Karting Tactics

Here is a list of Mario Kart 64 tactics. It's a bit oriented towards beginners, but you never know if you'll find something to help your game.

Turbo Start
A necessity for fast times. Press "A" just before the green (well, blue) light and you're off. Once you do this one a lot you can do it by sound!

Basics of Cornering 101
These are tactics the very beginners may want to start off with.
1. Regular Turns: Simply move the control stick. Not too tough. Once you get good you
----should hardly ever do this.
2. Hopping: While going around a corner, press the "R" button repeatedly. The character will
----hop with every press. This tactic is used even by the masters, so learn it.
3. Powersliding: Like a hop, but harder to perfect. Press and hold the "R" button while going
----around the turn. You can move the analog stick left and right while doing this to adjust
----your kart slightly. This must be learned also.

Intermediate Cornering 202
This tactic are used by any and every good karter so it is a must-learn.
1. Mini-Turbo: This move gives you a burst of speed that obviously helps improve those
----times. It's a toughy to learn though. Start with a powerslide (see above) and while sliding,
----move the control stick left and right. The color of the smoke will change from white to
----orange to red. Ideally, you want to have the smoke red at the end of a corner. Release the
----"R" button and watch your speed increase! This will take a LOT of practice. You may want
----to refer to the instruction booklet also.

Advanced Cornering 303
These tactics are the official tactics of all King and Elite karters. The ultimate in times comes from learning these tactics.
1. Combination Turning: Not to difficult to figure out. Combine multiple turn tactics. Some
----examples: Mini-Turbo and then hopping, Powersliding and shrooming (more on
----shrooming below), etc. Anything to save precious seconds.
2. Multiple MT's: Many corners in the game leave themselves open to multiple mini-turbos.
----For instance, just about every corner in Rainbow Road. Instead of holding the slide all the
----way through pull off a couple of mini-turbos for the added boost.

Other Turning Tactics
Other "not used much" turning moves.
1. The A+B Turn: For quick turn-arounds only. Must be at stand still and press and hold the
----"A" and "B" buttons and move the control stick either direction. This move is used very

Some more moves to learn
Just a few more moves to improve times.
1. Straight Stretch MT's: Pull off a mini-turbo while going on a straight away. Not simple, but
----not impossible.
2. Corner cutting/hopping: Often there are corners you can either cut through to drop time,
----or corners you can hop over (Sherbet Land anyone?). Usually, a mini-turbo into the corner
----and a hop will put you in the right spot, but sometimes, you'll need multiple hops (if you're
----going through grass).

Well, you got 3 per 3 laps so you might as well know the correct ways to use them.
Shrooms are activated by the "Z" button or the bottom "C" button. They are a drastic increase of speed for a limited time. Here are some shrooming tips.
1. Corners: Shrooms should always be used on corners or hills. I have a hard time thinking
----of any spot where you use a shroom on a straight-away. It just isn't the way to go.
----However, which corner to shroom on is a different story altogether.
2. MT Shroom: Often, you will need to shroom around a corner and pull off a mini-turbo at
----the end. It's nothing difficult once you get mini-turboing down, but it has to be done
----quickly and efficiently.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Easily, the most important thing. Practice the courses! Learn every corner, the best spots to shroom, where to MT, when to MT, etc. Be one with the course (well, maybe taking it THAT far is kinda obsessive, but enjoy the course). Have fun! What's the point in playing if you don't enjoy it. Happy Karting!