Ridge Racer 7 features a variety of cars, tracks, and upgrades. Single players may work to be the best in the career mode, while up to 14 players can compete online for the highest rank on the global system. There are a total of 160 races on 22 courses in the single-player campaign that weave their way through such environments as the Lost Ruin, Industrial Drive, and the Shadow Caves. Players may choose from 40 cars, and then customize their ride with 375,000 decorative possibilities and 7,150 tuning modifications (a new feature in the series). The custom whips can be transferred to online multiplayer races, giving players a chance to show off their mechanical and aesthetic skills as well as their driving dexterity.
New for the Ridge Racer gameplay is the addition of slipstreaming. By staying close behind an opponent, players can increase their top speed and quickly pass the car in front. By drifting at high speed, a nitro bar is filled, with three levels: quick boost, double boost and triple boost.