Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a lovingly crafted recreation of the original CTR. With the PSone game releasing in 1999, it's been 20 years since that crazy bandicoot hopped behind the wheel, and a lot of fans will no doubt get right back into the groove when they start playing. However, 20 years is a long time, and there will of course be plenty of brand new players enjoying CTR for the first time.
This guide is for those who are new to the game, or for players who just want a refresher on the basics of Crash Team Racing.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled - Basic information and advice to get started
Let's look at the most basic details about Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
Here's the layout of the default control scheme in CTR Nitro-Fueled. This is what we'll be referring to throughout this guide:
|Triangle||Toggle speedometer/boost meter type|
|Left stick / D-pad left and right||Steer|
|L1 / R1||Hop / power slide|
|L2||Toggle camera distance|
|R2||Rear view camera|
It should be noted that an alternate control scheme is included in the game. This makes the following changes:
- Toggle camera distance is remapped to R1
- Accelerate is remapped to R2
- The R1 hop / power slide is remapped to X
- Rear view camera is remapped to L2
Power sliding - how to use the boost system
One of the most crucial gameplay systems found within CTR Nitro-Fueled is in how it handles boost. There are lots of ways to boost through each track, but if you want to get good at the game, you need to practice boosting while drifting.
Hold down L1 or R1 and a direction, and your kart will enter a drift. When in a drift, you'll notice a few things happening:
- The meter in the bottom right corner of the screen will start filling up
- The smoke from your exhausts will turn black
- Your tyres will begin to glow
These are all ways to let you know when to trigger a drift boost. When the smoke turns black, the tyres are glowing brightly, and the meter is almost full, press the opposite shoulder button to receive a burst of speed. You can do this up to three times in each power slide. It takes some getting used to, but practice this technique and you'll outpace your friends in no time.
Other ways to boost
As we said, there are lots of ways to earn a boost. The above technique is your main source of extra speed, but make use of these to keep yourself boosting through tracks:
- Green turbo pads on the ground
- Boost power-ups
- Hop with L1 or R1 at the top of a jump and you'll boost when you land
- Making a big jump will also provide boost when you hit the ground
Boost reserve system
All this boosting doesn't go to waste. Skilled players will know to make use of the reserve system, a hidden gameplay feature that basically means boost will stack. If you keep chaining boosts together, the total amount of time your top speed will be increased will accumulate, meaning you don't lost out on the benefit of all that boosting. Having all this boost time in reserve means more time at max speed. It's not really something you need to concern yourself with if you're new to the game, as it happens automatically.
How to boost on the start line
Any kart racer worth its salt lets you get a boost off the starting line, and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is no exception. To get a boost start, wait until just before the green light is illuminated, and hit accelerate. You can increase the power of your boost by revving the engine a few times during the countdown.
Throughout each track, you'll notice wumpa fruit dotted around, or in particular crates. You want to collect these fruits as you drive, because collecting 10 will cause any power-ups you collect to be juiced up. This basically means they become more powerful versions with prolonged or improved effects!
Weapons and power-ups
There are various pick-ups found in question mark crates across each course. Some are exclusive to certain modes. Here's what each of them does:
|Weapon / power-up||What it does||Juiced Up version|
|Aku Aku / Uka Uka masks||Makes you invincible for a short time and increases your speed. Also lets you spin out other racers you collide with||Effects last longer|
|Beaker||Is placed behind your kart and slows down a racer that hits it. Can also be thrown forward||Slows down the affected racer for a much longer period|
|Bowling Bomb||Fires a large bomb out in a straight line forward or backward. Can be remotely detonated by pressing Circle again||Larger blast radius|
|Clock (races only)||Spins out all other racers and lowers their speed for a while||Effects last longer|
|Invisibility (battles only)||Makes all but your wheels invisible, making you much harder to hit. Tracking missiles can't lock onto you in this state||Effects last longer|
|Power Shield||Protects you from incoming projectiles for a short time. Can be used as a projectile itself by pressing Circle again||Lasts indefinitely until hit or thrown|
|Super Engine (battles only)||Increases your top speed to boosting speed for a limited time||Effects last longer|
|TNT Crate||Drops an explosive crate behind you. When a racer collides with it, it'll drop on their head, and explode after a few seconds. Can be shaken off by hopping||Becomes Nitro Crate, which explodes immediately|
|Tracking Missile||Homes in on the racer in front of you. Can be blocked by other weapons||Travels faster|
|Turbo||A basic speed boost||More powerful boost|
|Warp orb (races only)||Fires an orb that strikes the racer in first place, as well as any other racers in its path||Guaranteed to hit every racer ahead of you|
Wumpa Coins are new to CTR Nitro-Fueled. This in-game currency is earned by playing any mode. At the end of the event, you'll get a handful of Wumpa Coins. Playing online gives you a much higher amount. For a much more detailed breakdown of Wumpa Coins, check out our standalone guide.
These coins can be used to purchase cosmetic items from the Pit Stop. More on that below.
Modes - All the ways to play Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Here's a breakdown of all the modes included in CTR Nitro-Fueled.
This is the game's main single player mode. In it, you'll need to come first in several races before facing off against a boss. This lets you advance to the next area.
Adventure mode has a handful of hub areas where you can access various races, a save/load screen, and other hubs. Once you complete a basic race, you'll be able to go back in to try and earn Relics and CTR tokens. These aren't necessary to beat the story, but are required if you want to complete Adventure mode 100 per cent.
Classic or Nitro-Fueled Adventure mode?
There are two ways to play Adventure mode: Classic or Nitro-Fueled. Classic mode plays like the original CTR; take one character through the story, with no options to change difficulty, swap characters, or customise your vehicle. Nitro-Fueled mode allows you to select your difficulty setting, swap out characters, and apply customisations to your karts.
This is where you can access all kinds of offline modes:
Single Race: Choose a track and customise the number of players, laps, and more.
Cup Race: Choose from various four-race sets, grand prix style.
Battle: Choose an arena and engage in various battle types:
- Limit Battle - Score points by hitting enemies with your favourite power-ups
- Capture the Flag - Grab the other team's flag and bring it back to your team portal
- Crystal Grab - Collect the most crystals within the time limit
- Last Kart Driving - Hit your opponents before they get you as you have a limited amount of tries
- Steal the Bacon - Fight over just one flag in the arena
Time Trial: Set a record time in each track.
Relic Race: Play for a relic by using time-freezing crates to reduce your time.
CTR Challenge: Find the letters C, T, and R throughout the race.
Crystal Challenge: Explore the arena and collect all the crystals in the time limit.
Here, you can play online with up to seven others. You can set up a private match for you and your friends, or you can enter matchmaking to play with strangers. You can choose either Race or Battle, and can customise your character and vehicle while you wait in the lobby.
The pit stop is a place where you can purchase all manner of cosmetic items with which to deck out your karts and characters. What's more, you can unlock a whole bunch of characters here, too.
You purchase these items using Wumpa Coins earned by playing the game. Items are swapped out each day, so you only have a 24-hour window before they're changed.
Items include vehicle decals, stickers, wheels, paint jobs, character skins, full kart sets, and new characters.
It should be noted that you'll unlock a lot of cosmetic items and characters from just playing Adventure mode, too. The Pit Stop items appear to be completely optional.
Here, you can check out all your best times across all the race tracks in the game.
For some reason I never played the original version of CTR, despite being old enough to have done so. CTR Nitro fueled is somewhat trickier than I was expecting. I think it boils down to 2 things; having to press a second/different button going from a power slide to the boost (I’m soooooo used to Mario Kart’s system!). Secondly, mapping the power slide/boost buttons to the top shoulder buttons (L1/L2) rather than the bottom ones. I may have to try the alternate control method.
Anyway, I still love the game and it looks gorgeous, so am determined to get better! Btw, thanks for the tips 👍
UPDATE; Have tried the alternate control method and I prefer it, so will be sticking with that.
Wumpa Fruit also boost speed. It should actually become a priority to pick those up instead of crates at the beginning of the race, and stay topped up at all times.
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