Trackmania Turbo is an entry in the long-running racing series and the second title also for consoles, following the 2009 Wii game TrackMania: Build to Race. Like the previous entries the focus is entirely on time trials, either playing alone, with other players in the same room or with many players simultaneously in online multiplayer. When racing together it is never possible to obstruct someone, all other cars appear as ghost versions. Turbo is based on four different environments, each with their own scenery and tracks, and a single car for each environment with specific handling, identical for all players. That way, the circumstances are always the same for all players and there are never unfair advantages.
The four environments are Canyon Grand Drift, International Stadium, Rollercoaster Lagoon, and Valley Down & Dirty. Some of these incorporate elements from previous titles. On Valley tracks the car has extreme grip and often has to use dirt roads where it is hard to maintain speed without slipping, Canyon tracks are often open and wide like those in Trackmania²: Canyon with long drifts through corners at a high speed, Rollercoaster Lagoon tracks are similar to Valley, but in a tropical environment and with magnetic tracks, and International Stadium has the fastest car with the environment the series is best known for.
The single-player campaign contains about 200 tracks divided over five different cups for each environment. The player races to get a fast time recognized with a bronze, silver or gold medal. Based on the medal count additional tracks are then unlocked gradually. While racing it is possible to enable a ghost car of the best performance, or a ghost for each of the medal times. The entire campaign can also be driven using the Double Driver concept. There, two players control the same car on the same screen and the system averages the input of both players simultaneously to steer the car. There are also worldwide challenges and records. Only four buttons or keys are used to steer the car: acceleration, brake, and moving left and right. However, while driving at a fast speed the brake can be tapped to enter a slide and drift through corners by maintaining the acceleration. In some game modes stunts such as rolls can be performed in the air to save up boost.
Multiplayer includes hot seat and split-screen modes, along with online multiplayer supporting 100 players on a single track racing simultaneously with different game modes. Most of these have the players try to get the best time with an unlimited number of tries as long as there is time left. There are global rankings where players are assigned per country and then further per province, county or state. By progressing through the single-player campaign many customization options for the cars can be unlocked. After crashing it is possible to respawn at the latest checkpoint or to restart the entire track. There is an editor to create and share tracks with other players.