How to Drive a Manual in Mario Kart Wii

By Grahame Turner

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wii Wheel accessory (optional)

  • Gamecube controller (optional)

  • Classic controller (optional)

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"Mario Kart Wii" is an exciting and vibrant continuation of the "Mario Kart" series, offering many of the traditions and standards set in the previous games. One of the most confusing features, however, is the option to drive Manual or Automatic—a new addition to the game. Unlike most racing games, where this refers to the car's shifting, this is about drifting and boosting. Mastering Manual gives you a huge advantage of extra boosts.

Getting Started

Insert the "Mario Kart Wii" game disc into the Wii console, start the game from the Home menu and choose or create your player profile.

Begin a new race game, either single or multiplayer, depending on how many other players you have.

Choose the controller or controller you plan to use. Plug in the Gamecube controller, classic controller or Nunchuk, or insert the Wii remote into the Wii Wheel. Follow the on-screen prompts to choose your controller.

Choose a character, and select "Manual."

Select a course or cup, and begin the race.

Racing with Manual

Begin the race with your Manual car. Wait for the light to turn green. If you hit the Accelerate button, A on all controllers, right after the 2 flashes off screen, you may pull off a "rocket start," which starts you with a boost ahead.

Drive toward the first big turn.

Press and hold the Hop button, B on the Wii remote or the R trigger on the Gamecube or Classic controller, as you begin the turn. The car will begin to "drift" around the turn. This is sometimes called "power-sliding."

Drift until you see blue sparks flying out from the tires. There are two levels of sparks you will see: Yellow first, blue second.

Release the Hop button. Your kart will receive a "Mini-boost," launching you ahead of the competition slightly.

Repeat steps 2 through 5 on the next large turn, for each of your races.


The differences between Manual and Automatic are the drifting and boosting. With Automatic drifting, your car will automatically power-slide around the corner, but will not boost; with Manual, you can drift as you see fit, and boosts are enabled.