Hover Kart Racing is, as its name implies, a racing game, similar to the Mario Kart series.
Up to seven players race their hover karts through different courses of varying difficulties, and, like in other racing games, rank according to the time they take to run a set number of laps. If enabled, players can pick up items (represented by smiling faces along the track) to help them win the race, such as missiles, bombs, force fields or speed boosts. Players are also able to use a variety of "power-ups" and "kits" from the Hover Kart Shop, which can also be used in the games Hover Kart Battle and Hover Kart Party.
With a recent update, players can bet a specified amount of coins. The winner receives all coins that were betted.
The gameplay of Hover Kart Racing involves maneuvering your kart around obstacles and through the track.
The objective in Hover Kart Racing is to finish a set number of laps on a specific course in the shortest time possible, aiming to beat the other players to the goal. Matches that have items enabled will be two laps long, whereas items-off matches go for three laps.
The player controls his/her hover kart using the keyboard. The Up Directional Arrow is used to accelerate; the Left and Right Directional Arrows are used to steer; and the Down Directional Arrow is used to brake, or, once stopped, to drive in reverse. The Space key allows to use items in stock.
Finally, the Shift key is used to jump, or, if held while steering, to perform a drift. Players can alter the angle at which they are drifting by pressing the Left and Right arrow keys whilst holding down the shift key, but they will be unable to change the overall direction of their turn until either the shift key is released, or the player drives over a ramp. It is possible to continue drifting in water, or even while the game is placing the character back on the track after falling off the map (or if the player has pressed "R" to recover while offroad).
As said above, players have the ability to use items in order to get an advantage during the race, by either attacking their opponents or aiding themselves. This items are obtained by passing over the smiling faces on the course. Items can be enabled/disabled in the options when creating/editing a match.
A homing missile that follows the closest opponent at the time it's fired and stuns the player once it hits. It always follows its target, but is destroyed if it hits a wall or another obstacle on the track. It can also be obtained as a Triple Hover Missile, which allows to fire three of these items, one at a time.
A bomb that goes in a straight line at the time it's fired and stuns the player that is hit by it. It bounces off walls and most obstacles until it hits a player, but is destroyed if it hits another weapon. It can also be obtained as a Hover Bomb Barrage, which allows to fire three of these items at the same time.
A mine that explodes on contact and stuns the players within its range.
A speed boost that temporarily increases the hover kart's speed.
A protective field that gives immunity to the player for a short time after it's used. It also stuns opponents who come in contact with the player while the field is active.
An electric shockwave that hits and stuns all opponents close to the player once it's used.
Similar to the Boost, but it can be used repeatedly for a set amount of time.
An item that gradually and automatically advances the player in the race for a set amount of time.
A bomb that follows and hits the leading player from above.
Power-ups are additional perks that players can purchase from the Hover Kart Store. Unlike the items found from item boxes, power ups are permanent items that the player can toggle on and off between matches, and they each provide unique advantages to players who own them.
If the host of the match has this item activated, then all players will race on mirrored versions of the maps. Certain maps may have graphical glitches due to the way they're programmed when flipped.
While the item description states that this power up is for hunting down enemies in Hover Kart Battle, this power up presumably brings back the green directional arrow which tells the player which way to go during a race.
Inventory Boost (+1 or +2)Edit
Having one of these power ups increases the maximum amount of items you can hold at any given time, though it is unknown whether the Inventory Boost +1 will stack on top of the Inventory Boost +2 to give three extra slots.
Having this power up will protect your items from being stolen by another player.
Kits are special items which changes the handling of a player's kart: most noticeably, they can affect the turning and maneuverability of the kart, as well as the kart's overall top speed and acceleration. Players with kits are generally considered to have a significant advantage over non-kit players, but a highly experienced non-kit players can keep up with inexperienced kit-users through a variety of tactics (the most prominent one being draft-riding).
Kits cannot be bought permanently, and instead can only be bought for periods of 3 days, 30 days, or 365 days. Furthermore, only one kit may be used at any moment, though it is actually possible for a player to change kits mid-race (though it currently appears more effective to use one kit for the entire race rather than trying to employ two at once).
Grand Touring KitEdit
Generally described as the most balanced kit, providing a boost to acceleration and top speed, while slightly loosening the turning radius when compared to playing without a kit. Of the three available kits, this one handles most similarly to playing without a kit.
This kit is described as having a reduced top speed in exchange for increased acceleration as well as much greater drift control. Players new to this kit will likely find the change in drift handling disconcerting, as some players describe it as feeling "slippery" when compared to the high amount of grip offered without using a kit.
This is considered the most versatile and effective of the three kits: while it is described as having a lower top speed, its change in handling allows players to drift in near-straight lines -- this effectively grants the player the ability to continuously drift throughout the entire match, thus gaining access to much more boosts than playing without a kit. Additionally, the increased acceleration allows players to drive offroad significantly faster when compared to without a kit, making it a highly effective tactic to drift through dirt around certain turns.
This kit provides a large boost to the player's top speed while severely reducing acceleration and turning maneuverability. Of the three kits, this is generally considered the hardest to master due to its unforgiving nature towards mistakes.
On maps with long stretches of road or long curves, this kit generally outstrips the Drift Kit when used properly: the Power Kit excels on maps where players do not have to frequently change directions or make sharp turns. On maps with a lot of sharp turns and few stretches of long road, however, it is nearly impossible to race properly with this kit.