Any tips or tricks to beating the staff ghosts in Mario Kart DS?
One of the best tricks, if you aren't keen on learning how to 'snake' is to make sure you choose a vehicle with a full rating for 'items'. These vehicles will start with 3 mushroom boosts, as opposed to 1 or 2 for vehicles with a lower rating. If you get 3 boosts, you should be able to find the optimal location on the track to use 1, and then use one each lap in that perfect spot. (@reply me if you need helping picking the spot for a certain track, I've beaten most of the ghosts, and all of the missions and cups with a full ranking.)
Learn the route around the course very well. On many tracks, it's beneficial to take a vehicle with high offroad tolerance; 'DK Pass' is one of the more notable ones. However, as long as you have 3 mushroom boosts, you should be able to use one each lap to take a sizable shortcut offroad, depending on the track.
Take advantage of the terrain. Many tracks are loaded with moving parts that can help you get ahead (many of them will also, quite readily, help you get behind!). For example, on the Tick-Tock Clock track, you'll notice two large, vertical gears on either side of the track, just before the finish line. Make sure you drive over whichever gear is rotating forwards to get a really handy speed boost (the gears should change direction every lap, so keep an eye out).
Another tip, is to try and maximize any kind of speed gain you get, from any source. For example, after passing over the gears mentioned above, start bunny hopping continuously, as rapidly as you can. When you do this, your deceleration is slowed, and you get to feel the effects of the speed gain for longer. Just make sure you don't bunny hop off of the edge of the track! I could be wrong, but I think this works slightly better with heavier characters.
Make sure to choose a vehicle with a drift that you are comfortable with. Great drifting is essential to beating most of the staff ghosts. A vehicle with a very large drift radius may cause you problems on most tracks, but it's really up to you. Perfect the art of the 'drift boost':
Drift Boost: Start up a drift, and then quickly steer the opposite direction, and back a few times. If you do it too fast, it won't work, but if you get it right, you will generate red sparks under your wheels the first time you do it, and blue sparks the second. Once you have the blue, let off the drift to receive a boost!
Performing this technique in rapid succession back and forth around as much of the track as possible is referred to as 'snaking', and if you want to give it a shot, I personally recommend the Dry Bomber vehicle (it has one of the longest drift-boost durations of any vehicle). You shouldn't have to snake to beat any of the staff ghosts, but you will need to take advantage of the drift-boost at every opportunity you get. On tracks with a lot of corners, I again recommend the Dry Bomber as the lengthy drift-boost time can really add up when used often during a race.
Hope these tips help, and if you have any questions, feel free to @reply me in the comments! Good luck!
In Mario Kart DS, you can use a trick called "snaking" to gather speed on straightaways, by using your drift boost properly. It is a method that, when properly used, lets you maintain a higher top speed.
I'm not an expert on the technique, by any means, so I will direct you to this website instead: http://www.wikihow.com/Snake-in-Mario-Kart-DS
One trick is to drift in every possible corner you can. It will give you some speed boosts, which will help youcatch up to a staff ghost if they are at a distance. Choosing a kart with the "items" bar full is also another great tactic to use, because you will get 3 mushrooms at mthe beginning of the race.