Choosing your kart setup in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most important decision you’ll make prior to hitting the gas pedal. The character, kart, and parts are all well-balanced enough that no setup is worthless, but you’re not here for “passable.” You’re here for the best setup to tackle 150cc in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Unsurprisingly, it’s equally hard to land on a really great setup by accident. Each part of the equation must be considered carefully in conjunction with the track if you want an edge on the course. We recently published our guide to the 6 Best Karts in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and we stand by those choices. They’re excellent picks for most any situation, whether you’re going for the gold in 50–100cc, playing online, or duking it out with friends in Battle Mode. Check that guide out if you want a more intricate explanation of kart stats, as we’ll be getting straight to business here.
Let’s get started!
When you start facing off against the more dedicated opponents found in 150cc, you may find you need even more of an edge. One way to get it is by building the best possible kart loadout for your racing style, so we’ll show you exactly how to do that for 150cc races.
Keep in mind that the tips here don’t necessarily apply to the chaotically fast 200cc class. Don’t fret, though — we have a dedicated guide to that class, as well.
As always, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Builder is a fantastic tool. It shows all of a kart loadout’s stats, even the ones that are hidden in-game. You can compare and contrast three kart loadouts at the same time. It was very helpful for researching this article, and is well worth using to hone your kart setup selection.
Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought when it comes to building the ideal kart setup for 150cc in Mario Kart 8. You can prioritize Speed, or you can prioritize Handling.
Many favor Speed above all else, often shooting for a high Weight as well. These players compromise on stats like Handling in favor of being as quick and heavy as possible. If you have the raw skill at the game necessary to offset a kart that doesn’t steer as well as it could, this may be the route to take.
Alternately, some prefer to prioritize Handling and Mini-Turbo. These racers will forgo outright Speed in favor of taking every corner as tightly as possible, and exiting them with maximum boost. This method doesn’t require upper-tier skill and lightning reflexes nearly as much as the Speed focus method. Rather, it rewards those with an in-depth knowledge of the track and a rock-solid understanding of racing theory.
Best Speed Focus Setup
Speed-focused setups generally pair a heavy character with a speedy, mid-weight kart. Some variation of this kart build has largely dominated the Mario Kart competitive scene since Mario Kart 8 was first released.
Any Heavy character, like Bowser, Donkey Kong, Dry Bowser, Wario, Waluigi, or Morton Koopa will work here. There are minor variations between them — Wario, the Bowsers, and Morton have the purely highest Speed stats, while DK and Waluigi sacrifice a tiny bit of Speed for a boost to Mini-Turbo. These differences are fractions of a stat point, though. Any of these bruisers will give you a killer top Speed.
Wild Wiggler, Pipe Frame, B-Dasher, or Tanooki Kart is the way to go. Pound for pound, these four karts will give you the highest possible Speed while maintaining a reasonable level for Acceleration and Mini-Turbo. All four are fairly heavy, too, so you’ll be able to adopt an aggressive, slam-or-be-slammed driving style with confidence.
Slick or Cyber Slick tires will give you the highest Speed possible. Off-Road, Retro Off-Road, Slim, and Crimson Slim tires have slightly lower Speed for a bit more Handling.
Your choice of glider has minimal impact on your stats. That said, Plane Glider and Standard Glider have the overall highest Speed.
As alluded to above, this kart setup has plenty of weight, so you don’t have to be scared of the other racers. Take the most direct racing line through the track. If opponents are in your way, slam them out of it.
You’ll still want to try to drift through larger turns and take advantage of ramps and ledges to trick off for Mini-Turbos where possible. It may take a bit of time to master turning with this much speed; just keep practicing and you’ll master it soon enough!
Best Handling Focus Setup
Every twist and turn in a track is a chance for Handling racers to gain advantage over their opponents. This type of loadout will frequently pair a light character with a light-weight kart or bike. This loadout style began to see far more success upon the release of MK8 Deluxe. Stat values were altered compared to the original Wii U release, and Mini-Turbos gained more of an effect.
Any of the Baby characters or Lemmy Koopa will be your best bet. These are the lightest of the lightweights, with maximum bonuses to Handling and Mini-Turbo. If you’re willing to trade off a bit of Handling for some extra Speed, Lakitu and Dry Bones also work well for this build and still have tons of Mini-Turbo.
Biddybuggy or Mr. Scooty will give you the highest possible Handling at the expense of all other stats. City Tripper and Streetle sacrifice a bit of Handling for a bit more Speed and Weight. All four have top-notch Mini-Turbo stats.
Slim or Crimson Slim tires will maximize your Handling. GLA tires give up a bit of Handling for extra Traction/Grip. Alternately, Wooden or Off-Road tires trade a bit of Handling for extra Acceleration. Any of these will work well for this kind of technical build.
Again, glider choice influences your final stats least of all selections. Paper or Cloud Glider will give you a small bonus to Mini-Turbo, which is probably the most helpful for this build.
When you’re this little and quick, technique is essential to victory. Learning a track’s ideal racing line, and keeping to it as closely as possible, is vital. Start your drifts early so you can earn maximum Mini-Turbo from each one.
Find the shortcuts you can access safely and gain as much time from them as you can. Trick off every ramp and ledge you can find. Draft behind other racers whenever you can — these boosts can help you close the gap against karts with higher Speed.
Be careful in any close-quarters situations, though, as pretty much any other kart will knock you away in a collision. Race smart, and you’ll be cruising to victories in no time.
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So there you have it, racers — everything you need for the perfect 150cc setup in Mario Kart 8! Let us hear about your epic victories in the comments below! While you’re here, sign up for the High Ground Gaming newsletter, and never miss any of our guides for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and all your other gaming favorites.