How to Increase Sport Mode Ratings in Gran Turismo 7

Image credit: Polyphony Digital

Sport Mode makes its return in Gran Turismo 7 from Gran Turismo Sport as the sort of ranked matchmaking of the game. In Sport Mode, you are thrown in with random racers from around your region and you duke it out in daily races.

With the return of Sport Mode comes the Sport Mode Ratings which is the system that Gran Turismo Sport used to determine which racers you would race against to hopefully give a fair competition to all those that are competing. Gran Turismo 7 will be using the same system, albeit with several tweaks from Gran Turismo Sport.

As such, we would like to increase these ratings so that we can enjoy better races since as you rank up through these ratings, you will be pitted against better drivers (hence making you a better driver as well) as well as fewer racers that prefer to take you out than overtake you fairly (in the racing game genre, we refer to these people as “rammers”).

In this guide, we will be looking at the several ways you can increase both your Sport Mode Ratings as well as how to avoid getting penalized and having your ratings take a plunge, relegating you to a worse online racing experience.

What Are Sport Mode Ratings?

Sport Mode Ratings are the ratings that will be used in order for the matchmaking system to pair you up with similarly-skilled drivers from around your region. The ratings are also used to separate the clean drivers from the dirty drivers.

If you have played Gran Turismo Sport before, Gran Turismo 7 will actually be using your previous rating from Gran Turismo Sport. Whatever your ratings were in Gran Turismo Sport by February 16, 2022, that will be your rating in Gran Turismo 7.

Sport Mode Ratings are also tied to your PlayStation Network account so if you want a reset of your ratings, you will have to create a new PlayStation Network account.

Sport Mode Ratings are divided into two ratings, namely the Driver Rating and the Sportsmanship Rating. Below are guides that will help you in understanding both these ratings and the parameters on how they work.

Driver Rating

Your Driver Rating (DR for short) is basically your skill rating. This rating determines how good your opponents will be through matchmaking. As such, the higher this rating is, the better the competition will be.

There are 7 tiers to the Driver Rating, namely: E, D, C, B, A, A+, and S. All new Gran Turismo 7 drivers will start with an E rating and they can go all the way up to A+. The S rating is reserved for Star Players. Star Players are basically the best of the best within their region, mostly those who compete in the Gran Turismo Championships.

In order for you to gain the S rating, you will need to be at least top 200 within your region or top 10 within your country. Since this is a more casual-friendly guide (and if you are gunning for the S rating, what are you even doing here?), we will be skipping that and will be focusing on the other Driver Ratings.

How to Increase Your Driver Rating

There really is only one way to increase your Driver Rating, and that is to do well in your Sport Mode races. Winning or placing high in the grid after a race is a great way to increase your Driver Rating. The more drivers there are in a race, the more your Driver Rating increases if you place highly.

For example, if there are 20 racers in a race, you will want to finish 10th or higher as you effectively beat out half of the grid and this registers as a net positive towards the Driver Rating system.

Take note however that your Driver Rating is directly locked with your Sportsmanship Rating. This means that if your Sportsmanship Rating is in B, your Driver Rating can only go as high as a B despite doing really well.

This system encourages drivers to race as cleanly and as fairly as possible in conjunction with their racecraft. A slow but safe driver will always be better than a recklessly quick driver on a race track.

What Decreases Your Driver Rating?

While there is really only one way to move your Driver Ratings up, there are several ways in which your Driver Rating can take a tumble. Below will be a list of things you would want to avoid as they will decrease your Driver Rating.

1. Placing Below Half of the Grid

The opposite of doing good in your Sports Mode races. Placing below half of the grid will have your Driver Rating taking a hit.

For example, if there are 16 racers in the grid, if you place 9th, this will negatively affect your Driver Rating as this is presented as a net loss in the Driver Rating system.

2. Quitting or Disconnecting From a Race

Like most competitive online multiplayer games, quitting from a race will negatively affect your Driver Rating.

In the case of Gran Turismo 7, quitting from a race places you as DNF (Did Not Finish) in the race’s standings and places you last on the grid. The system then treats this as your position in that race and deducts your Driver Rating accordingly.

Unfortunately, those with poor internet connectivity also fall into this category as any kind of disconnection from a race is treated as a quit so make sure your internet is stable before diving deep into Sport Mode to avoid being relegated down to a lower rating than you would like.

3. Sportsmanship Rating

As stated above, your Sportsmanship Rating is codependent on the rise of your Driver Rating. In turn, if your Sportsmanship Rating drops a ranking, so too will your Driver Rating.

For example, you are a B/B rated driver and you finish first in a race of 20 drivers but you shunted off racers on your fight to that first place. This drops your Sportsmanship Rating down to a C. Your Driver Rating is then relegated down to a C as well as you did not win that race fairly.

Remember, racing cleanly and fairly is just as important as your skill, so drive within your limits and respect the other racers.

Sportsmanship Rating

On the other end of the spectrum, the Sportsmanship Rating (SR for short) is the rating that determines how safely and cleanly you race against other drivers. This rating is also the ceiling to your Driver Rating.

As stated above, your Driver Rating cannot go beyond your Sportsmanship Rating as to ensure clean and fair racing as the skill level goes up. In a way, this system teaches the fundamentals of racing in its simplest form.

Like the Driver Rating, Sportsmanship Rating is also divided into tiers, but this time only 6, namely: E, D, C, B, A, and S. New drivers to Gran Turismo 7 will start with a Sportsmanship Rating of B. Unlike the Driver Rating, getting an S rating in Sportsmanship Rating is far more accessible as it encourages every driver to strive for it.

How to Increase Your Sportsmanship Rating

Like your Driver Rating, there really is only one way to increase your Sportsmanship Rating, and that is to race as cleanly as possible. What this means is you basically need to have as little contact as possible with the other drivers and respect the track limits at all times.

You will know if you are increasing your Sportsmanship Rating throughout the race when a green arrow pointing upwards with the letters “SR” on it appears on your screen. This arrow appears after every sector of the track as it tracks your actions per sector.

You will also know after the race if you increased your Sportsmanship Rating overall if your Sportsmanship Rating is highlighted blue. If your Sportsmanship Rating is just plain white, then there is no change to your Sportsmanship Rating.

What Decreases Your Sportsmanship Rating?

While there is really only one way to move your Sportsmanship Rating up, there are several ways in which your Sportsmanship Rating can take a tumble. Below will be a list of things you would want to avoid while you race as they will decrease your Sportsmanship Rating.

You will know if your actions within a sector are harming your Sportsmanship Rating if you receive an orange arrow pointing downward. Unsportsmanlike conduct also almost always is compounded with a time penalty to be served within the race or added to your race time if you got the penalty after a penalty zone in the last lap.

Repeating these offenses within a race may also lead to the game kicking you out of the race and your Sportsmanship Rating taking a huge hit, leading to a Driver Rating hit as well.

You will also know after the race if you increased your Sportsmanship Rating overall if your Sportsmanship Rating is highlighted red. If your Sportsmanship Rating is just plain white, then there is no change to your Sportsmanship Rating.

1. Making Contact with Other Drivers

The most common way to decrease your Sportsmanship Rating is by making contact with other drivers during the race. Although small taps may or may not register as a decrease in Sportsmanship Rating, obvious shunts and rams to other drivers are given huge penalties.

A good practice is to always respect each driver’s racing line and know when to yield or attack so as to avoid unnecessary contact. Situational awareness is also a key skill to have as knowing where your opponents are on the track avoids sudden sideswipes from you.

Additionally, you can use the radar on the bottom right of your UI as a means to detect where other racers are within your vicinity. Proximity sensors are also available on the middle part of the UI, telling you if a car is approaching from either your left or right side.

2. Unsafe Defending from Other Drivers

Defending from other racers is a normal part of racing, however, doing it in an unsafe and reckless way can lead to penalties and Sportsmanship Rating drops. Unsafe defending includes actions such as brake checking, swerving, and pushing another driver off the track.

Brake checking is the act of braking in an otherwise high-speed part of the track to catch a driver behind you off their guard. This leads to them ramming into you or taking evasive action and them losing time.

Swerving on the other hand is when you are in a straight line and a racer behind you is catching up. You then veer across the track to break their slipstream and continue to do this multiple times. Although this is not detected by the penalty system, this is generally frowned upon in professional racing, and that includes Gran Turismo 7.

Lastly, there is pushing another driver off the track. When racing wheel to wheel, you must always respect the racing line of the driver alongside you and leave him space so that there is no contact. This is especially true if the driver in question is already ahead of you in a corner. You must always leave the space!

3. Disregarding Track Limits

Track limits are basically limits of which your car needs to be within the track. These are usually highlighted by a solid line, kerbs, walls, or barriers placed along the edge of the track. Going over these limits usually results in time penalties as well as the racer violating these limits receiving a reprimand on their Sportsmanship Rating.

These track limits extend to pit lanes as well. When entering a pit lane, you must always be within the lines or track leading into the pit lane. Last-minute entries into the pit lane will also result in time penalties, and of course, a hit to the Sportsmanship Rating.

The same goes for when you exit the pit lane. You must stay within the pit lane exit before rejoining the track to ensure fair racing is upheld and that you rejoin the track as safely as possible to avoid collisions.

By disregarding track limits, you either take an unfair advantage as you are either cutting the track or passing somewhere that is not part of the racing track.

4. Hitting the Wall or Barriers

Similar to disregarding track limits, tracks that are surrounded by walls or barriers and hitting them may lead to your Sportsmanship Rating taking a hit. Usually, for these tracks, it is because of a term called wall-riding.

Wall-riding is a term used for drivers who purposefully hit the wall in order to either slow down before a heavy braking zone, or they ride the wall so to speak in order for them to go full-throttle throughout the corner with minimal slowdown.

5. Ignoring Yellow Flags

Yellow Flags are a way for the track marshalls to signal to oncoming drivers that there is a hazard on the road and that they should be careful. Drivers should also slow down and not overtake any car still on the track for the safety of other racers and those that were taken out of the track.

Ignoring these Yellow Flags will not only incur a hefty time penalty, but it will also give you a hit to your Sportsmanship Rating as speeding through an area of the track with a hazard is not only dangerous for the driver that has spun off or had an accident, but it is also dangerous for you as you might just drive head-on towards the stricken cars causing even more pile-ups.

6. Quitting or Disconnecting from a Race

Similar to Driver Ratings taking a hit when quitting or disconnecting from a race, your Sportsmanship Rating will also decrease when you quit or disconnect from a race.

In the case of the Sportsmanship Rating, quitting from a race is not a good way to show sportsmanship as we must be graceful in defeat. It is totally possible to still gain Sportsmanship Rating while losing Driver Rating so never quit and just learn from the race.

Unfortunately, those with poor internet connectivity also fall into this category as any kind of disconnection from a race is treated as a quit so make sure your internet is stable before diving deep into Sport Mode to avoid being relegated down to a lower rating than you would have.

Final Thoughts

With the return of Sport Mode, online competitive racing will once again take the forefront for most of Gran Turismo 7’s players looking to compete to be the very best. In turn, we should also remember to respect everyone on the track as it only increases both the enjoyment as well as the competitive nature of everyone involved.

Good races will always be races that are wheel to wheel, but the best of them will have almost no contact and utter respect for each other’s space on the track leading to a fantastic battle between two racers.

As the Sport Mode Ratings imply, you can be the fastest driver around, but if you drive like an idiot with no sense of sportsmanship, then you are no better than an amateur.

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