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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Rainbow Road Shortcut Guide

Rainbow Road is the most infamously challenging raceway in the "Mario Kart" franchise. There have been numerous iterations of the final course in the Special Cup across the 14 games in the series, but not-a-one of them has ever been simple or easy to navigate. The iteration made for "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is no different. It's full of twists and bends, and there are more than a few nefariously placed boost pads that can easily send an unwary kart driver careening into the cosmic abyss. Just being able to stay on the track takes a certain amount of skill on Rainbow Road. That's why it's such a flex for players who are able to complete the course quickly — even more so if they happen to know a shortcut or two that helps them get to the finish line even faster.

See, not all of the race tracks in "Mario Kart 8" are as straightforward as they might initially appear. There are numerous branching paths and secret passageways on the courses that can give savvy racers an edge. These shortcuts are handy to know on any track, but they're especially useful on difficult ones like Rainbow Road. Here's how to take the shortest route through what many consider to be the most perilous track in "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe."

Jumping tracks trims lap time

The best trick for successfully navigating Rainbow Road as quickly as possible (outside of having a fast kart setup) is jumping off a certain track to land on the one underneath. This might seem counterintuitive since players are generally fighting as hard as they can to stay on the track when it comes to Rainbow Road, but mastering this can shave precious seconds off each and every lap.

The jump in question is right after the part where the player glides onto the circular space station with the conveyor belts moving in opposite directions marked by glowing arrows. Racers will want to go to the inner ring with the green arrows to move faster toward the second jump. At this point, they will want to jump from the right-hand side and attempt to land on the lower blue track. Shortly after landing, the other track will curve underneath. Players need to deliberately hit the bumper near the edge of the track right where these two cross over heading straight for the edge. They will then need to jump off the edge of the track as close to the guardrail as possible in order to stick the landing on the track below.

Be warned: This shortcut is easy to mess up, and it only saves a few seconds. Still, many may find it to be a worthwhile risk when a race is neck and neck or when trying to set a new record time.