Game Guides

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Guide: How To Avoid Blue Shells

by Dean James


The Mario Kart series has likely been the cause of the ending of some friendships over the years with the brutal competition it provides. Perhaps the most frustrating moment in all of Mario Kart is the Blue Shell, the bane of the person in first place’s existence. While it may seem invincible, there are actually two ways to make it out unscathed from an encounter with the Blue Shell in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Blue Shell item has long been a way of keeping the races balanced by having someone between further back in the pack acquiring the item and then being able to throw it to where is instantly darts towards the person in first place. The shell then causes a big explosion, often taking out multiple racers.

While this can help those further back in the race, it has always been unfair how broken the Blue Shell is for the person who has earned first place otherwise and is the only one getting punished for it without no way to stop it. Thankfully, there is now a way to do so.

The following tactics carry over from Mario Kart 8 on Wii U as well, but it’s worth talking about them again with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe out for the Switch. First of all, Mario Kart 8 introduced a new item called the Super Horn, which is a red cube with a horn on top of it. This item is typically given to someone in the first few spots and can be used in two different ways.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Super Horn can be used as an offensive weapon by activating it when nearby other racers, where the shockwaves will cause them to spin out. The most common method you’ll end up saving it for though is to protect yourself. As long as you don’t lose it from a Lightning item or the Boo item, it’s wise to hold onto this item in first place one you get it, especially since you rarely get anything besides a Coin, Banana, or Green Shell when in first.

You will definitely see a Blue Shell coming as it will show up on the mini-map, but even if you don’t notice until it’s right on you, wait until it’s right above you and is about to crash down. At this point activate the item and it will destroy the Blue Shell and prevent any damage to you. In addition, this can be used on other items like the Red Shell, so feel free to use it when a Red Shell is coming near the finish line as well.

The other method of avoiding a Blue Shell is going to be a little more difficult and needs even more precise timing. This one involves you having a Mushroom item in your possession. Similar to how you activate the Super Horn just when the Blue Shell is about to crash down on you, you will instead activate the Mushroom to get a big boost and narrowly escape the Blue Shell explosion. Make sure you do it when it’s about to hit you, because it will continue to follow you after you speed away otherwise.

- This article was updated on:March 7th, 2018

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