Clinton Raethel / Sat 20th May 2017
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the latest addition to the Mario Kart franchise and many would argue it's one of the best yet! You can find our review of it here. Boasting the most content of any Mario Kart yet, you'll be spending a lot of time hooning around throwing ridiculous items at each other. To get a leg up on the competition we've compiled a list of tips and tricks to help get that extra star in Cup Mode or outlast your opponents in battle.
STEP 1 One of the oldest tricks in the book, hold items behind you instead of in your 'bank'. Shells and bananas are great defensive items that can block shots from other players, or hit someone who's close on your tail. Hold the 'use weapon' button instead of just pressing it and you'll be amazed at how many shots you can stop. If you do find a situation where you want to use that weapon offensively simply release the 'use weapon' button to fire as normal. DO NOT hold the Bob-omb behind you though, if that gets hit it will explode, taking you with it.
STEP 2 Boosting off the start line has always been a great way to get a leg up on the competition. Regardless of kart/bike choice, you need to press the accelerator button right after second chime sounds, or as Lakitu turns on the second light.
STEP 3 Drifting is key in Mario Kart, it always has been and always will be. The Deluxe edition has 3 stages of drift to achieve, each providing a longer lasting speed boost. Press and hold 'R' on any corner, and you'll begin to see blue sparks coming from your rear wheels. Hold it for longer to get orange sparks, and if you're able to hold it even longer again, pink sparks will appear indicating the maximum achievable speed boost. You're still able to steer while doing so, although bikes and karts handle differently so will require some practice to perfect. Release 'R' at any stage to let go of the drift and rocket forwards.
STEP 4 The drift button ('R') can also be used for doing tricks off jumps. Pressing this button just before you launch off the edge of a jump will allow your character to do a trick, netting you a handy speed boost upon landing. It is possible to change the kind of trick by holding a direction on your thumbstick when pressing 'R', but this is just to show off more than anything - the speed boost will be the same.
STEP 5 Fallen off the track and want to get a speed boost to get back into the race? Press the accelerator button just as your tires touch the ground for a small boost.
STEP 6 It's possible to wheelie on a bike to get a small speed boost. Simply press 'R' to get your front wheel off the ground while going in a straight line; keep in mind that you won't be able to turn and it's very easy to be bumped around.
STEP 7 Slipstreaming is another way to get a boost of speed, and is done by closely following other racers. Stay behind them for about one second and a wind effect will appear, netting you another speed boost. If you have an item on you it's also helpful to smack them with it as you pass, increasing your lead even further.
STEP 8 The final boost trick is in the anti-gravity 'blue' zones - the ones where your wheels cease being wheels, turning you into a hover kart/bike. Crash into the side of other players here to get a small speed boost. You'll also see neon-blue objects, these will provide the same boost when hit.
STEP 9 Collect as many coins as you can! This serves 2 purposes: firstly, each coin collected gives your vehicle a bit of a 'tune-up' and increases your maximum speed ever so slightly. You can never hold more than 10 coins at once but any collected after 10 will give a very subtle temporary speed boost and will be added to your tally at the end. Secondly, all coins collected go towards unlocking more parts for you to customise your vehicle with.
STEP 10 Many people don't know this but there is a look behind button. Pressing 'X' flips the camera around, and comes in very handy if trying to avoid a green shell or someone on a charge thanks to a bullet or star powerup. It can also be used to line up your shots when firing weapons backwards.
STEP 11 Adding to the previous step, it is possible to throw certain items backwards OR forwards. Green/red shells for example naturally go forwards but by holding down on your control stick they can be fired in reverse. Same goes for bananas and Bob-ombs that normally get dropped behind you but it is possible to fire them forwards by holding up. Just make sure you avoid them when driving past!
STEP 12 Each of the 48 courses has a shortcut, some more obvious than others. I won't go into details on how to find each one but it's worth noting that they are there. While none are as big as the good old Wario Stadium or Rainbow Road in the '64 days, they do exist and can be used to shave a couple of seconds off, especially if you're setting lap records in time trial mode. One generally universal shortcut tip, however, is to use mushroom speed boosts to boost over sections like grass/gravel that would normally slow you down.
STEP 13 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe introduces two new aids to help newcomers and veterans alike: auto-accelerate and smart steering. These are accessed by pressing the '+/-' button when selecting your vehicle and can also be accessed by pausing in the middle of a race. Auto-accelerate is self-explanatory, however smart steering is a game changer. It helps newcomers stay on track by braking and turning for them, but can also be used in the stupidly fast 200cc cup where braking is absolutely necessary. The only downside to smart-steer is that the final tier of drifting is locked off. Whether or not this is worth it is completely up to you!
STEP 14 Finally, we'll talk briefly about unlockables. For better or worse almost everything comes unlocked on the Deluxe edition from the start, but there are still some shinies for us to chase. As previously mentioned, vehicle parts are unlocked by collecting coins. Every 30 coins will net you another part, with this changing to every 50 coins once you've collected 500 total coins, and 100 after 1500. There are 23 karts, 17 bikes, 21 wheels and 14 gliders to be unlocked via this method, requiring 3100 coins to get them all.
STEP 15 There are also gold items to be unlocked, starting with the gold glider which is unlocked at 5000 coins. Gold Mario is unlocked after beating all cups on 200cc, gold tires are unlocked when you beat every staff ghost in Time Trial at 150cc, and finally a gold standard kart from winning every cup in both 150cc and Mirror Mode cups in Grand Prix mode.