Though it is designed as a fun family pastime, Mario Kart 8 and its predecessors are not only the most popular kart racers in the world, but also the most competitive. Friends and online players alike vie for racing glory and bragging rights on the track, and while many players prefer to use their favorite characters, some players built as optimally as possible. For the latter group, this guide will cover some of the game's best character/kart setups.
Best Character and Kart Combos in Mario Kart 8
The Koopa King sports a few builds that offer a couple of different play styles. With the Bandwagon kart, Cyber Slick tires, and Super glider, Bowser can reach 5.75 speed, making him tied among the fastest builds in the game. The same goes for a build of P-Wing kart, Gold tires, and Hylian Kite. However, a more balanced build exists that sacrifices some of Bowser's speed for better handling and much better acceleration. Utilizing the Landship kart, Standard tires, and Cloud glider, Bowser becomes a much easier character to play in 200cc while still holding a high top speed.
While her adult self shines in Mario Strikers: Battle League, Baby Daisy can be found tearing up the track in Mario Kart 8. Utilizing the Pipe Frame, Standard tires, and Wario Wing, Daisy builds focus heavily on acceleration and handling over speed. While this puts her at a disadvantage against high-speed builds, she makes up for this weakness with incredible control on turns and quick bursts of speed in between said turns. This build is perfect for players that struggle with 200cc's punishing speeds, as it makes handling at top speed much easier. Another Daisy build that serves the same purpose is the Biddybuggy kart, Roller tires, and Cloud glider.
Speaking of high speed builds, Dry Bowser is one of the characters capable of reaching the coveted 5.75 speed, which is the maximum possible for the game. Dry Bowser can do so with multiple builds, such as B Dasher kart, Metal Tires, and Gold glider. He can also use a build consisting of the Mercedes GLA kart, Slick tires, and Hylian Kite. Both builds reach the top speed possible while reducing stats in most other categories. However, this is a typical tradeoff when using big characters and building specifically for speed.
Wario is another character who can reach 5.75 speed, and thus is at the center of some of the game's best builds. Using the Circuit Special kart, Metal tires, and his own Wario Wing, like Dry Bowser Wario sacrifices other stats for pure speed, allowing for skilled players to leave the competition in the dust. This build also works with the Mercedes GLA kart and Gold tires, allowing for some options when customizing your kart's look.
The last of the 5.75 speed characters is Morton, who holds two builds that both focus on as much speed as possible. Using the P-Wing kart, Cyber Slick Tires, and Waddle Wing, Morton is tied for first place in speed. The Circuit Special kart, Slick tires, and Plane Glider offer the same speed stat, making for two builds that each pack a devastating punch but can suffer on turns, especially in 200cc.
For more information on Mario Kart 8, check out What’s included in the Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Pass? and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass 2022/2023 Roadmap from Pro Game Guides!