Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Shortcut Guide

Kart racers have a penchant for getting messy and Crash Team Racing is no exception as bombs go off, missiles streak through the air, and potions get tossed around like its happy hour at the apothecary.

In a strange way this can create a level playing field. Frontrunners will often find themselves nailed by warp orbs and other projectiles, helping any stragglers close the distance. However, if you know the game’s shortcuts, you’re always going to get a leg up when playing Nitro-Fueled.

This guide provides tips on how to use the shortcuts found in-game. Note that not all tracks have a proper shortcut, though most have opportunities to cut corners with a well timed boost or speed pick-ups.


Levels such as Crash Cove, Dragon Mines, and Papu’s Pyramid have trophies tied to them for successfully using their shortcuts, so there’s an added incentive to find them for the first time. If you plan on beating any of the game’s time trials, they’re absolutely essential, not to mention extremely useful in competitive play and the game’s new online multiplayer.

Roo’s Tubes

Difficulty – Medium

Right towards the end of this track is a room full of dirt and a giant skeleton. This section of the track will bend to the left, but to find the shortcut you’ll want to stay right, navigating between the two purple crystals. As this is rough terrain you’ll need to powerslide or use a speed item to weave your way through to the finish line. Be careful as getting caught with a weapon here can severely impeded you when trying to recover.

Crash Cove

Difficulty – Easy

About a third of the way into this track you will see an area with a large ramp to the right positioned next to a large body of water. Ignore the ramp and veer left into the water, as if driving straight at the rockface. You will find a hidden dip beneath the surface that can be used as a ramp to reach higher ground.

Mystery Caves

Difficulty – Medium

After the first two bouncy turtles, you’ll notice that the road ahead splits in two. The path snaking to the left is the one you want to take, but again, it’s rough terrain and requires high speed to travel over without being slowed down. A good tactic is to combine a powerslide with a jump, though this will only work if you land on a turtle as it raises its head.

Sewer Speedway

Difficulty – Hard

Now this one’s a toughie. You’ll come across two parallel tunnels that lead onto a boost jump before you enter a large halfpipe area. It’s hard to spot at first, but there’s a small ledge directly in front of you as you enter this section (roughly a 10 o’clock angle). You’ll need to ride the halfpipe, gaining enough speed to make the jump into this window.

Tiger Temple

Difficulty – Easy

Here’s one that CTR fans will be familiar with. About two thirds of the way into this track you’ll see a stone structure depicting a giant face. Target this with a weapon and it will break, revealing a handy passageway that houses a trio of wumpa crates.

Papu’s Pyramid

Difficulty – Medium

A favourite among speedsters back in the day, Papu’s Pyramid has a trio of helpful shortcuts. Approaching the halfway mark you will have passed the two plant monsters. There’s are two illuminated barriers here and between them is a hidden platform. The second shortcut comes immediately after – it’s the high road section to the left of the track. The final shortcut is by far the riskiest, though can help skip a sizeable chunk of race. Instead of navigating the last U-bend, you need to drive towards it (at high speed) then leap to the opposite side of the road.

Dragon Mines

Difficulty – Hard

After the area that has treasure strewn about and a pool of water, you’ll head downhill and see a rail track cutting across the road ahead. This shortcut requires you to take a sharp right turn to follow the rickety track. This will help skip the finicky spiral section, though you’ll need to watch out for approaching mine carts. Getting flattened by a couple of these can cause quite an upset.

Blizzard Bluff

Difficulty – Medium

About a third of the way into this track there’s an open area covered in ice. To your left you’ll notice there isn’t a barrier in place… how odd. Approach this gap at high speed, making sure you jump at the very last second to carry you over the water, which lets you skip the previous bridge section entirely. Instead of following the U-bend ahead, look for the two wooden barriers on your left. Approach the second at high speed and you find a ledge to jump off.

Polar Pass

Difficulty – Easy

About halfway into Polar Pass you’ll enter a tunnel with a row of item crates followed by two wumpa crates. You’ll see a yellow barrier ahead telling you to make a right turn. However, if you’re at high speed, you can leap over this barrier. Land the jump just right and you’ll find yourself on top of a boost pad.

Cortex Castle

Difficulty – Medium

After racing along the castle wall you’ll come across a descending flight of stairs. Hop down these then powerslide along the wooden walkway, building speed as you enter the next castle interior. However, just before doing so, use the ramp to jump to your immediate left where you’ll find a platform. Be warned, this jump looks deceptively easy. You’ll need to practice it a few times to get the right angle and timing.

Hot Air Skyway

Difficulty – Easy

A favourite among fans, Hot Air Skyway looks a lot more complex than it actually is. Once you’ve wrapped your head around its tangle of floating paths, you’ll find it to be a fairly fun yet challenging track to play. You should be able to hit this shortcut each and every time. At the first huge jump, bear right and always attempt to land on the right path instead of the left.