After the introductory Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup is where the circuits start becoming more interesting. The circuits offer more drift potential, the shortcuts are becoming trickier – but also more rewarding, and the strategies are requiring more nuance rather than simply ‘fastest player wins.’ This article goes over all the shortcuts, strategies, and best practices of every single course of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s Flower Cup. You’ll also read which item you need for a shortcut (if any at all), how to deal with it on 200 cc compared to 150 cc, and some general words of advice to leave your adversaries eating your dust. Let’s dive right in!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Booster Course Pass is available on the Nintendo Switch for $84.98
Also, check out the guides on other cups!
- Mushroom Cup
- Star Cup (coming soon)
- Special Cup (coming soon)
You’d almost forget, but virtually 90% of this course is in anti-gravity. So don’t be afraid to stick close to other racers to take those anti-gravity jump boosts. There aren’t many shortcuts here, but keep your corners as tight as possible to get the fastest time.
- If you’ve read the last guide, you know there’s time to be saved in corners. In the first major corner after the bridge, use a mushroom to outmaneuver the other racers. If you have several mushrooms, you can cut the corner even closer. On 200 cc, a single mushroom will do the trick.
- When you cross the bridge again, there’s another turn nearly identical to the first one. And yes, you can use the same shortcut strategy here. Use a mushroom to maneuver between the pipes to save a bit of time. Be careful to avoid the pipes and the Piranha Plants, though.
- There’s a nice little glider ramp at the center of the course, which can give you a nice boost and a tricking opportunity. It’s faster than just driving, so always take the ramp to graciously fly over the finish line.
Toad Harbor is riddled with small shortcuts and split paths that make this circuit a blast to drive through. When you pull a mushroom or a star, there’s always a good spot nearby to use it. Taking the right paths and using the shortcuts to your advantage will give you a major edge in achieving victory on this fun track.
- Right out the gate, there’s a grass field you can cut through with a mushroom. You won’t have that item on lap 1 (unless you’re Time Trialing, of course), but it’s a shortcut well worth taking when you happen to get hold of a mushroom around that area of the circuit. However, this shortcut is also possible with a well-timed drift and hop, especially on 200 cc.
- This shortcut is nearly mandatory. Trick of the ramp to take the boost on the boat. In a crowded field, this shortcut does have the risk to get you bumped off, but if you drive steadily you won’t run into problems. You don’t need a mushroom for this section.
- The top part is considerably faster. Here, you can do tricks off of the market stands, and you won’t have to deal with annoying boxes littering the ground below. If your alignment is right after the first lap, definitely take this route. Otherwise, don’t bother too much. The lower path is certainly slower, but it’s still okay.
- A branch path if I’ve ever seen one! The right option to take here is the right path, the one that goes up and then swirls over the other one. Although it is faster, the left path is the only one with a double-item box.
- Here, you’ll have the option between driving on the wall and driving between the trolleys. The best option in general is always to go where the least amount of other people are, to avoid items, and take more coins for yourself. That said, the fastest path here is to take a tight turn to the right of the trolley, and just leave the wall for what it is.
- When you launch yourself on the boost paths, you may have the opportunity to land on a trolley. Do this! When you land on one, it gives you a massive boost that will propel you through this section. This one isn’t always available, but when the situation presents itself, definitely go for it.
- You can take a left here and snag some easy coins. Very few people take this route, so it can be a nice way to avoid some of the frantic Mario Kart racing that you will undoubtedly encounter in the next shortcut.
- This is the biggest shortcut of the lap, and it’s mutually exclusive to the seventh shortcut. Use a mushroom to cut through the grass, skipping the turn entirely. In 200 cc, you can even use a hop and a mini turbo to clear the grass without any item.
- Finally, near the finish line, there’s another opportunity to divert from the main course. This isn’t really faster or slower, but it does give you the room to maneuver to avoid some annoying items, and that’s always nice.
Twisted Mansion is the obligatory haunted house course in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. And as you can expect in a haunted house, it’s filled with supernatural illusions and crooked twists. Twisted Mansion offers some enormous shortcuts, but by taking the right branching paths you can also save considerable time.
- Right off the bet, the mansion lets you pick between two paths. You’re going to want to go with the path on the left. Although the paths are mirrored, this path will let you make a tighter turn for the upcoming shortcut.
- That shortcut is right here. In between the bookshelves, there’s an additional path you can use a mushroom to get through.
- Another split path! Since the path on the left lets you take a tighter turn, that’s the one you should shoot for. However, it doesn’t matter all that much. If you see everyone ahead of you take the left path, take the right one.
- Now here’s a split path that has a very clear favorite. The top path is significantly faster than the bottom path. There really isn’t any reason to take the bottom path. Even the lack of other players doesn’t compare to how much faster the top path is.
- Twisted Mansion has a final, enormous shortcut in the last turn. Use a mushroom (or two) to cut through the grass. Be careful not to hit the signs, trees, or lantern posts, and you’ll pass everyone who doesn’t take this shortcut.
Shy Guy Falls
Shy Guy Falls has one of the trickiest shortcuts in the entire game, but mastering it is a rewarding challenge. This fast-paced track really proves that handling is king, far overtaking speed alone.
- Hey, another corner you can cut! Use a mushroom in the first corner to save some time. Of course, on both 150cc and 200cc, a nice drift and a hop will also do the trick.
- Don’t swerve too much in the boosts section of the waterfall. The boost paths aren’t generally too far apart before your boost runs out, so don’t go out of your way all the time to hit every single one passing. It’s faster and easier to just drive steadily forward here.
- Shy Guy Falls has one major branch path. The top path here is undoubtedly faster. However, it is also a lot more risky, and that has to do with the next shortcut.
- This is perhaps one of the most infamous and hardest shortcuts in all of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Drift in between the large stone pillars and trick off the ramp, after which you’ll have to make a hard right to stay on the track. Especially on higher ccs, staying on the circuit is very difficult. However, pull it off successfully and you’ll leave the competition to eat your dust. Especially in 150 cc and 200 cc, you won’t need a mushroom here. It could even be detrimental given how easy it is to fall off the track with this shortcut.
- If you really want to do it stylishly, you can use unleash a mini turbo and a hop (or just use a mushroom) to skip the final corner, letting you finish the Flower Cup in style.
And that’s all the shortcuts that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Flower Cup has to offer! Comment your favorite shortcut spots and strategies down below, and don’t forget to check out the other strategies and shortcuts for the other cups. See you next time for the excellent Star Cup!