Understanding Characters, Karts, and Tires In Mario Kart

By Kanyi M

If you’re playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the first time, it can be difficult to know exactly what kind of character build to go with. If you want to make yourself as competitive as possible and win a bunch of races, here’s an explanation:

The Characters


Characters in the game could be light (like Toad) or heavy (like Bowser), and you can choose to be either in the game. Light characters accelerate faster and can drift longer, but they lose speed when they drive off-road. Heavy characters have better off-road handling, but they accelerate slower. Medium characters like Mario and Donkey Kong accelerate a little slower than the others, but they have good handling. Off-roaders like Waluigi accelerate faster and travel farther, but they lose speed when driving on flat terrain. The character also affects how well you drive off-road and in the air. Being heavy saves your car as much as possible for these situations.

The Karts

Heavier characters paired with karts like the Bullet Bike and Badwagon tend to do really good and be really fast. Another popular kart is the Standard Kart, which is pretty light but still a strong choice. The Daytripper is also a good choice if you want to feel lighter on your feet.

The Tires


Slick tires are really good for off-road driving and passing through obstacles like the Thwomp pass. However, when you’re on solid ground, slick tires aren’t as good at accelerating and handling. When choosing your own tires in a race, take into account the terrain that you’re racing on. If you’re on a course with lots of straightaways and not many off-road areas, the slick tires are your best bet. If there are lots of off-road areas and tight turns, you can use either tire — speed or handling is not as much an issue as it is in straightaway races where karts have to accelerate.


Gliders are totally cosmetic, so it doesn’t matter which ones you go with.