From Rage Racer onwards, the Ridge Racer series allows the player to customize their cars. On most installments, customizations are limited to visual aspects, but in Rage Racer and Ridge Racer 7, player may alter the car's performance.
Customization options in Rage Racer includes:
- Ability to change the car's primary and secondary colors.
- Ability to add sponsor logos and write team names on the windshield.
- Options on car tires.
- Class-based performance tuning.
Ridge Racer Type 4
Ridge Racer Type 4 enables the player to create custom logos, carried over from Rage Racer.
Ridge Racer V
A dedicated "Design" mode is available, allowing player to change their team's name and alter the cars' paintjob and wheel color.
Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 (PSP)
Both PSP titles give the player a selection of 25 color for each car, except for the Yamasa Raggio in Ridge Racer 2 which is only available in red.
Ridge Racer 7
Ridge Racer 7 offers a wide range of customization, both cosmetic and performance, aside from tune-up kits for various classes.
Performance upgrades in Ridge Racer 7 includes:
- Engine tune-up, consisting of one stage of factory engine upgrade and three aftermarket options: Solvalou (increases overall performance), Druaga (increases high-rpm performance, making the car slightly peaky but have high top speed), and Zolgear (increases acceleration at the cost of top speed).
- Tires & suspensions, consisting of one stage of factory upgrade and three aftermarket options: Bosconian (reduces the car's tendency to slide but otherwise increases inertial drift abilities, making it behave like a Mild-type car), Rolling Thunder (increasing the car's drifting ability, making it behave like a Dynamic-type car) and Astaroth (increases the car's grip).
- Nitrous. Refer to this page for nitrous upgrades
Cosmetic upgrades in Ridge Racer 7 includes:
- Front aero/front bumper.
- Side aero/side skirts and wing mirrors.
- Rear aero/rear bumper.
- Rear wing.
- Body designs.
- Window tint.
- Headlight colors.
There are four aero parts manufacturer (Quox's, Arkbird, Dig Dug and Dragonsaber) and three wheel manufacturers (Andorgenesis Wheels, Kilik and Starblade).
Ridge Racer 7 also saw the introduction of Plug-in Units that can be fitted to the car. Each car can only have one plug-in unit installed.
Ridge Racer Slipstream
Ridge Racer Slipstream's customization is similar to Ridge Racer 7 albeit simplified. Available customizations include:
- Color (body and wheel)
- Engine upgrades, consisting of 4 stages for each class.
- Running gear upgrades, consisting of 4 stages for each class. Purchasing running gear upgrades enable the player to alter the car's drift behavior and grip levels.
- Nitrous upgrades, consisting of 4 stages for each class. Purchasing nitrous upgrades enable the player to alter the nitrous characteristics, such as the charge type (Normal/Ultimate Charge/Auto Charge) and the boost type (Normal/Extended/High).
Note that Complete Machines (labeled with "CM") are non-customizable. Plug-in units are now named "Perks" and by default, a player may only use one perk per race.
- Rage Racer is the only title that featured real-life sponsors, as it featured Yokohama Rubber Company billboards and Advan logo in one of the available logo presets.