Snaking is a technique for experienced players that allows the user to continuously drift back and forth to perform Mini-Turbos on a straightaway. It was first developed as a byproduct of online competition in Mario Kart DS, though the technique has been usable since Mario Kart 64 and was similarly prolific in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! world records.

The technique is essentially a chain of Mini-Turbos. Snaking is easily done by lighter Karts with extreme acceleration and handling, low drift and powerful mini-turbos, mainly the Egg 1, Dry Bomber, and Poltergust 4000. An outlier to this rule is the ROB-BLS, which, while heavy, has a fairly good handling stat coupled with a high speed, and is very popular for snaking as well. It is most easily done on wide, linear courses without obstacles, such as Figure-8 Circuit or Peach Circuit, while it makes less of an impact on narrow courses such as Rainbow Road. It is generally looked down upon to use the technique against unskilled or non-snaking opponents in online matches, but it is commonly used in Time Trials to achieve impressive records.

It is widely perceived as a form of cheating, as Nintendo has made efforts to remove snaking in subsequent Mario Kart titles, as they viewed that it was unfair for people who don't know the technique. Mini-turbos could now only spark when a vehicle had drifted long or sharp enough, which made attempts to create mini-turbos on narrow straightaways very difficult. While there have been attempts to replicate snaking, all such attempts are not practical for racing, rarely ever making a difference in time or speed.