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Mario drifting in his kart on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64

A drift, also referred to as a slide[1] or power slide[2] (alternatively spelled power-slide),[3] is a move in the Mario Kart series that allows a kart to keep speed around corners. Drifting is done by holding R Button and turning Control Stick left or right, at the cost of a bit of handling. Beginning with Mario Kart 64, it is possible to move the Control Stick (left and right) while in a drift to cause the kart to get a short but helpful Mini-Turbo when the drift is ended. In most Mario Kart games, the player must hop before being able to drift. The exceptions to this are in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, where there is no hop button—the player simply needs to hold the R Button button (or L Button button) instead—and in the Mario Kart Arcade GP subseries, where the player needs to tap the brake to enable drifting.

Due to the emergence of the "snaking" technique in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart DS, starting in Mario Kart Wii, performing Mini-Turbos by drifting has been simplified by becoming time-based rather than by tilting/pressing the control pad multiple times. Mario Kart Wii also introduced the "inside drifting" mechanic, in which the vehicle commits to the turn by going to the inside instead of drifting to the outside when the player attempts to drift. All sport bikes in the Mario Kart series use this mechanic.

In some games, one can perform a long power-slide by steering in the opposite direction while holding the drift button (when drifting to the left, steer right and vice versa), at the cost of speed. However, starting in Mario Kart Wii, performing this technique would delay the Mini-Turbo and cause it to take longer to charge. The strength of the drifting depends on the kind of vehicle used. For example, the Phantom, which has the worst drift stat in the game, drifts in a wide arc, while the Bullet Bike, which has the best drift stat in the game, drifts tightly around corners.


Mario Kart 7[edit]

  • Electronic manual: "Drifting allows you to take sharp corners without slowing down. To drift, press and hold R Button while entering a turn. While drifting, you can change the angle of your turn by moving Circle Pad."

Mario Kart 8[edit]

  • Electronic manual: "Drift around sharp corners without reducing speed! With A Button held down, hold ZR Button and use Classic Controller Left Stick to turn."

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

  • Tips & Tricks: "If you turn and hold your swipe in the direction you're turning, you'll be able to take tight corners without losing speed."


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドリフト

Chinese 漂移

French Dérapage
German Drift
Italian Slittata
Derapata (Mario Kart Wii and onwards)
Korean 드리프트

Portuguese (NOA) Derrapagem
Portuguese (NOE) Deslize
Russian Управляемый занос
Upravlyayemyy zanos

Spanish Derrapar
To skid


  1. ^ Mario Kart 64 Operation Card.
  2. ^ Mario Kart: Double Dash!! instruction booklet, page 12.
  3. ^ Mario Kart DS Mission Mode: 1-8