Rocket Start

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The Rocket Start in action, as seen in Mario Kart 8.

“Get off to a Rocket Start! To launch from the starting grid at a high speed, press and hold A Button at just the right moment during the countdown.”
Mario Kart 8 Digital Manual

Rocket Start (also referred to as Turbo Start, Boost Start, or Head Start) is a technique used in the Mario Kart series. It is a short speed boost that occurs at the beginning of each and every race. It is executed by pressing the acceleration button in tune with the starting countdown, with each game has different timing to do so. If the player over-revs when the final beep sounds, it will make the player's vehicle stall for a few seconds at the beginning of the course (sometimes known as a Dud Start).

Controls[edit]

To perform a Rocket Start, drivers must press and hold the corresponding acceleration button when the race is about to start. How to use it depends on which installment in the series and which control scheme the player uses.

Main series[edit]

Game Control Timing Failure
Super Mario Kart Holding down B Button Between first and second lights Kart accelerates slowly at the start
Mario Kart 64 Holding down A Button When the light turns green Kart steers left and right with no forward movement
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Holding down A Button Kart accelerates slowly at the start
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Holding down or tapping A Button Sparks appear between wheel and ground and kart does not move
Mario Kart DS Holding down A Button When number "2" starts fading Kart's engine smokes and stalls for a second or two
Mario Kart Wii With Wii Wheel or Wii RemoteTwo Button
With Classic Controller Classic Controller a Button
With GameCube ControllerA Button
With Wii Remote and NunchuckA Button
Mario Kart 7 Holding down A Button or Y Button When number "2" stops spinning
Mario Kart 8 With Wii U GamePad/Wii U Pro ControllerA Button, Y Button or Classic Controller Right Control Stick (tilt forward)
With Wii Wheel or Wii RemoteTwo Button
With Wii Remote and NunchuckA Button
When number "2" fully appears

Arcade series[edit]

Double Dash!![edit]

"Double Dash!!" redirects here. For information about the game of the same name, see Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
The Double Dash!! in action at Mushroom Bridge.

The Double Dash!! is a technique that can be performed only in the co-op play mode of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, which is named after the game's subtitle. Both players must press A Button at the same time when the light turns green to perform this technique, which will make the kart be launched at a higher speed. A blue trail will follow the kart, showing that the technique was performed correctly. This move's control is slightly different to that of a normal Rocket Start.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

A form of Rocket Start appears in Super Mario Galaxy. At the beginning of a Cosmic Mario or Cosmic Luigi race, if the player holds the Nunchuk Control Stick up, then Nunchuk Z Button when the timer hits 2, and then hits A Button just as the race starts, Mario or Luigi will get an extra boost at the beginning of the race. This can be shown by a yellow color appearing on Mario or Luigi, shrinking gradually, showing the end of the speed boost.

Official descriptions[edit]

Mario Kart 64

  • Instruction booklet: "When you start, if you press the A Button Button when the signal changes from red to blue, you can make a dash start at maximum speed (called a "Rocket Start"). But if you press too early, the tires will spin and you will start even slower, so be careful."

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

  • Instruction booklet: "If you press the A Button button at just the right moment before the light turns green, you'll start the race with a huge burst of speed."

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

  • Instruction booklet: "If you press A Button just as Lakitu's start signal turns green, you'll perform a Rocket Start."

Mario Kart DS

  • Instruction manual: "During the countdown to the start, hold A Button down with the right timing to rev up your engine and give yourself a burst of speed off the starting line."

Mario Kart Wii

  • Instruction manual: "Press and hold Two Button at just the right time during the countdown to rev up your engine and give yourself a burst of speed off the starting line."

Mario Kart 7

  • Digital manual: "If you press and hold Y Button or A Button at just the right time during the starting countdown, you will launch off the starting line much faster than normal."

Mario Kart 8

  • Digital manual: "Get off to a Rocket Start! To launch from the starting grid at a high speed, press and hold A Button at just the right moment during the countdown."
  • Guide: "Timing a perfect Rocket Start can determine the whole nature of a Grand Prix race's first lap, and this technique is essential for posting record-breaking Time Trials. When Lakitu begins the countdown, start accelerating when "2" is on screen and the second red light is lit. If this is well timed, you'll have a perfect Rocket Start."

Gallery[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Rocket Start[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ロケットスタート
Roketto Sutāto
Rocket Start
Spanish Turbosalida Turbo Start
French Départ turbo Turbo Start
Dutch Raket Start Rocket Start
German Raketenstart Rocket Start
Italian Partenza a razzo Rocket Start
Portuguese Inicio a Jato Rocket Start
Russian Быстрое Начало Fast Start
Korean 로켓 시작
Lokes Sijag
Rocket Start

Double Dash!![edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ダブルダッシュ!!
Daburu Dasshu!!
Double Dash!!
Spanish Doble Carrera!! Double Dash!!
French Double Dash!! -
German Double Dash!! -
Italian Double Dash!! -
Korean 더블 대쉬!!
Deobeul Daesi!!
Double Dash!!