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The Zap Trap's icon takes the form of a black thundercloud with an arching yellow arrow on top of it sending a yellow lightning bolt crashing down below it. In gameplay, this power-up becomes a gray thundercloud that constantly emits purple lightning.
In gameplay, the Zap Trap can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Movie Sonic and Storm. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Zap Trap if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned users.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Zap Trap by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. When used, this power-up's thundercloud 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, including the user themselves, touches the lightning emitted by the thundercloud, they will be stunned, thus causing them to lose Rings and stop moving for a moment, and lose one random power-up in their inventory slots on the HUD. To avoid the Zap Trap, the playable character must either slide underneath its storm cloud or get out of its lane.
The Zap Trap can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 4, 10 and 16 respectively. For each upgrade, the number of rivals that the player can drop the Zap Trap in front of and the number of Rings the Zap Trap can take away will be increased.