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In Mario Kart Wii you could ignore drifting a bit, and I never learned. On Mario Kart 8 it seems more important. I noticed that sometimes my engine flares up randomly. Is this it doing a little auto-drift? When do you get the speed burst? It seems random to me, but maybe it's when you come out of a turn?

Should I always drift when steering?

Last night I tried to start drifting on turns. One course didn't seem to have turns big enough to get a boost from. Do you need to be selective when drifting? Only large turns? Is there any reason not to do it on every turn? Even just around pillars in a cave?

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Yes, totally.

While drifting you can get a boost. Blue sparks coming from your tires signifies the first level of Boost, while orange sparks are level two. When you release the R button, you'll boost forward with flames coming from your tailpipe.

It's always suggested to drift each time you can to get those boosts, at least the blue one.

To drift successfully you should start drifting before entering a turn, trying to carry on until you see the sparks, using the steer towards the inside or outside of the turn. You can still steer while in the drift, as moving the analog stick left or right help you to stay in control.

In the past people used to abuse drifting, for example in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart DS there was a technique known as snaking. Snaking allows the user to continuously drift back and forth to perform Mini-Turbos on a straightaway.

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