'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' Guide: What coins do in 'MK8' for Nintendo Switch


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch carries over many of the game's newest improvements to the series, including paragliding — which allows you to fly from one end of the track to another — and the hovercar mechanic for driving upside down. Other parts of the game, however, are a bit more cryptic when it comes to the roles they play.

Have you asked yourself, "What do coins do?" while playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Here's everything you need to know about coins in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe coins: A primer


Coins first appeared in Mario Kart for SNES. Now they're back in MK8 Deluxe to offer a variety of uses. Coins serve three main functions: offering players a tiny speed boost, contributing to a kart's overall top speed and unlocking new items when the race is complete. 

Speed Boost

Collecting a coin in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers your kart a small speed upgrade. You can see evidence of this in the wind lines on the edges of your screen upon collecting a coin. You won't go flying off into the distance like you would from using a mushroom, but you'll still gain an edge over the competition.

Raising your kart's top speed

The basics of Mario Kart tell us that every racer and kart configuration has a different top speed. Light racers can accelerate quickly, but have a low top speed overall. Conversely, heavy racers take a while to get going, but can go very fast if they drive for a while without interruption. According to IGN, coins in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe help with the latter.

Regardless of whether they're light or heavy, all characters can benefit from having a higher overall speed. When it's that final lap and you're trying to catch up to the racer in first, you'll need that 10-coin maximum to help you cross the finish line in time.

Unlocking karts, wheels and gliders

Weirdly, all characters and racetracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are available to you when you first fire up the game — but some items still need unlocking. Coins collected during races count toward getting new items off the track. You can check the number of coins you have in the stats screen, found on the game's main menu screen.

GamersHeroes has a handy list of how many coins you need to unlock each individual item. Keep racing to collect them all.

Check out more Mario Kart 8 Deluxe coverage

If you're anxious to get racing in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, check out our video gameplay of the first 20 minutes of the game and find out the eight characters the game needs ASAP. Learn how you can buy the game bundled with the console, including one bundle from Nintendo. Find out if we're expecting DLC and our initial impressions of the new console it's on from back in January. You can also play Mario Kart 64 on a newer console instead, if you're looking to fill that need of nostalgia.