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Game Breaker / Racing

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Game Breakers in racing games.

  • Mario Kart:
    • Snaking in Mario Kart DS is probably one of the largest examples of the "grain of salt" controversy mentioned in the opener.
      • There was also another variation to snaking, called the prolonged rocket boost glitch. If the player does a rocket boost from the start and then start snaking while the rocket boost is in effect, the player can effectively drive off road without slowing down as long as they keep using mini turbos without missing a beat.
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    • Mario Kart Wii has one thing that is pretty game breaking; Shy Guy Beach and high-rated off-road bikes. Any bike that has an insane off-road stat will have a huge advantage on this course since the course is mostly made up of water and no one will be able to keep up unless they use the same bikes or get lucky with items. While the course nor the bikes themselves are a game breaker, the combo of both are. People who spam Shy Guy Beach online usually are using bikes with high off road.
      • And N64 Sherbet Land, since the whole course except for the cave counts as off road. So any bike with a high off road stat gets pretty much a huge advantage across the entire track due to being nearly immune to the slowdown effects of the icy surface. The offroad surface also makes the already ridiculous golden mushroom that much more valuable.
      • Grumble Volcano became infamous due to an exploit that allowed people to literally win in seconds because a certain spot on the track allows players to finish laps MUCH faster than they are supposed to. If someone keeps voting for this track online, there's a good chance they are picking it just to exploit the glitch. Less infamous, but still game-breaking glitches can be found in Mushroom Gorge and Wario's Gold Mine. Nintendo has tried rectifying this issue by auto-disconnecting those who try this.
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    • Mario Kart 7 had one discovered on the Maka Wuhu track days after the game was released. Similar to the Grumble Volcano exploit, this glitch, if done right, lets the player skip more than half the track. Anyone who didn't abuse the same exploit online physically had zero chance of catching up to the people that used this trick. What makes this worse is that Nintendo stated that they have no plans of fixing the problem, because they feel doing so may give some people an "unfair advantage".
      • In a case of Flip-Flop of God being a positive thing, Nintendo patched the exploits so now they no longer work and the patch is required to play online. Maka Wuhu, Wuhu Loop, and GBA Bowser Castle 1 have been fixed. The exploit fixes only apply to online races, so it is still possible to cheat in single player mode and local multiplayer.
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    • High off-road stat karts and Neo Bowser City, since the wet surface/rain counts as off-road. Using the Monster or Red Monster tires will drop your time trial records by about 4 seconds.
    • In Mario Kart 64, there are several design exploits, some involving the way Lakitu respawns you and others involving jumping over walls, that allow you to skip half or even the entirety of the course. In the North American release, they're Ascended Glitches, as the Player's Guide illustrates how to do these game-breaking shortcuts.
    • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! tried to mix things up by giving characters unique Special items. This unfortunately caused most races to come down to "whoever picks Koopa and Paratroopa wins" since the triple shell items — which normally are available to everyone — were given to them exclusively. Despite the great power of the other Special items, none of them could really compete against something so Boring, but Practical.
  • Diddy Kong Racing has the hidden character and time trial referee, T.T. who has the highest acceleration and top speed along with decent handling, who made winning most races a breeze. The tradeoff is that this character is incredibly hard to unlock, but once you do, it's pretty much game over for the competition.
  • Gran Turismo 4 features unlockable cars as rewards for certain races, including Formula One cars (the number depending on what version you're playing). They're supposed to be there as Bragging Rights Reward, but one in particular can be attained without any effort whatsoever using a fully-upgraded Pikes Peak Escudo. Thanks to an upgraded HP equal to that of most motor torpedo boats, this can complete the course in question (a tedious 100-lap endurance race of a circular Indycar track) without ever changing tyres and while constantly scraping along a wall for the entire time. Proper application of sticky tape to a controller thus allows you to quickly 'earn' a car that easily wins every race in the game it's allowed to enter.
    • Any car in Gran Turismo 1 that can receive a stage 4 turbo is overpowering because you can easily reach over 700 horsepower without losing anything near the cost of an actual racecar. The Nissan Skyline GT-R variations and Mitsubishi GTO (known as 3000GT outside Japan) variations are the worst offenders, you can easily tune them to be just under 1000 horsepower and outmatch anything the game throws at you on the right tracks (A soft suspension, a track with roundish walls, and good tires are needed because running off of the track is quite easy when you have this much power; luckily you do not need to worry about vehicle damage).
      • The Pikes' Peak Escudo in Gran Turismo 2 is extremely overpowering despite being one of the few cars costing 2,000,000Cr. It has excellent grip and the most horse power of any car in the game. You could also argue that its little brother, The Pikes' Peak Cultus, and the Espace F1 are also extremely effective because of their high power levels, however it is still easy to one up them with about 400,000 credits invested into a Skyline GT-R with a stage 4 turbo, racing slicks, full custom transmission, and whatever else you can fit.
      • Ditto in GT3. Despite being somewhat nerfed in its handing capabilities the aforementioned car already starts with a monster 980 horsepower and when it's upgraded with a stage 4 turbo it caps out at a earth cracking, ball busting, heart stopping 1884 horses. Rally races are especially easy, as spinning out does nothing when you can catch up in five seconds.
      • GT5 has the Red Bull X2010 designed to break everything, so dominant that the usage is completely looked down online.
      • GT6 meanwhile introduces the Gordon Murray-designed Light Car Company Rocket, an Caterham-class lightweight track car with appearance of a 50s Formula One race car. True to the car's name, it is a game breaker considering it a weapon from 550 PP class (which the car isn't actually eligible for, as the car is rated 556 PP, but even with maximum ballast, remains featherlight at 590 kg - the factory weight is 390 kg) to 24 Minutes of Nürburgring and Le Mans.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage Ver. 2 had the Honda Integra Type R (DC2), which, despite being a front-wheel drive car, wouldn't slow down nearly as much as other cars from hitting walls and guardrails. As a result, everybody and their brother used the DC2 and selected Irohazaka for every single multiplayer match, because Irohazaka was a zig-zagging series of hairpins, which gave a huge advantage to the DC2.
  • Test Drive: Unlimited has (at least) two cars which are ...badly placed in its ranking system:
    • The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe is classified as a "G" (the catchall for slow old sports cars) ... despite being perfectly competitive in races against B-class supercars.
    • The TVR T440R is logged in C, but can clean the floor with many A-class cars.
    • Similarly, the classic B-Ranked Jaguar XJ220. It costs merely a hundred-and-sixty grand, which is nothing if you look at the price money of later-game-races, yet runs 341 km/h and accelerates from naught to sixty in 4.0 seconds... If you drive it without tuning. With stage three tuning (which costs as much as the car), you have yourself an A-Class killer with 375 km/h top speed, naught to sixty in 3.6 seconds and fairly good handling and brakes (on the paper).
    • Also, if you own the carpack, the RUF RT12. It's a class B car, but, if you tune it to the max, reaches over 360 km/h top sped - again on the paper. If you red-line this car on a straight you reach over 380 km/h. Heck, you don't even need to max tune it, it's basic version is more than capable of competing with the likes of Murcielago and Zonda.
  • Some areas in Burnout Paradise put a Stunt Runs challenge right next to some high cliff, allow you to rack up a ridiculous amount of score. When you are done with it, you can take out another car and spam the challenge again.
  • F-Zero has a few. X gave off quick speed boosts for grinding on the walls and GX had snaking (just like in Mario Kart DS) and spaceflying (which can shave off minutes of your time).
  • In Excite Bots, the Bat, which is both very maneuverable and very fast. The Spider as well.
    • There's also the Hummingbird which is pretty similar to the Bat.
  • Super Sonic in Sonic R is the fastest character, however he does have below average turning mechanics.
  • Sonic Riders has Super Sonic, who has attributes of speed, flight, and power making him pretty much immune to obstacles and able to take any path on every race course as long as he doesn't run out of Rings.
    • He eats through Rings so fast, however, that he's of a lower tier than regular Sonic. In Zero Gravity, he's considered more balanced because he can draw Rings into himself after a 60-Ring power-up.
  • Speaking of Sonic, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has console mods, specifically ones like Shadow's. These racers end up having their speed and boosts ramped up to ridiculous levels, and on somewhat straight tracks, their horrible handling is trivialized. However, Sonic's Acceleration mod is just ridiculous. The acceleration isn't as high as other racers' mods, but it is enough to put him miles ahead of the competition in mere seconds thanks to his car's speed being higher than 3/4 of the roster. But the true Game Breaking side is the fact that his handling is ridiculously high and thus allows him to speed around the 90-degree turns of Burning Depths or Chilly Castle with no difficulty. BUT, it doesn't end there. Thanks to what could be a Good Bad Bug, HIS BOOST STAT IS A LIE. MEANING HE CAN DRIFT OUT OF TURNS PERFECTLY. While it still is below average, thanks to the bug, he can accelerate and boost quick enough to trivialize it. There is a reason why many players online Rage Quit after racing Sonic, as his mods provide him the best coverage in the game.
    • And then there's Console Mod Tails, who boasts the same bug as Sonic, only applied to handling. Instead of being level 3 in terms of drift, he is actually around level 4 and a half, placing him on the level of Vyse, Shadow, and even AGES in terms of tiers thanks to his surprising speed, great boost, and decent acceleration. With this bug, a player on the PlayStation Vita release got a TOP TEN SCORE in Time Attack at Seasonal Shrines thanks to Tails', a normally low tier character, bug.
  • In the Biker Mice from Mars SNES game, Vinnie has so many ways to get speed boosts that no one has the slightest chance to catch up wth him in 2 Players. First, his special turn allows him to do 90º turns instantly and gives him a boost when getting out of the turn. Second, his weapon is almost useless when actually attacking, but by pressing Y twice quickly, instead of jumping he gets a long boost. Then, all the characters get boosts by mashing the accel button at certain intervals, but Vinnie's come out faster. tl;dr: he can run the whole race under the effect of speed boosts. No one, NO ONE can catch up with him. And, ironically, the character select screen lists him with awesome acceleration and handling but the worst max speed out of all characters.
  • The Flatmobile of FlatOut 2. The fastest (beating even the rocket car, especially in acceleration), the strongest (can t-bone a school bus without taking much damage), with ridiculously grippy handling (why drift when your car can literally make that turn normally at the same speed?) and a brake that would throw the driver through the window instantly if the physics engine didn't require an actual collision to trigger the launch. And you don't have to unlock it to use it in multiplayer! Of course, since it's so fast, it takes substantial skill to drive, and as many newbies prove, its greatest nemesis is its own speed, smashing it against barriers at far faster than the damage system is designed for.
    • And now for a car that isn't very popular (half of players don't even bother driving it before meeting online) - Insetta (don't confuse with Insetta GT). FWD (cue ridiculous dodging), offroad (excellent grip on any surface), good speed and acceleration... and being almost THE toughest non-bonus car in the game, topped only by extra 0.3 armor of the Derby class' SUV. Good even at killing Flatmobiles! And while Flat is extra content, Insetta is a legal Race class vehicle.
  • LEGO Racers has a system where there's 4 different types of power-ups, and you can use up to three white bricks to build on to that power. If you max out a boost, you warp very, very, very far ahead of the course. If you keep repeating this, there is no way you can lose.
    • Except against Rocket Racer, who knows to do this himself.
  • The Piranha craft in Wipeout 2097 sounds like this on paper. It's a secret unlockable craft with all of its stats maxed out (Speed, Acceleration, Handling and Shields), and "balanced" by its lack of weapons. Of course, when you get from 15th place to 1st in the first 10 seconds, who needs weapons? In practice, its maxed-out handling means the Piranha craft is also incredibly twitchy and difficult to control as a result. This means you'll probably find yourself pinballing through the course a lot. It'd be even worse if the shields weren't maxed out, too. Not to mention, to unlock the craft in the first place, you need to beat the Piranha Challenge, so if anything it's more of a Difficult, but Awesome Infinity Plus One Craft. But hey, at that point of the game you surely are skilled enough to drive it without a problem.
    • In terms of weapons, the Quake. The only way to block it is to throw up a shield, and like other weapons, it screws up controls for a few seconds. Very helpful if you're in (or close to) last place and struggling to get a leg up on the competition. Only if it's the first or second lap, though, otherwise you're probably screwed anyway.
      • In Wipeout Pure, it's possible to turn around and fire it backwards at incoming traffic. If the last place racer is also firing one at the same time, getting caught in the middle hurts as much as you would think.
    • Triakis in Wipeout Pure, a craft which (possibly thanks to a bug) had disproportionately good handling for a high-speed heavyweight, making it a Master of All. The inevitable nerf/fix was addressed in the fluff for Pulse, which stated Triakis' experimental Reverse Inertial Dampening system had been banned and their trophy stripped between seasons.
  • Need for Speed: ProStreet is a game featuring mostly regular tuners and hobby race cars, like the Escort Cosworth and Dodge Charger. Then came the McLaren F1 DLC.
    • The McLaren F1's first appearance in II was a huge game breaker as well, in addition to being the fastest production car at the time, it also had the highest stats in all other attributes. And it was available from the beginning.
    • In Most Wanted 2012, the Everyday car class contains the Audi A1 Clubsport quattro, a pocket rocket with 496bhp and a 0-100km/h time of 3.7s.
    • Most Wanted 2005 had the Lamborghini Gallardo. When fully upgraded, it pretty much wrecks the competition with excellent handling, acceleration and top speed, making it useful for both street races (especially Speedtrap races) and pursuits. Ming, #6 on the Blacklist, has a Gallardo with nearly maxed out performance, so obtaining it via pinkslip gives the player an advantage over the other racers without having to shell out a fortune to buy a Gallardo at a car shop and modifying it.
    • Carbon also had the Nissan 240SX (but only in the Collector's Edition). Although an extremely difficult Challenge Series mission is requires to unlock the car, it is worth the effort. It is a Tier 1 Tuner with the highest stats of any Tier 1 vehicle. It is also the cheapest car in the game at a price of $20,000 (The Mazda RX-8 was at a price of $25,000). When fully upgraded, it can keep up with many Tier 3 vehicles, including Lamborghinis, Corvettes, and GT-Rs. The 240SX was, however, nerfed in later games.
  • Project Gotham Racing 3. Say hello to the Ferrari F50 GT!
  • In GRID 2 there are one or two cars that are far better than the other in each tier:
    • Tier 1: The Alfa Romeo 4C can take corners flat out that others have to brake for and is no slouch on the straights, especially with upgrades. Other two grossly overpowered cars in this class are the Chevrolet Camaro SS and the Volkswagen Golf R.
    • Tier 2: The C63 AMG has all the speed yet doesn't try to kill you in the corners. The Volkswagen Golf R (Performance) and the BMW 320 Touring Car also count.
    • Tier 3: The Alfa Romeo 8C has all that you need: speed, acceleration and handling. The three track day cars (Ariel Atom 3, BAC Mono, Caterham SP/300.R) are just as useful.
    • Tier 4: The Koenigsegg Agera R and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport utterly dominate this class. The Agera reigns over the more open-ended tracks (such as Indianapolis and Red Bull Ring), while the Veyron is easily the best car to use in the city circuits. Just remember that while the Veyron is extremely forgiving, the Agera R is the very epitome of Difficult, but Awesome with its very unstable handling.
  • Forza has its fair share of game breaking:
    • In general, late games tend to reward the driver level on your previous game(s) into the next one. So, it's possible to start the game skipping those slow starter cars and begin using a freaking Lamborghini on your first races.
    • Forza Motorsport 3 has the AWD drivetrain swaps, that has a Performance Index (PI) drop, and let you add more power or lower the weight. It's not unusual to see Audis and Vipers playing online. To top that, there's a glitch that turns most turbocharged cars into naturally aspirated cars through aspiration swapping and buying the racing turbo, then selling the racing turbo on the spot, but the game doesn't install the stock turbo. This allow for a bigger drop in PI that allows for installing even more parts. Said glitch also allows the Mazda Dyson LMP, normally an R1 class race car, to go down to S class through both the glitch and engine swapping.
    • Forza Motorsport 4 inverts this trope by dropping the PI on RWD drivetrain swaps. Oh, and the turbo glitch is still there for your amusement.
    • Forza Motorsport 5 has the Lotus E21, a F1 car that needs not much explanation, except for the fact that it was given for free after an economy update.
    • Forza Horizon 2 has the Lamborghini Veneno, which with its AWD drivetrain, it is incredibly grippy, handles well on all surfaces, and can reach speeds in excess of 350 kph/~220 mph in little time. It's no wonder it dominates the leaderboards for almost all racetracks in the game.
    • Forza Motorsport 6 has the aforementioned E21's 2015 equivalent, the E23, which might have not been given for free by the developers, but is still just as ludicrously overpowered, and is also possible to win as a wheelspin prize in some occasions. The November DLC also brought in Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/4, the only car to give the E23 a run for its money. It would be later on joined by Alain Prost's Ferrari 641 in the May DLC.
    • Forza Horizon 3 has the Outback airfield accessible at the start. Here you can mine skill points and XP any number of ways, from speeding and drifting through the Drivatars that congregate there to going off road for jump and wreckage bonuses. Once you unlock the Outback festival you can easily jump back and spend it all on the type of cars that would have Dom Toretto, Reiko Nagase or Imperator Furiosa drooling. It only gets better when you tune into the radio and have a Skill Song playing. By the time you get Byron Bay up to level five you'll probably tire of this but also have an even better option with Goliath, where every player and their brother farm a Marathon Level race but in half an hour (or three laps) you'll have at least two hundred thousand dollars, some twelve skill points and four or more wheelspins (thus more credits and car prizes) with the Festival just up the hill.
      • Much like in the prior entries in the Forza franchise, in Horizon 3 everyone and their brother will do an AWD drivetrain swap and change the engine to the biggest one available, usually either the C7 Corvette's V8, or the Lamborghini Aventador's V12. This makes any vehicle get a massive lead in races with explosive acceleration, high top speed, and just enough grip to get through most corners unscathed. When it comes to cars, however, the cover car, the Lamborghini Centenario, is the best car in the game bar none with its very high top speed, extremely powerful acceleration and brakes, and good grip. Oh, and it comes with AWD and the Aventador's V12 (albeit a souped up version of it) stock.
    • Forza Horizon 4 introduced the Route Creator so anyone can create their own track from any of the official start points on the map. While the AI will follow it to the best of its ability, players soon took advantage of the AI's Artificial Stupidity to create a route up and down the freeway while giving the AI a path that takes them off the road. While taking advantage of the credit boost a player can obtain from beating Unbeatable Drivatars, these tracks quickly oversaturated the Custom Routes list and gave the players hundreds of thousands of easy credits and influence for wheelspins.
    • No need to buy the Fortune Island expansion pack, you can turn the island of the UK into your very own. All you need is the Thatch Corner beach cottage and any decent S1+ off road or 4WD to smash the game even worse than the SAS smashed the IRA. A good vehicle can rack up drift and wreckage skills in the meadows just outside for easy skill points and influence. When you get bored of that head to the sand dunes a short drive away, your chosen vehicle will be more stable and less likely to flip or crash. And once you tire of that get speed, daredevil, near miss, lucky escape points on the massive M1 highway just nearby. You can conceivably get ten skill points every two or three minutes, and with the points and chains you put up your influence will skyrocket.
  • Motor Storm has, in theory, the same stats for each vehicle (that is, they will have the same "engine", "tires" and "weight") in a class except for some little variations on the car's size, so you could choose your favourite design or the one who could go under that bridge. However, the Molotov Drago is considered one of the best, if not the best vehicle in the first two games, just because of its surprisingly good handling and good proportions. Also, it looks badass.
  • Driveclub has the Koenigsegg One:1, a car that not only has amazing acceleration and the best top speed in the game (none of the tracks in the game have straightways long enough to let it reach its top speed!), it even handles well thanks to its active aero technology. No wonder it sits on top of most of the leaderboards in the game. Only the McLaren P1 GTR, the Pagani Zonda R and the Ferrari FXX K can compete against the One:1, as long as there are no straight lines ahead. Other excellent cars are the Renault R.S. 01 on Super class, the Nissan MY15 GT-R on Performance class, the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy on Hot Hatch class, and the Kawasaki Ninja H2 on Superbikes class.
  • From Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 and its successors: The Mazda RX-7 Type-R, also known by its chassis code FD3S or simply the FD. Best base grip of all cars allowing it to take corners like a champ, and solid speed and acceleration as well, making it the Master of All and the dominant car of time attack boards on nearly all courses. Disputes regularly arise over whether it's fair to use one or not, leading to "the FD is OP and I hate everyone who uses it" and "it's used by time attackers everywhere for a reason" camps.
  • Who could forget about Kirby Air Ride and its resident game-destroyer, the Dragoon? Only available in the City Trial mode from acquiring its three pieces, this Air Ride Machine boasts some outright incredible stats. On the ground, it's not much slower than the Formula Star, and its offense and defense, while not Hydra-tier godly still outclass most other Air Ride machines (Also, unlike the Hydra, it doesn't need to be fully charged to get going). However, where the Dragoon truly shines is in the air, where it has absolutely unparalleled gliding ability, allowing complete dominance in the air, and, barring a Good Bad Bug from the Bulk Star, is basically an Automatic win in the Long Jump and High Jump events.


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