|Mode||Single player only|
The player races their car around a course before the timer runs out. The first run is the qualifying lap (which the player starts off with 120 time units in the beginning round) and their starting position is determined by their completion time. The player must avoid road hazards (such as precariously placed billboards on the side of the road) and other cars as they drive, earning extra time for each completed lap (50 time units are added to the clock, and the amount of time at the start of the actual race goes down to 75 units.) If the player collides with a hazard, there is a delay of several seconds before their next car appears on the track, wasting time.
Original or modded modern controller
- Accelerate (gas)--buttons 3 and 4
- First gear--button 1
- Second gear--button 2
- Steer--joystick or D-pad
Overdrive Paddle Controller
- Accelerate--either right button
- First gear--left black button
- Second gear--right black button
Differences between versions
Obviously the most noticeable differences are cosmetic, what with the Vectrex's vector graphics (the machine is actually capable of raster graphics, but the majority of the game is in vector), having no color, and there being no voice synthesis announcing the beginning of the race either. However, the course for the Vectrex version is also totally different from the original's, mainly consisting of very long curves.
- In the Atari arcade game release, billboards advertising various other Atari arcade games appeared on the side of the road. In the Namco releases (Namco created Pole Position while Atari distributed it in North America), the billboards advertise other Namco arcade games.
- Pole Position became the biggest arcade game of 1983.
- A 3D Pole Position for the 3D Imager was planned but ended up not being released.
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Needs more info about this version, since I've only played it a few times on an emulator and am not very familiar with it. -Darrylb500 18:44, January 11, 2011 (UTC) (original author)