Out Run Cheats & Cheat Codes for the Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and More

Out Run logo

Out Run Cheats & Cheat Codes for the Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and More

Out Run (stylized as OutRun) is a 1986 driving arcade video game developed by Sega. Sega published the arcade version of the game and U.S. Gold published the home computer version. Yu Suzuki designed Out Run along with other staple classic games like the Shenmue series and Hang-On (1985). Out Run is one of those staple arcade games that made way for many games that came after. It’s considered a pioneer in both graphics and hardware. It also features non-linear gameplay and a soundtrack by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Players could select which track they wanted to listen to while playing.

Getting ahold of an original Out Run arcade unit may be difficult, but gamers can find the original game on several platforms. For Nintendo Switch users, the Nintendo eShop has the SEGA AGES Out Run version for $7.99. For gamers who would rather try the game out without making a purchase, there are a couple of free places to play the game as well. RetroGames.cz has Out Run and players can play it on their browser without downloading anything. Play Classic Games also has the game available. Players should go with whatever option they feel comfortable with.

Out Run’s arcade unit was such a success both financially and critically that it was ported to many consoles over the years. These consoles include the Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis, NEC PC-8801, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Game Gear, MSXPC Engine, MS-DOS, Saturn, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch. Overall, the arcade unit and the at-home ports were highly rated by gamers and critics alike. A few of the ports, like the Amstrad CPC version, received low marks for not living up to the arcade unit, but overall, people loved this game when it first came out.

Today, gamers still love Out Run. Play Classic Games rates it a 4.75 out of 5 and GameFAQs gives it an 85%. Metacritic reports that it has a generally favorable reputation with a median of 87%. 94% of Google users who weighed in on the game claimed to like it.

Out Run Premise

The Out Run starting line

©ZAMIR / Sega – Original / License

Out Run doesn’t have a story or overarching plot. Like many classic games from the 1980s and ’90s, Out Run focuses entirely on the gameplay and doesn’t try to tell a story or develop any characters. The game is a “pseudo-3D” driving game that puts the player behind the wheel of a Ferrari Testarossa convertible. The player has a third-person perspective on the car since they’re positioned directly behind it. The camera mimics what driving an actual Ferrari feels like by being low to the ground. Since the camera is extremely low, it limits the player’s visibility. Driving a Ferrari in real life is similar due to how low to the ground the car sits.

The main goal of the game is to make it to the end of the course before time runs out. Players need to avoid obstacles like traffic. They’ll also need to handle going over bumps and dips as well as taking bends and curves in the road. The longer the player plays, the harder the game gets. Out Run will start hiding obstacles to surprise the player, so players need to stay on their toes. The game is broken up into multiple worlds or zones. Whenever the player reaches the end of a zone, they’ll get a checkpoint, which will increase the time limit. The end of each zone also splits off into a fork, allowing players to choose which direction they want to go. There are five different end destinations.

Yu Suzuki, the game’s designer, visited Europe to get inspiration for the game. He based the original concept on the American film The Cannonball Run. He purposefully wanted to avoid developing a racing game that would destroy the car if it crashed. Out Run emphasizes the satisfying feeling of driving a luxury car well. While exploring Europe, Yu Suzuki fell in love with the Ferrari Testarossa and decided to make that the feature car for his game.

Out Run Main Characters

Just like Out Run doesn’t have a story, it doesn’t emphasize any characters either. While players can see a male driving and a female passenger sitting in the Ferrari Testarossa convertible, they aren’t playing those characters, per se. In reality, players control the Ferrari Testarossa itself. This was a common thing in the 1980s. Plenty of video games allow players to control a vehicle or a piece of machinery instead of a living protagonist. In Space Invaders (1978), players control a laser cannon and in TNK III (1985), players just play as an army tank. The list of games where players play as some sort of technology is endless.

In Out Run’s case, Yu Suzuki wanted to feature the Ferrari Testarossa that he fell in love with. The game was supposed to make players feel superior and grand for being able to drive such a car. Out Run also sought to feature the beautiful scenery Yu Suzuki saw while he was touring Europe. The game is about enjoying the journey, not the destination.

Out Run Titles in the Series

Out Run spawned a large franchise after its initial success. The games in the series include:

  • Out Run (1986) – Arcade, Sega Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis, NEC PC-8801, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Game Gear, MSXPC Engine, MS-DOS, Saturn, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch
  • Out-Run 3-D (1988) – Sega Master System
  • Turbo OutRun (1989) – Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MS-DOS, FM Towns, and Sega Mega Drive
  • Out Run Europa (1991) – Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Gear, Master System, and ZX Spectrum
  • OutRun 2019 (1993) – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
  • OutRunners (1993) – Arcade and Sega Genesis
  • Battle Out Run (1999) – Sega Master System
  • OutRun 2 (2003) – Arcade and Xbox
  • OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) – PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Windows, and Xbox
  • OutRun Online Arcade (2009) – Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade) and PlayStation 3 (PlayStation Network)

Out Run Cheats, Cheat Codes, & Unlockables

Out Run gameplay

©ZAMIR / Sega – Original / License

From the 1980s to the ’90s, video game developers were notorious for including cheats or exploits to make their games easier. This was likely due to how difficult games could be back then. Most games couldn’t be saved and needed to be finished in a single sitting. Players usually had to worry about remaining lives or a time limit. The difficulty of most games increased quickly, throwing new players off constantly.

Fortunately, Out Run did take advantage of this across many of its ports. Unfortunately, most versions of the game have different requirements, cheats, and unlockables. Not every cheat will work on every version. Players should verify what version they are playing. Please keep in mind that this game is almost 40 years old, so these cheats may or may not work with modern playable versions of the game.

Nintendo 3DS Unlockables & Easter Eggs

Unlockables & How to Get Them:

  • Arcade Mode: Reach all five Goals among all modes
  • Cornering (Tighter Turning): Reach any Goal in any mode
  • Engine (Higher Top Speed): Reach any three different Goals among all modes
  • Fender (Quicker Recovery): Reach any two different Goals among all modes
  • Tires (Maintain Speed While Off-Road): Reach any four different Goals among all modes

Hidden Programmer Credit:

  • Go to the Settings menu
  • Set the game to “Old”
  • Start the game
  • When passing the sign that warns players of the upcoming fork in the road, press and hold X while driving down the desired path (this can be done on any world)
  • After a few seconds of holding the buttons, “PROGRAM YU SUZUKI 1986 SEP” will appear in the middle of the screen
    • This will also work on the arcade version but hold Start instead of X

Amiga Cheats & Passwords

Cheat Mode:

While playing, activate cheat mode, then press the keys for the desired effect:

  • Red Barchetta or Starion: Cheat Mode
  • B: Extended play
  • T: Extra 10 seconds
  • S: Next Screen
  • Q: Program information Q
  • X: Quit
  • D: Screenshot

Level Codes:

Go to the password screen from the main menu to enter these level-select codes:

  • Level 2: TZATZIKI
  • Level 3: PLANTAIN
  • Level 4: FAJITAS
  • Level 5: WONTON
  • Level 6: CHOUX

Commodore 64 BASIC Codes

To use BASIC commands, load or reset the game, input the command, and then restart the game.

  • Invincibility: POKE 44049,96
  • Unlimited time: POKE 34711,234 POKE 34712,234 POKE 34713,234 SYS 33393,173
  • Unlimited time (Alternate): POKE 34686,173

GameGear Unlimited Time Cheat

Press Left, 1, 2, and Start on the title screen to unlock unlimited time.

Sega Genesis Extra Options

Extra Options:

  • Press Start on the title screen
  • Press A 11 times
  • Press B 3 times
  • Press C 8 times
  • This will change the “Options” menu to “Hyper Options”, which will unlock new options including a level-select

Saturn Codes

  • Arcade mode: Wait for the title screen, then press A + C + Start on Controller Two.
  • Smooth mode (Overseas and Japan levels): Go to Options, highlight Game Mode, then hold A + C and press Left or Right
  • Easy Cornering: At the title screen highlight Options and press A + C + Start
  • Free Continue: On the Sega logo, press A + C + Start on controller 2. Press L on controller 1 to “enter a coin” to continue
  • Adjust Number of Lives and Credits: At any time hold X + Y + Z and press Start

Sega Master System Codes

  • Sound Test: With a hand on the radio, press Start, then Right, Left, Down, Up. Use Left and Right to cycle through the sounds/music
  • Start With Less Time: Up, Down, Left, Right, Right, Left, Down, Up then Down+1 or Right/Left+1

Out Run Cheats FAQs

Googling “Out Run video game cheats” doesn’t come up with any relevant FAQ results. All of the questions are about general cheat code inquiries, not Out Run. Just Googling “Out Run video game” will turn up some relevant FAQs, but they’ve all been answered in this guide already.

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