Strategy Guide: Powerups
Once you get good at handling these cars, this tip is the sure-fire way to win: choose a car with excellent speed and poor to mediocre traction and suspension. This alone will certainly result in losing the race, but if you can manage to pick up all of the Sticky Tire, and Super Suspension Powerups then you'll blaze past all the other players. It is often worth the trouble and loss of time to actually turn around to pick up a missed Sticky Tire powerup than to pass them by. High Speed combined with Sticky Tire powerups will greatly improve your odds of winning!
Make sure to get these powerups if you choose a fast car.
Avoid using the Oil weapon on the first 2 laps. The CPU cars' artificial intelligence knows to try to avoid the oil slicks that are on the ground. The CPU can probably do a better job of avoiding these than you can, so odds are that if you drop an oil slick down on the first two laps, the only car that will hit it will be yours. However, on the third lap you should always try to use as many oil weapons as possible. This will slow down the players behind you, and you don't have to worry about ever running into your own oil slick since you're already on the final lap. However, on some of the difficult tracks it may be a good strategy to use the Oil weapon as much as you can early on so long as you are in 1st place. Anything you can do to keep the other cars well behind you at the start of the race will help, however, be prepared to take your own medicine when you lap around.
Use these on the Final lap.
Unlike the Oil slicks, the Land Mines do not stay around forever, therefore, it is safe to drop those down on any lap - you don't need to worry about running into your own land mine on the next lap.
Land mines have a limited life.
Never throw a Bone Bomb backwards on a bumpy road. If you've played the game for more than 20 minutes, you probably already learned this the hard way. Bone Bombs have a tendency to hit the ground prematurely on bumpy terrain, and the shock wave from the explosion behind you will send you into a spin. Only throw Bone Bombs behind you when you are on level terrain.
Don't throw behind if on bumpy terrain
If the race is really close and there is a faster car coming up behind you, here is a strategy which works well: Get the Sticky Tires powerup, and then lob a Bone Bomb in back of you. Even if you get hit with your own Bone Bomb, odds are that you will recover from the skid faster than your opponent since Sticky Tires reduce the spin from an explosion.
The Roman Candle is one of the most effective weapon in the game. No aim is required, and they have good range. However, there are two things to be aware of when using the Roman Candles: 1) If there are no opponents in range when you fire a Roman Candle, the projectile will come raining down on YOU. 2) Never rapid fire a barrage of Roman Candles as fast as you can. Instead, fire one off every 1/2 to 1 second. This will increase your odds of a direct and repeated hit.
Only use these if you are sure an opponent is in range.
The Homing Pigeon weapon is the best weapon to use for a rear attack. If there are cars coming up on you from behind, nothing does as good a job of neutralizing them as the Homing Pigeon. This weapon is not all that good for a forward attack since they are slow-moving and tend to detonate in front of you unexpectedly which can cause you to be blown up by your own Homing Pigeon much of the time. Primarily use these for rear attacks.
Great weapon for attacking opponent behind you.
Even though they look really cool when you fire them, the Bottle Rockets are not a very effective weapon in racing mode. They are too slow and have poor aim in the twisty terrains of the racing tracks. However, they are excellent weapons for use in the battle arenas during multi-player games.
These are only useful in Battle modes.
This probably goes without saying, but never activate a Nitro powerup right before a turn in the road. That's the fastest way to get your face imprinted on the rock wall.
Of all the weapons in the game, the most difficult to use is the Freeze Bomb. These require very good aim and timing, but if you manage to hit an opponent with it you'll be in good shape. They are very effective weapons when they hit their target.