FAQ And Walkthrough - Guide for Mario Kart 8

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mario Kart 8 FAQ/Walkthrough~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~by kirbydude385~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Introduction
2. Mechanics
3. Characters and Vehicles
   3.1. Stats
   3.2. Weight Classes and Characters
   3.3. Vehicle Stats
        3.3.1. Karts
        3.3.2. Bikes
        3.3.3. ATV's
   3.4. Tire Stats
   3.5. Glider Stats
   3.6. Karts vs. Bikes vs. ATV's
   3.7. Putting It All Together
4. Items
   4.1. Coin
   4.2. Banana
   4.3. Triple Bananas
   4.4. Green Shell
   4.5. Triple Green Shells
   4.6. Red Shell
   4.7. Triple Red Shells
   4.8. Blue Shell
   4.9. Super Horn
   4.10. Fire Flower
   4.11. Boomerang Flower
   4.12. Bob-omb
   4.13. Piranha Plant
   4.14. Blooper
   4.15. Mushroom
   4.16. Triple Mushrooms
   4.17. Gold Mushroom
   4.18. Star
   4.19. Bullet Bill
   4.20. Lightning
   4.21. Crazy Eight
5. Courses
   5.1. Mushroom Cup
        5.1.1. Mario Kart Stadium
        5.1.2. Water Park
        5.1.3. Sweet Sweet Canyon
        5.1.4. Thwomp Ruins
   5.2. Flower Cup
        5.2.1. Mario Circuit
        5.2.2. Toad Harbor
        5.2.3. Twisted Mansion
        5.2.4. Shy Guy Falls
   5.3. Star Cup
        5.3.1. Sunshine Airport
        5.3.2. Dolphin Shoals
        5.3.3. Electrodrome
        5.3.4. Mount Wario
   5.4. Special Cup
        5.4.1. Cloudtop Cruise
        5.4.2. Bone Dry Dunes
        5.4.3. Bowser's Castle
        5.4.4. Rainbow Road
   5.5. Shell Cup
        5.5.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows
        5.5.2. GBA Mario Circuit
        5.5.3. DS Cheep Cheep Beach
        5.5.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike
   5.6. Banana Cup
        5.6.1. GCN Dry Dry Desert
        5.6.2. SNES Donut Plains 3
        5.6.3. N64 Royal Raceway
        5.6.4. 3DS DK Jungle
   5.7. Leaf Cup
        5.7.1. DS Wario Stadium
        5.7.2. GCN Sherbet Land
        5.7.3. 3DS Music Park
        5.7.4. N64 Yoshi Valley
   5.8. Lightning Cup
        5.8.1. DS Tick Tock Clock
        5.8.2. 3DS Piranha Plant Slide
        5.8.3. Wii Grumble Volcano
        5.8.4. N64 Rainbow Road
6. Balloon Battle
   6.1 General Strategies
   6.2 Courses
       6.2.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows
       6.2.2. GCN Dry Dry Desert
       6.2.3. SNES Donut Plains 3
       6.2.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike
       6.2.5. Mario Circuit
       6.2.6. Toad Harbor
       6.2.7. GCN Sherbet Land
       6.2.8. N64 Yoshi Valley
7. Frequently Asked Questions
8. Closing
9. Special Thanks
10. Version History
11. Legal Info

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1. Introduction~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello and welcome to the FAQ for all things related to Mario Kart 8: the newest 
installment in the Mario Kart series. There's a lot of new things to cover, and 
some old things to re-cover. Mario Kart 8 brings antigravity, ATV's, seven 
weight classes, four new items, sixteen new courses, and many new vehicles to 
the table.

This guide is an ongoing project that has compiled data from multiple sources, 
so info may be missing or just flat out wrong. If there are any errors, or if 
you have info which I can add to this FAQ, email me at [email protected] or
send me a PM here on GameFAQs.

One minor note: Due to localization, some courses have different names depending
on the region your game is from. This guide will be referring to the American
names. Here are the differences between the American and European names:

3DS Music Park (NoA) -> 3DS Melody Motorway (NoE)
3DS Piranha Plant Slide (NoA) -> 3DS Piranha Plant Pipeway (NoE)

There may be some differences in the vehicle part names. If so let me know so I 
can make note of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2. Mechanics~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mario Kart 8 retains most of the mechanics from its predecessor: Mario Kart 7. 
If you have some experience with this game, you should feel right at home. 
However, there are some new mechanics, as well as some changes to old mechanics,
which will all be gone over in this section. I will also be laying down some
terminology here which I will be using throughout this guide.

Accelerating (Driving): By simply holding down the accelerate button, you will 
begin moving forward. You will accelerate steadily until you reach your top 
speed. The rate at which you accelerate, as well as your top speed, depends on
your character and vehicle combination. 99% of the time you'll just be holding
this button down.

Braking: By holding down the brake button you will quickly slow to a stop, and
then start backing up slowly. You will almost never use this, but it can be 
useful to stop yourself from hitting an item on the track or from falling off a
ledge. Braking is really only useful in Balloon Battle.

Steering: This is selfexplanatory (as if the previous two weren't already).
Different character and vehicle combinations will have varying degrees of 
handling. You actually shouldn't be steering all too much unless you're trying 
to avoid an item or line yourself up to hit an item box.

Drifting: If you're new to Mario Kart, you were probably confused as to why I 
said you shouldn't really be steering. This is because around most corners, you
should be drifting. By holding the drift button, you can turn fairly quickly,
and you won't lose speed like you would if you just steer. Drifting is one of 
the main Mario Kart strategies, and you need to get good at it to do well. 
Different vehicles also have different drifts (some drift in tighter circles).
NOTE: Inward drifting and automatic drifting from Mario Kart Wii are both gone, 
though some bikes have an inward-esque drifting. This will be discussed later.

Miniturbo: If you drift long enough, a blue spark will appear below your tires.
By releasing your drift you will get a boost called a miniturbo. If you keep
holding your drift, the spark will turn orange and you will get a larger boost.
The tighter your drift, the quicker your miniturbo will charge. Ideally, you 
want to get at least a blue miniturbo every time you drift, andmastering the 
miniturbo is often your key to success. As for deciding whether or not to 
continue drifting for an orange miniturbo, just make sure you aren't going 
wildly off course just for the sake of that orange spark. In most cases blue is 
totally fine. 

Hopping: You may have noticed that when you start drifting, you do a short hop.
This hop doesn't serve many purposes, but you can use it to cross small gaps if
you time it right. It can also help you turn without really moving forward if 
you tap the button (useful in Balloon Battle).

Tricking: Tricking is another very important mechanic. By tricking, your 
character poses and gets a speed boost upon landing. Tricks can be performed off
of ramps, ledges, bumps, and even on wavy surfaces such as the walls of Twisted
Mansion. You should always perform a trick whenever possible to keep your speed.

Boosting: There are two kinds of boosts outside of miniturbos and items. First,
you can get a boost at the start of the face by holding down the accelerate
button right after the beep from when the 2 shows up in the race countdown 
fades. You should always do this for every race, but if you start accelerating
too early your engine will blow out and you will stall for a few seconds. The
other kind of boost is gotten by driving over the colorful boost pads that are 
located on several tracks. These are very useful but are sometimes out of the 
way, making them not worth the effort.

Drafting: Drafting is a technique that involves driving closely behind another
character. You will notice some air streaks passing by, and after a bit of time
you will gain a sizable boost. This is a useful but dangerous technique as you
must closely follow behind someone, and they can hit you with an item fairly
easily. Also be careful not to draft yourself right off the course.

Jostling/Bumping/Ramming: Yes playing bumpercars does have its advantages. By
knocking other players around, you can force them into hazards or even off a 
ledge if you're skilled/lucky (Don't lie. It was probably luck). The 
effectiveness of your bump-age depends on your character and vehicle 

Offroad: All courses have a path for you to follow, but you may be tempted to 
cut a corner short by driving in the grass. However, any part of the course that
isn't directly part of the track is usually considered offroad (grass, dirt, 
etc.). Going offroad will slow you down quite a bit, and you won't be able to 
drift. Your character and vehicle combination will affect how much you slow down
when going offroad.

Underwater Driving: Just like in Mario Kart 7, you can drive underwater. Driving
underwater is a bit slower than on land, and you're a bit floatier in your jumps
and drifts. If given a choice, you should drive on land given everything else is
equal, but oftentimes you have no choice.

Gliding: Gliding also returns from Mario Kart 7. By driving or tricking off a
blue ramp, you will begin gliding. Pulling back on the stick makes you rise, 
while pushing forward makes you dive. While diving makes you go faster, pulling
back can allow you to reach alternate paths in some courses. Gliding is also
generally a bit faster than driving on land. Sometimes you will be launched out
of a cannon. Though you are gliding, your speed is held relatively constant, and
you have no directional control. You can still get hit by an item though, and
oftentimes this is very costly.

Antigravity: Arguably the biggest new addition in Mario Kart 8 is antigravity.
With antigravity, you will find yourself driving up walls and even on the 
ceiling in many tracks. Antigravity sections are marked by a light blue strip.
When going over the strip, your vehicle will automatically switch into 
antigravity mode. For going up or down gentle slopes, the camera tilts with you 
so you don't get disoriented. However, driving along walls will often result in 
the camera turning about halfway, which may be a bit confusing at first, but it 
adds to the feeling that you're, you know, driving on a freaking wall.

Spin Boosting: Spin boosting is a new mechanic to go along with antigravity. 
Instead of just bumping off other racers while jostling, both you and the racer
you bumped will do a spinning animation and then shortly afterward recieve a
boost on par with a miniturbo. Though you will often want to avoid other racers
while on the ground, in antigravity sections you will want to bump into as many
racers as you can. However, you must remember that whoever you bumped into gets
the boost as well.

Obstacles: These are objects on the track that act like walls, but aren't 
exactly the course boundaries. The most common example are the pipes found in
courses like Mario Kart Stadium. These should obviously be avoided in most 
circumstances. However, while in antigravity mode, obstacles will be surrounded
by a blue glow. Bumping into these will let you spin boost, so should be looking
for obstacles while driving on the wall.

Hazards: These are objects (usually common enemies in the Mario series like 
Goombas or Piranha Plants) that will cause you to either spin out or flip over
if you run into them. They can oftentimes be destroys by an item, but will 
respawn shortly thereafter. While some of them will drop items after being hit
(Goombas will often drop Mushrooms onto the track), it is usually smart to avoid
them entirely, as you do not get spin boosts from them at all.

Pits: Pits are anything that you can fall into where Lakitu pulls you back up
onto the track: ranging from chasms to deep water to lava. Falling into a pit
costs you a lot of time while racing, and should be avoided at all costs. One 
thing to note is that you can no longer get a boost after being fished out by
Lakitu, though you do not lose as much as time falling as you did in previous
games. Even so, pits should be avoided at all costs.

Coins: One last thing you'll notice are the numerous coins scattered along each
course. Collecting coins give you a very slight boost and increases your overall
top speed very slightly. You can only keep up to 10 coins in a race, and you 
will drop some if you are hit. By collecting coins, you will unlock new vehicle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3. Characters and Vehicles~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mario Kart 8 gives us a roster of 30 characters including the Mii. Each 
character is divided into one of 7 weight classes. These weight classes 
determine your base stats when racing. The stats are as follows:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.1. Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Note: A lot of the stats in this game, especially Speed and Acceleration, have
a larger range than in Mario Kart 7. What I mean is that even a small difference
in Speed between two vehicle combinations affects the actual speed on the 
track quite a lot.

Speed: Speed in this game refers to your top speed: your maximum speed limit.
Obviously the higher the stat the faster you will go. This is arguably the most
important stat, but just because your speed is high doesn't mean you're 
untouchable. If you are hit you will drop down to a standstill, and will have to
accelerate back up to your maximum speed. Heavier characters tend to have a 
higher speed stat.

Speed is divided into four categories: Land Speed, Underwater Speed, Air Speed,
and Antigravity Speed, which refer to how fast you go in each of the four 
sections. Obviously Land Speed is the most important, followed by Antigravity, 
then Underwater, and then Air. All characters have the same base values for 
those four categories, but different vehicles may affect the four differently.
The Speed stat shown in-game is Land Speed, while the other three are hidden.

Acceleration: This is how quickly you can go from zero to your top speed. This
is very useful for recovering after taking a hit, and with a very high 
acceleration you can get back up to your top speed almost instantly after taking
a hit. Lighter characters tend to have greater acceleration stats. Ideally, you 
would want to have a great acceleration AND speed stat, but this is basically 

Weight: This refers to how much muscle you have when bumping into other racers.
The higher your weight, the more you can knock others around and the less you
will be pushed around yourself. A larger weight will also impede you a bit in
how high you can glide, though this is only a problem for some shortcuts.
Obviously, heavier characters have more weight. Compared to other games, Weight
isn't as large of a factor in terms of bumping now. So while lighter characters
will certainly get bumped easily by heavier characters, you won't be knocked
completely off the road.

Handling: Handling refers to how tight you can turn/drift. A larger handling 
stat means you can cut corners easier. This can also be essential in quickly
charging miniturbos. Lighter characters tend to have higher handling stats.

Like Speed, Handling is divided into Land Handling, Underwater Handling, Air
Handling, and Antigravity Handling. The order of importance is roughly equal to
Speed, but a low Air Handling can hamper your ability to take airborne 
shortcuts. Again, Land Handling is the only one that's shown in-game.

Grip: This one isn't as obvious as the others. Grip is believed to be how well
you "grip" the track (ie. don't slide). This applies somewhat to offroad 
sections, but also "pseudo-offroad" sections like the wet dirt in SNES Donut 
Plains 3 and the ice in GCN Sherbet Land, where you will naturally slide a bit 
more. Both Grip and Handling together affect how well you can turn corners.

Miniturbo: Miniturbo is another hidden stat. The larger this stat, the quicker
your miniturbo boost charges up while drifting. This DOES NOT affect the 
strength of your boost. The Miniturbo stat is higher the lighter your character

I will be using these abbreviations for the stats in the following charts:
L. Spe: Land Speed
W. Spe: Underwater Speed
A. Spe: Air Speed
G. Spe: Antigravity Speed
Accel: Acceleration
Weight: Weight
L. Han: Land Handling
W. Han: Water Handling
A. Han: Air Handling
G. Han: Antigravity Handling
Grip: Grip
Mini T: Miniturbo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.2. Weight Classes and Characters~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like in Mario Kart 7, the characters are all divided into different weight 
classes. In Mario Kart 8 there are seven of them. These classes determine the 
base stats of your character and vehicle combination. Each character in the same
weight class has identical stats, so there is no gameplay reason to choose Mario
over Luigi for example.

The names for the weight classes aren't official, so I am using names commonly
found on the GameFAQs message board. You may know these by different names.

Values are out of 6.

| Weight Class  | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel | Weight |
| Babyweight    |  2.25  |  2.25  |  2.25  |  2.25  | 3.25  |  2.25  |
| Featherweight |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  | 3.00  |  2.75  |
| Lightweight   |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.25  | 2.75  |  3.25  |
| Midweight     |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.75  | 2.50  |  3.75  |
| Cruiserweight |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  | 2.25  |  4.25  |
| Metalweight   |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  | 2.00  |  4.75  |
| Heavyweight   |  4.75  |  4.75  |  4.75  |  4.75  | 2.00  |  4.75  |
| Weight Class  | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han | Grip  | Mini T |
| Babyweight    |  4.75  |  4.75  |  4.75  |  4.75  | 4.50  |  ????  |
| Featherweight |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.25  | 4.25  |  ????  |
| Lightweight   |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.75  | 4.00  |  ????  |
| Midweight     |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.25  | 3.75  |  ????  |
| Cruiserweight |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  | 3.50  |  ????  |
| Metalweight   |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.75  | 3.25  |  ????  |
| Heavyweight   |  2.25  |  2.25  |  2.25  |  2.25  | 3.25  |  ????  |

In general, by "going up" in weight class, you increase your Speed by 0.5 and 
your Weight by 0.5, and you decrease your Acceleration and Grip by 0.25 and your
Handling by 0.5.

Metalweights are the exception, as they share their Speed and Handling with
Cruiserweights but their Acceleration, Weight, and Grip with Heavyweights.

Below is a list of all characters in the game organized by weight class. 
Characters that are not available at the start are unlocked randomly by 
completing cups in Grand Prix.

NOTE: Your Mii is assigned a light, medium, or heavy rank based on its size.

On top of this, characters have a certain "size" associated with them. This only
matters in terms of your character's hitbox. These will be denoted as Small, 
Medium, or Large

Baby Mario (Small): Default
Baby Luigi (Small): Default
Baby Peach (Small): Default
Baby Daisy (Small): Default
Baby Rosalina (Small): Locked
Lemmy (Small): Locked
Light Mii (Small): Locked

Toad (Small): Default
Koopa Troopa (Small): Default
Shy Guy (Small): Default
Lakitu (Small): Locked
Toadette (Small): Locked
Larry (Small): Locked
Wendy (Small): Locked

Peach (Medium): Default
Daisy (Medium): Default
Yoshi (Medium): Default

Mario (Medium): Default
Luigi (Medium): Default
Ludwig (Medium): Locked
Iggy (Medium): Locked
Medium Mii (Medium): Locked

Donkey Kong (Large): Default
Waluigi (Large): Default
Rosalina (Large): Locked
Roy (Large): Locked

Metal Mario (Medium): Locked
Pink Gold Peach (Medium): Locked

Bowser (Large): Default
Wario (Large): Default
Morton (Large): Locked
Heavy Mii (Large): Locked

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.3. Vehicle Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While picking your character definitely gives you an idea of what your stats 
will look like, the vehicle you pick will tweak your stats slightly. Below is 
the list of modifications that each vehicle will give you.

Unlocking new vehicle parts: Every 50 coins you collect, up until you have 1000
coins, you will unlock another part randomly, and then every 100 coins 
thereafter, with the last part being unlocked at 2800 coins. Exceptions are the 

Gold Standard - Get at least a 1 star rank in each cup
Gold Tires - ???
Gold Glider - ???

~3.3.1. Karts~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default Karts: Standard Kart, Mach 8, Badwagon, Biddybuggy

| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
| Standard Kart   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cat Cruiser     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Prancer         | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Sneeker         | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Mach 8          | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Sports Coupe    | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Badwagon        | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Tri-Speeder     | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Biddybuggy      | -0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| Landship        | -0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| Circuit Special | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Pipe Frame      | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Steel Driver    | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Gold Standard   | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
| Standard Kart   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cat Cruiser     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Prancer         | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Sneeker         | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Mach 8          | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Sports Coupe    | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Badwagon        | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Tri-Speeder     | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Biddybuggy      | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| Landship        | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| Circuit Special | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Pipe Frame      | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Steel Driver    | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Gold Standard   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |

If you have info on any of the unknown hidden stats please let me know.

~3.3.2. Bikes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default Bikes: Standard Bike, Sport Bike

| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
| Standard Bike   | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Sport Bike      | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Yoshi Bike      | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Jet Bike        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Comet           | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Varmint         | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Flame Rider     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Mr. Scooty      | -0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| The Duke        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
| Standard Bike   | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Sport Bike      | +0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.25  | ?????  |
| Yoshi Bike      | +0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.25  | ?????  |
| Jet Bike        | +0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.25  | ?????  |
| Comet           | +0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.25  | ?????  |
| Varmint         | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Flame Rider     | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Mr. Scooty      | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| The Duke        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |

If you have info on any of the unknown hidden stats please let me know.

~3.3.3. ATV's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default ATV: Standard ATV

| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
| Standard ATV    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Teddy Buggy     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wild Wiggler    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
| Standard ATV    | -0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.50  | ?????  |
| Teddy Buggy     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Wild Wiggler    | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |

If you have info on any of the unknown hidden stats please let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.4. Tire Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tires also affect your overall stats. The following table outlines them:

Default Tires: Standard, Monster, Roller, Slim, Wood

| Name           | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
| Standard Tires | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Standard Blue  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Monster        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Hot Monster    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Slick          | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Cyber Slick    | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Roller         | -0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Azure Roller   | -0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Button         | -0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Slim           | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | +0.00  |
| Crimson Slim   | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | +0.00  |
| Offroad        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Retro Off-road | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wood           | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Sponge         | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Cushion        | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Metal          | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Gold Tires     | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Name           | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
| Standard Tires | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Standard Blue  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Monster        | -0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | ?????  |
| Hot Monster    | -0.75  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.75  | ?????  |
| Slick          | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.00  | ?????  |
| Cyber Slick    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -1.00  | ?????  |
| Roller         | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| Azure Roller   | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| Button         | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.25  | ?????  |
| Slim           | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Crimson Slim   | +0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Offroad        | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Retro Off-road | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Wood           | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.50  | ?????  |
| Sponge         | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.50  | ?????  |
| Cushion        | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.50  | ?????  |
| Metal          | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Gold Tires     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |

If you have info on any of the hidden stats please let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.5. Glider Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly, we have the gliders. These don't affect much, but some still have a few

Default Gliders: Super Glider, Parachute, Parafoil

| Name          | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
| Super Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wario Wing    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Waddle Wing   | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Plane Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cloud Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Flower Glider | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Bowser Kite   | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Parafoil      | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| MKTV Parafoil | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Peach Parasol | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Parachute     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Gold Glider   | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  |
| Name          | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
| Super Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Wario Wing    | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Waddle Wing   | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Plane Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Cloud Glider  | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Flower Glider | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Bowser Kite   | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Parafoil      | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| MKTV Parafoil | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Peach Parasol | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Parachute     | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.00  | ?????  |
| Gold Glider   | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  |

If you have info on any of the hidden stats please let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.6. Karts vs. Bikes vs. ATV's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One question that always comes up is whether karts, bikes, or ATV's are better.
Unlike Mario Kart Wii, where bikes were clearly better, things are a bit more
balanced here. Karts naturally have a faster top speed than bikes or ATV's, so
they are preferred on courses with many straight paths. Bikes can no longer 
wheelie (they wheelie when boosting, but that is purely aesthetic), but they can
corner better than karts and do better on courses with many twists and turns.
ATV's naturally have better offroad capabilities, and don't slip as much as the
others, so use them on courses with a lot of grass, dirt, sand, snow, etc.

While I mentioned inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii is gone, four bikes DO 
have a naturally tighter drift than the others. These are the Sport Bike, Jet 
Bike, Yoshi Bike, and Comet. The bikes still have the initial outside movement
that all other vehicles have, but they then turn sharply inward. This drifting
is difficult to master, but can lead to some very impressive drifting 
techniques as you do have a tigher turning radius. These bikes also have 
different icons on the vehicle selection screen.

Overall, there is no clear cut answer as to which is better. The differences 
that I talked about are all very small, and likely won't affect the outcome of a
race. So unless you're going for a world record Time Trial run, stick with 
whatever type you like. The pseudo-inside drifting isn't as powerful as in Mario
Kart Wii, but it does give an advantage. However, none of these bikes have
increased speed, so there isn't a Funky+Flame Runner combination that dominates.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.7. Putting It All Together~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All these numbers may be extremely confusing for you, but I'll walk you through
them in more depth here. Basically, the character you choose gives you your base
stats, and the vehicle parts you pick modify those stats a bit.

For example, say I'm using Shy Guy on the Jet Bike with Slim tires and Parafoil:

| Combination             | Speed | Accel | Weight | Handling | Grip  |
| Shy Guy (Featherweight) |  2.75 |  3.00 |  2.75  |   4.25   |  4.25 |
| Jet Bike                | +0.00 | +0.75 | -0.25  |  +0.75   | -1.25 |
| Slim                    | +0.25 | -0.25 | +0.00  |  +0.25   | -0.50 |
| Parafoil                | +0.00 | +0.25 | -0.25  |  +0.00   | +0.00 |
| Total                   |  3.00 |  3.75 |  2.25  |   5.25   |  2.50 |

As you can see, different combinations can chance things quite a lot. The above
combination has higher Acceleration and than the Babyweights, but less Grip than
even the Heavyweights.

Most combinations that are extremely strong in one category are very weak in 
another. This balance means there isn't one combination that's the best. 
Obviously in different situations, different combinations will have advantages. 
In Time Trial, Speed is by far the most important, while in Balloon Battle, 
Acceleration and Handling are probably the most important. On top of this, 
courses like Dolphin Shoals have a lot of underwater segments, so Underwater 
Speed and Under Handling would be much more important here than on, say, Mario
Kart Stadium. Unless you're going for world record Time Trials, you should be
able to find a combination that you like for all the courses. Experiment to see 
what works for you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4. Items~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It wouldn't be a Mario Kart game without a plethora of items that you will be 
using throughout each race. Using items effectively is key to winning most 
races. Mario Kart 8 introduces four new items, and has removed some from Mario
Kart 7.

Removed Items: Super Leaf, Lucky Seven
New Items: Super Horn, Boomerang Flower, Piranha Plant, Crazy Eight

Items are collected from the numerous item boxes located in multiple spots on
each track, usually in rows or groups. When you run into an item box, a roulette
appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. Eventually, an item will be 
selected (you can speed up the roulette by tapping the item button, though about
two seconds must have already passed). The item you will received is chosen
semi-randomly. Each place value has a set of items that you can receive, with
lower places generally being able to acquire stronger items.

On top of this, Mario Kart 8 allows you to carry only one item, even if you're
dragging it behind you. This forces you to be a bit more strategic in your item

When talking about all of the items in Mario Kart 8, I will talk about four 

Placement: This is the relative place you must be in the race for you to receive
this item. This is only to give you a general idea, as many items aren't 
restricted to a few places, so when I say the item's placement is Mid-High, you
may still find these items in 1st, though they may be rare.

High: 1st-4th
Mid-High: 3rd-6th
Mid: 5th-8th
Mid-Low: 7th-10th
Low: 9th-12th

Remember that this is by no means your "limit" in getting these items, 
especially if you have races set to Frantic mode. It's entirely possible for you
to get a Star in 6th place or higher. This is just a general guide so you know
what to expect.

Description: This is a general description of what the item does, and how you
use it.

Offensive Techniques: This describes how you can use the item for offense. This
generally refers to passing racers or attacking those in front of you.

Defensive Techniques: This describes how you can use the item for defense. This
generally refers to maintaining your position or hitting those behind you.

Avoiding It: Here I will talk about how to avoid being affected by this item if
it is used against you, either by dodging the item or lessening its affects.

Also when talking about getting hit, I will be using two different phrases.
'Spinning out' refers to when your character spins around in a circle, slowing
significantly but not completely stopping. 'Flipping' or getting 'knocked over'
is when your character actually flips around in the air and comes to a complete
standstill. Flipping is more costly than spinning out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.1. Coin~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High

Description: The Coin item gives you two coins automatically. If you already
have 10 coins, this item is relatively worthless.

Offensive Techniques: None. Use it immediately and look for another item.

Defensive Techniques: Notice how I said relatively worthless earlier. Getting
coins boosts your speed, and this includes the Coin item. You can use this to
slightly help you recover from being hit. Of course, if you can get a Banana or
Shell that's much better, but if you're in first, you may want to save the Coin
until the next set of item boxes just in case.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.2. Banana~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High

Description: You can do three things with the Banana. By tapping the button you
will drop it directly behind you onto the track. By holding Up and tapping the
button you will lob the Banana in an arc ahead of you. Lastly, by holding the
item button you can drag the peel behind your vehicle. A Banana will remain on
the track or attached to your vehicle until it's hit by a racer or another item.
Touching a Banana will cause you to spin out.

Offensive Techniques: It's difficult to use Bananas to affect racers in front of
you, as all you can really do is lob the Banana ahead of you, which is very 
difficult to aim. Tossing a Banana directly on top of a racer's head is the best
strategy, as it gives them no time to react, but this is very challenging.

Defensive Techniques: Bananas are definitely more suited to defense. There are 
two main strategies you can take when it comes to Banana defense. The first is 
to drag the Banana behind you. This shields you from any rear attacks, and is 
very useful in defending against Red Shells. Keep in mind that items from the 
side and in front of you will still hit, as will explosive items. The other
strategy involves placing Bananas in strategic places along the track where 
opponents will slip on them. Narrow passages are ideal as there is little room
to dodge the Bananas. You can also place Bananas on ramps or boosts, as if a 
racer hits a Banana on these they will often spin clean off the ramp or boost.
For ramps, this can cause them to fall into a pit and they will have wasted a 
lot of time. Another option is to place Bananas right behind item boxes as they
are difficult to see and people are always going for item boxes. One more thing:
holding Bananas behind you is a great way for dealing with drafters, as they 
will likely draft right into your peel.

Avoiding It: Bananas on the track are usually fairly easy to avoid as long as
you're alert. Pay special attention to narrow corridors or blind turns where
tricky Bananas may be waiting, as well as ramps where slipping on one can ruin
your race. If someone is trying to lob a Banana at you, you can look back to see
where they are, or just be very careful and know that a Banana will likely 
appear somewhere in front of you. Also be cautious when drafting, as a dropped
Banana can quickly ruin a draft.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.3. Triple Bananas~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High

Description: Three Bananas will begin circling your vehicle. Each Banana acts 
like an individual Banana, and will protect you from one hit. With all three 
circling you, you are protected from Green and Red Shells from every direction 
(but you can still be hit by landing on top of one). As you use or lose Bananas,
your protective barrier is greatly weakened. Note that you cannot drag any of 
the Bananas behind you. The Triple Banana is also activated immediately upon
acquiring the item, so don't mash the item button or you will waste one.

Offensive Techniques: Each Banana operates the same as a regular Banana, so 
there isn't much of a difference. However, you can now ram into other racers
with your Banana barrier, causing them to spin out.

Defensive Techniques: The spinning barrier of Bananas is very useful, but as the
number of Bananas surrounding you decreases, you become increasingly vulnerable.
Three Bananas blocks almost all Shells, and two Bananas is still pretty good, 
but don't count on one Banana protecting you even from Shells from the rear.
Triple Bananas are also very effective in laying down a string of peels, 
preferably blocking the entrance or exit to a narrow path, thereby making it
extremely challenging to avoid.

Avoiding It: Avoiding Triple Bananas is the same as avoiding a regular Banana.
Just watch out for racers who will ram you with their Banana barriers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.4. Green Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High

Description: Firing off a Green Shell will see it take off at high speeds. A
Green Shell will last until hitting another racer, another item such as a 
Banana, falling into a pit, or after ricocheting several times off a wall. Like
Bananas, you can fire Green Shells forwards, backwards, or drag them behind you,
though you don't lob Green Shells forward. Being hit by a Green Shell will cause
you to flip over.

Offensive Techniques: Green Shell sniping is quite a glorifying experience. 
Seeing that Green Shell close in on an unsuspecting victim, and watching it 
crush their dreams of victory is sweeter than honey on syrup. It is rather 
difficult however, and requires practice. Ricocheting Shells off of walls can be
beneficial, as it has a higher chance of hitting opponents from the sides or in
front, but is even more difficult to pull off outside of narrow corridors.

Defensive Techniques: Green Shells can be dragged behind you exactly like 
Bananas, so all of this tips still apply. In addition, you can throw Green 
Shells backward to prevent opponents from getting up close behind you. Because
of the speed at which they move, dodging a Green Shell coming at you from the 
front is very challenging. You can also send one backwards at a wall in a narrow
corridor, as the multiple ricochets will make it very hard to dodge.

Avoiding It: Besides having Bananas or a Shell of your own to use as protection,
avoiding a skillfully aimed Green Shell can be very tough. Pay attention to the
distinct noise the Shells make, and look back to see where they're coming from.
Also, NEVER drive behind someone with a Green Shell. You will very likely get 
hit, either from them launching the Shell back at you, or by running into the
Shell they're dragging behind once you start drafting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.5. Triple Green Shells~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High

Description: Three Green Shells begin circling your vehicle in an identical
manner to Triple Bananas. Each Green Shell is used individually, and cannot be
dragged behind you like a standard Green Shell. Like Triple Bananas, this item
is activated immediately.

Offensive Techniques: On top of the strategies associated with singular Green
Shells, your spinning vortex of shelly doom can cause great chaos if you start
bumping into other racers. You can also fire multiple shells in quick 
succession, thus giving your target less chance to escape. Be aware that you can
destroy your Shells by hitting them with another Shell though.

Defensive Techniques: Copy and paste the standard Green Shell defensive 
techniques and add in the Triple Bananas section on items spinning around your
vehicle. Three Shells = Good. Two Shells = Pretty good. One Shell = Bad.

Avoiding It: Stay away from people with Triple Green Shells, and don't get 
directly in front or behind them. Be sure to look back if you pass someone with
them, as they will likely try to either ram you or pick you off from a distance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.6. Red Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High

Description: Like Green Shells, Red Shells can be thrown forwards, backwards, or
be dragged behind your vehicle. They hit with the same amount of force as Green
Shells, and act identical when dragged behind. However, Red Shells will home in
on the racer in front of you, but if you are neck and neck with another racer, 
the Red Shell may pass by them and go for a person further ahead. Red Shells are
also destroyed if they hit a wall once. Throwing a Red Shell backwards will 
result in the Shell flying backwards in a straight line. If a Red Shell hits any
item, hazard, or other vehicle, it will break.

Offensive Techniques: Red Shells are the dominant offensive item in the higher
places as they home in on the racer in front of you. This makes them very 
powerful as they are very hard to dodge if you don't have an item for 
protection. Pay attention to see if the racer in front of you has an item such
as a Banana or a Shell and save the Red Shell until they drop it (Many people
online will hold onto their protective items for the entire race. In this case,
it is best to fire the Shell to destroy their item and then look to take them 
out another way while they are defenseless). If you can, try to time the Red
Shell to hit your opponent when they are gliding, as this will cause them to 
fall into the pit below, costing them a lot of time.

Defensive Techniques: Defensively, Red Shells are identical to Green Shells 
minus the fact that Green Shells ricochet. But having a Red Shell does 
discourage drivers from getting in front of you, as they know that Shell will be
unleashed upon them.

Avoiding It: Protective items like Bananas are really your only hope in avoiding
Red Shells. While Red Shells are destroyed if they hit a wall or an item on the
track, angling yourself so a Red Shell following you hits one of these is very
tough, though not impossible. Personally, whenever I am in first I always hold
on to my Bananas and Green Shells just so I can protect myself from incoming Red

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.7. Triple Red Shells~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid

Description: Go read the Triple Green Shell description but replace 'Green' with
'Red.' Problem solved.

Offensive Techniques: Triple Red Shells are very powerful. Even if your target
has Triple Bananas or Triple Green Shells, it is very likely that you will hit 
them at least once. Triple Red Shells can easily move you up several places.
Just be careful to not waste them. Space your shots apart so that your second 
Shell doesn't hit your target while he's still recoiling from the first.

Defensive Techniques: Same as Triple Green Shells, although people will 
certainly be afraid to pass you.

Avoiding It: Ha. Good luck. Even with Triple Bananas or Triple Shells you have 
to be quite lucky to avoid all three Shells. Block as much as you can, but you
may be forced to take a hit or two if someone with Triple Red Shells is 
breathing down your neck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.8. Blue Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low

Description: The dreaded Blue Shell does indeed make a comeback in Mario Kart 8.
Like in Mario Kart 7, when launched the Blue Shell races along the track, 
knocking over any racer in its path before reaching the racer in 1st. It will
then rise up and crash down on them in a blue explosion. Anyone else caught in
the blast will be hit as well. Fortunately, the Blue Shell has been toned down a
bit in this game. Instead of being launched into the air like in previous games,
the Blue Shell hits with the same force as a Green or Red Shell, simply knocking
the target over. If another racer is caught on the edge of the blast, he will
spin out.

Offensive Techniques: The problem with the Blue Shell is that it only really
affects the racer in 1st place, but you won't be receiving the Blue Shell from
an item box unless you're quite low in the placement. This means that the Blue
Shell is usually not very advantageous to the person who used it. This doesn't
make it useless however. Oftentimes the person in 1st will slow down so that
racers behind him will get caught in the explosion as well. You can also save
the Blue Shell until you're closer to 1st place. The mere presence or a Blue 
Shell often causes a mini panic amongst the players at the head of the race, as
they will be trying to avoid getting hit, or at least get others to be hit as 
well. If nothing else, try to target the person in 1st when they are gliding 
over a pit so they suffer the most. This is difficult to do as the Blue Shell 
has to work its way up to them, but it's a good situation to shoot for if 
nothing else is possible/reasonable.

Defensive Techniques: You can't exactly throw a Blue Shell backwards or drag one
behind you, so defense is basically out of the question. However, if you have a 
Blue Shell, you are automatically feared by several racers. Use this power to 
your advantage. If you decide to make your way all the way to 1st without using 
it (which I wouldn't normally suggest is a good idea), no one is going to want
to pass you. Oh and if you're in 1st, don't use a Blue Shell. It will blow up in
your face.

Avoiding It: If you're not close to 1st place, just watch out for the Shell as
it travels along the track. A warning pops up when it's coming, so look behind
yourelf and make sure you're out of the way. The Blue Shell usually travels 
right down the middle, so moving to the side should suffice. If you're near 1st,
be aware that the person in 1st may try to slow down so that you will get hit
too. If the 1st place racer tries this, do everything you can to slip past him.
If you're already ahead of the target racer before the Blue Shell even hits him,
you're in a great position to get a solid lead. If you're the one in 1st, you
don't have many choices. Shells and Bananas don't block the Blue Shell, so your
options are to take the hit, slow down and take others down with you, fall into
a pit with decent timing, or dodge it. Dodging a Blue Shell requires precise
timing with a boost or for you to be invincible. If you're far enough ahead, 
just take the hit, but if you're close enough, you can try and get others in the
explosion with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.9. Super Horn~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High

Description: Our savior is here. The one that shall free us from the tyrannical
rule of the dreaded Blue Shell. The Super Horn is a single-use item that 
unleashes a circular soundwave around your character for about a second. Any 
racer caught in the wave will flip, and any items will be destroyed. Yes, ANY 
items will be destroyed, including the Blue Shell.

Offensive Techniques: The Super Horn is a great weapon for crowd control, as it
unleashes a powerful blast all around you. This is best done by driving in the 
middle of a crowd and then unleashing it. You have to be a bit careful as it's a
single-use item, but the blast lasts long enough so that you should be able to 
hit anyone decently close.

Defensive Techniques: Of course, the other great characteristic of the Super 
Horn is that it destroys all Bananas, Green Shells, Red Shells, and Blue Shells
around you. This makes it one of the ultimate defensive items. The big downside
is that you can only use it once, and though you can get the Super Horn in 1st 
place, it is very rare. If you're in 1st, definitely save it for defense, but if
you're constantly exchanging positions with a crowd, it's best to use it then.
Considering Bananas and Shells can easily be gotten and will protect you from
everything the Super Horn does minus the Blue Shell, it's often not worth it to
save the Super Horn for a long amount of time unless you're already in 1st.

Avoiding It: If someone has a Super Horn, just stay away from them. This is 
easier said than done of course, and the Super Horn has a deceptively large 
blast radius. If someone is in 1st with a Super Horn, try throwing Bananas at 
them so they use it prematurely, and you can then hit them with Shells.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.10. Fire Flower~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High

Description: Once you get the Fire Flower, a timer in the form of a circular
gauge will appear around the item bubble and start decreasing. During this time,
pressing the item button fires a fireball in front of you (holding down while
firing fires behind you). Each time you fire, the timer goes down a bit more 
than it would if you hadn't. When the timer runs out, the Fire Flower 
disappears. Fireballs bounce along the ground and ricochet off walls like Green
Shells until disappearing after hitting enough walls or after traveling a 
certain distance. Being hit by a fireball will cause you to spin out, and they
are blocked by items such as Bananas (though Bananas are incinerated).

Offensive Techniques: The biggest concern when using the Fire Flower is that you
have a time limit. The meter decreases no matter what you do, but it decreases
faster when you throw fireballs. There are two general strategies here: either
take your time, pace your shots out, and aim precisely, or go crazy and fire a 
massive barrage into a crowd or at a target. The first method gives you the most
time with the Fire Flower, and potentially allows you to do more damage, as you
can hit an opponent multiple times. The second method gives you a great chance
of actually hitting something, as the fireballs are rather difficult to aim, and
it is better for taking out multiple opponents quickly, but you have less time 
to do so. Overall it's your choice.

Defensive Techniques: You can use the Fire Flower for defense by dropping shots
behind you at other racers. This keeps the other racers swerving and on their 
toes even if you don't hit them. The Fire Flower isn't that great though, as it
does not defend against Shells, and you only have it for a set period of time.

Avoiding It: If someone with a Fire Flower is after you, you're gonna have a bad
time. Though hard to aim, the sheer number of shots you get with the Fire Flower
almost guarantees that at least one will hit. What's more, they can bounce off
walls and hit you from multiple angles. Your best bet is to swerve around or 
turn. This makes you very difficult to hit. Though Fire Flowers are difficult to
avoid, remember that you only spin out when hit, so you don't lose a ton of 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.11. Boomerang Flower~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High

Description: The Boomerang Flower sacrifices the rapid and numerous shots of its
fiery cousin for fewer, stronger blows. With each tap of the item button you 
fire a boomerang forward a considerable distance. Getting hit by this boomerang
will cause you to flip over. After extending out, the boomerang will return back
to you, hitting anyone in its path. You can throw the boomerang three times 
before it disappears, so you arguably have six chances to hit opponents. One 
more thing, if you want to get rid of the Boomerang Flower, throw it right 
before hitting an item box. While throwing the boomerang, the item is 
technically not in your item slot, so you can pick up another.

Offensive Techniques: The Boomerang Flower should be used conservatively, as you
only have three shots (there is no overarching time limit like for the Fire 
Flower). The big thing to remember is that the boomerang can hit opponents when
it's returning to you. With some clever maneuvering, you can angle yourself so
the returning boomerang hits someone even if you missed them in the initial 
shot. This definitely takes practice, but given time you can become deadly with
this item.

Defensive Techniques: Like the Fire Flower, you can also fire boomerangs behind
you. The Fire Flower defensive techniques apply here as well. Just keep in mind
the three shot limit.

Avoiding It: Pay attention to the thrower. The boomerang goes straight out from
the thrower, and then returns on as straight a path as possible to the thrower, 
so if the thrower moves, the boomerang's returning path will be different. By
observing the thrower, you can usually get a decent idea of the boomerang's
returning path. This is a lot to think about when a boomerang is whizzing by 
your head, but after some time this should become second nature. Good boomerang
users will still be able to hit you fairly often however.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.12. Bob-omb~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid

Description: You use the Bob-omb the same way that you use a Banana: lob it, 
drag it, or drop it. The difference, of course, is the explosive blast that 
occurs if the Bob-omb hits or comes close to a racer. This explosion is 
identical to the blast of a Blue Shell: direct hits will cause flips while 
fringe hits will cause spin outs. One special note: if you're dragging a Bob-omb
behind you, you will not get caught in its explosionif someone runs into it if 
you're moving decently fast.

Offensive Techniques: Bob-ombs are great weapons for taking out crowds, but 
lobbing them forward can make it challenging to aim. Their large blast radius
makes the aiming a bit more forgiving than Bananas, however. You still need to
be careful not to run into the Bob-omb after you throw it. Bob-ombs explode 
after some time or if a racer passes by them, and that includes the thrower.

Defensive Techniques: Though dragging Bob-ombs behind you doesn't protect you 
(In fact, if you're hit you will drop the Bob-omb right behind you. Not an ideal
situation.), they are great for dealing with anyone who is getting too close for
comfort. If someone runs into your Bob-omb while you're dragging it, you will 
not get hit unless you're driving very slowly. Dropping Bob-ombs behind you is
also a very good strategy, especially in narrow areas. You have more control 
over where the Bob-omb will land then if you lob it forward, and you don't have
to worry about running into it.

VERY UNHAPPY. Also be cautious of lobbers. When you hear the sound of a lob, be
very quick to identify A. Is it a Bob-omb? and B. Where will it land? and be
ready to make very quick adjustments. Getting hit by a Bob-omb will cost you a 
lot of time, so try as hard as you can to avoid them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.13. Piranha Plant~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid

Description: When your botanical friend attaches itself to the front of your 
vehicle, a meter like the one for the Fire Flower appears and will slowly empty.
About every second, the Piranha Plant will lunge forward, giving you a boost
roughly equivalent to a miniturbo. Each lunge will cause the meter to drop a bit
quicker, also like the Fire Flower. The Piranha Plant will also lunge toward any
racer, item, or hazard nearby and give them a good ol' chomp. Items like Shells
and Bananas are eaten, while racers will flip over. When the timer runs out the
Piranha Plant will disappear. Goodbye my glorious vegetable.

Offensive Techniques: The Piranha Plant is a very useful item in getting a good
amount of speed, and its automatic chomps allow you to hit many racers in your
path. The only problem is racers with items like Triple Shells. The Piranha 
Plant will lunge at them, often pulling you into their ring of items. Try to
avoid these opponents, but you should steer the Piranha Plant toward everyone 
else so you can take out as many racers as possible.

Defensive Techniques: The Piranha Plant is one of few items that protects your
front. While it doesn't directly block items, it lunges at any item in front of
you, gobbling them up in the process. Using this, you can drive through a Banana
ridden alleyway without much worry. The Piranha Plant's lunges can also boost
you out of harm's way.

Avoiding It: Stay far away from the Piranha Plant. Its range is deceptively 
large. Due to the boosts, someone with a Piranha Plant will likely by zooming
past you. Do your best to get out of the way, and stay back until the Piranha 
Plant's timer is depleted. One thing you definitely don't want to do is try to
pass a Piranha Plant. 9 times out of 10 it will get you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.14. Blooper~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid

Description: Once the Blooper is activated, it will fly up from the user. It 
will then appear over every racer in front of the user and spray them with ink a
few seconds later. The ink splatters on the player's screen, obscuring about 1/3
of their view (mostly covering the middle of the screen). Computer players will 
start zigzagging a bit, allowing you to pass them more easily. The ink is 
removed after a certain amount of time, or if the inked person gets a boost from
a boost pad or a Mushroom. On top of all of this, being Bloop'd will GREATLY
reduce your Grip. Turning and drifting become quite difficult and you will find
yourself turning into walls.

Offensive Techniques: In previous games, the Blooper is relatively useless. Any 
decent player will have memorized the track well enough so that they can still 
drive fine after being inked. However, in Mario Kart 8 the Blooper greatly 
affects your Grip stat, making turning/drifting very difficult. This is actually
pretty devastating, and it can totally screw people over if they're not ready 
for it. Against computers the Blooper is useful as to simulate losing their 
view, computer players will weave back and forth and go slower. You should be 
able to pass a few relatively easily.

Defensive Techniques: Considering the Blooper only affects those in front of the
user, there are basically no defensive properties to the Blooper. I guess you
could argue that if you Bloop'd someone and then got in front of them, they'd 
have trouble hitting you with a Shell or something, but that's a bit of a 

Avoiding It: The only way to get rid of the ink is to go over a boost pad or use
a Mushroom. Otherwise the ink eventually goes away on its own. In terms of 
losing traction, there really isn't any strict rule to help you besides "watch
out for the Blooper." Know that your Grip is severly handicapped, and try to

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.15. Mushroom~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High

Description: Using a Mushroom will give you a boost equivalent to using a boost
pad. While boosted, you can go offroad without slowing down at all. Mushroom
boosts also remove ink.

Offensive Techniques: Mushrooms should almost always be used to take offroad 
shortcuts. Even if there isn't a specific shortcut path to take, you can often
cut corners by going offroad a bit. Bottom line is you should almost never use
Mushrooms on a straightaway, as the benefit from the boost is relatively 
minimal. While you're boosting, your ramming abilities are increased 
dramatically, and you should be able to shove much heavier vehicles aside.

Defensive Techniques: Mushrooms can also be used to avoid items like Green 
Shells or someone who is chasing you down with a Boomerang Flower or something.
Mushrooms can also be used to dodge Blue Shells, though you have to be very
precise in your timing. Overall, Mushrooms are better suited for offroad 

Avoiding It: The only danger someone with a Mushroom presents to you is their
increased ramming power. Besides that, Mushrooms are completely harmless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.16. Triple Mushrooms~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low

Description: Three Mushrooms begin encircling your vehicle like Triple Bananas 
and Triple Green Shells. Each Mushroom acts like an individual Mushroom. The 
only noteworthy difference here is that if another racer touches one of the 
Mushrooms, he will essentially steal it and immediately get a boost (however you
will NOT lose the Mushroom). Like all other Triple items, they are activated

Offensive Techniques: Use the three Mushrooms to your advantage by taking large
offroad shortcuts. Everything else regarding regular Mushrooms applies, but DO
NOT TRY RAMMING OTHERS. They will likely hit one of the Mushrooms circling 
around you and get a boost themselves. Remember that you do not lose a Mushroom
by doing this, but giving your opponent free boosts isn't exactly optimal.

Defensive Techniques: Again, everything discussed regarding the standard 
Mushroom applies here, but you have to be careful in making sure that no one
steals your boosts.

Avoiding It: DON'T avoid it. If you see someone with Triple Mushrooms just
driving along, ram into that sucker to steal some free boosts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.17. Gold Mushroom~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Low

Description: As soon as this item shows up in your inventory, a timer will start
counting down. As long as this item is in your possession, you have an unlimited
supply of Mushroom boosts at the tap of the item button. Using these boosts does
NOT make the timer go down faster like the Fire Flower, so in almost every case
you should be constantly mashing the item button.

Offensive Techniques: The Gold Mushroom (or as I affectionally call it: the 
Spam-shroom) is one of the best items in the game. Using it you can cut across
huge stretches of offroad terrain and possibly take multiple shortcuts. Since
there is no benefit in saving the boosts, it is advised to boost constantly 
unless you're about to hit something or fall in a pit. You also have great 
ramming potential.

Defensive Techniques: Spam that button to avoid stuff and get ahead. That's it.

Avoiding It: Like with singular Mushrooms, the only threat a Gold Mushroom user
has against you (besides passing you) is their increased ramming capabilities.
Otherwise, ignore them, or hit them with an item right as their Gold Mushroom
disappears if you're a special type of jerk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.18. Star~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Low

Description: Using a Star gives you a consistent boost in speed and makes you 
invincible. While invincible, running into other racers causes them to flip 
over, all Bananas and Shells (including Blue Shells) are destroyed, and all 
other items do no damage. The only thing stopping you is a wall or a pit. You
can use a Star to take offroad shortcuts. If two racers both with Stars bump 
into each other it will be like standard jostling.

Offensive Techniques: There are two methods to using a Star: 1. Go for offroad
shortcuts and get as far ahead as you can, or 2. Go crazy and ram as many racers
as you can. Both of these methods have their advantages. The first probably will
get you farthest ahead, but the second method definitely causes more carnage, 
and will cause a lot of people to hate you (whether you view that as a good 
thing or not is up to you). The best plan is to choose one of the above and 
stick with it.

Defensive Techniques: Being invincible is definitely nice. Literally nothing can
hurt you minus falling into a pit. Blue Shells, Red Shells, Bob-ombs, even 
Lightning will do absolutely nothing to you. Many people save Stars until they 
are about to be hit, and then activate them to absorb the hit and then do one of
the methods outlined above. Though I wouldn't recommend using Stars as soon as 
you get them, I don't recommend saving them for the rest of the race just in 
case you get hit.

Avoiding It: If someone with a Star is determined to ram you, they will ram you.
Your best hope is to avoid them as they come up behind you (looking back is
obviously useful), and then hope they don't plan on backing up and trying again.
Most people will just try to hit you during a pass and if they miss oh well, but
there are always those few who are absolutely determined to hit you. Trying to
avoid these people (especially skilled ones) is one of the hardest things in
Mario Kart to do. Also one last thing, be careful when using Mushrooms to go 
offroad, as a person on a Star can hit you and completely kill you momentum, 
leaving you stuck offroad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.19. Bullet Bill~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Low

Description: Upon activation, you will transform into a Bullet Bill and 
automatically race down the track at great speeds. While a Bullet Bill, you are
invincible to all damage. The amount of time you remain as a Bullet Bill depends
on how many racers you pass. If you hit a racer as a Bullet Bill they will flip.

Offensive Techniques: Bullet Bills are basically Stars that you can't control, 
as you will automatically follow the track (so you can't take offroad 
shortcuts). There isn't much strategy to using a Bullet Bill. All you can do is
hope racers in front of you don't get out of the way.

Defensive Techniques: Like Stars, Bullet Bills make you invincible, but since 
you can't control the Bullet Bill's path, it is relatively useless as a 
defensive item, however you can use it to avoid Lightning.

Avoiding It: Get out of the middle of the road. Bullet Bill's almost always 
follow a relatively straightforward path that follows the center of the track.
When you hear one approaching, look back and make sure you're safe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.20. Lightning~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Low

Description: Lightning shocks every racer in front of the user, causing them to
spin out and shrink. While shrunk, racers move at a much slower speed and can be
flattened by a normal-size racer. The duration you remain shrunk depends on your
place (the closer you are to the front the longer you stay small).

Offensive Techniques: Obviously Lightning is extremely powerful, as it hits 
every racer in front of you and decreases their speed. If you want to be extra
devious though, watch your map until you see many racers in gliding sections.
There's nothing more satisfying than shocking multiple opponents into a pit.
Remember that racers with Stars and Bullet Bills will be entirely immune.

Defensive Techniques: Considering that Lightning doesn't affect anyone behind 
you, it has basically no defensive capabilities. Lightning does force everyone 
to drop their item, so I guess that can be considered defensive.

Avoiding It: Unless you have a Star or Bullet Bill, you're getting shocked. Just
be sure to stay away from pits when you notice someone getting Lightning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.21. Crazy Eight~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low

Description: The Crazy Eight replaces the Lucky Seven from Mario Kart 7. Once
activated, eight items will begin encircling your vehicle: a Coin, a Banana, a
Green Shell, a Red Shell, a Bob-omb, a Blooper, a Mushroom, and a Star. By 
tapping the item button again, you will use whichever item is directly in front
of you. Anyone who runs into an item surrounding you will either be damaged 
(Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, Bob-omb) or will steal it (Coin, Blooper, 
Mushroom, Star).

Offensive Techniques: Each of these eight items should be tackled in a certain
order or priority:

1. Star and Bob-omb - The Star is definitely the best item, and is certainly the
item you do not want to be stolen. While you may not want to use it immediately,
you definitely have to be careful and will not want to hold onto it for no 
reason. The Bob-omb isn't exactly useful, but it is extremely dangerous. If it 
is set off either by a racer running into it or by throwing it into a wall/slope
right in front of you. If the Bob-bomb goes off, you will drop ALL of the items 
circling you. Because of this, you will want to get rid of the Bob-omb as soon
as possible.

2. Mushroom and Red Shell - The Red Shell is arguably the most reliable 
offensive in this set of eight, so it should definitely be put to good use. The
Mushroom is also very useful, but if someone manages to steal it it's not as
devastating as if they took the Star.

3. Banana and Green Shell - Both of these items are useful, but are not overly
critical to your success and do not pose an immediate threat of someone runs 
into them. Use them when you can.

4. Coin and Blooper - These items are relatively useless. Use them when there 
are no immediate threats.

Defensive Techniques: While you have four items circling you that can be used 
for ramming, the Mushroom and Star will directly help anyone you ram, and the 
Bob-omb will likely take you out as well. Because of this, you should avoid 
other races until you've used/disposed of the Star, Mushroom, and Bob-omb. While
the Banana, Green Shell, and Red Shell can be used to block other Shells, since
they were originally in a group of eight circling you, Triple Bananas and Shells
are definitely much better protection.

Avoiding It: If you ram someone with the Crazy Eight, you have a 1/2 chance of
taking hits and a 1/4 chance of getting a boost. It's generally not worth it, 
but if you happen to notice they have the Star and/or Mushroom circling around
them without any damaging items nearby, go ahead. Just be wary, as they may 
activate the Star right as you approach, or you may miss and get hit. It's a
risky strategy, and you may just want to avoid people with the Crazy Eight 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5. Courses~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here we are at the main bread and butter of all Mario Kart games: the courses.
I will be describing in depth each course including alternate paths, shortcuts,
item box locations, hazards, and more.

Before we get started, here are some general tips on racing:

 - Know your vehicle. This basically boils down to knowing how your vehicle 
handles. Knowing how early to start drifting around a certain corner and how 
much you have to pull back to glide up to a certain path is essential in smooth

 - Even if there isn't exactly a shortcut, most turns can be cut slightly by
using a Mushroom to go offroad. If there are no nearby shortcuts, this is a 
decent use of a Mushroom.

 - Use the map on the Gamepad to your advantage by checking for items, seeing 
how close to you another racer is, etc. Even a brief glance at the map can be 
very useful.

 - Always take turns as sharply as possible. Even if there are boosts on the
outside edges of turns, it is almost always quicker to hug the inside edge.

 - Trick constantly. Almost any time your vehicle leaves the ground from any 
slight bump or dip in the track, you can trick. Master the timing so you never
miss any trick opportunities.

 - When gliding, you can hit the edges of ramps to trick off them but maintain
your glider. Use this to your advantage to get some extra speed in the air.

 - If you're in 1st, ALWAYS use items defensively, and try to always have an 
item on you for protection. ALWAYS drag Bananas and Shells behind you in these
situations, even if nothing is coming. Getting hit by a wayward Green Shell is
never fun.

 - If someone online is consistently beating you, try following them to see what
they do. You may learn of a new path you didn't know about.

 - Remember that for Mirror Mode, left and right are flipped. Everything else
should be the same, so just do what the guide says but in the opposite 

If there are any alternate paths or shortcuts not detailed in this guide, be 
sure to let me know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.1. Mushroom Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.1.1. Mario Kart Stadium~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The course starts off with a straightaway followed by a turn to the right where
your first set of item boxes are (the turn can be cut a bit by using a Mushroom
across the grass). After another short straightaway you reach a three-tiered
right turn. The outer section has boost pads, while the inner section is 
slightly raised so that you can't get back on it. You can also cut this corner
short by using a Mushroom, though you have to avoid the pipes sticking out of 
the sand.

Afterwards you will enter an antigravity section. Your second row of item boxes
awaits as the track curves to the left, though you can use a Mushroom to trick
off a ramp with an item box over it to the left of the main path. Afterwards is
a decently long straightaway followed by a right turn and then a U turn to the
left. The antigravity section ends at a glide ramp where the third row of item
boxes lie. While gliding down, there is a ramp on the right side of the track
that you can trick off of. Upon landing the track curves to the left, and a
Mushroom can be used to pass over the sand to the left of the track. The outside
edge of the turn culminates in a short ramp, so you may want to use that to 
trick off of instead of hugging the inside wall. After that turn is the finish 

~5.1.2. Water Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The track begins with a short stretch leading into a building with item boxes at
the entrance (make sure you don't run into the pillars). After entering the 
building the track makes a 90 degree turn to the right including a slight dip.
The track curves to the right again and splits into a slightly higher and 
slightly lower section, both quickly culminating in an antigravity strip and 
ramps that drop you into the water. Drive forward and you will exit the water
while traveling up a gradual loop. Submarines run along this loop, and running
into them will give you a spin boost. At the top of the loop is your second row
of item boxes.

The loop eventually drops you into more water where the antigravity ends. The 
path curves around an underwater teacup ride to the left, which you can cut 
through with a Mushroom, before a right turn with the third item box row leading
to a glide ramp. The finish line is straight ahead, but make sure you avoid the 
ticket booth in the middle of the track.

~5.1.3. Sweet Sweet Canyon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You start off going straight until a right turn with your first row of item 
boxes leading into a cave. The cave curves immediately to the left and has you
exit via a cannon. The cannon drops you off at the top of a cake. The track 
curves down the cake to the right, eventually leading to your second row of item
boxes as the track dips underwater and splits into two paths, each with a ramp
and a gravity strip before them.

These two paths (blue on the left and pink on the right) twist around in several
directions before coming back together at the third row of item boxes and 
another short ramp where the antigravity ends. The track curves to the left with
a Piranha Plant on the outside edge that will lunge toward you if you are close
and cause you to spin out if it connects. The track the curves slightly right
before taking a hard left, but you can use a Mushroom to skip this curve by
boosting under the donut (you'll have to curve left a bit to stay on track).
After that there's just a drop before the finish line.

~5.1.4. Thwomp Ruins~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first row of item boxes are straight ahead, with a large turn to the left 
following, but you can use a Mushroom to boost over the grass to the left of the
item boxes where there's a ramp you can trick off of and skip the entire turn. 
A short right turn leads into the ruins. There's a pit to the left, but there's
an antigravity strip on the right that lets you drive on the wall where there
are boost pads. The track curves to the left (watch out for the rolling stone
wheels) and you exit the cavern at the second row of item boxes.

This next part contains several paths. By going left or right, you will have to
either avoid a Thwomp or use antigravity to drive up the wall where there are
boost pads. You can also jump into the water ahead, though you will have to 
drive around the central structure. However, a rock wheel may roll over a wall
in the middle, allowing you access to a glide ramp in the center. You can use
this to glide over the central structure (watch out for the Thwomp) and you will
land at the edge of the water where the outside paths converge.

Afterwards you will enter another antigravity section and the track turns to the
left. The third row of item boxes are here as the track makes a turn to the 
right and then immediately back to the left where you'll have to avoid another
Thwomp. The track slowly curves to the left, and though there is a pit to the 
left, you can try jumping onto a thin ramp to the left of the main track next to
a second Thwomp, allowing you to cut another left turn short. You will then 
reach a glide ramp (ending the antigravity section). Glide forward, tricking off
the ledge below, and cross the finish line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.2. Flower Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.2.1. Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The course starts off with a left turn into the first row of item boxes. The 
track continues curving left around Peach's Castle before a quick right turn 
into an antigravity strip at the start of a bridge. The bridge twists left 
(though the track doesn't turn) but the track on the other side of the bridge
begins a long turn to the left where the second row of item boxes lies. You can
cut this turn quite short by boosting over the grass to the left with a 
Mushroom (make sure you don't fall into the pit on the left, and watch out for
the railing at the end of the turn). 

As the track straightens, there are two ramps on either side, followed by one in
the middle. Afterwards the track curves to the right for awhile before reaching
the third row of item boxes and a second bridge. After the bridge is a long 
right turn which can be bypassed by cutting across the sand to the right with a
Mushroom (watch out for the pipes). A glide ramp is in the middle of the track
at the end of the turn, and the antigravity ends shortly afterward. Avoid the
Goomba towers (they will cause you to spin out) and head straight toward the 

~5.2.2. Toad Harbor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The track begins with a straightaway followed by a right turn, with a patch of
grass that you can cut across using a Mushroom (avoid the crate). The track then
curves to the left across a bridge, but a boost ramp is to the left of that 
bridge and will send you over the water. Your first row of item boxes is on the
bridge, with another over the boost ramp. After the bridge there is a ramp 
leading onto a canopy. You can take the ramp or navigate the path below. Both 
paths curve to the right (there is a boost pad on the bottom path if you go a 
bit out of your way to the left). You can also trick off the end of the ramp 
leading up to the canopy as well as the little gaps in the canopy itself.

The path splits again with the right side raising up a bit. The second row of
item boxes is right after the split (be aware that only one item box is on the
upper path). Both paths curve to the left and the upper path ends with a boost
ramp that leads you to a normally inaccessable alley which immediately turns to
the right. The lower path turns right, and then slopes uphill and gently to the 
left where the alley opens up Eventually, you reach another split. To the left 
is an antigravity strip letting you drive along the wall of the buildings to the
left as the track curves right. You will use boost ramps to jump from building 
to building until the third row of item boxes where you will land back on the 
road. If you stayed on the road, you have a long right turn where you have to 
avoid running into cable cars until the third row of item boxes where you can 
trick off the drop.

After the drop you will be on a downward slope where you will have to avoid more
cable cars. Two boost ramps are on the slope: the first being on the left and 
the second is on the right. There is also a boost pad on the left right next to
the buildings. At the bottom of the slope is an alley to the left. The alley 
turns to the right and ends in a boost pad that reconnects you with the main 
road. If you ignored the alley, you would have a left turn followed immediately 
by a right turn where the alley reconnects. The finish line is straight ahead, 
but you can choose to take a narrow path to the right of the finish line, though
this is where the cable cars end up and it is quite hard to squeeze by. Also be
warned that you will have to make a quick left turn to get back on the main 

~5.2.3. Twisted Mansion~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the race begins you immediately enter the mansion and are forced onto the 
left or right path, both with item boxes. Both paths have antigravity strips and
have you driving along the walls. The walls are wavy and can be tricked on, and 
both paths curve back down to the ground and converge as the antigravity ends. 
The track then does a large U turn to the left, but this can be completely 
skipped by using a Mushroom to boost between the bookcases before the turn. This
leads to another antigravity section that leads to the second row of item boxes 
and an underwater section.

When underwater, the track turns right twice, and then left before splitting 
into two paths again. The paths are on opposite walls, so the left path curves
left while the right path curves right (the two paths basically follow each
other) before ending at the third row of item boxes and a glide ramp. Glide over
a courtyard below (there are coins above the fountain), and either pull up or
drop to enter two different paths. Both paths curve to the left, but the upper
path is more of an inside curve. The paths converge and curve left a bit more 
before exiting the mansion. Knight statues line the path, and will crush you by
swinging their hammers. The track curves to the right to the finish line, though
a Mushroom can be used to boost across the grass to the right behind the Knight
statue to get to the finish line quicker.

~5.2.4. Shy Guy Falls~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The race starts off with the first row of item boxes dead ahead, followed by a
left turn, and then a right turn, the latter of which can be cut by Mushroom-ing
across the grass to the right. An antigravity strip precedes a turn to the right
followed by a boost ramp over the waterfall. The track then curves to the left,
leading to another ramp which drops you directly onto a waterfall. Boost pads 
fall down the waterfall, and you should hit as many as you can while racing up
the rapids.

At the top of the waterfall is the second row of item boxes, followed by a 
wooden bridge that curves around in a U turn to the left. The bridge drops you
down onto another waterfall, leading to a glide ramp below. The glide ramp leads
to a path below, but by pulling up you can enter a small cave above. The lower
path curves slightly to the left, then the right, and then the left again where
the third row of item boxes are. The cave above turns to the right, and ends 
with a ramp that drops you off before the left turn to the item boxes. Before 
and to the right of the item boxes is a ramp in the grass with two item boxes
above it. Using a Mushroom, you can boost across the grass and trick off the 
ramp. Ignoring the shortcut, the track curves to the right after the item boxes,
leading to two ramps. If you used the shortcut, you will rejoin the path after
the first ramp. There's one final turn to the right (that can be cut by using a
Mushroom), and you're at the finish line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.3. Star Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.3.1. Sunshine Airport~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Starting inside the terminal, the track curves slightly to the right before
turning to the left, where a ramp sends you out of the terminal where the first
row of item boxes awaits (As if getting through an airport terminal is ever that
fast. Yeesh). Once outside, the track curves to the right where a conveyor belt 
carrying boxes intersects the track. Trick off the side of the conveyor belt 
while avoiding the boxes. You will then drive under a plane (avoid the wheels) 
before driving up a boost ramp onto a higher section. The track then curves to
the left.

A boost ramp sends you onto a higher path which travels through a plane where 
the second row of item boxes lie. The path curves to the right before dropping
back down onto the main path. If you passed by the boost ramp (or fell off), you
drive under the plane, where you can find more item boxes near the wheels. This
path also curves to the right where the upper path dumps you back onto the 
track. The path then curves to the left and after two boost strips, launches you
off a glide ramp up into the air. However before the left turn, you can use a 
Mushroom to boost off the edge to the left, trick off a ramp, and cut the 

You end up on an airborne path with an antigravity strip. As the path curves to
the right, watch for the nodes that you can use for some spin boosts. The 
airborne path ends in another glide ramp with the road row of item boxes above.
Glide down onto the helipad below (and watch out for any planes taking off) and
follow the path to the left back into the terminal. On the right is another 
conveyor belt carrying some more boxes in a circle. The path curves to the right
around the conveyor belt, but you can trick off the belt (avoiding the boxes)
and cut that turn short. The finish line is just ahead.

~5.3.2. Dolphin Shoals~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You begin the race underwater (sounds safe) as the path gently slopes up and to
the left where you surface at the first row of item boxes before dropping back
down into the water. Two ramps are on each side of the track, followed by one in
the middle. Above each ramp is a ring that gives you a boost if you trick 
through it. After the ramps, the track slowly curves down and to the left before
entering an underwater cave.

The cave is split into several paths. By going down the middle, you can use 
pipes emitting a strong current to keep yourself above the pits, eventually
leading to the second row of item boxes (note that you can trick off these water
jets. The timing is when the water just begins to support your vehicle). By 
going to the right at the cave entrance, you can use a pipe to get to a ledge 
with a boost pad, leading you to another pipe and the row of item boxes. After 
the item boxes is a boost pad and a ramp that launches you on top of a giant 
eel. Try and stay on top of the eel, as you can trick off its ridge running down
its back. If you fall off the eel, you just have a rather uneventful 

After the eel is an antigravity strip and a ramp. The track begins curving up
and to the right, eventually leading to the third row of item boxes, a short 
ramp, and a glide ramp, ending the antigravity. Glide forward onto the track and
follow it to the left. It curves around a patch of dirt on the right, but you 
can use a Mushroom to cut across that. The finish line is dead ahead.

~5.3.3. Electrodrome~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Electrodrome starts you off immediately with a glide ramp. Land on the track 
below, which curves slightly to the right before a large left turn with the 
first row of item boxes on it, which you can cut by using a Mushroom and going
through the darker path inside. After the left turn is an antigravity strip 
followed by a gradual curve to the right. There are two nodes on the sides of 
the track for spin boosting. Afterwards the path splits into a green path on the
left, and a pink path on the right. The second row of item boxes appears right
after the split.

Green path: The green path curves slowly to the left, before turning into a line
of music and curving to the right. The path becomes green again and you run into
the third row of item boxes. The path curves more to the right, drops a few 
steps, and ends in a glide ramp that ends the antigravity.

Pink path: The pink path gently curves to the right, before becoming a line of
music, where it turns to the left. The path becomes pink again and turns to the
right where the third row of item boxes are. The path keeps curving right, drops
down some steps, and ends in a glide ramp which ends the antigravity.

Both glide ramps lead to a circular landing area with a path leading forward. 
Trick off the ramp in front and follow the path to the left. A Mushroom can be
used to cut the turn short by driving between the pegs over the darker ground to
the left of the turn. The finish line is a short distance away.

~5.3.4. Mount Wario~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mount Wario is one of two tracks that is not divided into three laps. Instead,
the course is one long linear path broken up into three different sections.

You start the race inside of a helicopter. Drive forward, trick off the ramp, 
and land on the snowy track below where the first row of item boxes await. 
Follow the track as it curves right, then left, and then right again. Trick off
the ramp, but watch out for the pit to the right. As the track curves to the 
right around the pit, the inside half of the track rises up, ending in a jump
back onto the rest of the course. The course then turns to the left, and this 
time the outside half rises up which has two boost pads on it (you can trick off
the second one). Watch out for the pit on both sides of the track as it curves
to the right. Another sharp turn to the right and you reach the end of section 
one. The final turn can be jumped off a tiny lip that sticks up a bit, though
this is quite difficult to do well.

Section 2 starts off with the second row of item boxes as you enter a cave and 
and antigravity section. The track curves up a wall while curving right, before
ending in a ledge that you can trick off. You will land on another slanted ledge
that curves a bit to the left before reaching a glide ramp. Glide through the
cave slightly to the left, and trick off the rocks with the boost pads. You will
land in the water in front of another boost ramp which sends you into the 
innards of a dam. The track curves sharply to the right and then drops down to
the third row of item boxes before curving to the left where another antigravity
section awaits. A short ramp sends you onto the side of the dam where boost pads
will fall down the side in streams of water. Hit as many as you can before 
ending the antigravity by tricking off the end of the wall. A forest approaches,
and there is a path to the right and left, as well as a glide ramp in the middle
you can reach by Mushroom-ing through the snow. Pick either path, as they curve
around a large rock between them before converging at a jump. To the right of 
the right path you can use a Mushroom to boost through the deep snow to a boost 
pad. Following the convergence is the fourth row of item boxes and a straight 
path with a bunch of tree roots sticking out of the ground which you can trick 
off of. Be sure not to hit the trees as the track curves to the right, following
the path to the end of section two.

Section 3 begins with the fifth row of item boxes as the path curves down to the
left. Trick off the ramp, and try to stay in the center so you can hit a second
ramp as well. The track twists downward, twisting right, left, right, left, and
right again. The sixth row of item boxes is ahead, and the straightaway that 
they're on is littered with bumps. Mash the trick button as you go down this
area, turn left, and enter another antigravity section. Follow the boost pads
downhill as you race toward the glide ramp and the seventh row of item boxes,
ending the antigravity section. Glide into the floating rings to get speed 
boosts before landing. The track curves slightly to the right before turning 
left around a pile of snow that you can boost over with a Mushroom and cross
that finish line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.4. Special Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.4.1. Cloudtop Cruise~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The race begins with a small right turn to a boost ramp with the first row of 
item boxes that will make you bounce off of a platform (be sure to trick off the
bounce). The path turns to the left before making a larger turn to the right. 
The path curves left around a pit, but you can leap off the path to the left and
bounce off of another platform to save a bit of time. Trick off the ramp with 
the second row of item boxes in front of you and follow the path as it curves to
the right. Trick off another ramp to land on the airship.

The airship forces you to either the right or the left, but both paths quickly
curve around and converge again before you are shot out of a cannon onto an
antigravity section amongst storm clouds. The tracks slowly curves to the left
and many boost pads riddle the path. However, lightning strikes will sometimes
strike the boost pads, so watch out for those. At the end of this path is a 
glide ramp with the third row of item boxes marking the end of the antigravity 

The glide ramp sends you onto the side of a massive ? block where you will drive
back onto the beanstalk that you started the race on. The track makes a U turn
around to the right, but you can cut this corner considerably by tricking off
one of the leaves to the right before the turn (it's risky but very useful).
After that it's just a short left turn to the finish line.

~5.4.2. Bone Dry Dunes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The race begins with the first row of item boxes and a turn to the right (though
a Mushroom can be used to cut the turn by boosting over the sand to the right).
The track then curves to the left and then the right where the path splits. You
can curve left or right around the sand in the middle, or use a Mushroom to 
boost through it and trick off the ramp. Follow the path to the right, and then
turn left to trick off a ramp. The path then splits down the middle with the
second row of item boxes on both sides. The paths curve to the right and quickly
converge, only to split apart again with a Bone Piranha Plant in the middle.

Once passed the Bone Piranha Plant, the path splits again. By going left, you
must make a right turn around a pit, then follow the path left. Be sure to avoid
more Bone Piranha Plants on the left side, or you can use a Mushroom to boost 
through the sand behind them. The path ends with a glide ramp containing the
third row of item boxes. The right path leads you onto an antigravity section.
There are two nodes on the path for you to get spin boosts followed by a ramp, 
two more nodes, another ramp, one more node, and a glide ramp with the third row
of item boxes.

Both glide ramps set you down at the entrance to a cave, but by quickly angling
upward you can land on an upper path that will follow the lower path, but will 
save you some time. The path turns to the left, and you must watch out for the 
Dry Bones that are ambling about as you make a wide left turn to the finish 
line. If you have a Mushroom, you can boost through the sand to the left of the 
turn between the bones for a nice shortcut.

~5.4.3. Bowser's Castle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The course starts off with you entering the castle and passing through the first
row of item boxes. Once inside, avoid the laser statues (they will cause you to
spin out) and follow the path to the right. Make two left turns and enter an
antigravity section. Follow the path to the right, make a sharp turn to the 
left, and trick off the ledge whil avoiding the fire bar. Another ledge (this 
time guarded by a swinging spiked ball) drops you down to the second row of item

The track curves around to the left, and you'll have to trick off another ledge
while avoiding another fire bar. Up ahead, the path splits around a giant stone
Bowser. Stone Bowser will alternative punch the paths, so try to pick the path
that he just punched so you won't get hit. Follow either path around a few turns
until you reach a glide ramp with the third row of item boxes, ending the
antigravity section you started quite a bit ago.

The glide ramp will take you out of the castle (watch out for the spouting lava
pillars). Turn to the left, and then follow the path around to the right, being
careful to avoid the boulders rolling down the path. The path splits, with the
left half raising up a bit. The upper path ends with a jump, while the lower 
path curves around a bit to the left and then the right. The finish line awaits.

~5.4.4. Rainbow Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rainbow Road begins with a turn to the right to the first row of item boxes and
and antigravity strip. The path curves a bit to the left, and then follows a 
circular turn to the right (be careful as there are no railings here). The path
then turns left to a glide ramp which lands you on a satelite where the 
antigravity ends. The path curves around to the right, with one side moving with
you and the other side moving against you (obviously you should stay on the path
moving forward. There should be ramps on it as well). Afterwards you will hit a
boost pad which leads to two side-by-side glide ramps with the second row of 
item boxes. Depending on which glide ramp you take, you'll end up on a different

Left path: Taking the left ramp will put you on a slightly higher path. The path
begins with an antigravity strip and curves to the right to a node you can get
spin boosts from, followed by a turn to the left and two more nodes. The path
then turns right to the third row of item boxes and connects with the other 

Right path: The right glide ramp puts you on a slightly lower path. It begins
with an antigravity strip and curves to the right before turning slightly left
and then right again to a spin boost node. The path turns left again and has two
spin boost nodes before turning right into the third row of item boxes and 
joining up with the other path.

Both paths culminate with the end of the antigravity section, and a long left 
turn with boost pads on the outside eventually leading to the finish line. Be 
extra careful on this course, as there are pits everywhere and few railings to 
stop you from falling into them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.5. Shell Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the Retro tracks, I will give a brief description of any major changes to
the tracks in a brief line before the tracks overview. This will be stuff like
gliding sections or antigravity, and not graphical improvements or one random
new ramp or something.

~5.5.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: New gliding section before the Monty Mole area

Follow the path ahead to the first row of item boxes. The track curves to the 
left and zigzags through a field with cows on it. The cows will wander across
the track as the course goes on, so be especially careful not to run into them
on later laps. The field can be cut across using Mushroom boosts (the last turn
to the left is probably the most profitable to cut across).

Next is the second row of item boxes, followed by a quick turn to the right and
a ramp. Following that is a turn to the left with the outside part rising up and
ending with a glide ramp. After the turn you enter an open area with Monty Moles
and several mounds of grass which you can cut across with Mushroom boosts. 
There's also a boost ramp at the beginning. Avoid the Monty Moles and grass 
mounds until the path turns to the left where the finish line awaits. If you 
used the glide ramp and tricked off the edge of the boost ramp, you can glide
over this entire area and end up landing right at the left turn.

~5.5.2. GBA Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: First U turn is now an antigravity section.

Note: Almost every turn can be cut by using a Mushroom to cut over the grass. As
such, I won't mention it at all during the runthrough, but keep it in mind when

After a short straightaway the track turns left and then immediately right. 
Afterwards is a boost ramp with the first row of item boxes that will launch you
up onto an antigravity section. Follow the track as it U turns to the left 
(there's a boost pad on the left side right after the turn) and trick off the
ramp to land back on the ground, ending the antigravity section. The track then
curves to the right and then to the left where the second row of item boxes are.
There is a glide ramp to the right with two more item boxes, but you need a 
Mushroom to get there as it's on the grass.

After the item boxes is an oil spill on the right, and the track turns slightly
to the left, followed by an oil spill on the left and a very slight turn to the
right (hitting the oil spills will cause you to spin out). Immediately after is
a rather sharp left turn. The finish line is ahead, but a narrow path to the 
right contains an extra item box and a boost pad that will rocket you across the
finish line.

~5.5.3. DS Cheep Cheep Beach~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Gliding section after the dock. More stuff underwater.

Drive forward onto the dock and follow it to the right to the first row of item
boxes. Afterwards is a glide ramp that drops you off onto the beach ahead. 
Follow the beach as it curves to the right around a large rock to reach the
second row of item boxes and a boost ramp. Across the ramp the beach turns left
and then right with water on both sides. You can drive through the water if you
want (there are some ramps), but it is slower than staying on the beach unless
you have a Mushroom. There are also crabs wandering around on the beach and 
underwater, so watch out for those.

Follow the beach forward toward a lighthouse, tricking off the ramps. The beach
curves to the right slightly, and again you can choose whether to follow it or 
to drive left into the water (there's another ramp underwater as well). Passing
the third row of item boxes will put you into a jungle. The path turns right and
then left a bit later. Trick off the two ramps and head forward to the finish 

~5.5.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity on the walls. Several cars have ramps and glide ramps
that you can use to get ahead.

This course is a bit difficult to describe, as it is basically just a simple
figure-eight. The numerous cars on the road are all constantly moving, so your
racing line will change slightly each time, and the traffic pattern is set
randomly at the beginning of each race from a preset list. Item boxes also move 
along the road, so you won't be getting items in the same places each time.

Follow the road as it slowly curves to the left. An antigravity section will
appear on the right wall, allowing you to avoid the cars on the road and also
use the boost pads on the walls. You can exit the antigravity section halfway
through, or you can stay until the end where there is a slight bump to trick off
before landing back on the road. Follow the track straight until it starts 
turning around to the right. Another antigravity section will be on the left 
wall in the same manner as the one before it. This section ends in front of the
finish line.

Be extra careful to avoid the numerous cars on the road. The antigravity 
sections help with this, but you are forced to take the very outside of the 
turns. Also be on the lookout for cars with ramps on them, especially the trucks
with glide ramps, as these will allow you to glide quite far. The item boxes
travel along the road, so be sure to hit them when you see them. Also, unlike 
Mario Kart 64, Toad's Turnpike in Mirror Mode does not have reversed traffic.
However, one of the preset traffic patterns has one of the lanes going towards

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.6. Banana Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.6.1. GCN Dry Dry Desert~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Tornado has been removed. Open sand area after the sand trap is
now underwater.

Follow the track forward to the first row of item boxes. The path zigzags 
through areas with deep sand, but these can be cut across using a Mushroom (also
look out for the fallen pillars you can trick off of if you have a Mushroom). 
Watch out for the Pokeys on the path as they will cause you to spin out (they
will bend over from time to time over the coins next to them). After that is the
second row of item boxes and the infamous sand trap. You don't have to follow
the outside edge, but falling into the middle counts as falling into a pit, and
will cost you a lot of time. Using a Mushroom to cross the trap (as long as you
avoid the center) is recommended.

A column buried in the sand can be tricked off of on the right side of the path
after the pit, and the track curves right toward the third row of item boxes and
an oasis. Head underwater, and trick off the mounds of grass to jump over them
entirely (the holes in the ground are like the pipes in Dolphin Shoals, so don't
worry about falling into them). Trick when exiting the water and follow the path
to the right. You can use a Mushroom to trick off of a fallen pillar that's 
offroad to the left, but otherwise just head straight toward the finish line.

~5.6.2. SNES Donut Plains 3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater areas around the two bridges.

Note: Like GBA Mario Circuit, almost every corner can be cut using a Mushroom
to cross over the grass, so these will not be noted here unless there is 
something else worth noting.

Head forward into the first clump of item boxes (clump is just such a sexy word)
and follow the path to the right across the bridge. The path turns right again
and you will reach another bridge. This one is broken though, so you are forced
to drive in the water halfway across. After that is the second row of item boxes
along with a left turn. The path then turns slightly right and then left before
a large right turn.

Next is a straightaway with several Monty Moles. The track curves slightly right
and then turns sharply left (there's a hole in the fence allowing you to skip 
these turns with a Mushroom to the left of these turns) before turning again
back to the right. The finish line is ahead.

~5.6.3. N64 Royal Raceway~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Jump has turned into a gliding section. Access to the castle has
been blocked.

The road begins by going straight until a mild left turn leading to the first 
row of item boxes followed by a sharper left turn that can be avoiding by 
cutting over the grass to the left with a Mushroom (not the best use for a 
Mushroom, but it's something). Immediately following is a sharp turn to the 
right, followed by another shortly thereafter. The path then curves to the left
where the second row of item boxes are, but you can use a Mushroom to cut across
the grass to the left and trick off a ramp where two item boxes are.

Another right turn follows after the item boxes (there are Piranha Plants on the
outside edge) followed by a straight shot over a couple boost pads to the glide
ramp. Watch out for the balloons and land on the path below, turning left to
reach the third row of item boxes (there are more Piranha Plants on the right
side of the road). The path curves left slightly before curving back to the 
right and then back to the left where the finish line awaits (Mushrooms can be
used over the grass in this area as well).

~5.6.4. 3DS DK Jungle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity inside the temple

From the start, follow the path as it curves to the right to reach the first row
of item boxes, then turn immediately to the left. The path splits around a tree,
and you can trick off of the tree roots to get a boost. Trick off the boost pad
and the flower that you bounce on and avoid the tiki enemies as you follow the 
track down and to the left. Cross the bridge to reach the second row of item 
boxes. Turn right immediately and then drift left and up the fallen pillar to 
the left. Even though you technically have to go offroad, if you time it right
you will lose almost no speed. If you miss the pillar, you will have to turn 
left while avoiding patches of mud before following the path to the right to 
reach a boost ramp. If you got on the pillar, you will hit a glide ramp that 
will take you directly to the boost ramp which you can trick off of.

Continue tricking on the next two boost ramps (if you took the pillar try to use
them to stay in the air longer) until you reach an antigravity section as the
path goes inside a temple. The path turns right, and then U turns to the left. 
Trick off the short ramp to end the antigravity section, and go around the 
spinning banana for the third row of item boxes. Following these is another 
glide ramp. Glide between the three large statues (they will yell at you 
creating shock waves but this is easily avoided) and land past the water. If you
miss the glide ramp or drop for some other reason, you'll be stuck in the water
for awhile. Continue forward and turn left as the path splits in two. The 
outside path is a bit higher up, while the inside path is lower down (there is a
small gap in the road before the lower path, but you should drive right over 
it). Whichever path you take, trick off the end to jump the gap and cross the
finish line ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.7. Leaf Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.7.1. DS Wario Stadium~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity in a new scaffolding section after the two jumps with
boost pads as well as underwater and gliding sections shortly thereafter.

Drive forward to the first row of item boxes and follow the track left. The 
track briefly curves to the right before making a sharp left turn leading to a
boost ramp. Upon landing, turn left and use the boost pads on the dirt patches
to boost over the surrounding mud (you can trick off each boost pad). At the end
is a second row of item boxes. Turn left again and use the boost pads on the two
hills to drive through the rings of fire (you can trick off these pads as well).

The path turns slightly to the left as you enter an antigravity section. The 
track turns sharply to the left and then immediately the right (there are 
spinning fire bars here, but you shouldn't have too much trouble avoiding them).
Trick off the ledge at the end to land back on the ground, ending the 
antigravity section. Turn left and trick off another boost pad where the third 
row of item boxes are. Trick again off of two more boost pads and head 
underwater. There are two short ramps here, followed by a left turn and a glide
ramp. Trick off the ramp and glide to the finish line straight ahead. 

~5.7.2. GCN Sherbet Land~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater sections beneath both ice rinks with antigravity 
leading out of the first one.

Follow the path as it turns to the right, passing by the first row of item boxes
before immediately turning left onto the first ice rink. You have two choices
here: stay on the ice rink or drop into the water to the right. While staying on
the ice rink, turn to the right around the water to enter a cave (watch out for
the ice skating Shy Guys, especially the pair right near the cave entrance). 
Inside the cave, the path turns to the right before The path splits around an
ice formation right before a left turn, where the second row of item boxes lie.
If you fall into the water, move forward to reach an antigravity strip and 
follow the path up and to the right, hitting the boost pads that alternate on 
the sides of the path before tricking off of a boost ramp, ending the 
antigravity, to land in the cave before the item boxes.

After the item boxes, turn left and then right to exit the cave. Immediately 
turn left again and then right (the snow banks on the sides can be boosted over
using a Mushroom to slightly cut these corners). Turn right again into the third
row of item boxes and enter the second ice rink. There are many holes here, and
the main path turns right, then left, and then right to reach the finish line.
However, you can use a Mushroom to boost over some snow to the left of the first
turn (basically go straight from where you entered the ice rink) to reach a 
glide ramp that will send you to the finish line. Alternatively, you can fall
into another underwater section with a short ramp. You have to avoid some 
pillars, but you will emerge in front of the finish line (you can trick off the
little bump where you emerge). Though traveling underwater is slower, if you
stay on the ice rink you will have to avoid several large Freezies. Hitting 
these will cost you a ton of time.

~5.7.3. 3DS Music Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Honestly there aren't any.

Follow the track straight to reach the first row of item boxes. It then curves 
slightly to the right before turning left down a set of piano keys. You can 
trick off the black keys in the middle, and there are boost pads on the outside,
but it's best just to stick to the inside of the turn. Drop down off the piano
and head straight, avoiding the Piranha Plants on the sides (they switch sides
each lap). You can use a Mushroom to cut across the grass and trick off a ramp
on the left after the Piranha Plants, but otherwise you'll just turn around it.

Next you'll find yourself turning right across a xylophone (it technically might
be something else. Don't kill me band geeks okay?) but this time there are 
raised "keys" on the inside edge. You can trick off of them to get some extra
speed, but be careful not to fall off. You will then reach the second row of 
item boxes before turning to the left where you will go down another xylophonic
device, this time with raised keys on the left (trick off these too). You'll 
then go off a boost ramp and bounce on a drum, which you should also trick off.

Follow the path to the right and you will reach a sectioned glide ramp. Half of
the ramp will be a glide ramp, while the other half will be just a standard 
ramp. Which side is which changes every few seconds (and changes faster on the 
last lap). Always go for the glide ramp if you can. After the ramp is a large
area with three massive music notes that are jumping to the beat (they also jump
faster on the final lap). When these music notes hit the ground, you will be
bounced into the air and you can trick off these bounces. Be sure not to get
squished by them though, and avoid the patch of grass in the middle. The third
row of item boxes is on both sides of this grassy patch. After the third note,
drop down a bit and follow the track as it U turns to the right. Though you can
trick off the drum to the right before the turn, you will end up in the grass to
the left of the main path, so only use that if you have a Mushroom. Otherwise, 
follow the track to the left after the U turn and cross the finish line.

~5.7.4. N64 Yoshi Valley~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Cannon on the far right path. No porcupines. You actually know 
what place you're in.

Oh boy this is the big one. Yoshi Valley has A LOT of paths to choose from. This
will probably be quite confusing to read, but I will do my best. I will be using
letters to denote each path.

Follow the track forward as it curves to the left to reach the first row of item
boxes. Cross the bridge and you immediately have a choice in going left for Path
A or going right for Path B.

Path A: You immediately have three more choices. You can take the bridge to the
left for Path AA, go past the bridge and turn left for Path AB, or turn right
for Path AC. Avoid the Goombas at the AB/AC split.

Path AA: Follow the narrow bridge and trick off the end to reconnect with Path 

Path AB: Follow the path forward to connect with Path AA after a drop you can
trick off of. You will then turn to the right and drop off two ledges to reach
the second row of item boxes.

Path AC: Follow the path to the right and then slightly to the left as the path
ends with a drop as you enter a cave. You are now on Path BAB.

Path B: After taking a right at the first junction, you are given another choice
shortly after: turn left for Path BA and turn right for Path BB.

Path BA: Immediately you will drop down and are forced with another choice. Turn
left for Path BAA or stay straight for Path BAB.

Path: BAA: Path BAA travels under most paths, and after slowly curving to the
right, joins up with Path AB before the second ledge and the second row of item 

Path BAB: Path BAB has you entering a cave which turns sharply to the left for
awhile. You will eventually drop off a ledge with the second row of item boxes
in front of you.

Path BB: Follow the path as it turns left around a mountain to reach a cannon
with an extra row of item boxes. The cannon drops you off where Paths AA and AB

By the time you reach the second (third if you took the cannon) row of item 
boxes, all paths have converged. From here, follow the path as it U turns to the
left and then turns back to the right. Another left turn and you'll reach the 
third row of item boxes with a circular area beyond that contains a giant 
spinning egg. Avoid the egg and cross the bridge in front of you. Turn left 
slightly, then back to the right, and then back to the left to reach the finish
line (Mushrooms can be used to boost across the grass to cut these turns short.
There is a ramp to the right specifically for this).

The big question with Yoshi Valley is which path is the best. I would say Path 
AA is the fastest, but is also the most risky as you can fall off fairly easily,
while Path BB is the slowest, but you do get an extra item. Experiment to find
which path you like the best.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.8. Lightning Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.8.1. DS Tick Tock Clock~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Clock hands are no longer hazards and can be ridden across. Glide
ramp before the gear area.

Follow the track forward and to the left, tricking off the ramp to get on the
clock. The middle of the clock is a pit, so you can go around on either side, 
passing by the first row of item boxes (there are boost pads on the outside 
edges, but they're not really worth it). However, if the clock hands are aligned
right, you can drive along them and trick off the very center to hit an item box
and cross the clock faster. Exit the clock, heading down to a ramp. Avoid the
swinging pendulum as you trick off it.

Turn right and head toward another ramp with another swining pendulum and the
second row of item boxes. Turn to the right again to reach another sectioned
glide ramp like in Music Park. Glide off the ramp (there's another short ramp 
right after if you want to try for that) and glide over the gears. If you missed
the glide ramp you will have to drive over the gears. Notice which direction 
they're turning and drive along with them to speed up a little. If you glide for
as long as possible, you should land on the fourth (final) gear. 

Leave the gears to reach the third row of item boxes and quickly turn right and
then left right after. You will reach a second, smaller clock. Again if the arms
are aligned, you can drive along them and trick off the middle, otherwise you
will have to go right and then turn left around the outside of the clock. After
the clock are two vertical gears moving in opposite directions. Drive up the one
moving with you to get a speed boost and cross the finish line.

~5.8.2. 3DS Piranha Plant Slide~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater section is also an antigravity section.

Note: Throughout the course there are flowing streams of water. Driving on these
is faster than on dry ground as the water flows in the direction you're going.
Always try to stay in the water. Also, the first part of the course has item 
boxes following the water, so try to get as many of those as you can.

Head forward, tricking off the ramp and falling onto the slide below. Follow it
as it curves around slightly and trick off the end to go underwater. Shortly
therafter is a ramp to trick off leading above water. Follow the water to the 
left, and avoid the giant Piranha Plant in the middle. Be sure to note which
direction it's facing, as it will lunge out in that direction at any racers, and
you don't want to take the risk. You can also use a Mushroom to boost right 
behind the Piranha Plant. Turn left again after the Piranha Plant and avoid the
Goombas. There are boosts ramps on either side which you should use to land on 
the blocks ahead. If you fall you will have to climb uphill a bit and you will
lose some time. Right after the blocks is the first row of item boxes.

Immediately after is a pipe on the ground you can trick off of to the right as 
the track itself curves to the left (watch out for the pits on both sides). 
Another trickable pipe is right after the turn on the left side. Afterwards is a
right turn and an antigravity strip. Follow the road down, tricking off both 
ledges as you go underwater. Turn left, being careful not to get pushed off by
the current coming from the pipe on the left. A second pipe spews water which
will push you to an upper area with a boost. There is another boost on the 
regular path to the right with another giant Piranha Plant in the middle right
after. Avoiding it like the first one (the boost on the upper path will shoot 
you right over it) and hit the second row of item boxes.

After the item boxes are some boost pads and a glide ramp shooting you up high.
The antigravity ends when you land, and follow the path to the right and then
turn to the left, avoiding the Goombas to reach the finish line. If you have a
Mushroom, you can boost through the cutout of a shrub between the fences, 
allowing you to skip that last turn.

~5.8.3. Wii Grumble Volcano~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Glide ramps after the cave and at the end.

Note: This track begins crumbling at the start of lap 2 and continues until the
end of the race. While this usually doesn't affect your racing line all too 
much, it is definitely something to be aware about.

Head forward and trick off the ledge ahead to reach the first row of item boxes.
Follow the path as it curves slightly to the right and then left, and then turn
to the right, trick off the ledge, land on the moving platform, and enter the 
cave. The cave curves slightly to the left and then turns right as the path 
splits into a lower path on the right and an upper path on the left (neither is
clearly better than the other). The second row of item boxes marks the start of
the division as both paths turn right, then left, and then right slightly. 

Exit the cave, drop off a ledge onto a moving platform and try to hit the glide
ramp. If you miss, drive onto a small island and then another moving platform.
Jump back on solid ground as the path splits again into a lower path on the left
and an upper path on the right. The upper path ends in a boost pad. By taking 
the glide ramp you should land about where the upper path ends. This area is 
full of flames that are remnants from rocks being spewed out of the nearby 
volcano, so avoid these as you will spin out if you hit them. The path turns to
the right and splits again, with the upper part on the left and the lower path
on the right. Again, the upper path ends with a boost pad, but this time the 
third row of item boxes lies across both paths.

Keep turning right (you can use a Mushroom to boost across the mud to the right.
Just be careful not to fall off), and trick off another ledge. Avoid the Fire
Snakes and choose to go left or right. If you go right, you will then have to 
turn left and then right to reach another ledge with the finish line just 
beyond. By going left, you will drive up for a bit before turning right and 
hitting a glide ramp which you can use to glide to the finish line.

~5.8.4. N64 Rainbow Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Many antigravity sections, glide ramps, and layout differences.
The Chain Chomps also bounce on the track in fixed spots and the whole course is
now sectioned with 1 full lap completing the race.

Head forward to reach an antigravity strip. Follow the path down, hitting the
boost pads/rings on the left, right, and then middle of the track before hitting
the first row of item boxes at a glide ramp, ending the antigravity. Angle 
yourself through the rings in the air on the left and then the right, and land
right in front of a second antigravity strip. Follow the course as it turns to
the right until the antigravity ends and it straightens out, becoming wavy. 
Trick off the bumps in the track, avoiding the Chain Chomp bouncing around. 
Reach the second row of item boxes and enter section 2.

Section 2 begins with a short left turn and another antigravity strip. Follow 
the path as it turns to the right in a great circle before reaching the third
row of item boxes. The antigravity ends with another wavy section, this time 
with two Chain Chomps boucing around. Pass by them, turn right, and cross 
another antigravity strip as the track turns to the left. Pass the fourth row of
item boxes and enter section 3.

After entering Section 3, turn right, and then left to reach the fifth row of
item boxes. Follow the track back to the right, cross a straightaway, and then
turn left again, passing the sixth row of item boxes. The track will eventually
curve to the right with two boost pads and rings on the outside of the turn. 
Afterwards is a glide ramp, ending the antigravity, and the finish line is 
straight ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6. Balloon Battle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Balloon Battle is the other main mode of Mario Kart 8 (sadly there is not Coin
Runners, Shine Thief, etc.). In Balloon Battle, your goal is to get points by
popping your opponents balloons by hitting them with items. Everyone starts with
three balloons, and if you lose a balloon you lose a point. Losing all of your
balloons makes you invisible. You cannot get hit, but you can still hit other
players with items (no ramming), but you don't get any points.

The main difference when comparing Balloon Battle in Mario Kart 8 to that of 
other games is that there aren't dedicated Battle Arenas anymore. Instead, all
Balloon Battle matches take place on courses that you would normally race 
around. What's interesting is that you will be started in a random location on
the course, sometimes facing backwards. There are also more item boxes in 
Balloon Battle than in standard races, but they respawn much slower.

Balloon Battle Courses:
Wii Moo Moo Meadows
GCN Dry Dry Desert
SNES Donut Plains 3
N64 Toad's Turnpike
Mario Circuit
Toad Harbor
GCN Sherbet Land
N64 Yoshi Valley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6.1. General Strategies~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vehicle Combination: Balloon Battle puts much less focus on speed and more on
acceleration and handling. You should definitely keep this in mind when choosing
your vehicle combination. Also keep in mind that larger characters usually have
larger hitboxes.

The Map: The Gamepad maps is extremely useful in Balloon Battle, as you can use
it to watch out for items and opponents around corners that you wouldn't see
normally. Unless you absolutely hate the Gamepad, this is the preferred 
controller because of this.

The Course: Be sure to know the courses in Balloon Battle inside out, especially
at the beginning. Knowing where you are and which direction you're facing when
you start is key in finding your first item. You never want to be itemless in 
Balloon Battle.

The Match: Pay attention to which course you're battling on, and how many 
opponents there are. The more players and the smaller the course (a higher 
density if you will) should lead to a more defensive playstyle, as items will be
flying all over the place. On matches with a lower player density (few opponents
and/or a large course) should be spent on seeking out opponents and being 
aggressive, as oftentimes players will try to hide after getting a few points.

The Confrontations: Remember that you don't have to go in the same direction as
a standard race. Because of this, you will often find yourself driving headfirst
towards an opponent. Forward protection is critical because of this, so the 
Triple items are very useful.

The Items: Items behave largely the same in Balloon Battle as in standard races.
How many points you have dictates what items you get, so a player with few 
points will naturally get better items. However, how you use items is often very
different. Some items like the Blue Shell, Lightning, and Bullet Bill will not

Camping: While you can camp out at an item box to get a steady stream of items, 
the item boxes respawn very slowly in Balloon Battle. On top of this, most 
courses are large enough so that you can camp in one area, and you will almost 
never run into another opponent as everyone is congested on the other side of 
the stage.

Mushrooms: At first, Mushrooms seem almost completely useless. However, ramming
into someone while boosting with a Mushroom steals one of their balloons and 
gives it to you. This is the only way to regain lost balloons (you can never 
have more than three), so this is a good skill to master. Of course, don't boost
into someone if they have defensive items around them like Triple Green Shells.

Bananas: Bananas in all forms are best used for protection. Most areas aren't
narrow enough to make trapping viable, so just keep them with you. Remember you
can score a point if you make an opponent touch a Banana behind your vehicle.

Green Shells: These can also be used for protection, but also for sniping. This
is quite challenging unless you're right behind an opponent on a straight 
section, but if you get good at sniping you will be a force to be reckoned with.
Green Shells are also especially useful for hitting people who are behind you.
Triple Green Shells are also great for protection, and ramming into people is
also recommended.

Red Shells: Protection still applies, but the offensive power of Red Shells
should be utilized as often as possible. Red Shells are some of the best items
in Balloon Battle, so be sure to use them well. If someone has a Banana behind
them, try to get in front of them so you hit them where the Banana isn't. If you
have Triple Red Shells, only attack an opponent multiple times if they have 
fully recovered, otherwise your shells will be wasted.

Fire Flowers: These are dangerous weapons. Not only can they be used to destroy
Shells or Bananas in your way, but you can do a ton of damage to multiple 
opponents very quickly. It's best to fire a few shots at one opponent to make 
sure you hit them, then move on to someone else.

Boomerang Flower: Boomerang Flowers should be used much more conservatively than
Fire Flowers, as you have much fewer shots. Try to hit multiple opponents if you
can, but the advantage of the Boomerang Flower is its large range and its 
returning properties.

Bob-omb: Bob-ombs are fantastic for taking out people behind you and hitting
many people around you. They're tough to aim, but throwing them forward into a
crowd is generally the best option, unless someone is behind you or about to go 
behind you, in which case dropping the Bob-omb is best.

Super Horn: While the Super Horn can be used for defense, the fact that it hits
multiple people at once means it's a fantastic offensive weapon in Balloon 
Battle. Simply drive into a crowd (though this in and of itself is dangerous) 
and watch the mayhem unfold.

Piranha Plant: This is another fantastic item, as it's automatic and has a 
deceptively large range. Try to cover as much distance as you can, hitting 
everyone along the way. Be careful though as the Piranha Plant doesn't protect
you AT ALL from behind.

Blooper: Go find another item.

Stars: Stars are insanely powerful, as you are completely invulnerable and mow
down anything in your path. Stars even steal balloons like Mushrooms. Obviously 
you should attempt to hit as many people as possible. Try to aim for crowd or
people driving in the opposite direction, as you'll waste time if you just try
to chase others down.

Hiding: If you're in the lead, HIDE. Even the smaller courses are large enough
so that you can usually avoid opponents if you try. The map is extremely helpful
here as always. Remember to keep items for protection, and to be ready to move
if anyone approaches.

Seeking: If you're NOT in the lead, find who is. They will likely be hiding. The
map is crucial for this as you can see where they are and where they're going.
Remember that hitting them will give you a point and take one away from them, so
find them and knock them around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6.2. Courses~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here I will explain some course-specific strategies, as well as where all the
item boxes are located. These will be listed in the general order that you would
follow if you were driving around the course normally. Note that item boxes 
almost always appear in groups of two.

~6.2.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right in front of the starting line.
2. On the first left turn before the cow area.
3. Before the last left turn in the cow area.
4. After the cow area before the path narrows.
5. On the lower path right next to the glide ramp.
6. To the right of the boost ramp in the Monty Mole area.
7. At the end of the Monty Mole area.

Changes: Ramps before the glide ramp have been removed.

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.2. GCN Dry Dry Desert~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
. Shortly after the starting line.
. After the U turn.
. After the following S curve.
. Before the starting line.

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.3. SNES Donut Plains 3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. In front of the starting line.
2. After the first bridge.
3. After the second bridge.
4. On the S curve with the lake to the left before the wet ground.
5. In the wet area with the Monty Moles.
6. In the wet area near the starting line.

Changes: None

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right after the starting line to the left.
2. During the first left turn in the middle.
3. On the road after the anti-gravity section starts, including one on the wall.
4. On the road at the end of the anti-gravity section.
5. On the left after the road dips down.
6. On the road shortly after the right turn begins.
7. On the road later in the turn.
8. Before the second anti-gravity section on the left of the road.

Changes: None

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.5. Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.6. Toad Harbor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.7. GCN Sherbet Land~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right before the first ice rink.
2. At the entrance of the ice cave.
3. Around the pillar in the ice cave.
4. On a right turn after the ice cave.
5. Right before entering the second ice rink.
6. Right before the starting line.

Changes: None

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~6.2.8. N64 Yoshi Valley~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
. At the beginning of Path AA.
. After Path AA converges with Path AB.
. Near the beginning of Path AC.
. Near the beginning of Path BAA.
. On the ramp where Path BAA meets Path AB.
. At the beginning of the cave on Path BAB.
. Before the U turn after the paths converge.
. After the U turn after the paths converge.
. Before the giant egg platform.
. In the center of the giant egg platform.
. Right behind the starting line.

Changes: None

Course-specific strategies coming soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~7. Frequently Asked Questions~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are some questions that pop up a lot on message boards. Be sure to read 
this section before sending me a question.

Q. How do I get the map on the TV?
A. You can't. The only way to use the map is to use the Gamepad.

Q. How does the camera work with antigravity?
A. The camera turns with you, so your character never really changes in his 
position on the screen. The exception is when driving up walls like on Toad's
Turnpike, where the camera is tilted somewhat. In general, it's not difficult to
get the hang of.

Q. Do characters have their own hidden stats?
A. No. Though characters have hidden stats, they are the same among characters
of the same weight class, so there is literally no reason to use Mario over 
Luigi other than personal preference.

Q. What does Grip even mean?
A. Grip refers to how well your tires grip the track. This affects how much you
slide. Grip is most noticeable in offroad areas or areas like the ice rinks of
GCN Sherbet Land. Blooper ink also severely affects your Grip.

Q. Are there any hidden stats like Miniturbo or Air Speed?
A. Yes: Underwater Speed, Air Speed, Antigravity Speed, Underwater Handling, Air
Handling, Antigravity Handling, and Miniturbo. See the vehicle section for more

Q. Is inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii back?
A. Yes and no. Inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii is NOT back, but four bikes
do drift in naturally much tighter turns after the initial outward movement.
These bikes are the Sport Bike, Jet Bike, Yoshi Bike, and Comet. The difference
is noticable but not the degree that Mario Kart Wii had.

Q. Are wheelies back?
A. No. Bikes will wheelie when using a Mushroom or other boost, but this is 
purely aesthetic.

Q. What's the best character+vehicle combination?
A. There really isn't one single best combination like in Mario Kart Wii (and 
Mario Kart 7 to a lesser degree). Speed is in general the most important stat, 
but most combinations with high speed have significant drawbacks. Also, the 
bikes with inside drifting DO NOT have increased speed like the Mach Bike and
Flame Runner in Mario Kart Wii. My best advice is see what works for you, and
maybe check out some world record replays.

Q. Are there any section courses like the Wuhu courses in Mario Kart 7?
A. Yes. The Star Cup's Mount Wario and the Lightning Cup's N64 Rainbow Road are
sectioned courses.

Q. Why did they ruin Balloon Battle?
A. I dunno. I honestly never really cared for it anyway.

Q. How do I get all the Miiverse stickers?
A. There are 90 total Miiverse stickers. 28 of them are gotten immediately. The
next 32 are gotten when you beat the Nintendo Staff Time Trial Ghosts for each
course (one per course). The remaining 30 are gotten by completing any cup with
each character (again, one per character).

Q. Is there DLC for this game?
A. There has been free DLC announced entailing a new kart: a Mercedes car. It 
has just been announced though so details are few.

Q. You suck.
A. Okay

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~8. Closing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mario Kart 8 is a breathtaking game. The graphics, music, course design, nearly
every aspect of this game is absolutely brilliant. This is the game the Wii U 
needed. Hell, I bought the Wii U Bundle for this game, and I couldn't be 

Thanks for reading through this FAQ. It's the first major FAQ I've written on 
all aspects of a game (the other two were more specific). If you have any input
at all, be sure to email me or send me a PM. I'll be more than happy to include
any new info or tricks that you have (and you'll be credited).

If you're ever playing Mario Kart 8 online and you see some scrub named Kairos,
it's probably me. Please don't hurt me too bad. Please? :3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~9. Special Thanks~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd like to thank several groups for helping me with this guide, be it directly 
or not.

 - GameXplain for their fantastic pre-release coverage of Mario Kart 8.

 - MKBoards.com for their analysis of the character and vehicle stats.

 - GameFAQs for basically everything. They must be doing something right for me
to stay around.

 - The Pokemon Club at Cal for not playing Pokemon and instead playing Mario 
Kart. Seems logical.

 - Nintendo for making such an amazing game. Seriously, you did a fantastic job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~10. Version History~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Version 0.8 - May 29th 2014

Missing Info: Specific Battle Mode strategies, hidden stats of most vehicle 
parts, Gold Glider stats and Gold Glider and Gold Tires unlocking criteria.

Next Update: Spend time with Battle Mode to get a handle on specific strategies,
unlock the Gold Tires and Glider, and gather hidden stat values (in that order).

I've been gathering info on this game for quite awhile, and after finally 
getting the game I've compiled it all together as quickly as I could. There may 
be some minor mistakes so be sure to notify me of those.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~11. Legal Info~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This Mario Kart 8 FAQ/Walkthrough is copyright 2014 by Valon Beriginn 
(kirbydude385). GameFAQs.com is the only website this FAQ may be posted. If this
FAQ is posted on another site, especially without giving credit to me, expect

Mario Kart 8 is copyright 2014 Nintendo. All characters and other elements are
also copyright Nintendo. I claim no legal authority over this product.

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