How To Become a 200cc Ace in Mario Kart 8

200cc is fast. Like, really fast. It’s the fastest Mario Kart has ever been, in fact, and that increased speed means success hinges even more on precision drifting and measured maneuvering. Tight corners and 200cc don’t mix, and it won’t take long before you realize that drifting through hairpins turns at full speed will send you off the road without fail. As such, most racers will have to change at least one aspect of their style to succeed in the new mode, and Hardcore Gamer is here to help.

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The Early Bird Catches the Turn

This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: start your turns early in 200cc. You’ll have to feel it out for yourself, but don’t get discouraged if you slam into a few walls along the way. Moving up to 200cc is almost like playing an entirely different game, and like any new experience it takes time to acclimate to the differences in pace and responsiveness; The margins vary from course to course, but I often found myself starting turns nearly twice as early as I had in 150cc. Of course, turning early is only half the battle.

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Treat Your Brakes Like amiibo and Tap, Tap, Tap

Nintendo teased before the release of 200cc that players would have to acquaint themselves with the B button, and boy was it right. It may seem counterintuitive, but tapping the B button a few times while sliding around a tight corner will sharpen your drift arch substantially, and with the right kart selection and the aid of the resulting mini-boost you’ll be back up to top speed in no time. If you find yourself losing control, don’t be afraid to slam the brakes, either – it’s faster to come to a stop than fly off the road. Intelligently deploying your brakes definitely takes some getting used to, but once you’ve grasped the concept it makes for a much more responsive drive, and in turn a more rewarding experience.

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It’s Okay to Experiment

Try new things. See new people. Try new things with new people. 200cc is such a jarring escalation of the Mario Kart formula that many player’s probably won’t feel right in their vehicle of choice from 150cc right away. Don’t be afraid to try a new weight class and a few different vehicle builds before settling in – I thought I’d found the perfect setup for my style before playing 200cc, but after driving off ledges and drifting into walls got old I selected a lighter racer and found my groove again. I’d advise emphasizing handling, acceleration, and traction, but ultimately it’s up to you. Find what feels right for 200cc, not what got you the gold in 150cc.

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Become One With the Road

200cc is difficult by nature, but it’s even harder if you aren’t familiar with the courses. The mode’s enhanced velocity means the time you used to have to adjust your angles and hop into a drift has all but disappeared, and many times you’ll have to know what’s coming around the corner before it does to maintain your momentum. The mode’s increased speed also means that shortcuts previously only accessible or useful with the aid of a mushroom or star are now perpetually at your disposal, and you should consider changing your approach to each course if you want to make it to the top. Conversely, some paths that guaranteed a faster lap in the past will shoot you into oblivion in 200cc, so you might need a few laps before you find a route that suits the faster, more agile racer you’ve become. It may take some time, and it very well might be frustrating in the interim, but by the end you’ll be fully equipped to snag first place in every race, and maybe even appreciate the nuance and spectacular design of each course that much more.

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Mario Kart 8 was a marvelous game at launch, but two DLC packs and a game-changing 200cc mode later and it might just be the most consistent fun you can have on Wii U. Don’t be intimidated by the new level of speed; it’s challenging, yes, but not impossible. Persevere and succeed, young racer. You were born to lift each and every one of those golden trophies.