ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Have you ever felt like Mario here as seen above - endlessly frustrated as you stare at all the other players in front of you in dead last? I mean it's hardly like he's got that much of a head start, let's be realistic here! Well fear no longer, here you will find the ultimate guide to everything Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, from collecting all the stars and minor race improvements to shortcuts!

There can be some really great rewards for time and effort when it comes to this title, so if you follow these tips, you'll be sure to unlock some of the great prizes Nintendo has in store!

Mario Kart 8 - Picking a Racer & Kart

Every character in Mario Kart has an effect upon your overall performance. They are separated into 3 weight classes - light, medium and large. Each character will have different stats, but in general, the lighter classes have greater Acceleration, Handling, and Traction, while the larger ones have more Weight (obviously) and greater speed. So who belongs in which category?

Light Category

Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Rosalina, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Baby Lemmi and your light Mii character. These are all featherweight racers!

Toad, Koopa Troopa, Shy Guy, Lakitu, Toadette, Larry and Wendy. These are standard light racers!

Medium Category

Peach, Daisy and Yoshi are all a part of the Medium No. 1 category, while Medium No. 2 consists of Mario, Luigi, Iggy, Ludwig and your medium weight Mii. Note the differences between these two is that No.2 racers are slightly heavier so gain more of the attributes that the heavier characters possess.

Large Category

This section actually contains three different weight categories, so you can see who are actually the heaviest racers available.

Cruisers - Conroy, Rosalina, Waluigi and Donkey Kong.

Heavy - Metal Mario & Pink Gold Peach.

Large - Bowser, Wario, Morton & your fattest Mii!

Why is Link DLC?! WHYYYYY?!
Why is Link DLC?! WHYYYYY?!

Now, let's move onto vehicle performance. Here is how each category impacts upon your abilities on the track.

Speed - Your overall top speed.

Acceleration - How fast you reach your top speed. Good acceleration means quick recovery from Items that hit you.

Weight - Affects both how far you drift off course when you power slide and how much you are affected by other drivers who hit you. Lighter karts get knocked around more. Heavier karts drift farther off course.

Handling - How close you stick to a corner. Bikes have much better handling than karts.

Traction - Allows you to traverse routes off of the main track faster.

Basic Controls

Let's start at the very beginning as Julie Andrews would say, or sing rather... Of all the buttons on the controller in front of you, you'll only be utilising four of them. We assume you understand what each of these does at this stage. But let's see how we can capitalise on everything that each level can throw at us!

Coins & Boosts

In every race, a player should make an effort to collect the coins that are lying around the maps. You can only collect a maximum of ten at a time, but the more you get, the more speed your kart can achieve. This can really make a difference to gaining a few extra yards. The coins also add up and eventually get you vehicle upgrades. Also, ensure that you take any opportunity in the game to boost!

The starting boost in each Kart game works a little bit differently. In Mario Kart 8, the easiest way to master the starting boost is to watch the numbers on the screen as they countdown, specifically the 2. The key to getting the maximum boost is to hit the accelerator right as the 2 reaches the bottom of its drop, that is, at exactly the time that it becomes solid!

Thanks Kotaku!
Thanks Kotaku!

Next up, you'll want to make sure that any time there is any kind of a platform that you can jump off, be sure to hit the right bumper before you take off it in order to give yourself a boost upon landing Your character will pull off a little trick in the air if you get the timing right.

Also in Mario Kart 8, while racing upside down or on walls, players can bump into other racers or certain track obstacles to get a speed boost. The Spin Boost fundamentally redefines the way that players compete, and makes anti-gravity racing even more exhilarating.

There's also a little trick in Mario Kart 8 that is used mainly in Time Trial called Fire Hopping. Fire Hopping is done by performing a Drift ending with a speed boost, and immediately hopping left and right while the fire is spewing out the exhaust (hence the name). Doing so will increase the speed and distance of the Drift Boost, as players lose less speed while airborne, and a successful Fire Hop can give you an extended boost.

Mario Kart 8 - Tracks & Their Secrets

When it comes to getting every star in every cup in Mario Kart 8, the player has got to finish with an overall perfect score of 60 points. This can be achieved by placing first in every race, but also be in first in more than one of the laps. So the first lap is okay, but you're going to want to be leading in number 2 and 3.

Mushroom Cup

Check out the guide here!

Flower Cup

Check out the Guide here!

Star Cup

Check out the guide here!

Special Cup

Check out the guide here!

Shell Cup

Close, but no cigar!
Close, but no cigar!

Check out the guide here!

Banana Cup

Check out the guide here!

Leaf Cup

Check out the guide here!

Lightning Cup

Check out the guide here!

So there you have it everyone! A big old comprehensive guide to all things Mario Kart 8! Best of luck out there racers., and remember, don't try this stuff on the roads, you just look weird.


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