If you’ve ever played Mario Kart 8 you know that the farther behind in the race you get, the better the items the game throws your way. Some players have occasionally tried to use this fact to their advantage. No more. A pro strategy called “bagging” has been officially eradicated in Nintendo’s latest patch which brings some sweeping changes to the perennially popular Switch racing game.
Booster Course Wave 6, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s final batch of DLC racers and courses, arrived on Switch today and it brought with it a series of gameplay changes as well. Players will no longer get showered with stars, Bullet Bills, and other powerful items if they immediately drive to last place when starting a race. This trick, known for years as “bagging,” was patched out in the latest update.
Room IDs not requiring friend codes for people to hook-up and play online is a great change, and the item box respawn times and invicinibilty frames will no doubt have a big impact on high-level Mario Kart players. But whether climbing the leaderboards or just a normie dunking on cousins in the backroom during the holidays, “bagging” marks a sad day for long-time fans.
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As some players have pointed out, the strategy isn’t completely gone. You can still drive very slowly to get your item boxes, or choose specific points on a course to go off the track and fall behind before mounting an time-filled comback. But the skill floor for employing the trick will be much higher, require much more knowledge of the game, and only be viable on certain tracks.
Plenty of Mario Kart 8 afficionados are glad to see the strat go the way of the dodo. The exploit had been abused a lot on Cheese Kand in particular. But a few are sad to see it mostly dissapear. It might not have been the way the game was intended to be played, but it was an organic part of how people’s relationship to it evolved over time as they discovered all of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s quirks.
The latest patch will likely have a huge impact on the game’s leaderboards and competetive meta in the weeks and months ahead, a weird thing to say for a Nintendo game that’s been out for six years. But a lot of players seem rejuvinated by the prospect. Wrote on fan on the game’s subreddit, “This is more exciting than the courses we got.”
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