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Home / Uncategorized / Mario Kart 64 Tips and Tricks

Mario Kart 64 Tips and Tricks

This is and excerpt from and awesome guide written by Matthew Reynolds, you can see it in it’s entire awesomeness here:



Here are the controls for the game.

Analog Stick  -  Move kart
A             -  Accelerate
B             -  Brake / Reverse
Z             -  Use Item
R             -  Jump / Drift
C-Buttons     - Adjust various options in Vs. (see mode above)
SELECT        -  N/A
START         -  Pause Game


Each of the characters is configured into a different weight class. They are
set into the following -

Lightweight - Yoshi, Peach, Toad
Middleweight - Mario, Luigi
Heavyweight - Bowser, DK, Wario

For new players, middleweight is recommended as it has the best all-round
stats. Then I would advise choosing one of the others according to your player
style - lightweight karts have high acceleration and easier turning but get
knocked off the road easier, while heavy weight has low acceleration yet a
high top speed, rubbish turning but can knock other characters out of the way
easier. Play around with the different characters and see who suits you best.

Driving Techniques

Rocket Start
This performs a boost as the race starts, very handy for getting the
advantage straight away. To do it, at the opening count down (red, red,
blue) press and hold A between the second red and blue. If done right, you'll
boost away. Takes a bit of practice but once you've got it it's an invaluable

You can drift by holding down the R button when going around corners. It
allows you to take sharper corners without loss of speed, so is good for
many of the game's course. To start it, turn and press R to set the direction,
and you can also adjust the direction of the drift slightly by using the analog
stick as you go anyway.

This gives you a boost after drifting. To do it, get into a drift and
tap left and right on the analog stick to change the colour of the dust clouds
from your kart. They are originally white arrows (<) which turn into white
sideways M's, then with further turning into orange and finally red M's.
Once it goes red releasing R will give you a mini-turbo. It does give you a
worth while boost, so mastering this will give you the advantage. This takes a
while to get used to and may start to hurt after a few races, but it enables
you to pull off mini-turbo again and again.

This is a very advanced technique, where you perform mini-turbo over and over
again in a snake like fashion. So say you are on a straight, and you are on
the left; drift to the right, and boost ahead so you're on the right. Now
drift to the left and boost so you end up on the left. Keep repeating this to
create a snake like movement down the track, giving you a huge advantage if
done correctly. As said it is very advanced and so takes a lot of practice
to pull off, especially as you got to pull off mini-turbos very fast. Use Time
Trial as a place of practice, and use it to separate you from your mates!

Throwing Items
When you are using certain items, such as shells and bananas, you can throw
them in front or behind you by pressing up and down respectively. You can
launch green and red shells behind you and throw Fake Item Boxes and Bananas
ahead of you.

Dangling Items
You can drag certain items behind you, by holding the L button. This enables
you to block attacks from behind, such as those pesky red shells, and to
time your item drops more effectively. You can drag bananas, green shells,
red shells and Fake Item Boxes.

Turning on the spot
You can turn on the spot by holding accelerate and brake together (A and B)
and turning left and right. This is very handy if you are driving the wrong

Recovering after falling off the track
If you just fell off the track and are being lifted back on, you can recover
quicker by pressing accelerate JUST AS you touch the ground again to receive
a boost. Takes some practice, but worth it even if you are an experienced
racer; you never know when some heavier kart is gonna knock you off the

Rescuing yourself after driving over a banana
Sometimes when you drive through a banana you won't spin straight away. If
this happens brake straight away for a split second and if a note appears,
then you've successfully stopped spinning out.

Driving and Item Tips and Tactics

Here are some additional item and driving tips that might come in handy. Feel
free to submit any of your own!

• Coming off the track or hitting a wall slows you down to a literal crawl. So
  don't do it.
• If you are gonna cut out some of the track, subsidize the slowdown with a
  drifting mini-boost or better yet, a mushroom.
• Placing fake item boxes or bananas by real item boxes should block them from
  view of your opponents, meaning there's a chance they could drive in to them.
  Although the CPU might spot this against people in multiplayer it'll work
  better. It's also good if you want to 'replace' you current item with another
  by dropping it by the item box so you'll collect those in front.
• If you are in first place, then it's a good idea to drag an item behind you
  (or have a draggable item with you) in case you need to defend against
  shells and what not. It's a pain to have you lead wiped away by a cheap
  item at the last minute so try and get used to doing this.
• If you are neck and neck with an opponent and coming up to item boxes,
  drop back slightly so you are a position behind them and grab an item. As
  in first place you cannot pick up red shells, doing this method could bag
  you one so you can take them out and take a substantial lead. Although this
  is incredibly annoying and cheap its a sure fire winner especially if you are
  on the final lap.
• Again like the above, if you are in a very close race then drop back a few
  positions and grab an item box. As items are based on position and not
  proximity, you could get something like Thunder, a Star or Three Red Shells.
  And who wouldn't want that, eh?
• Unlike other Mario Kart games, red shells just go straight toward the
  racer in front, and don't follow the track. Ensure that you can see your
  opponent, and is in your line of sight, before you fire.
• If you are gonna use a red or blue shell then wait for them to get a slight
  lead, otherwise the red shell will just fly straight past them and the
  blue shell likewise and even worse take you out in the impending explosion
  (if they are in first anyway).
• If you have several (hopefully red) shells, then you can incapacitate a
  kart ahead. Fire one to spin them out, and then fire another as you go past
  them (where they've hardly had time to recover). By the time they have
  started going again proper, you'll have speeded ahead

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