Forums  /  Mario Kart series  /  Mario Kart 8  /  External SSDs and Load Times - Opinions?

So I just got the WRs in 200cc Itemless- both 32 track and 48 track.

Why the big cut from my previous 48 track PB of 1:33:30? When I got that old PB, it was 3rd place, which was 8 seconds faster that Bison in 4th (I wanted to beat all other times using internal memory before I experimented with this stuff). However, I noticed that my times were not nearly as fast as those above me, despite me using a lot more drift strats and shortcuts. I basically would have needed a god run to WR, and even then it may not have been possible.

I did some research and found this video comparing loading times on Wii U using various methods of loading the game...

Basically in terms of speed, External SSD > Internal Memory > External HDD > Disc. If you don't know, SSD stands for solid state drive, which is basically a faster version of the hard drive that doesn't have moving parts.

So I tried it. I found a used 120gb SSD on amazon for about $30, then grabbed an external case for it as well as a USB 'Y' cable (you need one of these if your external case doesn't have its own power source- as I learned the hard way). It was about $45 USD total, and also worked as a solution to not having enough storage on the Wii U, so why not.

The result was a timesave of about two seconds per track purely from loading. Since my run was slightly weaker than my old pb in terms of gameplay, I estimate this method saved me in the neighborhood of 1:45 off using a digital copy on Wii U internal memory.

I'll do more timing later, but I believe the load times I now get match those Videowiz and burkhalter (who has removed his 200cc times) were getting.

So what we have here is the possibility of extra hardware helping with the speedrun. I consider this in the same category as OoT a few years ago, where players were buying Chinese N64's to save time.


1) Burk and Vid- can you guys confirm that you were doing something like this to get your load times?

2) What do we think about runs that do this? Is it just another step up (like disc to digital) or is it unfair?

3) What do other Wii U communities do about this?

OPINION: I think it is silly that load times work like this and silly that I purchased this (I am silly). However, you probably can't really prevent something like this in a ruleset, as load times aren't always consistent anyway, and I'm not sure if the mods want to be timing loads anyway.

I propose a new variable on the charts- "Game Save Type" containing a drop down list with the options (Digital- External SSD, Digital- Internal Memory, Digital- External HDD, Disc). Would be weird, since the leaderboards are already pupulated with dozens of times however.

So yeah, that's about what I've been researching the past week or two. I will be submitting my run, but we'll see what this post says about all of this stuff.


I can confirm that Burk and I both use external HDDs for our runs. AeonFrodo even bought digital after finding this out, though I'm not sure if she uses an HDD or internal storage.

A lot of what people think about this can be found here and I doubt the mods will be willing to make changes to runs that are already submitted as I had mentioned in that thread that there are 500+ runs in total. In my opinion, it is fair as a speed run is a way to beat a game in the fastest method possible.

There are obviously mixed feelings about this all with examples here claiming to be WR in the video title but is 9 seconds behind in a cup category, and another example here where they label their video [Disk WR] with a time difference of 1m 49s.


I just have a Digital copy on my Wii U. No external SSD. It's really expensive over in Australia though, so I don't imagine getting one anytime soon. At the moment I just want to get a sub 1:37 for Items and see where I can take it from here


How the hell did I miss that other thread?

Yeah, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it by any means (fastest hardware is standard in speedrun communities from what I have seen). I guess my main goal with this post was to cement it into people's minds more that this is a thing, since I was quite confused in my earlier runs.

Adding another variable to the charts would probably be unrealistic, spent more time thinking about it


It was known for a long time that Disc < Digital < External was always like this.