So chcocobo racing has sucked me in, just as I knew it would when the Manderville Gold Saucer released. While you can make the comparison that it’s like Mario cart, except with birds, there’s really quite a bit more to the system than just that.
Rewards you earn from chocobo racing are MGP and experience to level your chocobo. We’ll get into the leveling and stats later.
Getting Your First Racing Chocobo
The chocobo you race is not the same as your Grand Company chocobo mount. Before you can start racing, you must go through a series of quests. Here’s a quick-step guide for that:
- Talk to the lift attendant in the Gold Saucer, just to the left of the main info desk. This takes you to the Chocobo Square. Don’t forget to attune to the aetheryte!
- Obtain the quest “So You Want to Be a Jockey” from the Race Chocobo Registrar located at Chocobo Square (X:6 Y:4)
- This sends you to Gridania, to Katering at the Bentbranch Meadows in Central Shroud (X:20 Y:22)
- Talk to Katering again to obtain the quest “So You Think You Can Ride This Chocobo”
- Return to the Race Chocobo Square to complete the quests and obtain your first chocobo
- Chocobo names are pulled from lists of predetermined words. They can still be interesting, though. 🙂
Chocobo Racing Basics
Just some basic things first:
- Races are competitions between 8 chocobos.
- You can choose from three different tracks, or allow the game to choose a track randomly.
- You only see chocobo names in the races. A blue name indicates another player is riding the chocobo. A green name indicates an NPC.
- Chocobos will move forward along the track automatically.
- The track is divided into invisible lanes. Tapping to the left or the right will change which lane your chocobo runs in.
- Pressing forward will push your chocobo to sprint faster, which will use the chocobo’s stamina.
- If you run out of stamina, you won’t be able to sprint for the rest of the race, so budget it well.
- Treasure chests on the track provide power ups or debuffs against other players.
- Running over colored magicked panels on the ground will give you buffs. In upper level races, they can also debuff you, so be careful.
- Chocobos can receive bonuses for racing under the chocobo’s preferred weather conditions. You can find these listed in your chocobo’s profile.
- Racing chocobos can wear barding. 🙂
Advanced Chocobo Racing Tips
Once you’ve got the hang of things, here’s some tips to help you win!
Stamina Usage and Lathered
- When you push your chocobo to sprint for too long, the chocobo will become Lathered. This burns stamina faster, so you want to avoid this.
- When your chocobo becomes Lathered, release the sprint button and let them rest for a little bit.
- There does seem to be a cooldown time you need to wait before sprinting, or else you’ll pop right back into the Lathered state again.
Power Ups and Debuffs
- As you approach a treasure chest, a bar of icons appears in the bottom right corner, letting you know what power ups are next.
- Use this bar to determine whether you want to get the item or not. Sometimes, you might want to pass on the item, if the item after that could give a nearby competitor an edge over you (such as a hero potion or a sprint). Plan item management wisely.
- Chocobos do have collision during races. Avoid sprinting when you’re behind another chocobo, and be aware of chocobos on your right or left if you try to switch lanes.
- Beware of enemies that appear on the upper level tracks. They debuff you if you run into them.
- Stay away from racers who pop the briar caltrops debuff – this looks like a ring of thorns around another chocobo. This will kill your stamina and could put you out of the race for good.
- Stamina tablets can protect you from briar caltrops, as well as all other things that drain your stamina.
- Though I usually ride around the bad magicked panels on the track, you can jump over them.
Chocobo Ranks and Leveling
As you continue to race, your chocobo will earn experience and gain ranks. Here’s what you need to know about ranks:
- Every time your chocobo ranks up, it will earn stat points that are randomly distributed across stats.
- Each rank also earns a feeding opportunity, where you can feed your chocobo to increase a specific stat.
- At Rank 10, your chocobo will earn a random special ability.
- You can unlearn the chocobo’s ability by purchasing Lethe Water from the Track & Feed Trainer for 800MGP. You will have to earn another rank before your chocobo is reassigned a new special ability.
- You can purchase training manuals from the Track & Feed Trainer to train your chocobo in a specific ability.
- Chocobos can pass their ability down to their offspring as well.
- At Rank 40, you can breed your chocobo.
But chocobo breeding will need to be a whole nother article as it’s something players are currently experimenting with!