SX Superstar is an arcade-style supercross racing game that also attempts to capture the lifestyle surrounding the extreme sport. Players compete on 20 international tracks as one of 24 riders, each possessing a distinct style and attitude, in an effort to earn championship trophies and the girlfriends who go along with them. Characters start with little more than the shirts on their backs as they dream of a better life associated with becoming a world-renowned star.
With more money comes more choices, from new residences to better bikes and racing equipment. During the course of three seasons, players will receive messages from agents, sponsors, love interests, and others on an answering machine. A fax machine will spit out contract offers from within the character's apartment, which initially is set in a rundown building but could turn into that "deluxe apartment in the sky" if players perform well on the track.
Supporting a feature referred to as "advanced stage management AI," the game lets up to eight riders jockey for the lead at any given time during the race. Tricks such as the lazy boy, somersault, superman, and surfer are available using a combination of one or two button presses and directional movement, with basic techniques consisting of powerslides and the judicious use of nitros, which are earned for each successful stunt pulled off during the heat of competition.
Race types are broken down into five categories: Circuit Race, Baja Race, Stunt Event, A to B, and Uphill. Circuit Race has players completing a set number of laps, while Baja Race involves driving through checkpoints. Stunt Event has players scoring as many points as possible within the time limit, A to B removes the lap requirement, and Uphill challenges players to race against a steep incline. SX Superstar also supports multiplayer competition via split-screen as well as an Arcade mode featuring a single event on any unlocked track.