Hit That Purple Spark: Beginner's Guide to Hidden Stats in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

How hidden stats work in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and how to utilize them to build the best combinations for any situation.

There are 5 main stats in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Speed, Acceleration, Weight, Handling, and Traction. But did you know there are Hidden Stats on characters and karts that wildly impact things like how well you drive underwater or how easily you build Mini-Turbo?

That's right, if you've ever had a hard time on a water track or found the new purple Ultra Mini-Turbos tricky to pull off, you may benefit from a better combination. Before you dive into the ocean of Hidden Stats, however, it helps to know what they can do to help you.

The Nuances of Speed & Handling in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

In the stats window that pops up when you press the + or - button while selecting your kart parts, you'll see a variety of attributes including Speed and Handling. If you've been racing repeatedly with a combination, you may start to feel like your Speed and Handling stats aren't reflected in every situation.

That's because the displayed value specifically depicts the combo's Speed and Handling while on the Ground. There are indeed different, hidden Speed and Handling stats attributed to other environments.

  • High Water attributes help with your speed and ability to turn while underwater. Note that this doesn't affect your potential in shallow currents such as the ones found in Wild Woods and Big Blue.
  • High Air attributes help with your Speed and Handling while gliding. This doesn't affect your potential on jumps and isn't really worth building a combination around.
  • High Anti-Gravity attributes help with your Speed and Handling on Anti-Gravity sections of the course, where your wheels aren't touching the ground. Time Trials on tracks like Mute City, Rainbow Road, and Big Blue really benefit from combinations based on this stat.

For casual online racing, these stats aren't really too important. However, when you're working on Time Trials, it helps to create the best combination for each track if you hope to hit top speeds.

That doesn't mean all hidden stats are useless in casual play, however.

Why You Should Build for Mini-Turbo in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The Nintendo Switch version of MK8D introduced a third, purple tier of drift boost: the Ultra Mini-Turbo. This new Mini-Turbo boosts your speed for a whopping 2.633 seconds -- which is truly monstrous compared to the orange and blue turbos that only boost you for 1.674 and 0.621 seconds respectfully.

The catch is that the level 3 Mini-Turbo is generally difficult to pull off on most turns. However, you can minimize the effort needed to pull off an Ultra Mini-Turbo by increasing the hidden Mini Turbo stat.

Mini-Turbo Build vs General Speed Build

This was never a good idea before, since getting a blue and orange Mini-Turbo is incredibly easy. But the purple drift boost makes it worth it. The higher your Mini-Turbo stat, the easier it is to achieve the lucrative purple spark boost.

Unfortunately, higher Mini-Turbo stats means sacrificing some Speed, so be careful to make the cuts where appropriate. Try to maximize the possible amount of Speed and Mini-Turbo you can get together -- the Rosalina build in the above picture is a decent example.

If you pump up your Mini-Turbo stat and still have trouble hitting purple drift boosts, then I suggest checking to make sure that you have Auto-Steering turned off. Otherwise, just work on extending your drifts and you'll get the hang of it eventually.

You can find a complete list of updated hidden stats on the Mario wiki.

Are you going to try any new combos? Share your best kart combinations in the comments below! Looking for more Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tips? Check out a few of our guides:

Games Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Genres Racing Platforms Nintendo Switch Tags build
Published May. 24th 2017

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