Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled features several boosting and driving techniques, that you need to master if you want to achieve crazy speeds and become a pro at the game. They're essential to win on hard difficulty, to beat the Nitros Oxide's times in Time Trial mode and, well, to make a name for yourself in Online Racing.
In this page you find a full guide on all the boosting mechanics of CTR Nitro-Fueled, with details on how to Power Slide, what Reserves are and how they work, what are the different Turbo Tiers that you can reach, and more.
What is Sacred Fire in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled? What about Ultimate Sacred Fire / Blue Fire? You've heard of the U-Turn technique but you don't know what that means? All these questions will be answered in this guide.
How to Boost in CTR Nitro-Fueled
Before we get into the different tiers of Turbo and Fire, let's start with the basics. In Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled there are several ways of achieving a boost. Here they are:
At the beginning of a race, you can immediately start off with a Turbo Boost to get ahead of the crowd. Press the acceleration button (X) repeatedly to rev the engine and to fill up the Turbo Gauge.
If you time it correctly and get the meter full once the light turns green, you'll start off with the maximum speed boost.
The Start Boost gives you Red Fire (see Turbo Tiers below).
Jump Boost (Hang Time Turbo)
If you want to pick up some extra speed, you can get a Hang Time Turbo from jumping.
Press R1 to jump off ramps, bumps in the road and inclines to get ahead. The longer you're in the air - the bigger your boost will be when you land.
The Jump Boost, or Hang Time Turbo, gives you Red Fire (see Turbo Tiers below).
Power Sliding (Drift Boosting)
By far the most important type of boost technique is Power Sliding. First of all, they allow you to go faster and drift through turns.
Press and hold R1 when going into a turn to jump and begin your slide. To get a Turbo Boost while Power Sliding, press the other Power Slide button (L1) at the right moment, while still Power Sliding (holding R1).
When is the right moment? There are three indicators you can use to tell when's the perfect time to boost while Power Sliding:
- The Turbo Gauge (on the bottom right corner of the screen) turns red
- The smoke from your exhaust turns black
- Your tires glow gold (Nitro Wheels feature)
Try to hit L1 as late as possible, when the Turbo Gauge meter is almost completely full. That will give you the maximum amount of boost. However, be careful, If you wait too long, you'll hear a backfire sound and miss your chance for a boost.
Boosting once while Power Sliding will give you Red Fire (see Turbo Tiers below). You can reach a higher speed (Orange Fire) by chaining up to three Turbo Boosts per Power Slide.
The more consecutive power slide boosts you can string together (and the more Perfect they are), the more Reserves you build. Reserves are the crucial factor needed to maintain speed - we will get into them in a bit.
Another source of boost are obviously the Turbo Pads. These are the green pads with arrows, that you can find across the tracks. They give you Yellow Fire (see Turbo Tiers below).
Certain tracks also feature bigger Turbo Pads than usual, making them Super Turbo Pads, which give you an even higher speed boost, called Blue Fire (see Turbo Tiers below).
Finally, the game also features a couple of Power-Ups (those you collect by smashing boxes along the track) that give you a boost.
- Turbo Item: Trigger the Turbo power-up to roar ahead with a sudden, short burst of speed (Orange Fire)
- Super Engine: While active, the kart will have a constant super turbo boost while the player is accelerating (Blue Fire)
- Aku Aku Mask: The masks increase the general speed of your kart.
Boost Reserves: How do Reserves work in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled?
Reserves are a hidden fundamental you need to understand to master boosting in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
When you successfully complete a Turbo Boost in a Power Slide (the more closer to perfect, the better), you receive a speed boost. Chaining up to three Turbo Boosts gives you an even longer speed boost.
And if after the end of a Power Slide you go right into another Power Slide (with another 3 Turbo Boosts), and then again, right into another Power Slide, and so on, the length of the speed boost you will receive keeps stacking and accumulating in the background. These are called "Reserves".
That's why you should be always Power Sliding - even when going straight. How? To Power Slide in a straight line, you want to begin your slide facing one direction, and then boost while holding the left analog stick (L) in the opposite direction. If you keep power sliding and boosting (without hitting an obstacle), you can keep up your momentum even throughout a whole race!
As you will see below, there are multiple Tiers of Turbo (levels of speed) you can achieve, the biggest being Blue Fire (also known as USF / Ultimate Sacred Fire). Reserves are very important because they will allow you to maintain the highest Turbo Tier you achieved. If you achieve Blue Fire (see Turbo Tiers below) and you have reserves, you will keep going at Blue Fire speed until Reserves run out!
Be careful: hitting a wall, an obstacle, falling off the track, or getting hit by an opponent or by a weapon, will make you immediately lose your Reserves. You also lose Reserves if you straight-up brake while on the ground. However, you won't lose Reserves if you brake in mid-air or if you use a technique called "U-Turn". These techniques will be described further down this guide.
Turbo Tiers in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
In Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, you can achieve various levels of speed. The fire coming out of the kart's exhaust can help you understand what tier you're currently in. Here are all the different types of boosts you can get, in order of speed.
1. Base Speed (No Fire)
Sources: None. No reserves and not boosting.
This is the natural state. If you don't have any reserves and you're not under the effects of a boost, you'll have no fire and you will be going at the basic speed. Slow! You should never want to be at this speed during a race.
2. Normal Turbo (Red Fire)
Sources: Start Boost; Jump Boost; Single Power Slide Boost
You get Red Fire for even one single Power Slide boost, and it shows you have no reserves to back it up. By chaining multiple Power Slide boosts in a row, you can build a few seconds of reserve, which will give you Orange Fire.
3. Turbo with Reserves (Orange Fire)
Sources: Multiple Power Slide Boosts; Turbo Item
Orange fire means you have reserves. Reserves drain over time, and while they drain they keep you at boost speed. You can keep chaining together Power Slide Boosts to keep this speed essentially indefinitely, a mandatory mechanic to go fast in Crash Team Racing. They can also keep higher levels of fire.
4. Sacred Fire (Yellow Fire)
Sources: Turbo Pads; Juiced Turbo Item
Now we're talking. Hitting a Turbo Pad gives you Sacred Fire, and if you already have some reserves you can extend this with Power Sliding and Jump Boosts. Maintaining this fire is the key to speed in Crash Team Racing. With enough practice chaining your boosts, a single Turbo Pad can give you its speed for a whole race.
5. Ultimate Sacred Fire (Blue Fire)
Sources: Super Turbo Pads; Super Engine
Super Turbo Pads are only available on some tracks. The big jump on Cortex Castle, the turbo tunnel on N. Gin Labs, large Turbo Pads in Hot Air Skyway… Hitting them, gives you Blue Fire (also known as USF / Ultimate Sacred Fire), the fastest possible speed in Crash Team Racing. Once you get blue fire, this is a game-changer.
The premise of Blue Fire / USF is the same as Sacred Fire: build up reserves, hit the super turbo pad, extend the speed duration. The primary difference is that you go really, really fast. You achieve an incredible speed that is truly hard to control.
Management of Blue Fire is an exercise in hopping around corners and brake-turning in mid-air to not hit walls or fall off the track, all while constantly Power Sliding to keep the blue blaze going.
Once you've mastered it, though, you can keep it going forever just like Sacred Fire. And by then, you've truly mastered Crash Team Racing; and probably made all your friends hate you!
This is the list of tracks featuring Super Turbo Pads that give you Blue Fire: Clockwork Wumpa, Cortex Castle, Deep Sea Driving, Electron Avenue, Hot Air Skyway, Hyper Spaceway, N. Gin Labs, Out of Time, Oxide Station, Polar Pass, Thunder Struck, Tiny Temple, and Turbo Track / Retro Stadium.
Mid-Air Brake Turning and U-Turn
So now that you've achieved Blue Fire / Ultimate Sacred Fire, you might ask: how the hell do I maintain Blue Fire without hitting anything or falling off the track?
It can be very hard if not impossible to execute sharp turns while in Blue Fire. Unless you master two other advanced, hidden techniques that allow you to take those turns and not lose Reserves.
Mid-Air Brake Turning
If the turn is preceded by an uphill slope, for example in Cortex Castle, you can jump and then perform a Mid-Air Brake Turn. While turning in mid-air, press the Brake button (Square) to make a sharper turn. Before hitting the ground, let go of the Brake button (Square) and start Accelerating again (X).
If you timed everything correctly, you will keep going at your previous speed! Again, it's important that you let go of the Brake button (Square) before touching the ground.
U-Turning: How to U-Turn in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
As mentioned before, normally, braking while on the ground will cause you to slow down - and to lose all your reserves.
However, sometimes braking seems inevitable if you want to take tight turns or change direction quickly.
Well, there is a specific technique that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of brake-turning, but without actually braking or slowing down. And most importantly without losing reserves, thus maintaining Blue Fire! This technique, in community terms, is called U-Turn.
How does it work? So, if while pressing the Brake button (Square), you hold Down on the Left Analog Stick (L-down) - or the Down directional arrow (Down), the kart won't actually slow down at all, it won't be affected by the braking. However, in this state, you can now turn as tight as if you were braking.
So, to execute U-Turn: first let go of the acceleration button (X), then press the brake button (Square) while holding down on the left analog stick/directional arrow, and in the meanwhile turn into your desired direction. Combine this with a Hop/Jump by also pressing R1 repeatedly:
U-Turn Controls: Square + hold Down + turn left-right + repeatedly R1
It's complicated, but this allows you to take super sharp turns, or even 180° degrees turns (hence the term U-Turn), even while keeping Blue Fire going!
Now you know all the Boosting Mechanics and advanced techniques in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, what they are and how to use them. You have all the tools at your disposal to dominate the competition. All you have left to do is to go out there and practice!