NASCAR Rivals Gameplay Trailer reveals further details

Justin Melillo

As promised, the NASCAR Rivals Gameplay Trailer released on Wednesday (24th August) with a better look at what’s in store for the upcoming Nintendo Switch title from Motorsport Games.

The minute-long video showcases a few of the game modes that will be a part of this year’s game. Those modes include Challenge Mode, Online Multiplayer, Split-Screen Multiplayer and the customization area for Paint Booth and Character Creator.

Also, the video confirms some of the tracks and roster of teams, drivers and paint schemes that we’ll see when the title launches on 14th October.


A brief view of the Challenge Mode shows eight of the challenges that will be playable. Some of the challengers aren’t matching the challenges, hopefully those are fixed.

For example, the first challenge seems to be a Kyle Larson challenge but it invokes Chase Elliott as the one that the challenge is about, and in the fourth, it is really a Martin Truex Jr challenge but Denny Hamlin is pictured.

Events from recent NASCAR history are portrayed here, such as Hendrick Motorsports’ 269th NASCAR Cup Series victory, the Denny Hamlin versus Alex Bowman Martinsville race, Aric Almirola’s win at New Hampshire for a race that was called early due to darkness, and of course, the Phoenix Raceway Championship 4 event which was eventually won by Kyle Larson.

NASCAR Rivals for Nintendo Switch releases on 14th October

The completed challenges come with a Challenge Rating, likely dependent on how fast the challenge is completed. Also on that screen it looks like the Pocono race where Alex Bowman won following a Kyle Larson tire failure will also be a challenge, likely the fifth one titled “it’s not over until the stripe”.

These challenges, of course, could be subject to change or update before the release. Also, it seems from the challenges shown off so far that they will be related to events that have happened in the 2021 season.

20 are shown to come in the pack, and possibly more could come similarly like they did in NASCAR Heat 5 in future challenge packs. It is unclear if there will be any sort of reward for completing these challenges. It would be fun to reintroduce something like the Thunder Plates were in the NASCAR Thunder series, but if it’s based on Heat, that’s a big doubt.


NASCAR Rivals for Nintendo Switch releases on 14th October

There isn’t much shown off in the online multiplayer part of the video, but I might speculate on one piece. We already know that online multiplayer lobbies will be limited by the Nintendo Online systems at 16 players. However, the video clips shown definitely have more than 16 cars on the various tracks.

We also know that the lobbies will be similar to the NASCAR Heat 5 lobbies, and in those you could customize settings such as having AI drivers on the track. Again, this is all speculative, but that looks to be the case in the online portion.

Of course, it’s almost definitely something you’ll have in local split-screen. We’ve seen plenty of pictures of the split-screen players racing around other cars besides their own. I can’t imagine having a two-player mode and only having two cars on the track.


Players of NASCAR 21: Ignition may recognize the Paint Booth in NASCAR Rivals. Also, check it, a Traxion.GG logo on the side of the custom No. 59 NASCAR Rivals scheme painted for the trailer.

The more custom-friendly livery creation tool that allows players the ability to place logos, shapes, and other objects all over the car moves over to the Switch game in 2022, bringing arguably the best aspect of the 2021 console release over to 2022.

Something that WASN’T in NASCAR 21: Ignition, however, that was in previous Heat games, was a character customization area. The Character Creator looks to be just like the one that was in Heat 5 but with the user interface of the new game, which mind you, is also based on the aesthetic of Ignition.

Also worth noting, we haven’t seen any driver’s faces included, and the only shot I could find of any real-world driver in the game besides the created character had their helmet on.


Watching the trailer in slow motion, one can definitely pick out some of the finer details of what’s included in the upcoming title.

We did confirm with the developer the tracks that would be in the title would be all the 2022 tracks minus the LA Clash track. The trailer shows off places like Auto Club Speedway, the Bristol Dirt Track and the new Atlanta Motor Speedway repave, all new tracks to the title.

We also get brief looks at Bristol without the dirt, Richmond, Daytona, Sonoma, Talladega, Circuit of the Americas, Pocono, Martinsville, Charlotte, Darlington, Las Vegas and Watkins Glen. Tracks that weren’t shown but should be there besides WWT Raceway include Charlotte’s Roval, Dover, Homestead, the Indy Road Course, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nashville, Phoenix, Road America and Texas.

As far as teams, cars, drivers, that sort of deal, we can make out some of the questionable teams and drivers that we weren’t sure about. It is expected that all 36 NASCAR Cup Series chartered teams will be included, pending they all get their licensing in order. The trailer thankfully showcases some non-chartered entries, as well as answers to some of the cars that field multiple drivers.

Of the non-chartered teams, we get to see the No. 27 Team Hezeberg Ford, driven by Loris Hezemans, the No. 44 NY Racing Team Chevy driven by Greg Biffle, the No. 55 MBM Motorsports Ford of JJ Yeley and the No. 66 MBM Motorsports Ford of Timmy Hill. That should mean that all races will have a full field of drivers whether you race a custom scheme or not.

It looks as though the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford will have David Ragan and Garrett Smithley while the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevy will have Daniel Hemric and AJ Allmendinger. The No. 77 Spire Motorsports will definitely have Josh Bilicki, as apparent in screenshots on the NASCAR Rivals website, but there’s no indication of any others that have driven that car this season such as Landon Cassill or Justin Allgaier.


Cover drivers unveiled for upcoming Switch title NASCAR Rivals

NASCAR Rivals will release exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on 14th October 2022. It retails for $49.99 and will be sold both physically and digitally. Pre-Orders are up now through Nintendo directly or through Amazon, Best Buy or Walmart.

Full disclosure – Traxion.GG is part of Motorsport Games and the Motorsport Games family of brands. All Traxion.GG content is editorially removed from Motorsport Games video game development and created by a dedicated team.

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