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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe makes the game steer for you by default

First things first: Turn this feature off

Mario Kart 8 Nintendo

One of the Switch-exclusive additions to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the smart steering option. It’s a useful tool for younger players who have trouble staying on a course without knocking into walls or falling right off. For the majority of players, though, it’s an unneeded handicap, but one that Nintendo strangely enabled as the default setting.

Booting up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the first time, players may notice that their kart will sometimes steer itself. Instead of giving people the chance to decide whether or not they want to use smart steering, Nintendo has the option turned on automatically.

Smart steering makes the game playable with nothing more than the A button. If you’ve never played a Mario Kart game before, this is a decent feature for leveling the playing field. Otherwise, smart steering is a feature that most players will want to turn off, stat.

To do that, pause the game at any point mid-race. A menu will pop up that shows the controls, as well as a set of extra features that can be enabled or disabled. Smart steering the one on the far left, as seen below:

Press L to turn off smart steering.
Allegra Frank/Polygon

You could tap the smart steering option, or you can press L to shut it off even more quickly. Notice that there are two other optional features in there, but it’s up to players’ discretion to use auto-accelerate and tilt controls.

We’re not going to judge anyone who wants to keep Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s smart steering on, although it does eliminate the extra purple-colored boost gained while drifting and make it harder to take neat shortcuts. We’ve just played enough Mario Kart over the years to know that we like to have as much control over our kart racers as possible.

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