Mario Kart 8 is by far one of the most fun, yet most challenging entries in the iconic series. And with simple awareness of Mario Kart 8 mechanics, you can easily achieve the game’s top achievement of earning three stars for every Grand Prix cup. Plus, you’ll unlock the golden reward that comes with this feat.
To get 3 stars in Mario Kart 8, you must achieve 60 points overall in any Grand Prix cup. Coming in first earns you 15 points, which means you must win first place in every race.
In other words, you must absolutely dominate your competition because there’s no room for error. Even a second-place finish in any of the four races won’t earn you enough points to accumulate 60 points, which means you’ll need to start over. The key to ensuring you spend as little of your time replaying races over and over is to master certain mechanics that make winning races easier.
Or, don’t listen to this article, and continue leaning on blue shells to save you.
You Must Think Pink
There’s a new drift mechanic that you must master. That means, in order to increase your chances of winning first place in Mario Kart 8, you’ll need to drift like you’re the third installment of the Fast & Furious series. This game’s drift mechanic is slightly different than its predecessors. Hold down the R button while turning to start drifting, and that drift long enough to achieve the mini-turbo. You’ll see blue sparks first, followed by orange, then that pretty pink that lets you know you’ve achieved ultra mini-turbo.
Letting go of R at any point during the drift gets you a boost that’s determined by your mini-turbo status.
Be Petty – Tailgate the Competition
In Mario Kart 8, you want to tailgate a driver in front of you like they were going the speed limit in a fast lane. Not to be a jerk, of course – but you’ll want to take advantage of the familiar slipstream mechanic. Slipstreaming (also referred to as drafting) is performed by a player trailing behind another racer for a certain length of time, at which the tailgater receives a speed boost that’s quite similar to the mini-turbo.
Become an Avid Coin Collector
Don’t skimp on collecting coins in Mario Kart 8. Actually, make it your passion, for the simple reason that every time you pick up a coin you receive a small speed boost by a small percentage. Technically, this effect will max out at 10 coins. But even after you’ve picked up 10 coins, you will receive a tiny speed boost for each coin.
Avoid getting hit by other racers’ weapons or any dangerous hazards on the track. Getting hit causes your racer to lose those precious coins and the speed that comes with them.
Learn to Cut Corners
Mario Kart 8 is a test of speed, not integrity. Dominating your competition will oftentimes require knowledge and execution of shortcuts that can be found in the maps. You can either look up the locations of these shortcuts online or simply spend time experimenting during races at your leisure. Either way, getting three stars for every Grand Prix cup is so much easier when you have a shorter distance to race. Plus, even if you choose to win against the AI competition with integrity, you won’t receive the same in return when you jump into multiplayer.
A Lead From the Jump
Longtime players of Mario Kart will be no stranger to this original yet vital mechanic. The boost start trick (also known as the rocket boost start) is essential to starting every single race. There is legitimately no reason not to perform this move because of its ease of execution. And it all comes down to timing. While sitting idle and watching the countdown tick down, your goal is to hit the gas just before the third light comes on.
The more accurate you are in hitting the “sweet spot” of this mechanic, the longer your speed boost will persist. And the true sweet spot of the rocket speed boost happens just after the number 2 appears on your screen. As soon as you see the number two, begin holding the acceleration, and you will begin the race with a significant speed boost that should put you out to an early lead.
Stunt on the Competition
In Mario Kart 8, it pays to be flashy. Stunt jumps are performed at ramps, which you’ll find on virtually every map. So as you’re going off the ramp, you want to hit the jump button. Try to wait for the very last second on the ramp – when performed correctly, you will see a unique trick performed by your character, and more importantly, you’ll see flames, which signals your turbo that’s now in use.
Note that ramps aren’t the only thing from which you can jump in Mario Kart 8. Just know it’s about the actual mechanic, not the medium of the jump. When you have an opportunity to jump, make sure you hit that jump button just before your vehicle goes off the edge of any jumpable service.
Practice Makes Perfect
You can’t expect to get three stars in Mario Kart 8 without knowing how to consistently crush your competition. Remember, there is no acceptable finish besides first when chasing three stars, and so you cannot lose. Knowing that you must win every single race, you must excel in the above mechanics that will make you a much better racer. These mechanics exist for players who want to fully optimize their speed, and in doing so, run away with virtually every race.
Thankfully, you won’t need all three stars for every Grand Prix to unlock the coveted Goldern Kart. You can get this just by earning one star on every Grand Prix, so definitely use it when chasing the remaining stars!