Home  >  Games

KartRider Drift: 10 Tips for Beginners

KartRider: Drift is a game that I’ve been looking forward to for a long while, mainly due to its availability on Steam. Good kart racing games on PC are hard to come by, so you can imagine how great it was to find out this game was released on my preferred platform. Regardless of whether you play on PC like me or on another platform, I think we can all agree that the game is more complex than a lot of kart racer games out there. There are several mechanics to learn and master. In this guide, we’ll be discussing 10 tips and tricks for beginners in KartRider: Drift.

The Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Beginners, Ranked in No Particular Order

With that introduction out of the way, let’s get right into our KartRider Drift guide!


Unlock Every License ASAP

Probably the most important tip that I can offer to all new players to the game is to unlock every license as soon as you possibly can! Licenses are awards the game will give you by completing tutorial missions. The game offers a total of three different licenses for you to unlock, each with its own set of tutorial missions. Playing these tutorials is a great way to learn the game’s controls and mechanics, as well as practice for when you’re on the track.

Because of this, they make an excellent way for you to get some experience in a kart before being put up against other players. While you don’t need to play these tutorials to play the game, it is still advisable to do if you really want to get good at KartRider: Drift. If you want to play on all of the different tracks, however, then you do need to unlock all three licenses.

There are several special tracks that can only be played on if you have the license that unlocks it. Having played the game for a few hours before unlocking any of the licenses, I can tell you first-hand that the game gets a little repetitive just playing the tracks that are unlocked by default. So if you really want to play this game regularly for the foreseeable future, then get to work unlocking the licenses!


Turn Your Microphone Off

If you are playing this game on PC, you may be horrified to learn that the game has players set to using an open mic by default. This means that if you have a microphone plugged into your computer, other players will be able to hear you when playing the game. Having an open mic isn’t inherently bad, but it’s definitely not great if it’s on by default. Many people will play the game not knowing that other players can hear them talk, and that can lead to some awkward situations.

While it’s really strange why the game has open mic on by default, you can thankfully turn it off at any time. Simply go into the settings at the main menu and switch it off to stop other players from hearing what you have to say to them. You can leave it on if you’d like to better communicate with your teammates, but communication really isn’t needed in this game. So just go ahead and leave your microphone off.


You Can Swap Between Two Items

One neat little thing about KartRider: Drift is the fact that you can hold up to two items at once! This is great in case you need to swap to a different item during a specific situation. In order to swap between two items, head to the control menu inside of Settings and check to see what the default option is. Once you find the option, either keep it the same or change it to whatever works best for you.

Now you’ll be able to easily switch between multiple items when racing out on the tracks! Sadly, you can only hold a total of two items on you at once. If you are currently holding two items and you are approaching a pick-up on the track, then I recommend that you use up one of your items before getting the new one. That way you have a chance of getting a better item, something that you might really need.


Learn How to Combo Boost

This great tip is especially useful for pro players, and people who are really competitive in these types of games. In KartRider: Drift, you have the option to combo boost. This is a neat trick you can pull off to give you a quick boost of speed. While you can get through the game just fine if you don’t use it, if you want to make sure you consistently win races, then it’s a must-have for staying ahead of the competition.

You can combo boost whenever you drive around corners. Doing it can take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. To learn how to combo boost, check out this really great video tutorial by donutKR.


Use the Magnet Carefully

The next tip on this list of 10 tips and tricks for beginners in KartRider: Drift, it’s to use the magnet carefully. The magnet is one of several items that you have a chance of obtaining when racing around the tracks and running through the item pick-ups. When activated, your character will use a magnet to lock onto a nearby racer, causing your kart to be pulled towards them at a higher speed than if you were just driving normally.

This is a really great way to quickly catch up to racers in front of you, as the speed boost you gain from locking onto them is normally enough to propel yourself in front of them! Additionally, it has the added bonus of slowing down the person that you’ve locked onto, causing them to possibly be passed by other racers, not just yourself. While this power-up sounds amazing, it isn’t without its flaws.

For one, if you lock onto a player going around a corner, then the magnet will not account for the curvature of the road, and will simply throw you straight into the wall in between you and the person you locked onto. This has caused me to get passed by other races more than a few times. You also don’t want to lock onto someone too close to you, or you will gain hardly any momentum. It’s best to target someone fairly far away from you while you’re both on a straight road.


Don’t Drive in the Middle of the Road

When you are driving in KartRider: Drift, it can sometimes be tempting to drive right down the middle of the road. While you might look cool doing it, I wouldn’t recommend it. The Barricade item suddenly erects walls on the track, and if another player picks it up, you can end up slowed down significantly.

There are usually three walls in total that spawn (depending on how wide the road is). One will always spawn in the center of the road, with two more at the very left and right of the track (assuming the road isn’t too narrow). Because these barricades can come up suddenly and without warning, it’s best to stay slightly to the left or right of the road’s center at all times.

And if you are on a very narrow track, always hug either the left or right side. Doing this ensures that you won’t run directly into the barricade. And you can easily go past it without crashing and slowing down.


Learn How to Drift

The next tip that I can offer you is to learn how to drift the right way. Drifting is a huge part of most, if not all kart racing games out there. And KartRider: Drift is no exception. You are going to need to learn how to drift properly in order to get around tight corners and in order to do things like the previously mentioned combo boost. The best way to learn how and to get some practice in is to do the tutorials mentioned earlier.

You can also play some time trials to practice drifting for yourself. Time trials are a type of race in which you will race by yourself around the map as fast as possible. Without people throwing items at you or bumping into you, it’s a great way to get some practice in. I recommend practicing steering into your drift so that way you don’t oversteer and crash.


Keep a Shield on You Often

This next tip is really important if you are in first place, but it’s still true regardless of where you are in the race. One item that you can pick up from an item box are shields. These are really handy and useful items that allow you to block enemy projectiles. Considering how chaotic item mode can be, having a shield on you is an absolute lifesaver.

Shields do not last for very long, and will quickly disappear after being activated. They work less like blocking and more like parrying. In other words, you need to make sure you get the timing down in order to use it correctly. In order to use your shield properly, you must not activate it until you hear an enemy projectile approaching you. Using it at this point will “parry” the item so to speak, blocking it and stopping it from hitting you.

Keep in mind that not every item can be stopped with the shield. From what I’ve played so far, it seems that the Water Bomb is the most common item that cannot be stopped with shields.


Drive in Front of Other Racers

Moving onto our next tip, this is a great one for when someone is riding your tail and is about to pass you. If someone is close behind you and they try to pass you, you can drive your car directly in front of them to block them from moving forwards. This is really great as it can be done without the use of any items. And it really doesn’t take that much skill to pull off.

Just make sure that you keep an eye on any racers behind you and make sure that you look at them often to see which direction they are moving in order to adjust your position. In addition to being a great way to stop people from passing you, you can also do it to prevent others from running into an item box and getting something they could use against you.


Slipstream Other Drivers

This last piece of our KartRider Drift tutorial is another simple but effective one for coming out on top. Like many racing games, you can get behind an enemy player and slipstream them! Slipstreaming is where you are following closely behind someone in front of you. This other person will block most of the air from hitting your kart. This prevents you from being slowed down by it and it allows you to move much faster.

After staying behind someone and following them closely for a few seconds, you’ll gain enough of a speed boost that you can quickly go around them and pass them! This is really useful for getting in front of others, especially if you don’t have a nitro boost on you. You’ll want to make sure you stay behind another player for long enough to get a solid boost of speed. And you should make sure to get close enough to them in order for it to activate.

Join the High Ground!

We hope that you found this article for 10 tips and tricks for beginners in KartRider: Drift helpful! Do you have any more tips to share with us? Be sure to post them down in the comments! And be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more regular content on Kartrider: Drift and other great games.

Happy gaming!


Continue the Adventure!

Sign up for an account at High Ground Gaming, and access all these amazing perks:

  • Custom profile page
  • Save articles to favorites
  • Rate articles
  • Post comments & engage with the community
  • Access the HGG Discord
  • Enter giveaways
This is a pre-registration form. Fill in the following details to verify your email address first. You will be able to access the full registration form and register for an account after the verification.

Join the Discussion

Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!


Forgot Password?

Join Us