Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a huge remastered collection of the excellent Wii U game, offering updated graphics, a smooth 60fps frame-rate and all of the game’s released DLC, alongside a few extras. There’s so much content here that for Switch owners who didn’t play the original, there’s a lot to learn about each course before you can even think about winning races online.
Though Mario Kart 8 Deluxe contains a variety of reimagined tracks from previous Mario Kart games, each comes with its own unique twists that allow for a variety of shortcuts and corner cuts, helping racers whittle down their lap time and beat their competitors in either online or local multiplayer.
As such, we’ve compiled a rundown of shortcuts and other helpful tips from each of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s 48 tracks, across all 12 of its cups. Take a look below:
Mario Kart Stadium
There are four opportunities to cut corners during this stage, including three indicated by warp pipes and then one just before the anti-gravity hairpin turn, which also has a trick ramp and an extra item box for you to gain an extra advantage. Each of these helpful corner cuts will require the player to use a mushroom speed boost or the invincibility star, and they can shave seconds off your lap time.
Use a mushroom/star to cut through the merry-go-round located underwater. Pick up the extra coins on top of the pay booth by the Ferris wheel.
Sweet Sweet Canyon
Use a mushroom/star to cut across the chocolate sprinkle flooring located on the turns. You can also use a mushroom to shoot through the chocolate donut located to your left just before the finish line, allowing you to cut a crucial corner.
Use a mushroom/star to cut through the first turn of the track. Avoid using the small trick ramp, as it will slow you down. A small shortcut is located to your left during the Thwomp turning segment towards the finish line, with you able to land on a rocky path that will provide you with a trick boost before you reach the finish line. There are also two extra ramps located either side of the final ramp, which should allow you to collect an extra coin. Finally, on the third lap a rolling stone wheel will knock down a ramp in the center of the underwater section, which you can use to gain an extra boost.
Moo Moo Meadows
Use a mushroom/star to cut through the grassy corners to shave a few seconds off your lap time.
Following the anti-gravity section of this track, you can find a ramp located on the right behind some trees. This can be accessed using a mushroom or a star. The last turn on the track can also be cut across, even though it appears inaccessible due to it being covered with a line of tires. Again, you can cut through it using a mushroom or a star.
Cheep Cheep Beach
Just before the lighthouse, you can cut through the entire beach section by way of using a mushroom/star to continue underwater, racing straight ahead and avoiding the rest of the track. Make sure you don’t drift into the darker sea, though, as this will send you hurtling off the course.
Toad’s Turnpike is the only course in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that boasts random elements, with its traffic being picked from a handful of set formations. This makes it somewhat unpredictable, but you can still utilize the ramps located on the back of a few of the trucks for a speed boost and to take flight across portions of the track.
Mario Kart 8‘s original take on Mario Circuit is a simple course with only a few corners to cut. Use a mushroom/star to pass through the grassy verges on the track’s corners, and you can also do the same on the final sandy corner, which is notable for the warp pipes surrounding it.
Toad Harbour features a few handy shortcuts. Firstly, instead of crossing the bridge at the start of the track, use the speed ramps on the left for a boost. While it’s quicker to stick to the ground following this segment rather than driving up the next ramp and drifting along the top of the market stalls, you can find a few extra coins using this method and afford yourself some breathing room from the other racers. The next segment features a narrow, climbing path next to the side of the track, which is quicker than the alternate route and also includes a speed ramp. When you head back through the main road in the town, there’s a path you can take to your left with a few extra coins, or you can cut through the last grassy corner with a mushroom/star.
The underwater path to the left is the quickest route on this course, which then leads to a gliding section. Land your kart on the upper floor of the Twisted Mansion. During the winding library section, you can find a narrow path to your left just before you exit.
Shy Guy Falls
When you reach the gliding section after racing down the waterfall, there’s a tunnel located above the path you’re flying towards with a stunt ramp for an extra speed boost. After you exit this tunnel, there’s another stunt ramp hidden behind behind a rock located to your right. You’ll need a mushroom/star to jump across this gap, though this can also shave a few seconds off your lap time.
Dry Dry Desert
Stick to the right in the oasis segment, performing tricks for extra speed boosts. Collect coins on the right-hand side of the quick sand, making sure to stay on the path.
Donut Plains 3
In the underwater section, drift towards the left and the side of the ramp in order to cut out the corner. You can also hop over the broken segments of the wooden bridge, and use a mushroom/star to cut out the grassy corner immediately following it.
For the first speed ramp located to your left, you can hop on top of the red and white outline of the track in order to propel yourself onto the ramp without having to use a mushroom to reac hit.
After you exit the first wooden bridge, drift onto the fallen pillar located to your left and use the speed ramp to glide. You can then lower yourself onto the speed ramps heading into the temple. After the next gliding section, stick to the left and drift onto the shorter path again located to your left.
Rather than travelling through the grounded airplane, make your way to the ground from the ramp and use a mushroom/star to cut across the grass. Just before you hit the gliding area, there is also a grassy ramp to your left that you can use to cut the corner. You can also perform a trick across the baggage area in order to gain an extra boost.
You can perform a trick over the top of the purple and then the blue pipe for a maximum speed boost. Perform a series of tricks on top of the eel’s spine in order to gain a series of speed boosts afterwards.
Take the pink path rather than the green, taking advantage of its curve for an extra speed boost. You can also cut across the darker terrain with a mushroom/star, including the final piranha plant section.
One of the trickier tracks to master, Mount Wario features a variety of opportunities to cut seconds off your lap time. One of the most useful tricks comes during the final hairpin turn just before you enter into the mountain, with you able to drift into a little ramp located on the right hand side in order to skip the entire turn. When you enter the snowy section filled with trees, you can also use a mushroom/star to cut right through the middle of the fork in the road, and make your way to the speed ramp located in the center.
You can hope over the corners of the right-angled track during the anti-gravity section. You can also use a mushroom/star to cut through the mud in the underwater section.
Avoid the first hole in the ice, drifting along its edge. You should then venture into the second ice hole, sticking to the right and using the ramp for an extra boost. You can also use a mushroom/star to head to a speed ramp located just before the finish line, which will also allow you to glide your way to victory.
On the turn just before the finish line, you can drive onto a bouncing drum in order to cut the corner and gain an extra speed boost if you pull off a trick.
The fastest route in this minding course is the small, wooden bridge to your left. A mushroom/star will also allow you to take advantage of the ramp located in the grass just before the finish line.
On the turn before the finish line, two leaves to your right will allow you to hop on top of them and cut the corner completely, while also gaining a speed boost.
Bone Dry Dunes
At the start of the race, the track splits in two and leaves a ramp located in its center. Use a mushroom-star to cut through this for a speed boost. During the gliding section, bounce on the sand fountain and perform a trick in order to boost yourself towards the wooden bridge located at the top. This contains an extra trick ramp for another speed boost.
Take the right-hand path when approaching the giant stone Bowser. When you reach the turn with red carpet, you can drift and use a mushroom to boost past the inner side of the turn altogether, cutting directly onto the speed boosts. For a speed boost without a mushroom (but that’s also more difficult to pull off), stick to the left path of the stone Bowser and, after hitting the final speed boost before the carpet turn, drive off the edge of the track. If done correctly, this will land you further down the track and shave a little bit of time off your lap.
Towards the end of the two intertwining sections of the track, you can drive off the side of the course and land in a different section of the course. This shortcut is best demonstrated in the video below:
Keep an eye on the clock hands that rotate along the floor, as if they are aligned correctly you can drive along them rather than drifting across the clock face. During the final turn, you can also drift along another clock hand located to the left of the track, which allows you to cut the corner.
Piranha Plant Pipeway
Behind the Piranha Plant in the underground tunnel, there is a hidden middle path that leads to a trick ramp. In the underwater segment, one of the jets on the floor will lift you onto an upper level which contains another trick ramp. On the final turn, you will also notice a bush precariously placed in between the white fence panels. You can use a green shell to destroy this bush, and drift through it to cut the corner completely.
The famous Grumble Volcano glitch from the Wii version of the game, which allowed players to boost to onto a pile of rocks located next to the finish line and quickly race around them to complete all three laps in seconds, is not included in Mario Kart 8. With one of the series’ most brutal (and unintentional) shortcuts taken out of Grumble Volcano, you can now make your lap time shorter by way of more conventional methods such as boosting through the darker terrain using mushrooms.
At the start of the track and just past the second turn you’ll see a waterfall towards your right. Using a mushroom, you can burst through this waterfall to cut a corner and gain a hefty advantage. The grassy verges on most corners can also be cut using a mushroom/star.
The Excitebike Arena is the modern equivalent to Double Dash‘s Baby Park, with it being a simple, oval track that has a few extra bumps for racers to jump from. As such, you’ll only be able to cut the grassy corners on its two turns with a mushroom/star for a few extra seconds shaved off your lap time.
On the first hairpin turn after you exit the dragon tunnel, there is a ramp to your left that you can use for an extra speed boost. On the second hairpin turn, you can drift onto the grassy verge to your right and drive off it, landing on the track next to you and effectively cutting out the corner.
After you enter the part of the track in which the other half of the track hovers above you, you can drift towards a ramp hidden on the right in order to cut out a significant chunk of the course. See this shortcut in the video below:
Wario’s Gold Mine
Just before you head into the first tunnel and before the right turn, you can drive down to a narrow path on the left that includes a few coins and a speed boost. When you pass over the mine cart track heading into the second tunnel, take the path on the left to make your way into the narrower tunnel for extra speed boosts. On the turn just before the finish line, you can also jump over one of the lifted barricades on the right and perform a trick to speed boost your way over the corner.
This updated version of the final Super Mario Kart track on the SNES has a few extra ramps to improve your lap time. On the fourth turn, a yellow ramp located to your left will allow you to completely cut the corner. When the track splits in two, there is also a ramp located in the center that can only be jumped with the aid of a mushroom.
Ice Ice Outpost
As you head into the tunnel for the first time, you will see a small ramp to your right that can lead you across several blocks of ice, jumping over the track before continuing onto an upper level, where you will be able to perform a trick for a speed boost before joining up with the other racers. On the final turn there are also two ice ramps located to your right.
On the first small bend there is a ramp located on the grass to your left; race to this using a mushroom for an extra boost. When you reach the center of Hyrule Castle in the anti-gravity section, you can jump over a ramp that will give you an extra boost as you touch the Master Sword that appears in the center.
A chaotic oval track, there are no shortcuts in Baby Park. Its grassy corners can still be cut, and in 200cc you’ll be able to drift over them without a problem.
At the start of the track just before the first major turn, you can use a mushroom to boost right through a small cheese tunnel to cut the corner. After you reach the first chain chomp, you can also use a mushroom at the next turn to completely cut out an entire corner, as evidenced below:
Just before the finish line is a ramp located to your left on a grassy verge, which will grant you a speed boost before you reach the finish line. Use a mushroom to drive over this grass, unless you’re in 200cc in which case it shouldn’t greatly affect your speed.
The Animal Crossing track takes place in one of four different seasons, with ramps found through the track in summer, winter and spring, while autumn brings with it piles of leaves that conceal items. You can use the fruit that drops from the trees as a speed bust, while a ramp can also occasionally be found in front of Mr. Resetti (the mole who appears from under the ground) that can send you shooting across the grass towards the finish line.
Neo Bowser City
Use mushrooms or an invincibility star to cut the various corners with darker terrain. In 200cc you can also glide over the finish line and onto the first turn.
On the blue section of the track, there are two separate ramps you can hit that are both located to your right. The first is easy to navigate across, while the second requires a little more finesse and will also send you into the gliding portion of the course. When you hit the pink section, you can use a mushroom to shoot through the archway on your right, cutting a big corner in the process.
Super Bell Subway
When you first enter the train track section of the subway on the first lap, take the narrower, higher path on the far left and then aim to land on top of the train, with a speed ramp located on its front carriage. on the second lap, you can take the path to the left or the right to glide onto the train once again, while on the third lap you must take the right path in order to do so. You will only be able to land on the train if you’re making good time, so if you’re struggling then stick to the center in order to pick up some coins.
Big Blue is one of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s best tracks, and it is also home to some of its most impressive shortcuts. You’ll need to be racing in 200cc to pull these off, but doing so will help you gain a huge advantage over your rivals.
On the second lap, you can clear the turn to your right with a drift, before racing off the left-hand side of the next set of tracks and gliding down to the bottom of the course. You’ll need to hold up on the left analog stick in order to avoid touching the ground during this segment, and if pulled off correctly you’ll greatly improve your lap time. Check it out below: