Everyone plays Mario Kart games a little differently, and there are lots of different characters and kart parts to accommodate just about any play style (some would say almost too many). Maybe you prefer strong, off-roader karts that can take turns well, or maybe you prefer a slick ride that slides across the track with low friction. Of course, in the face of a blue shell, it can feel like your build doesn’t matter that much, but even that’s something to consider when building your ideal machine/driver combo. While there isn’t necessarily a “best” combo, here are a few thoughts on putting together the best Mario Kart 8 character, kart, and wheels combinations.

The performance of a kart in Mario Kart 8 is determined by five stats, each of which are subtly shifted and adjusted by your chosen character, your kart body, and your wheels. Oh, and gliders, I guess, but not to any substantial degree, so those aren’t really worth worrying about. Anyway, the five stats are:

  • Speed: How fast your kart is capable of going overall.
  • Acceleration: How quickly your kart can get up to its top speed.
  • Weight: How much crashes and impacts knock you around.
  • Handling: How much control you have over steering and drifting.
  • Traction: How well your kart handles bumpy, uneven terrain.

There are also some “hidden” stats, such as how well your kart drives underwater or handles while gliding, but those are circumstantial to particular tracks, so again, they’re not worth putting a lot of thought into.

Best Mario Kart 8 Combination

Your ideal kart build will rely heavily on how you personally prefer to play the game. I, for instance, prefer a kart that can accelerate quickly and handle well while drifting in order to efficiently chain mini-turbos. Combined with a medium to large-build character for some extra speed, and you get a pretty well-balanced machine. Here’s an example of an acceleration/drifting build:

  • Character: Rosalina, Link, or King Boo
  • Body: City Tripper, Biddybuggy, Mr. Scooty, or Varmint
  • Wheels: Roller or Azure Roller

But maybe drifting isn’t really your bag, maybe you’re all about that raw, straight-line speed. If you’re good at cornering on your own without the kart’s help, you put together some really mean builds that scream down the track like a comet. Just remember that high speed and weight are often mutually exclusive with good acceleration and turning. Here’s an example of a high-speed build:

  • Character: Wario, Bowser, or Morton
  • Body: Blue Falcon, Sneeker, or Prancer
  • Wheels: Slick or Cyber Slick