In Team Lightning Race Events, the player competes in a basic three lap race that adhere to the basic rules and gameplay mechanics of a Team Race in Team Sonic Racing. As such, the player competes as a single playable character with two teammates to race with and rival teams to race against. Up to four teams of three can compete in this Event, for a total of twelve racers at a time. The teams' different standings during a race are displayed on the left side of the HUD and is constantly updated. Each team on this display also has its own color, which makes it possible to identify the characters who are backlit with these colors. Out on the race track, rival racers are highlighted in red. Racers can also pick up power-ups from the Item Boxes on the race tracks and use them against rival racers. Teammates, however, are unaffected by the player's power-ups. The racers can also pull off various team maneuvers, such as the Item Box Transfer, Slingshot, Skim Boost, Rival Takedown and Team Ultimate.
In Team Lightning Race Events, the goal of the player is to get the best position possible in the race. During the race, however, there will be a gauge on top of the screen that gradually fills up on its own. Once the gauge reaches its limit, lightning will strike all of the players on the track. This lightning strike has the same effects as the Ivory Lightning. After the lightning has struck, the gauge on the screen will reset and start filling up again to repeat the process. However, for each lightning strike, the gauge will fill up faster
As the means of defending against the lightning, the player can pick up Invincibility from the Item Boxes on the tracks, which all bestow Invincibility by default in Team Lightning Race Events. While holding an Invincibility, the player can press the Use Item button to trigger this power-up, thereby granting them temporary immunity to the lightning strikes. However, Invincibilities in Team Lightning Race Events work differently from those in other Events; instead of staying active after being triggered and then wearing off after a while, the Invincibilities will only stay active for as long as the Use Item button is held down. When using Invincibility by holding the Use Item button though, the player will drain the Invincibility's energy gauge in the Wisp Window. If this energy gauge runs out, the player will lose the Invincibility in their inventory. To refill an Invincibility's energy gauge or otherwise replace it, the player has to pick up a new Item Box with Invincibility.
A Team Lightning Race Event will conclude once all the racers have made three laps around the race track. However, when deciding the winning team, the racers on each team all contribute individually to the team's final place in the race, meaning crossing the finish line first will not always be enough. Instead, the team gets points based on their members' final positions in the race. The better the members' final positions in the race are, the more points the player's team will receive. When reaching the result screen, points will be assigned for each racer's final position (15 for first place, 12 for second, then 10, 9, 8 and so on), and totaled up for each team. The team with the highest total score are declared the winners of the Team Lightning Race.