Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown gets new exploration gameplay

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown

Publisher Nacon and developer TK Racing shared a new trailer for Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown alongside new gameplay details.

Here’s a rundown on new details for the game, plus a new trailer:


In the latest trailer, “The Explorer”, you are taken off the beaten track and shown the world you can endlessly explore on Hong Kong Island. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a heavy-duty Ford Raptor F-150, which is designed for rougher roads; the legendary 1980s off-road Lancia Delta Integrale; or even the Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo, which combines performance and the latest technology, you’ll feel like you’re driving around a picture-perfect postcard.

From beaches to forests to mountains, Hong Kong Island has as many different landscapes to explore as it has treasures to find. Alone or with friends, you can set out to find nearly 300 items (collectibles), including rewards like Solar Coins, Reputation, clan Influence, and special objects. You should also pay attention to the wreck radar, which alerts you when a recoverable car part is nearby. Collect them all to assemble two exclusive cars. You can only add these two cars once you’ve found all the parts, which are scattered around the island. As well as the fun of discovering unique landscapes rarely seen in racing games, exploration also offers valuable rewards for your in-game progression.

The more observant among you will have noticed the absence of particle effects, especially dust and splashes on gravel roads. We’re still working on integrating and optimizing these effects. It’s an important element of off-road immersion but also resource- and performance-intensive. Our current development goal for this is to find the best balance between particle effects and performance while ensuring smooth gameplay remains a priority. Although we can display long dust trails like in the WRC games with the KT Engine, the scale of Hong Kong Island and the resources required to display other players and the detailed environments means it’s much more of a challenge in TDUSC.


Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown wants to bring car enthusiasts together for a social and lifestyle experience that goes beyond the game. The vision is that a love of cars is a shared passion: between friends, family, colleagues, and other enthusiasts.

In TDUSC, this shared passion can be experienced in different ways: cruising, exploring, racing, etc. While driving, you always have other players around you, which creates a living, breathing city. In TDU, this love of cars is also experienced in the social aspect of dealerships and workshops where you can chat about your next purchase, the car of your dreams, and how you’re going to customize or upgrade it.

The Solar Hotel (see Solar Club Letter #3) and clan HQs were also created as living areas and meeting places. For various reasons, these social features require an infrastructure that is constantly connected to online databases: leaderboards, races, inventories, moderation, live events, anti-cheat measures, and the overall game experience. An internet connection is therefore required to play TDUSC.


Most of TDU’s gameplay has been implemented and is currently being finalized. But there are lots of big challenges that the development team is working on. To give you some idea of the work involved, it needed over three years to create Hong Kong Island at 1:1 scale
and its road network, and to include all the details in off-road areas and the island’s hidden corners. As another example, fully integrating a car model with TDU-quality level of detail can take up to four months.

This includes detailed modelling to meet manufacturer requirements, adding details for maximum immersion while driving (including interior lighting with some models), unique animations (such as reclining roofs for cabriolets), physics for every road surface, engine sounds, upgrades… It’s a huge amount of work to provide the most enjoyable and authentic game possible. Each car model is evaluated and tested multiple times to ensure each car provides specific sensations and a unique driving experience.

We have made significant progress in recent months, especially because of your participation and feedback/suggestions in response to our communications (TDU Connect, trailers, Solar Club Letters, Discord discussions and on our social media channels in general). We have been conducting more tests to test the power and stability of servers so that we can gradually reflect real-world launch conditions. Server infrastructure for an MMO like TDUSC is a major challenge. Hundreds of thousands of players are expected, and we are working hard to mitigate risks associated with technical problems.

We also know that you want a launch date, and we understand your eagerness. We share your eagerness. Although a launch date has been considered several times, we want to take the time needed to ensure that your experience of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is as smooth, stable and fun as can be. Many of you have already pointed this out to us: take the time to release a game that matches your expectations. That’s why we’re working flat out on several aspects, including the stability of the server infrastructure and optimizing the game’s performance. When we feel like these two areas are stable, we’ll be delighted to share the long-awaited launch date with you, then cross the finish line and start our long adventure together.

In the meantime, more test phases will be started soon, including Closed Playtest 3, which will be bigger in scope and in larger territories.

We hope this letter clarifies the current status of TDUSC for you and what the next major steps are. Players, creators, enthusiasts and our teams are closely monitoring your discussions, videos, analyses and other thoughts on all our social media channels. Although we can’t always answer, all your reactions are incredibly valuable, and we make sure we focus on them during development of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is launching sometime in 2024 across Windows PC (via Steam), Xbox Series X|S, and PS5.

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry.

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