The game features several authentically modeled courses taken from all over Japan, and invites players to test their skills in the mountain regions of Akagi, Zao, Aso and Haruna – each of which is fraught with danger and will challenge even the most accomplished drivers. Each race is fought against a number of CPU-controlled drivers or against a friend, and mixes official tournaments with more lucrative night-time events.
At the core of Kaido Racer are a series of 'Battle Modes', which players are charged with winning in order to earn prize money. This can then be invested in new parts and upgrades for their car, or even buy new vehicles. Kaido Racer features a roster of 149 licensed vehicles, including Nissan, Subaru, Honda, and Alfa Romeo, all of which offer subtle variances in handling and performance. Each will be pushed to their very limit as the player engages in the four key 'Battle' events the game offers.
The 'SP Battle' sees players attempting to keep a special gauge as full as possible. Each driver has an on-screen 'SP' gauge which is depleted slightly every time they lose the lead or hit another car. Players must drive efficiently and aggressively to keep their gauge as full as possible and to empty those of rival racers. Similarly, the game's 'CA Battle' accentuates the use of drifting, and rewards successful cornering. Players earn points for executing drifts when prompted, with the winner the player who accrues the most CA points.
The 'FL/LF Battle' will place the player either in first or last place on the starting grid. The player must then either hold on to the lead for the entire race or come from behind to win. Finally, the 'TAC Battle' mixes the racing genre's customary 'beat the clock' elements with the aforementioned 'SP Battle' system as players try to keep their SP gauge topped up, while racing against a very strict time limit.
Kaido Racer also features a story mode that shows off the personalities of the rival drivers, and introduces the likes of 'Slasher', 'Tricker' and 'Lovers' – very different people with very different driving styles. The interaction between characters is also furthered via an in-game BBC/Mail system which lets players communicate with other drivers using a simple email-style system; offering challenges or picking up tips from others using the boards.
The game also enjoys a special sound editor that allows players to create a personalised soundtrack to the game. Using a simple yet comprehensive menu system, players can create specific soundtracks using the wealth of music on offer. Everything from trance tracks to Euro-Pop is catered for and can be mixed together with ease to create the perfect soundtrack to Kaido Racer's mountain challenges.