Team Sonic Racing was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC this week. We have been playing the racer fervently trying to get a grip on every single item (or wisp as they are called in TSR) in the game so we can bring you a definitive rundown of how and when you should use all fifteen of them. Plus, you know, getting our online ranking up as high as we can before our rivals play the game long enough to be good at it.
First off we'll cover wisps that are made for dropping into the paths of rival racers. The kind of wisp that makes you feel like Iron Man when he walks away from an explosion in that iconic scene. Nothing is better for that than the Black Bomb. You can also throw it in front of you and, even though it bounces, don't worry about plowing into it yourself. Players can not hurt themselves or fellow team members with their own items. Blue Cubes can also be thrown or dropped but will sit there until they are hit or destroyed. The other (sort of) drop wisp is Red Burst. When used, you will leave a trail of fire behind you. Red Burst can only be used by speed type racers unless transferred via Item Box Transfer.
But enough of what you can drop, and on to what you can shoot people with. Crimson Eagles will home in on one racer ahead of you, but don't fire them blindly. Make sure the racer is within sight before firing. If you're looking to unleash a little more chaos, keep an eye out for the Cyan Laser. This wisp will cause a massive laser with a huge reach to emit from the front of your car. It doesn't last long and is only available to power racers, but use it when there's a tight crowd in front of you and you could do some serious damage. The most common projectile is the orange rocket. They may not home in on opponents, but they can bounce off of walls and also destroy rogue items blocking your way.
There will naturally be times when your opponents are out of sight, even when looking both ahead and behind you. For those situations, you should keep your fingers crossed for these next items. First, the Gray Quake. Using this wisp will make giant stone pillars rise up out of the track. Trouble is, should a power racer encounter them, they can drive on through unaffected. You'll have no such issue with Ivory Lightning. Using that wisp will affect everyone else on the track, regardless of type.
Two of the wisps that have a wider, unseen effect are specific to certain racer types. First up, Magenta Rhythm. The only item that is specific to technique racers, it will cause your opponents' screens to fill with massive musical notes. Not that effective against AIs, but very handy when playing online. Violet Void, meanwhile, is exclusive to power racers. It has a whole host of benefits including slowing down nearby racers, attracting rings you might have just missed, and even destroying enemy projectiles should you use it at the right time.
Next up are items designed to defend rather than attack. The totally-not-Mario stars are up for grabs and will grant you invincibility, as well as deal damage to anyone you hit. However, they are extremely rare. Much less rare is the Jade Ghost. This wisp will also grant invincibility while also stealing an item from a rival. However, you will not be able to pick up rings while it's active. Pink Spikes, the last of the items exclusive to power racers, will cause three spiky spheres to circle around your car, protecting you from anything and everything that threatens you.
Just two wisps left to cover that either don't fit into any of the previously discussed categories or fit into more than one. White Boosts and the Yellow Drill. White Boosts do exactly what you think they will. Give you a short boost of speed when used. What's also handy to know is if you're about to be hit from behind with a projectile, a perfectly timed boost will destroy it. The Yellow Drill is TSR's answer to Bullet Bill. You'll only come across it when you're floundering at the back of the pack, but it should more than help you get back into the thick of it.
Team Sonic Racing is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC for $39.99.