Best Mario Kart 8 Setup: Fastest Character, Kart and Tire Combo (2024 Edition)

By Klein Felt Posted:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Villager Girl, Mario on Mario Kart holding Super Mushroom, Inkling Girl

Finding that perfect Mario Kart 8 setup can be a complicated process, as the game features dozens of unique characters, tires, and karts to choose from. 

Since the very beginning of the Mario Kart franchise, an element of customization for each player has been present.

What started as picking a unique character with different weights and sets of attributes has snowballed into being able to completely hand-pick a particular build with different kart elements and a myriad of personalities from across the Mushroom Kingdom to choose from. 

What Is the Best Mario Kart 8 Setup?

Mario drifting around a corner in Mario Kart 8

Those still playing Mario Kart 8 (more than a decade since its initial launch), have spent years honing in on the best and fastest kart setup, including character, kart, and tires. 

These unique customizable elements, which were first introduced in 2012's Mario Kart 7, allow a player to create a unique build for them. 

Each different tire, character, kart, and glider combination produces a different setup with distinct properties, affecting stats like acceleration, weight, traction (on/off-road), mini turbo, and top speed. 

This means by crunching some numbers, one can find an optimal (fastest) build to take into races. 

Mario Kart 8 features 52 characters, 41 karts, 22 tires, and 15 gliders, this makes for 703,560 total kart setup combinations to choose from. 

This number, however, is slightly inflated as some items, kart parts, and characters share identical statistics to others. This means there really are only 25,704 combos in the game when taking these duplicates into account. 

Here is how to find the absolute best in each category (according to data collected by economist Antoine Mayerowitz), for the fastest kart build in Mario Kart 8:

Best Character

Cat Peach posing and looking at the camera in Mario Kart 8

When looking at the best character to choose from on the Mario Kart 8 roster, there are two statistics to keep in mind, speed and acceleration. 

Picking a fast character that does not accelerate well will leave a player trailing behind when hit by items or getting going from the starting line. 

Flipping the equation, a character left coming to its top speed incredibly fast, just without the peak momentum of some of their rivals on the track. 

For a character that sits perfectly in the middle of that top speed/acceleration equilibrium, players should loot to Cat Peach, Villager (Female), Inkling Girl, or Diddy Kong. 

All four of these racers sit exactly in the middle of the two statistics, being faster than characters who accelerate the same like Toad and Koopa.

The Best Racers: Cat Peach, Villager (Female), Inkling Girl, or Diddy Kong

Key Stats (Out of 10):

  • Weight - 3
  • Acceleration - 4
  • Top Speed - 5
  • Traction - 2.5

Best Kart

Yoshi driving a Teddy Buggy kart in Mario Kart 8

When looking at what kart to go with when headed into a Grand Prix or one of Mario Kart 8's other modes, there are a few very viable options. 

Just like with picking a character, there are several statistical factors to account for in deciding on a kart. 

While acceleration and top speed are the biggest variables to look into when picking a character, karts throw in a few more numbers like mini turbo and handling. 

Optimizing for overall weight, mini turbo, speed, and acceleration one kart stands out among the pack, the Teddy Buggy. 

This adorable fur-lined racing kart is favored among many pro players, creating a well-handling driving experience that does not compromise on speed. 

The Best Kart: Teddy Buggy

Key Stats (Out of 10):

  • Weight - 2
  • Acceleration - 5
  • Top Speed - 2.75
  • Traction - 3.5

Best Tires

Toadette dancing in a kart in Mario Kart 8

As with picking the kart, the wheels can slightly affect the various statistical categories in Mario Kart 8

Each of the different tires available can affect the way a kart drives, how fast it goes, and what sort of turbo potential is there when coming out of drifts or getting a boost-based item. 

Once a player has a character and kart picked, the tires will only change a build so much, but in a game of inches (like the intense practice of playing Mario Kart), it is those subtle changes that can be the difference between first and second place. 

With that in mind, one tire remains king in Mario Kart 8 (no matter the kart they are on or the character driving it). 

The best tires in the game (and a popular choice in the professional Mario Kart scene) are the Roller Tires. 

These wheels are known for their red hue and yellow central lug nut, making them easily identifiable when scrolling through the kart customization menu. 

The Best Tires: Roller Tires

Key Stats (Out of 10):

  • Weight - 0
  • Acceleration - 6
  • Top Speed - 1.5
  • Traction - 2

The Best Setup

To conclude, there are plenty of viable options to go with when picking a Mario Kart setup. However, one particular build stands out among them all. 

For the absolute (mathematically) best setup in Mario Kart 8 pick either Cat Peach, Villager (Female), Inkling Girl, or Diddy Kong as a character, the Teddy Buggy kart, and roller tires. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available now on Nintendo Switch. 

Read more about gaming on The Direct:

The Division Movie Release, Cast & Everything We Know

Five Nights at Freddy's 2 Movie: Release Date, Cast and Everything We Know

New Fable 4 Release Window Target Revealed By Xbox Insider

Elden Ring DLC Release Time Gets Officially Confirmed by Studio

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.