I recently heard of a strategy where the player purposefully drops to last place to increase their chances of getting a Blue Shell from an item box and then holding onto it so that when they get to first place, they don't get Blue Shelled. Obviously, this strategy hinges on the existence of a game mechanic that makes sure there's only one Blue Shell at a time amongst all of the players.

Does such a mechanic exist? Does it only apply to Blue Shells?

  • The question is still valid, but you actually aren't actually likely to get blue shells in last place. Blue shells only really affect the top 1-3 players (depending on how close they are), so you're most likely to get blue shells in places ~4-7. This depends on how far in front the leader is though, as items in Mario Kart 8 are distributed based on distance between the players. Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 19:57
  • Yes, that mechanic definitely exists! I'm not aware of the technical details, but as long as any player is holding a Blue Shell, nobody else can get one from an item box. It's possible (at least in some of the MK games) for multiple Blue Shells to be in flight (if obtained through cheats) without the game crashing or anything strange happening, though.
    – ArrowCase
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


No, there cannot be more than one Spiny (Blue) Shell held by players at any given time. This mechanic was apparently introduced in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and has not been changed since. From the Spiny Shell wiki page:

Additionally, once a player holds a Spiny Shell, other racers cannot receive another shell until the player has used it and hit the target. This rule is kept for later games as well.

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