All stats in Mario Kart 8, ranked by importance

When it comes to racing games, Mario Kart is total chaos. Skill certainly helps, but you don’t have to be particularly coordinated or exceptionally talented in other titles to win a joyride in any Mario Kart title, including Mario Kart 8. You just have to be lucky. Grab the good items that will destroy your opponents and catapult you to first place. That’s the name of the game.

RELATED: The Best Mario Kart 8 Cars, Ranked

However, if you’re fixated on making your life easier with a sturdy vehicle that drives well, statistics can become important data to pay close attention to. And not all statistics are created equally.

Updated November 13, 2023 by Quinton O’Connor: Last week the welcome booster pass for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came to an end. Overall, the number of titles in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has doubled – from 48 to 96. Former fans stop by to see how much they missed, and newbies keep buying this long-running favorite, too. Consider this either an introduction or a refresher on Mario Kart 8’s most important (and least important) stats.

6 Weight – Vehicles

Wario and Bowser race in heavy karts in Mario Kart 8 Cropped

Sure, weight can mean the difference between crossing the finish line at all and being unceremoniously thrown off the track into a puddle of lava. The question then becomes: How often is weight really effective? The heavier your weight, the easier it is for you to knock a smaller player out of the way or into potential danger. However, the weight means that heavier vehicles are more likely to get off track when drifting.

In most cases, crashing into other vehicles becomes a secondary concern as you only focus on outdoing your opponents through speed boosts and using items to slow them down. Weight also usually comes at the expense of acceleration, a far more valuable asset that we’ll get into in more detail shortly.

5 Weight – Characters

Bowser on the character selection screen in Mario Kart 8

That’s right. A number of invisible statistics come into play in Mario Kart 8. You can actually control these. Choosing your character shouldn’t necessarily just be about picking your favorite Mushroom Kingdom citizen, at least if you’re really passionate about improving your racing stats. Combining characters with the right kart can be a useful strategy.

Related: The best titles from the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass

The character’s weight plays a role in the overall weight statistics. Sorry, Bowser. And while Donkey Kong may look like a big, fluffy teddy bear, behind all that fur is a bundle of muscle that may be able to help edge out other racers on the track. The characters in the game are divided into weight classes, but with a simple visual analysis it’s pretty easy to see where the characters stand. Baby Peach will be light as a feather.

4 speed

Yoshi Racing Toad in Mario Kart 8

You may be amazed at the moment when you see that speed ranks almost last in terms of statistical importance in a racing game. But as you probably already know, Mario Kart is less about your ability to maintain high speeds and more about being able to avoid harm while inflicting it on others.

On race tracks that have fewer twists and turns (and longer straight runs), speed can be crucial. But as is tradition, Mario Kart is often about getting a little wilder with each course. Therefore, in most cases, speed should be sacrificed for handling.

Not to mention, you can increase your speed during the race by collecting coins.

3 Traction

Birdo races through the desert in Mario Kart 8

There’s a lot to worry about out there in the Mario Kart arena. Eleven more enemies fight for the top, ready to fire red, heat-seeking shells your way. But the worst doesn’t always come from the other players. Routes often have their own dangers that you must avoid.

Taking sharp turns or driving over ice or mud can result in a slipping disaster and cause you to go off the beaten path. Sometimes you have to avoid the maw of a piranha plant with sharp teeth. Traction helps you stay in place. Not giving in to the penalties of the course is far better than just focusing on speed.

2 handling

Mario and Luigi race in Mario Kart 8

This particular value complements the traction well. Handling is crucial to your kart’s responsiveness when it comes to the rigors of a twisty track. It also helps determine how wide your curves need to be. Those who have better driving characteristics can make sharper turns at higher speeds.

Traditionally, bikes ride far better than the other options available. If you want something capable of weaving through traffic and making smooth turns, choose a motorcycle.

1 acceleration

Mario, Yoshi and Peach race on Waluigi's track in Mario Kart 8

This is a statistic that can really help you get out of trouble. And you’ll find yourself in many situations throughout your time with Mario Kart 8. Acceleration is the most important stat because it determines the speed at which you recover from a wayward turtle shell or misplaced banana peel.

Acceleration is the time it takes you to reach your top speed. The higher your acceleration rating, the quicker you can get back on track after a disaster on the track. Mario Kart has always been about sabotaging opponents rather than racing fairly and honestly. So give yourself the advantage of this dangerous gauntlet.

NEXT: The best racing games for kids

Subhankar Mondal

Subhankar Mondal is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Subhankar Mondal joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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