Session Skate Sim Best Settings

Session Skate Sim Best Settings – Realism vs Fun

Skateboarding and video games have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly, or to make a more personalized, Irish analogy, like a pint of Guinness and mammy’s homemade stew. Skating games have been around since the Atari days, with games like 720 and Skate Boardin’. Then we had Skate or Die on the NES and Top Skater by SEGA. However, everything changed when THPS arrived on the scene.

This indie title absolutely nailed the arcade skating format, so much so that no one else could begin to compete, and believe me, many tried. THPS still holds that crown today, but in the modern age of gaming, there has been a new wave of skating titles that have embraced the realistic side of skating, offering authentic skating titles that make you work for every trick.

Good examples are games like the EA Skate series, and Skater XL. However, the one that I personally believe has come closest to offering a true-to-life skating simulator is Session. Session: Skate Sim allows the player to tear it up in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Providing a concrete playground where every ledge, stair set, and gap has the potential to grant players hours of fun. However, because of this focus on realistic physics, a lot of arcade skater fans might struggle to acclimatize, as it’s a pretty steep learning curve.

So with that in mind, I have taken the time to offer a breakdown of all the settings in Session, allowing players to set themselves up for a hyper-realistic experience, or settings that will give them an experience that caters more to the casual skaters that want to cruise, land tricks with steeze, and switch their brains off for a while.

Whatever works for you is fine. Skating is for everyone, and I want to help you land your dream trick. So without further delay, here is IGC’s Session Skate Sim Best Settings Guide!

Advanced Settings

Let’s kick things off with advanced settings, as these are the settings that will make the most difference to your overall skating experience. You can really only go three ways with this. You can stick with the relatively realistic but somewhat forgiving default settings.

You can mess with the bars by a few notches to make things feel true to life, or you can drop the gravity and up most other things to provide an experience not too far removed from EA Skate. Whatever your poison is, I have a breakdown that will help you achieve it below:

For Casual Players

session skate sim best settings for casual players
Best Advanced Settings for casual players
Setting Type Setting
Gravity  30%  
Push Force 100%
Max Push Speed 100%
Foot Brake Friction 50%
Banking/Turn Rate 50%
Crouching Bank Rate 60%
Pop Board to Body Distance 50%
Low Pop Height 90%
High Pop Height 90%
Grind Pop Height  90%
Manual Pop Height 90%
Body Rotation Rate 70%
Body Rotation Friction 50%

First up, we have the settings that are best for casual players. These settings are custom-made to offer easy-breezy skating conditions where you can easily clear gaps, hop onto almost any ledge or rail, and build up to top speed in mere seconds.

You can go a little crazy with the Gravity setting along with a few others, and suddenly the player will struggle to lock into grinds, clear gaps by so much it feels unsatisfying, and hang in the air as if they are skating on the moon. While this can be helpful for some missions, it’s not a permanent solution.

So these settings provide as much assistance to the player as possible, without ever feeling like you’re cheating the system. The only settings you may want to tweak are the Pop Board to Body Distance setting, as players who like doing Hippy Flips will want to put that up to around 90-100%. Plus, some players may want to make the Push Force and speed more realistic, depending on their preference.

For Realism

session skate sim best settings for realism
Best Advanced Settings for Realism
Setting Type Setting
Gravity  60%  
Push Force 35%
Max Push Speed 60%
Foot Brake Friction 60%
Banking/Turn Rate 40%
Crouching Bank Rate 40%
Pop Board to Body Distance 40%
Low Pop Height 40%
High Pop Height 40%
Grind Pop Height  40%
Manual Pop Height 40%
Body Rotation Rate 40%
Body Rotation Friction 50%

Then we have Advanced Settings that focus more on offering a true-to-life representation of skateboarding, where getting up onto a rail takes timing and precision, and ollies up curbs are never promised.

These settings increase the gravity and lower all the pop height settings, forcing players to work harder for each trick. However, the payoff is that, when you do stomp down on the bolts, the replay will look incredibly realistic and will look great in a Session reel.

The push force is also set low with a higher top speed because you want to be able to build up speed, but just like in real life, you’ll need to pump those legs. Feel free to tweak these, but I believe these are the best realistic advanced settings in Session.

Grind Settings


session skate sim best settings for realism
Realistic Grind Settings
Setting Type Setting
Casual Grind Mode Off
Grind Input Mode Full Release
Grind Alignment  50%
Trick Relative Input Off
Darkslides Off

Next, we have the grind settings, which will truly separate the casual players from the real skaters out there. If you are a skater, you know the importance of positioning, aligning grinds, and locking in grinds. Well, if you want to make this practice equally important in Session, you will want to replicate these settings.

You’ll want to ensure that Casual Grind Mode is off, as this will allow you to carry out grinds, even if, in real life, they would never lock in. Plus, you’ll want to choose Full Release, as this requires you to release your ollie/flip-trick and reset your foot position in the air to lock the grind in properly.

As for Grind Alignment, I believe that the 50% assistance is just enough to stay on the right side of the challenging/frustrating ratio. Plus, I believe that the Trick Relative Input setting is more confusing and unhelpful than it needs to be, so best to leave it off.

You can turn on Darkslides if you really want to, but with the realistic build, they are pretty tough to pull off anyway.


session skate sim best settings casual grind settings
Casual Grind Settings
Setting Type Setting
Casual Grind Mode On
Grind Input Mode No Release
Grind Alignment  100%
Trick Relative Input Off
Darkslides On

With the Casual Grind Settings, the order of the day is about having fun, nailing tricks and lines, and not sweating the little stuff. So for this build, we turn on the Casual Grind setting to offer more room for error when locking in grinds, and we whack Grind Alignment up to 100% so that we don’t have to be a master of trigonometry just to boardslide a handrail.

We also turn off the Release function, so all you have to do is ollie up onto the ledge, and hold your position. Then as a cherry on top, we turned on Darkslides for this one, because why the hell not? Embrace your inner Rodney Mullen.

Flip Trick Settings


session skate sim best settings casual flip trick settings
Casual Flip Trick Settings
Setting Type Setting 
Catch Mode Auto
Board Control Mode Auto
Flip Speed Mode Auto
Flip Continuous Mode On
Sync Flips/Scoops On
Scoop Input Mode Normal
Scoop Speed Mode Auto
Scoop Continuous Mode On
Pop Height Mode Global
Late Tricks On
Quick Shoves On

Next, we have flip trick settings, which will determine how easy it is to do flip tricks, and how unique you want each trick to look. If you are a casual player, I doubt you care whether the arc of your tre-flip is exactly how you would like it, so I have made settings that offer consistency, while still giving you the freedom to play around with some cool features.

Everything has been set to auto, meaning that you don’t need to worry about the speed of your flicks and scoops, nor do you need to worry about your foot positions too much, or catching the board after you flick it.

However, I still decided to leave on things like Late Shoves, continuous flicks and scoops, and late tricks, as this gives you full license to do all the tricks in the book with no limitations.


session skate sim best settings realistic flip trick settings
Realistic Flip Trick Settings
Setting Type Setting 
Catch Mode Manual
Board Control Mode Manual
Flip Speed Mode Input Speed
Flip Continuous Mode On
Sync Flips/Scoops On
Scoop Input Mode Normal
Scoop Speed Mode Input Speed
Scoop Continuous Mode On
Pop Height Mode Global
Late Tricks On
Quick Shoves On

If you are looking for realism and to feel like one flip trick always looks a little different to the next, then these settings are for you. The biggest change here is the manual catch settings which require the player to put their foot out to catch the board in mid-air to land the trick successfully. However, other changes like input speed for flicks and Scoops allow you to to do really floaty tricks and scoops, or really rapid tricks depending on what you want to do at that moment.

The only setting I would consider changing if you want true realism is Pop Height Mode. This makes your ollie just as high no matter what stance you are in, and I like that consistency. However, in reality, no one pops as high in Nollie or Switch as they do in their standard stance unless they are superhuman. It’s a matter of preference, but I always keep it global so that even if I’m riding switch I can predict how high I will pop.

Board Settings

session skate sim best settings my personal board settings
My personal board settings
Setting Type Setting 
Sync Truck Tightness On
Front Truck Tightness 25%
Back Truck Tightness 25%
Wheel Bite Off
Wheel Grip 50%

Next we have Board Settings, and whether you are a casual or a realist when playing Session doesn’t really matter here, as it’s a matter of preference. What I would recommend is that you sync your trucks so they are equally tight/loose. Then I would say that unless you are an outlier, you’ll want your trucks pretty loose to allow for easy turning.

As for Wheel Bite, turn this off unless you are a sadistic skater, because who really wants to randomly fall down every so often because they turn a corner too sharply? Then finally, unless you aren’t a fan of pivoting and reverting tricks, keep your wheel grip low too, to allow for that versatility when you don’t quite make the full rotation.

The Little Extras

Then lastly, we have all the little extra settings that can spice up your Session experience. I’m not going to list every single possible toggle, but I will be highlighting some of the more notable extras that you might want to consider looking at, and I’ll give my personal recommendation on each. Check it out:

Primos and Caspers

Recommendation: On

First up, we have Primos and Caspers. For those who aren’t fully brushed up on their skating lingo, Primo is when the board is on its side with two wheels facing the sky. Then a Casper is when the board is upside down, and the skater has one foot hooked under the tail and the other putting pressure on the nose, like a manual minus the wheels.

These are advanced moves for sure, and they can be hard to naturally incorporate into lines. However, if you want to have a full repertoire of tricks to choose from, then it’s best to enable them and give yourself that option.

Auto Revert

Recommendation: On

For the most part, I consider myself a Session player that tries to keep things real. However, one of the few crutches I like to have in my settings is the auto-revert setting. This is a setting that, when set to ‘On Bail’, will complete any failed rotation with a quick revert, allowing you to complete the trick and keep a line going.

My thinking here is that, I would rather have it in the bank and not be happy with it, than not complete the line at all and get frustrated. If you are of the same mindset as me, this setting is a must.

Wear And Tear Settings

Recommendation: Off

I’m not personally a fan of this setting because it leads to regular tricks to the in-game skate shop when I could just keep my freshie forever. However, if you are a fan of realism, then you might appreciate that Session allows you to turn on Wear and Tear settings which see your board and clothing degrade over time.

As I said, I’d rather dedicate 100% of my time to owning spots, but if you like the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with getting a new board and fresh grip, then this is a pair of settings you need to enable.

Lip Tricks

Recommendation: On

While I will admit that Session doesn’t have the most refined Lip Trick mechanics, I would argue that it’s better to have some than none at all. You may find that skating in actual skate parks in Session feels a little bit underwhelming, and that’s probably because you haven’t enabled this setting.

With this on, you will be able to perform stalls and grinds on lips with relative consistency, allowing you to add even more flavor to your next reel. If you aren’t really a fan of transition, then you could give this a miss, but even if you are in that camp, I would urge you to try it at least once.


Recommendation: Off

Then lastly, you also have the option to populate the map with pedestrians and traffic if you choose to do so. I personally see this as just another possible way for me to bail, so I tend to steer clear of this one. However, if you want that quintessentially awkward skating experience of trying to slalom between people as you record a line, then this is the one for you.

How The Pros Set Up

I personally believe that the settings listed above give a perfect representation of how to set up for casual and realistic playthroughs in Session. However, I’m just a guy that has skated for years and plays video games for a living. What the hell do I know? So I decided to offer you guys a few examples of how the biggest Session influencers set up. Check it out below:

Garrett Ginner

garrett ginner session skate sim

Setting Type Setting
Gravity  50%  
Push Force 85%
Max Push Speed 85%
Foot Brake Friction 65%
Banking/Turn Rate 45%
Crouching Bank Rate 30%
Pop Board to Body Distance 32.5%
Low Pop Height 35%
High Pop Height 25%
Grind Pop Height  45%
Manual Pop Height 15%
Body Rotation Rate 25%
Body Rotation Friction 25%

If you want someone who is an authority on skating video games, then look no further than Garrett Ginner. Garrett is a pro skater for Cariuma, Arbor, and Krux. Plus, he’s also a full-time streamer who dedicates most of his time to Skater XL and Session. When he’s not skating down at The Berrics, he’s locking down the perfect Session settings, and he believes that these are the best.

When compared to my realistic settings, Garrett sets his push speed much higher, and is a lot harsher when it comes to pop heights for grinds and manuals. However, he makes up for that with a default gravity setting. Overall, I quite like this setup, and if I wasn’t so used to my own, I would consider changing it up for sure!

JL Nightmare

jl nightmare session skate settings

Setting Type Setting
Gravity  65%  
Push Force 50%
Max Push Speed 50%
Foot Brake Friction 50%
Banking/Turn Rate 50%
Crouching Bank Rate 50%
Pop Board to Body Distance 40%
Low Pop Height 50%
High Pop Height 50%
Grind Pop Height  50%
Manual Pop Height 50%
Body Rotation Rate 50%
Body Rotation Friction 50%

Then to offer a completely different take, we have JL Nightmare, a man that has helped me nail more of the Historical Challenges in this game than I care to admit. Being a Session and Skater XL Youtuber/Streamer, he knows a lot about this game, and he believes that aside from a few minor tweaks, the default settings are just fine.

You can see that he just adjusts the gravity a little to make things less floaty, and then brings the board a little closer to the skater for tighter control. I don’t know if I vibe with this one personally, but if you want to try it out, be my guest.

Best Mods For Added Realism

Then lastly, before we sign off and let you get down to the skatepark for a Session of your own, we want to list a few amazing mods that can take realism to the next level, whether that be in terms of aesthetics, or through tweaks to the core gameplay. Have a look at these great Session mods listed below:

Vato’s Physics Menu

This is an absolute must if you want to get a lot of value out of one mod. Vato’s Physics Menu allows you do add so many little aesthetic details to your game. For example, you can add dynamic clothing that moves as you do. You can do the same with your hair if your skater does for the windswept and interesting look. Plus, if you want to trigger your board to snap, you can do that, which can be awesome for some B-roll in a new Session reel.

RMS Toolsuite

If you are someone that really wants to feel like you are the one riding on the board rather than your little guy on screen, then RMS Toolsuite is a must-have mod. This allows you do to a whole bunch of things related to your in-game camera, but the best feature of them all is that you can use a POV mode which allows you to play the game in first-person. It can be a little trippy and hard to master at first, but stick with it, and you’ll feel like you’re the one tearing it up on the Brooklyn Banks.

Other game-changing features RMS Toolsuite offers include real-time slow motion, the ability to record reels with a drone camera, and players will also be able to change the weather settings as well. All in all, a mod that takes immersion to the next level!

FAQ Section

Question: Is Session Like Skater XL?

Answer: In some ways, yes. However, what I would say is that Skater XL is much more in line with EA Skate, as it offers a much smoother and more accessible skate sim, with some aspects that lean into hyper-realism. Whereas Session is not all that accessible and has a steep learning curb. Mainly because every single aspect of the game is made to be true to life, and in case you didn’t know, skating is hard.

Question: Can You Change Settings Anytime?

Answer: Yes, in fact, the game practically encourages you to get comfortable tweaking your settings on the fly. There are some missions that will require you to turn on features like continuous flips or Caspers and Primos to progress. If you ever feel like your ollie needs more pop, or you can’t be bothered locking in grinds, you can change your settings anytime.

Question: Are There Pro Skaters In Session?

Answer: Yes, there are some pro skaters featured in Session who are playable characters and can be accessed by heading to your apartment and editing your character. Some big names include Daewon Song, Mark Appleyard, and Torey Pudwill. There are eighteen pro skaters available within Session in total.

Shred The Gnar

As you can see, when it comes to authentic skating sims, Session is pretty much unrivaled when it comes to customizability and refining those little details that matter to real skaters like myself. I mean, you can even turn on wheel bite in this game. God knows why you would, but the option to do so is pretty cool.

Hopefully, with the aid of this guide, you will be able to tweak Session’s default settings to be as realistic, or wacky as you like. As long as you are having fun, that’s all that matters. As always, thanks for reading Indie Game Culture!

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