Best Mario Kart 8 Setups for Each Weight Class

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Best Mario Kart 8 Setups for Each Weight Class

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe contains a wide roster of characters. Alongside this roster is an even larger selection of karts, wheels, and gliders to pick from. With so many options, it can be hard to decide just what build works the best. Build crafting has been a staple of the series since Mario Kart Wii. While it can be fun to experiment with which builds are ideal for which scenarios, knowing some good ideas for presets or starting points is also beneficial. With this in mind, we’ve crafted a guide to the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups.

Let’s get started!

Best Mario Kart 8 Combos — Character, Kart, and Accessories

We’ll be including a build for each category of weight class: Heavy, Medium, and Light.

Heavy Weight

MK8 Heavy Build
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts
  • Character: Link
  • Kart: Master Cycle Zero
  • Wheels: GLA Tires
  • Glider: Wario Wing

The hero of Hyrule himself, Link was a DLC character in the original Mario Kart 8. Thankfully, he’s been added to the base roster of the Deluxe Switch port. Players can race as either The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Link or as Breath of the Wild Link. Additionally, the Master Cycle Zero from the DLC of Breath of the Wild makes an appearance in this game, which we’ve used in this build.

Fittingly, Link’s stats work well with the Master Cycle Zero. The bike has the best traction in the game, which helps for the wide turns made by high weight characters such as Link. The Master Cycle Zero suffers from low base speed, but Link’s weight makes up for it. We’ve added another Mario Kart 8 initial DLC item, the Mercedes GLA tires, because they don’t change your stats. The Wario Wing glider boosts the build’s weight and traction even higher. This means the build can be balanced while also focusing on speed, weight, and traction.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Link
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts

This builds enables wide, heavy weight turns, which give racers ample opportunity for drift boosts. As well, it allows for high speed without sacrificing too much handling. The Master Cycle Zero’s impeccably high traction ensures you won’t be sliding all over the stage, which is useful for heavy weight characters such as Link.

Overall, the build is solid and sturdy while also being fast and mobile. The greatest weakness of this build is its acceleration — recovery from hits can be tough with this build. However, we think the benefits allowed by this build far outweigh this negative. Just be sure to keep some defensive shells and bananas in your pocket!

Medium Weight

MK8 Medium Build
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts
  • Character: Yoshi
  • Kart: Mach 8
  • Wheels: Off Road
  • Glider: Flower

Yoshi has been a mainstay of the Mario series since Super Mario World. Appearing in every Mario Kart game, he has been a fan favorite since the Super Nintendo days. Several color options are available for Yoshi, which are purely cosmetic and do not affect his stats. We picked blue in our testing and photos, but feel free to choose the color that most appeals to you!

This build focuses on balanced stats above all else, as the medium weight class is suited to balanced builds. It is generally balanced save for the handling, which gives some of its points to traction. Yoshi is on the lighter end of the medium weight spectrum, allowing for a bit higher speeds and sharper turns. The Mach 8, an F1-inspired kart, boosts speed and traction, which assists racers’ ability to complete quick turns with plenty of nitro boosts. Finally, the Flower Glider increases acceleration, which makes recovery from hits much easier.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Yoshi
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts

This build’s primary weakness is the fact that no stat particularly shines. We’ve intentionally balanced out every stat, which means each one is good but not particularly amazing. That said, it’s a solid build (if not a particularly interesting one). The build is fast and makes turns that allow for a good helping of nitro boosts. Although the handling prevents Yoshi from making the tightest turns, high traction ensures that he makes stable ones. Yoshi being a light-med weight also lets him turn quickly without sliding all over the place.

Overall, this build compensates for the weaknesses of the medium weight class while utilizing some strengths of the light class. Combining them in this way while including balanced stats help to make a good build that can be useful in just about any situation.

Light Weight

MK8 Light Build
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts
  • Character: Toad
  • Kart: Jet Bike
  • Wheels: Slim
  • Glider: Plane Glider

Like Yoshi, Toad appears in every Mario Kart game. Unlike Yoshi, Toad has always been a light weight class (probably due to his “just a little guy” energy). Other Toads appear as the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, but red and blue Toad serves as the “main character” Toad.

Because the light weight class focuses on low weight and high speed, we’ve focused hard on that philosophy for this build. Inspired by a fighter plane, the Jet Bike trades weight and traction (the lowest in the game, in fact) for very high speed. The slim tires detract the kart’s traction even more, conversely giving additional speed. Although every choice here lowers Toad’s traction, it does achieve the goal of going all in on the strengths of the light weight class.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Toad
Image: Nintendo via HGG / Noelle Roberts

This build is very fast. The kart’s max speed is fast, its turns are almost absurdly quick, and as long as everything goes smoothly, Toad will leave his opponents in the dust. These are the build’s greatest strengths by far, but this build comes with a pretty big weakness. Because of low traction, this build is very slippery. You do make quick turns and can get a good amount of nitro boosts, but you’d better have a steady hand on the control stick. Turning just a little too much or too little can send you back a couple places. That said, learning to turn just the right amount will allow you to utilize nitro boosting and soar across courses.

Join the High Ground!

We hope you found our guide on the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups and builds. These combinations should help you get ahead of the competition in the Grand Prix. Additionally, they’ll make for good jumping off points if you’d like to start experimenting with different ways to play the game.

Have another Mario Kart build you’d like to show off? Have any extra thoughts about our builds? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this post on social media to share your thoughts. And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more guides and gaming content.

Happy gaming!


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