Ghost Racing and Practice Racetracks

Posted on December 16, 2011. Filed under: TypeRacer News |

You just got a new opponent on typeracer.com.  It’s one of the toughest you’ll ever face – relentless and untiring, this opponent is…

yourself!

Ghost Racing is the new practice option on typeracer that lets you race against yourself! When you click on the ghost icon (labeled “Do over?”) at the end of a race, you will be placed in a practice racetrack where you’ll be racing against your own shadow on the same text you’ve just finished typing.  Your shadow opponent is a computer controlled bot called a “ghost racer,” who will be simulating you.  This bot will type exactly what you typed the last time around at exactly the same speed, down to every mistake, speed-up and slow-down!  If you defeat your ghost you can start over against a new ghost representing the new, faster, version of yourself (using the “Do over?” button again).  Or, if you’ve been defeated by your ghost, the option labeled “Try Again” lets you race the same ghost again.  You can repeat this process over and over again, hopefully improving a little every time.

The "Do over?" button lets you race against your ghost (who in this case will be typing 77 wpm).

All ghost races take place in the new Practice Racetrack, which brings us to the second major announcement: the results of practice races will no longer be counted against your average or entered in your score history.  It just made sense to make the single-player practice option unofficial.  And for ghost racing, not counting scores removes the incentive for typing the same text over and over again as a way of unfairly boosting one’s average and leaderboard position.  However, if you really want to save your practice scores, you can upgrade to a premium account, and have the option to save up to 2 scores for each text per day (this limit is in place for the same reason).

Although practice scores are no longer permanently saved in your account by default, you can still see the most recent ones by pressing the clipboard button in the top right corner of the practice racetrack.

I hope you will enjoy ghost racing and not hate the practice-related changes.

Looking forward to everyone’s feedback in the comments!

Update:  From feedback received so far it appears that people love ghost racing but not everyone likes the change that makes practice (single-player) races not count.  For instance, someone said “I don’t like the pressure of racing against other people, as it messes me up psychologically.”  Should we revert to saving practice race scores (but not ghost race scores) automatically again?  What do you think? You can answer this opinion poll:
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40 Responses to “Ghost Racing and Practice Racetracks”

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The new design of the PRACTICE MODE is great, I really liked it but I would like to add something, that it is unfair with the free members that a premium member can add the practice mode scores while a free member can’t.

Regards.
Comrade.

Premium users still only get to save 2 scores per text per day. Will consider making this available to everyone in the future.

Of course paid members will get access to some features that free members are unable to access. Isn’t it the same way in all services that offer both a free and a paid option?

I feel bad for this guy, though: WASJustRacticing(until they ruined it) (justpracticing)

He has 9350 races, and only 11 wins. I guess he liked the old practice mode. lol

Cool new feature. By the way, the word “relentless” was misspelled in the original post.

Good Job Thanks Alex

Practice mode seems to be bugged now. I can’t click on “New Race »” because of an error message “Unable to start a new ghost race. Error message: The race you’re in is not replayable.” Please fix. Thanks.

I like the ghost feature very much.
I have to say that I don’t really compete against other people I don’t know, I just want to get better.
I don’t like doing the same race over and over again, it is boring.

my idea is to always put a ghost of my best race for this text. that way I can tell if I am on my way for a text personal high score or not, without repeating the same test over and over again.

yeah, it will be a great idea if our ghost racer is also included while we are races with others (and our ghost racer is only seen by us ).
It be a good incentive if we are racing with lesser speed cars and will motivate us to beat our own record.. 🙂

I don’t like the pressure of racing against other people, as it messes me up psychologically. I prefer just to race in practice mode. I am very disappointed in this new change, as makes it hard to track my progress.

I don’t really care about the leaderboard, but I want to be able to track my own races. Perhaps you could save the practice races, but only have them visible to the user.

However you do it, I would love to be able to see my practice races saved once again. It’s the main reason that I use TypeRacer.

when we create “Race your friends”, PlEASE indicate each guest as guest 1, guest 2, guest 3, guest 4……..
because of it
as racing with my friends, I am always confused with recognizing each friends of mine

I always thank for your site developing our typing speed

1326 GMT -6 hrs Viernes, Diciembre 16, 2011 Hasta ahorita me suena como una idea GENIAL pero habrá que ver —de todos modos me está sirviendo de Maravilla para escaparme de la depresión. Gracias.

Thank you so much for this update!!! Really helps with practicing!

whoah this is a little different then I thought it would be. Originally I was thinking the ghost would be of some specified user that you can pick to race against. I didn’t bother thinking about racing against my own ghost! I must admit, I agree about the lack of “pressure” knowing I’m really racing a replay of myself. But it’s a cool feature!

I do prefer human interaction, as in racing other real people. I like the pressure.. especially when they are a LOT faster than me.. which makes me question why would I want to race someone(my own ghost) who is the same speed as me?

But, low and behold, many people can now admit that they like playing with themselves.. err.. like racing their own ghosts. Great addition! Much more addicting than I thought it would be. I think that ChimChim ghost is FUN to race.. he never quits races 😀

Regarding practice races not counting. I’ll all for this. After all, the link says “Practice”. I think playing on public tracks to record scores should be the norm. That way are at least sure that comparing two people’s numbers can at least exclude the possibility that one did not have the same “pressure” racing against competitors against someone who only practiced.

..ChimChim

The ghost racer feature is actually pretty cool.

I still prefer the single-player scores being saved. It helps keep track of everything.

I wish it wouldn’t make us ghost the bad score though. For example I got 130 WPM and challenged ghost, but then I got 124, and wanted to try again and had to face the 124 ghost, I wanted to face the 130 WPM ghost again. It’s still neat though! I like it a lot. I don’t really care for saving scores to my account in practice, I think the battle scores are worth more considering the pressure. In practice mode you can switch out and in as many times as you want until you get a passage that could be easy for you, and in battle mode you can too but there’s already people there and not many people leave when you’re going to battle, making the score you get more valuable.

Ah nevermind, when you hit “ghost this” that’s the score you want to keep challenging yourself to, and when you hit “Try again” the score you ghost’d will be the one you keep competing on. 😀 nice! Love the new changes.

But take the bots out of battles pls.

Yes this new feature is really excellent and we can increase our own performance, its great!!!!!!!!!!!

Each morning i use the practice mode for my personal warm up, without any log-in with the click on the practice button i can simply continue my practice sessions with “new race” button.. BUT now with the new mode, i can’t do this longer.. i have to leave first the track and must afterward click once more again the practice button, also the number of solved practice track is no longer counted.. Simply question why must good things that already exist changed? Therefore i’ve voted against this new “hyper-duper” mode, i don’t like this. And there exist enough other things that really need to be changed.. for example the missing statistical data after races greater than 25000 races, or the unloved captcha test..

Thanks for finding the bug with the “New race” button. It’s fixed now!

“the missing statistical data after races greater than 25000 races”

Don’t blame Alex for this. The TypeRacer statistical archive which Noah Horn coded and I am hosting on seanwrona.com is unofficial and uses the TypeRacer API. It was Noah’s decision to not collect those particular statistics for users with 25,000 or more races because he felt pages would load too slowly for heavy users. If you have a problem with this, take it up with Noah, not Alex or TypeRacer. Alex graciously lets us use the data for seanwrona.com/typeracer, but it’s not his to fix, and Noah is a better programmer than I am, so I’m not sure I COULD fix that.

@Alex: Sorry Alex, it wasn’t my intention to blame you, thanks for fixing the bug!
@Sean: Thanks for clarification, perhaps some of us can help with ideas related to these two issues..

2 Major complaints :

1) My ghost should be my best time, not my previous time, if I do worse on a second attempt, I still want to race against the better one.
2) After I’m racing a ghost, where the option to go on to a new quote?

Hello. I raced under the name Neil_Mobile for a long time, but I too also found the pressure of racing other people made me mess up. Especially when there was someone who had changed their name to @Neil_Mobile (followed by some insulting message), even if it was just a joke it still made me mess up.

I come on type racer to relax and let my mind wonder, I don’t really enjoy interacting with people here, so I started just racing as a guest, but got frustrated having to do the typing test over and over. So then I made the account JustPracticing. I thought it was pretty odd that it said out of all my thousands of races that I had only a few wins (when I forgot to just practice and entered a race). Because it made me look like I had lost thousands of races. And initially I thought practice scores and times should not be saved. I mean if you were practicing for the olympics you practice scores and training scores don’t mean anything.

Although it is still quite nice to have my highest word per minute saved, and average speed. I think the best solution is to have separate pratice statistics.

I pretty much agree with you, Neil. I personally think that ultimately there should be separate universes for “face-to-face” racing, ghost racing, and practice racing. Since practice scores have been recorded historically, I agree that they should continue to be recorded. I probably also agree that practice scores should NOT count towards TypeRacer regular universe statistics. Having three separate universes – one for regular races (with its own stats), one for practice races (with its own stats), and one for ghosts (where you’re only allowed to save a limited number of ghost races as discussed above, and only if you’re a member) is probably the best solution.

I also think new quote universe statistics should not count toward the regular universe as well. Even though I exploited this loophole and heavily race-selected in the new quotes universe to obtain my ridiculous arenasnow average of 237 wpm, if Megaracers are not “supposed” to see the shorter quotes in the new quotes universe, scores on these texts probably shouldn’t count towards overall statistics, so the new quote universe statistics should count only in that universe as well.

More important than any of this is doing something about race-selection. I suggest that Alex wipes away every player’s last-ten average to 0 wpm on some day at the future, and from then on, awarding a score of 0 wpm if clicks the “Leave race” button or refreshes the page while in the middle of the race. Yes, I’d lose my 237 average, but we would have a much more legitimate top 100 list…

some day in* the future

@Sean: I almost entirely agree with you, but there’s just one bit of a problem: Where I live, the Internet connection is highly unstable. Random disconnections happen frequently, which makes the 0 WPM kind of unfair. I won’t complain if the fine folks at TypeRacer decide to implement such a penalty, but I still prefer an alternative. (Maybe nag the player to finish whatever quote they escaped from before letting them play?)

1024 GMT -6 hrs Saturday, December 17, 2011

Maybe it would be SO GOOD to have the opportunity to choose from an extensive list of competition texts the one we want to specifically practice BUT only with the highest personally achieved score in that particular excerpt.

1. We choose one specific text.

2. We ONLY compete against our own highest scores in order to improve our personal technique and speed.

3. Perhaps a variation in which we typerace against two or more repetitions(*) of ourselves WITH different speeds available —(*)”practice avatars” so to speak.

I generally don’t perform well when I can see my own car. I scroll down so that I can see the other cars but not mine. Ghost mode is a nice way of seeing your my performance in the race ( I mean it seems like you’re typing at 100wpm sometimes but actually you are at 85 or vice versa).

When using the single-player function it’s really easy to only type the easy races and thereby boost your score. So… from that perspective it would probably be a good idea to make them not count.

However, if you make practice races not count in the accuracy universe, that would mess everything up, since I’d have to start waiting 12 seconds and race with bots. I hate bots.

Something else – those Chuck Norris World of Warcraft ads are distracting when I’m trying to type race. I mean, I’m getting over it, but is there any way to get less flashy ads?

You can make saving scores for practice mode as an option, if I like it or not.
For example: when I am typing in English I would refuse to have my scores saved because the practice race would be a joy ride, just for fun or I have been away from racing for a while so I need to warm up.

But when racing in Arabic, there would not be enough contestants so the race would take more time start and I would be racing with a bot anyway so I would save time and race on practice mode and still have my scores saved to keep track of my performance.

The old practice mode was good because you always get the least amount of time to wait possible, and that’s why I played it a lot. Now, in order to have me races counted and keep track of my performance, I have to play against others and wait for more time in every race (or buy premium account).

again, when we create “Race your friends”, PLEASE indicate each guest as guest 1, guest 2, guest 3, guest 4……..
because of this trouble
as racing with my friends, I am always confused with recognizing each friends of mine

I always thank for your site developing our typing speed

Could you maybe just ask your friends to set their name when they join the racetrack (using the Sign In link at the top right of the page). Or better yet, have them create their own accounts!

I second Psychological Anon’s solution: Save the practice races’ scores, but only for viewing personally. That way, they won’t count towards the average/leaderboard, but we still get to monitor our progress. I myself actually like the new practice mode’s policy change, but wouldn’t mind Psychological Anon’s solution.

P.S. Anon, sorry for calling you Psychological Anon, I don’t really have an idea how to identify you among a sea of anons…

The new practice mode is great ! I always thought that the ability to restart a race was a serious needed feature. I managed to type that dreaded “cytoplasmic membrane” text with 100% accuracy and 90 WPM for the first time in my life !

About the fact that the scores aren’t being saved, I like it. For practicing, I always signed out, and practiced as a guest, so I could for example try to re-type a hard word several times. After warming up, I would log back in, and race.

I have some feature requests, though :
– First, after re-trying a text, there’s no easy way to start a new text. The “Try Again” link restart the current text against the ghost. It would be nice to have a second link, like “Other Text”, which restart the whole process from scratch with a brand new quote.
– When I want to retry, or start a new race, I always have to reach for the mouse. A keyboard shortcut would be nice. Would it be possible to have some “accesskey” attribute on the different links ?
– It would be nice to have a quote list page, with all the quotes displayed, with the top/global scores. And even better, if we could practice against a specific quote.

Thank you very much, and keep up the good work !

If you dont like the fact the the practice will not count in your scores just because you dont like the “preassure”, get a premmium accout and type agains yourself and save the scores.

Its unfair that premium users can save their score? Are you saying that you can use this website to improve your learning and practice and dont have less than $20 for year? Come on…

A suggestion on improving the look of the leader board:

If “wpm” and “minutes ago” could be marked in parentheses below the column heading, it needn’t be repeated throughout the columns. “Seconds ago” and “moments ago” could be replaced by “<1 minute ago". The numbers themselves could be bolded or made more prominent since it is the numbers that really matter. This way the board would look more eye-friendly and effective, and maybe users could even exchange lengthier messages on the board.

I would love to post the race results on facebook and twitter… Thanks. Great product you have here!!!

I used to love typeracer till I realized that you only learn to type with the texts that are in this page. I’m spanish racer (I type in spanish) and you always find the same texts.

The practice runs MUST be counted, i want to have somewhere tracked my progress, and i used to type on universes like EasyTexts and Accuracy in practice mode because i don’t need to wait for bots or humans that much….those universes are not populated, and i don’t see why i need now to practice and not get tracked my progress…

I like the new feature, the gost….but you shall do something else for it, let the Pratice how it was, or do for it another counter…..graph……this is just annoying now.

A lot of people type on typeracer becouse they want to keep track of their progress…..


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