Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled tips for beginners

With Activision remastering Crash Team Racing a whole new group of fans is experiencing its delight for the first time. If you're one of these people and are having trouble winning your first few races, there are a few tips you'll want to know before going back in and trying again. Some of these tips the game tells you periodically during a loading screen, while others you'll only hear about here.

Change the controller layout

Crash Team Racing's default controller layout is something that you'll immediately want to change. Acceleration and using your power-ups are both mapped to face buttons, meaning you'll need to take your finger off of acceleration if you want to use a power-up. Luckily, this can be easily changed.

Pull up the pause menu, press Y on your controller for options, go to controls, and switch from standard to alternate. This makes accelerate the right trigger instead of a face button, leaving your thumb open to use the power-ups. The control scheme will now be more in line with most racing games today.

Choose the fastest character, other stats mean very little

No matter who your favorite character is, if you want to win races right out of the gate — especially in the starting Adventure area of N. Sanity Beach — your best option is to choose whoever is fastest, regardless of their other stats. Tiny Tiger is the only character available to you at the start that has maxed out speed stats. His initial acceleration and turns are much worse than some of the other characters, but in practice, it doesn't matter as much. Unless you're on a track that is only sharp turns one after the other, you should mostly be concerned with your speed. A fast character more than makes up for any lost time because you took a turn slower than your opponents.

Hop quickly to throw off TNT

This is something that the game tells you, and it's best not to forget. TNT can become the bane of your CTR experience if you're just about to reach the finish line only to fall prey to its trap. To avoid this, start hopping quickly once you hit TNT. If you hop quick enough the TNT should fall off of you before it explodes. Problem solved.

Make bowling bombs explode on the spot

Bowling bomb power-ups can be tricky to use because they don't track your target. You can easily miss the character you were aiming for and watch helplessly as your power-up rolls into a wall and explodes. There is a way to make the bowling bomb explode on the spot, though, instead of just when it makes contact with another object. If you see it about to pass the character you mean to target, press B on your controller and it will explode on the spot so that it still affects them.

Collect Wumpa Fruit to make your kart go faster

By collecting Wumpa Fruit during a race your Kart will go faster. Collect 10 and even your power-ups will become more powerful. Wumpa Fruits can be found along the racetrack or in crates similar to power-ups. These crates will grant you five Wumpa Fruit. Just smash through them while you're driving to collect them. You'll be able to see how many Wumpa Fruit you currently have at the top of your screen.

Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and is very happy Xbox is growing a stronger first-party portfolio. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.