"I'm using tilt controls!" For some, this phrase might just be a way to spam the Mario Kart 8 online lobby. For others, it's a way of life. Mario Kart's tilt controls, introduced way back in Mario Kart Wii, have been a great way to make the franchise more accessible to players. If you're like me and you want to keep that golden steering wheel by your online alias in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, transitioning from the Wii and Wii U wheel setup to the solo Joy-Con on Switch might be a little bumpy—but you've definitely got options.
In my quest to find the best tilt control setup, I started with the lone Joy-Con. While this is far from the ideal setup, it can get the job done in a pinch! The controls are a little, erm..."cozy," and the trigger buttons can be pretty hard to reach. When trying out this setup, I found that I ended up using the joystick more than the actual motion controls, which was really confusing since I'd played exclusively with the steering wheel in the previous two home console installments.
What I was really looking for was something more similar to the steering wheel accessory for the Wii Remote, so I went hunting for a Nintendo Switch wheel. But, alas, on launch day there were none available, so I instead purchased the YoK Switch Joy-con Racing Wheel Double (the store rep assured me that it was basically the same as the official Nintendo product).
I was very unimpressed and more frustrated with this wheel than anything. The trigger buttons were frustratingly inconsistent—the button would have to be pressed very hard in order to yield any type of response, and half the time, there was no response at all.
Desperate for something that would feel familiar, I ordered the Nintendo-brand Switch Joy-Con Wheels. This accessory was the clear tilt control scheme winner in my experience. The wheel is still tiny, which takes getting used to, but the trigger buttons are much more accurate and comfortable to use than any other option I tested out. I could finally enjoy the switch of the item buttons from the D-Pad to the left trigger, too, an option that was never possible in previous Mario Karts!
If you're used to the Wii Remote, there'll definitely still be an adjustment period, but the official first-party product is really the best bet for any player who loves using tilt controls.