The best Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled characters for winning online

With Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled being a smash hit (our review) and rocketing its way up the charts, you won’t have any trouble finding a legion of speedsters waiting to throw down online.

However, if you’ve powered your way through Nitro-Fueled’s revamped Adventure mode, tackled some time trials, or dabbled in some multiplayer races, you’ll notice that there’s a difference between some of its racers.


Those who played the PS1 original will recall each character having different stats displayed on the select screen, with top speed, acceleration, and handling each being scored out of six.

In Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled this has been somewhat simplified. At launch the game features 26 characters who are divided into four different classes with some minor changes to the stat system. Each factor is now rated out of seven with handling being renamed “turning” for clarity.

You’ll also notice that characters have been split into three groups based on their difficulty to master, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced tiers. If you’re just starting out or simply playing for fun, don’t be put off by these.

The only thing we want to take into consideration here are the four previously mentioned classes. These include the following stat breakdowns:

  • Class One: 3 Speed, 4 Acceleration, 7 Turning
  • Class Two: 4 Speed, 7 Acceleration, 3 Turning
  • Class Three: 5 Speed, 5 Acceleration, 5 Turning
  • Class Four: 7 Speed, 3 Acceleration, 2 Turning

Having whipped our way through each of Nitro-Fueled’s time trials, we were able to get a good sense of which characters come out on top.

As a rule of thumb you should always opt for Class Four characters if you’re playing to win. CTR’s top racers are therefore Tiny, Dingodile, Papu Papu, N. Tropy, Penta Penguin, Crunch Bandicoot, Big Norm, and Zem.

These characters are typically the larger, heavier racers. In short, having the highest top speed rating makes them the best choice a good 80% of the time.

However, with such a low turning stat, you’ll need to rely on your own knowledge and mastery of each track, making sure you thread corners perfectly. On maps like Oxide Station and Cortex Castle that can be tricky and in such cases we’d perhaps go for either a Class One or Class Three character to get the job done.

As this is a kart racer, the inclusion of weapons can add a certain amount of unpredictability. There’s nothing worse than having the perfect lap undone by a disastrously timed warp orb or a sneaky beaker. However, those using characters with the highest speed value, combined with their own experience and skill, should always come out on top.

As touched on briefly, Nitro-Fueled will soon be adding new characters. These are all completely free as part of the upcoming Grand Prix season though it’s likely you’ll need to fulfil certain requirements to unlock them.

It will be interesting to see whether these characters introduce a new archetype, redistributing the three core stats. With online players starting to shun many of the game’s characters in favour of those who appear to have the clear speed advantage, we hope Beenox will find a way of letting us play as favourite Crash heroes and villains while also choosing their stats.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled Review | Guide: how to unlock N. Tropy | Shortcut guide | DLC & Microtransactions