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Destiny SRL 2016 - Sparrow Racing gear and loot drops, racing tips for each course

How to get the most from the return of Sparrow Racing League.

The Destiny SRL event returns after a successful debut in 2015. While taking centre stage in last year's holiday festivities, Sparrow Racing League is now one of many events in The Dawning for Destiny in 2016 - but it has plenty of additions of its own.

There's two new Sparrow Racing League courses and the return of familiar layouts, with new quests, record book and gear to unlock, and best of all, it'll be playable in Private Matches once The Dawning ends on January 3.

If you're interested in other activities from The Dawning, you can get unlock new Nova Mortis and Abbadon machine guns and Icebreaker Exotics, hidden Sparrow Lysander's Cry, as well as complete milestones in the Competitive Spirit book.

Destiny SRL 2016: Sparrow Racing League courses

You'll be racing in courses old and new in SRL 2016, and learning the best routes and many obstacles is key to getting into higher positions. Here is a look at each course and our advice for specific sections, while the end of this article has additional racing tips:

Haakon Precipice, Earth

This new track is set in the Plaguelands, and is arguably the simplest of all SRL tracks we've seen to date.

  • After the first three of so gates, make sure you take a hard right inside on the following corner.
  • Throughout the race the track will split into left and right paths - always go the left path, which seems to be faster.
  • In the second half of the race you'll come up against a series of rotating platforms. Like the turbines on the Mars track, these take some practice getting use to; decide exactly where to go long in advance to give you plenty of room so you don't crash and burn.
  • In the final stretch through the forest, there is a long thin platform that rises up you can take. Don't - doing so seems to slow you down, and you miss a gate underneath.

Shining Sands, Mercury

This new course is best known for its overlapping jumps at the end, and has a lot of 90 degree turns throughout - such as at the end of the opening long corner and before the speed boosts at the end - so use sideways boosts (by clicking in the sticks) to cut through the inside of these corners faster.

  • Before the first tunnel is a large desert area with enemies and broken columns; at the start, you can cut left by hitting the opening gate at an angle then going through a gap in the wall to save a bit of time.
  • After the first tunnel with the moving red blocks is one of the toughest parts of the track - a wide corner with a few gaps in the platforms. We're recommend taking the very inside or outside edge, weaving around the columns, to avoid these pitfalls and to allow you to hit the gates on the way round.
  • With the jump pads at the end of the course, this is a great way to get some easy tricks in, as well as the last jump before the finish line.

Campus Martius, Mars

This Year 1 Mars course is best known for its final third, with a large boost jump followed by a series of turbines and a field of enemies, but the trickiest moments are in the opening half of the course.

  • After you emerge from the opening left corner, the route splits up and left, or below under a cavern, left and around; the latter is quicker, and to come out strong, bank hard right so you hit the gate at an angle and lead straight into the following jump, which you can trick from.
  • At the end of the first half of the course there is a sharp hairpin burn through a cavern, followed by a small jump up some steps with a thin column in the middle. This is the toughest part of the race by far, as you can hit this column or the subsequent one on the wide bend and lose a lot of time. The optimal way to take this is to go right of the first column, then take the gate an angle so you can cut inside of the following corner.
  • When it comes to the turbines, for the first two position your Sparrow to aim at a spoke, which you should miss by the time you pass it. But since the third and final one is much closer, then make sure you aim your ship well away.

Infinite Descent, Venus

This debuted in SRL's first year, and is best characterised for being a seemingly linear track with a huge waterfall drop that loops round with a transporter at the very end.

  • After the opening split (left or right doesn't make a massive difference here) is an S-bend with gates. This requires a careful racing line to hit them all without losing much ground, and we'd recommend using sideways boosts (by clicking in the sticks) to quickly maneuver your Sparrow to get them all. You can trick from the drop that follows, too.
  • Following the previous drop is a ride through gates along a cliff edge, with a sharp left turn into a cavern. Here is where a sideways boost left comes in handy, allowing you to cut into the inside and save a surprising amount of time, before going underneath the arch and out to the water area.
  • In the water area, there is a tricky S-bend, but a back-to-back set of lateral boost movements will help you get through it faster than by taking them with standard drifts alone. Otherwise, you can scale the cliffs beforehand, but is tricky to hit, so we'd recommend the S-bend if you can take it - whatever you feel more confident doing!

Sparrow Racing gear and rewards for racing

Gear and rewards in Sparrow Racing League comes from three sources - from gaining SRL Faction reputation, the SRL licence quest, and from end of match drops.

SRL Faction reputation

  • You gain reputation for every race you participate in, with a points bonus for placing first, second or third
  • Bounties (renewed each day from Amanda Holliday) can also be cashed in for reputation
  • Getting to rank 3 earns you an SRL Helmet, and rank 5 a Treasures of the Dawning mystery box.
  • You can reach rank 5 and earn their rewards with multiple characters (maximum three per account)

SRL licence quest

We delve into details of this in our Destiny The Dawning event quests article, but in short, visit Amanda Holliday before you start racing to achieve various licences by completing races, hitting ranks and more as you're getting Faction reputation from match wins, completing Bounties and filling out the Competitive Spirit book.

End of match drops

Similar to regular Crucible matches, you can get gear and weapons up to maximum Light level by simply finishing matches. As always, none of the following is guaranteed, so keep racing to get what you need:

  • Rare and Legendary Weapons / Gear
  • Motes of Light and Strange Coins
  • SRL Emblems and Shaders
  • Track-specific Emblems - Martius Momentum (from Campus Martius), Blessing of Momentum (from Infinite Descent), Mercy of Motion (from Jaakon Precipice) and Crest of Velocity (from Shining Sands)
  • Sugary Shell and Chocolate Shell (Ghosts from the February Crimson Doubles event)
  • Overtaker SRL racing gear (which can be fitted with Ornaments:

Thanks to the Destiny sub-Reddit for details on the track-specific Emblems.

Want more Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks? Then read our Wrath of the Machine walkthrough and guides, complete list of all Dormant SIVA Cluster locations, tips on how to reach Destiny's max Light level, how to complete the Exotic Gjallarhorn Quest, Khvostov 7G-OX Quest and Thorn Quest and new modes Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring and SRL.

Sparrow Racing tips and other things you should know about SRL 2016

Here are some general tips to improve the way you race, and other things to be aware of while playing SRL:

  • Learn to use the sideways boosts by clicking in the left or right sticks. Mastering this is key to getting better times; it can be used to cut on the inside of bends just as you begin to drift wide, or course correct you away from obstacles or into the path of a gate. It takes some practice, but once you get a feel for how it works, it becomes essential on some sharper corners. Just don't overdo them, otherwise you'll run out energy (which you can replenish by passing through gates).
  • Chaining together gates are important in order to increase your course time and position, as a consecutive chain will gradually boost your top speed until you miss a gate. However, if you land awkwardly and well out of position of a gate, then it might easier to ride onwards instead of wasting time circling round.
  • Use both sticks to turn, as together they can offer sharper turns, while the right is good for more gradual movements.
  • Tricks aren't essential but can make the difference in a tight race. To perform a trick, make sure you're in a Trick Sparrow and let go of the throttle on a jump. Then, hold R2 and either a direction to spin the Sparrow right round or one of the D-pad buttons to perform an emote, and the boost will kick in after you hold the throttle again when the animation is over (you'll hear a noise when you land so you know it's successful). You need a healthy height to make a successful jump, so get comfortable with each course to learn the best places you can use these. The emote is certainly easier and less risky of the two, but doing a flip is certainly flashier...
  • If you played SRL last year, then you might have gear that will help gain an advantage, such as fuel-boosting legs or best of all, a class item that can give you SRL faction rep to boost you through the ranks. Take the time to look through your inventory to see if there's anything useful.
  • As with other Crucible events you can use the Three of Coins consumable to increase your chances of an Exotic Engram dropping, so make sure you have one active each race.

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Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.