Mario Kart DS/Driving techniques
 Rocket Boost
This is when you get a speed boost right off the start line. To perform a Rocket Boost, press and hold right after you hear the sound of the second beep in the countdown - ignore the numbers and just press the button after the sound of the "2". If done correctly, your kart will receive a powerful boost right from the starting line. The amount of boost varies slightly depending on how precisely timed the button is pressed and held. Press the button too soon and you will peel out, creating a big cloud of smoke, as well as not being able to move anywhere for a few seconds.
- Alternative methods
- Hold down as soon as the count begins, then release it and press it again quickly right before 'Start' appears.
- Hold during each number of countdown. hold while '3' is on screen, release when it disappears, etc...hold after 1 disappears.
However, this technique isn't as easy as you think. You need (estimating) 2 out of 3 in acceleration for this technique to work. The karts that have that statistic, are (being estimated) MOST of the Medium Character Karts.
- Perfect Rocket Boost
You get the maximum boost right off the start line if you precisely press the button at the very right time. The best time to start holding down the gas is right as soon as the 2 starts to fade off the screen.
The best course to train perfect rocket boost is SNES Super Mario Circuit. At the beginning of the course there is a little patch of dirt you can cut across to your left instead of going around the turn. At the start of the race, starting holding the gas as soon as the 2 starts to fade away, and lean to the left. Keep holding left until the time-trial or race starts. If you cut across the dirt patch without slowing down, you've successfully done a perfect rocket boost start.
Note: There is another advanced technique called Prolonged Rocket Boost (PRB) which requires Perfect Rocket Boost to work.
- Rocket Boost at Lakitu Retrieval
Lakitu is the guy who comes to pull you out and place you on the track again if you fall off the track or get stuck underwater. When he picks you up and drop you onto the track again, press at the exact moment your kart reaches the ground. Timing is important to get you a turbo boost.
Drafting (also known as slipstreaming) is a technique used in racing used to reduce drag and increase speed. You position yourself closely behind another kart, and after a few seconds, you'll get a temporary speed boost. Note that this only works with karts of similar speed, as if your kart is slower, you'll fall behind and not be able to stay behind your opponent long enough, and if your kart is faster, you'll pass by your opponent and again not be able to stay behind long enough.
To drift, simply press and hold while going round a corner. If done correctly, your kart will swing around in a wide arc. You can adjust the path of your drift by using or . Drifting (sometimes called Powersliding) allows you to go round corners slightly faster and stay tighter to the inside of the bend.
 Mini-Turbo (MT)
This technique gives you a little power boost while drifting round corners. To perform, press and hold down the in the direction you want your kart to drift. When your Kart starts to drift, immediately press and repeatedly. If you are doing it correctly you'll notice some blue sparks coming from your tires, and then if you keep doing it you'll see orange sparks. The orange sparks mean that when you let go of you will get a mini-turbo.
The strength of mini-turbos varies a lot depending on what type of kart you are using. Generally, the heavy karts, such as Mario's B Dasher and Yoshi's Cucumber do very weak mini-turbos, whereas the light karts, such as Toad's Mushmellow and Dry Bones' Dry Bomber do very powerful boosts that are almost as good as using a mushroom. The standard karts perform somehwere in between.
Snaking is a controversial technique which exploits the mini-turbo feature to gain a huge advantage over opponents. It is done by performing mini-turbos very quickly on straights as well as when going round corners. With a lot of practice it is possible to perform a constant chain of mini-turbos round an entire track. The name "snaking" comes from the way the driver must weave from side to side to achieve the mini-turbos.
The key to successful snaking is to perform the mini-turbo very quickly so that you don't drive of the track or into a wall, as shown in these two pictures. To do this, try a few drifts and turbos first to get your kart "warmed up". That makes it a lot easier to nail a turbo a lot quicker and successfully get into a chain.
Snaking is regarded by some as cheating because it gives the racer a huge advantage over anyone who does not snake. However, as the mini-turbo is an intentional feature of the game and exploiting it does not require any cheat codes or modifications it is difficult to argue that it is any more than a glitch. Therefore, snaking can be regarded as "cheap" and unsporting but is not technically cheating.
 One-sided Mini-Turbo (SSMT)
This is mini-turbo boosting (also known as Straight Stretch Mini-Turbo, as some fans of the game like to call it) from just one side repeatedly. It can be used on smaller straight sections where normal will only get cause you to run off the track.
To do this, perform a mini-turbo, making sure you can squeeze enough room to not slide onto the grass. After the boost, perform a hop or two to realign yourself, then boost from that side again.
 Best karts and characters
The best karts to use for snaking are the light karts with low drift and high acceleration, combined with a small, light character. The most commonly used combinations are:
- Yoshi in Egg 1
- Dry Bones in the Dry Bomber
- Luigi in the Poltergust 4000
 Dodging Spiny Shells (Blue Shells)
To dodge Spiny Shells, first go into a powerslide. Turn your sparks red by pressing and repeatedly. When the Spiny Shell comes, it will hover over you for a split second. Then it will tip downwards. Right when it does this release your power slide and press . If your timing was correct, you should have successfully dodged Spiny Shell. This is possible in 100cc, but only on tracks such as Frappe Snowland, where the terrain is more slippery.
Another way to dodge Spiny Shell, is to simply recieve a mushroom, and use it. You may be asking 'How do I get a mushroom while in 1st?' Well, in fact it isn't possible. Before coming into 1st, drop to 4th; but ONLY if 1st, 2nd, 3rd, AND 4th are clustered. All you have to do from there is get a box a few times. The easiest way to 1st, is to have Triple Mushrooms; but only use two. If not, use SNAKING as a 'Golden Mushroom' after the Spiny Shells are thrown be prepared to use the mushroom. Don't touch the and button! The excitement MAY tempt you to press it pre-maturely, resulting in a failed dodge.
 Prolonged Rocket Boost (PRB)
While considered cheating by some, it is a very difficult glitch to pull off. You must get to top speed to perform PRB. There are several ways to get top speed:
- by getting a 'perfect' rocket boost
- by passing through a zipper (Note: Mushrooms will NOT work)
Once you have this top speed, use the snaking technique to continually Mini-Turbo, so that you don't lose speed. If done correctly, you can go over any terrain without slowing down, so long as you keep your mini-turbos going.