The Zap Trap take the form of a gray thundercloud that constantly emits purple lightning in the levels.
In gameplay, the Zap Trap can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Storm and Teen Sonic. 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.
When using the Zap Trap, the player spawns a single Storm Cloud some distance ahead of their rival(s). Touching the lightning emitted by the Storm Cloud with a playable character (including the user) will cause them to get zapped by an electric attack, which destroys a random power-up in the playable character's inventory, inflicts damage, and temporarily paralyzes the playable character. The number of rivals that the player can drop Storm Clouds in front of with the Zap Trap and the damage they can deal can be increased for each individual user by levelling them up to levels 4, 10 and 16.
Unlike most other Trap Items in the game, it is not possible for the player to dodge the Zap Traps by jumping through them. They must instead slide underneath them or move away from their lane.