How to Win at “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”

Updated on September 10, 2019
poppyr profile image

Poppy has loved Mario Kart ever since the Nintendo 64. With tens of thousands of points online, she now wants to share her secrets!

Mario Kart has been a family-friendly racing game series since the original Super Mario Kart on the Famicom SNES console in the 1990s. Eight releases later, we have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch, which is pretty much a re-release of the previous title on the Wii U.

This game is fun and challenging, bringing back the classic characters, race tracks, and items, as well as several new ones to keep us interested and on our toes. The Nintendo Switch version brings us the ability to hold two items in a row as well as bringing us more characters such as Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

So how can you get really good at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? How can you be the champion of all who challenge you, and perhaps even make a name for yourself online? Here are some tips on Mario Kart gameplay to make you unbeatable!


1. Know the Levels

Not that you have to be able to recite the levels perfectly, but to win at Mario Kart you need knowledge of all of the racing tracks in this game. Where are the traps? The shortcuts? The enemies that are waiting to throw you off?

You're never going to be a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe champion if you don't know the levels! Be sure to research and race on them as often as possible to remember each corner, jump, and shortcut available.

2. Pay Attention to Your Kart, Wheels, and Parachute

The type of vehicle and wheels you select aren't only for aesthetics. Do you work better on a motorbike or in a kart? Do wheels with grip work better? When selecting the types of parts for your kart, you can see a list of statistics for each item, for example, speed, acceleration, weight, and traction.

Practice and experiment with different kinds to see what work best for you. Alternatively, you can check out the video below for what some consider the "best" karts (though take this with a pinch of salt; everybody has different playing styles). Once you find the combination that works for smoother gameplay and the right balance between speed and grip, you'll have an edge that'll help you in a race.

3. Don't Relax Once You're in First Place

Being first in a race means you're far from safe! As well as the risk that someone will shoot past you or fire a shell at your butt, the person in front is always at risk of getting hit by the dreaded blue shell.

Pay attention to what item you have while you're in first place, because it's very likely that it will save you. Equip bananas, shells, an air horn or a star for the best results. If you're in first place and immune to incoming attacks, it'll be very difficult for people to overtake you.

Keeping these items with you might just save your place! There's nothing worse in Mario Kart 8 than being knocked back several places because of a stupid shell.

4. Skid and Jump

It isn't possible to get seriously good at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe unless you skid and jump. Hold the right bumper button to skid when you come to corners. Release it for a speed boost.

It takes some practice to get right, but when you've got the hang of it, it greatly improves your performance in all race tracks. It's much faster than turning normally and the speed boosts leave your rivals eating dust!

Do You Get Competitive When You Play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

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5. Know Where to Cut Corners

Cutting corners is fine if you have a star or mushroom to help you along! Sometimes, getting over shortcuts or through corners can shave seconds off your lap time and give you time to get in front.

6. Hint: Blue Shells Aren't the End!

Blue shells aren't the beginning of the end for those in first place! There are actually a few items that can neutralize an incoming blue shell (and greatly upset the person who threw it!) If you're lucky, you'll have one of these items handy in case a blue shell is incoming. They are:

  • The air horn
  • The star

*Note: a bullet bill may also be immune to a blue shell, but this is unconfirmed.

If a blue shell is hovering above you, ready to strike, use the item to get rid of it. It is extremely rare to get more than one blue shell in a race, so you'll likely be getting rid of the only chance for others to overtake you!


7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Playing any game online is a learning process, and it's likely that for the first few hours, you'll suck. But don't give up! You'll be able to pick up tips and tricks from others and improve when you're playing against competitive online players.

No one is going to be tougher on you than someone online, so by the time you've gotten used to racing against the pros, playing against semi-serious friends and family members will become laughably easy.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an enormously fun game, full of beloved characters, creative racing tracks, and exciting items. Though it's not imperative to become the best in the room at it, it's nice to be able to win! With this guide, you'll be the racing champion in no time. Happy racing!

© 2018 Poppy


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    Post Comment
    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


      18 months ago from Enoshima, Japan

      Thank you for commenting, Rajan. I hope you enjoy the game if you get to play it.

    • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


      18 months ago from Enoshima, Japan

      Hello, thank you for your comment! Mario Kart is super fun and appropriate for the whole family. I hope you get to play someday!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      18 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Very useful tips to play the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game. Thank you.

    • Seventytwo Miles profile image


      18 months ago from Houston, Tx

      I would love to get into this. The game looks awesome.


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