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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image: Nintendo

Whether you’re entirely new to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or an old veteran from the Wii U original, the game has plenty of tricks worth knowing in order to ensure those podium finishes. Some of them are old methods that Mario Kart veterans will already know, but adjusted physics and mechanics in the Deluxe edition also mean that it’s worth having a little refresher on key points.

In this Mario Kart 8 Deluxe guide, we cover the basics as well as advanced techniques to help you win races, both against the CPU and real-life Mario Karters. First up, a list of our guides, followed by some tips and tricks…

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Guide

Below you’ll find links to all our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe guides organised by type:

Control options and assists

Here we look at how to enable specific assistance options to help racers of all abilities.

Speed Tips

Here we cover things you’ll need to know to be the fastest racer on the track.

Item Tips

Here we look at how to use specific items to give you the edge in a race, and what certain options mean in practice.

Characters and Unlockables

Here we look at all characters, specific unlockables and kart items.

Courses and DLC

Here we look at every track in the game, including the 48 DLC tracks in the Booster Course Pass, plus how to actually access the new content.

MK8 controls
Image: Nintendo Life

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips and Tricks From the Experts – How to Beat Everyone Else in Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best selling game on Switch, and remains as one of the most popular titles to play locally and online. Of course, by now there are a lot of experienced and talented players, so we’ve put together a series of tips and tricks for you.

We start off with ‘smaller tricks’ to help you in the early game with working through offline cups and playing with friends, before getting into ‘advanced tricks’ if you want to compete with the best online.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image: Nintendo

Small Tricks for a Podium Edge

Here we’ve pulled together a few extra simple early tricks to help you out — by all means suggest more in the comments!

Race for the coins

Don’t forget that the more coins you have in a race the faster you’ll be. It’s a small difference, but it might matter, and you can hold up to 10 at a time. Even when maxed out at 10 keep collecting them, as they all go into your profile to unlock more karts, bikes, wheels and gliders.

Reduce the cost of a blue shell

We know blue shells are annoying, but if you happen to have a coin item as one’s about to hit you it’s possible to only lose one coin as it strikes. As the blue shell hovers above get ready to use your gold coin item; time the button press for the moment the blue shell drops and hits you. With the right timing you character will absorb two coins from the item just as the usual three are knocked away, lessening the loss. Of course it is possible to boost at the same opportune moment to avoid a blue shell, but pulling that off is seriously tricky.

Stack defensive items

The ability to hold two items shakes up the strategies in races, especially as competitors can target each other even more than before. Of course, you may get lucky and stack defensive items such as shells and bananas. To hold items like these behind you simply hold the left shoulder button; when you do this any shell attacks that hit you in the back will be blocked.

Turn on the spot in Battle Mode

Only available in battles and not races, if you press both accelerate and brake at the same time (A + B on a Pro Controller or Joy-Con + Grip, for example) you can wheelspin and turn around on a dime. In the new arenas this is vital for rapid changes in direction.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image: Nintendo

Advanced Tricks for a Podium Edge

Here are some advanced tricks shared with us by some Mario Kart experts!

Mid-Air Mini Turbo Charging

This involves charging your mini turbo in mid-air to allow you to get a mini-turbo easier if necessary. It helps to start a mini-turbo in mid-air towards the end of some glider sections such as on Dolphin Shoals’ final glider, to make it easier to drift around the final 2 turns.

Don’t Always Trick on Speed Ramps

On some speed ramps it is quicker to not trick off of them, such as the first 2 ramps on the left after Toad Harbour’s first turn, due to less air time. It is also sometimes quicker to hop onto glider panels, such as on Rainbow Road’s glider section with the 2 split paths.

Boost Stacking

You can boost onto ramps/boost pads which makes you go faster while boosting, you would always want to hop+mini turbo onto a boost pad/ramps.

Bounce Pad Slide

This is when you drift onto a bounce pad but let go of your boost before you hit the bounce, making you go further than normal.

Low Ramp

Some ramps allow you to get a low ramp because you drift left/right on the very edge. It’s very helpful and saves time.

Advanced Drifting

There are quite a lot of drifting tricks and tips, from hopping to ‘demon slides’. We have a whole guide focused on nothing but drifting!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image: Nintendo

Those are our starter and advanced tips for MK8D. Be sure to share your own pearls of wisdom in the comments.

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