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The Santa's Gift Update, also known as the 2015-2016 Winter Update, Tag Racing Update, Area 51 Update, or Gameloft's "Gift" Update, is the v2.2.0 update of Asphalt 8: Airborne, which was released on December 16, 2015 for iOS, December 18, 2015 for Android (Play Store), December 21, 2015 for Windows, and January 8, 2016 in the Amazon Appstore for Android.

This was followed by further updates to v2.2.1 and v2.2.2 in January 2016 for iOS using the same description as this update.

Area 51 and Tag Racing race mode were added in this update, along with 3D Touch controls for iPhone 6S/6S Plus models onwards. This update is considered to be one of the biggest updates to Asphalt 8: Airborne yet.

Announcement

The following text was published on the Apple Store:

Santa’s got a sack full of new features for racing aficionados, including the very exclusive LAMBORGHINI EGOISTA, which will make its video game debut in Asphalt 8!
  • NEW LOCATION: Enter Area 51, this world’s most top-secret racing facility. Look out while flying; you’re not alone in the sky!
  • R&D SERIES: Two speed machines will be revealed via R&D! Stack up amazing & exclusive rewards, while test-driving those beasts to the max, to make them yours!
  • 15 NEW CARS: Alongside the Lamborghini Egoista, the Lamborghini Asterion, Renault Sport R.S. 01, Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34), & 11 other sports cars will be revealed. Look for each one, coming out over the next days & weeks!
  • NEW GAME MODE: Make the switch in the brand-new Tag Racing mode! Experience the thrill of racing with 3 different cars in 1 single race!
  • 3D TOUCH CONTROLS: Experience a new way to drive, exclusive to iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus!
  • HOLIDAY TRACKS: Feel a cold rush as you streak across 3 winter-themed tracks!

New Cars

The Santa's Gift Update adds 14 more cars in the game. The McLaren 570S from the Research & Development Update is released in this version instead, bumping up the number of cars released to 15:

Class D
Class C
Class B
Class A
Class S

The new cars will need the following Engine Cards:

Game Changes

RD overview (v2.2.0)
  • New location: Area 51.
  • New game mode: Tag Racing. For more information, see its page.
  • New 3D Touch controls added for iPhone 6S/6S Plus and later.
  • Local Leaderboards added.
  • Two new Collections added: one for the McLaren cars (including the unreleased McLaren 570S and the newly released McLaren F1 XP-5), and one consisting of Retro cars.
  • Many of the cars' banners have been revamped in order to look more crisp and appealing. The changes are in terms of perspective, color, and especially levels of detail of the rendering.
  • Two new loading screens added: additionally to the existing McLaren P1™ screen (now modified), there is one with the Koenigsegg One:1, and another one featuring the SSC Tuatara.
  • Two new engine sounds introduced: "Corrado VR6" (vr6_corrado), used by the Renault Sport R.S. 01; and "Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X i4" (i4_mitsubishi_lancer_evo), used by the DS 3 Racing.
  • The random crashes introduced in the Research & Development Update upon landing or slightly touching the borders have mostly been eliminated.
  • Research & Development revamped. It is now possible to see one Lab with all of its Tests instead of all Labs with all Tests at once.
    • This is due to the Lamborghini Egoista's R&D event containing more than 30 Tests.
    • The prompt to play an R&D event no longer shows the car's name in all capital letters (except if the car's in-game name is in all capital letters).
  • Decals added for Cadillac 16 Concept, McLaren 570S, and McLaren P1™ GTR.
  • When selecting tracks in Car Mastery, tracks now use their World Series/Quick Solo Race banners.
  • Some sound effects have been altered.
  • The McLaren 570S's stats have been considerably buffed from the past update. The stats at MAX+PRO with a Tuning Kit still remain the same, though, aside from the lowered Tuning Kit bonus of +41.
  • The "no drift bug" has been fixed, making races a lot easier.

v2.2.1

Gameloft released an update for the iOS platform with the build number v2.2.1 on January 5th 2016, which has the same description as the original update and no visible changes; neither for the races, the rewards or the Christmas decoration. However, the waiting/loading screen has diminished greatly and only appears, where there is actually information to update, for instance in the ranking view of an Events. The Tag Season unlock bug was also fixed in this version. In the past, there have been two pure bugfix updates for the iOS platform, v1.0.1, and v1.8.6, which where both announced as such.

It seems however that in time-limited multiplayer Events, only players with the same game version are matched. When participating with v2.2.0, there are hardly more than four players in the room.

v2.2.2

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Trivia

  • This marks the final update of the year 2015.
  • The McLaren 570S was released after the release of this update, just like with the Geely GC9 and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
  • This update by far has the most amount of cars released in a single update, with 14 new cars released (excluding the McLaren 570S from the previous update).
  • Unlike most other updates, the text in the "What's New!" screen is shown in all capital letters (except when making references to Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, etc.).

Bugs / Glitches

  • Tokyo Sidewalk: The Tokyo sidewalk bug was fixed on Tokyo Reverse; however, there is still a small chance to be flipped when mounting the sidewalk.
  • Loading: The waiting/loading sign which blocks any interaction appears on iOS very frequently throughout the game, mostly at places where there is nothing to load (i.e. when pausing a race), and the waiting time is longer if the internet connection is slow. This seems fixed with update v2.2.1.
  • Tag Season: The Tag Season bug occurs when progress is synced from one device to another, the A8Credits 40,000 for the unlock achievement are granted again. This bug supposedly occurs endlessly whenever progress is synced from one device to another, leading to an infinite farm without the need to actually play. The Tag Season unlock bug was fixed with update v2.2.1.
  • Missing Tenerife Letters: In the cutscene intro for Tenerife in multiplayer mode, if the track is Sky Drop, the "Tenerife" letters are not shown. This bug has never been fixed.
  • In-game ad upon release of the Santa Update
  • What's new: INFILTRATE AREA 51!
  • What's new: TAG RACING IS HERE!
  • What's new: 3D TOUCH CONTROL SCHEME
  • What's new: FREE CAR: CELEBRATE WITH ASPHALT 8!
  • What's new: LOCAL LEADERBOARD
  • What's new: ALL NEW CARS

Trailer

Asphalt 8- Airborne - Update Trailer - Gifts are coming early!

Asphalt 8- Airborne - Update Trailer - Gifts are coming early!


Updates for Asphalt 8: Airborne
2013 Free to Play Update (v1.1.0)
2014 Daily Bonus Update (v1.2.0) • The Great Wall Update (v1.3.0)
Fuel Events Update (v1.4.0) • Dubai Update (v1.5.0)
San Diego Harbor Update (v1.6.0) • Winter Update (v1.7.0)
2015 Decals Update (v1.8.0) • More Than 300 Decals Update (v1.8.1)
Tenerife Update (v1.9.0) • Car Mastery Update (v2.0.0)
Research & Development Update (v2.1.0) • Santa's Gift Update (v2.2.0)
2016 Lunar New Year Update (v2.3.0) • Elite Cars Update (v2.4.0)
Enduro Update (v2.5.0) • Rio de Janeiro Update (v2.6.0)
Multiplayer League Update (v2.7.0) • Championship Update (v2.8.0)
2017 Lunar New Year 2017 Update (v2.9.0) • Car Blueprints Update (v3.0.0)
Porsche Update (v3.1.0) • Motorcycles Update (v3.2.0)
Munich Update (v3.3.0) • Hot Wheels Update (v3.4.0)
2018 Fall Out Boy Update (v3.5.0)