Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

With more tracks in Mario Kart 8: Deluxe come more shortcuts to find. Here’s a rundown of every shortcut, as well as some course-specific tips.

Table of contents

Mushroom Cup
  • Mario Kart Stadium
  • Water Park
  • Sweet Sweet Canyon
  • Thwomp Ruins
Flower Cup
  • Mario Circuit
  • Toad Harbor
  • Twisted Mansion
  • Shy Guy Falls
Star Cup
  • Sunshine Airport
  • Dolphin Shoals
  • Electrodome
  • Mount Wario
Special Cup
  • Cloudtop Cruise
  • Bone-Dry Dunes
  • Bowser’s Castle
  • Rainbow Road
Shell Cup
  • Moo Moo Meadows (Wii)
  • Mario Circuit (GBA)
  • Cheep Cheep Beach (DS)
  • Toad’s Turnpike (N64)
Banana Cup
  • Dry Dry Desert (GCN)
  • Donut Plains (SNES)
  • Royal Raceway (N64)
  • DK Jungle (3DS)
Leaf Cup
  • Wario Stadium (DS)
  • Sherbet Land (GCN)
  • Music Park (3DS)
  • Yoshi Valley (N64)
Lightning Cup
  • Tick-Tock Clock (DS)
  • Piranha Plant Slide (3DS)
  • Grumble Volcano (Wii)
  • Rainbow Road (N64)
Egg Cup
  • Yoshi Circuit (GCN)
  • Excitebike Arena
  • Dragon Driftway
  • Mute City
Triforce Cup
  • Wario’s Gold Mine
  • Rainbow Road (SNES)
  • Ice Ice Outpost
  • Hyrule Circuit
Crossing Cup
  • Baby Park (GCN)
  • Cheese Land (GBA)
  • Wild Woods
  • Animal Crossing
Bell Cup
  • Neo Bowser City (3DS)
  • Ribbon Road (GBA)
  • Super Bell Subway
  • Big Blue

Mushroom Cup

As the most basic Cup, there aren’t a whole lot of nuances to learn, but the Mushroom Cup does hide a few secrets.

Mario Kart Stadium

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: The main shortcut in Mario Kart Stadium is at the very end of each lap. Just look for the pipes in the rough and use a boost item (a mushroom or star) to blast past the sand.

Water Park

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: It’s not a traditional shortcut, but you can rub against these tire-like objects while in the water for a boost. They’ll follow the center track.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: In that same underwater area, you can boost over or simply drive over this carousel and shave a second off your time.

Sweet Sweet Canyon

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Both the left and right paths of Sweet Sweet Canyon are mirror images, note which paths other human players are taking. If you’re in the lead, try to veer off and go on a track others aren’t on so you can avoid more accurate item attacks.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Another straight boost path is located near the end of the track if you have an appropriate item. Just aim for the donut.

Thwomp Ruins

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: You have the option of taking the traditional left road or the gravity tilted right side. The right path actually has two more coins on it, so take it if you’re running low on your coin stock.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: After the second thwomp in the outdoor area near the end of the course, you’ll find a platform to jump to.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Near the finish line you can land on either the left or right ramps to get a stunt boost and grab a few coins.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 4: After the first lap, the center area of the pond zone will open up, allowing players to take another path with a glide ramp.

Flower Cup

It’s getting a little trickier with the Flower Cup, but most of the shortcuts are in plain sight.

Mario Circuit

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: There’s really only one shortcut to speak of in this simple track. Near the end you can take the optional flight ramp to soar over other players — just watch the towers of goombas.

Toad Harbor

Toad Harbor shortcut 1

Shortcut 1: Right near the start, you can take the left side ramp to leap over the docks, which gives you a straight shot to the upper scaffolding area away from players. Note however that it’s very easy for someone else to knock you into the water, so be wary of taking it if someone is behind you with an item (after the first lap).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Right after the market, you have a choice: the left low road or the right high road. Both are basically equal, but again, note which path other players typically take and do the opposite if you’re in the lead.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: If you keep getting hit by the trolleys, consider taking this safe left path after the aforementioned split.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 4: Have a boost item? Ignore the left side and just boost forward over the grass near the finish line.

Twisted Mansion

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Obscured to the left here is a rough path shortcut. Use a boost item.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: If you have enough top speed directly following the water area, you can hit a stunt boost off the ramp and coast into the upper floor.

Shy Guy Falls

Shy Guy falls shortcut 1

Shortcut 1: Alternate left and right to hit as many boost pads as you can while you’re in the rapids area.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Directly following the big blue ramp into the canyon, if you have enough speed and hit your stunt boost, veer left and aim upward to nestle into the upper cave area.

Star Cup

A lot of small time savers start to pop up all over the place in Star Cup. For Mount Wario you won’t get any second chances as it’s a downhill race.

Sunshine Airport

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Hit the orange ramp at the start and you can leap right into the plane.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Hit the bumpers for a quick boost while you’re in low-grav mode.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Hop over the luggage belt at the end of the course for a quick shortcut.

Dolphin Shoals

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Taking the right path will lead you into a cave with a boost pad.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: With a boost item, you can get across this rough ground and charge right into the finish line.

Electrodome

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: In an almost mirror image of the first course, you can boost through the last corner before the finish line.

Mount Wario

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: This inconspicuous glacier before the first checkpoint is actually a ramp.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: In the outdoor area where the track splits, you can actually head to the center, where a hidden ramp lies. Make sure you bring a boost item to get to it, as the snow will slow you down.

Special Cup

The going gets very tough in this complex cup, but consistently hitting each shortcut will ensure that you’re placing higher as you learn each track.

Cloudtop Cruise

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: After the first turn, veer left and into a giant bumper for a shortcut. Don’t forget to stunt boost.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: You can see the finish line for this shortcut. Just hop onto the leaves.

Bone-Dry Dunes

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: If you have a boost item, you can skip the turn right as the track begins or after a new lap.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: The same goes for the area immediately following that turn, as another boost item will get you across the rough and into the ramp for a stunt boost.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Head to the right side in the fork following the previous shortcuts, hit the stunt boost on the ramp and ram into the objects ahead for boosts.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 4: With enough speed and a boost, you can aim upward and land on the platform above after the blue ramp.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 5: One final boost between two bundles of bones stands between you and victory.

Bowser’s Castle

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Whenever you get to the split with the giant Bowser creature, take a look at what area he’s punching. Speed up as quickly as you can and pick that path. He likely won’t be fast enough to return to it by the time you reach the area where his fist will land.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Taking the left side before the finish line will lead you to a ramp where you can perform a stunt boost.

Rainbow Road

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

There are no major shortcuts in Mario Kart 8’s version of Rainbow Road, but it’s important to remember that with each lap the conveyor belt arrows change sides. As you’d expect, you want the green side.

Shell Cup

Comprised of tracks from older iterations of Mario Kart, these tracks bring us back to a simpler time.

Moo Moo Meadows (Wii)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Another boost opportunity is right near the start.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: The Monty Mole enemies leave bumps in the track off of which you can stunt boost.

Mario Circuit (GBA)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: These boost patches are all over the place! Hit one at the start or after a lap.

Cheep Cheep Beach (DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: It doesn’t look like you’d survive, but in the shallow, light colored water, you can boost ahead and skip this turn around the start of the track.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: This shortcut appears immediately following the first. It's subtle, but you can see a trail of coins peeking up above the water.

Toad’s Turnpike (N64)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Going up the low-grav ramp on the right isn’t necessarily faster, but it leads to coins. Grab them if you’re low or at the start to keep your speed up.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: If you hit a ramp on an open truck, you can land on another truck and grab a quick stunt boost.

Toad’s Turnpike shortcut 3

Shortcut 3: In a rare turn of events, you might be able to hit the truck ramp just before the tunnel. Coast over the bridge for a massive shortcut.

Banana Cup

As the second set of retro tracks, the Banana Cup is a little trickier.

Dry Dry Desert (GCN)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: At the beginning of each lap, you have the chance to hit a very helpful boost shortcut. Make sure you have two mushrooms (or a star) or you’ll hit a lot of rough spots.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Fortune favors the boost items. You can skip this entire section with them.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: If you end up in the water, you can stunt boost off these sinkholes.

Donut Plains (SNES)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Hey look! Another boost shortcut at the start of a lap.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: More Monty Moles, more chances to stunt boost off of their mounds.

Royal Raceway (N64)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: After the first bend, there’s a ramp you can get to with a short boost. Even a mini-turbo will work.

DK Jungle (3DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Veering left after the big blue ramp will save you some time, but the path contains less coins. Choose accordingly.

Leaf Cup

The Leaf Cup has several tricky tracks, including Yoshi Valley, so you’ll need to cut corners as much as you can.

Wario Stadium (DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: You can stunt boost off of every single ramp in this level.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: It’s not a big shortcut, but you can boost over this gap underwater on the final corner.

Sherbet Land (GCN)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Boost between the lamppost and the ice column at the start.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: The cones herald danger, but they also hide an alternate path in the water through a cave.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: The final area also hosts another extra path beyond the cones. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe alternate routes aren’t necessarily faster, as you can use the new pink boost level to drift around the corners on the ice above and nab an ultra mini-turbo.

Related

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tips: Drifting to win

Music Park (3DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: It’s a trend! Boost at the start across the rough.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Following the piano key bend, veer left and take the ramp. You don’t need a boost to make it, but it helps.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Right as the black notes slam down, you can stunt boost off of the ripple effect it creates. This will work as long as you’re in the gray area.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 4: The final turn will lead you to a drum to the right that you can use as a shortcut.

Yoshi Valley (N64)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Yoshi Valley is a notoriously difficult track to learn as there are many twists and turns that are all optional. But there is a common ground at the end, when you can boost ahead onto a ramp after the giant egg hazard. Save a mushroom or star for that purpose during each lap.

Lightning Cup

The final cup of the retro series kicks things up a notch.

Tick-Tock Clock (DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: If the hand on the clock at the start is in position, you can use it to bypass the gap. Make sure you stunt boost off the center.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: The second clock around the last bend is tougher to hit as you don’t have much time to aim. Just skip it if it’s not pointing directly toward the other side.

Piranha Plant Slide (3DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: This bush on the final stretch of Piranha Plant Slide is actually fake! You can ram into it normally but you’ll be pushed backward a bit. Use a boost item to get through unscathed.

Grumble Volcano (Wii)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: This map is full of rough that you can boost through. Be on the lookout for every turn.

Rainbow Road (N64)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: The infamous over-the-rails shortcut at the start has been taken out due to the low gravity mechanic. So while there aren’t any hard shortcuts for this downhill map, the best advice that we can give is to hug the wall near the train — it’ll provide you with coins.

Egg Cup

We’re moving into the DLC tracks now, with a mix of retro courses and some taxing new ones.

Yoshi Circuit (GCN)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Immediately after the start/finish line there’s a waterfall with a ramp. You can hit it without a boost item as long as you’re moving quickly. When you exit the waterfall, veer to the right quickly or you’ll fall off the cliff.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: You can boost here with an item. Just don’t get caught by the piranha plants on the side.

Excitebike Arena

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Excitebike Arena is one of those rare levels with no shortcuts, given its simple U shape. Just be sure you hit every stunt boost on every ramp.

Dragon Driftway

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: After the cavern inside the dragon’s mouth, take the ramp to the left. It’s possible to boost over the rough patch, but it’s dangerous because you can careen into the wall.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: With an item or even a mini-turbo you can boost around this bend.

Mute City

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Instead of collecting traditional coins, you’ll need to drive on the boost pads to up your coin count. Use them until you hit your maximum of 10.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Directly before the finish line of this downhill jam is a boost opportunity.

Triforce Cup

The second DLC Cup, part of the same add-on as the Egg Cup, contains a few more straightforward tracks.

Wario’s Gold Mine

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: You can actually leap off the rails and into this area on the left. Mainly use it to earn a quick respite from getting fired upon or to dodge an enemy attack.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Your low gravity ability triggers while you’re in the mines. Touch the sides of the carts to get a boost.

Rainbow Road (SNES)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: If you’re brave, you can save fractions of a second by drifting and hopping around corners. Outside of that, don’t expect to find any major shortcuts since the feather item isn't available racing modes.

Ice Ice Outpost

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: After the break in the path with the two highways, veer right into the cavern and onto the two ramps. Be quick with your stunt boosts so you don’t lose momentum and fall off.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Yet another pair of ramps awaits you before the finish line. Make sure you take this one at an angle, though, so you don’t just hit the first ramp and go sailing into the ocean.

Hyrule Circuit

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: At the start of each lap, aim this mushroom at this angle to get the maximum distance.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Hit all three boost pads in the castle to open up the ramp next to the Master Sword statue.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Another boost path awaits you after the castle section.

Crossing Cup

As you might expect, a Cup themed around Animal Crossing won’t challenge you much, but there are still a few shortcuts to find.

Baby Park (GCN)

In a shocking turn of events, this track really doesn’t have any true shortcuts. Just master the art of drifting each corner and you’ll be fine.

Related

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tips: Drifting to win

Cheese Land (GBA)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: At the start is a boost opportunity.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: The next bend is a lot less subtle, as there’s a giant cave signaling a boost path.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: It’s partially obscured by some cheese wheels, but the last bend has a ramp if you can boost past the rough. Since it’s a flight ramp, this is one of the most effective shortcuts in the game.

Wild Woods

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: When given the choice of a path at the beginning, the left side has more coins while the right is likely to be less crowded.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: At the end of the track is a short ramp boost. You don’t need a boost to get to it.The stunt boost from the prior ramp should be enough to make up for the slowdown from the rough area. Just be quick to veer left after the ramp in the previous area as it’s easy to miss.

Animal Crossing

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: The seasons may change to alter this track aesthetically, but the layout does not. After reaching the beach zone, you can immediately boost over the gap to the left of the track. Make sure that you have an item as the rough patch is long.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Right at the end is another boost path.

Bell Cup

The last Cup of the bunch boasts a few of the toughest tracks.

Neo Bowser City (3DS)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: It’s a very small patch, but you can boost over this section immediately after entering the tunnel.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Right as the low gravity section kicks in, there’s another rough patch to boost over. If you hit the rotating boost spots or use a mini-turbo, you can clear it without an item.

Shortcut 3: As you approach the blue ramp at the end of each lap, use a boost item to get massive air then veer to the left. Use the current to lift yourself up and back onto the track.

Ribbon Road (GBA)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Near the start is a deceivingly pink rough patch you can boost over. We would not recommend using a mushroom as the bend is rather narrow and too much of a boost would send you into the wall.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: Halfway into the shaking blue ribbon track is a yellow ramp that leads to a blue flight boost.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 3: Have you caught onto the pattern yet? Most races have a boost path near the end of each lap.

Super Bell Subway

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 1: Hey, it’s one of the last final bend boost paths in the game.

Big Blue

Shortcut 1: While it’s not a traditional shortcut, you can use all sorts of boosts to your advantage at the start of Big Blue. You can not only drift for a mini-turbo — you can also hit the boost stumps since the map is in low gravity, as well as drive over the boost pads and hit stunt boosts on the ramps.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 2: They’re a little more dangerous than most, but the first bends in Big Blue allow for some boost shortcuts.

Shortcut 3: Leap off right near the end of the water slide section with a boost, and you’ll end up scoring one of the biggest shortcuts in the game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts

Shortcut 4: You thought Super Bell Subway had the last corner boost shortcut? Think again! At the very end of Big Blue when the finish line is in sight, you can cut the final bend.

Related

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe guide – Polygon

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