Play Mario Kart With GameCube Controller? (Wii checked out)

For a successful and enjoyable gameplay, it is essential to have a comfortable controller, especially if you spend hours of your day playing. Luckily, the GameCube controller is one of the smoothest and coziest gamepads in the market, making you wonder whether it is a practical choice for Mario Kart Wii.

So, how do you play Mario Kart Wii with a GameCube controller? With Mario Kart on the Wii, the green A key on the GameCube controller enables you to accelerate when doing mid-air stunts or when you are off the tracks. The R or red B buttons will also allow you to drift, reverse, hop, or a brake.

Additionally, the swivel key will facilitate steering as the R or B will come in handy for the brakes. You can also pick up items using the L and thrust them with the directional buttons. Lastly, the swivel alongside R will enable drifting and angle adjustment with the X.

You can use the classic controllers, Wii remotes, and the GameCube controllers when playing Wii titles. Since its launch in the 2000s, GameCube has earned its place as one of the best-designed gaming controllers, perfect for dedicated titles. To kick-off, you must first understand what makes this gamepad stand out and why you would want to use it even for other console titles.

The GameCube controller adapts from the Nintendo 64 version but with more buttons and a better wing design. Also, the controls come with a winged grip for more comfortable gaming. The original model was indigo, but the company introduced other colors based on games like Mario and Peach.

Additionally, it features haptic feedback due to an in-built rumble design. Many gamers hailed it for the handlebar style and analog sticks. Ultimately, there are six keys, two analog ones, an equal number of hybrid and digital controls, and a one-directional pad. There was also a wireless model, the WaveBird, in 2002.

This GameCube controller has four front keys on the right with a centered green A key, a yellow C stick, a tiny red B below it on the left, and two X and Y kidney-shaped keys. You will find the Start/Pause key in the middle, and two L and R triggers that are pressure-sensitive, digital, and analog. There is also a Z key before the R. However, this original version is a wired model that you plug into the GameCube console.

The GameCube controller came with the console when it was released. It was more successful than its predecessor thanks to the latest and advanced features, which explains the colorful remakes for specific titles afterwards. Nintendo 64’s M-shape was replaced by a more practical design, an additional analog stick, a C stick, and the X and Y keys, and it also paved the way for wireless models like WaveBird.

Which Controls Are Used in Mario Kart Wii?

The Mario Kart Wii is one of the most famous games, loved by millions of Nintendo fans. Before I get to the types of controllers, it is advisable to understand the control styles you can deploy. The following are the movements you can make when playing Mario Kart Wii.

When using your Wii controllers, you need stunts, drifting, drafting, and snaking skills. Once you master them, you will always gain speed and improve your gameplay. You can also carry them on to other Mario Kart versions and implement them when using different controllers.

You can use tricks to get ahead of your opponents and accelerate when you hit the ground while doing stunts. They will also be effective mid-air or off the tracks. Rocket starts and recovery boosts are also valuable techniques, and you will notice the blue sparks around you that will also turn yellow depending on how fast you accelerate.

The following are some skills you will need when playing Mario Kart, regardless of the controller you use.

  • Stunts

Unlike previous Mario Kart versions, the Wii remake usually focuses on boosting and stunts. It gives you the best opportunity to showcase your creative side and outdo your opponents by performing tricks. The game handsomely rewards your skill sets with different speeds. You can also do mid-air techniques whenever possible to help you accelerate as soon as you get on the ground.

As you get more experienced, you will often boost your gameplay and implement tricks and impressive stunts. It will also come in handy to be open-minded when performing such tricks. Even when you are not on the tracks, try them on hills or drops, but be careful to have perfect timing.

  • Rocket Start

This aspect is more about getting a head start and starting the race in the best way possible. You can increase your speed for the best rocket start as you hold the respective keys as soon as the race countdown is over. The trick is to have proper timing that will guarantee a powerful boost; otherwise, any delay in the start will cause lagging.

It is also typical to fall off the tracks as you are speeding up. When the Lakitu swoops in to get you back on your feet, you can always do a recovery boost. The second you are on your feet; you can always press accelerate and get the high speed you need.

  • Drafting

A draft boost is a necessary trick to cross ahead of your opponent. You may find yourself directly behind another player, meaning that your wind resistance will be low, enabling you to increase your speed.

At this point, you can stay steady when you see the blue streaks around, and you will successfully do the boost. Effectively, you will thrust forward, and, if you are lucky, you will quickly overtake and knock over your opponent.

  • Drifting

Any Mario Kart enthusiast will tell you about the craze around the Mini-Turbo skill, everyone wants to have it in their gameplay, and the thrilling part is that it can happen at any part of the game.

When you deploy manual drifting when picking your character, you can always have a boost when you press down the hop key. You can maintain that until you notice the blue streaks, and the Mini-Turbo will occur when you let go of the button. You will easily drift and gain more speed when the blue lines turn yellow.

  • Snaking

When you master the Mini-Turbo technique and get consistent blue streaks in a different direction, you will have cracked the snaking art. However, it isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when you are using the Wii controllers. Additionally, the relentless attacks from other characters even make it harder to get the snaking advantage.

How To Play Mario kart with a GameCube Controller

The GameCube controller is more fun and comfortable in the Mario Kart series than the Wii remote. However, most new users aren’t versed with the buttons’ capabilities and end up mixing them up. To get you started, the following is a stepwise manual.

You can use the A button, usually green, to accelerate when making stunts mid-air or on or off the tracks. The red B or R keys will also help you make drifts, reverse, hop or brake, while the swivel button on the left will facilitate steering. For braking, you can use the R or B keys.

On the other hand, the L will allow you to use items or equip you, and it is the same button you use on a Wiimote. In contrast, the R key and swivel will facilitate drifting, and the X or yellow swivel will help you adjust the angle of your camera.

There are other essential functions you can do with your GameCube controller when playing Mario Kart. For instance, when you obtain items using L, you can use directional buttons to launch or drop them accordingly. Additionally, if you want to look behind, you can click the Z or X button.

The middle keys will also enable stunts while you jump, and you can make directional motions. For instance, when you direct the four linked keys upward, you can do wheelies (bikes only) or stop them when you point them downward. The A key, on the contrary, will let you confirm menu options, B will cancel them, and the swivel will select them.

Why Play Mario Kart Wii With a GameCube Controller?

Over the years, Nintendo has proven that it can experiment with its accessories and develop state of the art gadgets. Many hail the controller as one of the best releases from the company, and it explains the need to know whether it is also compatible with other consoles.

Luckily, you can use the GameCube controller for Mario Kart Wii because its design makes it compatible. The GameCube also has its Mario Kart versions making it easy to use the controllers for other games like Mario Kart Wii. This accessory is comfortable, has an impressive balance, and the sleek design effortlessly facilitates hours of gameplay.

The shape fits well into your hands, and all the buttons work together for the ultimate game experience. Most gamers love that it has pressure-sensitive triggers, a flexible C-stick and a soft thumbstick.

If you love the original GameCube controller, you will appreciate its compatibility with the Mario Kart Wii. If you lose your Wii remotes or incline more to classic controllers for your gameplay, it will come in handy. Given that the accessory also works with GameCube Mario Kart games like Double Dash, it is only practical that they would also support other versions on the Wii, and, by extension, other games on the Switch.

The best controller for Mario Kart gaming should be comfortable, steady, and provide all the control you need for the game. Fortunately, the GameCube controller offers all this and more, explaining why many Mario Kart fans incline to it.

The distinct features are the flexible pressure triggers and thumbstick that offer you the best gaming experience compared to Wiimotes. Therefore, you will find it easy to stunt and snake with, and you will always have a head start over your opponents.

Which Controllers Can You Use For Mario Kart Wii?

The best part about Mario Kart Wii is that it doesn’t limit you to one controller. Therefore, you can always find an option to use based on your preference, and it helps that they all have similar functionalities.

One standard method is the Wii wheel, a unique design for the game with its simple and flexible keys that make gameplay effortless. You can also use a Wii remote that is very stable and non-restrictive. The buttons are well-arranged, and it makes it easy for skilled gamers to accelerate and perform stunts.

The traditional controllers are also practical, thanks to their comfortable classic feel that makes it easy for you to snake. Lastly, players are also inclined to GameCube controllers that offer balanced and controlled gaming and a comfortable, sleek design.

The wheel is famous for Mario Kart Wii since it has a unique design for the game. Gamers find it easy to steer, and the soft and flexible buttons emphasize it. You can pick and thrust items, and it has a general great feel.

On the downside, it is pretty tasking to use when snaking or to drag things if on automatic, and you can topple when doing stunts. Another widely used method is the GameCube controller, whose advantage over the wheel is the ease it brings when snaking. The pad is also one of the most practical and comfortable, thanks to the elegant wing design.

Users love the balance and control they have when using it to play, explaining why it has a huge fan base. The third on the list is the classic controller that is also effective when snaking and relatively comfortable. It may be smaller than the GameCube controller but still very comfortable.

Lastly, gamers also use the Wii remote that is very stable when doing stunts and is quite flexible. It also has a nice feel in your hold, although some find it challenging to maneuver when snaking.


Besides the classic controllers, Wii wheel and Wii remotes, the GameCube controller has proven to be a top choice for Mario Kart fans. From the elegant design to the extra buttons, it’s no wonder many would want to use it for other Wii games. The advantage with it is the excellent capabilities for gaming and the comfortable feel, perfect for hours of gameplay.

The button functionalities are not very different from other controllers. A accelerates while B or R facilitate drift, reverse, hop or a brake. You can also pick items using L and thrust with the forward and backward motion keys. You can also use the swivel to steer or drift and adjust angles alongside the R and X keys, respectively.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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