Hint #1 - Know Your Power-Ups
In the Diddy Kong Single-Card Download race modes, no one driver ever has a significant advantage over any other. In fact, since the strengths and weaknesses of each driver are pretty well balanced. Often, any advantage from the driver will be negligible. That leaves two types of advantages. One type is based on the how good (or bad) the other human(s) are at the game. The other type is based on the in-game power-ups. Everything from speed boosts to road obstacles to attack missiles can be gained by popping the right balloons. Learn the power-ups and know them. For a complete list of all power-ups and their effects, check out DSSingleCard.com's Diddy Kong Racing DS Walkthroughs.
Hint #2 - T.T. Says: Don't Go Off Course
In T.T.'s Wish Race mode, you design the race track. Or, at least, you design horizontal layout (the game adds in changes in altitude and power-ups via an automated code). One thing that is extremely important, however, is to remember the layout you designed. Ramps - going up or down - can throw a person off. Why is this important? There are no barriers to keep drivers from driving off of the course. Two or three of these "excursions" are enough to put a racer so far behind they'll never catch up (unless the other racers do the same thing, of course).
Hint #3 - Sorta-Semi-Auto-Tracking
If you're the type of racer that likes to pick up red balloons to pick up some attack missiles, you should know that the missiles have a (somewhat limited) tracking ability. First off, the missiles can't be fired into a wall or into the ground (for obvious reasons). If they have enough distance to right themselves and (keeping in mind a 360 degree circle) the missiles are fired within 15 degrees (in either direction) of the driver you want to hit (and if that driver is not in the process of driving around a wall you can't see around), the missile will lock on and hit them. If you collect a third red balloon before activating them, your super attack missile (assuming you don't fire it into the wall or the ground) should auto-track the race leader with greater ease. Just remember, it automatically tracks the driver in the lead - even if it's you.
Hint #4 - Take Your Turn Early
If you're steering a hovercraft and you're having problems making your turns without bumping into the wall, remember that the fan on the hovercraft doesn't instantly boost you in the direction you're facing - it takes a second or two. Try turning a little sooner (and to a greater degree) than you would with a plane or a cart, and your turns should go a little smoother. In the single-player experience, the turning and handling of your hovercraft can be boosted via vehicle upgrades.
Hint #5 - Longer Lasting Booster Shots
Y'know those speed-boosting "zippers" on the courses that give you a speed boost when you drive over them? If you aren't pressing on the gas at the second you drive over them and don't press the gas again until you begin to decelerate, the speed boost you receive will be slightly stronger and will last a little longer.
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