Got 3 stars? Quick 5-step guide to earn Mario Kart’s top ranking!

It’s been three weeks since the release of the fantastic Mario Kart 8. How’s it going out there? Are you, our faithful followers and readers, enjoying yourself thus far? If I were a betting man…and on certain occasions I actually am…I would bet everything that you all are having as much fun with this game as I am. Well, that’s until you make the decision to embark on a goal of attaining a 3-star ranking.

Let me first start off by saying, I wouldn’t wish the tedious and painstaking task of acquiring a 3-star ranking on my worst enemy. At times, the process becomes downright frustrating, it becomes the biggest crock of bullcrap you’ve ever stepped in, the process makes you want to slit your wrist before you race another lap against the awful AI on 150cc! However, the flip side to that coin is that the feeling of accomplishment once you are done is beyond words, and you also come out of the process an exponentially better player than when you entered.

After attaining my 3-star rankings in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, I really had no choice but to attain the ranking in Mario Kart 8, which I did. Since I am by no means a selfish person, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few quick tips on how you can also earn this coveted ranking. Follow these steps and you’ll be hoisting your arms up in the air like you just conquered the world as you cross the finish line on that final race…


Tip 1: Know the process

In order to attain a 3-star ranking you must place first in every race, in every cup, in every class, including Mirror Class. In MK Wii and MK7, sometimes you could finish first in every race of a cup and still not get the 3-stars because you also had to “race well,” staying in first place for the majority of the race, not taking excessive hits from items, not having excessive falls of the track, etc. In Mario Kart 8, there were some races where I didn’t take over first place until halfway on the final lap, and was also hit with multiple items and blue shells, but I still finished with 3-stars for finishing first in each race. So I don’t believe “racing well” is a factor in this installment. No matter what you go through during the race, just finish in first and you should be okay.




Tip 2: Unlock and customize

The more you play, the more you unlock, the better chance you’ll have of creating a kart customization fast enough to compete with the A.I. on 150cc and mirror class.


**Tip 3: Coins, coins, coins**

I cannot stress this one enough! After creating your fast kart combination, you MUST maximize its performance. This is extremely important! In each and every race, your #1 goal should be to collect 10 coins as fast as you possibly can. This ensures your kart/bike will be traveling at maximum speed. Remember, since you have to finish first, you’ll be starting off 3 of the 4 races in each cup with ZERO coins! This problem must be rectified immediately! Once there, try to maintain at 10 and that’s more than half the battle won.



Tip 4: The best offense is a great defense

The Mario Kart A.I. on 150cc is by far the most unforgiving, nasty, cheesy, hateful, and cheap A.I. you’ll find in a video game. The biggest cheaters I’m telling you. They throw items at you with PINPOINT accuracy. If by chance you manage to escape a homing green shell (yes I know, red shells are homing, not green shells, but play a couple rounds on 150cc you’ll understand why that’s not  a typo), but if you dodge one, no worries, the green shell will find you by ricocheting off the wall directly to your kart or right in your projected path. It’s amazing!

Since there are no reserve items in Mario Kart 8, and since you’ll be in first place for most of the race, it’s important that you try to select your own item by hitting the L button or else run the risk of the A.I. choosing coins for you as your item. This way, you have a better chance of landing a shell or banana that you can hold behind your kart for the inevitable items that will come your way. No matter what control scheme you race with, use the map on your gamepad to track what items the A.I. has at their disposal, especially the blue shell. If you are in 2nd place with a red shell, don’t look to shoot right away, sometimes it’s better to try to catch first place with quality racing while using that shell as defense from 3rd place. Again, take a quick glance at your gamepad to decide if it’s worth it to shoot that shell.

Always think, act, and play defensively first before even considering offense. Trust me. Of course it goes without saying if you land the speaker box, you carry that with you all the way to the finish line. But of course it also goes without saying, the A.I. wont let you keep it long because they’ll use a lightning strike to make you lose your item. But that’s okay, because lightning hurts the AI as well. So my motto is, play great defense and force them to hurt themselves.



Tip 5: Keep Calm…Be Awesome

Easier said than done, but when the AI begins to do the impossible against you on the track, try your best to remain calm, do not rage, understand what you are dealing with, quit the race if you didn’t finish first, take a deep breath, and simply try again. In the end, a level head will allow your skill to take over. Skill includes knowing the course (especially when it comes to mirror mode), avoiding pitfalls, and making sure you are boosting at every possible moment…at the start, drifting, air catapults, short jumps and mounds, boost pads, anti-gravity items, wherever and whenever you can you should always be boosting!

Hopefully this guide provided you with the help you needed to be welcomed into the exclusive 3-star Mario Kart club. Some of these tips can also be useful when racing online against human opponents. If you have already earned your ranking, like and comment below with some tips you may have used that I failed to mention. Remember, as Nintendo fans, we are all about community, sharing is caring, so post your additional tips and tricks here. Thanks.

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