Mario Kart 8 Items Guide – How To Effectively Use and Counter

By   /   May 31, 2014

Mario Kart 8, like its predecessor, features a large arsenal of items (20 to be exact) which can be found during races to put you an advantage against rival racers.

For more help on Mario Kart 8, read our Character Stats, Cheats Secrets and Unlocks Guide.

Mario Kart 8 Items

Old Mario Kart players will immediately notice some returning items from Mario Kart 7 along with a bunch of novel items. In this guide, I’ll be explaining what each item in the game does along with its effective usage.

Items are picked up randomly from racing tracks from roulette in the upper-left corner of the screen which can be stopped on player’s will. Furthermore, note that each character is only allowed to use one item at a given time.

Furthermore, probability of getting some items is tied to your position in the race. For instance, probability of getting Triple-Bananas is higher for top four racers than the rest of them. However, this is just an educated guess since last place players also receive Triple-Bananas.

Coin Item
Collecting Coin Item provides you with two additional coins, but only if you aren’t on 10 Coins already.

In addition to this, if you check my Speed Boost Tips and Tricks Guide, I have mentioned that how getting Coin Item increases your top speed momentarily. Therefore, it’s good to always collect them even if you’re on 10 Coins.

Banana Item
After collecting a Banana, there are a couple of things you can do with it. You can either throw it behind your kart, in front of your kart, or attach it behind your kart.

Any rival racer driving over Banana Item will turn turtle and spin out, but you need to careful as the same can happen to you.

Banana Item is very useful in many different ways. For instance, you can throw them at narrow/blind turns where it would be difficult for your opponents to spot them. You can also place them at top of the ramps which works great most of the times.

Another decent place to throw Banana Item is behind an Item Box. Most racers will most likely get to the Item Box and find themselves slipping. And lastly, attaching a Banana Item behind your kart will ensure that you’re not pursued by drafters.

Triple Bananas Item
As the name suggests, with this item, you’ll receive three bananas revolving around your car, saving you from most attacks. However, each banana can only sustain only one hit.

When it comes to their use, Triple Banana Item works exactly like regular Banana Item that it used to spin out the rival racers. With the three of them, you’ll be able to throw them in an alignment near ramps or narrow/blind turns.

The best way to use Triple Banana Item is to ram into other racers which will immediately spin them out. You need to be careful though, as one of your bananas will disappear after a hit.

With only two bananas in your barrier, you’ll be vulnerable to different attacks from various sides.

Green Shell
Green Shell is a very important item as it is used to turn over rival’s racers’ karts. A Green Shell will keep on running on the track until it hits a racer or falls into a pit. Its ability to bounce off walls is ideal for hitting targets from sideways.

Although it requires practice and extremely precise timing, but directly hitting a rival kart with Green Shell will put you on a huge advantage.

An easy way out is to launch a Green Shell in narrow areas where it will bounce off walls and will eventually hit a target. You can also throw them backwards at drafting opponents, just like Banana Items.

As for getting rid of them, you need to have Banana Item at your disposal to effectively avoid them. Also keep on dodging it by driving sideways until it hits another kart.

Triple Green Shells
Just like Triple Banana Item, this item will surround your vehicle with 3 Green Shells unless you hit something or drop them off. Each Green Shell will only be able to sustain one hit.

With Triple Green Shells around your vehicle, you can bump into rival karts and turn them over. You can also aim at your target by rapidly firing them which will give your target less time to react.

Finally, you won’t be able to attach them to your vehicle, but you’ll still be able to throw them in any direction.

Red Shell
Red Shells work identically like Green Shells in the sense that they can be thrown in any direction and can also be attached behind your vehicle to keep away drafters.

When we talk about differences, unlike Green Shells, Red Shells will go and zero in for a direct hit. However, these shells are automatically destroyed after hitting a wall or any other objects, meaning that they cannot bounce.

With the exception of Defensive Items (Banana Items or Green Shells), there is no way one can avoid/dodge Red Shells. Other than this, you can also position your kart in such a way that incoming the Red Shell hits a wall.

One of the best ways to use Red Shells is to aim them at opponents who are in the air which will instantly send to pit below.

Triple Red Shell
This can be one of the most amazing or frustrating items in the game, depending upon who’s using it.

Triple Red Shells work identically like Triple Green Shells, except that Green Shells are replaced by Red Shells. That’s it!

Blue Shells
Returning Mario Kart players will instantly recognize Blue Shell from Mario Kart 7.

When launched, Blue Shell travels directly to the rival racer in first place – knocking down every racer in its path – before finally hitting the first racer with a blast. Furthermore, anyone caught in the blast radius will also get turned over.

A word of warning: If you’re on first place and you use a Blue Shell, it’ll explode on you. Furthermore, you won’t be able to thrown Blue Shells in backward or attach them to your kart.

The best way to use Blue Shell is to save it unless you’re close to first racer. Otherwise, it won’t do you any good. Your opponents will most likely give you place to move ahead seeing a Blue Shell at your disposal since it cannot be blocked by a Banana Item or any other shell.

If you see a Blue Shell coming for you (being in first position), immediately slow down to give the first position to some other racer so don’t get caught in the impact.

Super Horn
If Blue Shell is the worst nightmare of every racer, then Super Horn is the worst nightmare of the Blue Shell. This horn basically sends out a sonic wave (having an insanely large blast radius) for a couple of seconds which not only flips over every racer, but also destroys Banana Items, Green, Red and even Blue Shells.

The best way to use Super Horn is behind a crowd of rival racers. Simply get behind them and honk your horn for instant crowd control. The only bummer of Super Horn is that it can be used only once.

Being in first position and having a Super Horn at your disposal is the best thing you can ever get! However, it’s pretty hard to get your hands on this item at first positions.

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