What is the best way to change gear using clutch?

Hello all,

I am just starting to try manual gearbox with clutch, and I would like the hear the opinion of the community on what is the best (fastest?) way to change gear using the clutch.
Shall the accelerator be fully (or partially) released before and re-engaged after?
Shall the clutch and gear up/down buttons pressed simultaneously, or one after the other?
What is (according to you…) the best layout of the clutch and gear up/down buttons on the keypad?

Thank you!


The button layout is a personal preference. I have “A” for clutch, “B” shift up and “X” shift down. Just mash the clutch and shift button at the same time. There’s a very shiny spot on my controller between my A and B buttons already. lol

The ideal shift point varies from car to car and depending on which parts are added.

Don’t let off the throttle while shifting.

I suggest you try drag racing a high powered RWD car in free play. You will quickly see how much time is gained or lost from not getting the right shift points.

I don’t mash the buttons. I do a heel-toe thing with my thumb. It’s a quick movement to clutch and upshift and downshift. I blip the throttle too on ever downshift.

You’re correct that upshifting with letting off the gas is faster. I only let off the gas in high hp cars in sections where I know the wheel spin from shifting would be a pain to control, like when I attempt to run no TCS on a S class speed tuned birdcage.

What about downshifting? I’ve seen people just downshift without using any clutch.

The first two responses you had were both accurate (moving the clutch to the A button). It allows you to heel toe or mash the clutch and shift button together. I mash them together as well and I do not let off the gas between shifts. I would cry if I did that to my real car and blew the engine but this is a video game so I guess that makes it ok.

Downshifting has a little more depth to it. Depending on the car and your Acel and Decel numbers, you can downshift without using the clutch, however there can be some negative effects to that. If you downshift too fast or too many times it can pitch you car sideways. The cleanest way is to downshift again with the clutch so you have the smoothest transition and it seems to help with engine braking if you downshift correctly.

and sometimes the answer to the question is sometimes… :slight_smile:

I stopped trying to use manual with clutch because of the down shifting. It would downshift perfectly 4/5 times but there would usually be 1 point a lap where i would shift down to be in the right gear usually into 2nd and the car would violently kick out. thought it might have just been a decel setting off but even at 0 it was doing it. It felt the same as if you had too much rear brake bias which I thought should only happen if you downshift into too low of a gear but it would be under powered if I didn’t downshift. Granted with perfect rev matching it might not show up but the one time I’m not perfect I’m sideways into the dirt. I race in S class and without TCS so in lower classes or with TCS it might be fine.

I clutch every time. Just have to blip throttle when you do to rev match. I remember the few times I didn’t clutch down in FM4 and the car felt weird. Not sure what the car does in FM5 when you don’t clutch.

I use A for clutch but LB & RB for the gear shifts. I have small(ish) fingers so X & B felt awkward.

So in acceleration, my right index finger is on the throttle so LB to upshift (braking finger).

In deceleration, my left index finger in on the brake no RB to downshift (throttle finger).

I sometimes do let off during upshift but there really is no point since it just slows you down. I wish I could blip the throttle during downshift but my right index is already on RB for downshift so I’m out of fingers.

How do I get it so A is clutch and LB and RB for shifting??

It depends on the car and modifications. If you have a racing transmission, you can upshift flat out. On the standard transmissions I would lift just slightly. Downshifting on the other hand I wouldn’t bother using the throttle to try to heel-toe. Just downshift the split second after you get on the brakes, the engine braking will help slow you down.

On the upshift it is slightly quicker to lift when you shift but only if done right and quick enough but its such a little gain to what you stand to loose its easier to keep it flat on power. Unless in a high power car as said above. I personally lift on upshifts most of the time. To see the gains from lifting try drag racing which is where I found 100s of a sec,

I use A for clutch as well and do “heel toe” for shifting. I did a video demonstration of it.

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I don’t “heel toe” like other users in this thread do, because my controller setup makes it impossible. I use the left trigger as the clutch and bumpers for up and down. I downshift while I’m braking before I corner, thus using the engine to assist in breaking alot of the time. But it also helps when I experience excessive understeer, to downshift and provide some much needed oversteer without having to pull the handbrake; for me I find that method more stable.