Mario Kart Has A New Controversial Technique Called 'Fire Hopping'

Mario Kart Has A New Controversial Technique Called 'Fire Hopping'

Discussions around Mario Kart 8 are getting heated as the moment, as players have discovered a new technique some are calling "Fire Hopping". While you can see Fire Hopping in action in the footage below by MK8 Records, basically, it's something that allows players to maintain a speed boost via hopping. Fire Hopping is possible to pull off with everything but inner drifting bikes.

How does it work? Redditor KaiserYoshi says that, "Apparently, you lose speed faster when in contact with the ground, so jumping repeatedly at the end of a boost will keep you going slightly faster for a slightly longer time."

The Mario Kart community seems split on Fire Hopping, as it's technically not something that the manual lists or that Nintendo has mentioned being in the game in the past. At the same time, though the technique has an effect on the racing, it's also not clear if Fire Hopping actively "ruins" the game for other people. Is it fair for someone to use the technique if others don't know about it or can't pull it off? Should this be called a glitch or an exploit? Are players who use it cheaters, or are they simply better players?

"It's not that big of a deal-breaker (at least for me)....if it makes us better players then why not," neoGAF user random25 opines.

"Whelp looks like the online will be ruined soon. Nintendo better patch this ASAP," YouTube commenter Gnerdus writes.

"[It's] not cheating but exploiting an unintended mechanic. As far as I'm aware the game is not meant to be played this way by the developer," Ansatz says. "It's unfair that your drift boost will last longer / have a better effect that mine simply because you mastered this technique, it makes no sense," he continues.

"So the first exploit rears it's ugly head!," Mario Kart Wii forum poster Lonely Dolphin exclaims. "Well it's not as bad as MK7's Monster tires, and not even close to MKWii inward drift bikes or MKDS snaking, so it wont ruin the online or anything," they reason.

Whether or not Fire Hopping is an intentional technique, only Nintendo can say. We contacted them to ask if they knew about Fire Hopping's existence, and whether or not there are plans to patch it out in the future — we'll let you know if we hear back. But at the moment, Fire Hopping in the game. Whether or not it gives a significant advantage is also up to debate. One player, akaoni, chimes in with their findings:

I've been practicing doing the hopping trick in Royal Raceway and I can see the benefits. The trick seems to be eliminating non-linearity when cornering, basically you slow down when alternating between drifts because the kart has to physically turn, while it also seems to provide better speed if you leave the ground I assume. So you can use it to bridge the gap between multiple turns without having to readjust the direction you're facing. It also improves large boosts and works for about 4/5 consecutive hops, this seems to work with a long drifting boost the same way. The cornering allows you to run a very narrow racing line because you don't have to account for your kart steering off the track as much when close to the edge. It seems easier to do with the d-pad.

So is it reliable? On simple corners it's very easy to do consistently and get a slight incremental benefit, or on the long boosts it's a given that doing 3 hops will be safe for the benefits, but doing it on every single occasion with maximum efficiency like the time trial does seems extremely risky because of how close you're running to the edge of the track which can cost you dearly with a single mistake.

In the past, many competitive communities have discovered exploits or glitches that were not intended by the developer, but that nonetheless get used by players regularly — and they're not always considered "cheating." Famous examples include combos in early Street Fighter games, and wave dashing in Smash Bros. Mario Kart itself has experienced something like this in the past, most notably with "snaking" — a technique that allowed players in Mario Kart DS to do mini-turbos on a straightaway. Like Fire Hopping, snaking was a most controversial technique, and Mario Kart players differed on whether or not it should be used against people. Most players seem hesitant to compare Fire Hopping to Snaking, however, even if Fire Hopping is causing arguments about the nature of advanced techniques/exploits/cheating.

What do you make of Fire Hopping? Is it fair to use — heck, might you be using the technique against other players? Do you care if it's intentional or not? Let us know in the comments.

[via GimmeGimme Games — thanks Kevin!]


    Just look at that video. Does that look like normal Mario Kart racing to you? I don't approve.

      snaking ruined online MK play for me

        People excessively used Reptile when fighting you in Mortal Kombat?

      It looks pretty close to how I race in SMK. Doing a brief hop in the opposite direction after powersliding is pretty essential if you don't want your momentum to pull you off track.

        That does not look like negating turn momentum to me. It's pretty clear in this video that this guys racing line is pretty good and doesn't need to hop like that.

    It will be patched as soon as it comes prevalent enough that the average gamer has no chance of ever winning. Nintendo seems to base its online mechanics around maximising fun for everyone, and if the average casual player has no hope of ever winning then they'll patch it out. I agree with the stance Nintendo will (probably) take on this, if it can ruin a huge portion of the game for many people, how does that promote a good gaming experience?

    I don't get the big deal. You just get a slightly longer boost and anyone can learn to do it. Sounds like a non issue.

    It's just like saying the boost from drifting is unfair because some players can't drift properly.

    I'd throw in the mantra that mechanics should be "easy to learn, and hard to master'. I haven't tried it myself yet, but this mechanic seems to be just that, so I approve, for now.


    I'll reserve judgement on this. While in time trial mode it no doubt provides a small advantage if you manage to pull it off, I suspect it would be really tricky to do reliably when playing online and there are 11 other players with shells, bananas, bombs and who knows what else flying at you. If you manage to consistently pull it off in that kind of environment then you probably deserve an advantage :P

    From my testing, hopping while driving actually slows you down because the cart only moves forward upon tire contact with ground (normal). Is this the case for others?

    In the video, the player is hopping before the 'nitro' flame boost ends, and the hopping isn't slowing him down. Therefore, the logical explanation is that the flame boost is what causes forward momentum and tire contact is ignored, so the kart keeps going forward at the same speed in the air.

    Now the question is: was this a design choice, or an overseen bug?

    And was the dude drifting across the grass a bug? The fact he didn't slow down while drifting seems to point towards: drifting means forward momentum is performed via x/y-co-ordinates, not the road.


    On an unrelated note, I don't really like the drift mechanics. The kart swings out unrealistically and wildly at the start of drift. You can nudge people off-course with this. :\

    Last edited 04/06/14 10:36 am

      And was the dude drifting across the grass a bug? The fact he didn't slow down while drifting seems to point towards: drifting means forward momentum is performed via x/y-co-ordinates, not the road.

      He was mushroom boosting across the grass, not drifting.

    “It’s not that big of a deal-breaker (at least for me)….if it makes us better players then why not,”

    That's weird. Usually people get angry when a game makes winning easier for you, not claiming it makes you better.

      I think he was saying it takes skill to execute, so it heightens the skill cap another notch...not whatever it is you're saying.

    Git Gud

      i try

        *wonders if we'll see some extra hopping happening in multi now*

          I'm not going to bother :P. I like using bikes and snaking in MKDS was such a bummer.

            It certainly seems really useful for single player time trials. It doesn't actually prevent you getting blue shelled or lightning'd, so the benefit might simply be incidental.

    All I got out of that video is that the user is clearly the greatest Mario Kart player I have ever laid eyes upon.

      Oh man, I thought this was the track I was better at than most. Boy was I wrong.

        Hahaha it was a learning experience. Fire hopping or no fire hopping that dude is a beast and I hope I never have to race against him. He looks like he would confidently outrun a blue shell. OUT RUN IT.

    Who cares? this is great for time trial mode and will keep it interesting and skillful, highly doubt this is doable in a grand prix when your getting shocked by lighting, hit by blue and red shells and have to dodge bananas

    What the fresh hell is this? Hidden mechanics intended only for advanced players... how's this a new -or a bad thing? Why must there be a level field playing for all the skills? Not to mention these "skills" are not some kind of natural talent that a few elite are endowed with. They're knacks acquired through practice and repetition. If you play casually and are not interested in advancing your skills, why should you hate on the ones who do? You'll always have the blue shell to give you an unfair chance to beat a much more skilled player! Why do you feel entitled to more?

    These kind of techniques are intended to be a differentiator for the people atop of the game, not for the casuals. Do people understand that advanced players deserve to have fun and be challenged too? If there are no hidden, hard to master tricks that like this, also pose a risk of failure, then there would be no point for competitive players to keep playing once they have mastered the basics: they'd have exactly the same chances of winning and it all would go down to the luck of the draw with items.

    The most ridiculous argument is that being a "hidden" mechanic puts it out of the hands of the uninformed common masses. So What? Should we get rid of the shortcuts for exactly the same reason?

    Grow up, people. I'm not even a super hardcore player (ended my 3-year "season" in online MKWii at only 7500 points) and I can understand and accept these things.

    EDIT: I just tried this, and though I have only a few hours of practice with the controls in MK8, I managed to pull it off like half of the times I attempted it. If you already used hops as course-correction in MKWii, this is just a natural evolution. Definitely nothing to whine about.

    Last edited 04/06/14 12:06 pm

      Most people knew the story was the epitome of hyperbole before they read it. Don't worry dude, you'll feel more like this the more you read these.

      I mean "controversial"?

    How is this any different to MK64 with the power slide jumping to keep going fast? I'm all for it.

      Exactly, or was I playing MK 64 too "controversially" all those years ago?

    Then that makes sense why online some guy was always miles ahead of all of us...

    interesting technique, i'll have to learn it.

    This has been around for ages, i used to do it in one of the Mario Kart DS games, along with the technique to start with a speed boost by pressing go on the number 2 (i think that was how it was). I'm pretty sure it was referenced in one of the manuals as well

    But why can't we just realize that Mario Kart DS is the best Mario Kart

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