not lose, 0 problems and with the parking area's location got to third no problem.

After a lot of use doing that hill launches are the only thing that still make me nervous.

I dont drive a manual with a clutch, too much traffic and distance when I am sleepy to want to worry about shifting, paddle shifters on my DSG give the best of both worlds. But driving my wifes Auto is annoying O_O

A video game wont teach you anything other than you shift when its loud...but you dont need to redline it to shift.
 

stueyG

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As a brit driving in the states, I actually went hunting for a car with a shift..

Anyway - as people have said, the only way too learn correct clutch control is simply too drive a manual around alot. Its simply a skill, and like riding a bike, once you've learned how too do it, you'll never forget. Also, once you get the knack try and drive in as many different cars, as every clutch feels different - but when you get good, you'll just be able too get in a shift and drive it.

As a final note, practice hill starts. Screwing up and rolling back into someone because you stalled the car = not smart.

Not all cars creep forward when letting the clutch go, many of them stall if you dont give it gas. I fell victim to this myth when I first learned, everyone was telling me to press the gas when you feel the car move foward rather than before, but the car I was using never did that, and neither does my current car. I thought I was doing something wrong so I kept letting the clutch go slower and slower, and kept stalling each time.

Depends on the car - in my experience, small lightweight cars tend too be easier too start for a beginner, while heavy trucks and stuff do tend too require a bit of the ol' gas.

I certainly agree with your sentiment, but living in an extremely high traffic area, I very often wish during a bad commute day that I had an automatic for everyday driving. Going to and from work generally isn't too fun anyway...

Stop start traffic is certainly much easier in an automatic. Much prefer shifts on hills and stuff though.
 

Tigerblade

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I find it quite scary that you pass your test in an auto, yet can go out and drive a manual straight away without any sort of tuition :eek: Two totally different beasts....

FWIW most ppl have problems with steep hill starts from my experience, I hate them and just sit with the car on biting point if in lights, if I have to park up then I make sure I'm pointing down the hill :D
 

heatsinker

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I find it quite scary that you pass your test in an auto, yet can go out and drive a manual straight away without any sort of tuition :eek: Two totally different beasts....

FWIW most ppl have problems with steep hill starts from my experience, I hate them and just sit with the car on biting point if in lights, if I have to park up then I make sure I'm pointing down the hill :D

That's why they invented the handbrake, my friend. :D
 

Crighton

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Actually it is call an emergency brake or Parking brake. I have a 2006 dodge Dakota Club Cab 6 speed manual transmition and that brake is still a pedal on the far left side. I wont say its on the floor because I have to lift my leg so high to activate it. I wish it were a hand activeted lever for ease of use but it is not.
 

CubicleGeek

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I find it quite scary that you pass your test in an auto, yet can go out and drive a manual straight away without any sort of tuition :eek: Two totally different beasts....

FWIW most ppl have problems with steep hill starts from my experience, I hate them and just sit with the car on biting point if in lights, if I have to park up then I make sure I'm pointing down the hill :D

There was a time in North America when manual was mandatory for getting your operator's license. They should've never changed it, since you're right, if you can drive manual, you can drive auto, but not vice-versa.

You can always use the hand brake trick on a hill. Riding your friction point isn't exactly good for your clutch or transmission.
 

CubicleGeek

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Actually it is call an emergency brake or Parking brake. I have a 2006 dodge Dakota Club Cab 6 speed manual transmition and that brake is still a pedal on the far left side. I wont say its on the floor because I have to lift my leg so high to activate it. I wish it were a hand activeted lever for ease of use but it is not.

Hand brake is used to specifically classify the emergency/park brakes that are hand pulled. I think emergency step brakes are only found in trucks and vans. Unfortunately the step brake can't be used in the same way a hand brake can to prevent rolling during start up on a hill. Not that it matters if you've driven stick long enough.
 

Version_3

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I say learn in the real thing. I learned in my dad's old S-10. I taught my wife with an old Civic Del Sol SI, as did my brother.

However, the original full cabinet Ridge Racer game had an awesome setup and feedback system for manual transmissions. It did help with my timing.
 
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I have a 94 suburu and it doesnt roll back when releasing the clutch on a hill until it actually moves forward, I would figure most modern cars have that feature.
 

BladeVenom

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No, it won't help. You can't feel the release point of the clutch and everything on a video game like you would in real life.

Go out and drive the real thing, it's the only way to learn

QFT. At least until they start making force feedback clutches for games.
 

whrswoldo

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What kind of car are you looking at? There's a HUGE difference between learning to drive on a car like a Honda with a very short clutch versus something like a Camaro.;)
 

Ron FTL

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I have been playing racing games for as long as I can remember.
I am a real car enthusiast.

I bought my first car with a 5-speed manual transmission and man.
To be truly honest. I stalled about 20 time on the way home from the dealership.
It is nothing NOTHING like video game simulation.
I have played GT5:p with the G25 on the ps3 for countless hours and it is still not the same.


My original thoughts where that you treat the clutch as a on/off switch. Where you just slam the pedal down. Shift. Then fully release the clutch.
Boy was I wrong. I soon found out that you have to release the clutch pedal slowly and never "dump the clutch" in low gear. You have to use a combination of the gas pedal and the clutch pedal at the same time to start moving properly and smoothly.
I took me several days to finally get use to driving a 5-speed. but after a few weeks if felt like wonderful.
Unfortunately I roasted through my first clutch during the learning experience.
But now it is all set and replace and after 3 years of driving it, I can honestly say that I'm Pro at driving 5-speed :D

There are a lot of instructional video's and walk-through's on the internet to help you out.
Personally I think that is the best way of gaining knowledge of how to drive a manual without actually getting on the road.
 

Converge

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Hahahahahahahaha

NO , no game will help you learn how to work a clutch. OBVIOUSLY....

maybe you shouldnt get a manual trans, i dont think u will like it, its going to be harder then you think if you cant figure out whether or not a game would help you learn. Sorry not trying to be a dick but this thread is hilarious.

Also to the people who dont learn how to drive stick before buying a car with manual trans and trying to drive it home.... YOU'RE STUPIDDDDD. You can easily put yourself in danger by stalling out in the middle of an intersection making a left turn or crossing traffic or anything like that.
 
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