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Mario Kart Wii has 4 basic control styles available: Wii Wheel (motion controls), Wii Remote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and GameCube Controller. Among competitive players, the names of these control styles are often shortened to Wheel, Nunchuck, CCP, and GCN.

You can play with the Wii Remote alone but you need to hold it sideways to play it. To play with the GameCube controller, at the start, you have to press the A button button to confirm it. Press A button to confirm Wii Remote and Nunchuk, 2 button for Wii Remote and/or Wii Wheel and A button for the Classic Controller.

Wii Wheel Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Classic Controller (CCP) GameCube Controller (GCN) Action
2 button A button A button A button Accelerate
1 button or B button B button B button or R button B button or R button Drift, Brake/Reverse/Hop
Neutral Wii wheel Neutral nunchuk Neutral lstick Neutral control Steer
Neutral dpad Z button L button L button Equip or use Item
Up dpad Up nunchuk+Z button Up lstick+L button Up control+L button Throw or launch Item
Down dpad Down nunchuk+Z button Down lstick+L button Down control+L button Drop Item
A button C button X button or Zr button X button or Z button Look Behind
Shake Neutral Wii wheel Shake Remote button Neutral dpad Neutral dpad Trick (while jumping)
Flick Neutral Wii wheel up Flick Remote button up Up dpad Up dpad Wheelie (bikes only)
Flick Neutral Wii wheel down Flick Remote button down Down dpad Down dpad Stop wheelie (bikes only)
Plus button Plus button Plus button Start button Pause Menu
Neutral dpad Neutral nunchuk or Neutral dpad Neutral lstick or Neutral dpad Neutral control or Neutral dpad Select menu items
2 button A button A button A button Confirm menu selections
1 button B button B button B button Cancel menu selections