Getting 5 stars on some Mario Kart Tour courses is much harder to do than others, especially if you haven’t pulled the best drivers. You can still pull ahead and get 5 stars on a race if you know the layout, and know how to make the most of what the game gives you.
In this guide, we’re going to look at what you can do to earn more stars by pulling better drivers, learning the level layouts, and making use of combos.
These Mario Kart Tour tips do not apply to the newly-released multiplayer mode.
Earning 5 Stars in Mario Kart Tour
There are two basic areas to focus on when striving for 5 stars:
- Getting better drivers and gliders
- Using the environment to your advantage
To start off, we’ll look at using the favored driver, kart, and glider for each race. These picks vary between courses, so the more options you have, the better.
Typically a course will feature four to seven top-tier favored drivers, seven to ten mid-tier drivers, and then the rest of the drivers get lumped into the bottom tier.
Using the top tier favored option not only gives you the best starting score — potentially in the 1,500 range or even higher — but also changes how many items you pull per item box.
Only a top tier favored driver has the possibility of getting a frenzy by pulling three of the same item from an item box, which virtually guarantees hitting 5 stars for a level because of the huge number of bonus points up for grabs.
There’s more to keep in mind here than just picking the right favored driver, though. Every single driver, kart, and glider can be leveled up independently of one another. The more experience they have, the more starting points you get when beginning any race.
Using any driver, kart, or glider in races automatically earns experience, or you can use tickets to boost their experience outside of a race.
Driver Points Up, Kart Points Up, and Glider Points Up tickets are also offered as tour rewards, or show up randomly in the shop for 100 coins.
There’s another reason to keep going for more pipe pulls besides expanding your roster: pulling the same driver, kart, or glider from the pipe that you already have also moves them up to a higher skill level.
Increasing amounts of duplicate pulls are required to reach higher skill levels. You only need one duplicate to hit level 2, but need five duplicates to hit level 3. Here’s what you get for each skill level up:
- Driver: Increased frenzy chance, increased bonus points boost
- Kart: Increased multiplier on all bonus points earned
- Glider: Bonus to total combo time
That last one has the potential to see your score drastically increase in any given course, as combos are the single most important thing to keep in mind when trying to hit five stars in Mario Kart Tour.
Building and maintaining a combo is done by performing absolutely any type of action that earns points, from a rocket boost to driving over a dash panel to hitting an opponent with a shell. The longer your combo goes without running out, the more bonus points you earn.
While available objects and items can change based on your current course and your position in the race, these are the specific actions to chain together to keep your combo going as long as possible:
- Start every match with the highest possible rocket boost score
- Hit traffic cones in the Neo Bowser City courses or in Daisy Hills R
- Break jars in Shy Guy Bazaar courses
- Run over smaller jump boosts clustered together in Choco Island courses
- Bump over seaweed and clams in Cheep Cheep Lagoon courses
- Hit coins while driving on any course
- Tap like mad during a frenzy, as you have unlimited opportunity during the short lived frenzies to earn points
- Successfully strike another driver with an item or special racer skill
- Perform a slipstream maneuver when clustered close to other drivers
- Drift as often as possible to always have a mini turbo boost ready (if you use the manual drift option, there is a third tier of turbo boost available for more points)
- Hit the finish line sign while gliding
- Remain gliding for longer periods of time by bouncing off objects like balloons
- Look for off road “shortcut” locations with objects to hit — these locations can only be accessed by using a mushroom to boost off the road, or by landing in that spot after gliding
To keep your combo going and ensure you hit 5 stars for the course, you need to combine all of these potential actions together.
For instance, here’s a possible combo to work towards:
- Run over a series of traffic cones
- Fire off an item
- Start drifting to initiate a mini turbo boost just as the combo time is about to run out
- Drive over a dash panel and
- Hit a series of coins.
The more actions committed in succession without running out of combo time, the better.
Sometimes its not possible to keep a combo going, but in most cases it can be maintained for large swathes of any given course just by paying attention.
Keep an eye on the driver locations on the mini map when using items. Using the super horn isn’t helpful if you are in 1st place and far ahead of the other drivers, for instance.
Don’t forget you can launch any item backward or forward by changing the direction of your swipe, so its still possible to hit drivers with a shell even if you are in first place. On the flip side, throwing banana peels forward is usually a bad idea.
In long stretches without an item box, don’t forget to use an item ticket by tapping the icon at the top of the screen. If you’ve already run out, item tickets pop into the shop randomly in the top left spot for 100 coins.
Finally, make sure to take a moment and look through your kart and glider roster before your next race. Each kart offers a bonus to points earned through specific action types.
For example, the Red Kiddie Kart provides bonus points when performing slipstreams, while the Landship gives bonus points anytime you use a mini turbo. In courses with plenty of curves for drifting, that can be the difference between 4 and 5 stars
On the other side, each glider makes it more likely you will pull a specific type of item from any item boxes, even if you aren’t on that glider’s favored course.
If you have trouble with a certain level, it may be worth using the Waluigi Wing — which boosts your chance to get a Bullet Bill — even if it isn’t the favored glider. Love the red shells instead? The Royal Parachute boosts your chances of pull that item. Look through all the options to find a combo that works best for your playstyle.
Want to earn more stars and rubies in any given tour? Head over to our our other Mario Kart Tour challenge guides including:
- Cause opponents to crash 5 times underwater
- Pass through 10 dash rings
- Pick up 5 dropped mushrooms using a driver with a ribbon
- Find the course with the most coins
- How to take out 3 Thwomps
- How to get a 40 – 60 point rocket start