Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Controls: Complete Guide 2023

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Controls

To become a great racer in mario kart 8, there are multiple set ups and options that you need to familiarize yourself with the motion sensors on the controllers. In this article, we’ll delve more on some basic operations as well as advanced Mario Kart 8 Deluxe controls. Read on to find out……

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the defining games on Nintendo Switch. The game features Mario franchise characters in kart racing. Since its inception back in 2014, the Mario Kart video game has continued to wow the hearts of many gamers. The game supports single and multiplayer modes, meaning you can enjoy playing alone or with friends. Currently, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is exclusively available on Nintendo Switch and packs some awesome control physics and mechanics for the best gaming experience.

Even though you might be conversant with the four Nintendo Switch game control options; handheld console, Dual Joy-cons, Single Joy-con, and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, some other options are unique to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

So, whether you’re an experienced veteran from the Wii U original or a new gamer just getting started, this post has put together some important Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Controls, both basic and advanced, that will help you hone your skills in this game. Keep reading for the details…..

Basic operation

1. Rocket Start

YouTube video

Before any Mario Kart race starts, there is a countdown. It would help if you pressed the accelerator key after the countdown. The acceleration button is the A or X/Right button on your console. You can have a normal start by accelerating after the countdown. But that can hinder your chances of getting a head start.

The video game designers installed a rocket start option to propel you faster. You will have an early lead using it compared to the normal start. You can access this option by pressing button A or X/Right button on your joy-con when the countdown timer reaches 2 (i.e., 2 seconds).

mario cart rocket start option

All you need is appropriate timing to get the big Rocket Start in Mario kart 8 Deluxe.

2. Drift

YouTube video

You can drift when you reach a corner to maintain optimum speed while turning the corner. To access the drift option, all that you need to do is hold down your preferred direction button, R, or SR and then turn the Mario Kart with the left analogue. Press both buttons when the white smoke from the tires changes to blue sparks. Release the R button on sharp corners to regain acceleration.

Holding the R button for a long time will boost your acceleration, and the blue sparks will turn red. The Deluxe version of the game has a purple flame instead. To master this control much faster, consider choosing Mario Karts with higher handling and grip ratings. To access Karts with different ratings, navigate to the character select window and then press + or –.


It’s important to note that inward drifting bikes have a different set of drift control, opposite the one for other Mario Karts and bikes. You may want to look out for that.

3. Juggling Stunts

Juggling Stunts-Controls-Mario-Kart-8-Deluxe

Who does not like to juggle stunts while playing video games? The MK8 deluxe does not disappoint because you have the option of doing amazing stunts while racing. This option is also referred to as Jump Boost and requires you to find a point where the race kart can vacate, especially when you drive to the top of a ramp or off an edge.

When you get to that point, press the R or SR button, and Mario Kart will perform stunts in the air. When the Kart lands, it will speed up, and that is when you can resume accelerating your Kart. Note that timing is everything if you want to get a bigger speed boost while using this control feature.

Mario-Kart-8-Deluxe Jump Boost option

If you press the R or SR button too early, you run the risk of missing the ramp or even going off track. It might take some time to master this skill, but with practice, you should be good in the shortest time.

4. Gliding

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Gliding in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is magical because you get to cruise in the air. The Mario Kart 8 has a control feature that can make you glide in your racing kart. This control feature makes it easy to slingshot past other racers.

First, you need to position your Mario kart behind another racer till you see a wind stream on either side of your Kart. When that happens, you’ll start to accelerate while you wait for your turn to overtake.

Another option for gliding in Mario cart 8 Deluxe is accelerating your Kart at maximum speed while driving over a bump or ramp. While in the air, you can use the navigation buttons to glide. This feature can make your Kart land faster or soar higher in the air.

5. U-Turn in Place

mario kart 8 deluxe U-Turn

Mario Kart 8 has a challenging racing course. Racing through the obstacle course can sometimes lead to bumping things on track. This can cause your Mario Kart to lose direction while racing. You can use the U-turn feature to do a 180-degree turn to regain your direction fast.

It’s worth mentioning that U-Turn and Spin Turn are more of the same, except that U-Turn control only works while you’re driving. Moreover, the control feature can only be used in Battle mode and n the balloon popping race arena.


To execute a U-Turn in place, press the accelerate button (A or X/Right) and the brake button (B or A/Down) simultaneously while also steering with the help of the left analogue towards your preferred U-Turn direction.

6. Use Props

mario kart 8 deluxe props

There are random props along the Mario racing course. You can drive through and hit the mysterious box to get the props. Your Kart will start eating the props.  At this point, you need to long-press the L button to access the use props feature. This feature will speed up your props.

You can also hold down the L button to place a red, green, or turtle shell prop behind you. The props are for protection when someone shoots at you or overtakes you during competitive racing.

7. Switch Perspective

mario kart 8 deluxe Switch Perspective

Racing a Mario Kart is thrilling because there is a lot of action happening in front of you and the back. You can see the action happening in front of you because your Kart faces forward. You can use the switch perspective feature to see the action behind you.

This feature is accessible by simply pressing X on your Dual Joy-Con/ Pro Controller and Handheld control. However, on the Single Joy-Con, you can switch perspectives by holding down Y/Up.

Another way to change perspective in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is by reversing the direction of your Kart. Do this by holding down B in both Dual Joy-Con/ Pro Controller & Handheld Control. In the Single Joy-Con, you can reverse your Mario Kart by holding down the A/Down button.

8. Brake

mario kart 8 deluxe brake

Driving MK8 cars or bikes is captivating, especially if you are a speed freak—the Kart’s acceleration peaks up fast, requiring an equal stopping power to stop the racing car. You can use the brake feature to slow down or stop the racing Kart. This feature is available in the 200cc race.

You can access the brakes by pressing the B button on your gaming console (Dual Joy-Con/ Pro Controller and Handheld Control). However, in the Single Joy-Con console, you can access the break feature by holding down the “A / Down” button.

brake button on mario kart 8 deluxe

Auxiliary settings

mario kart 8 deluxe Auxiliary settings

  • Smart steering: This is a recent feature, and it first appeared in MK8 Deluxe. Novice players can turn it on and make their steering easier. Smart steering engages auto-pilot when steering along edges. You will get an antenna fitted on your racing car. The antenna will light up whenever you get near an edge.
  • Auto-accelerate: Enable this feature to take your concentration off acceleration. Disabling this feature will throw your Kart off when you lean.
  • Tilt controls: Enabling this feature will allow you to steer your MK8 by tilting the Joy-Con. You can tilt it whichever direction you would like the Kart to go.

Choose different racing cars and match them according to the level.

mario kart 8 deluxe different racing cars

Choosing the right car is essential if you want to have the best chance of winning any race. When you race on a straight track, pick faster cars and components that are helpful in sprints. While racing on a track with many U-turns and S turns, pick cars with good handling and grip. You can press + and – on the joy-con when matching vehicle accessories to view the full information.  


The above operations are functional on a single joy-con or two joy-con. I recommend you use the Nintendo Switch Pro to help you navigate better. With that being said, there you have it: the list of all the basic and advanced Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Controls.

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