Nitro Crates are powerful, explosive crates, filled with nitroglycerin, seen in the Crash Bandicoot series.
These explosive crates are extremely sensitive and should not be touched under most conditions (even while in the ground) unless supplied with invincibility. These are the most dangerous Crates on the Crash series. In Crash of the Titans for the DS, they appear with only an "N" on them. In the GBA version of Crash of the Titans, they have a yellow explosion. To destroy them at the end of a level, Crash must press the Nitro Switch Crate, which instantly blows up all Nitros in the level—however, anything near them would not explode while unseen until The Wrath of Cortex.
In Cortex Strikes Back, Warped, The Wrath of Cortex, and Twinsanity, Nitro Crates occasionally hop up in the air making passing them more difficult. There is also a staircase of tougher Nitro Crates in Bee-Having that the player can touch without being harmed, which leads to a secret stage, containing the Purple Gem. Unlike normal Nitro Crates, these never explode as it would be impossible to enter the route without them. In the Crash 2 prototype, however, they will explode if the player body slams them, which will make it impossible to obtain the purple gem without restarting the level or killing themselves after they exploded.
If Crash touches them, they will explode and he will lose one of his masks or lose a life if he has none. If Crash does lose a life in this fashion in Cortex Strikes Back or Warped, he will be shown as an angel, except he will also be playing the didgeridoo. However, while underground, a grave will pop up.
In Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart, they are one of the weapons available, as an upgraded TNT Crate for racers with a maximum of ten Wumpa Fruit. As usual, if it is hit, it explodes. The player loses three Wumpa Fruits as well. Any racer can get them at any time. Komodo Joe and Nitros Oxide also use them in boss challenges.
In Crash Twinsanity, players will still be blown up if Crash touches them even if he has invincibility. Nitro Crates will destroy enemies also if they're knocked them into them or if they run into them. The Nitro Crates in this game appear very different to the versions in the previous games.
The only ways to touch a Nitro Crates and not be blown up are by using the Sneak Shoes power up in The Wrath of Cortex, or having an Aku Aku mask.
Since their debut in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Nitro Crates have been in nearly every level of the platforming games.