Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is without a doubt one of the absolute bestsellers on the Nintendo Switch. But despite its great fame, one game mode is totally underestimated. You can play this against your friends and you don’t even have to be online at the same time! Perfect for getting into the fun racer’s new DLC tracks.
During the first Corona lockdown, Robert and I discovered an interesting way Playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe asynchronously (i.e. not simultaneously) against each other. However, Nintendo makes an abnormal amount of effort to hide this type of game. It’s a shame, but let me enlighten you.
Steep thesis: Most players will time trial mode (“Time Trial”) of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe more or less ignore. You shouldn’t do that, because it makes sense in three ways:
- For one thing, you can get good ones here gain track knowledge – much faster than, for example, in online mode.
- Second, you get the golden hoops as a bonus item for defeating the Nintendo Ghost on all 150cc tracks. Okay, these things are relatively useless in terms of play, but of course completists still need the item.
- And third, the time trial mode is good for incredibly fun challenges with friends to use. I will now explain how to do this.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in “Trackmania Mode”
Explanatory Bear Insertion: In racing games one designates ghosts as opponents that you can simply drive through, mostly these are shown slightly transparent. Advantage: You can change the driving style of the enemy spirits study, compete with them, even without driving at the same time and with them optimize your driving style. For the Trackmania series, ghosts are part of the core gameplay.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s time trial mode also has ghosts as an option. Whenever you have improved your best time on a track, you can upload it as a ghost. In addition to the Nintendo ghosts, you can also use the Download ghosts of other players and compete against them. For this purpose, Nintendo has created an eternal leaderboard for each route.
Problem with this: Competing against the top ghosts from the leaderboard doesn’t make much sense, because that’s who they are global record times set by Mario Kart demigods, who timed the entire race with millisecond precision. They pull away in such a way that even with a lot of practice, “normal mortals” only reach the finish line 10 to 20 seconds later. The learning effect is small, the frustration great.
My friends’ ghosts
And now it comes: It gets much better if you compete against the ghosts of your friends in a time trial.
Nintendo is incredibly good at hiding the fact that this possibility exists – I have no idea why. The trick is in the list of downloadable ghosts scroll all the way down! There you will eventually find the best times of all friends with whom you are linked to Switch Online, recognizable by the small Mii picture with an orange background. I’ll show you where in this short clip:
“Robert, today it’s war in Käseland!”
That’s half the battle, if you will: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in Trackmania mode. Now, with Trackmania, the whole game series is built around the principle of “man versus man in asynchronous combat situations”, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe you have to organize a bit around it. I recommend this approach:
Step 1: Open a group in messenger of your choice with people who want to compete against each other in MK8DX.
Step 2: Add each other on Switch Onlineif you haven’t already.
Step 3: Challenge each other via messenger (“Today WW3 on Kuh-Muh-Weide Nordschleife, you leeks!”), download the best times of your friends and/or set one yourself.
Step 4: Celebrate with a rush posted evidence image in the Messenger group, taunts when you’ve beaten a friend’s time and/or swears at your “Frenemies” when you’ve been hit. Here are some impressions from our WhatsApp group:
And that’s essentially it. It’s just great fun to improve yourself at the same time, snatch best times from friends, improve yourself with driving skills and experiments with the vehicle/driver setup, while also learning shortcuts, optimizing ideal lines and using mushrooms. Oh yes, to tease yourself too, of course.
How Nintendo could improve Time Trial mode
The fact that this way of playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is largely unknown is because Nintendo has apparently not realized how much fun asynchronous time trial battles can be between buddies. I once asked around unrepresentatively: None of the Mario Kart drivers in my area knew that you could race against friend ghosts.
I think that’s a missed opportunity, but maybe the next Mario Kart will be different. Here is my partial list of suggestions on what Nintendo could do better:
- Remove the stupid restriction that you can only have 16 ghosts downloaded on the switch at a time. Seriously, why do I have to delete a ghost on one track just so I can race another ghost on another track?
- Make it possible to fight against several ghosts at the same time
- List friends’ best times separately from global times
- In-game notifications when a friend beats their best time
- List in the duel statistics who is ahead on how many distances.
So now please beat my 2:07.821 in the Wario Arena. That goes for you too, Robert. You rag!