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How to Build a Mario Cart Boat Racing Mini-Game in Minecraft

Note: This guide was written before Command Blocks were a thing.

This mini game is a bit like normal boat racing, but in this mini game the goal isn’t so much the conquering of obstacles and being the fastest, but more the total destruction of your friends and hoping you get over the finish line first.

The race track doesn’t have to be enormous or filled with traps and other obstacles, though it can be. The best tracks for this mini game are small to medium sized, easy to navigate and without any traps.

Building a Track

I’ve created a simple track, with a water elevator, a water fall and some simple water rapids which will speed up the boats. The track is one connected path, so you can race multiple laps without having to run or teleport back to the start.

As you can see in the images of our track, we’ve built several overhanging piston systems. These systems are there to mimic the weapon crate you can usually find in normal cart racing games, like Mario cart. The dispensers are each filled with weapons, ranging from bows and splash potions to buttons and chicken spawn eggs.

The dispensers are all connected to a button, this button can be pushed by the contestants when they sail under them. We’ve tried to make the dispenser drop the items as close to the contestants as possible, though it will depend on the speed of the contestants whether they will catch the item or not.

The bow is used to fire arrows, which the players will have received at the beginning of the race. Each player only gets 15 arrows, though you might want to give more arrows, depending on the size of your tracks and the number of laps you race.

You may have also noticed the TNT blocks in some parts of the tracks. These TNT blocks are connected to a single dirt block, some blocks will require a button to be placed on it in order to activate the TNT, while a few already have a button on it. Some buttons are dropped from the weapon dispensers.

The activated TNT could destroy a boat or kill the player, but because it lands in the water, any environmental damage will be absorbed. You could also just use a server plugin to turn explosive block destruction off.

The chicken spawn eggs are purely used to annoy the players. The chickens will fall in the water and act as a small obstacle. You could put anything else in there, perhaps a lump of coal if you’re building a winter/christmas themed race track.

Remember to give each contestant a full inventory of boats, minus some spots for the arrows and any item dropped from the dispenser. Their boats will most likely break a lot, so make sure they have a chance to get back in the race.

Dispensers as Random Weapon Crates

The great thing about dispensers is that they fire their inventory randomly. Which makes it impossible to keep track of which item has dropped and which item will drop next.

Note that the size of a stack does not affect the chance of the item dropping, only the amount of stacks. So a stack of 64 bows and a stack of 2 buttons will both have a 1/2 chance of being shot out. One at a time of course.

You can add many more items, weapons and other traps, but don’t make it too complicated. The easier games are often more fun to play and are usually played more often.

Minecart and Pig Versions

This game can also be played using saddled pigs in minecarts, as this allows you to drive the minecart wherever you want. However, these minecart pigs are extremely slow, which makes the game quite boring as most players will be stuck next to each other.