Upgrades for your car come in seven varieties: Tire, Body, Brake, Handle, Engine, Turbo, and Special. Each of these will be outlined below, followed by a strategy for the order in which you may choose to make these purchases.
Your vehicle's tires dictate the amount of traction you have when taking sharp turns. If you take turns at high speeds with cheaper tires, you are more likely to slide and drift as you turn. Early on in the game, this isn't much of a problem, but as you pick up more speed, you will need to upgrade your tires in order to stay on the track.
Although it may not be immediately obvious, the body of your vehicle has an extraordinary affect on your top speeds. Cheaper cars can't go quite as fast, and will begin to fall behind in later heats. As you get further in the game, you'll need to buy better bodies in order to stay ahead of the competition.
The quality of your brakes determines how effectively you are able to slow your vehicle down. Cheaper brakes won't slow the car down very quickly, while better brakes can bring a fast moving car to a stop in no time. Generally, you won't want to slow your car down very often, so you may not want to invest heavily in brakes unless you're going to challenge very twisty race tracks.
|Handle A +1||$150|
|Handle B +1||$150|
|Handle A +2||$200|
|Handle B +2||$200|
As explained on the Getting Started page, the Handle that you choose dictates which control style your vehicle uses. Handle A makes use of the entire direction pad, and your vehicle will steer towards any direction that you push. Handle B only uses left and right to steer the car like a steering wheel. The normal versions can only steer the vehicle so quickly. As you move to the +1 and +2 versions, you will be able to turn the car much faster.
Like the Body, the Engine helps determine your vehicle's top speed. In addition to the top speed, the engine also dictates your vehicle's acceleration. However, faster engines also utilize gas at a faster rate. However, if you want to win races in the later heats, a combination of Body +4 and the 4800CC engine is really hard to beat.
Turbo boosters can increase your vehicle's top speed, but it won't have any impact on your acceleration (nor will it increase the rate at which you burn gas.) A car with a slow engine plus Turbo can keep up with a car with a better engine and no Turbo. Packing Turbo with a more expensive engine will definitely increase your odds of winning.
|Warper||$3700||3||When activated, the Warper instantly warps you to the front of the pack of vehicles, giving you the lead for however long you can hold it. Unlike the warping which occurs automatically if you fall behind the pack, using the Warper does not cost you a unit of fuel.|
|Gas Tank||$250||1||You do not have to activate the gas tank. It activated automatically any time you happen to run out of gas. When your fuel hits zero, the gas tank will kick in, and instantly restore your fuel to the same level it was when you started the race.|
|Turner||$2560||15||Regardless of what direction you are facing and how fast you are traveling, activating the Turner will instantly orient you in the same direction as the race track. This is particularly useful if you are traveling incredibly fast and heading into a tight turn. The Turner will face you in the right direction while your competition is left behind trying to course correct.|
|Nitro||$5350||1||Nitrous oxide, when added to an engine, improves the engine's ability to burn fuel and increases its horsepower. For the hefty price of over five thousand dollars, you get one use of this chemical, which will boost your vehicles speed briefly. This is effective early on in the game, but later when all the cars are traveling fast, its effectiveness decreases.|
|Grenade||$1100||40||Grenades are tossed out ahead of your vehicle. Try to use them to attack opponent vehicles that are in front of you. However, be careful to avoid the resulting explosion. While it can be difficult to get the hang of attacking your competitors, with a large supply and a cheap price tag, they are a smart choice.|
|Bomber||$1350||20||Similar to grenades, the Bomber is a weapon that you release behind you. This weapon is better for keeping opponents from trying to pass you and take the lead, but it is much less helpful if you are behind the pack.|
|Hopper||$2800||20||The Hopper allows you to boost your car into the air and hop over any obstacles you may encounter, such as walls or oil slicks. The distance you travel depends on the speed of your vehicle, and you cannot change direction while you are up in the air.|
When you purchase an item in the game, you instantly replace whatever came before it with no possibility of a refund, or discount for the item that follows. In other words, all purchases are permanent. For this reason, you have to make a decision about whether a purchase is truly necessary in the long run. For example, while you can purchase Body +1 before the first race, that will be around three thousand dollars less that you'll have in your pocket for the second race, where you might have been able to purchase Body +4.
In order to win, you need to reach the fastest state possible as quickly as possible. That means having the expensive items such as Body +4, a 4800CC engine, and one of the Turbo options. Without these items, you are less likely to complete the final race against computer components, and even less likely to score enough points to rank very high in the final standings.
Before you begin, you should at least purchase Handle A +1 or Handle B +1, depending on whichever steering style you prefer.
You should try to purchase the following items in this order: Body +4, 4800CC engine, and Hi-Turbo. If you don't have enough money to buy the next item on the list (as you won't, for example, on the first race) then do not spend any money, do as well as you can in the race, and save up until you can buy the item in question. Once you have Hi-Turbo (which is extremely unlikely before the sixth race), you can spend the money on whatever you like, but buying great tires is highly recommended, followed by good breaks.