7 Tips to be a Pro at Mario Kart 7
Nearing the 8000 VR mark I can safely say that I’ve seen almost everything that the online portion of Mario Kart 7 has to offer: highly skilled racers, noobs, brilliant strategies, nasty ones, glitches, bugs, epic comebacks, and epic losses too. Sure, there are many other players with even higher VRs, but from this level on the skill level doesn’t really change that much between people with 8000, 9000 or even 10000 VR.
So let’s see which are the cornerstones of good Mario Kart 7 racing and what things should you do to improve your game and even beat those “3 Stars 15000+ VR” japs.
1. Understand that skill won’t always make you win: This is something that many people can’t seem to understand, but the fact is that Mario Kart isn’t a conventional racer and unlike for example Gran Turismo 5, good driving won’t always get you the first position.
Get Blue Shelled at 20 meters from the finish only to have all the “pack” come behind you and massacrate you with Red Shells will likely make you finish last, or at least not in the first positions. If this happens just accept that luck plays an important role in MK7 and that you can go from 1st to 8th position in just a few seconds, and move on.
The opposite can also happen, I’ve been able to go up from 8th to 1st position on the last lap with just some good items and some Mushroom-enabled shortcuts.
With that said, skill is obviously very important too, and you’ve got to learn to combine some sleek racing with a strategic use of items.
2. Play defensive: One of the cornerstones of good MK7 skillfull playing is pretty simple: always have a defensive item hanging at the back of your kart, be it a Banana or a Shell (not a Bomb, if someone hits you it will explode, hitting you and everyone around). The “Triple Banana” item is the holy grail of Mario Kart 7 if you are in the first position since it will allow you to take 3 different projectiles aimed at you from behind.
But knowing when to go on the offensive is also on the key aspects of MK and what will make you become a “pro” player instead of merely a “good” one. This brings us to…
3. Know when to use your assets: Say you are on the 2nd position, it’s the last lap, and you’ve got a Red Shell (RS). The pack is really tight and a single hit can cost you 5+ positions.
Most people will go for the safest route, which is just playing defensive with the Red Shell as protection and finishing 2nd. Pretty good! But 1st nets you many more points… let’s see if could have gone for it!
In this cases you must evaluate the risk/reward ratio. If the nearest players behind you don’t have any shells or projectiles (just some bananas or a mushroom), then go for the 1st player. Hit him with the Red Shell! Make sure he doesn’t have a banana hanging out though (most will have).
The key moment is just before an item pickup since many players tend you drop their items at that exact moment. Try to launch your RS when that happens. Of course sometimes it won’t work, but, in a nutshell: you’ve also got to use your items aggressively.
4. Watch the bottom screen for items once in a while: Now, you should obviously concentrate on the road before you, but try to peek at the item screen when you are in a straight line (for example) to watch for dangerous items like Blue Shells (BS) or Lighting Bolts (LB).
If you see a Blue Shell you can try to slow down to second position before it’s launched although this is usually not worth it since people tend to launch it really quickly. If you are about to get hit with a BS use whatever item you had in the most possible “annoying” way and try to get near your rivals so that they also get hit by the BS explosion.
If someone has a Lightning Bolt the only thing you can do is to try to NOT be in the air at that moment, since you will fall to your doom.
5. Drift, always drift: This is a very basic one, but know that drifting is essential to be any good at Mario Kart 7. Drift as closely as possible to corners and walls, and always aim for the Red Miniturbo if you can . Even in small curves you can always try to get a Blue Miniturbo which can help a lot.
Also, try to use the mini-boost to get over short off-road terrain sections which will lead you to a launchpad such as in Luigi’s Mansion or in Dino Dino Jungle.
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