Introduction: Mario Kart 64 Turbo Drifting

Purpose of this Guide

This guide is intended for anyone who would like to know the dynamics behind proper drifting in Mario Kart 64 for the Nintendo 64 gaming system. However many of the tips and tricks I will be listing below can be used in many of the other Mario Kart games as the dynamics remain the same but the game and controls for the other systems are different. That is to say that understanding and learning how to drift in this version of Mario Kart will allow you to more easily pick up drifting in future Mario Kart games.

For the purpose of this guide I will be limiting game play to the Time Trial mode as it is the best place for practicing drifting for many reasons.

1. Time trial mode means you are the only racer on the course so nobody will be throwing shells and zapping you with lightning’s that will interrupt your drift practice.

2. Each time you complete a race you can see if you have improved your drifting by racing your previous trials ghost. This allows a player to try and improve drift durations which allow a player to squeeze as many drifts into a turn or various straightaways.

The more drifts the better, many short duration complete drifts are better than one long complete drift.

What is Turbo Drifting?

Turbo Drifting is what happens when you finish a drift properly. It allows you to achieve a mini speed boost allowing you to race faster than those who do not use turbo drifting.

Equipment and Materials

· Nintendo 64 Console

· Mario Kart 64

· Time and Patience

Controls used
Strictly for Turbo Drifting


A Button : Accelerator

Joystick : Steering

Right Bumper : Press and release will give you a small hop, holding
this will give you a hop and then start you in a drift

Step 1: Start Up the Nintendo 64 System

Ensure your system is connected and properly set up and that the game is on and ready to go.

Step 2: Time Trials

Navigate through the menus to Time Trial Mode.

**Only available in single player mode. You do not have to use time trial mode but in other modes you are at the mercy of random variables such as non-player controlled characters hitting you with shells, and lightning’s which will minimize the amounts of drifts you are able to achieve. **

Step 3: Characters

Select a character, I recommend just using peach in time trials as she is the fastest character, followed by Toad and Yoshi for the lightweights, then Mario and Luigi as the mediums, and the rest as the heavy weights.

Step 4: Course Selection

Select a course. Following course selection Time Trial mode will begin just like any other game mode, with a 3 light count down.

**I would start with Luigi’s Raceway as it is the shortest and simplest of the 16 courses available with wide and lengthy turns.**

Step 5: Race Start

Start the race as you normally would by holding the accelerator/A Button and make it to the first turn which if you chose Luigi’s Raceway is right after the start.

**For an added boost at the begging of races hold down the Accelerator/A Button just as the 2nd light begins to disappear and before the 3rd one begins to light up**

Step 6: The First Turn

When you get to the first turn press and hold the right bumper to begin a drift and quickly place the stick in the opposite position from the turn. So if the turn you are about to drift in a left turn you will press and hold the right bumper while the joystick is held on the far left and then as the drift begins and you see the white v’s move the joystick to the far right side or opposite of the turn direction to maintain the drift.

Step 7: Beginning the Drift

The next step is to after starting and maintaining the drift is to progress the drift into a turbo drift. To do this you will while continuing to hold the right bumper you will quickly move the joystick back to the left position.

Step 8: Quick Stick Movement

Next you will quickly after moving back to the left position move it back to the right position. If you have done this correctly then you should have a trail of Yellow E’s.

Step 9: End of the Drift

To complete the drift properly you will do steps 6 and 7 once more. Following this if you did it correctly you should now have a trail of Red/Orange E’s trailing your kart.

Step 10: Exiting the Drift

Once you have achieved a trail of red E’s you may now release the Right bumper. If everything went accordingly then you should hear your character greet you with a successful drift sound clip.

**Princess Peach will either say “Here we go!” or “Peachy!” when completing a successful turbo drift with her**

Step 11: Practice!

Practice again and again until you have the hang of turbo drifting. This may take time and a bit of patience as not everyone gets it on their first try.

Step 12: Extra Notes and Tips!

· When you get the hang of drifting a few helpful tips for Grand Prix mode is to trail in first or second laps and grab a power item such a lightning or a Star and hold on to it while you turbo drift to the lead for use just in case you need it to defend your position.

· Learn to drift around course obstacles! Some courses have obstacles, either moving or stationary, that should be drifted around in order to achieve maximum efficiency. For example, in bowsers castle there are moving blocks (Throwmps) that you can drift around or under. This is important because hitting most obstacles will most of the time barring a glitch or error in the game result in lost efficiency due to a spin out.

· All characters have varying stats, Smaller, lighter characters handle looser and start faster, while heavy characters like Bowser have tighter handling and start slower. However heavy characters are useful for multiplayer races and battles because when other characters run into you or you into them have a chance to spin out. So if you become proficient with drifting with heavy characters you can use this to your advantage to lock out other characters from gaining the lead or whatever position you may be in.

· Just like in real life racing, wear and tear on equipment plays an important part in any race. In Mario Kart this is seen as wear and tear on the Joystick of the controller, years of play will leave some sticks bent or loose changing the exact position the stick needs to be in for proper drifting. Luckily though even long after Nintendo has stop making parts and controllers for the Nintendo 64, other companies and players have picked up the slack and parts to fix such issues are widely available on the cheap on sites such as eBay, amazon, and various 3rd party vendor sites, as well with accompanying repair guides. So if your competitiveness is anything like mine and my friends sticks will wear out fast and you’ll need to fix them so everybody has a fair chance to win based on skill and one’s own intelligence.

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