I haven't played either of those games online, but some good general advice for skill-based games is don't get stuck in a pattern (esp. for MA). Don't always use the same attack technique, go to different spots for ambush, etc.
Change is often the best way to win.
Then don't always charge into the middle of a fight, pick your shots and go for the kill when someone is injured. Do as much as possible to not draw attention to yourself.
Most people who play on a regular basis aren't very good, so once you attain even medium skill its easy to own them. Go for power ups when you can, a level 3 gauss rifle shot is massive damage. Also don't ignore you missiles, leveled up they are powerful even if they seem like a nuisance.
As you gain more skill 1 on 1 fights will work better.
If you aren't very good I recommend using a Madcat, the PPC are lock on, and unless you're playing with someone who is good and using a mech with jump jets they won't avoid it. DO NOT forget your defensive abilities the Madcat for instance has a sensor jammer and while its on they cannot get a signal lock on you.
Personally I like playing the Atlas, Ragnarok, Madcat, Bowman, and Timberwolf. The Timberwolf has no defensives but can blast out massive damage in a short period of time. The Bowman with leveled up hammers is one of the most deadly mechs in the game. Leveling your Atlas to even level 2 will knock down most any medium or smaller mech with a single solid shot to the back.
Learn to circle strafe, it takes a bit to rebuild speed so if you want to change direction rotate the stick to the direction you want to move, rather than just jamming it across and having to restart from a stop. Learn to time shots, in time you'll know what is coming at you and how you can dodge it. Even if someone is using a mech with gauss and they are good with it you can dodge if you time your movements. Its all about rhythm.
Thats about all I can really think of, eventually you'll get good at it.
My gamer tag is DarkOmen42, if you see me around on MA feel free to say hey, would be great to hear from a fellow Safehouse resident.
On the race tracks, try to follow and replicate the tire marks on the road. Know how to cut in close to the corners to maximize your speed.
Do the Kudos career mode. For every event, I usually just raced through the track a few times trying to familarize myself with its curves and landmarks. I might even medal it in bronze and then go back and do it in silver or gold. Try to silver in everything to be able to afford best cars in the class.
Controlling slides is perhaps the most important skill in this game. If you can control slides, you can maintain a higher average speed. If you're in a car that can't really slide too well, rely on slamming on normal brakes before the turn and using the joystick to coast through the turn.
Powersliding tips: Although each car is different, well-executed slides can be done like this:
Preparing for turn: Get to outside and aim for inside corner, brake if necessary. Look for the black tire streaks and try to go across and brake right before them.
Initiating Slide: Hit brake and e-brake, but you really should just tap the buttons - jerk joystick in direction of turn while you hit the 2 other buttons.
Continuing slide: Hit gas to put momentum into the turn/slide
Stabilizing: Varies with car - sometimes you need to hit the gas or let off it, usually just let off gas and tap the joystick left or right, don't overcompensate
If you took the turn too fast, you can still sometimes prevent hitting the wall by slamming on conventional brakes and angling away.
Lastly, PGR2 singleplayer IS hard. I've been playing it since December and am pretty good online, but still can't get many gold medals (and only have one platinum)
AI/Multiplayer collision tips: If behind someone, line up one of their wheels with the center of your car and rear-end them. This should lead to them losing control and drifting off to one side. If someone is sneaking up on you, try to slam sideways into one of their front wheels or force them into a wall.
Passing opponents in turns is easy, just rely on using them as a cushion, go fast, and get the crash to angle you off in the right direction.
A good starting strategy for a street race is to go as fast as you can, get in on the inside, even into a 90 degree turn, and rely on crashing into opponents in order to angle you off and get you ahead of everyone without you touching a wall.
One last tip: change camera views. For some tracks, it really helps me to race in first-person view even though I prefer one of the overhead views.
Yeah, all I'm doing in PGR2 is kudos mode right now. It's so damn hard. I can pretty consistently silver the races up until now (I'm in the Roadster category I think, or the one after. I forget). I platinumed the first 6 or so races... all except for the last two in the sports compact cat. The last two are just too damn hard. After the first cat, all I get is silvers. some golds mixed in. I'm just trying to play through them all now, buy lots of cars for multiplayer with friends.
I try sliding through corners, but I always seem to be worse off for it. You're saying if you do it right, you'll be better off though? I'll have to try more.
Yeah, the cushion tactic I use quite frequently. Especially the very first corner of the track.