Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64) - Basic driving tips
Tips on Cornering
Goes without saying, you wont get far without using the basic turns by tilting the control stick, you'll use these regular turns less and less as you learn the more advanced faster ones.
Starts in much the same way as a hop, by pressing the L or R button on the top of the pad, the difference is you hold it down for a power slide. And you slide smoothly sideways around corners, slightly harder to perfect, if you use it at the wrong time you'll end up going off the track, use it at the right time and you'll fast become a better player.
As you take a corner, hit the R button a few times, this will help prevent you from sliding off the track, every time you hit the button your kart will do a hop, as the name suggests.
Fairly difficult to learn, meaning only the top line karters do it, this little trick will give you mini unlimited turbos on corners, it's done by powersliding and tilting the control stick left and right as you go, the colour of the smoke behind the car will get darker, it goes from white to orange, and then finally red when your ready for a mini turbo. Take your finger off the R Button and you will see a noticeable speed increase.
The A-B Turn
This is used to quickly turn around if your kart is facing the wrong way, you have to be at a complete standstill to do it, you have to hold both A and B and tilt the control stick in the direction you wish to turn. You'll only need this if you start driving backwards for some reason.
As you can probably guess by the name, this combines any two styles of basic cornering and is used by the true masters. Combinations such as: Powersliding and Boosting and Mini-Boosts and hopping are good examples, give them a try. These will all cut your times slightly, used on longer tracks lots of times you'll have a definite time improvement.
Multiple Mini Boosts
Many tracks throughout the game have long corners in which your free to be as creative as you like with powerslides, hopping and mini boosts, practice doing 2 on each corner, then try 3... I personally couldn't do more than three mini turbos on any one corner, maybe you can though.
On maps like banshee boardwalk there are corners which you can hop over which will save you a few seconds. And even some which you can drive over (but best to use a boost when you do) such as on Sherbet Land (Vanilla Lake remake).
This could be the make or break when going for a record time, it's done by Pressing the A button just before the blue light, practice it a few times, it shouldn't take long, and before you know it you'll be doing it without thinking about it.