In gameplay, the Chao-nado can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Cream and Unicorn Cream. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Chao-nado if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Chao-nado by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. When used, the Chao-nado will appear in front of the user's next rival if the user is behind said rival. If the user is leading the race however, it will appear on the lane directly behind them. If a character collides with a Chao-nado, they will take damage, causing them to lose Rings and slow down momentarily while transferring their lost speed to the user of the Chao-nado, thereby granting the latter a brief boost in speed. To avoid the Chao-nado, the playable character has to step out of its lane.
The Chao-nado can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 4, 10 and 16 respectively. For each upgrade, the damage inflicted with the Chao-nado and the speed boost it can grant will be increased.