Tips & Tricks To Win Big In The Mario Kart 8 Tournament

Think you’ve got what it takes to outmaneuver the best of the best in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Well, Nintendo recently announced an MK8 online tournament for North American players, which is set to take place from the 17th to the 19th of January – that’s about a week and a half from now – so those gutsy enough to challenge some of the game’s top racers will once again have a chance to prove their w orth.

Kart racing aficionados will have a chance to participate in up to 24 pre-determined races per day, with their final scores calculated based on their cumulative results. Each day, the top eight players will receive 2500 My Nintendo Gold Points (about $25) and new winners will be excluded from participating in proceeding competitions, ensuring that the same eight players don’t hog up all the spoils.

Still, to have a chance at claiming victory in this tournament, you’ll have to be among the top 24 players in the nation, and, considering the fact that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe stands among the highest-selling Switch games in the console’s history, the margin for error here is essentially nonexistent. Yet, for those harboring delusions of grandeur, here are a few advanced Mario Kart 8 tips to boost your odds of entering the winner’s circle.

The most obvious technique to perfect is the pervasive rocket boost, a staple of the Mario Kart series. It allows racers to start things to — quite literally — rocket out of the gate, and it’s a mandatory strategy for higher-level play. Though the exact methodology has changed from game to game, in MK8, hit the accelerator right as the number two stops moving downward during the initial countdown. This should give racers the maximum possible boost and hopefully ensure that you aren’t choking on another player’s exhaust from the get-go.

The tournament will be held exclusively in 150cc, but that doesn’t mean competitors should throw their 200cc tips and tricks. In fact, we would recommend practicing on 200cc beforehand, as moving from the highest to second-highest speed setting will essentially make players feel like they’re racing in slow motion. Additionally, it’s important to sharpen your drift-canceling and drift-breaking techniques, as they will be essential to maintaining your handling on some of the game’s more complicated tracks.

For those who aren’t familiar with these tricks, after boosting from a drift, either quickly release the accelerator to slightly cancel your momentum and regain some control or hit the brakes slightly after your boost ends to take an upcoming sharp corner more easily without losing as much speed. Skilled players will make the most of every bend and edge on the track, and keeping these techniques in mind should help players to use every inch of the course to their advantage.

Similarly, some courses necessitate ramp drifting, a simple technique which involves holding the drift button while driving over a ramp instead of tricking to get a small boost. It may seem counter-intuitive, but, if there’s a sharp turn just ahead, it’ll be more advantageous to drift pre-emptively than it will be to get a boost from tricking and immediately careen into a barrier. Similarly, there’s also the alignment hop, which allows players to quickly course-correct without breaking or ruining their momentum. To do this, make a quick lateral adjustment with the left analog stick in the brief period in which your kart hops after hitting the drift button. It’s a bit tricky to get used to, but it could absolutely save your skin in some dire situations. Remember, even the slightest of errors will almost certainly knock you out of top eight contention, so this could mean the difference between a narrow miss and a total fail.

Not to be overly cynical, but the top 24 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe players have practically already been decided. Streamers and pro gamers have dedicated their lives to games of this sort, and honing enough skill to take them on in the week and a half before the tournament starts seem downright impossible. We’d love to be proven wrong, though, so get practicing!

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