The Dead End take the form of gray tombstones with bats circling round it, both as an icon and on the tracks.
In gameplay, the Dead End can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Reaper Metal Sonic. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Dead End if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Dead End by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. In addition, when obtaining the Dead End, there is a chance of obtaining up to three Dead Ends to use in the Trap Item slot on the HUD from a single Item Box. When used, the Dead End's tombstone 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 Dead End, including the user themselves, they will lose Rings and be frozen. To avoid the Dead End, the playable character has to either step out of its lane or jump over it.
The Dead End can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 4, 10 and 16 respectively. For each upgrade, the player will increase the chances of getting three Dead Deads from a single Item Box and the duration of Dead End's freeze effect.