Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips - Items, Battle Mode Guide, Weapons

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips - Items, Battle Mode Guide, Weapons

We'll teach you how to drift, how to use every type of boost, and how to best utilize every item in the game in this Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips Guide. Also how to unlock every track and character in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has arrived on Nintendo Switch, packing all the original Mario Kart 8 content along with every piece of DLC and a brand-new battle mode. There is an absolute ton of content included in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so we’ve put together this Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips Guide and filled it with loads of helpful advice and articles.

Our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips will give you all the tricks you need to get off to a great start, along with info on how to unlock secret characters, plus advice on how to dominate battle mode. Further down this page we’ve got info on all the items and weapons in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well as a guide to Battle Mode.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tips - Items, Weapons, Tracks, Characters, Battle Mode Guide

Whether you want to unlock Gold Mario, defend yourself against the infamous Blue Shell, master Battle Mode, learn how to boost, or build the best kart/character combo, we've got you sorted with our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Guide.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Essential Tips and Tricks

  • Earn Coins Quickly - While all courses and characters are unlocked from the start, you still need to earn coins in order to unlock vehicle parts (you'll need to do this to build the best kart/character combo). In order to get coins quickly your best option is to play four-player races, as for each race completed you earn 10 coins per player.
  • Smart Steering is on by Default - New to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Smart Steering, an option that prevents karts from falling off the edge of tracks. It's on by default and makes playing against less experienced drivers a lot more fun. If you'd rather turn this off, press the pause button once you're in a race then hit the L button. From here you can also turn on/off auto acceleration.
  • Use Ghosts - Ghost data in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is very useful. If you're struggling to set good times during Time Trials, download the ghost data for one of the best racers and try to mimic that racer's performance as closely as possible. You're not suddenly going to be a world leader, but you should get some good ideas on racing lines and shortcuts - as well as kart setup.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Battle Mode Guide

Nintendo has listened to fans and completely overhauled the Battle Mode in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Switch. On Wii U Battle Mode had great play options but threw players into the courses from the Grand Prix cups. On Switch there are eight arenas to battle in, making the mode far more enjoyable. In this guide we'll give you tips on how to beat your friends and enemies in the various battle modes in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and fill you in on all the arenas and game types.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Battle Mode Game Types

  • Balloon Battle - The goal here is to rack up as many points as possible by shooting the balloons on your opponents' karts. In previous iterations of the game you'd be eliminated if you lost all your balloons, but here you are respawned with three balloons but your score is halved. Preserving you balloons isn't essential but will play a key role in your chances of winning. Banana skins are often seen as a weak weapon to have in Mario Kart, but a trio of rotating banana skins that circle your kart work as a great defense from incoming attacks. On the battle mode arenas you can also make use of the enclosed space by dropping skins all over the place to make for an increasingly hazardous play space.
  • Renegade Roundup - This is a team-based mode in which one team act as the 'cops' and the other the 'renegades'. The cop team have piranha plants on the front of their karts and must round up the members of the other team. Grab one and they'll be put in a cell. The renegades must try to avoid being caught and free team members from the cells.
  • Bob-omb Blast - This is similar to Balloon Battle except all weapons are bombs. You can throw them or have them walk around. It's worth placing down as many as possible if no one is in sight as these will rack up points over time when they catch players unawares.
  • Coin Runners - Whoever has the most coins once the timer runs down is the winner, so you've got to use some of your time collecting coins and the rest attacking opponents so they lose theirs. Spinning banana skins and shells are great as always - use them as a shield but also pepper the play area with them to cause plenty of post-throw damage.
  • Shine Thief - Shine Thief is all about holding on to the Shine, so key to success is being able to fend off attacks. Keep hold of high value defensive items, such as multiple banana skins or green shells, as these will give you a protective barrier.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Battle Mode Arenas

Brand new to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch are eight Battle Mode Stadiums (or arenas). These are custom made for battles, meaning you get into the action a lot more frequently that you did in the Wii U version of the game.

  • Battle Stadium
  • Sweet Sweet Kingdom
  • Dragon Palace
  • Lunar Colony
  • Wuhu Town
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • Battle Course 1
  • Urchin Underpass

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Items and Weapons Guide - Blue Shell, Super Horn and More

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a game of skill, with players gliding around corners and boosting at just the right time, but it’s also about items and weapons. Unless you’re only interested in time trialing you’re going to have to learn how dish out damage and how to deal with incoming weapon attacks. In this guide we’ll let you know what items are in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and how to survive when a player targets you.

  • Lightning - This annoying item (if you're on the end of it) turns everyone small and slows them down. Use it straight away to make up time as you're probably in last place.
  • Super Horn - This item sends out a blast to take out everyone in the nearby area. There's no point using it unless you're in within a bunch of other racers. It can also be used to stop a blue shell if you use it just as it's about to strike.
  • Spiny Shell - Otherwise known as the blue shell. This will only get in your hands if you're lingering at the back of the pack. Once you have it it'll race off and detonate on whoever is in first place, taking out anyone nearby while it's as it.
  • Boomerang Flower - This lets you fire a boomerang straight out for a maximum of three throws. It's hard to use as it doesn't bounce like a shell, so save it for when you're up close to an opponent.
  • Potted Piranha Plant - This plant fixes to the front of your kart and eats everything in its path. Every time it eats you get pushed forward slightly. It'll collect coins for you without much effort on your part.
  • Crazy 8 - The Crazy 8 gives you eight power-ups that can be used in order. Use them fairly quickly as any racers that run into you can grab items like the star and mushroom and use them.
  • Item Stealing Boo - This classic from Mario Kart 64 is new in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch. Use the Boo and it will head to the player with the most valuable item and steal it, adding it to your inventory. Nice!
  • Feather - Making its way from SNES Mario Kart and appearing in Mario Kart 8 for the first time in Deluxe on the Switch, the feather lets you leap into the air. This is a Battle Mode exclusive item and can be used to grab balloons from other characters.

We've got plenty more Mario Kart info elsewhere on the site, including how to boost, and how to unlock Gold Mario.

If you've read all that and still don't know your green shells from your banana skins, there's sadly no helping you.

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Tom Orry

Audience Development Manager, Gamer Network

Tom started life on a circus in Australia before his family moved to the UK. His love of gaming started soon after, which essentially meant he bought every video game magazine available and worked numerous part-time jobs as a child in order to afford costly N64 games. He created UK site, of which he was the Editor for over a decade. He now doesn't like circuses.

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