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Frantic Items In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Explained

While "Mario Kart 8" performed admirably on the Wii U, it really took off when Nintendo ported the title as "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" to the Switch. With more than 48 million units sold, there's a whole lot of "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" players out there. However, not every "Mario Kart" enthusiast may be aware of the various ways in which their races can be customized both offline and in online lobbies with friends.

The game's free, surprise update from December 2022 gave players the ability to personalize what items will appear during custom races, but players have had the option to choose one of Nintendo's premade custom item settings since the game's debut on the Wii U. For those who want nothing more than to unleash total chaos on the racetrack, one of the "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" custom item settings stands above the others by rewriting the very rules of how items work: "Frantic Items."

Frantic Items mean anything goes

Much like the fully customizable options for items, players can only select "Frantic Items" for either offline, local play, or when playing in an online room with friends. "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" typically chooses to give more powerful items to players who aren't doing as well in a given race. The poor soul in last, for example, will have a much higher chance of finding an invincibility-granting Super Star or a player-pulverizing Bullet Bill. Meanwhile, those in the lead encounter an overabundance of Bananas, Green Shells, or Coins. Helpful items, but nowhere near as destructive.

With the Frantic Items setting enabled, anything goes. No matter a racer's current placement, they can receive any type of item. Players in last place can get Bananas from Item Boxes, while players leading the pack can further their leads by finding a Golden Mushroom or Lightning. Players in second place may even pick up the ever-dreaded Blue Shell. Essentially, Frantic Items turns any race into a randomized and chaotic brawl.

The option to turn this mayhem mode on presents itself while players are on the same screen where they choose the race's CC, whether or not there are teams, CPU settings, and more. If "Frantic Items" sounds like too much all at once, there are other premade item settings as well — "Shells Only," "Mushrooms Only," or even "No Items" to name a few. Whatever chaos someone chooses to unleash, it's probably best to consult with their fellow players first.