Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: What Do Coins Do?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

If Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch is your introduction to Mario Kart 8, you’re surely wondering if collecting coins has any point. Obviously, the game has no shortage of coins to collect, but are they even worth it?

The short answer is yes, they’re totally worth it. The long answer is, well, quite a bit longer.

First off, coins increase your kart’s max speed stat. There’s been much debate about the specifics of this (though there’s an incredibly detailed discussion on the MKBoards forum based on meticulous data collected by players). On the screen, you’ll see a total number of coins collected, up to ten. This is your current speed boost, which seems to be applied to your kart’s top speed. Thus, you can push your kart’s max speed up in ten small increments.

Of course, if you get hit by an item (like a shell or a banana peel) you’ll drop three coins at a time. This gives you the opportunity to strategically steal coins from other players. You’ll also drop three coins when hitting a cow in Moo Moo Meadows or when being rescued by Lakitu.

With all of this going on, your increase in max speed is a constantly shifting equation. Thankfully, the game is doing all that math for you. Whew.

Additionally, every coin gives you a mini speed boost when you acquire it, whether you’re at the max of ten or not. Think of how mushrooms work, only on a miniscule, barely noticeable level.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The second purpose of coins is that they unlock new bodies, tires, and gliders for your karts.

Sources are mixed on how these coins accumulate so there’s a lot of confusion about how exactly this works. Worry not, for I’ve done my own research. The amount of coins you have at the end of each course is the amount added to your total. This means the most coins you can earn toward unlocks in a single race is ten. If you have ten coins and lose three right at the end of the course, you’ll finish with seven and seven coins will be added to your total. Some sources claim the amount of coins you collect in total is the number added to your total, but these sources are incorrect.

If you select a Grand Prix Cup and only finish one race before quitting back to the main menu, your coin total from the end of that one race will be added to your total. However, if you quit a race before you’ve finished it, your coins will not be counted.

You can see your current coin total from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s main menu. Simply click “Player Stats” (this is marked with a Mii icon near the bottom left corner of the screen) and you can check the amount of coins you’ve collected.

There are 23 kart bodies, 17 bike bodies, 21 wheel options, and 14 gliders to unlock. These are opened up to you at random based to the total amount of coins you’ve collected across all modes over the course of your career.

In the beginning, you’ll unlock a new item every 30 coins, though once you hit 500, you’ll unlock a new item every 50 coins.

The gold glider is unlocked when you hit 10,000 coins. The other gold items (gold standard body, gold wheels, gold Mario) are unlocked by completing various tasks across the game. Gold standard body is unlocked by getting a star ranking in every cup in Mirror Mode. Gold wheels are unlocked by beating the staff ghosts in all 150cc Time Trials. Gold Mario is unlocked by placing first in all 200cc Grand Prix Cups.

Some sources claim you have to progress through all the other cups in the game in order to unlock the 200cc Cups, but this is untrue. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch, all the 200cc Cups are unlocked as soon as you fire up the game.

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