Mario Kart 8 racers

All Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts and passages

By Melany Moncada


Jan 7, 2023

Reading time: 9 min

No matter how old you are, winning in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will fill you with a sense of pride. Nintendo’s most famous racing game has evolved since its first installment and has introduced new ways to beat the circuits. If you are looking for an advantage, we prepared a list with all the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts.

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts are special sections of the track that allow you to save time by skipping parts of the track. These sections are not marked in the track. To access the shortcuts, players need boost items. These items temporarily increase the speed of the car, pushing it forward.

Attempting to drive through a shortcut without a boost can either result in a fall if the shortcut is above any kind of open space or a significant decrease in speed. Grass and snow are present in these tracks and will slow the karts down.


It is the first cup that players must complete and is considered the easiest in the game. It has four courses, Mario Kart Stadium, Water Park, Sweet Sweet Canyon, and Thwomp Ruins. Each course has at least one shortcut or trick to boost speed.

In Mario Kart Stadium, near the end of each lap, you can find a group of green pipes. To go through it, you will need a boost item like a mushroom or a star.

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The underwater area of Water Park has a tire-like object floating in the middle, and driving right next to them increases the speed. On that same portion of the track, you can drive through the carousel for a quick shortcut.

Near the end of the track in Sweet Sweet Canyon, use a boost item to get through the giant donut. Thwomp Ruins has a couple of hidden treasures. At some point, the track divides into two paths, the right side has more coins for players to take. Near the end of the track, you can find a platform you can use to jump and hopefully land on the ramps with extra coins.


Flower Cup is the next challenge; the tracks in this cup are Mario Circuit, Toad Harbor, Twisted Mansion, and Shy Guy Falls. Mario Circuit is a straightforward track, but near the end, players can take the flight ramp, which is a small advantage.

Toad Harbor has one for players to take, starting at the start of the track, where players can take a ramp to jump over the docks. It also gives access to the area above the track, which contains coins and is far away from the other racers. The only risk is that it is easy to get knocked down into the water. After this section, the track splits in two; there are no advantages for either side. Using boost items to go over grass can help you gain a small advantage.

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At the Twisted Mansion, drivers can find a shortcut through the library, it requires a boost item to access it. Past the water area, if players are driving fast enough, they can fly into the upper floor.

A similar shortcut can be found in Shy Guy Falls, after passing the blue ramp, those going the fastest can access the upper area of the cave. This track also has a section full of boost pads, do not drive in a straight line, a zigzag guarantee hitting as many pads as possible.


Star Cup has a collection of shortcuts and speed boosts in its four tracks, Sunshine Airport, Dolphin Shoals, Electrodome, and Mount Wario.

Starting with the ramp in Sunshine Airport that allows you to jump through the plane. You can jump over the luggage belt to save some seconds in the race. In Dolphin Shoals, aim for the right path, inside the cave, you can find a boost pad. Using boost items, you can go through the coral ground before the finish line.

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Electrodome has a shortcut similar to the one in the Mario Kart Stadium. In the corner before the finish line, you can find pipes, but this time of multiple colors. Mount Wario has a hidden ramp before the first checkpoint, it is shaped like a glacier. Later, when the track divides into two, it’s possible to drive through the center using a boost item.


Things start getting difficult in the Special Cup. The courses in this cup are Cloudtop Cruise, Bone-Dry Dunes, Bowser’s Castle, and the classic Rainbow Road.

Cloudtop Cruise only has two significant shortcuts, the first is the giant bumper in the first section of the course. It is orange and yellow with a giant Bowser face, you cannot miss it. The second is two giant leaves that make a ramp near the finish line.

Bone-Dry Dunes has multiple shortcuts, like the dunes in the first turn. Like every shortcut, it will require a boost item. Perhaps save that item for the next turn, where you can take a ramp and drive straight instead of taking the curve. There will be ramps ahead, if you take them and go fast enough, you can take the second level of the cave. Near the finish line, there is a gap between the bones for a final shortcut.

At Bowser’s Castle, pay attention to which side of the road Bowser is punching and take it, he won’t be fast enough to punch it again. Near the finish line, you can find a ramp to do a stunt boost. Rainbow Road doesn’t have any significant shortcuts.  


Starting with this cup, the tracks are remastered versions from previous Mario Kart installments, like Moo Moo Meadows (Nintendo Wii), Mario Circuit (Game Boy Advanced), Cheep Cheep Beach (Nintendo DS), Toad’s Turnpike (Nintendo 64).

Since these courses tend to be simpler, the shortcuts are in plain sight. In the Moo Moo Meadows, near the start, players can drive over the grass. In the Mario Circuit, the shortcut has tires to mark it.

Drivers can go through the shallow part of the water in the Cheep Cheep Beach and avoid a turn. Every time there is a section of water you can drive through, it will have coins.

Toad’s Turnpike has a simple design and plenty of boosts, like the low-gravity ramp that allows you to drive on the walls. This course also has open trucks with ramps that will propel you to glide over the traffic and avoid a good chunk of the track.


The Banana Cup features courses from the Nintendo GameCube, the Super Nintendo, the N64, and the 3DS. These tracks are Dry Dry Desert, Donut Plains, Royal Raceway, and DK Jungle. While these courses are not as complex as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tracks, they are more difficult than the courses in the Shell Cup.

Dry Dry Desert is one of the tracks with multiple shortcuts and having boost items is a must. There are entire sections that you’ll be able to avoid and drive in a straight line just using shortcuts.

Donut Plains is straightforward, with one shortcut just before the finishing line and mounts you jump. Royal Raceway has a ramp that is visible and requires a boost to reach it. The ramp in the DK Jungle might not be worth taking, the time saved is minimal, and it has fewer coins.


The third cup consists entirely of old tracks, Leaf Cup is trickier than the previous two, with some demanding tracks like Wario Stadium, Sherbet Land, Music Park, and Yoshi Valley.

Wario Stadium has a line of speed ramps that you can take that are visible to all players. In the underwater part of the track, you can see a small shortcut, although you will miss the coins if you take it.

Sherbet Land has three shortcuts for you. The first is right at the start between the ice column and the lamp post. The cones hide a secondary underwater path through a cave. Once you drive by another set of cones, there will be another hidden path. These routes are not faster, but at least you won’t be as easy to target by the other players.

The shortcuts in Music Park are the basic drives through grass and a ramp, both accessible only by using a boost. The shortcut that stands out in this track is the drum near the finish line. Yoshi Valley is one of the most intricate courses in the game and not an easy one to learn, the trick here is to take any ramp you see.


Lightning Cup is the final cup made entirely of old tracks, and it is the hardest of the four. Starting with Tick-Tock Clock, the only shortcut possible here is aiming to use the clock as a bridge, but it requires some luck to get it right.

Piranha Plant Slide sets a trap for the drivers with a red arrow and a fake bush that turns out to be an obstacle. Do not fall for it since there is no easy way to complete this race. Grumble Volcano has many sections that you can boost through, a relief coming from Piranha Plant Slide.

The unforgiving Rainbow Road from Nintendo 64 continues to be the hardest track in the entire game. There are no shortcuts, and no strategies, just drive safely and hope for the best.


Egg Cup is part of the DLC, it combines tracks from previous installments and new ones. Yoshi Circuit from the Nintendo GameCube is part of this cup, and there are two shortcuts here, the first is through the waterfall, and the next one is at the top of the track.

Excitebike Arena is the simplest track in the entire game, with two turns and two straight lines. It has no shortcuts or possible tricks, just make sure to hit the ramps using stunt boosts.

Exit the dragon’s mouth in Dragon Driftway and take the ramp to the left. On the other side of the track, there is a tight bend that you can boost through.

Mute City introduces an interesting mechanic, instead of getting coins the usual way, you can get them by driving through the boost pads. As in many other tracks, as you get closer to the finish line, you will find a section to skip through.


Triforce Cup is also part of the DLC cups collection. It starts with Wario’s Gold Mine, it doesn’t have a significant shortcut but instead, areas that trigger the low gravity ability. Brushing the carts can give you a speed boost.

It’s time again for the Rainbow Road Super Nintendo edition. Regardless of the version you play, there are no tricks that can help you when it comes to this race.

Ice Ice Outpost has two ramps in the middle of a cavern, you need to use the stunt boosts to keep the speed up. Otherwise, you could fall off. Another set of ramps will show up before the end of the track. You need to take the ramp at a specific angle to ace it, if you don’t feel comfortable in this track, it is better to avoid the ramp. If you hit the three boost pads in Hyrule Circuit, you will open an extra ramp that will be located next to the Master Sword statue inside the castle.


Crossing Cup is part of the collaboration between Animal Crossing and Mario Kart. It features two tracks from previous games, Baby Park (GCN) and Cheese Land (GBA), and two new tracks, Wild Woods and Animal Crossing.

Baby Park is an even simpler version of Excitebike Arena because it is half the size. If you are a good drifter, you can conquest Baby Park. The rest of the tracks have the usual patches that you can drive through using a boost, there is nothing remarkable about it.

One interesting fact about the Animal Crossing track is that seasons change in it, and these changes show on the track. The layout of the track remains the same.


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