The Mini-Turbo, (also variously known as Boost Slide, Turbo Slide, Power Drift, Jet Slide, Drift Boost, and formally as Power-Slide Turbo Boost), are techniques used in every Mario Kart title after Super Mario Kart. It can only be performed while drifting or powersliding. The method varies slightly for each game, but the result in all cases is a short punch of speed boost along with an instant strong torque.
Mario Kart 64
In Mario Kart 64, a Mini-Turbo is performed by executing a drift and turning the kart in the opposite direction it is drifting, then back again. (If drifting to the left, tilt the Control Stick right, then left again, while holding the drift.) If done correctly, the trail of smoke behind the kart will turn yellow. Repeat the previous step to turn the smoke orange/red, then release the drift to launch the boost. If the drift is held to the inside too long, the kart may suddenly go too sideways, slowing it down. The boost is not so noticeable due to lack of animation, but it's denoted by the driver shouting.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
In Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mini-Turbos are charged automatically by drifting in a 90-degree angle for more than a second and released by returning straight afterwards. This time, the boost is made more noticeable with the engine back-firing with blue flames, along with an associated loud sound.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the method is roughly/almost the same as it was in Mario Kart 64. In this case, there are electric sparks instead of smoke, the color order is different (rather than gray-yellow-red, it's yellow-red-blue), and it can be done much faster due to the lack of hopping. When performing a Mini-Turbo in Double Dash!! in midair, the boost can still be obtained upon landing if done correctly. This is not possible in Mario Kart Wii, as Mini-Turbos in that game are entirely based on the length of a successful drift.
Mario Kart DS
In Mario Kart DS, the method is the same as it was in Double Dash!!. This the charging animation is altered. The charging is denoted by orange sparks from the rear tires and in addition, small blue sparks will appear once the player alternates the drifting direction for the first time. The release has no animation such as flames bursting from the exhaust or the driver shouting, but only a sound effect and a blurred motion.
Due to the introduction of kart stats, each kart also has a different degree of effectiveness when a mini-turbo is performed. When this is done on time-trials, the bottom screen shows a red path on the turbo part of the mini-turbo, as if a boost pad were being driven on.
Mario Kart Wii onwards
In Mario Kart Wii, the method has been altered. It is charged by drifting until blue sparks appear, then release drifting. In this game, only karts can perform the stronger Super Mini-Turbo by holding the drift longer until the sparks turn orange. A spin turn/Mini Turbo Boost can be performed if the racer has stopped by holding both the accelerate and brake buttons until blue sparks appear. The tires appear to have a roundish flame while the mini-turbo is held. Mini-Turbos cannot be performed if drifting is set to "Automatic".
The mechanic in Mario Kart 7 is largely unchanged compared to the Wii version, but Super Mini-Turbo is less powerful in this game.
In Mario Kart 8, the mechanic is once again largely unchanged from Wii and 7, though now bikes can perform Super Mini Turbos. While driving on an Anti-Gravity segment, Mini-Turbos can be performed much easier.
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a new version of mini-turbo is introduced called the Ultra Mini-Turbo, which causes purple sparks, takes even longer to charge than the Super Mini-Turbo, and gives an even longer boost. This type of mini-turbo is only available if smart steering is disabled.
- In 64, every time a Mini-Turbo is performed, the character will shout several lines repeatedly in random. An example is Luigi, in which he will say "here we go!", and "yahoo!" repeatedly during continuous Mini-Turbo.
- In Double Dash!! onwards except DS, if Mini-Turbo is successfully performed, the kart's engine appear to burn excessive fuel and flames can be seen coming out of the exhaust pipe, along with a more aggressive, louder engine revving. This is a homage to the Nitrous Oxide Systems (NOS), which is used for powerful speed boosts in drag racing or modified performance cars.
- In addition, the boost sound effect also sounded similar to the NOS itself, particularly in Wii and 8.
- Mini-Turbos are notably easier to perform in DS and 7 than the other installments, likely due to its simplified handling physics (to fit the handheld specifications) compared to other games.