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  • Guide:

    Test Drive Unlimited


    ==General FAQ==

    ===How do I obtain the base game===

    A game this old published by a company (Atari) who went bankrupt will be hard to find so many years after the initial PC release in 2007, but it is possible to find some preowned copies. You might try Amazon or eBay, for starters, or simply search on Google..

    Here is one seller that I found:  https://www.thegamecollection.net/test-drive-unlimited-pc/
    TrustPilot AU gives this store a 94% Excellent rating for safety.  

    This forum will not permit links to illegitimate sources of the game.

    ===How do I run the game on Windows 10===

    The PC-DVD version of the game comes with SecuROM security, which is blocked by Microsoft in Windows 10.  The only known workaround is to use a No-DVD patch.  Please find and use one at your own risk, and do not link to such a file on these forums.

    Alternative, download and install the community mega-mod 'TDU Platinum' and make use of the included '4GB patch' which as a side-effect bypasses the SecuROM check.

    ===Recommended settings for Project Paradise Launcher===

    Make sure Vsync and Big .bnk are checked. It is necessary to prevent serious in-game bugs. For example, invisible collisions and erratic traffic bugs, or the game not loading properly.

    In the case of TDU Platinum, make sure FX Tweak is set to OFF. This ensures the lighting displays properly. Don't make the mistake of setting it to on and then thinking you need a weather mod to fix things.

    Also it is recommended to have Windowed and Unlock Settings (Windowed) checked and to run the game in borderless windowed mode via the Borderless Gaming app. This allows for alt-tabbing without potentially crashing the game.

    ===Can I still play online===

    Yes, thanks to the incredible work of some community modders.  While the game servers officially went offline years ago, you can make use of the Project Paradise mod for TDU.  This includes a Launcher with various parameters and a d3d9.dll file which should be saved in the same folder as your game executable.  Please follow the installation instructions included with this mod.   If you begin a new savegame profile, you will need to complete a tutorial before you can play online.  This includes renting a car, buying a house, buying a car, completing a race, and entering your house.  When you leave your house you will be able to free-ride with other players.  Some multiplayer aspects of the game, such as Online Races and Clubs will not work.

    ===How do I find a specific vehicle that I want to purchase===

    Explore the island of O'ahu in free-ride and look for dealerships.  As you discover them, they will appear on your map allowing you to fast travel to them later.

    ===How do I enter the race track at the southern-central part of the map===

    This can be unlocked by reaching a certain level of the game (before Champion) by completing achievements.  You can view your achievement progress from inside one of your houses.

    ===I see other players in the airport or in other fenced-off locations.  How do I get in there===

    Firstly, you must reach the 'Champion' level in the game by completing various achievements.  When you reach this level you unlock Hardcore Mode.  You can switch to Hardcore Mode via the main menu after selecting your savegame.  This mode attempts to offer more simulation-style handling and physics but has the side effect of 'moon gravity'.  You can drive into certain plants/gardens at high speed to jump over various fences.   Or you wheelie a motorcycle as you crash into a friend parked in front of a fence with a low, ramp-like bonnet.  Once you enter a fenced-off area, pause the game and save a Bookmark.  You can teleport to your Bookmarked locations from the map.

    ===How do I level up.. What is required for Ace rank===

    Check your rank progress when you're in your house. It's under the info tab. Leveling your rank is all about completing specific tasks. You have to gold cup all the missions, buy 15 houses, buy 50 cars, buy 3 cars of certain brands, buy clothes, drive the whole map, and log 5k miles to reach Ace.

    Multiplayer tasks have been modded out, so you'll reach 100% completion and Ace rank if you just complete all the singleplayer tasks.

    Everything should be buyable without having to grind missions if you buy cheap tuners for the races, and cheap houses and cheap cars to fulfill the progress requirements for Ace rank. Afterwards, you can just sell all the filler cars and clean out your garage.

    ===How do I use the G-Meter===

    Use hardcore mode then press Ctrl+G

    ===How do I deal with people I do not want to drive with===

    There is an ignore option. You have to go into the auxiliary menus while in the car. The options are Radio, Chronopack, Driving Aid, and Free-Ride Players. Go to Free-Ride Players and invite everyone you want into the group. When they're all linked to the group, select ISOLATE. When ISOLATE is selected, the people who aren't in the group disappear after a few moments.

    Note this only works in a group of 2 or more people. If you are alone, then map out to somewhere else or pause until that person leaves.

    ===How to adjust car handling===

    Remember to set your steering sensitivity in Options. It can be the difference between a nice feeling car and a car that handles like poop. The ideal is to make it responsive yet also smooth and stable.

    ===How do I drift===

    Use hardcore mode, no assist, manual.

    ===How do I sell cars===

    You can go to your house, into "Trade", sell car or sell bikes, and direct sell it for half-price. 

    Or you must fill up all your house slots with cars. When you try to purchase a new car at a dealership, the option to sell your car will pop up. At this time you can select multiple cars to sell if you want.

    ===The car I want to sell isn't on the list of cars to sell===

    Sometimes when you want to sell a car, its not there on the list. You have to go back to your house garage and move that car to a different house. Now when you go back to the dealership, it should show up as sell-able.


    ===Official User Guide===

    Click to download the official TDU1 User Guide for PC in English: Manual GB.pdf


    ===Official Walkthrough Videos===


    ==Issues and Troubleshooting==

    ===How to set up a DS4 Pad (and CALIBRATE PEDAL TRAVEL)===

    Using DS4 Windows, bind the L2/R2 triggers to "right stick right" and "right stick up" to give them recognizable analog functionality for TDU. In TDU game options, set the triggers to brake/accel accordingly. They should show up as "right analog stick" bindings.

    Also there is a general issue with DS4 triggers not having full analog travel. Firstly, unlock TDU Hardcore mode (by achieving Champion rank), then open the in-game telemetry by pressing Ctrl+G. Use this to confirm whether or not the analog inputs are reaching full pedal travel. If not, then you need to recalibrate the triggers at the Windows OS level. Follow the guide for the DIview app here. Its a simple and one-time process:


    ===I accidentally selected NEW GAME and my save file got deleted===

    Go into your Documents folder to "Test Drive Unlimited", and right click on the "Savegame" folder. In its properties, click on "Restore previous versions" and pick a date from before the save got wiped.

    If it worked, breathe a sigh of relief and go make a backup copy on a separate drive.

    ===I am unable to start the car engine or move anywhere in free-ride===

    Check your game control options - you might have a button mapped to 'Engine Start'

    ===I am having problems using the game with my Logitech G27 steering wheel===

    There is a mod available for that:


    ===Gameplay Performance Improvement Tips===

    1.  If you are suffering from poor performance, you might want to disable the HDR feature that can be accessed by accessing Options>Video in the game. The game world might not look as beautiful as with HDR enabled, but it should run at a smoother rate for you to enjoy the game.

    2.  You also may want to disable the Anti-Aliasing feature as this will lighten the load on your video card and your CPU a lot.

    3.  You may also reduce the resolution, and/or use the level of detail slider in video options.

    4.  Rename Particles.bnk in Euro\Bnk\Fx to disable various fx (smoke, sparks, etc.)

    5. Use the the 4GB executables provided in the TDU Platinium's lastest patch.

    ===Configure Your Firewall or Router for Internet Play: Port Forwarding===

    When you play on a system that is behind a firewall or proxy, certain ports may need to be opened to connect to multiplayer games. (Note: Doing this may also resolve issues with lagging players.)

    You must be able to access these external ports:

    UDP 8880->8889
    UDP 8890
    UDP 27000->30000
    TCP 6667
    TCP 27000->30000

    You have to open the following local port: TCP8889

    Ports 17475 and 9961 (TCP/UDP) must be opened.

    If you are unfamiliar with port forwarding, search for basic guides on how to do so. Generally, you just have to access your router and/or firewall's settings and manually add permissions for the ports listed above.

    ===Multi-Core Processor Support (addressing framerate loss)===

    With the release of multi-core processors, some titles that were designed for single-core processors are having issues. These issues can manifest as the following:

    - Choppy and/or stuttering performance, sometimes manifesting as random pausing, during gameplay.

    - Gameplay performing at hyper speeds making it impossible to play.

    These issues are being caused due to the timestamp counter not always being read correctly (more specifically, different timestamp counters in the system may contain different values) by the game.

    To prevent this, you can try setting what is called the thread affinity for your game. To do this please do the following:

    1.  Start your game.

    2.  Once you have reached the main menu press ALT+TAB (press and hold the ALT key while pressing the TAB key) which should then minimize your game to a window on your taskbar.

    3.  Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE to bring up your Windows Task Manager.

    4.  Click the tab 'Details' and locate the executable file for your game. Typically this will be named after the game you are running.

    5.  Select the application by moving your mouse pointer and pressing your right-mouse button.

    6. This should then bring up a menu and select 'Set Affinity'. From this window make sure that only CPU 0 is selected and no others and click 'OK'.

    7.  Once this is completed press ALT+TAB to return to your game. Should your game crash during this process your settings will still be saved and you should be able to re-launch the game without an issue.

    ===I'm having alt-tabbing issues: the screen goes black===

    Use Borderless Gaming, set the in-game display to windowed mode, and it will become fullscreen and alt-tabbable without crashing.

    ===Playing the game in windowed mode (using BorderlessGaming app) lowers the games brightness and it cannot be adjusted in-game.===

    There are a couple of options here, and they both involve using an overlay to set a custom color profile for TDU.

    The first option is to use the TDU Reshade file located here at Turboduck to readjust the brightness back.

    However if you experience performance issues with the reshade, or if you would prefer a lower-spec approach, then try using your video card's overlay app to make the color profile:

    for Nvidia users: Geforce Experience (Alt+F3) > Contrast / Brightness
    for AMD users: Radeon Overlay (Alt+R) > Display Settings > Color

    ===Anti-aliasing is not working properly, or lowers the framerate===

    Try forcing it in Nvidia control panel if its not working in-game. Borderless Gaming might cause this issue. Also, its been said that forcing AA in Nvidia control may have better quality and use less resources than in-game AA, particuarly in the case of older games.

    Another option is to use the tdu reshade and use its AA setting as well.

    ===My gamepad isn't working properly===

    For DS4 controllers, a workaround to get fully functional analog triggers is to use DS4windows and map the right stick x and y axis to the L2/R2 triggers. This is the quick and easy solution. The following solution is better because its native, but its hit and miss, and also not very easy to set.

    The DS4 triggers actually count as both analog and digital buttons. In most games which lack DS4 support, when you set the triggers they will show up as Button 7/8 instead of an axis. Sometimes its possible to bind them as analog if you hold the trigger halfway and then select to bind it in the game options. This general method is hit or miss depending on the game, and may take a lot of tries to get the axis to show up.. but it is a possible solution. (As for TDU, this has yet to be tested, but I'm posting this info here anyway for the time being.)

    NOTE: In regards to DS4windows, newer builds may not run, but older Jays2Kings versions might work for you (ex. Version 1.4.52). More info here and here.

    ===I cannot connect to my friend online===

    Try meeting up and waiting somewhere remote on the map to increase your chances of being in the same session. And sometimes if someone just won't show up, try rebooting the game. If this problem is persistent, refer to the Port Forwarding section in this FAQ.

    ===How can I join a club in-game===

    Online features are not working in Project Paradise, only free roam.

    ===d3d9.dll keeps getting removed from my system===

    When installing Project Paradise, be sure to deactivate any realtime antivirus function. It may be detect the d3d9 files as a virus and immediately delete them. You can go to the quarantine area in your antivirus software, make an exclusion for them, and restore them.

    Also, any overlay display may create issues with d3d9 injections. Try closing them. Or, if you have MSI Afterburner running, go to "Riva Tuner" (it's in your bar next to the clock while MSI Afterburner is running). There's an option in there called "Custom Direct3D Support", see if it works after enabling it.

    ===My game keep crashing while connecting to TestDrive server===

    1.) Set your textdriveunlimited.exe to "Run this program as Administrator", and/or set game compatability to WinXP/Vista.

    2.) Try repairing your redist versions: Visual C++ 2015-2019, both x64 and x86

    3.) You can use a VPN to bypass the Connecting to TestDrive server screen. Once it loads to main menu, you can exit and remove the VPN then boot the game again.

    For a free VPN, consider a free-trial service like TunnelBear. Apparently it doesn't require much info to set up an account.

    4.) Also, check to make sure V-sync is enabled on the Paradise Launcher. Its been reported that uncapped framerates can also cause an inability to connect to the server.

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