F-Zero 99's SNES-like Classic Race mode is coming in its next major update

F-Zero 99
(Image credit: Nintendo)

F-Zero 99's next update is a pretty big one, with a brand new Classic Mode being added to the Nintendo Switch's online multiplayer racer.

Nintendo's Japanese Twitter account confirmed that the Nintendo Switch Online-exclusive racing game will receive the Classic Race update tomorrow (November 29). The official post on Nintendo's website further discusses the rules and mechanics the Classic Race mode will bring to F-Zero 99.

The first thing you'll probably notice about Classic Race mode is that it maintains the SNES original's 4:3 aspect ratio; the widescreen edges now replaced with generic borders. The UI has been adjusted as a result to fit the narrower screen space.

The mode still takes place online against other players, but limits the number of entrants to 20, down from the main mode's titular 99. Similarly, courses have largely been shrunk to accommodate for the smaller amount of players, so there'll still be plenty of elbows-out driving as you attempt to charge through the pack.

The mechanics of Classic Race have also been changed to more accurately recreate the feel of the SNES game. The main mode's Skyway shortcut is absent here, and players won't be able to perform the spin attack maneuver. Lastly, boosting no longer drains your health. Instead, you are limited to one boost per lap and have a total of three for the entire race.

The main incentive for playing Classic Race mode in F-Zero 99 seems to be the new Lucky Card system. Essentially, it means that successfully finishing Classic races will add a segment to the Bounty Board which acts a bit like a lottery scratch card. If your board matches one of the set numbers after five races, you'll receive rewards like additional experience and race tickets.

Classic Race does seem to be a very novel and nostalgic addition to the game, and I'm keen to see if the rewards presented are worth playing this mode over the main 99-player one. I'll certainly be checking it out when F-Zero 99 updates tomorrow.

F-Zero 99 is fantastic and if you've recently bought a Nintendo Switch console, you may also be interested in some of the other best Nintendo Switch games available this year.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.