F-Zero 99 blazed onto Switch like a bat out of hell after a surprise launch during September’s Nintendo Direct. It brings the veteran series out of retirement and breathes new life into it as a hectic 99-person battle royale. We can’t get enough of its unique brand of awesome.
The game comes with a tutorial that touches on the basics, but it doesn’t cover everything. In fact, the nuances of F-Zero 99 are left a bit of a mystery. This includes what makes each ship different. Sure, they have different vaguely defined stats, but what does that all mean? In this guide, we are going to break all of that down for you.
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Easily the most iconic ship you can pilot in F-Zero is the legendary Blue Falcon – manned by Captain Falcon himself. This is the most well-rounded pick you can make. It can do everything and play in any style. Sure, it won’t be able to go toe-to-toe against a more specialised ship in their specific field, but it can outgun them in other areas.
The Blue Falcon is perfect for beginners, or for players who just want a fun time. It’s easy to control and can take a hit and boost 1 to 2 times per lap without being in danger of irreparable damage. The Mario of F-Zero.
The Golden Fox is bonkers. It has the highest acceleration in the game and it loves to boost. So much so that you are looking to boost 3-4 times per lap. To put it into context, that is more times per lap than some ships can do in an entire race. Why can the Golden Fox boost so much? It has incredible Recovery.
It is not uncommon for the Golden Fox to be near death, only to heal to full HP when driving over a Recovery Pad. The Golden Fox is all about risk vs. reward. Your top speed is pretty low and you can’t take much of a beating, but you want to be boosting at key points and often. You are always riding a thin line between life and death, and it’s an absolute thrill.
In single races, Golden Fox shines bright. However, in a Grand Prix, the strengths of Golden Fox start to wane. Remember, as players get KOs, their max HP increases allowing them to boost more. In a long-form format like Grand Prix, this allows less versatile boosters to catch and even surpass Golden Fox’s boosting capabilities.
Wild Goose is, in our opinion, the best ship in the game – regardless of skill level. Wild Goose has a high top speed and excellent durability. Wild Goose is the most aggressive ship in the game and relies on bullying weaker players to gain massive advantages – namely healing and HP buffs. The more players Wild Goose KO’s, the better.
The downside to Wild Goose is its native recovery. It is so low that Wild Goose can, at most, boost once per lap. Any more than that and you risk pushing your HP too low to effectively recover on a single Recovery Pad, which in turn, makes it harder for you to land KO’s.
The more Wild Goose KO’s, the more it can boost, however, so it all comes together once you master its unique playstyle. This also makes Wild Goose one of the most dangerous ships in Grand Prix as you start to wrack up KOs across multiple races.
Fire Stingray is the final ship in F-Zero 99, and it’s probably the most difficult to use. Its stats are pretty solid for the most part. Where it shines is its top speed. Fire Stingray is a monster once it reaches top speed and nothing can come close to matching it. Throw in the ability to safely boost 1-2 times per lap, and you have yourself a very fast ship.
The thing is, you need to play very well to maintain that speed. That means taking each corner perfectly, avoiding conflict, and knowing when to boost at the right time. Fire Stingray is the most rewarding to play, but we highly recommend waiting until you have gotten to grips with F-Zero 99 before jumping in.
That’s all we have on F-Zero 99. Be sure to check out our other lists and guides for more F-Zero content.