Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image via Nintendo

The Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Setup – Best Characters, Karts, and More

Mario Kart 8's seemingly endless kart combinations can be daunting, but this guide will help players navigate the garage.

There are nearly 40 characters in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with various body types and weights. The same variables apply when choosing your vehicle, tires, and glider. So how are you supposed to narrow down the absurd number of combinations?

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Luckily, we’ve done it for you. We’ve gathered a list of the best Mario Kart 8 setups across four categories, with plenty of possibilities across all vehicle types. While we’ve put together some example setups for you, feel free to mix and match pieces within the same category — everything listed here is still the best in its class. Whether racing across the base tracks or new additions from the Booster Course Pass, these setups will give you an edge.

Best Mario Kart 8 Setup All Around

waluigi wiggler mario kart 8
Image via Nintendo

The best all-around Mario Kart 8 setup is: Waluigi, Wild Wiggler, Roller, and any Glider. While different combinations of characters, karts, and wheels can net varying results – better speed, acceleration, handling – there is one combo that is hailed as the current meta in Mario Kart 8.

In fact, this combo has been talked about so much in online forums that even discussing it was banned from the Mario Kart Reddit. The Waluigi Wiggler combo dominates Mario Kart 8 due to its speed off drifts, quicker acceleration from a dead stop, and higher top speed.

How to Unlock Wild Wiggler

Like many unlocks in Mario Kart 8, the Wild Wiggler is unlocked through a singular method: collecting coins and hoping you get lucky. This is because unlocks in Mario Kart 8 are completely randomized. You earn coins by doing races and championships. Coins in turn put progress towards the next unlock. So all you can do is keep playing the game and hope that the Wild Wiggler comes ASAP.

Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Setups for Speed

Mario Kart 8 Delux Speed Setups Bowser Dry Bowser Wario Morton
Image via Nintendo

In this case, “speed” refers to the top speed your racer and kart can attain. This favors heavier drivers, who take longer to reach top speeds but can go faster than others once they get there. Generally speaking, these top speeds hold true whether you’re racing on solid ground, underwater, in the air, or along anti-gravity portions of the track. Here are the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups for speed:

  • Bowser + Circuit Special + Slick + Super Glider
  • Dry Bowser + Badwagon + Metal + Waddle Wing
  • Morton + Standard ATV Kart + Cyber Slick + Plane Glider
  • Wario + GLA + Gold Tires + Wario Wing

Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Setups for Acceleration

Mario Kart 8 Delux Peachette Baby Mario Baby Luigi Baby Rosalina
Image via Nintendo

Where heavy characters are best for top speeds, light characters excel at acceleration. They can’t go as fast when fully revved, but they can reach their top speed more quickly, which means better recovery after being bashed by an item. That’s an important tradeoff since light characters also get jostled around by the bigger drivers more easily. Here are the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups for acceleration:

  • Toadette + Mr. Scooty + Roller + Cloud Glider
  • Baby Mario + Biddybuggy + Azure Roller + Peach Parasol
  • Baby Luigi + Varmint + Button + Parachute
  • Baby Rosalina + Streetle + Leaf Tires + Parafoil

Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Setups for Handling

Mario Kart 8 Delux Donkey Kong Waluigi Roy Rosalina
Image via Nintendo

Speed and acceleration are nice, but they don’t matter much if you can’t maintain control of your kart. Handling is the stat that governs your vehicle’s responsiveness, so if you find yourself running off the road a lot, then this might be the way to go. Characters on the heavier side, but not quite as hefty as the speediest ones, tend to fare the best here. Here are the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups for handling:

  • Donkey Kong + Cat Cruiser + Slim + MKTV Parafoil
  • Waluigi + Comet + Wood + Peach Parasol
  • Roy + Yoshi Bike + Crimson Slim + Bowser Kite
  • Rosalina + Teddy Buggy + Slick + Parafoil

Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Setups for Drifting

Mario Kart 8 Delux Baby Peach Baby Daisy Baby Rosalina Lemmy
Image via Nintendo

This is more of a niche category, but it’s still important. Drifting combines the traction and boost stats for drivers who like to cut corners and get that nice extra turbo as sparks start to fly out from under their tires. We’ve been ping-ponging between heavy and light characters all throughout this guide, and those on the smaller side are well-suited to this category too. Here are the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe setups for drifting:

  • Baby Peach + Pipe Frame + Slim + Super Glider
  • Baby Daisy + Biddybuggy + Wood + Cloud Glider
  • Baby Rosalina + Varmint + Crimson Slim + Waddle Wing
  • Lemmy + Mr. Scooty + Roller + Wario Wing

Best Overall Karts in Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Delux meta kart builds
Image via Gamepur

We’ve covered different playstyles, from acceleration builds to drifting ones, and which would we say is the best overall? Well according to players worldwide there indeed is a meta build. Funnily enough it doesn’t prioritize speed or acceleration, but the hidden stat: Mini-Turbo. Using light characters and the correct build, you will be able to abuse mini turbos and leave the competition in the dust. Here are the best overall karts in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

  • Peachette + Cat Cruiser + Roller +Paper Glider
  • Yoshi + Teddy Buggy + Roller + Cloud Glider
  • Daisy + Yoshi Bike + Azure Roller + Flower Glider
  • Birdo + Comet + Azure Roller + Paper Glider
  • Bowser + Blue Falcon +Slick + Flower Glider

You might be thinking that one of these doesn’t look like the others? A Heavy Bowser build? Well once again, in the ocean of Mini-Turbo builds one player ran over all of them with a Bowser! They were untouchable cause the build was made to squish other racers and stay immovable by others. So in the flood of turbo builds there is room for a heavy.

Mario Kart 8 is filled with all kinds of dominating meta builds that players should get their hands on ASAP. We have a guide on the best kart, gliders, and tires that you should check out as well.


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Author
Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.