I never thought I'd be writing about Crash Team Racing tips in 2019, but here we are eh? Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is the remake that combines both the original Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart, and it's stayed truthful to the original with all the lovable characters and familiar tracks and then some. It's just as unforgiving as it once was though, so take heed of these Crash Team Racing tips and race your way to beating N. Oxide and N. Tropy!
1. Hold accelerate a split second before the green light for a speed boost
Like most kart racers, you can get a speed boost at the start of every race if you time it right. You're aiming to get the meter in the bottom right - usually used for power slides - to hit the maximum right as the light turns green. Don't wait until it that happens though because you'll be too late; you need to hold accelerate about half a second before it turns green to leave your fellow racers in the dust.
2. If you're not power sliding, you're racing wrong
The way you hit the top speeds in Crash Team Racing is by power sliding at every possible opportunity. Doing it round corners is obvious, but if you can't maintain the boost during long straights, you need to slalom your way until the next corner by power sliding and hitting the boosts.
Power sliding in Crash Team Racing is much more technical than it seems. There's two buttons you'll have assigned to the same button; hold down one to hop then pull left or right on the analog stick to start power sliding. In the bottom right, the same meter used for the initial speed boost mentioned above will fill up, and you want to press the other power slide button right before the meter peaks for the first speed boost.
Doing this three times in a row in the same power slide will give you the maximum boost possible. You can also tell when you've hit the top speeds by the size of your exhaust flames; if they're as big as they are when you cross a boost pad, you're at the maximum speed. Make sure you don't hit a wall though or you'll be reset to normal speed!
3. Beakers can be thrown forwards, and bombs can be sent behind you
Beakers and bombs are two of the most common power-ups in Crash Team Racing, but did you know they can be used in the opposite direction to their default? If you hold forward on the left analog stick while holding a beaker, or backwards with a bomb, the two will fly out in their respective directions. If you manage to hit another racer with a thrown beaker, there's even a trophy/achievement to unlock!
4. If you're in the lead, hold on to your beakers, bombs, and bombs
In Crash Team Racing, missiles are one of the most frustrating power-ups to be on the receiving end of because they seek you out and are tricky to avoid. You're the prime target for them if you're winning the race though, in which case you'll want to hang on to any beakers, bombs or crates you pick up. Dropping these behind you right as the missile is about to hit you means it'll block the missile and you can ride off into the distance, being a cool guy not looking at the explosion.
5. Explode bombs before they collide by pressing circle
Bombs will automatically explode whenever they collide with anything, whether it's a fence or a foe. If you can see your bomb about to skim the wheels of another racer but not explode, press circle again to make it explode remotely and send the unfortunate competitor to kingdom come.
6. Skip the weapon roulette by pressing circle as soon as you pick up a power-up
For every weapon crate you drive through, a roulette will start meaning you can't access your weapons for a good few seconds. You can completely skip this by pressing circle as soon as the roulette wheel starts. Sure, you'll be given a completely different power-up... or would you? You'll never know, but whatever you're given, at least you'll have it sooner.
7. Wumpa fruit makes your weapons more potent
Wumpa fruit can be found on most courses, whether it's on the floor individually or in the other type of crate you can smash. Unlike coins in Mario Kart which provide you with a small speed boost, Wumpa fruit in Crash Team Racing increases the power of your weapons. When you collect 10 Wumpa fruit, your weapons will transform into more powerful versions.
Missiles will fly faster, beakers will also apply a storm effect, turbos last longer, bombs have a bigger explosion... that sort of thing. Make sure you're picking up Wumpa fruit whenever you can, because these juiced up power-ups can be a game changer.
8. Stay in front of bosses to avoid their constant power-ups
There's five bosses in the game; Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, Komodo Joe, Pinstripe, and N. Oxide. Each one fires non-stop power-ups out of the rear of their car, so while it sounds obvious, try to ensure you're staying ahead of them at all times. From TNT crates to beakers, bosses can be a serious pain if you can't stay in front. Especially Pinstripe and his bombs. I hate Pinstripe.
9. Gain more boost by getting longer airtime
When you go off a ramp, make sure you're almost always pressing the hop button right at the end to get as much airtime as possible. Next to the power slide meter in the bottom right is an airtime meter, which measures just how much extra boost you'll receive when you land. If you can stay in the air for 1.5 seconds or longer, expect some serious boost at the end.
10. Use the handbrake when necessary
Crash Team Racing is all about maintaining the top speed and hurtling round the tracks, but there's some points when you'll need to brake. In these moments, use the handbrake. Taking a corner sharply and losing some speed is still faster than drifting round and colliding with the wall, or falling off the track. Especially the penultimate corner on Hot Air Skyway... which you have to race Pinstripe on... and avoid his bombs... *shudders*.
11. Utilise all the shortcuts on every track
There's numerous shortcuts in Crash Team Racing to be found, and while some of them are obvious, there's plenty others that aren't. From hidden tunnels which need a weapon to open and jumps which are impossible to make unless you're at top speed, our Crash Team Racing shortcuts guide has all the known shortcuts in the game split up by track.
12. Jump the gap from ice to snow on Polar Pass and Blizzard Bluff
Crash Team Racing has two winter maps; Blizzard Bluff and Polar Pass. Both feature sections with ice which you'll pick up speed on but lose some control, followed by a transition to snow right afterwards. It's a very minor tip, but in order to maintain the speeds for a few seconds afterwards, hop over the terrain connecting the two surfaces. Every little helps when you're racing!
13. Save Wumpa coins for characters in the Pit Stop
One of the less favourable aspects of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is that the Pit Stop is an in-game store, where you can buy outfits, stickers, vehicles, and even new characters. The store contents rotate daily, so we'd recommend saving your Wumpa coins - obtainable by completing races in any mode - for characters you're keen to own. It's not pay-to-win because these characters all have the same stats as others which are unlockable during the Adventure mode, but they're easily the best thing available to purchase.
14. Cheats change some of the game rules
Just like the original Crash Team Racing, this remaster has a bunch of cheats enabled that can be used to unlock a variety of gameplay modifiers, and even a new character! We've got a complete list over on our Crash Team Racing cheats page, where you'll find the codes to unlock things like unlimited bombs, permanent icy surfaces, super engine, constant invisibility, and more.