Anti-gravity is a mechanic in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. When drivers are in anti-gravity mode, they slightly hover above the ground and can drive on walls and upside-down, and their tires turn sideways and glow blue; certain vehicles have blue glows and lights in other places, including the engine in some cases. Some vehicles will also change shape in anti-gravity mode, such as the Koopa Clown activating a pair of propellers and the Streetle’s wings opening. While in anti-gravity mode, drivers can receive Spin Boosts by bumping into other drivers or Spin Boost Pillars.
Characters and vehicle parts have different top speed and handling stats in anti-gravity mode, which are not shown by the game. When in anti-gravity mode, the anti-gravity stats are used, regardless of whether or not the anti-gravity segment takes place underwater (such as in Twisted Mansion). However, even when anti-gravity is active, the vehicles' top speed and traction are still affected by off-road terrain and slippery surfaces.
Most courses featuring anti-gravity have designated sections in which it is activated that start with Antigravity Panels, though there are some courses set entirely in anti-gravity with all drivers already in anti-gravity mode at the start. Wild Woods uniquely starts in an anti-gravity section with all drivers already in anti-gravity mode but is not entirely set in anti-gravity. The first time a driver enters an anti-gravity section, they will audibly react to this, usually saying something related to the activation of anti-gravity mode.
In the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, half-pipes take the appearance of Antigravity Panels and cause drivers who jump off of them to be in anti-gravity mode until they land (though they will still remain in anti-gravity mode afterward if they land in an anti-gravity section).
Every new course in the games except Excitebike Arena, Animal Crossing, Super Bell Subway, and Yoshi's Island features anti-gravity, with Mute City, Big Blue, and Sky-High Sundae entirely taking place in anti-gravity. Additionally, 27 classic courses feature anti-gravity (7 from the Mario Kart 8 base game, 5 from its DLC, and 15 from the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass):
- GBA Mario Circuit
- N64 Toad's Turnpike
- 3DS DK Jungle
- DS Wario Stadium
- GCN Sherbet Land
- 3DS Piranha Plant Slide
- N64 Rainbow Road
- Wii Wario's Gold Mine
- GCN Baby Park (set entirely in anti-gravity)
- GBA Cheese Land
- 3DS Neo Bowser City
- GBA Ribbon Road
- GBA Boo Lake
- 3DS Rock Rock Mountain
- Wii Maple Treeway (only from the half-pipe)
- Merry Mountain
- 3DS Rainbow Road
- Wii DK Summit (only from the half-pipes)
- GCN Waluigi Stadium
- Tour Athens Dash (only from the half-pipes)
- Tour Los Angeles Laps (only from the half-pipe)
- Wii Koopa Cape
- Tour Vancouver Velocity
- GCN DK Mountain (only from the half-pipes)
- 3DS Rosalina's Ice World (only from the half-pipes)
- SNES Bowser Castle 3
- Wii Rainbow Road (set entirely in anti-gravity)
In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a kart is shown having its anti-gravity feature tested before the Kong army travels down Rainbow Road. It is later used when the road splits into extremely sloped paths. It is also shown that it can be manually deactivated using a button on the dashboard, and can be used to hover above water. The karts that the Koopa Troop uses have red glows instead of blue when using anti-gravity.
Names in other languages
- While drifting in anti-gravity mode, the blue glow will change to match the corresponding level of Mini-Turbo sparks present, which means it will become orange for a Super Mini-Turbo and purple for an Ultra Mini-Turbo.
- According to Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno, the anti-gravity mechanic was inspired by the portion of Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 7 set on the moon. Fittingly, this part of the course would become an anti-gravity section upon its addition in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, and Lunar Colony also features anti-gravity on the moon.
- Anti-gravity is referenced in Super Mario Maker, in which the jumping sprite of the Costume Mario costume Kart Mario has its tires in anti-gravity mode.
- GamersPrey (May 1, 2014). Mario Kart 8 - Direct Presentation 30.04.2014 [HD]. YouTube. Retrieved August 31, 2022.