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I have downloaded a few world record time trial ghosts. In them (as expected) they take corners perfectly, execute shortcuts precisely and generally fly around the map ridiculously quickly.

But it seems that a key part of the strategy is to constantly jump and turn (even on straights). Whenever I have tried this it has resulted in me slowing down or turning off course.

What is the technique to doing this? How does this actually cause the karts to go so fast?

7

These players are utilizing a technique that's been dubbed as "fire hopping" or "frogging". This technique allows players to prolong a speed boost by hopping. This happens because players lose boost speed faster when in contact with the ground than in the air.

All vehicles are capable of fire hopping, except for sports bikes, because of their unique drift hop style.

Some players consider this technique to be an exploit, as it doesn't appear to be intended by the developers, but others do not. You can read more about it (and view it in action) in this Kotaku article.

Drifting or turning on straightaways is not beneficial in MK8 (although it was in MK:DS), but players will often begin drifting into a turn before they actually reach that turn. This is to build up a boost faster and to cut the turn as close as possible.

  • Also, related question and answer: What techniques can be used for faster time trial runs in Mario Kart 8? – Brian Mar 16 '15 at 18:19
  • What is the physical mechanics of doing this? How do you not go crashing out when attempting this? – Stephen Mar 16 '15 at 23:19
  • Just pressing the jump button after your boost triggers should be effective. If you're going straight, don't hold it down or you'll go into a drift if your vehicle is turning at all. Watch the video in the Kotaku article if you need to get a feel for the timing. – Brian Mar 17 '15 at 2:59
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When you boost, touching the ground slows you down to normal speed pretty fast. Jumping helps you prolong the effect from the boosting, by slowing you down only when you touch the ground between jumps.

  • Why do they constantly turn, even on straights? For example, with the starting boost, even if I execute it perfectly and jump as quickly as possible, the turning pro is powering away from me. – Stephen Mar 11 '15 at 23:38
  • 1
    I'm assuming they are drifting for a boost, rather than actually turning. – Elise Mar 11 '15 at 23:40
  • Also, afaik, you can't jump without turning. – Elise Mar 11 '15 at 23:41
  • 2
    You can jump without turning. Try driving in a straight line and jumping. It works. You can even jump on the spot, if you are stopped. – Stephen Mar 11 '15 at 23:42
  • I haven't played the game in a while, so you're probably right. – Elise Mar 12 '15 at 2:05
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Just like in real life, the speed of your cart is detrimened by the amount of frictin you have. this means that on the ground you wiil be slower because, of course, friction on the ground is higher than in the air. therefore you should jump the f*ck up!! :)

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