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When playing with friends, we all noticed that sometimes we'd get a random boost of speed seemingly out of nowhere, usually when we're trying to pass someone. Often it would screw us up by sending us off the track or sometimes help by letting us pass the opponents, but there seemed to be no pattern for when it happens.
What are the criteria/requirements for this random boost to happen?

3 Answers 3

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Drafting, also known as slipstreaming, is a technique that allows for a short speed boost. If a player trails behind another racer for a certain period of time, the player's vehicle receives a temporary speed boost. If the position is held for about 3-5 seconds, the player will be surrounded in a blue wind with a modest speed increase. The boost lasts for about 3 seconds, or until the player hits a wall, obstacle, racer, or item. It can last as long as a Mushroom boost.

Screenshot from Mario Kart 8 of drafting effect:
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If this is online, it is more than likely lag through the lack of good internet/signal from one of the players. If not, it may be a side effect on one of the tracks. Or it could be drafting..

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  • I wasn't aware it was when you were approaching to pass someone :/
    – Nerd4Death
    Jun 22, 2014 at 5:19
  • We didn't realize it mostly happened when passing someone, because it sometimes happened, sometimes didn't. It seemed very random. Only after I found about the drafting, I realized that it usually happens when there's a lot of racers in one big mob. :x
    – Elise
    Jun 22, 2014 at 5:37
  • This article has information on all the boosts you can get in Mario Kart 8
    – Caleb
    Jun 22, 2014 at 5:39
  • Ah ok, well good luck playing! :D
    – Nerd4Death
    Jun 22, 2014 at 5:44
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In addition to Chippies' answer, I'd like to add another scenario:

If you pass by someone who has either triple Mushrooms or Crazy 8 equipped and touch a Mushroom, you will get a speed boost from it (you can also claim invincibility if you touch the Star on someone else's Crazy 8!)

However, unlike touching a hazardous item or a 'shroom dropped on the track, this does not consume the Mushroom

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