Know Your Rivian R1T/R1S: Off-Road Drive Modes

If you just got your Rivian R1T or R1S, congratulations! You just got your hands on some of the most capable all-electric off-roaders in the market today. These electric trucks are built to handle anything you throw at them, on and off the road. But with a suite of off-road drive modes available, figuring out which one to use for your next adventure can feel a little overwhelming.  

We at Rivianist are here to help! This blog post will be your friendly guide to covering the basics of your Rivian's off-road drive modes. We'll explain each drive mode's purpose and help you choose the perfect setting for your next off-road escapade. Get ready to conquer any terrain with confidence, all while enjoying the smooth and sustainable ride of an electric adventure vehicle!

Do take note that Rivian's drive modes adjust the suspension, propulsion system, and accelerator response of your R1T and R1S. So far, Rivian has five off-road modes available for the two flagship vehicles: All-Terrain, Soft Sand, Rock Crawl, Drift, and Rally. 


Think of Rivian's All-Terrain mode as off-roading in comfort. All-Terrain mode is a versatile, balanced mode that increases the ride height and softens the suspension of the R1T and R1S. With this mode engaged, you should experience a fairly smooth ride. Do take note, however, that All-Terrain mode is best for moderate off-road conditions. Tougher off-road trails would require the activation of Rivian's more focused off-road drive modes. 

Rock Crawl

Rock Crawl is the Rivian off-road drive mode you engage if you're taking on an advanced trail with large obstacles. With Rock Crawl mode engaged, your Rivian will set its ride height to "High" and it will balance stability with maximum clearance. Rock Crawl applies the ideal amount of power from each motor to each wheel, helping your R1T or R1S conquer obstacles that may be challenging enough to roll over other popular off-roaders in the market. 

Do take note that your Rivian's "Hold" function can be turned off in Rock Crawl mode. Hold is on by default in your vehicle, as it helps keep the R1T and R1S stationary even if you're not pressing the brake pedal. 

Soft Sand

Driving on sand is extremely fun, but it also requires a lot of skill. Thankfully, your Rivian R1T and R1S comes with a Soft Sand mode that maximizes performance and capability in deep sand. With Soft Sand mode engaged, your Rivian R1T and R1S will use unique traction control settings, minimal stability control support, and reduced regenerative braking to optimize handling. 

Do take extra care when driving in deep sand. Sand dunes can be unstable, and hitting the edge of soft dunes at high speed can roll your vehicle. Don't be embarrassed if you get stuck in the sand either! It happens to everyone!


Drift mode is probably one of the most fun off-road drive modes in your Rivian R1T and R1S. Drift is perfect for those times when you'd like to slide while off-roading in snow, sand, and loose dirt. For Drift mode, your Rivian increases power to the rear axle while reducing power to the front axle. Do take note that traction control is reduced when Drift mode is engaged. So drive hard -- but drive extra cautiously as well. 


Rally mode is another extremely fun off-road drive mode for your Rivian R1T or R1S. Rally tunes the vehicle for higher off-road speeds on gravel roads. When this mode is engaged, your R1T or R1S goes into Standard ride height, and traction control is reduced. What remains is a recipe for maximum fun off the beaten path. But just like actual rally cars, always exercise caution and never be reckless. Always be aware of your traction and never take on tight curves with excessive speed. 

One final tip!

Do take note that you can customize the stability, ride feel, brake regen, and ride height setting for each off-road drive mode in your Rivian R1T and R1S. And if you end up changing too much, you can reset to each mode's default settings. 

Before you go:

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