From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A ramp is a usually helpful object found commonly on various courses in the Mario Kart series and have been in every Mario Kart game. When used correctly, ramps allows racers to jump high into the air, usually over long drops or distances. Boosted ramps are ramps paired with Dash Panels to reach even longer distances and higher jumps. Starting with Mario Kart Wii, characters can perform tricks with a trick button that varies with the control scheme. Ramps also appear in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Glide Ramps also appear from Mario Kart 7 onwards, which automatically deploy the Kart's Glider when driven over.
Mario Kart series
Super Mario Kart
In Super Mario Kart, ramps appear as a yellow strip. A major one appears near the end of Mario Circuit 2, which sends racers over a previous section. Ramps also appear in Bowser Castle 1, Bowser Castle 2, Bowser Castle 3, Choco Island 2, Koopa Beach 1, Koopa Beach 2, Ghost Valley 1, Ghost Valley 2, Ghost Valley 3, and Rainbow Road.
Similar bumps also appear in Choco Island 1 and Choco Island 2.
Mario Kart 64
In Mario Kart 64, ramps are the same color as Dash Zones. Two are seen in Koopa Troopa Beach. One ramp leads to a tunnel that serves as a shortcut, while the other leads to an Item Box that only gives out Spiny Shells. Non-colored ramps on Wario Stadium serve only to make the course bumpy, though one large ramp sends players over a previous section. If players are not careful or are hit by a Star or Lightning while over that particular ramp, they may fall down and must make their way up again. Large ramps with Dash Zones in DK's Jungle Parkway and Royal Raceway speed players up and send them flying to a different section of the course.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, ramps appear with the same function as in Super Mario Kart. Rainbow Road's border is almost-completely made of ramps. The Extra Courses had most of their ramps removed, though Donut Plains 3 had one added.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, most of the ramps are boosted ramps, used to propel racers over gaps, much like in Mario Kart 64. However, unlike in Mario Kart 64, racers can control their karts in mid-air to some extent.
Mario Kart DS
In Wario Stadium, boosted ramps can be used to perform an extremely high jump by hopping at the right time as the vehicle drives off the ramp's edge.
Mario Kart Wii
In Mario Kart Wii, ramps are much more common. This is mainly due to the fact that tricks can now be done off ramps. This can be done by either flicking the or pressing any direction on / just when taking off a ramp. The single ramp that sports a Mario Kart 64 design in DK's Jungle Parkway is capable of launching players further and higher than other ramps in Mario Kart Wii. However, characters cannot perform tricks off of this ramp and have no control over their angle, making it function more like a Barrel Cannon than a ramp. There is also a brand new type of ramp called a vertical dash panel, where the player can do tricks on the sides of the track.
Mario Kart 7
In Mario Kart 7, tricks are instead performed by pressing just while taking off. However, flips and turns cannot be executed unlike in Mario Kart Wii. Regardless, if the player presses while driving off a Glide Ramp, the kart will roll in the air just before activating the glider giving an extra aerial boost, although no boost will be given upon landing unless another trick is performed on another smaller ramp before having the glider retracted. Ramps can prolong the use of the glider if the player jumps into another ramp after gliding.
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ramps serve the same purpose as Mario Kart 7. To trick off them, a player needs to press on the GamePad, flick the , or on the Wii Wheel/Wii Remote just when taking off. Depending on the direction of the Left Stick or +Control Pad or which way the controller itself was tilted, the trick animation varies.
Mario Kart Tour
In Mario Kart Tour, tricks are performed automatically when taking off the ramp. Trick variants of courses feature additional ramps, as well as in reverse variants of certain courses.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, ramps appear in Boulder Bowl Galaxy and Melty Monster Galaxy. They only work when rolled onto using Rock Mario or Rock Luigi. Ramps launch them to other parts of the level, similar to a Launch Star.