A Hat in Time Wiki

Cheat the Race is Act 5 of the first Chapter: Mafia Town. In this act, Hat Kid will need to race a Mafia Goon to reach the Time Piece first. The Time Stop Hat is recommended in this mission, but there are ways to win without it. Attempting to start the Act without having the Time Stop Hat will cause the game to warn you, saying that you are "missing a key item" required to finish it.

The Race[]

When Hat Kid spawns, she will be down by the rocks below the shopping district and next to a Mafia Member on a rocket. When she walks up to him, the Mafia Member will challenge Hat Kid to a race to the docks, with the winner receiving a time piece..

When the race starts a red dotted line will appear showing Hat Kid where she needs to go. However, since the Mafia is on a rocket he can fly around obstacles, meaning that Hat Kid needs to be tricky if she's going to get that time piece!

There are a few different ways that the race can be finished. A map of the race can be found here

  • The intended way, and easiest way, is to use the Time Stop Hat with the Fast Hatter Badge to slow down the Mafia member.
  • Another way is to use the Sprint Hat. Combining this with the Scooter Badge helps tremendously, although the player will have to double jump and momentarily unequip the scooter once right before the waterway gap for time efficiency, followed by instantly re-equipping the scooter on the short stairs, and then doing two jumps in succession before and after landing near the TNT Barrels to cut through the long stair walls and jump on the bridge.
    • When attempting to use this method, it is highly recommended to beat the 3 Mad Crows (birds) that are along the dotted lines before initiating the race, since getting damaged by them could delay you. There is one near the start line right after the three bunched-up signs, one after the waterway gap before the TNT barrel stack, and the last one near the finish line at the end of the bridge where the tourist is. Beating the nearby Mafia Goons is also an option to minimize the risks of bumping into them especially at the docks (near the finish line), but it should rarely happen.
    • (Information for the purposes of testing whether or not the player could pull this off), it takes around 20 to 22 seconds for the Mafia Goon to reach the finish line since the race starts (needs confirmation from other players). You could try comparing your own time while practicing with the dotted line before initiating the race.
  • One of the trickier strategies is to use the cannon on the beach. As soon as the race starts you will need to run in the opposite direction of the dotted lines and head for the cannon, jump into it, and then it will shoot you near the docks. From there you'll just have to run to get to it.


"Cheating the Race" takes place in Mafia Town, which is a wide open location with many items to collect, and is identical to other acts in this chapter. As such, if you wish to know what collectables can be found here, please consult this section of the Mafia Town page. Check here for achievements.

Diary Entry[]

After each mission Hat Kid will write about it in her diary, which can be found in her room under the swimming pool of pillows. The diary will only read the entry for the last act that was completed.

"Ha! That’ll show those dumb Mafia guys how outdated single-stage power-based incendiary propulsion is."

"Winning fairly is overrated, anyway."


  • Earlier builds of the game featured different races.
    • In the Alpha Build, a Mafia Goon could be found on the beach offering to race Hat Kid. He'd use a hot air balloon, while Hat Kid used a rocket. This race worked differently from the one in the final, as floating hoops would need to be passed through in order to progress, and it worked on a several-lap basis.
  • The Mafia Goon who is riding the rocket is a reference to the original race.
  • In the beta's release, Act 5 was called "Impossible Race". Gears for Breakfast repeatedly received inquiries asking whether or not the various ways of cheating the race were intentional, so the act's title was changed to "Cheating the Race".
  • Just like in Train Rush, if Hat Kid enters this act without a necessary item (in this case the Time Stop Hat), it will say that the player will not be able to complete it. Unlike Train Rush, the player actually can beat this one, it's just really difficult without it.