Skater XL: the most realistic skateboarding simulation game ever

July 30, 2020 | Skateboarding
Skater XL: the ultimate skateboarding game

Skater XL has been launched for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Hailed as the ultimate skateboarding game, the new title by Easy Day Studios is clearly a step forward in realistic skating simulations.

The title also breaks a few gaming paradigms.

For example, you don't have any clear goals - it's all about free riding in stunning scenarios and spots and hitting the iconic Big Ramp.

The new physics-based control mechanics took a year to develop, and it was designed by a physicist.

"The important central idea of Skater XL is that it's more of a creative and expressive instrument than a traditional game," notes Dain Hedgpeth, co-founder of Easy Day Studios.

"The game does not have any tricks programmed into it, only movement and control of that movement through the thumbsticks."

Each thumbstick maps to the character's corresponding foot - the right stick controls the right foot, the left stick controls the left foot.

The player can perform a wide range of base movements - flips, spins, grinds, slides, manuals, etc. - which they can combine and sequence in any way they like, with a wide range of nuances.

The game is designed to be an expressive, sandbox-style gameplay with hundreds of trick-based challenges to complete in each map - think of it more as a musical instrument than a traditional game mechanic.

You're invited to create and combine different tricks, ride 60 real skate spots, and hit your favorite schools, plazas, pools, parking lots, buildings, and corridors.

"We believe this creative depth in the core mechanic is part of what makes skateboarding fun and satisfying in the real world and is what skate game fans have been wanting," adds Hedgpeth.

PC gamers were the first to get their hands on Skate XL.

Now it's time for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo owners to enjoy this sophisticated skateboard simulation.

Yes, it takes time to get used to the game's mechanics. But once you master the basics, you're free to unleash your imagination.

Skater XL: a skateboard game with a physics-based control mechanics

Unique Features

Skater XL is the first-ever skateboarding title to offer complete control of the board at all times rather than canned trick animations, opening up limitless potential for creativity and skill development.

Take time to learn how to alter speeds and angles of stick movements when doing different jumps and tricks.

The gaming levels are all inspired by real-world skate areas and designed to ensure a constant flow of skate lines.

Get ready to ride famous spots around the Staple Center and Los Angeles Convention Center, Easy Day High School's sprawling campus of iconic skate spots like the Wallenberg Big 4 and the Leap of Faith, and the humongous Big Ramp level.

The title also allows you to customize your character with a selection of tops, pants, hats, and shoes branded by the biggest skate companies, including DC Shoes, Vans, Santa Cruz, Bones, and more.

But you can also embody famous stars of the sport and skate as Tiago Lemos, Brandon Westgate, Evan Smith, or Tom Asta.

Skater XL: the Big Ramp is one of the game's most exciting features

Gaming Tips

Skater X's revolutionary control mechanics set the game apart from all previous skateboarding titles.

That said, you should be patient, tolerant with yourself, and practice for a while. Easy Day Studios has a few tips for you to enjoy the game to the fullest.

Start by completing the initial tutorial.

This will give you an interactive walkthrough of the basic components of movement in the game and corresponding controller inputs.

You will then be dropped into the Easy Day High School map.

Feel free to explore and experiment with the gameplay and environment for a while and start to get comfortable with the controls.

Be sure to use the Waypoint Map Marker to explore different areas of each level and set new spawn points for your skater.

Press the "Start" button to go into the menu and explore the "Challenges" section.

Try some of the basic challenges and explore the different challenges available at each level.

These will help you see the range of gameplay possible with the core mechanic and how you can creatively interact with and skate the environments.

Try the various maps in the game and note that each has many challenges built to help you explore and play with different terrain on the map.

There are both "official" and "community" maps sections that can be reached by tabbing with the bumpers or moving left/right on the menu heading.

Note that the blue/red color coding of the shoes and UI helper will turn off after one hour of gameplay, but you may disable it earlier in settings if you wish.

Explore the showroom, try different pro skaters, and customize your own skater with character attributes and gear from real skate brands.

Skater XL: ride 60 real skate spots

Evolving the Genre

When making Skater XL, the one question developers always had in the back of their minds was: "What does the next skateboarding game look like, how can the genre evolve?"

"In Skater XL, this begins with the unique fact that there are no tricks programmed into the game, only physics-based movement of the board giving the player unprecedented control," underlines Dain Hedgpeth.

The right and left analog sticks are tied directly to the skater's right and left foot, and this independent foot control system gives players more freedom, expression, and control than any skating game before.

"Our goal is to give everyone from casual to core players tools to enjoy, express, and appreciate what's really fun about skateboarding."

"And this philosophy has guided every decision about the content and design of the 1.0 game, from the core mechanic and re-imagining historic California and West Coast environments to the brands, pros, soundtrack, and more."

Skater XL is also fueled by the large online ecosystem and passionate modding community.

While in early access, Skater XL amassed an incredible community of mod makers creating their own maps, clothing, gameplay tweaks, and more.

Over 100,000 members of the Skater XL Modding Discord server contributed to thousands of various modded content that include new levels, boards, gameplay features, and much more.

Nearly all of this modded content can be viewed at the newly launched skaterxl.mod.io, and new mods are being added at a daily rate.

The launch of Skater XL is just the beginning of the skateboard games' renewed life.

"Easy Day's goal is to bring access to not only the activity of skateboarding but also the unique cultural, creative and community aspects of the sport like never before," concludes the director of Easy Day Studios.

Skater XL features a distinct soundtrack that complements the game's raw street vibe and physical control mechanics.

Artists include Modest Mouse, Interpol, Getter, Band of Horses, Animal Collective, Built To Spill, The Shivas, and many more.

The release date of Skater XL for Nintendo Switch is still to be confirmed but is planned for 2020.

The game is a single-player game at launch, but multiplayer and other social features are being considered for post-launch updates.