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.
Here’s everything else that was in today’s Mario Kart 8 version 3.0.0 patch notes:
Support for DLC
- Added paid DLC: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, Wave 6 (two cups, eight courses, four characters, 17 Mii racing suits).
- Added “Music” button to the top menu.This is a feature where you can listen to the background music that plays during the game, as you like.Even players who don’t own the Booster Course Pass can listen to the background music of the DLC courses.
- Added feature where other players who aren’t friends can join in a Room.After creating a room, press the + Button or – Button to display the Room ID on the Room screen, and tell your fellow racers the Room ID.The other racers can join by entering the Room ID in “Search by Room ID.”
- Made it so that you can create a Room even if you have 0 friends registered.
- Added staff credits for the Booster Couse Pass.Conditions for seeing the credits
- Increased the invincibility time of a portion of characters and vehicle customizations.
- Made it so that you can’t acquire strong items when taking an Item Box by stopping or driving in reverse, or taking an Item Box that is in same location multiple times during a race.
- Shortened the time between when an Item Box is acquired by someone until it is restored.
- Lowered the appearance rate of Mirror and 200cc in “Worldwide” and “Regional.”
- Made it so you can acquire the “Varia Suit” when using a Metroid series amiibo.
- Made it so you can acquire the “Hylian Suit” when using a Legend of Zelda series amiibo.
- Made it so you can acquire the “Kirby Suit” when using a Kirby series amiibo.
- Made it so you can acquire the “Daisy Suit” when using a Daisy amiibo.
- Fixed an issue where no Bob-omb car blows up in Wii Moonview Highway, but a Bob-omb car blows up for someone you are playing with online.
- Fixed an issue where, when racing against a Ghost in Time Trials on Yoshi’s Island, the red road would not appear even though the Ghost touched the Winged Cloud.
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.
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.”