Mario Kart 8 Deluxe drifting

How to drift into first place in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

By Olivia Richman


May 10, 2022

Reading time: 3 min

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings back many of the popular mechanics in previous titles in the series, including drifting. Like in earlier Mario Kart games, drifting is essential if you want to stay ahead of the competition consistently. But how do you drift in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

Drifting updates in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has brought back the Mario Kart classic with a bit of an update. Unlike previous Mario Kart games, the newest game has a new drifting mechanic: the pink drift level.

As you drift in Mario Kart 8, the drifting level increases the longer you hold it. There is now a third drift state that makes the boost even bigger when you let go. But to unlock this speed boost, you first need to know how to drift properly.

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How to drift in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Drifting in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is easy. Here is how to drift:

  • Hold down the R button while turning
  • Keep holding on to charge up the drift
  • Let go of the R button

There are three levels of the drift, which appear the longer you hold the R button:

  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink

This last level is known as an ultra mini-turbo. Waiting for this color before letting go ensures a bigger speed boost.

As you can see, drifting is pretty easy. The key is to drift consistently and correctly. By combining drifting with the best karts and wheels, players can blast through courses even faster.

How to maintain drift in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The easiest way to maintain a drift is to lock in every time you take a turn. This means that you will have a small boost by the time the track straightens out and you can burst down the straightaway.

To properly drift, take each corner earlier than you normally would. This allows you to hop into the turn and take it tightly while drifting. Once the path straightens, let go of the R button to shoot forward. On shorter, tighter turns, remember to let go of the R button early to avoid crashing. You may only get a regular mini-turbo instead of getting to the Pink level, but it’s better than flying off the course.

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Drifting is actually not as complex as it was in previous Mario Kart titles. Snaking, an advanced drifting technique is no longer viable. This was a tactic in previous titles that allowed racers to boost on straightaways. Acceleration on straight parts of the course is faster in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe compared to previous games.

Another common trick known as fire hopping is also less important in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, fire hopping extended the boost by repeatedly hopping during the boost once you let go of R.


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