Win Shenmue’s forklift race every time with this one simple trick

Getting stuck on Shenmue’s infamous forklift section? Want an easy way to boost your top speed and win every race? If you’re playing the new HD remasters on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One we’ve got you covered.

Towards the end of the game, Ryo will take a job at the nearby harbour. Not only does he need money to afford a ticket to Hong Kong in pursuit of his father’s killer, he’s also there to investigate a biker gang calling themselves the Mad Angels.

During this chapter of the game, Ryo will have follow the same schedule every day. He’ll board the bus from Dobuita to the harbour then clock in to start his shift, moving crates between warehouses and a designated checkpoint.


Before you start the day’s work, Mark will invite you to morning race around the harbour. You’ll go up against four other workers in a three-lap challenge – sounds pretty straightforward.

Winning these races is not required to progress the main story though there’s a reward for finishing first, as well as the “Marks’ Favourite” PlayStation trophy (Gold) and Xbox achievement (worth 50 GamerScore).

However, those playing the remastered version of Shenmue have reported that the race is impossible to win, stating that their forklift never manages to hit top speed. This may have something to do with your controller and it’s an issue we encountered during a recent playthrough.

Even when fully pressing down on the trigger of your gamepad Shenmue may not register this and you won’t be able to accelerate at full force. Don’t worry, there’s an easy workaround.

Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 now allow for button remapping. What you want to do is swap the RT input to RB or R2 to R1, depending on which system you’re playing on.

For Xbox One players, this is done by opening your settings, going to apps, clicking on Xbox accessories, and configuring the button layout there.

For PlayStation 4 players, go to the settings menu, then accessibility, then button assignments. Here you can remap the buttons.

After making this quick change, you’ll find that forklift now moves considerably faster. This will help breeze through those races while also making your harbour shifts quicker to finish.

As for the race itself, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. You need to drive aggressively though avoid collisions at all cost as this will slow your forklift down massively.

The only other thing to remember is the shortcut towards the end of the course. Keep an eye out for a row of warehouses marked 11, 10, and 9. Instead of following the other racers, you can cut a corner by driving close to the last warehouse.

For a better idea, check the video below (via Shenmue Dojo) at around the 1:33 mark.

And there you have it! Ryo’s reward isn’t exactly glamorous – Mark will hand him a forklift gashapon toy. Collect enough of them, however, and you can cash them at one of Shenmue II’s pawn shops.

Shenmue III launches on November 19th for PlayStation 4 and PC (via the Epic Games Store). You can read more about how the game is shaping up in our recent gameplay preview.

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Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.