Mario Kart 8

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Mario Kart 8
Box NA - Mario Kart 8.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Namco Bandai Games[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date Japan May 29, 2014
USA May 30, 2014[2]
Europe May 30, 2014[3]
Brazil May 30, 2014 [4][5]
Australia May 31, 2014[6]
Genre Racing
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
Mode(s) Single Player, Multiplayer, Online Play
Wii U:
Media CD icon.png Optical disc
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)

Mario Kart 8 is a game in the Mario Kart series for the Wii U. It is the eighth installment in the main Mario Kart series (hence the game's name) and, including the arcade games, the eleventh overall. This installment is a follow-up game of the Nintendo 3DS title Mario Kart 7. Like other Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games, this game can be purchased both physically at retail and digitally through the Nintendo eShop, with the digital version requiring 4949.8 MB (approx. 4.83 GB) of memory to be installed.

A prominent new addition is anti-gravity, allowing players to drive on almost any surface. Elements from Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 are reused, such as Bikes and 2-Player online from Mario Kart Wii, and gliding, underwater driving, and kart customizing from Mario Kart 7. In addition, ATVs join the returning karts and bikes as a new class of vehicle. The game also features more detail in courses, specifically Retro Tracks, which appear more redesigned than their original appearances.


Mario demonstrating the anti-gravity mechanic in Mario Circuit.

The gameplay maintains the traditional elements of previous Mario Kart games, mostly from the two recent installments on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS respectively. Karts, which feature similar designs from Mario Kart 7, can be customized once again, alongside the returning bikes, which handle similar to the karts now and can only perform a wheelie via a boost, and the newly introduced ATVs. The hang-glider and underwater mechanics also return, as well as Coins, with the player being able to collect up to ten in one race as in Mario Kart 7. Like Mario Kart Wii, twelve racers are present in normal races.[7] Tricks and the ability to look behind also return in this game.

The newest feature for the series is anti-gravitational segments that not only allow for more dynamic track design, but also for racers to drive across walls, ceilings, and other seemingly unusual places. When in anti-gravity, if a racer bumps into another racer, the kart spins rather than just bumping and both racers receive a speed boost. This is called "spin boosting".

The game also features Wii U GamePad integration. In addition to the standard Off-TV Play, players also have the option of displaying the course map, and when neither the television gameplay nor the map are being displayed, the GamePad can be used as a horn button. Players have the option to toggle between these features at will.[8] The GamePad can also be used to toggle on and off the gyroscopic steering, and in its default display and when displaying the map the GamePad also displays the current rankings.

Bikes are also back from Mario Kart Wii. Peach, Daisy, Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach have an alternate costumes for bikes as it would be extremely difficult for them to ride motorbikes.

There is also Miiverse integration, which allows players to share their replay videos and comment on others' videos, in a feature called Mario Kart TV.[9] Another change is that in 2-player mode, the screen splits vertically instead of the horizontally in the other console Mario Kart games, a feature that was originally intended to be in Mario Kart 64 but was removed from the final game. Additionally, if the player falls off the edge of the track, Lakitu will pick them up and drop them back on to the track more quickly when compared to how he did this in past installments. This makes glitches involving falling into areas impossible.

Point management works similar to Mario Kart Wii, except that racers below top 3 get an extra point. Below is a chart of the point spread comparison between these eight games:

Point Spread Comparisons (GP)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
9 6 3 1 0 0 0 0 - - - -
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0 - - - -
Mario Kart Wii 15 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Mario Kart 7 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 - - - -
Mario Kart 8 15 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Grove-green bg signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), best after-race music
Yellow-limegreen bg signifies moderate results (mild clapping, moderate character reaction), same music in Wi-Fi as winner (different in MKDS GP)
Normal bg signifies losing results, losing music; - means not available
In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart Super Circuit, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race. If the racer fares this badly three times, the Grand Prix must be started over. Starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash to recent installments including this one, the Grand Prix normally goes forth.


Action(s) Input(s)
Wii U GamePad
Wii U Pro Controller
Wii Classic Controller
Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Wheel
Navigating menus
Select Classic Controller Left Control Stick / +Control Pad Nunchuk Control Stick +Control Pad
Confirm Classic Controller a Button A Button Two Button
Cancel Classic Controller b Button B Button One Button
Accelerate / Rocket Start Classic Controller a Button / Classic Controller y Button / Classic Controller Right Control Stick (tilt forward) A Button Two Button
Brake/reverse Classic Controller b Button / Classic Controller Right Control Stick (tilt back) B Button One Button
Steer Classic Controller Left Control Stick / +Control Pad / Tilt GamePad Nunchuk Control Stick Tilt Wii Remote / +Control Pad
Hop / drift Classic Controller ZR Button / Classic Controller R Button B Button / One Button
Trick B Button / Flick Wii Remote / One Button
Use item / stop item roulette / honk Classic Controller ZL Button / Classic Controller L Button Nunchuk Z Button +Control Pad / B Button
Pause / Resume Plus Button
Display/remove TV Map Minus Button
Home Menu HOME Button
Rear view Classic Controller x Button Nunchuk C Button A Button

Game modes

There are various game modes for Mario Kart 8. All modes available on single player (some also on local and online multiplayer) are listed here.

Grand Prix

Baby Luigi participating in a Grand Prix Race.

Mario Kart 8's Grand Prix works similar to past installments. Like past games the 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc engine classes are available by default, and completing 150cc unlocks Mirror; for the former three, however, Grand Prix rankings carry over to the lower engine classes after being completed on a higher engine class. In addition, and for the first time in the series, a 200cc engine class has been added as of the version 4.0 update, which is available by default alongside Mirror as of version 4.1. Only the Mushroom and Shell Cups are available at the start of the game, with the others being unlocked after completing the cup before, and are available in every engine class after being unlocked. The player starts out with five coins on the first race of any cup. There is the usual four-race marathon. Players now have the option to do a multiplayer Grand Prix up to four players, unlike in most previous home console Mario Kart games, where only up to two players can race in Grand Prix.

Time Trials

A Time Trial run has started at Twisted Mansion.

Time Trial mode lets the player complete a selected course in the fastest time possible. Among the other features, in addition to viewing ghost data, players can upload their own ghost data onto Miiverse, which other players can download and comment on. In addition, beating one of Nintendo's Staff Ghosts in a race earns the player a stamp based on the course they raced on which they can use in Miiverse posts. Leaderboards as seen in Mario Kart Wii also return.

VS Race

Four Miis in a multiplayer race.

VS mode can be played locally with up to four players. Players can set rules like which items appear, the difficulty level of the CPUs, and Team or Solo racing. Players can also set how the courses appear, choose a course after one is finished, or play all tracks randomly or in order. In this game, Mirror Mode appears as a default engine class, even if it isn't unlocked in Grand Prix.


A team battle.

Battle mode now features race tracks remixed to fit battle mode rather than containing all-new separate arenas. Balloon Battle can be played in teams or in free-for-all mode. It combines survival battle mode from Mario Kart DS and earlier installments and the timed points battle mode introduced in Mario Kart Wii; all players start with three points and three balloons each. Successfully making an opponent lose a balloon awards the player a point, and losing a balloon through any method will cause the player to lose a point. Balloons can never be regained (unless one is stolen from another player with a Mushroom or a Super Star), and if all balloons are lost, points can no longer be lost or gained. Defeated players can still drive and attack players as a Ghost, although they cannot receive points. Players can also now adjust the time limit from one to five minutes, and they can set up to 32 rounds in set intervals.


Main menu for the Online mode.

As with Mario Kart Wii, one or two local players can play over the Internet against other remote players. Players can race and battle with up to eleven other players from around the world or in their region, and can join and race with friends from the Friends menu. Finally, players are able to join a worldwide room using custom rules. Players can also set up their own rooms for friends and can race with custom rules, such as engine class, whether items are on or off, vehicle types available, control method, whether to play with computer players or not. As of version 3.0, players can also toggle whether they want to play on just the original 32 courses, the original courses and one of the two sets of DLC courses, or every available course by pressing Plus Button after selecting Worldwide or Regional,[10] as well as when setting up a room for friends. When playing online worldwide or regional, players once again earn VR points based upon their ranking at the end of a race or battle like in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7; like in Mario Kart 7 a player's VR starts at 1000, though like Mario Kart Wii players have different VR rankings for races and battles.

Players can also create their own tournaments, similar to the communities from Mario Kart 7. When creating a tournament, players can choose an icon and a name for their tournament as well as set the rules, including engine class, whether to play in teams or not, whether to have items or not, vehicle types, whether there are computer players or not, and, as of version 3.0, available courses (the original 32 courses, every course including DLC courses, just the DLC courses, or, as of version 4.0, the original courses and one of the DLC packs). Players can also set times in which the tournament is available (weekly, daily, or between a fixed period and at what day and time the tournament begins and ends), the number of races before scores are totaled, and whether the groups shuffle after every four matches or not. Finally, the availability can be set, including whether it is open or a code is required or it is open to anybody, whether it is open to anyone worldwide or just regional, and whether only players of certain ratings can play. When looking for a tournament, players can enter a code, search by type, or look at active tournaments. In addition, playing in a tournament that allows the DLC tracks to be selected requires purchasing the DLC before the player can enter.

After entering a room, players can choose one of three predetermined tracks or "Random", which chooses one of any of the game's tracks at random if the player's option is ultimately chosen; when playing with friends, however, players can select from any of the tracks available depending on the settings. Once every player has selected a track a roulette selects one of these options as the track to be raced on.

Mario Kart TV

Mario Kart TV menu.
Main article: Mario Kart TV

Mario Kart TV is an Internet-based feature in which players can view and share highlights of their and others' race and battle highlights. In the Mario Kart TV menu, the game automatically saves the twelve most recent race and battle replays, and the player can favorite up to six at one time. Players can view and edit theirs and others' replays by changing the duration of the replay and the focus characters and actions and can slow down, speed up, and rewind the replay while watching. Players can also share their highlights on Miiverse and YouTube; up to sixty seconds of video can be uploaded at one time, however.



The full character select screen, including the downloadable characters.

There are 36 total playable characters in Mario Kart 8, consisting of 16 default characters, 14 unlockable characters, and 6 characters obtainable by purchasing the add-on packs.[11] Including the add-on characters, there are 14 new playable characters, being the seven Koopalings (indicated by an * in the gallery), Baby Rosalina, Pink Gold Peach (indicated by an **), Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link, Villager, and Isabelle. There are three weight classes dependent on the size of the vehicle the characters drive (with the exception of Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach): light, medium, and heavy.[12]

The add-on packs contain three new characters each (see here for more info), but if both are purchased, the player will gain access to eight new colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy, ultimately expanding the character roster by 22 characters. Updates have been released that allowed suits to be unlocked by using amiibo, which allow Miis to resemble characters such as Samus Aran and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Starting drivers

Unlockable drivers

* - Mario Kart debut
** - Mario franchise debut
*** - Mii's weight is determined by the height and weight of the Mii the player chooses to race as.

Downloadable characters

Included in the game's two downloadable content packs (The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 and Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8) are three additional racers, making six total. In addition, by purchasing both packs the player immediately obtains eight new colors for both Yoshi and Shy Guy. The Villager, included with the Animal Crossing pack, also has both a male and female variant.

Additional characters
Pack Characters
The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 MK8 Tanooki Mario Icon.pngMK8 Cat Peach Icon.pngMK8 Link Icon.png
Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 MK8 Villager Icon.png MK8 Isabelle Icon.png MK8 Dry Bowser Icon.png
Color skins
Colored Yoshis* YoshiRed-MK8.pngYoshiBlue-MK8.pngLight-blue YoshiYoshiYellow-MK8.pngYoshiPink-MK8.pngYoshiBlack-MK8.pngYoshiWhite-MK8.pngYoshiOrange-MK8.png
Colored Shy Guys* Green Shy GuyBlue Shy GuyLight-blue Shy GuyYellow Shy GuyPink Shy GuyShyGuyBlack-MK8.pngShyGuyWhite-MK8.pngOrange Shy Guy

* - The CPU drivers do not drive as the different colored Yoshis and Shy Guys.

Unlocking criteria

Unlike previous Mario Kart games, characters (other than Mii) are unlocked at random by completing cups; however, another character cannot be unlocked by replaying a cup, making this title the first and only Mario Kart game that was done so. In previous games, fixed characters are unlocked by completing specific cups with specific engine classes. Additionally, for the first time in the series, unlockable characters appear as CPUs during races when they are still locked.[13]

Mii is the only character not randomly unlocked and is instead always the eighth character unlocked, unless the player uses an amiibo to unlock a Mii costume, in which case it will be unlocked immediately. Miis will never appear as CPU players.

Driver statistics

Like in Mario Kart 7, drivers in a specific group have their own stats.[12][14]

  • Speed: The top speed of the vehicle. Does not affect off-road travel.
    • Ground Speed: The top speed of the vehicle on land with normal gravity.
    • Water Speed: The top speed of the vehicle while driving underwater.
    • Air Speed: The top speed of the vehicle while gliding.
    • Anti-Gravity Speed: The top speed of the vehicle in anti-gravity mode.
  • Acceleration: The rate of the vehicle it takes to reach its top speed from a standing position.
  • Weight: The weight of the vehicle. Vehicles with higher weight knock away vehicles with lower weight.
  • Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle. A higher stat means vehicles turn sharper.
    • Ground Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle on land with normal gravity.
    • Water Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle while driving underwater.
    • Air Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle while gliding.
    • Anti-Gravity Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle in anti-gravity mode.
  • Traction (Grip in PAL version): The grasp of the vehicle. Vehicles with higher traction slip less on certain terrain and can stay stable on the road better. Not to be confused with handling.
  • Mini-Turbo: The strength of the vehicle's mini-turbo speed boosts.

Only ground speed, acceleration, weight, ground handling, and traction are visible in-game. The other stats, known as hidden stats, exist, but are not visible in-game.

The units are out of 6, displaying the different stats. Just like in Mario Kart Wii, Miis can be Light, Medium, or Heavy, depending on their height and weight. Character icons are sorted by how they're ordered in-game.

Driver Statistics
Weight Class Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Light MK8 BabyMario Icon.pngMK8 BabyLuigi Icon.pngMK8 BabyPeach Icon.pngMK8 BabyDaisy Icon.png
MK8 BabyRosalina Icon.pngMK8 Lemmy Icon.pngMii MK8.png
2.25 2.75 2.25 2.5 3.25 2.25 4.75 4.75 4.5 5 4.5 3
MK8 Toad Icon.pngMK8 Koopa Icon.pngMK8 ShyGuy Icon.png*MK8 Lakitu Icon.png
MK8 Toadette Icon.pngMK8 Larry Icon.pngMK8 Wendy Icon.pngMK8 Isabelle Icon.png
2.75 3.25 2.75 3 3 2.75 4.25 4.25 4 4.5 4.25 2.75
Medium MK8 Cat Peach Icon.pngVillagerFemale-Icon-MK8.png 3.25 3.75 3.25 3.5 3 3 3.75 3.75 3.5 4 4 2.5
MK8 Peach Icon.pngMK8 Daisy Icon.pngMK8 Yoshi Icon.png* 3.25 3.75 3.25 3.5 2.75 3.25 3.75 3.75 3.5 4 4 2.5
MK8 Tanooki Mario Icon.pngVillagerMale-Icon-MK8.png 3.75 4.25 3.75 4 2.75 3.5 3.25 3.25 3 3.5 3.75 2.25
MK8 Mario Icon.pngMK8 Luigi Icon.pngMK8 Iggy Icon.pngMK8 Ludwig Icon.pngMii MK8.png 3.75 4.25 3.75 4 2.5 3.75 3.25 3.25 3 3.5 3.75 2.25
Heavy MK8 Rosalina Icon.pngMK8 DKong Icon.pngMK8 Waluigi Icon.pngMK8 Roy Icon.pngMK8 Link Icon.png 4.25 4.75 4.25 4.5 2.25 4.25 2.75 2.75 2.5 3 3.5 2
MK8 MMario Icon.pngMK8 PGPeach Icon.png 4.25 4.75 4.25 4.5 2 4.75 2.75 2.75 2.5 3 3.25 1.75
MK8 Bowser Icon.pngMK8 Wario Icon.pngMK8 Morton Icon.pngMii MK8.pngMK8 Dry Bowser Icon.png 4.75 5.25 4.75 5 2 4.75 2.25 2.25 2 2.5 3.25 1.75

* Denotes a character with multiple color changes, see here for more info.

Body frame sizes

Depending on the character, the size of the vehicle can change. The size can influence how big of a target the vehicle is. The body frame size that the Mii uses depends on its weight class.

Vehicle Body Frame Sizes
Size Characters
Small MK8 Toad Icon.pngMK8 Koopa Icon.pngMK8 ShyGuy Icon.pngMK8 Lakitu Icon.pngMK8 Toadette Icon.pngMK8 BabyMario Icon.pngMK8 BabyLuigi Icon.pngMK8 BabyPeach Icon.pngMK8 BabyDaisy Icon.pngMK8 BabyRosalina Icon.pngMK8 Lemmy Icon.pngMK8 Larry Icon.pngMK8 Wendy Icon.pngMK8 Isabelle Icon.png
Medium MK8 Mario Icon.pngMK8 Luigi Icon.pngMK8 Peach Icon.pngMK8 Daisy Icon.pngMK8 MMario Icon.pngMK8 Yoshi Icon.pngMK8 PGPeach Icon.pngMK8 Iggy Icon.pngMK8 Ludwig Icon.pngMK8 Tanooki Mario Icon.pngMK8 Cat Peach Icon.pngMK8 Villager Icon.png
Large MK8 Rosalina Icon.pngMK8 Bowser Icon.pngMK8 DKong Icon.pngMK8 Wario Icon.pngMK8 Waluigi Icon.pngMK8 Roy Icon.pngMK8 Morton Icon.pngMK8 Link Icon.pngMK8 Dry Bowser Icon.png

Other characters

Vehicle parts

There are 22 karts, 11 bikes, 4 ATVs (37 bodies in total), 21 sets of tires, and 14 gliders available to use in Mario Kart 8.[15][16] Of these, 8 karts, 2 bikes, 1 ATV, 3 sets of tires, and 2 gliders are included in downloadable content packs, with the GLA, W 25 Silver Arrow, 300 SL Roadster, and GLA Tires appearing in the Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8 pack, the Blue Falcon, B Dasher, Tanooki Kart, Master Cycle, Triforce Tires, and Hylian Kite appearing in the The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 pack, and the Streetle, P-Wing, City Tripper, Bone Rattler, Leaf Tires, and Paper Glider appearing in the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 pack.[17] The parts are listed as they appear in-game, and the stat boost/drop values are out of 6 and are relative to the standard parts for each type. However, it is impossible for a vehicle to have any stat less than 1 or greater than 5.75. The "8" logos on the parts are replaced with the character's symbol, except on the Gold Standard and Gold Glider.


Kart Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Standard Kart*
Pipe Frame*
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
Mach 8
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
Steel Driver.png
Steel Driver
0 +0.5 0 -0.25 -0.5 +0.5 -0.5 +0.75 -0.25 -0.75 +0.5 -0.75
Cat Cruiser
Circuit Special*
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
0 +0.5 0 -0.25 -0.5 +0.5 -0.5 +0.75 -0.25 -0.75 +0.5 -0.75
0 +0.5 0 -0.25 -0.5 +0.5 -0.5 +0.75 -0.25 -0.75 +0.5 -0.75
-0.75 +0.5 +0.5 -1 +1.25 -0.5 +0.5 +0.75 +0.75 0 -0.25 +1
-0.75 +0.5 +0.5 -1 +1.25 -0.5 +0.5 +0.75 +0.75 0 -0.25 +1
Sports Coupe
Sports Coupé
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
Gold Standard.png
Gold Standard
Gold Kart
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
0 +0.5 0 -0.25 -0.5 +0.5 -0.5 +0.75 -0.25 -0.75 +0.5 -0.75
W 25 Silver Arrow (DLC)
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
300 SL Roadster (DLC)
Blue Falcon (DLC)
+0.25 0 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 0 0 -0.5 +0.25
Tanooki Kart (DLC)
0 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.75 +0.25 -0.5
B Dasher (DLC)
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
Streetle (DLC)
+0.25 0 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 0 0 -0.5 +0.25
P-Wing (DLC)
+0.5 +0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 -0.25 -1 -0.5
Bike Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Standard Bike*
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
0 0 0 -0.25 +0.75 -0.25 +0.75 +0.75 +0.75 +0.5 -1.25 +0.5
Sport Bike*+
0 0 0 -0.25 +0.75 -0.25 +0.75 +0.75 +0.75 +0.5 -1.25 +0.5
The Duke
Flame Rider
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
Mr. Scooty
Mr Scooty
-0.75 +0.5 +0.5 -1 +1.25 -0.5 +0.5 +0.75 +0.75 0 -0.25 +1
Jet Bike+
0 0 0 -0.25 +0.75 -0.25 +0.75 +0.75 +0.75 +0.5 -1.25 +0.5
Yoshi Bike+
0 0 0 -0.25 +0.75 -0.25 +0.75 +0.75 +0.75 +0.5 -1.25 +0.5
Master Cycle+ (DLC)
+0.25 +0.5 +0.5 -0.25 0 0 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.75 0
City Tripper* (DLC)
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
ATV Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Standard ATV*
Standard Quad
0 +0.5 0 -0.25 -0.5 +0.5 -0.5 +0.75 -0.25 -0.75 +0.5 -0.75
Wild Wiggler
0 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
Teddy Buggy
Bone Rattler (DLC)
0 +0.5 +0.25 -0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +0.5 +0.25 -0.75 +0.25 -0.5


Tire Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
0 -0.5 -0.5 0 -0.5 +0.5 -0.75 -0.75 -0.75 -0.75 +0.75 0
-0.5 0 +0.5 -0.5 +1 -0.5 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +1.5
+0.25 -0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 0 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
+0.5 -1 +0.5 +0.5 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 0 -1 +0.25
+0.25 -0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.5 +0.5 0 0 0 0 -0.5 0
-0.5 0 +0.5 -0.5 +1 -0.5 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +1.5
-0.25 -1 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 -0.25 -0.5 0 -0.25 +0.5 +0.75
-0.25 -1 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 -0.25 -0.5 0 -0.25 +0.5 +0.75
-0.25 -1 +0.25 -0.25 +0.25 -0.25 -0.25 -0.5 0 -0.25 +0.5 +0.75
Blue Standard.png
Blue Standard
Normal Blue
Hot Monster
Funky Monster
0 -0.5 -0.5 0 -0.5 +0.5 -0.75 -0.75 -0.75 -0.75 +0.75 0
Azure Roller
-0.5 0 +0.5 -0.5 +1 -0.5 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +1.5
Crimson Slim
+0.25 -0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 0 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
Cyber Slick
+0.5 -1 +0.5 +0.5 -0.25 +0.25 0 0 0 0 -1 +0.25
Retro Off-Road.png
Retro Off-Road
Gold Tires MK8.png
Gold Tires
Gold Wheels
+0.25 -0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.5 +0.5 0 0 0 0 -0.5 0
GLA Tires (DLC)
GLA Wheels
Triforce Tires (DLC)
Triforce Tyres
+0.25 -0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 0 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.5 +0.25
Leaf Tires MK8.png
Leaf Tires (DLC)
Leaf Tyres
-0.5 0 +0.5 -0.5 +1 -0.5 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 +0.25 -0.25 +1.5


Glider Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Super Glider*
Cloud Glider.png
Cloud Glider
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Wario Wing
Waddle Wing
Peach Parasol***
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Flower Glider
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Bowser Kite
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Plane Glider
MKTV Parafoil
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Gold Glider
Hylian Kite (DLC)
0 0 -0.25 0 +0.25 -0.25 0 0 +0.25 0 0 +0.25
Paper Glider (DLC)
Bold = Part is available at the start. · * = Changes color, depending on the character. · ** = Changes color for the Koopalings. · *** = Changes color for Daisy, Baby Daisy, Rosalina, and Baby Rosalina. · + = Can perform inside drifts.

Unlocking criteria

Vehicle parts are unlocked by collecting coins from Grand Prix, VS Mode, Time Trials, and online races.[18] Coins collected by additional players are counted. Coins will count towards the player's coin total only for completed races -- if the player collects coins then quits during a race, the coins from that race will not be added to their coin total.

There are 38 unlockable parts, excluding golden parts. Players can unlock new parts for every 50 coins, but once players have collected 1000 coins, 100 coins are instead needed to unlock new parts. Like in Mario Kart 7, players can see how many coins they've collected by viewing the statistics screen from the main menu (this feature is available for only Ver. 2.0 and further of Mario Kart 8, however).

  • 50
  • 100
  • 150
  • 200
  • 250
  • 300
  • 350
  • 400
  • 450
  • 500
  • 550
  • 600
  • 650
  • 700
  • 750
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 950
  • 1000
  • 1100
  • 1200
  • 1300
  • 1400
  • 1500
  • 1600
  • 1700
  • 1800
  • 1900
  • 2000
  • 2100
  • 2200
  • 2300
  • 2400
  • 2500
  • 2600
  • 2700
  • 2800

Special parts

Special gold parts are unlocked with the following criteria:


There are 32 tracks in the main game (excluding DLC Cups), consisting of 16 new tracks and 16 retro tracks, featuring one track each from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, four tracks from Mario Kart 64, two each from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, and three each from Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7. As with the retro tracks from the 3DS installment, the retro tracks in this game feature altered sections that incorporate the game's hang-glider, underwater, and anti-gravity features. The game features live-recorded music for all of the new tracks and most of the retro tracks. The tracks have been described as more narrow when compared to previous Mario Kart tracks, specifically those from Mario Kart Wii.[20] Names in italics are names used in the PAL version.

Nitro Courses

MK8 MushroomCuptv.svg
Mushroom Cup
MK8 FlowerCuptv.svg
Flower Cup
MK8 StarCuptv.svg
Star Cup
MK8 SpecialCuptv.svg
Special Cup
MK8- Mario Kart Stadium.PNG
MK8- Mario Circuit.PNG
MK8- Sunshine Airport.PNG
MK8- Cloudtop Cruise.PNG
MK8- Water Park.PNG
MK8- Toad Harbor.PNG
Toad Harbour
MK8- Dolphin Shoals.PNG
MK8- Bone-Dry Dunes.PNG
Bone Dry Dunes
MK8- Sweet Sweet Canyon.PNG
MK8- Twisted Mansion.PNG
MK8- Electrodrome.PNG
MK8- Bowser's Castle.PNG
MK8- Thwomp Ruins.PNG
MK8- Shy Guy Falls.PNG
MK8- Mount Wario.PNG
MK8- Rainbow Road.PNG

Retro Courses

MK8 ShellCuptv.svg
Shell Cup
MK8 BananaCuptv.svg
Banana Cup
MK8 LeafCuptv.svg
Leaf Cup
MK8 LightningCuptv.svg
Lightning Cup
MK8- Wii Moo Moo Meadows.PNG
MK8- GCN Dry Dry Desert.PNG
MK8- DS Wario Stadium.PNG
MK8- DS Tick-Tock Clock.PNG
MK8- GBA Mario Circuit.PNG
MK8- SNES Donut Plains 3.PNG
MK8- GCN Sherbet Land.PNG
MK8- 3DS Piranha Plant Slide.PNG
3DS Piranha Plant Pipeway
MK8- DS Cheep Cheep Beach.PNG
MK8- N64 Royal Raceway.PNG
MK8- 3DS Music Park.PNG
3DS Melody Motorway
MK8- Wii Grumble Volcano.PNG
MK8- N64 Toad's Turnpike.PNG
MK8- 3DS DK Jungle.PNG
MK8- N64 Yoshi Valley.PNG
MK8- N64 Rainbow Road.PNG

Downloadable courses

4 additional cups, each one containing 4 tracks for a total of 16, are included in the game's two downloadable content packs.[17] This makes Mario Kart 8 the most extensive instalment in the Mario Kart series, containing up to 48 courses. Because of the imbalance of nitro and retro courses, this makes Mario Kart 8 the only instalment in the series to include more nitro courses than retro courses, with 25 nitro courses and 23 retro courses. The inclusion of SNES Rainbow Road also makes Mario Kart 8 the only game in the series to have more than two Rainbow Road tracks. Of those 16 tracks, 7 of those are retro tracks, adding one track from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7 and two from Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. The other nine tracks consist of four original tracks and five tracks based upon other Nintendo franchises, including Excitebike, F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing.

The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8
MK8 EggCuptv.svg
Egg Cup
MK8 TriforceCuptv.svg
Triforce Cup
MK8 CrossingCuptv.svg
Crossing Cup
MK8 BellCuptv.svg
Bell Cup
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-GCN YoshiCircuit.png
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-Wii Wario'sGoldMine.png
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-GCN BabyPark.png
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-3DS NeoBowserCity.png
3DS Koopa City
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-SNES RainbowRoad.png
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-GBA CheeseLand.png
MK8-DLC-Course-icon-GBA RibbonRoad.png

Battle stages

Unlike previous installments of the series, there are no stages unique to Battle Mode; instead, 8 of the original 32 tracks in standard race modes are modified and used as stages for battles and can all be played from the start of the game, including those that are originally in cups that need to first be unlocked in the race modes.[21] Tracks enabled for Battle mode are the following:

MK8- Wii Moo Moo Meadows.PNG MK8- GCN Dry Dry Desert.PNG MK8- SNES Donut Plains 3.PNG MK8- N64 Toad's Turnpike.PNG
MK8- Mario Circuit.PNG MK8- Toad Harbor.PNG MK8- GCN Sherbet Land.PNG MK8- N64 Yoshi Valley.PNG


Staff Ghosts

Just like in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, the player starts out with Staff Ghosts for each course that can be raced against in Time Trial mode. However, unlike with the past Mario Kart installments, Expert Staff Ghosts (or Fast Staff Ghosts) do not appear in this game. Beating the Staff Ghost for each of the game's standard courses unlocks a stamp that can be used in Miiverse posts.

Course Staff Name Country Time Character Vehicle Combination
Body Tires Glider
Mario Kart Stadium Nin★Chris United Kingdom 1:59.781 Mario Sports Coupe Standard Super Glider
Water Park Nin★Massim Italy 2:02.954 Baby Luigi Mr. Scooty Roller Super Glider
Sweet Sweet Canyon Nin★Fausti France 2:12.107 Baby Peach Teddy Buggy Wood Peach Parasol
Thwomp Ruins Nin★Sophia Germany 2:11.157 Donkey Kong Varmint Monster Super Glider
Mario Circuit Nin★Sho Japan 2:07.436 Mario Standard Kart Standard Super Glider
Toad Harbor Nin★Alice United States 2:31.066 Toadette Cat Cruiser Retro Off-Road Plane Glider
Twisted Mansion Nin★Mark Netherlands 2:16.195 Luigi Mach 8 Slim Super Glider
Shy Guy Falls Nin★Frank United Kingdom 2:19.528 Shy Guy Flame Rider Retro Off-Road Super Glider
Sunshine Airport Nin★Leonel United States 2:24.429 Rosalina Circuit Special Standard Super Glider
Dolphin Shoals Nin★Skip United States 2:19.160 Wendy Landship Wood Bowser Kite
Electrodrome Nin★Yuya Japan 2:24.747 Larry Sport Bike Monster Super Glider
Mount Wario Nin★Elena Russia 2:06.283 Waluigi The Duke Monster Wario Wing
Cloudtop Cruise Nin★Maria Portugal 2:26.347 Baby Rosalina Biddybuggy Standard Super Glider
Bone-Dry Dunes Nin★Elena Russia 2:13.391 Morton Tri-Speeder Monster Super Glider
Bowser's Castle Nin★Polly United Kingdom 2:23.872 Bowser Badwagon Standard Super Glider
Rainbow Road Nin★Mizuho Japan 2:23.967 Pink Gold Peach Comet Slim Super Glider
Wii Moo Moo Meadows Nin★Chris United Kingdom 1:46.099 Daisy Varmint Hot Monster Super Glider
GBA Mario Circuit Nin★Rie Japan 1:49.158 Baby Mario Yoshi Bike Standard Super Glider
DS Cheep Cheep Beach Nin★Massim Italy 2:11.220 Koopa Troopa Steel Driver Metal Parachute
N64 Toad's Turnpike Nin★Alice United States 2:08.059 Toad Standard Bike Standard Parachute
GCN Dry Dry Desert Nin★Maria Portugal 2:29.678 Peach Standard Bike Slim Super Glider
SNES Donut Plains 3 Nin★Frank United Kingdom 1:39.148 Lakitu Pipe Frame Monster MKTV Parafoil
N64 Royal Raceway Nin★Skip United States 2:21.371 Peach Prancer Wood Peach Parasol
3DS DK Jungle Nin★Rie Japan 2:26.900 Donkey Kong Varmint Monster Super Glider
DS Wario Stadium Nin★Mizuho Japan 2:14.213 Wario Tri-Speeder Off-Road Wario Wing
GCN Sherbet Land Nin★Fausti France 2:21.192 Lemmy Sneeker Standard Super Glider
3DS Music Park Nin★Sho Japan 2:24.468 Baby Daisy Biddybuggy Standard Super Glider
N64 Yoshi Valley Nin★Mark Netherlands 2:28.814 Yoshi Wild Wiggler Standard Flower Glider
DS Tick-Tock Clock Nin★Sophia Germany 2:13.712 Iggy Standard Bike Monster Super Glider
3DS Piranha Plant Slide Nin★Polly United Kingdom 2:23.991 Ludwig Jet Bike Slim Super Glider
Wii Grumble Volcano Nin★Yuya Japan 2:18.305 Roy Badwagon Off-Road Super Glider
N64 Rainbow Road Nin★Leonel United States 1:33.731 Metal Mario Standard ATV Monster Super Glider
GCN Yoshi Circuit Nin★Adrien France 2:11.299 Red Yoshi B Dasher Standard Super Glider
Excitebike Arena Nin★Pedro Spain 2:06.483 Mario Standard Bike Slim Super Glider
Dragon Driftway Nin★Kaori Japan 2:05.487 Lakitu Varmint Monster Cloud Glider
Mute City Nin★Laura United States 2:10.427 Mario Blue Falcon Roller Super Glider
Wii Wario's Gold Mine Nin★Pit Germany 2:19.782 Wario Standard Kart Monster Super Glider
SNES Rainbow Road Nin★Anne Netherlands 1:46.599 Cat Peach Cat Cruiser Retro Off-Road Super Glider
Ice Ice Outpost Nin★Pavel Russia 2:07.868 Tanooki Mario Tanooki Kart Monster Super Glider
Hyrule Circuit Nin★Claudi United Kingdom 2:11.156 Link Master Cycle Triforce Tires Hylian Kite
GCN Baby Park Nin★Joost Netherlands 1:22.562 Baby Mario Biddybuggy Standard Super Glider
GBA Cheese Land Nin★Aracel Spain 2:09.601 Orange Yoshi Pipe Frame Monster Parafoil
Wild Woods Nin★Akira Japan 2:04.480 Villager (Boy) Streetle Leaf Tires Paper Glider
Animal Crossing Nin★Marie United States 1:58.273 Isabelle City Tripper Slim Paper Glider
3DS Neo Bowser City Nin★Guile United States 2:09.513 Dry Bowser Bone Rattler Metal Super Glider
GBA Ribbon Road Nin★Giulia Italy 2:11.839 Villager (Girl) Teddy Buggy Button Super Glider
Super Bell Subway Nin★Juliet France 2:07.175 Pink Shy Guy City Tripper Slim Super Glider
Big Blue Nin★Dylan United Kingdom 1:44.100 Mario P-Wing Blue Standard Super Glider

Kart of Champions

These are Nintendo's best times for each of the 32 base courses, as shown in the Prima Official Game Guide. Ghost data does not exist for the following times in-game.

Course Staff Name Time Character Vehicle Combination
Body Tires Glider
Mario Kart Stadium Addison K. 1:44.503 Bowser Sport Bike Slick Bowser Kite
Water Park Jeff C. M. 1:48.231 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Sweet Sweet Canyon Jeff C. M. 1:57.071 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Thwomp Ruins Greg R. 1:57.193 Mii Gold Standard Slick Bowser Kite
Mario Circuit Addison K. 1:53.017 Bowser Sport Bike Slick Bowser Kite
Toad Harbor Jeff C. M. 2:11.578 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Twisted Mansion Jeff C. M. 2:01.605 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Shy Guy Falls Jeff C. M. 2:08.775 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Sunshine Airport Jeff C. M. 2:08.177 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Dolphin Shoals Jeff C. M. 2:09.590 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Electrodrome Jeff C. M. 2:07.774 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Mount Wario Jeff C. M. 1:53.516 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Cloudtop Cruise Jeff C. M. 2:11.595 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
Bone-Dry Dunes Jeff C. M. 2:02.028 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Bowser's Castle Jeff C. M. 2:15.686 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Rainbow Road Jeff C. M. 2:15.895 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Wii Moo Moo Meadows Jeff C. M. 1:31.643 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
GBA Mario Circuit Jeff C. M. 1:35.290 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
DS Cheep Cheep Beach Addison K. 1:57.169 Bowser Sport Bike Slick Bowser Kite
N64 Toad's Turnpike Addison K. 1:50.089 Bowser Sport Bike Slick Bowser Kite
GCN Dry Dry Desert Jeff C. M. 2:14.415 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
SNES Donut Plains 3 Jeff C. M. 1:24.754 Morton Gold Standard Cyber Slick Cloud Glider
N64 Royal Raceway Jeff C. M. 2:04.626 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
3DS DK Jungle Jeff C. M. 2:14.917 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
DS Wario Stadium Jeff C. M. 2:04.685 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
GCN Sherbet Land Jeff C. M. 2:02.291 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
3DS Music Park Jeff C. M. 2:06.354 Wario Sport Bike Cyber Slick Parafoil
N64 Yoshi Valley Jeff C. M. 2:08.495 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
DS Tick-Tock Clock Jeff C. M. 1:59.372 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
3DS Piranha Plant Slide Jeff C. M. 2:12.079 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
Wii Grumble Volcano Jeff C. M. 2:10.129 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil
N64 Rainbow Road Jeff C. M. 1:26.548 Wario Sport Bike Slick Parafoil


As in all Mario Kart games, Mario Kart 8 keeps the use of items during the races. Four new items have been added to the list, being the Boomerang Flower, the Piranha Plant, the Super Horn, and the Crazy Eight. The Coin also makes a return as an item since its first appearance in Super Mario Kart.

Mario Kart 8 also features changes to the items' mechanics. Each item's probability of being obtained depends on probability distributions that are chosen based mainly on the distance from the driver in 1st position. While past Mario Kart games allowed the users to gain a different item from the Item Boxes while dragging some other such as a Green Shell or a Banana, in Mario Kart 8, players are restricted to carry only the item they are currently holding or dragging. Releasing the item in use will then allow the player to take another from the boxes. In order to keep gameplay balance, some items are much less frequent to appear, most notably Lightning and the Spiny Shell. Additionally, the Triple Bananas and the Triple Mushrooms surround the vehicle in the same manner as triple shells do, and opponents receive their effects when touching them, giving some disadvantage, or advantage in the case of the triple mushrooms. Racers do not lose their items if they fall from the track. The item icon, located on the top left of the screen, now displays a usage-remaining meter, either time remaining to use or uses remaining, for items with limited repeating usage.

Items found on the track

Item Box
Gives the player a random item. Items given are based on the player's position.
Gives the player a small boost and increase top speed when more are collected, up to a maximum of ten.
The equivalent of a coin found only in Hyrule Circuit. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Bell MK8.png
The equivalent of a coin found only in Animal Crossing. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.

New items

Boomerang Flower
Can be thrown up to three times, hitting racers forward and when it returns.
Piranha Plant
Automatically chomps on obstacles and other racers, giving a short speed boost for each bite.
Super Horn
Emits a radial shockwave hitting racers, as well as destroying all obstacles and items.
Crazy Eight
Generates eight items (Coin, Bob-omb, Mushroom, Star, Blooper, Green Shell, Red Shell, and a Banana) that circle around the player for them to use.

Returning items

Grants the player two extra coins and a micro boost.
Green Shell
Travels in a straight line and knocks over a kart it hits.
Triple Green Shells
Three green shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Red Shell
Homes in on the closest kart in front of the player and knocks it over.
Triple Red Shells
Three red shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Protects the player from incoming items, and spins out other racers that hit it.
Triple Bananas
Three bananas that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Provides the player's kart with a small speed boost.
Triple Mushrooms
Orbits the player's kart, providing them with three separate speed boosts.
Golden Mushroom
Provides the player's kart with continuous speed boosts for a short time.
Fire Flower
Allows the player to throw fireballs for a short time that cause other karts to spin out on impact.
Provides the player invincibility from all terrain and items, and also giving a speed boost.
Sprays ink on all racers ahead and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed.
Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking over any kart in its blast radius.
Spiny Shell
Targets the racer in first place, knocking over all other karts in its path.
Causes all opponents to drop their items, shrink, and drive slowly for a short time.
Bullet Bill
Transforms the player into a Bullet Bill, rocketing through the track with auto-pilot, and providing invincibility from all terrain and items.


Main article: List of stamps in Mario Kart 8

As in Super Mario 3D World, NES Remix, and NES Remix 2, players can obtain stamps to use in Miiverse posts. There are 100 stamps in the game: 28 are available from the start, while another 62 stamps can be obtained by winning a Grand Prix with every non-DLC character and beating the Staff Ghost on each non-DLC course in Time Trials. In addition, ten more stamps were added with the version 4.0 update. However, beating a Staff Ghost on a DLC course or using a DLC character to complete a Grand Prix will not unlock a stamp.

Downloadable content

As of the version 2.0 update, Mario Kart 8, like New Super Mario Bros. 2, includes an in-game shop feature through which players can purchase and pre-order downloadable content, as well as adding prompts where the character and cup icons are when purchased. Alternatively, players can purchase content through the Nintendo eShop like normal. Nintendo has released free kart parts as part of a collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, and then announced the game will receive two add-on packs, which both include three additional characters, four karts, and eight courses in two cups.

Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8

Main article: Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8
Mario driving a kart based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

As part of a collaboration between Nintendo and Mercedes-Benz, a free downloadable content pack was released featuring kart bodies based on several Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including the GLA (based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA), the W 25 Silver Arrow (based on the W 25 Silver Arrow), and the 300 SL Roadster (based on the 300 SL Roadster), as well as a set of GLA Tires.[22] The content was released in all regions during August 2014.[23]

The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8

Main article: The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8
Screenshots of Add-On Pack 1.

The first pack, titled "The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8", which was released during November 2014,[24] includes Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise, as well as the Blue Falcon, the B Dasher and the Tanooki Kart as three of the four karts, as well as a new bike part called the Master Cycle. The cups included are the Triforce Cup and the Egg Cup. New courses include both retro ones, such as Wario's Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, new courses inspired by non-Mario franchises such as F-Zero and Excitebike, and completely new ones such as Dragon Driftway.

Purchasing both this and the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 pack automatically gives the player eight alternate color skins for Yoshi and Shy Guy each.[17]

Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8

Main article: Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8
Screenshots of Add-On Pack 2.

The second pack, titled "Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8" which was released during April 2015, includes Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf as well as Dry Bowser. The cups included are the Crossing Cup and the Bell Cup.[25] New courses include a new Animal Crossing: New Leaf-themed course and a completely new course; Wild Woods.

Purchasing both this and The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 pack unlocks eight color skins for both Yoshi and Shy Guy.[17]


Ver. 2.0

The map display on the TV screen.

On the same day as the release of the Mercedes DLC, an update for the game also was released which adds an option to display the map on the TV screen (just like in past Mario Kart games) by pressing Minus Button on the GamePad, and a records section, which shows how many coins have been collected, online wins and losses (just like Mario Kart 7), and other statistics. The update also saves the players' last used vehicle combo (excluding DLC vehicle parts), lets them edit other players' highlight reels, and improves online stability.

Additionally, the maximum online race and battle ratings have increased from "9999" to "99999", like in Mario Kart 7. The rating system has also been altered in that the amount of points that the players win or lose after an online race or battle is more drastic if there's a large rating difference between participating players. In tournaments without race or battle limits, players can now have more than 1024 points during a tournament period; without the update, players with at least 1024 points have their score reset to zero for the next race/battle. Players must download the update in order to continue playing online.

The update also swaps the 'Next Race/Round/View Results' and 'View Highlight Reel' buttons in offline mode, and adds a Shop button on the main menu, where players can download the Mercedes DLC, and pre-order Add-On Content.[26] The character icons on the map HUD are also altered.

Ver. 3.0

On November 13, 2014, the update to version 3.0 was made available. The update includes compatibility with amiibo figures and enables the first downloadable content pack for those who purchased it.[27][28] The update also allows the game to save any last used vehicle combo that uses any of the DLC vehicle parts or characters. Also, when a light racer bumps into a heavier one, it will be pushed less far away.[29][30]

In terms of online, the race and battle rating system has been modified to be less punishing to players who do poorly in a race or battle. Additionally, players can now set up tournaments that have cup limitations. The update is required to continue playing online, but players cannot play in rooms or tournaments that include the downloadable tracks until they have purchased them. Players that have not purchased the add-on packs can still encounter the included characters and vehicles online, but cannot select them.

Ver. 4.0

The addition of 200cc in Ver. 4.0.

Update version 4.0 was released on April 23, 2015, the same day as the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 downloadable content pack. In addition to the downloadable content and some bug fixes, the update adds nine additional amiibo racing suits and compatible figures, and adds a "200cc" engine class.[31] Ten new Miiverse stamps have also been added.[32] The update also allows players to enable the on-screen map using any controller, rather than just the GamePad.

In online mode, players can add CPU players when playing with custom rules, though only human players will count for scoring.[33] Also, players who left a race/battle will not have their race/battle rating visible for other racers to see after a race/battle. The race rating and battle rating system remains the same as in update version 3.0. Lastly, additional tournament settings have been added to support 200cc and the two cups in the second DLC pack.

Ver. 4.1

Update version 4.1 was released on May 1, 2015. In addition to general gameplay adjustments and bug fixes, the update adds the Mirror and 200cc engine classes to Grand Prix mode by default, without having to unlock them.[34]

Differences in multiplayer modes

When playing in split screen, there are some minor and major differences on the race courses, like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii.

  • In Mario Kart Stadium, GCN Sherbet Land, and N64 Rainbow Road, the fireworks have less sparkles.
    • Also in N64 Rainbow Road, most of the fireworks, including the firework that forms Luigi, are absent.
  • In Rainbow Road:
    • The hologram of the Special Cup trophy is absent from the hologram projector, but the beams of light are still present, much like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! how the rainbow sculptures are absent in Rainbow Road.
    • The oval-shaped tube, where the starting and finish line is located in the middle of it, has a line of lights circling clockwise missing at the end where the racers exit.
  • In Twisted Mansion, the Boos in the gliding section are absent.
  • The airborne road markers on gliding paths are absent on all courses that have them.
  • In GCN Yoshi Circuit, some Yoshis on the track are absent, including the one on the watch tower. Similarly, some of the Shy Guys in the mine entrance of Wii Wario's Gold Mine are absent.
  • In GCN Baby Park, most of the Yoshis and Toads are absent.


The amiibo Mii Racing Suits menu as of version 4.1.
Mii Racing Suits - Wave 1
Mii Racing Suits - Wave 2
Mii outfits alongside their amiibo.

As of the version 3.0 update, Mario Kart 8 includes compatibility with amiibo, Nintendo's series of NFC enabled figurines.[35] By scanning certain amiibo, players can unlock one of ten costumes for use by Miis based upon the amiibo character.[36]

The amiibo originally compatible are Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Link and Toon Link, Kirby, Captain Falcon, Samus, and Fox.[37] Nine more suits were later added with the version 4.0 update, unlockable by using the compatible amiibo figures: Mega Man, Sonic, Villager, Pac-Man, Toad, Wario, Olimar, Rosalina, and Bowser.[38]


Development for Mario Kart 8 started in 2012. Series producer Hideki Konno first revealed that he wanted to produce a Mario Kart game for the Wii U in late 2011.[39] A Wii U Mario Kart game was later revealed to be in development in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct and confirmed to be shown off at E3 that year,[40] with the game being officially revealed during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct.[41]

Some ideas that were scrapped in Mario Kart 8 included a drill that made drivers drive into subterranean depths. The idea was scrapped because the developers thought it was not as interesting as the anti-gravity idea.[42] The anti-gravity concept stemmed from the Wii U being a powerful console, and with the upgraded hardware, the developers wanted to make courses with a 3D plane in mind rather than the 2D plane as the other tracks in the Mario Kart series.[43] The title, Mario Kart 8, also stemmed from the anti-gravity mechanic as, in addition to being the eighth main installment in the series, the "8" used in the official logo was stylized to resemble a Möbius strip.[43]

Most of the game's musical tracks are orchestrated, making this game the first Mario Kart game to feature orchestrated tracks.[44][45][46]

Promotion and advertising

Collaboration with Pennzoil

Nintendo and Pennzoil teamed up to promote Mario Kart 8 by hosting an event in which participants were able to race on real-life modified karts on a specially-designed track.[47] Icons representing some of the items in the game were spread in the course as well.

Bonus/Free game promotion

Between May 30 and July 31, 2014, Club Nintendo members in North America, Europe, and Australia who registered Mario Kart 8 could receive a free download code for one of several Wii U games. In Europe and Australia, players had the choice of: Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Game & Wario, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Wii Party U, The Wonderful 101, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate[48] while North American players were limited to only New Super Mario Bros. U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, and Wii Party U.[49]


Mario Kart 8 has received mostly favorable reviews, and has been lauded as one of the best games in the series to date. General praise has been given to the game's graphics, the tracks, the music, and the overall gameplay (both single player and multiplayer). The addition of anti-gravity has also been praised, as has the online mode. The roster, however, notably the baby/metal characters, has received criticism, as well as the Battle Mode. The incorporation of the Wii U GamePad has also been a point of contention.

Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Jose Otero, IGN 9/10 Mario Kart 8 is the best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time. It strikes a careful balance between refining old ideas while introducing fresh new ones. Admittedly, its gorgeous graphics and jazzy orchestrated soundtrack bolster its presentation, but you’re getting a lot more than just looks with this one – although I spent an awful lot of time gawking at the details in slow-motion, the fast and furious pace of racing with friends both locally and online is what really kept me coming back.
Tom Mc Shea, GameSpot 8/10 Nintendo has done an admirable job of keeping Mario Kart relevant. How many franchises can you think of that have remained in top form for more than two decades? Not too many. I do admit that my first impression of Mario Kart 8 was pretty close to a yawn. Mario Kart is one of my favorite franchises, but it's hard to get excited for the same old thing. But the more I played, the more I appreciated the many small changes, and grew to love my time in the Mushroom Kingdom. And now that yawn has changed to a shout of joy. It's more Mario Kart! I'm happy Nintendo still understands what makes this series so darn fun.
Thomas Whitehead, Nintendo Life 9/10 Mario Kart 8 has perhaps taken a little longer than we expected to arrive, but it’s been worth the wait. The vehicles and racers have never handled better, the collection of courses is possibly the best yet, while replayability through Ghost Races or — primarily — online races and Tournaments is almost endless. A few design oddities aside, this joins the list of must-have Nintendo games on the Wii U; it’s an accomplished effort that pushes the franchise forward. In years to come the debates over the best Mario Kart games in the series will, inevitably, feature this as a contender.
Michael Damiani, GameTrailers 8.6/10 So not everything is perfect, but Mario Kart 8’s stellar visuals, tight controls, and improved online experience make it a great racing game that embraces Nintendo’s lighthearted nature. It's still one of the best in the business when it comes to multiplayer experiences, something we've all come to expect from the Mario Kart series. The overall high quality of the game is so impressive that it doesn't really matter that much that the zero-gravity gimmick barely adds anything that’s truly new. Next time around, though, Nintendo might need to come up with new tricks if it hopes to keep us coming back for more.
Andrew Fitch, Electronic Gaming Monthly 7.5/10 Mario Kart 8 looks spectacular, sounds impressive, and delivers solid racing action worthy of the series. But it’s also that rare Nintendo game that manages to be less than the sum of its impressive parts thanks to some ill-advised design choices, half-baked ideas, and gimped Battle Mode.
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 88
GameRankings 88.40%

Over the weekend of its launch, Mario Kart 8 sold 1.2 million units worldwide, making it the fastest-selling Wii U title so far[50] and the 3rd best selling title for the Wii U as well, selling approximately 2.82 million copies worldwide as of July 30, 2014.[51] As of September 30, the game sold over 3.49 million copies worldwide.[52] In January 2015, it was announced that over 1.7 million total copies (both physical and digital) had been sold in the United States alone,[53] and by March sales had reached 1.9 million.[54] As of March 31, 2015, the game has sold 5.11 million copies worldwide.[55]

Mario Kart 8 won two awards at The Game Awards 2014, being the "Best Family Game" and the "Best Sports/Racing Game".[56]

References to other games

References in later games


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart 8.

Pre-release and unused content

Main article: List of Mario Kart 8 pre-release and unused content

Mario Kart 8 has featured several changes from earlier builds to the final build of the game. For example, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 mechanics were used as placeholders in the E3 2013 build of the game. Several small changes, such as Twisted Mansion originally being called "Boo House" and Toad Harbor's racing banner originally having a Galaxy Airline logo were present in earlier trailers of the game. Several of the music featured in earlier builds, such as Mario Circuit's music, was more synthesized than orchestrated in final build of the game.


Main article: List of Mario Kart 8 media
Audio.png Mario Kart Stadium - Music for Mario Kart Stadium.
Mario Kart 8 Music - Mario Kart Stadium.ogg

File info
Audio.png Mario Circuit - Music for Mario Circuit.
Mario Kart 8 Music - Mario Circuit.ogg

File info
Audio.png Dolphin Shoals - Music for Dolphin Shoals
Mario Kart 8 Music - Dolphin Shoals.ogg

File info
Having trouble playing?


The soundtrack with two discs.

An official soundtrack can be pre-ordered for Club Nintendo members in Japan, Europe and Australia featuring sixty-eight songs from the game, including those from the two DLC packs. Mario Kart 8 is the first game in the Mario Kart in which none of the courses share background music. All previous instalments in the series have had courses that used the same background music.


Main article: List of Mario Kart 8 glitches

Spiny Shell Attacks Incorrect Racer

This glitch is most common in N64 Yoshi Valley due to the numerous paths drivers may follow, though it can happen under specific circumstances in other courses such as Bone-Dry Dunes. Occasionally when a Spiny Shell is deployed and the racers in at least first and second place are in a section where the road forks in two, the Spiny Shell may initially follow the racer in first place and then change its target to the one in second place or the highest place out of those in the other path. This is caused by some courses–in particular Yoshi Valley–having the checkpoint markers that determine the place of the racers being inadequately calibrated with the other routes. This is demonstrated by driving down the old bridge path while in first place: the player drops position while in the turn and then returns to first place once the paths join up again.[58]


Main article: List of Mario Kart 8 staff

Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development developed Mario Kart 8 in cooperation with Bandai Namco Studios. The music composition is credited to Shiho Fujii, Atsuko Asahi, Ryo Nagamatsu, and Yasuaki Iwata, with longtime series composer Kenta Nagata serving as sound director with the music performed by the Mario Kart Band. Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma were the general producers, though the latter goes uncredited, and Satoru Iwata was the executive producer.


  • This is the first Mario Kart game to feature courses that have boost pads become inactive under certain matter.
  • Unlike several previous installments of the Mario Kart series, the retro courses use their respective Mario Kart logo; the tracks from SNES to GCN use an updated version of the classic logo, while tracks from DS to 3DS use the current one. GCN Yoshi Circuit, GBA Cheese Land, and GBA Ribbon Road, however, use the logo from Mario Kart DS as opposed to that of their original game.
  • This is the first main series Mario Kart game for which each playable character does not receive official artwork.

External links


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  7. ^ Mario Kart 8 at E3 2013
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  20. ^ Mario Kart 8 Team Talk GamePad Features, Track Design And F-Zero @ Nintendo Life
  21. ^ GameXplain - Mario Kart 8 Q&A: Online, Battle Mode, Rainbow Road, Secrets & more!
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  23. ^ Mercedes-Benz in Nintendo's new Mario Kart 8. Mercedes-Benz. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
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  25. ^ Nintendo Direct 4.1.2015. Posted to YouTube by Nintendo of America on April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  26. ^ Nintendo adds three Mercedes-Benz cars and enhancements to Mario Kart 8 from 27th August
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  31. ^ Nintendo Announces New Details on Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and More. (April 1, 2015). Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  32. ^ [5] -Version 4.0 update notes
  33. ^ Here's The Mario Kart 8 Patch Notes For 4.0 Update. My Nintendo News (April 22, 2015). Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  34. ^ King, Ashley. (May 1, 2015.) Mario Kart 8 update 4.1 is now live. Wii U Daily. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
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  42. ^ Scrapped ideas led to the anti-gravity idea in Mario Kart 8 - Wii U Daily
  43. ^ a b E3 2013: Nintendo's Hideki Konno Pulls Back The Curtain On 'Mario Kart 8'
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  52. ^ Makuch, Eddie (October 31, 2014). About Half of All Wii U Owners Have a Copy of Mario Kart 8. GameSpot. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  53. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 16, 2015). Mario Kart 8 US Sales Reach 1.7 Million, Amiibo Up to 2.6 Million. GameSpot. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  54. ^ Duwell, Ron. (April 17, 2015.) Majora's Mask 3D edges towards 1 million sales in the States. TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  55. ^ Lee, Tyler. (May 7, 2015). Mario Kart 8 Sales Crosses The 5 Million Mark. Ubergizmo. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
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  58. ^ YouTube - Mario Kart 8 - (N64) Yoshi Valley - Spiny Shell's Bad Day