Rocket Start

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Not to be confused with Start Dash.
LINE sticker of Mario performing a Rocket Start.
“Tap and hold the screen when the countdown reaches 2, release at GO for a Rocket Start!”
Mario Kart Tour in-game tip from Ready, Set, Rocket Start

Rocket Start (also referred to as Turbo Start,[1] Boost Start, or Head Start) is a technique used in the Mario Kart series, as well as the racing games of the Donkey Kong franchise such as Diddy Kong Racing. It is a powerful burst of speed that occurs at the beginning of each and every race, which easily accelerate racers to top speed from standing still. It is executed by holding the acceleration button at the correct time in the starting countdown, with each game having different timing to do so, although the general timing of the technique in most games is to press the button sometime when the number 2 or equivalent appears on-screen. If the player holds the button too early and over-revs when the final beep sounds, the player's vehicle will backfire and stall for a few seconds at the beginning of the course (sometimes known as a Dud Start or Fail Start).

Strength[edit]

The strength of the rocket start determines how long it will last after the match starts.

Since Mario Kart DS, the strength of the Rocket Start depends on the power of the rev is currently at the moment before START/GO! appears onscreen. For example, if the player starts to rev when the countdown reaches 2, depending on when the player started to hold down the acceleration button when 2 was onscreen, the duration of the technique can be roughly between half a second to two seconds long, indicated by the flames coming off of the exhaust pipes of the vehicle. In other words, if the player starts to rev right at the moment when the countdown reaches 2, the resulting rocket start would be longer than if the player started to rev half a second after the 2 came onscreen.

Controls[edit]

Holding A Button or Y Button while 2 appears onscreen in Mario Kart 7 is one way of performing the technique.

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

Mario Kart series[edit]

Game Control Timing Failure
Super Mario Kart Hold B Button Right as the beep sound from the first light stops Kart's tires spin and accelerates slowly at the start
Mario Kart 64 Hold A Button or tap it three times in sync with the lights When the light turns blue Kart's tires spin with no forward movement
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Hold A Button When the light turns green Kart accelerates slowly at the start
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Hold or tap A Button Sparks appear between tires and ground and kart does not move
Mario Kart DS Hold A Button When number "2" starts fading Kart's engine backfires 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 Hold A Button or Y Button When number "2" fully appears
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
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe With Joy-Con R - X Button
With Joy-Con L - Up Button
With Dual Joy-Cons, Joy-Con Grip Controller, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Nintendo Switch (handheld mode) - A Button
Mario Kart Tour Hold finger on the screen

Arcade series[edit]

Donkey Kong franchise[edit]

Game Control Timing Failure
Diddy Kong Racing Press A Button As soon as the words "Get Ready" has almost completely faded Vehicle accelerates slowly at the start
Diddy Kong Racing DS Press A Button As soon as the word "Go" appears onscreen
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk simultaneously Right as the word "Start" appears onscreen The player may either accelerate slowly or jump by accident

Double Dash[edit]

The Double Dash in action at Mushroom Bridge

The Double Dash[2] 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 on Lakitu's starting signal turns green to perform this technique, which launches the kart at a higher speed. Blue flames follow the kart, showing that the technique was performed correctly.

Official descriptions[edit]

Mario Kart 64[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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."
  • Digital manual: "When the race is starting, if you press on the accelerator after the second signal flashes--and with just the right timing--you will perform a Rocket Start and shoot off the starting line."

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

  • Instruction booklet (Rocket Start): "If you press A Button just as Lakitu's start signal turns green, you'll perform a Rocket Start."
  • Instruction booklet (Double Dash): "In co-op play you can get an even better launch if both the front and rear perform a Rocket Start at the same time. This is called a Double Dash."

Mario Kart DS[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

  • Digital manual (MK8): "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."
  • In-game manual (MK8D): "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 (MK8): "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."
  • Guide (MK8D): "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. Pay attention to Lakitu’s countdown, and begin accelerating immediately after the “2” appears onscreen, accompanied by a tone. Properly done, you’ll rocket off the line with a Mushroom-like boost. If you begin accelerating too soon, as the tone sounds and the 2 appears, rather than just after, you’ll stall at the starting line."

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

  • Tips & Tricks: "At the race's start, tap the screen and hold on 2, then release at GO to take off with a Rocket Start! The closer you are to GO when you release, the longer your dash will last and the more bonus points you'll get. But be careful... You'll stall if you tap too early!"
  • FYI!: "Tap and hold the screen when the countdown reaches 2, release at GO for a 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 Salida rapida
Turbosalida
Fast Start
Turbo Start
French Départ turbo
Départ canon
Turbo Start
Rocket Start
Dutch Superstart (Mario Kart 7)
Raket Start
Super Start
Rocket Start
German Raketenstart Rocket Start
Italian Partenza a razzo Rocket Start
Portuguese (NOA) Saída turbo Turbo Start
Portuguese (NOE) Inicio a Jato Rocket Start
Russian Быстрый старт
Bystryy start
Fast Start
Korean 스타트 대시
Seutateu Daesi
Start Dash
Chinese 火箭起步
Huǒjiàn Qǐbù
Rocket Start

Double Dash[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ダブルダッシュ
Daburu Dasshu
Double Dash
Spanish (NOE) Doble Carrera Double Dash
French Double Dash -
Italian Double Dash!! -

Trivia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mario Kart: Super Circuit Instruction Booklet, page 26
  2. ^ Mario Kart: Double Dash!! instruction booklet, page 13.
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