Ramps, shells, boosts, and more! Do you want to try to become the ultimate Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe racer? Well, look no further! We’ve got your back with these awesome Mario Kart tips from wheelin’ and dealin’ Benjamin, age 8, to help you become the king of the road
A Boost of Confidence
When it comes to the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game, it’s all about those sweet boosts. Boost yourself at the start of the race by holding down the acceleration button right when the “2” in the countdown is about to fade away, and you’ll be off to a nice, speedy start. Turning corners can be tricky, as turning regularly will slow you down, so Benjamin suggests, “whenever, there’s a turn, try and drift.” Drifting is done by pressing the ZR button, which will cause a small kart hop, and then moving your Joy-Con™ controller to steer left or right, whichever direction you are trying to go. Drifting will give you a mini-boost based on the amount of time you’re drifting. This can put you in a prime position against your opponents to start causing some serious chaos.
Never Go Empty-Handed
Item boxes will appear on the track as you race, so make sure you drive through them to pick them up. Even if an opponent ahead has already grabbed an item box, they’ll refresh quickly. Using items in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can help pave your way to victory, since each individual item, if used well, can cause a separate action upon impact or use. Some items are more useful depending on your position in the race, such as the Banana Peel. Benjamin says, “Right when I’m in front of someone, I like to just directly throw my items behind me,” so pulling ahead using your drifting abilities will make throwing items like the Green Shell extremely useful as they can cause a delightful disruption in your opponent’s gameplan, spinning them out and forcing them to readjust.
Another great disruption item is the blue Spiny Shell, which steers itself straight to the first place racer and can interrupt them, knocking them down and even hitting other racers on its journey. Another item that benefits the racer is the Mushroom, which gives you a kickin’ boost that might help pull you ahead to the winning position. Mushrooms can speed you through off-road shortcuts that lead to ramps where you can jump off and perform stunts to get a super helpful mini-boost when landing. Karts, Bikes, and Quads each drift and handle differently and can be equipped with different wheels to suit your playstyle. Karts can easily be adjusted when drifting, and while Bikes can’t be adjusted during a drift without letting go of the drift button, they are great for sharper turns.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Before entering a Grand Prix, feel free to check out game modes like Time Trials, where you can explore race courses and practice jumping off ramps. While it’s always a blast playing with friends and family*, playing against computer-controlled drivers is a great way to practice, especially to learn shortcuts. Shortcuts, while a racer’s best friend, are often off the road and can be tricky to find, so you’ll have to make some bold moves to find those crafty routes. Benjamin notes a time he didn’t win a race while searching for a shortcut, but tried again afterwards. “I tried to find a shortcut but I started to go slow when I went off the track.” Driving off-track will slow a racer down, so try using a Mushroom to speed you towards shortcuts.
For beginners, it’s important to know that there are four speed classes in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which are 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and 200cc. Beginners will definitely want to start on 50cc and maybe try playing with Smart-Steering on, as it will help guide your kart along the road, keeping you on track. Benjamin adds that “you can always redo the Grand Prix to try to get a better score,” so pausing to turn Smart Steering off and on again to search for shortcuts is another great way to practice your kart racing. Smart Steering is a great way for beginners to to enjoy courses from every cup, even on 200cc. Great courses to start with include the Mushroom Cup or the Shell Cup. Courses like Toad’s Turnpike and Thwomp Ruins are more difficult where active traffic and numerous obstacles that can stop players in their tracks, so they are more suitable for seasoned racers.
There are plenty of fun game modes to play in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. One of these game modes is Balloon Battle, where racers each get three balloons. To win, players must eliminate their opponents’ balloons, while keeping their own intact. Benjamin claims the key to victory in Balloon Battle is to collect items and then “go to where everybody is and just throw all your stuff at them again and again.” Another game mode is Bob-Omb Blast, a battle mode in which you and opponents repeatedly throw Bob-Ombs at one another. Benjamin recommends that, unlike his little brother, you should try to not tank everyone’s bombs (although Benjamin may or may not have taken part in that). One way to avoid being an easy target in Bob-Omb Blast is to use Smart Steering, which is available in all battle modes.
More Courses = More Fun!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is overflowing with fun, but if you are even looking for even more courses to play, you can purchase the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass**. It offers a total of 48 additional courses releasing in 6 waves before the end of 2023. There are already a bunch of additional courses to play like Wii Coconut Mall and DS Waluigi Pinball, with more to come! If you are looking for a challenge, try playing Ninja Hideaway on 200cc. Whew! It’s tough!
Well, there you go, racers! All the tips you need to leave Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, and fan favorite characters from other Nintendo franchises in your dust! Even that speedy little Toad. Watch out for him if you’re ahead – he’s coming for you. So have fun drifting your way to victory and we’ll see you out there on the track!