In Mario Kart, driving in reverse or into a body of water may not seem like the best tactic. But on certain courses, straying from the designated path might just be the best trick to securing a first-place finish.
From alternate pathways to unintended glitches, there are hundreds of potential shortcuts across the video game series. Some are easy to find and complete, while others require expert-level execution. By mastering these awesome Mario Kart shortcuts, you can shed anywhere from seconds to minutes off of your races and beat your friends every time.
You'll find that the best shortcuts in Mario Kart are often those that exploit design flaws, allowing you to jump through walls and skip entire laps. Despite being patched for online play, you can still exploit these glitches when you play offline.
Keep reading below for the most helpful and exciting Mario Kart shortcuts you never knew existed.
Jumping Off the Road - Rainbow Road (Nintendo 64)
At the beginning of the race, boost past the third yellow line and then jump over the left railing. The goal is to time it so that you land on (or at least touch) the road below, and thus skip a portion of the course. If you miss the landing completely, Lakitu will bring you back to the start. This is a classic high-risk, high-reward Mario Kart shortcut.
Wall Jump Glitch - Wario Stadium (Nintendo 64)
After passing the finish line, use one of the dirt hills to hop over the left wall. Once you've made it over, you can take your shortcut to the extreme by immediately looping back around and jumping over the wall again. With this trick, you can complete a lap in less than 10 seconds.
Prolonged Boost Glitch - All Courses (SNES)
As you approach a wall or barrier, use a mushroom and then hop into the wall. Your boost will now remain active for an extended period of time - so long as you don't bump into anything. This glitch can help you lead the race on all tracks. Your friends will hate you for it.
Train Track Tricks - Kalimari Desert (Nintendo 64)
When the race begins, let some of the others take the lead so you can guarantee that you get a star. Drive left into the train tunnel until you're all the way in, then turn around and use the star. This glitch will bump you to your second lap.
Alternatively, if you have a red shell, drive all the way through the tunnel. Then, use the shell to knock yourself over the barrier and back onto the dirt path. You can use this shortcut on any lap.
At the second train intersection, there is another possible shortcut: with a star on hand, turn left onto the tracks, then use the item right before entering the tunnel. You will move on to the next lap, despite not crossing the finish line. This shortcut will only work on the first two laps.