R.C. Pro-Am II/any%

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Money route and upgrades

Cash flow

The following spreadsheet shows the cash flow in the videos in this guide (the total might not always correspond to what's shown at the end of the videos though, because of videos having been replaced). There are too many things factoring in how much you're able to collect, so this is just an example of how much money is possible to get. There is room for getting even more money, both through better RNG, but also by going out of the way to collect more money items. However, these routes already take into account some favorable RNG, so it's not going to be easy to be on a better pace in an actual attempt (not taking into account the start boost bonuses). Since the last purchase is Mega after race 21, the money after that point is irrelevant.

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  • You could get 2 start boosts in the first four races and still afford the Silver motor. However, that would require not using the nitros in race 3 and 4.
  • In practice, you probably need a few more start boosts in order to afford the Mega motor.
  • There is a kind of back-up strat in race 18, where you can collect four dollar markers (worth 1000$ in total) instead of taking a zipper. Having the Mega motor in race 22 doesn't save that much time though. Around 1.5 secs can be expected. So slightly more than what's lost by skipping the zipper.

Considerations about the upgrades

Q: Is the red motor really needed when it's only used for 3 races?
A: Yes, it saves roughly 10 seconds. The 2k saved by not buying red would not allow any of the other upgrades to be bought earlier (except for Skinny, but red saves more time than Skinny anyways). The red motor makes the money management much more tight though.

Q: The black motor is only 2k more expensive than red, couldn't it have been used?
A: Correct, the black motor is pretty performant in relation to its price. In that case Skinny would be bought after race 1 and Black after race 2. However, it would delay buying the remaining equipment (Silver, Scoopers and Mega) by one race. While race 3 and 4 would benefit from the black motor, that's not enough to outweigh delaying all the other purchases.

Q: What about the other motors then?
A: Gold and Hyper only give marginal advantages over Silver, while greatly delaying the Mega purchase.

Q: What about the other tires?
A: The test that was done showed that the difference between the tires isn't very big. However, the Scoopers are relatively cheap (15k), so even though they might not give a huge advantage, they don't delay Mega more than one or two races compared with Dynafit or Nooblies, respectively. It's assumed that this delay is offset by having Scoopers throughout the game instead of driving with inferior tires for a big part of the game. The Nooblies are notably less performing than the Scoopers and would clearly lose time. The Dynafits are closer in performance, but it's still difficult to see how that would be a good option. This hasn't been fully investigated though.

Q: Why go for Scoopers and then Mega and not the other way around?
A: This has been tested. Mega can be bought after race 17 and Scoopers after race 21. It was around five seconds slower overall though.

Q: And how about swapping Skinny tires and the red motor?
A: The only difference would be in race 2, which would be with Skinny instead of the red motor. This was tested to be around 2.5-3 sec slower though (which is, by the way, in good correspondence with the test that was made for one lap of race 6).

Q: Are any of the other purchases worth it?
A: The guns are somewhat useful in a casual playthrough, but don't save any time at all and are therefore essentially useless in a speedrun. One of the guns has an odd quirk that could be worth mentioning. The "buckshot" makes the other cars drop dollar bags. It's not efficient enough to really be of any use though.
Of the other items, nitros could be worth considering. You get three nitros, but they are 5 menu steps away in the shop, so it's difficult to see how that would make it worthwhile other than if this gives additional advantages during the race. One possibility could for example have been in race 35, but even with these additional nitros, you're not going to be first to the nitros on the track without also relying on the other cars driving poorly. So the answer seems to be 'no, other than by a costly trade of time for safety'.

Letter management

Since the letters are such a huge topic, they're discussed here separately and not next to the respective videos of each race.

The videos on this page get the first car upgrade after race 6 and the second after race 14. This is heavily luck-based. Getting the first upgrade in race 6 saves roughly 8 seconds over getting it after race 9. The second car upgrade saves roughly 1.5-2 seconds each in race 13-15. Below follows analysis and thoughts on the conditions for getting the upgrades. In order to follow the reasoning in this section, you should first make yourself familiar with R.C._Pro-Am_II/Game_Mechanics#Letters. One detail not mentioned elsewhere is that the cpus are awarded a free letter every fourth race. P2 (blue) will get an additional letter in race 2, 6 etc. P3 (green) will get an additional letter in race 3, 7 etc. Note that the bonus levels (Tag-o-truck and drag race) count as races. The cpus will get the next letter they're missing. So if a cpu has P, R and M, it will get an O.

First car upgrade

To upgrade the car after race 6, there are 12 letters in play. 1 in race 1, 4 in race 2, 2 in race 4 and finally 5 in race 6. The cpu cars are predictable in the first races, so it's known which letters that are along the routes of the different cars. All of this combined with how the letters are determined make it possible to create a model and solve the probabilistic problem. The assumptions of the model are the following:

  1. The blue car will try to collect the letter in race 1.
  2. The yellow car will try to collect the left of the three letters in race 2.
  3. The green car will try to collect the right of the three letters in race 2.
  4. No car will go for the letter next to the zipper in race 4. This is not strictly true. The green car will sometimes collect this letter if you don't.
  5. The RNG is perfect. So a decay factor of 2 for the probability of the next letter and equal probability for the cars when deciding the car dependence for the "random" letter address.

Since it's generally desirable towards race 6 that the other cars have as many letters as possible (to increase the chances of getting the later letters in that, which are likely the ones you're missing at that point), an idea would be to leave some letters in the early races, under the assumption that they're anyways going to be collected in time for the end of race 6. A few hypothesis were therefore tested in the computer simulation:

  • Skipping the letter in race 1 and allowing the blue car to collect it. Since it's often a P, it should be easy get later on
  • In race 2, the following three options:
a. Collect the middle and the left of the 3 letters
b. Only collect the middle letter of the 3
c. Collect the middle and the right letter of the 3

The result of the 6 combinations for the different possible start letters in race 1 is shown in the following graph:

RC2 1st upgrade probabilities.png


  • The best course of action is generally to collect the letter in race 1 and then the middle and right of the 3 letters in race 2.
  • If the letter in race 1 is a P, it's slightly more favorable to leave it to the blue car. In race 2, you should then collect the left and the middle of the 3 letters. It's difficult to react in time on the type of letter to decide to collect it or not. However, if you aim to start race 1 on a specific seed (= value of 043C) to get a good letter, it's possible to learn the line-ups around that time stamp and know the letter as soon as you see the order of the cars.
  • With the later letters being the most desirable in race 1, it's worth taking a look at the table in R.C._Pro-Am_II/Game_Mechanics#Letters to see the best windows to aim for. There are a few cases of 5 letters (not counting invalid values of 043C) in a row not being a P and a few more with 4 letters in a row not being a P. A good example of the latter to aim for could for example be when 043C is between 26 and 31, which contains one M, one O and two R (the blue car is second from the right with the M though).
  • It might be surprising that the probability goes down if the race 1 letter is an I. There are three reasons for this. The first is that the two last letter items in race 6 always contain the same letter. That makes it slightly easier to get two Is, while this has no effect on the other letters. The other reason is that if you for example only miss one letter (that is not I) going into race 6, there will still only be a 50% chance of getting that letter from the letter item that looks at the red car (P1). On the other hand, if that missing letter is I, it's 100% guaranteed. The third, and very minor, reason is in the event that one of the other cars gets a letter (that is not I) in race 2 that you end up missing, that letter can be blocked in race 4 or 6 (depending on which car got what) from some of the letter items. That will never be an issue with I.

Additional observations from the computer simulation:

  • If you have P, R and O at the end of race 2, the chance of getting the upgrade after race 6 is ~15% (18% if the green also collected the right of the 3 letters).
  • If you have P and R at the end of race 2, the chances drop quite dramatically and you only have around a 5% chance of getting the upgrade by race 6.
  • If you have P and M at the end of race 2, the probability is ~10%.
  • If you have PRO going into race 4, the probability drops to roughly 10% if you collect the star at the start instead of going for the letter. The other cars won't necessarily collect that letter though, even if it's one they don't have.

Second car upgrade

The second car upgrade can't be analyzed in the same way as above for the following reasons:

  • The number of letters between race 7 and 12 (or 13 or 14) would increase the number of iterations by a few orders of magnitude, which would either be very time-consuming to solve or require a more powerful computer.
  • There is more variation in the cpu behavior and therefore more difficult to determine who will collect a certain letter. This makes modeling the system more complex.

This section will therefore be in the form of general observations and considerations regarding a specific, but fairly ordinary, case shown in the videos on this page.
To get an overview, the below table shows the race letters and car letters per race in these videos (roughly in the order they appear in the race, from left to right and top to bottom). The first four columns are the letters of each car after the race. The next 7 columns represent the letters on that race (with their dependence within brackets) and the three last columns show the free cpu letters.

Red Blue Green Yellow L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 B free G free Y free
7 O PRO PRO PR O (4) O
9 POAM PROA PRO PROA P (1) A (3) A (2) M (4) A
12 POAMII PROAMI PROAI O (4) O (4) I (1) I (RNG) I (1) M (2) I (3)
14 PROAMII RM PROAMII M R (4) R (1) M (2) M (3) M

Race 7
There is not much to discuss about the letter in this race. It's rarely (never?) collected by the other cars and can be collected with no or only a minor time loss. An O is the normal letter in this race, assuming you have the first upgrade. It's also a letter that is likely to be difficult to collect later if you want the second upgrade latest after in race 14.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • Collect the letter

Race 9
It's possible to include all 4 letters in the route. Normally, only the two letters on the right are along the route of the cpu cars. At this point, all cpu cars should have 3 or 4 letters, of which 2 have been freely awarded (so they're all guaranteed to already have P and R). The window for getting an A is closing quickly and should be a priority (and an O even more so, if you didn't get it in race 7). In this case, all cpu cars have PRO and there are 3 good chances of having an A on the track. The choice in this video was to leave the upper right letter to the cpus.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • If there is a chance of both O and A from the letters depending on the other cars and you miss both of them, try and collect all four letters.
  • If you have several chances of either A or O, leave one of the letters on the right (the upper right is most out of the way).

Race 10
The two right letters are along the route of the cpu cars. Almost without exception, all three will be leaning towards M or I, with a possibility for an A or maybe even an O, depending on the green car. There are several good opportunities for getting M and I from letters outside the cpu routes in race 11 and 12, so the lower right one was left to the cpus in this video (none of the letters were new though, so both of the right letters went to the cpus). It's possible to skip the two on the right and only grab the left one, but it requires some precision-driving.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • Unless you miss both Is and M, better avoid the letters on the right. The upper one is difficult to avoid though.
  • Try to get the letter to the left.

Race 11
If green and blue haven't upgraded yet, the letters in this race are likely to only be M and I (both of them have received 3 free letters). The cpus will only pass the upper letter in the ice section and the letter before the finish line. If you still miss the M, you should probably go for the top letter in the first ice section on the first lap since the window for M is starting to close. On the second lap, you can get the lower letter, if needed. Since the two other letter items draw their content from the same memory address, they will by definition contain the same letter. It's therefore better to avoid the one before the finish line and let the cpus have it and then collect the one on the right side on the second lap instead.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • If the green car has upgraded or if you miss both Is or M, go for the upper letter in the first ice section, otherwise avoid it.
  • Avoid the letter right before the finish line.
  • Collect the lower letter in the ice section and the letter on the right side of the track on lap 2, if you don't already have them.

Race 12
Thanks to leaving some of the letters in the previous races, yellow has now become upgraded. So more of the early letters start appearing again. There are two letter items taking the letter based on the red car (P1). The second of these (the left of the three near the end) is not on the cpu routes. For demonstration purposes, the first P1 letter (between the bombs) was avoided, even though it was obviously not needed here. But if we had been missing more letters, it could have been worth giving it to one of the cpus. Since the left of the three letters near the end isn't on the cpu routes, you should go for the middle or right one on the first lap and then the left on the second lap, if needed. Note also that the two first letters in the race are identical.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • If it's somewhat likely that the letter between the bombs can help the blue car to upgrade, avoid it. The added risk should be taken into account though.
  • On the first lap, go for the middle or right of the 3 letters before the end.
  • On the second lap, the two letters in the pit stops can be collected, if you don't already have them.
  • The left of the 3 letters can be collected on lap 2, if needed.

Race 13
There is only one letter on this race and there is not really any reason not to try and pick it up (unless you can see from blue car's inventory that it will never be a letter you need). You're likely at this point to only miss early letters, so it's a clear advantage if blue has already upgraded (not the case here though).

Decision-making suggestions:

  • Unless there is no chance of a new letter, try to collect it.

Race 14
With both blue and yellow having upgraded cars, there are plenty of early letters here. Note that both rows of 3 letters are identical, so try to cover different letter items in the three rows to increase the chances.

Decision-making suggestions:

  • Go for different letters in the two rows of 3 letters.


Race 01

If the blue car is second from the right on the starting line, it will almost always collect the middle dollar item. If the blue car is in the right-most position, it "often" collects the dollar item. Otherwise, that dollar item is most of the time free to collect during the second lap.

The dollar sign next to the zippers is awkwardly located, but possible, to include in the route. The following video demonstrates this as well as collecting two dollar items at once on the first straight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmPF68-VPaw. The trick for the former is to steer to the right before hitting the zipper and for the latter to veer quickly to the left before ascending the ramp. Missing one of the zippers and the additional steering typically costs 20-40 frames. It's even possible to hit both zippers while collecting the dollar item, but it requires precise positioning and there doesn't seem to be a good setup for it.

Race 02

The last dollar bag right before the finish line is random. There is maybe a 50% chance it's there.

Race 03

On the right, you should always first collect the innermost star. Perhaps every third time or so, the middle star will then be there for the second lap. There is also a very small chance that the upper dollar item before the finish line won't be collected during the first lap. So it's best to collect the lower one on the first lap and then see it as a bonus if the dollar item can be collected during lap 2.

Race 04

If you have 4900 going into this race, you're on pace for the silver motor, assuming you can get a start boost (otherwise 5400). You can also skip the first letter and collect the star instead for another 100. If you have even less money, you'll have to sacrifice using the nitro.
It's also possible to collect more money than what's shown here, but it either relies on luck or by passing right between two of the stars at the U-turn and collect them both.

Race 05

On the second lap, you'll bounce too far after taking off from the hill after the two zippers if you go at full speed. However, if you release the gas around the start of the hill and then accelerate again around the top of the hill, you'll be able to make a tight next turn.

Race 06

It's possible to pass to the right of the oil slick for a more direct and faster route, but it adds a bit of risk and is therefore not shown in the video.

Race 07


Race 08

There are several options for how clear the S-curve and which nitro(s) to collect in the lower left part. They are all pretty close time-wise.

For the sake of completeness, the bonus stage "Tug-O-Truck":
You have to tap A and B consecutively to win. There are certainly many ways to do this, but one method that works fairly well is the following:
- Hold the left side of the controller between thighs.
- One of the left fingers right above B.
- One of the right fingers above A.
If you now mash A, the controller will be pushed back a little against the thigh and then bounce back up, so your left finger will automatically push B without even moving. This way you can create a sort of alternate mashing of A and B.

Race 09


Race 10


Race 11


Race 12

It's fairly important to collect the missiles. Otherwise it will almost certainly lead to time losses due to additional lag, dodging and (often) getting hit by a missile.

Race 13

If you get the nitro after the start line, it's worth using it on the straight after the first airplane. This will put you ahead of the other cars and somewhat reduce the lag.
The detour to collect the 1-up reduces lag more than the additional distance costs.

Race 14


Race 15

The green car will most of the time collect the bombs right before the finish line. If that's the case, some time will be lost due to dodging and/or crashing. Most of the track can be spent outside the green car's line, but it often drops bombs around the zippers, so it might be worth to immediately move to side after connecting with the zippers.

Race 16


For the sake of completeness, this is a video of the bonus game drag race. Just like the "Tug-O-Truck", push A and B alternately.

Race 17

It happens fairly frequently that you're shot right at the beginning without any chance to dodge (other than hugging the wall and avoiding the zippers).

Race 18

The row of dollar items can be collected by skipping the zipper on one of the laps. This might mean the difference between affording the Mega after race 21 or not, so could be worth considering if your money count is right at the limit.
By driving along the very edge of the track, you're not slowed down as much when collecting the ammo item as you would have driving straight through the mud.

Race 19


Race 20


Race 21

Sometimes the green (or blue, if it's in front of you) will collect one (or both, but that's rarer) of the nitros on the second stretch. In that case, use the nitros you have on the big bump sections as that's where you'll otherwise lose most time.
The dollar item on the left side is often picked up by the other cars and should therefore not be relied too heavily upon when trying to get above 50k.
It's worth noting that if you don't use the third nitro at the jump on top of the track, you'll collect another dollar sign (but slowing down also increases the risk of one of the other cars overtaking you).

Race 22

If you don't have Mega, you need to use a nitro when going over the jumps or you'll crash into the bombs. This creates a lot of lag though, especially on the first lap, so it should be avoided if you have Mega.

Race 23

The airplane acts differently on lap 1 and 3.
On lap 1, you can completely avoid it by hugging the right side of the track.
On lap 3, it will always come after you, but it's still possible to escape by hugging the right side and use the nitro between the first and second gun bursts. There is also a different pattern, where the airplane waits much longer before the first gun burst. The same strat can be used though. Activate the nitro at around the same spot and you should make it through without getting hit.

Race 24


For the sake of completion, another "Tug-O-Truck". It seems to be pretty much identical to the first one.

Race 25

Identical with race 1
The 3 dollar items near the start and the 4 colored dollar items near the zipper at the top of the track induce quite a bit of lag. If you go at full speed, you'll bounce over them, but it's worth slowing down a bit to collect them. If you release the gas about half-way up the respective hill before and start accelerating again at the top of the hill, you should be able to land where the items are.

Race 26

Identical with race 10. This time around, it's however not sure you'll be able to get as many nitros. The race can also be expected to be tighter, which means more objects on screen and more lag. Therefore consider avoiding nitros from the top of the track (the stretch with colored nitros) until the right side, especially on the first lap. For the second lap, most of the items should hopefully be collected, so nitros should again be possible to use without creating too much lag.

Race 27

Identical with race 19

Race 28

Identical with race 2

Race 29

Identical with race 11

Race 30

Identical with race 20

For the sake of completion, the second drag race. The other cars, especially the yellow one, is faster here. It's really of no importance though since there is no interaction between the cars and money is no issue at this point.

Race 31

Identical with race 3

Race 32

Identical with race 12.
This is one of the tougher races though. If you see a chance to sneak ahead one of the first cars on the first lap, you can try to use the nitro and grab the bombs before the finish line. Just keep dropping bombs and the car(s) behind should run into them.
Another strat is to keep the nitro until the end and try to squeeze past a car on the final stretch. If you're on fourth place and the car right in front of you have the missiles, this is probably the safer strat.

Race 33

Identical with race 21

Race 34

Identical with race 4.
Even if it means a small detour, it's worth going for the roll-cage. With the help of the nitro, it should be possible to get to it before the green car. If that's not the case and the green car gets to it first, there is a considerable risk of colliding with the green car around the U-turn unless you play very conservatively.

Race 35

Identical with race 13.
One of the more difficult races. Sometimes, but not often, the yellow car misses the nitro on the start stretch. It's also sometimes possible to squeeze past it and get the nitro. It's then worth using it on the long straight at the top of the track and hopefully get ahead of the other cars to be able to collect two nitros on the right side of the track. If that's not the case, there should still be one nitro for you by hugging the left wall (seen from someone watching the screen). Even in the rare occasion of not getting any nitros, clean playing throughout will often result in squeezing past the yellow car right before the goal line.
Because of the difficulty, it adds some risk to collect the 1-up. It does save time, just like in race 13, though.

Race 36

Identical with race 22

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