Driving Tips & Techniques

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Driving Tips & Techniques

Post by Josh1995 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:48 am

Driving Tips & Techniques

200x256Drifting & Mini-turbo
Drifting is the most important technique in Mario Kart. In Mario Kart Wii, the drafting mechanics have slightly changed.

When preparing for a race, you have the option of choosing Auto Drift or Manual Drift. If you want to win, don't bother with Auto Drift -- it just lets you get around corners easier by drifting for you after big turns; you don't get the power of mini-turbos. Plus, your opponents (online or off) will know to use Manual, and the extra power is worth it. If you're playing locally with inexperienced players, consider putting everyone on Auto just to keep things fair and easier to enjoy.

The second part of drifting is mini-turbos, which have also changed. Unlike past games, you don't press left and right repeatedly to "charge" the turbo. It's slightly more automatic this time: just hit the drift button and slide until those blue sparks appear and you can get that little boost. If you continue to drift, the blue sparks will turn red. Let go of the button and you can get a "super mini-turbo" boost that lasts a little longer. The key thing to remember here is that the longer you pull into the drift, the faster you'll get a super mini-turbo. That won't be easy to do all the time, especially on small curves, but the risk of pulling yourself into a wall can result in a nicer reward. But keep in mind that bikes can't get super mini-turbos, but just the regular karts.

200x236 Bikes Vs. Karts
New to Mario Kart Wii are motorbikes. They have a couple of advantages and disadvantages compared to karts, which can change up the results of a race. Bikes are narrower, so they can fit through tight spaces more easily for shortcuts. Additionally, most of the bikes have tighter drifts, which, again, can help them cut through corners and get out faster than karts. But in that regard, they can also be harder to control, and you have a higher risk of disorienting yourself with a quick, tight drift. Bikes with higher "Drift" ratings equal faster, harder-to-control drifts.
And as we said above, bikes can't use super mini-turbos; blue sparks are the best they can get.

Wheel or No Wheel?
Mario Kart Wii comes with a Wii Wheel, which is intended to give you a closer feel of driving a go-kart. Before the game was even out, many people dismissed the Wheel, but there are benefits for Wheel players: the extra VR points in an online race.

If you do use the Wheel, try not to go too wild with steering. The remote doesn't actually know it's in the wheel casing, so you should still be mindful of the remote's analog-style motion sensing. Slight, slow turns like in real life can keep you on the track most of the time. Of course, swerving has its purpose, too, especially when escaping explosions or getting away from other obstacles.

200x256 Shortcuts
Cutting across a track to get ahead of the pack or to cut down your lap times is, in a word, cool. Many shortcuts in the game are preceded by patches of grass, mud or something else that will slow you down if you attempt to drive through them -- unless, of course, you have a Mushroom of some variety, then it's a cinch. Our track profiles on the next few pages will detail each track's shortcuts, but in general, always hang onto those Mushrooms for as long as you can until you reach a good spot to boost ahead.

Non-Drift Boosts

Starting Boost
Hold the Accelerator button after the "2" appears, but before the "1." Another way to think of it is to wait for the "boop" noise on 2 to end, then hold the button.

200x256 Trick Boost
Drivers in Mario Kart Wii can perform acrobatic tricks when driving off a large jump. At the very moment your vehicle flies off the edge, flick the remote/wheel or press up on the D-pad (for controller users) to perform a trick. Once you hit the ground again, you'll instantly boost forward. This is a pretty nice trick, and there's little restriction to it, so try and trick off of every jump, big or small. Every little gain in speed counts!

Half-pipe Boost
Many tracks in Mario Kart Wii have blue ramps along half-pipes and ridges. Drive up the slope, and you should come back down with an instant boost of speed. You can also perform a trick off the pipes to get a slightly better boost, but it may take you longer to come down.

Drafting/Slipstream Boost
Drafting is a cool technique that can push you ahead of an opponent. Simply try and stay close behind an opponent -- enough so that blue speed lines start appearing around you. Stay directly behind them for a couple of seconds and you'll eventually enter a drafting boost that will boost you far ahead.

Recovery Boost
If you're knocked off the edge of some tracks, Lakitu will pick you up and drop you back on the track. As soon as you hit the ground, hit the accelerator for an added boost.

Other Tricks

Bikes can perform wheelies when you flick the remote/wheel up. The front wheel will obviously be in the air, so you can't turn as well. But the benefit of the wheelie is a slight boost in speed, but without a good way to turn, it's best used on tracks with long straightaways. To get out of a wheelie, flick the remote/wheel down.

"Nonstop" Wheelies
When using a GameCube or Classic Controller, you can keep up constant wheelies that come a split-second after the last. To do so, perform a wheelie by tapping Up on the D-pad, then again at the end of the wheelie (or repeatedly tap it just before to ensure you don't miss). Your wheelie time will last longer, helping you get across longer straightaways faster. In Time Trials, this can be a crucial technique, seeing as you can basically drive in a constant "boost" state.
When in the air after a jump, you can get your vehicle down to the ground quicker by pointing its nose down, or shorten your travel time by pointing up. With the Wheel, simply tilt it forward or backward to pitch, or push or pull the analog stick on any other controller.

Item Box Stopping
Once the Item Box roulette starts, press the Z/Item button quickly and repeatedly to immediately slow down the roll and get an item quickly.

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