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Quotation1 Gear Up. Speed Up. Team Racing at Sonic Speed! Quotation2
— Tagline

Team Sonic Racing[4] (チームソニックレーシング Chīmu Sonikku Rēshingu?) is an upcoming spin-off kart racing video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Sumo Digital and published by Sega, which is scheduled for a release on 21 May 2019. It will receive both a physical and digital release for the PlayStation 4,[5] Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and a digital-only release on Steam[6] for the PC.[7] Unlike Sumo Digital's previous Sonic racing games, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Team Sonic Racing only features characters from the Sonic universe. The team has aimed to make the game stand out compared to other racing games; Sonic Heroes was used as a reference for the cooperative gameplay.[8]

Said to combine the best elements of arcade and fast-paced competitive style racing, Team Sonic Racing has the player face-off with friends in intense multiplayer racing.[4] In the game, players take control of one of several characters from the cast of the Sonic series and compete in races using sports cars. Gameplay is viewed from a third-person perspective, with players driving performing tricks, drifting, and collecting power-ups. Team Sonic Racing differs from traditional kart racers because of its focus on cooperative gameplay; the player is part of a team of racers, and races are won by efficiency rather than speed.



Team Sonic Racing is being developed by Sumo Digital and will be published by Sega for the PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[9] It will be the studio's third racing game featuring the Sonic intellectual property (IP), following Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010) and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012).[10] The majority of the staff, however, are new and have not worked on any of the previous titles. However, they have contacted the teams behind Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed for reference.[11][12] Sumo Digital was chosen to develop Team Sonic Racing because of their experience with the Sonic IP.[8] The lead designer of the game is Richard Acherki,[11] while Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka is producing.[13] Team Sonic Racing is Acherki's first game at Sumo Digital.[11] According to Acherki, the proprietary game engine Team Sonic Racing runs on is a modified version of the one used to develop the Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing games, and allowed them to easily port the game across platforms.[11]

Sumo Digital wanted Team Sonic Racing to stand out compared to other racing games,[11] and with the engine of previous games they had a solid foundation to build a new experience.[13] Iizuka suggested that they designed it so it was easy for beginners, as he wanted his children to enjoy it.[14] Sumo Digital also wanted to build upon the gameplay of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, which many players enjoyed.[15] Iizuka conceived the team-based gameplay after watching his son play a kart racing game with his friends. He observed that they were not all happy and pondered how they could all enjoy the game.[16] Observing other games, Sumo Digital found that team gameplay was very popular; noting that racing games were largely single-player experiences, they decided to combine the concepts to create a unique and exciting experience.[11][17] Iizuka echoed these sentiments, saying the development team was not inspired by other kart racing games like Mario Kart 8 because they wanted to make a game that emphasized teamwork instead of a "network game". He cited Splatoon and Overwatch as examples of the cooperative gameplay Team Sonic Racing was designed to resemble.[18] Sumo Digital has since said that Sonic Heroes, which features team-based gameplay, was used as a point of reference.[8][13]

Unlike the Sega All-Stars games, which featured various Sega franchises, Team Sonic Racing focuses solely on the Sonic franchise.[19] Sega's community manager Aaron Webber said that Team Sonic Racing is not a sequel to Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed and is "very, very different" from previous Sonic racers.[20] One of Sonic Team's intentions from the get-to was, according to Takashi Iizuka, to "bring to the Sonic fans a pure, Sonic universe racing game", which is why this title did not become an entry in the Sega All-Stars series.[17] Webber added that they also wanted to expand the world and character roster of Sonic,[21] and designer Derek Littlewood said setting the game in the Sonic universe allowed them to use the series' "full suite" of characters and elements.[15] One of Sumo Digital's goals was also to "provide plenty of fan service and also [give] people something new to look at and experience."[15] Team Sonic Racing also features several new versions of the Wisp power-ups from previous Sonic games. Sumo Digital worked with the Japanese staff of Sonic Team to get approval for their concepts.[14] Designer Ben Wilson called working on a Sonic game "surreal" and said the team enjoyed working with Sega.[15] The game does not support cross-platform multiplayer; Iizuka stated this is because of technical constraints.[17]


Team Sonic Racing is scheduled to be released by Sega on May 21, 2019. It was initially slated for release in late 2018, but Sega delayed it in October to give Sumo Digital more development time.[22]

Rumors of a new Sonic-themed racing game arose in January 2018 when an internal Sumo Digital memo leaked, containing information on an "unannounced karting game" for an "established global IP".[10] Their history with Sonic caused speculation that they were developing a new entry in the Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing series. This was rejected by Sega's community manager Aaron Webber, who stated he "saw rumors floating today about another SART game. Just wanted to confirm it's not a thing!"[10][23] Despite his response, multiple toy production companies alluded to a future Sonic kart racing game in February 2018.[24] In early February, a representative from Zappies reported at the Spielwarenmesse toy fair in Nuremberg that a third Sonic kart racing game was in development and that the company was planning on making toy figures for the game.[10] Similarly, later in the month, a separate toy company, Diamond Select Toys, also alluded to 2018 toys based off of a Sonic racing video game entry.[25] Multiple journalists noted that Webber's comments may have just alluded to the Sega All-Stars name and that he did not discount the premise of a new Sonic racing game,[10] and further rumors of a game without any other Sega IPs involved arose in the same month.[26]


The teaser image for Team Sonic Racing.

A Sonic related announcement was scheduled for 16 March 2018 at the SXSW convention.[27][28] The game was not announced at that time, but a trailer on the Sonic social media accounts teased a new racing game on that same day.[29] In May 2018, Webber stated that Sega would announce more information on the game being teased in the trailer "soon".[30]

E3 TSR display

Jun Senoue at E3 2018 photo booth.

On 29 May 2018, the name Team Sonic Racing was leaked by an online retail listing from Walmart.[31] Shortly after the leak, Sega confirmed the game was real[7] and announced it would release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One in the fourth quarter of 2018. A demo version was playable at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018.[9] This demo featured Team Sonic and Team Dark racing on the Wisp Circuit circuit.[17] Later, on 11 June 2018, the E3 trailer for the game was released, featuring the theme song and an in-depth look at the gameplay while also confirming the return of Crush 40 to the game's soundtrack.[32] Team Sonic Racing was nominated for Hardcore Gamer's Best Racing Game of E3 2018.[33] Another demo was playable at Gamescom in August 2018. More details were revealed, including the new character Dodon Pa, aspects of the story, and racetracks based on levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Unleashed.[14][34] At the 2018 Gamescom Awards, Team Sonic Racing won the award for "Best Casual Game".[35] Team Sonic Racing was also present at PAX West in August, where attendees were given an exclusive poster,[36] and the Tokyo Game Show in November.[16]

At the 2018 SDCC panel for the IDW Publishing Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, it was announced that Team Sonic Racing would receive a prequel comic.[37]


In Team Adventure Mode, Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends receive letters that invites them to participate in a Grand Prix like none other. The invitations come from the mysterious sponsor of said race: Dodon Pa, a funny-looking and chubby tanuki riding around in an Egg Mobile-like vehicle. While the gentle and chatty Dodon Pa seems only interested in having Sonic and co. as racers in his Grand Prix, his intentions are a complete mystery and might be more sinister in nature.[38]


Team Sonic Racing is a kart racing video game featuring single-player and multiplayer modes.[39] The player selects one of fifteen characters from the cast of the Sonic the Hedgehog series to control and participate in races using sports cars on courses thematically based on locations from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.[7][4] Different characters fall into one of three racing classes: Speed, Technique, and Power.[40] Each type has their own unique abilities and skillsets that give them both advantages and disadvantages:


  • Well-balanced handling
  • Fastest top speed
  • Defensive "Radical Burst" ability
  • Poor acceleration


  • Nimble handling
  • High acceleration and steering
  • Can cut corners on rough terrain without being slowed down


  • Good boost and defense
  • Can smash into obstacles without being slowed down
  • Can destroy barriers to open up new paths
  • Slowest top speed

An example of gameplay in Team Sonic Racing.

Gameplay is viewed from a third-person perspective and the player runs over panels to get speed boosts, performs tricks in midair, and drifts to make sharp turns. Racers can also collect power-ups contained in Item Boxes from the tracks to gain temporary offensive and defensive advantages;[41][42] these powers come in the form of fourteen different kinds of Wisps, which is a recurring power-up in the Sonic series.[4] However, instead of becoming Color Powers when using the Wisps, the users manifest the Color Powers separately. For example, using the Orange or Crimson Wisp will manifest the Orange Rocket or Crimson Eagle and fire them as projectiles against rivals. Similarly, the White Wisps can be used to give the user's racecar a boost of speed, while the Blue and Black Wisps lets the user drop Blue Cubes or Black Bombs on the racetracks. The classic Rings also appear on the racetracks, which the racers can collect to build up to their final score. Taking damage will cause the racer to drop all their Rings however, although some of them can be recollected before they disappear. If a character is accidentally hit by an ally power-up however, they will be completely unaffected and receive no damage.

The game differs from traditional kart racers because of its focus on cooperative gameplay: the player is part of a team of three racers and they must work together. The three characters for a team can be chosen freely (except for Team Adventure mode, where teams are predetermined for story reasons), allowing players to combine any ability types; the player also has the option for each teammate to be the same character.[14][43] While they control a single racer, the player must pay attention to how teammates are performing and share power-ups.[8] Sharing power-ups is in particular the only method to obtain some items not normally available to an ability type. By transfer of an Item Box, players can also double or triple the quantity of Wisps to utilize (e.g. when a player collects an Item Box, they will receive one Wisp, but if they obtain a Wisp through a teammate, there is the possibility they will obtain two or three Wisps of the same kind to use instead of one).

Instead of simply winning races by finishing them as fast as possible, teams get points based on their members' positions in the race; the better the position of team members, the greater the reward. The team with the most points are declared the winners. Thus, the most efficient team wins. Four teams of three compete, for a total of twelve racers at a time.[41][42]

Aside from sharing power-ups, teams can also perform various other moves and effects to assist their teammates and knock out opponents, like the Skim Boost, Slingshot and Rival Takedown.[7][4] When racing as a team in any game mode alone, however, there will be artificial intelligence (AI) controlling the player's teammates.[21] The teams can also unleash special moves called "Team Ultimates" when their Ultimate Meter energy gauge gets filled up from performing team-appropriate actions; while the move can be used individually at any given time the Ultimate Meter is full, it lasts longer if all three teammates activate it simultaneously.[44] When used, the Team Ultimate gives the user a temporary burst of speed that lets them plow through rival racers, sending them skidding out of control.[7][4] The meter's duration can be extended by hitting competing racers.[8]

Vehicles will have customization options as well that adjust the performance and appearance of a playable character's vehicle,[45] with new parts for cars unlocked as the player progresses through the game.[8] Each character gets nine parts to choose from, giving a total of 135 parts in the game. The game supports four-player local multiplayer, up to twelve online,[39] and up to three in Team Adventure.[14]

Team Sonic Racing features a wide variety of offline and online game modes including Grand Prix Mode, in which players compete to earn points; Time-Trial, in which players race for the fastest time possible; and Exhibition Mode, in which players are able to customize the racing rules.[46] The game also features "Team Adventure" mode,[39][47] a single-player story-driven tutorial[14] mode that provides an explanation for why the characters are racing and a way for players to familiarize themselves with the game and its wide array of characters.[8] Unlike the main game, the teams and characters who form them in Team Adventure are preselected and cannot be chosen by the player.[14] The Team Adventure mode is separated into chapters which the player can advance through by completing Challenge Missions, such as "Survival Race" (a "last man standing" race), "Ring Challenge" (a competition where racers race to collect Rings), Grand Prix and regular Team Races one by one. There are also specific clear conditions for each Challenge Mission. In each stage there are a set number of stars the player can collect by satisfying the conditions of the Challenge Missions. Progressing through the story unlocks new playable characters and customization parts for the player's vehicles. The player can also change the difficulty level in Team Adventure mode.[38]




Playable characters

Character Team Vehicle Type Stats
TSR Sonic
Sonic the Hedgehog
Team Sonic Speed Star Speed TSAStatsSonic
TSR Tails
Miles "Tails" Prower
Whirlwind Sport Technique TSAStatsTails
TSR Knuckles
Knuckles the Echidna
Land Breaker Power TSAStatsKnuckles
TSR Shadow
Shadow the Hedgehog
Team Dark Dark Reaper Speed TSAStatsShadow
TSR Rouge
Rouge the Bat[48]
Lip Spyder Technique TSAStatsRouge
TSR Omega
E-123 Omega[48]
Cross Dozer Power TSAStatsOmega
Amy Rose[40]
Team Rose Pink Cabriolet Speed TSAStatsAmy
TSR Chao
Chao (Dark Chao,
Hero Chao, Neutral Chao
and Omochao)[50]
Chao Pod Technique TSAStatsChao
Big the Cat[50]
Frog Cruiser Power TSAStatsBig
Vector Team Sonic Racing
Vector the Crocodile[51]
Team Vector Beat Monster Power TSAStatsVector
TSR Silver
Silver the Hedgehog[51]
Lightron Technique TSAStatsSilver
TSR Blaze
Blaze the Cat[51]
Royal Chariot Speed TSAStatsBlaze
TSR Dr Eggman
Dr. Eggman[40]
Team Eggman Egg Booster Technique TSAStatsEggman
TSR Metal
Metal Sonic[52]
Formula M Speed TSAStatsMetalSonic
TSR Zavok
Road Dragoon Power TSAStatsZavok



Team Sonic Racing features twenty-one tracks in total, each split across seven Zones and based on locations from past Sonic games.[14][34]


The game's soundtrack is going to be composed by Jun Senoue, the songwriter and lead guitarist for the band Crush 40, which has contributed to many Sonic games,[2] while Tee Lopes, the band Hyper Potions, and Richard Jacques also contributed.[57][58] This game will be Senoue's first major work in the Sonic series since Sonic Generations. Takashi Iizuka said the team needed "cool" music that would "influence the player's excitement", which led him to ask Senoue to compose the score.[16]

The game's theme song, "Green Light Ride", features lyrics written and performed by Crush 40, with vocals provided by Johnny Gioeli.[32][59]



The Team Sonic Racing tie-in comic.

At San Diego Comic Con 2018, it was announced that Team Sonic Racing would receive a prequel comic. This comic was released on 5 December 2018 and was written by Caleb Goellner and penciled by Adam Bryce Thomas. The story featured Sonic and his teammates as they journey to a new planet and enter a race unlike any other, during which they receive help from familiar faces to prevent an old foe from obtaining a powerful new technology.[37]


A banner for Japanese Team Sonic Racing merchandise.

When the official Team Sonic Racing Japanese website was launched on 1 February 2019, it was announced that several pieces of Team Sonic Racing-related merchandise would be sold as preorder bonuses. These bonuses include a Trailer Music Selection album ("Green Light Ride", "Team Gameplay Spotlight" and four other songs), acrylic key holder sets, a special racing guide, and digital wallpapers. Also, among the bonuses sold at the SEGA Store in Japan, there will be a Team Sonic Racing 'deluxe package' sold for ¥10,090. It will include the full game, as well as stylized postcards, "Sonic vs. Shadow" rock glasses, a keyholder, and stylized pouches.[60]



The pre-release reception for Team Sonic Racing has been mostly positive, with critics finding the cooperative aspect of the game as a good replacement to the "transforming" car mechanic from its immediate predecessor, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, another racing title developed by Sumo Digital, although many gaming journalists have found its focus solely in the Sonic universe as disappointing, particularly in comparison to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and the original Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, both of which featured other Sega characters as well.

Martin Robinson of Eurogamer expressed disappointment that Team Sonic Racing did not include any non-Sonic characters as playable racers, which he believed was one of the best things about the All-Stars series. However, he optimistically believed that Sumo Digital's experience with Sonic would ensure that the game would be a "fundamentally brilliant arcade racer".[19] Kevin Knezevic of Gamespot said that "despite trading many of the elements" from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Team Sonic Racing "retains the look and feel of [Sumo Digital's] previous Sonic racers" and that the game's focus on teamwork and cooperative gameplay is a "promising hook".[8] Matt Kamen of Trusted Reviews was more critical, expressing that while the game "has the ingredients to be a solid kart racer", the team mechanics could be "divisive" for players, and compared it unfavourably to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, expressing that Team Sonic Racing does not have the "spark" that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed did. Brendan Graeber of IGN expressed that although he felt the power-ups found in Team Sonic Racing are a "bit lackluster" and desired to see more customization options, he remarked that the game has a "good foundation", "even" without the "wacky characters" and "transforming cars" from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and expects to see more in the full game when it is released.[61]

At E3 2018, Hardcore Gamer nominated Team Sonic Racing as the show's best racing game, but it lost to Forza Horizon 4.[33] On Gamescom, Team Sonic Racing won their "Best Casual Game" award.[62]


Team Sonic Racing - The Tailgator

An ad for the Beat Monster.

  • Several advertising billboards can be seen throughout the tracks:
    • An advertisement for Chao in Space 3D.
    • Billboards advertising Vector's car, the Beat Monster.
    • An ad for "Eggman Industries", saying "We're working towards a cleaner, safer world".
    • Billboards for a Sonic air freshener, referencing Sonic's first cameo appearance in Rad Mobile.
    • An advertisement for Green Hill Zone.
    • An advertisement for Silver's car with the tagline "Future Tech TODAY".[14]
    • An advertisement for "Amy's Rose Fertiliser" with the tagline "Gotta Grow Fast!",[14] referencing the Sonic X theme song "Gotta Go Fast".
    • Billboards advertising Big's car, the Frog Cruiser.
  • In the logo, there is an R symbol at the beginning of the "Racing" name which resembles the one in the game title for Sonic R.
  • One of Sonic's renders depicts him in a pose very similar to a piece of artwork of the character from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
    • The same pose was also used for past racing game Sonic Drift 2 in Sonic's character select icon.
  • The sound effect that plays when the Ultimate Meter becomes full, and a Team Ultimate is ready, is the Continue jingle from the classic Sonic games on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
  • Tails' vehicle bears a resemblance to his kart in the Kart Race mode of Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Omega’s vehicle featured handlebars and two green headlights in official artwork, while in current gameplay footage they are absent.
  • This is the first Sonic game since 2009 to feature an original song by Crush 40, the last one being Sonic and the Black Knight.
  • This is the first time that Omega, Vector, Silver, Blaze and Zavok have participated in a racing game involving cars.
    • It is also the first time that Rouge and the Chao have participated in a racing game solely involving cars, while previously they were involved with the Kart Race mode of Sonic Adventure 2.
  • This is the second game in which Vector has been on a team without Espio or Charmy. The first time was in Sonic Free Riders, where he was a part of Team Rose with Amy and Cream.
  • All of the racetracks in the game revealed up to the moment feature floating balloons based on Sonic and Shadow's heads decorating the sky.
  • The main menu theme is a remixed version of the "Game Select" theme from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
  • Originally, Team Sonic Racing was meant to be released in the fourth quarter of 2018, but got delayed until 21 May 2019, due to Sega's decision to give the development team extra time to use to fix any bugs and refine the game before its final release. [63]
    • This is the second Sonic game not to be released in the year it was announced. The first game was Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice which was first set for a release in the fourth quarter of 2015 but was later delayed to 2016.
  • Sonic Team Director Takashi Iizuka's favourite character to play as in this game is Shadow, and he thinks he has the coolest looking car.[64]




Team Sonic Racing - Reveal Trailer

Team Sonic Racing - Reveal Trailer

E3 Trailer

E3 Trailer

Team Sonic Racing - Team Gameplay Spotlight

Team Sonic Racing - Team Gameplay Spotlight

Team Sonic Racing - Interview with Takashim Iizuka

Team Sonic Racing - Interview with Takashim Iizuka

Team Sonic Racing - Making of the Music - Part 1

Team Sonic Racing - Making of the Music - Part 1


  1. Team Sonic Racing - Reveal Trailer. YouTube. Sega (30 May 2018). Retrieved on 30 May 2018. “Team Sonic Racing arrives this Winter! Race in a team with your friends (or against them) both offline and online, and choose from a variety of characters and tracks in the Sonic universe! Team Sonic Racing is being developed by Sumo Digital, well-known for their fantastic racing titles. We'll reveal more about the game (and we'll have it playable) at E3, so if you're around, come give it a try!”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gallagher, Mathew (7 June 2018). Jun Senoue lead composer on Sonic Team Racing. Video Game Music Online. Retrieved on 7 June 2018.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter. Sega (25 October 2018). Retrieved on 26 October 2018. “Hey guys! To make Team Sonic Racing the best game it can be, we’re giving the team extra time to work on it. Our new release date is May 21, 2019. We know delays are no fun, but quality matters most. Thanks for your patience – we’ve got more to show you for TSR very soon!”
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Team Sonic Racing, Sega, Nintendo Switch, 010086770070. Sega (30 May 2018). Retrieved on 30 May 2018.
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External links

Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off video games
Sonic the Hedgehog handheld video games