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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Pareto’s Guide to Optimal Racers

Unveiling the Optimal Mario Kart 8 Racers Using Pareto's Principles

Who hasn’t spent countless hours contemplating the implications of applying the theories of Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist from the early 20th century, to Mario, the high-jump champion of the Mushroom Kingdom and occasional elephant impersonator? This timeless question has been addressed by Antoine Mayerowitz, PhD, a data scientist. His research offers an unbiased method to determine the optimal combinations of racers in Mario Kart 8. Spoiler alert: Koopa Troopa is definitely not the best choice.

When you dissect the build options in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which include driver statistics and various vehicle specifics, there are more than 700,000 potential combinations. Overwhelming, right? However, by removing duplicates that only differ visually, you can reduce the number to a “mere” 25,704 options. So, how do you sift through these to find the top racer? This is where Mr. Pareto comes into play.

Pareto’s principles, particularly the Pareto front, assist us in navigating the labyrinth of choices. They can identify the solutions that offer the most balanced strengths and the least compromises. Pareto’s work revolves around efficiency and effectiveness. Now, that’s more like it.

When selecting a Mario Kart racer, you must take into account their speed, acceleration, handling, weight, off-road capability, and mini turbo stats. That’s quite a bit to consider.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (image credit: Nintendo)

Even if you conclude that speed and acceleration are paramount, you’re still faced with disparities. For instance, it might be tempting to focus solely on speed (like Bowser or Wario), but their acceleration is subpar. On the other hand, if you give precedence to acceleration (like Baby Mario or Dry Bones), you might end up with rapid bursts that eventually hit a disappointing maximum speed.

Furthermore, some racers are consistently outperformed in the most crucial stats, meaning their balance of speed and acceleration consistently falls short. Koopa is a prime example of this, so avoid choosing him if victory is your goal. (However, you’re more than welcome to select him for his adorable bug eyes and stylish shell.)

Mayerowitz’s Pareto front analysis allows you to whittle down your options to the 14 most efficient. Interestingly, it appears that the game’s elite players were onto something: One of the combinations with the perfect balance of speed, acceleration, and mini-turbo is Cat Peach driving the Teddy Buggy, with roller tires and a cloud glider — a combination already popular among Mario Kart 8 competitors.

Naturally, if that combination doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options that keep you within the Pareto front’s optimal range. As Eurogamer notes, Donkey Kong, Wario (my personal favorite, primarily because he amuses me), and Princess Peach are frequently recommended as drivers, and you can use Mayerowitz’s data fields to find the best corresponding vehicles. Bear in mind that some racers have identical stats, so the likes of Villager (female), Inkling Girl, and Diddy Kong are differentiated solely by their looks.

To discover your perfect racer, you can visit Mayerowitz’s website. There, you can input your most valued stats and see the combinations that offer the best balance (those highlighted in yellow), in accordance with Pareto’s principles.

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