The idea of Rad Racer is to rally through a course, and make it to check points before the timer runs out. If a player hits a road sign or tree at any speed the car crashes. Hitting another car severely slows the car down, but does not cause a crash. Crashes take time and make it more difficult for the player to reach the check point. There are eight different levels of increasing skill. Even if time runs out, the vehicle can continue to coast for a while; if the vehicle reaches a checkpoint before running out of momentum, the game continues. Rad Racer came packaged with 3D glasses, which could be worn to give the player the illusion of three dimensions (Square had previously incorporated the usage of 3D glasses in 3-D WorldRunner). You can activate the 3D mode during play by pressing the "Select" button. At the car selection screen, the player can pick one of two cars: a Ferrari 328 or an F1 racing machine, similar in appearance to the 1987 Camel-sponsored Honda/Lotus 99T Formula One car. Although officially there is supposedly no performance gain by choosing the F1 racing machine over the Ferrari 328, this is debated by race fans. Debate aside, a frame by frame comparison of the cars shows definitively that they are identical, at regular and turbo velocities. The player cannot clear the course faster. The maximum speed is still 255 km/h (255 is the highest integer representable within 8 bits).