Due to the influx of new players ever since Lythero's SRB2Kartastrophe video & ScottFalco's Side of Salt was published, I decided to make this guide to explain a few tricks and tips on how to git gud at SRB2Kart.
Keep in mind some of these are required if you plan to play on hard speed a/or on certain maps.
Some of these tricks are also mentioned in the manual, so you should go read that first (F1) before reading this, as it has a few more tips and tech that aren't explained here.
These are some observations I made while playing the game
Drifting in this game is a little different compared to other kart racers you might or might not have played.
This is because there is MOMENTUM in this game.
Just like a Sonic game, the higher your SPEED is, the higher your MOMENTUM will be.
Momentum also applies to drifting as well.
While other kart racers instantly slow you down, or keep you at the same speed for drifting, SRB2Kart is unique.
SRB2Kart still slows you down for drifting, like other kart racers, but with momentum applied, its a GRADUAL slow down, rather than a quick jerk.
So it's better that, the faster you are, the earlier you should drift.
On top of that, drifting INWARDS will give you better sparks FASTER than if you were to drift OUTWARDS.
However, drifting INWARDS will also make your turns SHARPER while drifting OUTWARDS whill make your turns WIDER.
Finally, drifting will not immediately boost you, but instead put you in a boost "state".
While in this state, your acceleration, speed, and handling are turned WAY up for a short time, so you better take advantage of that when you can.
(Also there's a rainbow drift boost that requires you to drift for a long time)
This is explained in the in-game manual, but I'll go a bit more into detail about how to do this trick.
Sliptiding is a great trick that allows you to not only take better control of your kart, but to also tackle U-turns and the likes without losing speed.
Executing it is tricky, but with enough practice, it becomes second nature.
With a sneaker, or rocket sneakers, what you do is to:
LET GO OF DRIFT WHILE BOOSTING
AND CONTINUE TURNING INWARDS
and bam its as simple as that
There is also a quicker way of doing it by simply tapping [DRIFT] while boosting AND turning INWARDS; I call it QUICKTIDING.
Quicktiding is more useful at extremely high speeds, practically required if you're playing wipezones.
Simply put, you either let go of [ACCEL] or hold [BRAKE] while drifting.
Helps slow you down faster when maneuvering those tricky turns.
A combination of sliptiding AND brakedrifting will help you get around the TIGHTEST of turns while still either maintaining speed or control of your kart, it will do you well to learn these things.
Just drift as you approach springs and KEEP HOLDING [DRIFT] as you fly in mid-air.
If you already had sparks when you drift off the spring, you can let go and boost in mid-air.
You could also do this off of ramps, but its not recommended as with springs, you have better control over where you're going to land.
With ramps, you better hope to god you land on something that's road, bc. chances are, you'll be flying off in the wrong direction.
On top of that, Drifts instantly cancel as soon as you hit a wall, so avoiding hitting walls while drifting is a must in both the air and the ground.
You can do this consecutively and get some pretty sick drifts in the process
This one I didn't know how to properly explain..... I still don't. :P
What you basically do is simple(?), start a drift like you'd normally do, afterwards, when you have at least a blue spark, let go of [DRIFT] and quickly hold [DRIFT] again in a split second while maintaining the angle of your drift.
Sound confusing? The gif below has me do JUST that with some button inputs on the lower right demonstrating it in action.
What this essentially does is allow you to unleash more than one mini-turbo in a single turn. It's VERY useful if you wanna get around wider turns quickly, but you won't have as much speed after the turn than if you were to charge your drift normally.
Overall, when it comes to Sliptiding, Brakedrifting, Chaindrifting, and Rainbow Sparks/Normal Drifting, all of them have their own strategies and weaknesses, and you should quickly strategize on which would be beneficial on the next turn that'll come up.
CHARACTER STATS: SPEED vs WEIGHT
Now, here comes a question some of you may be asking.
"Which character is best tier?"
ALL OF THEM.
Let's figure out the stats system to understand.
Kart has two stats (plus a secret third) with a LOT going on under the hood.
These are laid out in the Player Setup menu in the form of this grid.
By know you'll probably know what these stats mean upon first glance, but let's analyse them.
This value should be self explanatory, but it is.........sorta , bc. its also known as Speed/Acceleration bc the former directly effects the latter.
Characters with a LOW amount of speed [WEST ON THE GRAPH], will be, of course, slow, but will have a high amount of acceleration, allowing them to get themselves up to speed quickly and catch up. Mini-turbos are more effective here, so you should charge them up quickly.
Characters with a HIGH amount speed [EAST ON THE GRAPH], will be, of course, fast, but will have a low amount of acceleration and therefore, will take time for them to get themselves back up to speed. Mini-turbos are less but still very effective here, so you could charge them up slowly or unleash them quickly.
This value ISN'T as self explanatory, but it has to do with the bumpcode the game has that sets itself apart from other kart racers you may or may not have played.
Characters with a LOW amount of weight [NORTH ON THE GRAPH] has some incredibly good handling, making tight turns, and positioning yourself on the track much easier. But they're typically lightweight, a bump or a hit could send you into orbit. Movement and avoiding things is CRUCIAL for these type of chars.
Characters with a HIGH amount of weight [SOUTH ON THE GRAPH] has some awful handling, making it difficult to handle tight turns, and positioning yourself well. However, they're typically heavyweight(duh) and will bump others into orbit on top of barely flinching when they get hit.
This is a secret THIRD stat that comes from a combination of the previous two stats. This controls how fast mini-turbos build up during drifting. (otherwise known as spark rate)
Characters towards the SOUTHWEST side of the graph will take little time to charge up a drift, allowing them to gain red & rainbow mini-turbos at a faster rate.
Characters towards the NORTHEAST side of the graph will generally have a lower spark rake, making it take a bit more time to charge up a red & rainbow miniturbo.
BASIC ITEM STRATEGIES
Items are normal part of any racing game, and the item roulette will work like you'd expect it to.
Except four things.
Hitting [ITEM] before the roulette is done will give you an inferior item.
Getting hit while having the item in tow will cause it to drop onto the track, which can be claimed by any other racer
Dragging items behind you will automatically slow you down, so you don't pull a MK8 banana scenario. Orbiting items however, will not slow you down, in case you were wondering.
Every item can be used for offense or defense. If you feel something is coming from behind you, you can throw an item (if they can be thrown)backwards or visibly drag an item at the right time to protect yourself from oncoming danger
Now for the items:
Expy of the Mushroom, and works like you'd expect it to do.
Gives you a boost forward, required to take shortcuts in some stages.
Take a look at the staff ghosts in Record Attack to figure out where these shortcuts are (they usually require a bit of skill to traverse tho)
Expy of the Golden Mushroom, and has a big difference compared to it.
Unlike the Golden Mushroom, you can't spam it, instead, you have to use it periodically since it has a meter that depletes whenever it's out.
Practically gives you the opportunity to sliptide at every turn and rise up the ranks if you time it correctly, also a good way to take shortcuts.
The best and most majestic item in the game.
NO, YOU CAN'T DRAG IT, It slows you down if you do that so make sure you either throw it or drop it immediately.
Although, putting it out at the right time can block you from hazards approaching you from your behind.
Expy of the Green Shell, functions similarly too!
You can throw it straight in front of, or behind you, and they also ricochet off of walls.
(You can even snipe with them, provided you can line up yourself and the player in front of/behind you(that CHECK! graphic comes in handy here), if you're drifting tho, the angle will get skewed to the left or right, so plan accordingly!)
On top of that, similarly to the Green Shell, the X number of spikes will orbit you until you throw them, VERY useful for defense (especially when you get orbi x4)
If you get hit with it while it's out and orbiting you, the spikes will drop and leave themselves as obstacles for the players behind you.
Similarly, you can also throw it backwards JUST as something is about to hit you from behind to protect yourself.
Expy of the Red Shell, No, It doesn't follow the track of the stage.
Instead, it goes STRAIGHT for the player's back. They usually have no recourse against it....
...Unless their back is against a wall, OR if they turn a tight turn very quickly, OR if they just so happen to have an item out that can be thrown backwards to block your attack. Stuff like that.
It also orbits around you, which can also be used for defense.
On top of that, similar to the Orbinaut, you can throw it behind you at the right moment where an item is about to hit you from behind to protect yourself from it.
Not an expy of the Fire Flower. (It was just that in SRB2Kart's betas)
Throws in a spread of five projectiles that also ricochet off walls, and disappear shortly after they're thrown.
Throw it in close corners for maximum carnage!
Expy of the Fake Item Box, No, It does not hit on contact.
Instead, any unsuspecting player that hits it will explode in 4 seconds.
If you are hit with it, you can either wait out the timer, or hit [ITEM] to explode it prematurely.
And if you're an asshole, you can hit the brakes, and THEN hit [ITEM] :^)
Also, don't drag it, it will also slow you down.
Expy of the Bob-omb, NO, YOU STILL CAN'T DRAG IT! (obviously)
You can either throw or drop it; It will take a few seconds for it to prime, in which case other players can kick it around before it DOES prime.
Once its primed, anyone caught NEAR it will explode, simple as that.
Expy of the Superstar, basically YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!
NOTHING WILL HURT YOU!
YOU WILL BE INVINCIBLE!
NOT EVEN OFFROAD CAN STOP YOUR RAMPAGE!
(but it will increase your speed and momentum so make sure to prepare for that)
Expy of the Giant Mushroom.
You will grow large and squash your enemies with your gargantuan size.
This will also increase your speed and momentum EXPONENTIALLY, brakedrifting is KEY!
Offroad will still affect you tho.
Expy of the Lightning powerup.
Make everyone smol, and giant players normal.
Smol players have significantly lower speed and momentum, can also be squished by any normal size player that comes around.
Also causes everyone to drop their items, which can be freely picked up on the track.
Its usually turned off since it causes synch problems in netgames (and this game's netcode is already terrible :v)
Expy of the Boo
A ghost that steals items from other racers.
However, it can't steal items that are already orbiting or being dragged by other players.
It also makes you invisible to other racers and allows you to drive offroad without any reprecussions.
SPB (Self Propelled Bomb)
Expy of the Blue Shell, except it doesn't kill you instantly.
Instead, it trails behind you, requiring you to keep your speed up in order to not get hit by it.
You'll know it when you hear it, especially with the "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" and the low rumble afterwards.
Known way to build stress and pressure for frontrunners, players in 2nd tend to get better items while an SPB trails 1st.
If 1st also happens to fall behind 2nd while the SPB is behind them, the SPB will switch targets after only a few seconds.
If anyone OTHER than 1st hits the SPB, they will only spinout as if they got hit by a banana.
Only appears when 1st is REALLY frontrunning the race by a few seconds.
Expy of the Super Horn. Functions nearly identically too.
Unleashes an electrical fury around you that can destroy ANY item and thing around you, including SPBs(but they WILL return)!
No, despite the name, it will not protect you like a shield, wait for v2 for that.
Goddammit, how the hell did you get this?!
Whose kitchen sink is this; whose house did you break into in order to get this?!
It's EXTREMELY rare for this situation to happen, so how the fuck?!
It INSTANTLY slows you down as soon as you drag it.
Whatever just yeet it on someone, its not like the player that's hit with it will instantly die with a message displaying on the entire screen that xXSP33DG0DXx GOT HIT WITH A KITCHEN SINK
You WILL not git gud on the first few races. That's all done in practice. You can practice on the race, or on each individual track in Record Attack/Offline Play. All I can really say is keep going at it, and then, some day, you WILL win a race in this game.......
..........or get close as some of the top racers this community has are relentless :^)