Mario Kart Wii

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Mario Kart Wii
Game box art
Wii Wheel bundle box
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii
Release date Wii (original release)
Japan April 10, 2008
Europe April 11, 2008
Australia April 24, 2008
USA April 27, 2008
South Korea April 30, 2009
Wii (Nintendo Selects)
Europe October 18, 2013
Australia November 7, 2013
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
Mode(s) Single Player, Multiplayer, Online Play
Media CD icon.png Optical disc

Mario Kart Wii is a racing game for the Wii console. It is the sixth installment in the main Mario Kart series, and the eighth overall. Similar to every Mario Kart game, Mario Kart Wii includes new features such as new race courses along with other courses that appeared in past Mario Kart games, like its predecessor Mario Kart DS. New items and characters were included, as well as an increased number of players for the races. Mario Kart Wii also introduced the use of bikes that vary in capabilities along with the classical karts. Game modes are also present such as the Grand Prix, Versus, Battle, and Time Trial, many of them making use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for worldwide online play.

A Wii Wheel is included in most Mario Kart Wii packages. Mario Kart Wii, however, is still compatible with other controllers such as a regular Wii Remote held sideways, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, the Nintendo GameCube controller, and also the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro.

This game requires twenty-three blocks on the player's Wii system to save game data. Also, the game data cannot be copied. As a result, players are not able to transfer this game data onto another Wii. The game also includes its own Wii Channel called the Mario Kart Channel which allow players to play in special tournaments and trade their racing profile with other players around the world. This channel uses seventy-four to eighty-eight blocks (depending on from which region the game is from), but unlike the game data, players can copy the channel onto their SD cards.

Mario Kart Wii, unlike the preceding Mario Kart games, has twelve players present in normal races instead of eight. All twelve racers head to the finish in a multi-lap race around a given circuit. Along the way, players may employ items, utilize techniques, and take shortcuts to earn first place.

With over 34 million copies of the game sold, Mario Kart Wii is the second best-selling game and the best-selling Mario game for the Wii console.[1]

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was terminated by Nintendo starting on May 20th 2014, therefore making it no longer available for anyone to play Mario Kart Wii (as well as Mario Kart DS) online.[2]



The game's main title screen.
This map shows all the countries listed in the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection in Mario Kart Wii. Some countries are registered only in the Wii version of their own region, but there is also the possibility that they are registered in the game. Some countries or islands disappeared or disintegrated, but still registered as such on the Wii or the game, as Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) and South Sudan (which gained independence from Sudan, but the two countries still registered as "Sudan").[3]

While every previous Mario Kart game allowed for a maximum of eight racers on each course, up to twelve are on the course at a time in Mario Kart Wii.

In Mario Kart Wii, players can select twelve types of vehicles (six karts and six bikes) for each of the three classes. Vehicle selection varies depending on the character's size class, and color schemes for available vehicles also vary with regard to character selected.

A major departure from prior games is the change of the drifting system. Performing a Mini-Turbo depends on how long players can hold the button for drifting and the angle at which they drift. Drifting can be used strategically and involves managing the drifts to avoid losing speed. It is also unique that there are two drift modes (Automatic and Manual).

A new feature named "Tricks" is now also a part of the gameplay. When drivers perform a trick and land successfully, they are able to gain a momentary boost of speed. Tricks consist of mid-air acrobatics and are performed by shaking the Wii Wheel upward, shaking the Wii Remote in the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combo, pressing the +Control Pad on the Classic Controller, or pressing the +Control Pad on the GameCube controller.

Players can now look backwards while pressing the A Button button.

Motorbikes are introduced in this game. Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina are in an alternate outfit while driving motorbikes, as opposed to their traditional dresses while riding karts, possibly due to the fact that it would've been very difficult for them to ride a motorbike while wearing a dress. Although Wario does have a biker outfit of his own from the WarioWare series, he does not wear it when driving motorbikes as he still wears his classic outfit while driving motorbikes.

Special Items which were introduced in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, are not featured in the game. Overall, Mario Kart Wii is based heavily on Mario Kart DS and has some influence from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Mario Kart Wii features a text chat in Online Multiplayer Mode. Users can send pre-written phrases to other users before the series of races starts. There is no facility for a user to type his or her own message[4]. Also, the text chat is only available when racing or battling against Friends.

Another new change is the point system used for Grand Prix races. With twelve racers competing in each race, the point value has increased. Below is the following chart shows the difference of the point spreads from previous games to this installment.

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
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, and Mario Kart Super Circuit, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race. If the racer fares this badly four times, the Grand Prix must be started over. In Mario Kart 64, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race, but without the restrictions on how many times the player can retry a race. In Mario Kart: Double Dash and other installments after that game including this installment, the Grand Prix normally goes forth.


Controllers that can be used in Mario Kart Wii.

The main feature is the use of the Wii Remote's motion-sensing ability. By tilting the remote, players can steer their karts. Since the Wii Remote is designed to be inserted into the Wii Wheel (it is not an independent controller), players can also play without the Wheel if they choose to. Mario Kart Wii can also be played by connecting the Nunchuk Controller or the Classic Controller, or using the GameCube Controller. Controlling the vehicle is divided up into two sections: Basic and Advanced.

Basic controls

  • Accelerate: When drivers hold down the corresponding button, the vehicle goes forward.
  • Steer: Steering lets drivers move around corners.
  • Brake: Braking slows the vehicle to an abrupt stop.
  • Reverse: The driver's kart goes backwards if the driver holds the brake button. If a vehicle reaches maximum top speed, the vehicle will drift instead.
  • Look Behind: Drivers can look behind their vehicle. In this way, drivers can be alert from other drivers incoming to steal their place. Drivers can also use this feature to see where they are going while backing up, or to aim a weapon at an opponent following up. This feature once appeared in Super Mario Kart.
  • Drift: Drivers drift to keep the vehicle's speed and take corners more easily, with the benefit of getting mini-turbos. The feature can be set to happen automatically or when a button is held.

Advanced controls

Koopa Troopa performing a successful Rocket Start at Koopa Cape.
  • Rocket Start: Drivers can perform a speed boost when a race begins. If drivers hold down the corresponding acceleration button right after the countdown timer displays the number 2, then they will receive an extra speed boost when the word GO! appears on the screen. However, if drivers hold down the button for too long, when the final beep is heard, their engine bursts and they get an even worse start than a regular one and take a few seconds to recover.
  • Mini-Turbo: When drivers Drift for a reasonable amount of time varying on the vehicle used, blue sparks erupt from the vehicle's rear tires. Releasing the drift button gives them a short burst of speed. In a kart, drivers can keep drifting for longer periods to get orange sparks and a longer boost. However, orange sparks cannot be created on bikes. Of course, the drifting stats of the vehicle used also matters. Drivers can also perform a "standing mini-turbo" by holding the brake/drift and acceleration buttons at the same time. This is helpful for vehicles with slow acceleration, as it will get the vehicle to top speed. A mini-turbo can't be performed when drifting is set to automatic, but the standing mini-turbo can.
  • Jumps: If players are jumping over ramps or mushrooms, the length of the jump can be controlled by up (shorter jump) and down (longer jump).
  • Tricks: Drivers can pull off a trick when they jump in order to gain a momentary mini-turbo. Drivers can perform a trick by flicking the Wii Remote, pressing the +Control Pad on Classic Controller, or +Control Pad on the GameCube Controller in any direction when going off a ramp or hill. They obtain a speed boost when landing.
  • Wheelie: Wheelies can be performed only when drivers are riding Bikes. Drivers are able to increase their speed when they lift up the front of their bike. While drivers hold the front of the bike up, the bike can hardly turn. The wheelie can be ended by braking, hopping, waiting for the wheelie to end, or simply setting the Wii Wheel or Wii Remote back down or pressing +Control Pad down. If drivers are bumped into while they are performing a Wheelie, they lose most of their speed.
  • Bullet Bill: If flying as Bullet Bill, its route can be controlled a little bit with left and right. The range may differ for every part of a track.

Modes of play

  • Grand Prix (1 player) In this mode, the player races against eleven other CPU players in a quest to finish in first. There are eight cups to choose from, ranging from the most to the least difficult. Drivers earn points by placing within twelve positions (see chart above). A driver with the most points at the end of the four races wins the cup. The driver will be awarded a grade for their racing performance at the end of the cup.
  • Time Trial (1 player) Drivers race for the fastest time on a selected course. The fastest record is able to be raced again as a Ghost. Drivers can also race staff records, or Regional Records/Champions and World Records/Champions (Wi-Fi must be used) and Friend Records (Friend must be registered, friend must send the Ghost for Ghost Races, and Wi-Fi also must be used.)
  • VS Race (1 to 4 players, up to 12 online) Drivers can race to their own custom settings, but it is otherwise relatively the same to Grand Prix, other than the fact that drivers can see the other racers' character's names. The driver may choose a Solo Race, where they try to win for themselves, or Team Race, where two teams, red and blue, try to win for the team in order to gather the most points and beat the other.
  • Battle (1 to 4 players, up to 12 online) Drivers team up with each other in a battle for the most points. Items only work against the opposite team, and have no effect on the team that use them. The player can only select the Standard Kart or Bike. There are two ways to battle:
    • Balloon Battle: All drivers get three balloons and must use the items to hit the opponents to pop their balloons and get one point for every hit. If drivers lose all of their balloons, one point is deducted and remain out for a while to be brought back to the battle with three balloons once more.
    • Coin Runners: The goal for drivers is to obtain more coins with their team than the other. In the top right corner of the screen, the score shows, which are the coins obtained altogether for each team. If drivers hit opponents, opponents drop their Coins. The certain amount of Coins dropped depends on the item that hits the player, and the amount of coins that the player has already gathered.
  • Ghost Race (Mario Kart Channel, 1 player) A Time Trial race with Ghosts made by players around the world with relatively the same skill level to the actual player.
  • Tournament (also known as Competition) (Mario Kart Channel, 1 player) Drivers would compete in a timed competition with specific goals (see list below). This mode serves as the replacement of Mission Mode from Mario Kart DS. New tournaments were posted twice a month. The tournaments were discontinued after the first tournament in May 2014 was over.

Grand Prix Mode initially allows only Karts in 50cc and only Bikes in 100cc; if all the Grand Prix's are won in a single engine class, the other vehicle type will become available for it. Mirror Mode is unlocked by scoring first place on all 150cc Grand Prix.

Other information
  • Additionally, in this game, both normal races and battles are playable online through the use of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (WFC). This is the second game in the series to utilize the WFC, the third to support online connectivity and the first to allow for online battles. Races and Battles will now cater up to 12 players via Wi-Fi connection.[5]
  • Just like Mario Kart DS, it is not possible to play Grand Prix with multiple players. Players can now only win cup trophies by playing alone.
  • In Battle Mode, the player can only play in teams. Also, the Spiny Shell makes its first appearance in Battle Mode. It chases the player of the opposite team with the most points. Also, Lightning is an item in Battle Mode. It shrinks the drivers of the opposite team and makes them lose their items, but does not take a balloon or drop coins.


A list of Tournaments up to the most recent one can be found here.

Baby Mario collecting coins in Tournament Mode.

Mario Kart Wii introduced a new mode for the Mario Kart series, entitled "Tournament Mode" (also known as Competition mode in the European version). Tournament Mode was somewhat similar to Mission Mode from Mario Kart DS. Tournaments could be played on the Mario Kart Channel, as long as the Mario Kart Wii disc was in the Wii. Tournaments required an Internet connection, and WiiConnect24 to be turned on before they can be played. After a while, a tournament was retired to make room for a new one. However, the rankings of older tournaments could still be viewed on the rankings table. The tournaments began in May 2008, and continued even after all WiiConnect24 services were discontinued on June 28, 2013. The tournament service itself was later discontinued on May 20, 2014, the date on which the Nintendo WFC servers shut down.

The varieties of tournaments include:

  • VS Race - A standard VS race; however, race courses were somewhat altered.
  • Time Trial - A standard Time Trial; however, race courses were somewhat altered.
  • Numbered Gates - The player had to drive through ordered gates as fast as possible.
  • Coin Collecting - The player had to collect the coins on the stage as fast as possible.
  • Boss Battle - The player had to fight against a special boss.


An example of a Mario Kart Wii license.

Licenses replace normal save files. It is the first Mario Kart game to feature save files.

Each license contains each player's data, their Mii, nickname, Friend Code, and a table including all categories and cups with an empty space. After a cup is won, the corresponding space is filled in with a colored square: gold for first place, silver for second, bronze for third. If at any time the Mii being used for Mario Kart Wii is deleted from the Mii Channel, the in-game Mii is also deleted.

Friend roster

A friend roster.

Players can add different people around the world on to their Mario Kart Wii Friend Roster. Two people need to add the Friend Codes on their licenses. A player can have up to 30 people on their Friend Roster.

If two people are friends on a roster, one can open a room, which allows who is ever friends with the person to join that room. In the room, the players who joined can send messages. If a player who added the person who created the room, and another person joins and the player has not added them, they have an ability to do so. The host of the room can choose a VS Race, Team VS Race, Balloon Battle, and Coin Runners.

If a player joins a race when another player is online and friends with them, the player who added the player in the race can join that race and race with the friend.


Mario Kart Wii includes two new items: the Mega Mushroom and the POW Block, and brings back the Thunder Cloud (from the Mario Kart Arcade GP installments). Items can be earned by driving through Item Boxes on the courses, just like in previous games. Once a player has done so, an item will be selected via the Item Roulette. Players can use items by pressing +Control Pad left. In general, players tend to obtain a weak item such as a Banana or a Green Shell when they are in first. However, if players are in a lower place, they obtain a slightly more powerful item such as a Red Shell or Lightning is more frequent. Usually, the lower the place of the player, the rarer and more powerful the item they get. Stars, Mega Mushrooms, and Bullet Bills are examples of powerful items as they provide speed boosts and invincibility.

Image Name Description
Mushroom - Mario Kart Wii.png Mushroom Gives players a short speed boost that ignores terrain.
Triple Mushrooms Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Triple Mushrooms Gives players three Mushrooms, which give separate boosts. The default item in Time Trial mode.
Golden Mushroom Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Golden Mushroom The driver gets an infinite amount of mushroom boosts for 7.5 seconds.
Mega Mushroom Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Mega Mushroom
New Item
The driver grows bigger, which allows them to squash other racers by running over them making them lose their items and slow down for a moment. The Mega Mushroom is invincible to all attacks except those from Star, Bullet Bill and Blooper, which let the user destroy items and course obstacles and gives the driver a speed boost. In addition, the player can go off-road without suffering any slow down effect. The effect holds 7.5 seconds, but will be finished earlier after getting hit by a Lightning Bolt.
Item Box Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Item Box Drivers are able to run into these item boxes to obtain an item, depending on their rank on the current race course.
Fake Item Box - Mario Kart Wii.png Fake Item Box This item imitates an Item Box, in which it is colored red and the ? mark is flipped upside down. It causes opponents to flip over once hit. It cannot block item attacks.
Banana - Mario Kart Wii.png Banana When drivers run into them, it causes them to slip and slow down.
Triple Bananas - Mario Kart Wii.png Triple Bananas This item gives the driver a trail of three bananas .
Green Shell Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Green Shell A basic green shell that can be thrown forwards and backwards. It bounces off obstacles several times before it hits an opponent or is destroyed.
Triple Green Shells - Mario Kart Wii.png Triple Green Shells Three green shells that surround the racer until released. These can also be thrown forward or backward.
Red Shell Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Red Shell A fragile shell that tracks the nearest opponent when fired forward. Will break if it hits an obstacle.
Triple Red Shells - Mario Kart Wii.png Triple Red Shells Three red shells that surround the racer until released.
Spiny Shell - Mario Kart Wii.png Spiny Shell A blue shell that flies directly to the first place racer and explodes.
Star - Mario Kart Wii.png Star The driver obtains total invincibility for 7.5 seconds, allowing them to knock over items, course obstacles and other players on contact which makes them lose all items in their possession. Also, the driver receives a speed boost and the power to drive off-road with no speed loss.
Thunderbolt - Mario Kart Wii.png Lightning Lightning strikes every racer ahead of the user, causing them to spin out, drop their items and shrink to very small size, driving more slowly. This item takes no effect on racers with invincibility items activated. The effects wear off from lowest place to first. Any users with the Mega Mushroom in effect shrink to normal size.
Thunder Cloud Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Thunder Cloud
New Item
A thundercloud hovers over the recipient, and strikes it with lightning after ten seconds. Before this happens, the user has much higher speed and acceleration while not losing speed when driving off-road, and may pass the cloud to an opponent by bumping into them. Each pass makes the total running time of the thundercloud about 1 second longer.
Bob-omb - Mario Kart Wii.png Bob-omb Blows up a racer anywhere on the track. Has the same effect as the spiny shell except that it can be lobbed or tossed backwards just like a banana.
Blooper Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Blooper Squirts ink on any racer ahead of the user, partially obscuring vision. It eventually wears off, but can be immediately removed by a speed boost from a mushroom or boost tile, etc.
Bullet Bill Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Bullet Bill Transforms the racer into a large bullet bill, which rockets down the entire track at very high speeds on auto-pilot. The Bullet Bill provides total invincibility and will knock over any item, any course hazard and any player that is in the way making them lose or drop all their items.
POW Block - Mario Kart Wii.png POW Block
New Item
A POW block appears on screen and causes any racer on the ground ahead of the user to spin out and drop their items. Players who deploy the wheelie button get a milder version of the effect.


The complete roster.

Mario Kart Wii features 12 starting characters, while 14 (if both Mii outfits are counted as separate characters) more can be unlocked for a total of 26 playable characters. Unlike with the past Mario Kart titles, however, the characters are categorized under a size class system, instead of the usual weight class system. Excluding the Mii, each size class has 8 characters, making Mario Kart Wii the only game in the Mario Kart series where the weight/size classes have an equal amount of characters, if including Shy Guy from Mario Kart DS.

The size classes are as follows:

  • Small: Small drivers are able to drive small vehicles. They usually have a good acceleration, handling, and off-road stat, but low top speed and weight.
  • Medium: Medium drivers are able to drive medium-sized vehicles. Most of the karts show average weight, and off-road.
  • Large: Large drivers are able to drive large vehicles. They mostly feature high top speed and weight, but low acceleration, handling, and off-road.

Starting drivers

Unlockable drivers

  • Miis are also featured as an unlockable character with two different costumes to unlock – a racing suit and an outfit that varies depending on the gender (Males wear Mario-style overalls, while females wear a Peach-styled short dress). The color of the outfit and the Mii's voice depends on the Mii's favorite color, while their size class is determined based upon their height and weight.

Unlocking criteria

Character Standard criteria Racing criteria Wi-Fi criteria
Baby Luigi Unlock 8 Expert Staff Ghost Data records in Time Trials Play 3,150 races Win 100 WFC Ghost races
Baby Daisy Rank 1 Star or higher in all 50cc Wii Grand Prix Cups Play 1,950 races N/A
Toadette Play Time Trials on all courses Play 2,550 races Win 1,000 WFC races
Dry Bones Win the 100cc Leaf Cup Play 1,050 races N/A
Daisy Win the 150cc Special Cup Play 2,850 races N/A
Birdo Play Time Trials on 16 different courses Play 1,350 races Win 250 WFC races
Diddy Kong Win the 50cc Lightning Cup Play 450 races N/A
Bowser Jr. Rank 1 Star or higher in all 100cc Retro Grand Prix Cups Play 3,450 races N/A
King Boo Win the 50cc Star Cup Play 750 races N/A
Rosalina Rank 1 Star or higher in all Mirror Cups Play 50 races with a Super Mario Galaxy save file, or play 4,950 races N/A
Funky Kong Unlock 4 Expert Staff Ghost Data records in Time Trials Play 2,250 races Win 25 WFC Ghost races
Dry Bowser Rank 1 Star or higher in all 150cc Wii Grand Prix Cups Play 4,350 races N/A
Mii Outfit A Win the 100cc Special Cup Play 1,650 races N/A
Mii Outfit B Unlock all 32 Expert Staff Ghost Data records in Time Trials Play 5,100 combined races and battles Win 5,000 WFC Ghost races


All of the characters in the game have their own set of bonuses that boost certain stats for their vehicles. Units are out of 80, so a stat bonus of 3 would make a stat three points better than normal.[6] Baby Peach and Large Miis have the most stat bonuses, with a total of 15 each. Bowser Jr. has the fewest stat bonuses, with a total of 6.

Character Bonuses
Character Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo
Mario - 6 2 2 3 - -
Luigi 2 6 - - - - -
Peach 2 - 5 - 6 - -
Daisy 4 - - 2 - - 3
Yoshi - 3 - - 3 5 -
Birdo - 3 - - - 3 5
Diddy Kong - - 3 - 3 - 5
Bowser Jr. - - - - - 3 3
Baby Mario - 8 - 6 - - -
Baby Luigi 5 8 - - - - -
Baby Peach 3 6 3 3 - - -
Baby Daisy 5 6 - - - - 3
Toad - - 6 - 6 - -
Toadette 3 - - - - 6 -
Koopa Troopa - - - 3 - - 6
Dry Bones - - 3 - 3 - 6
Wario - 3 - - - 3 6
Waluigi - - 6 - 5 3 -
Donkey Kong - 3 2 2 - - 3
Bowser 2 5 - - 3 - -
King Boo - - - 5 - 3 -
Rosalina 3 - - 3 - - 3
Funky Kong 4 - - - - 3 -
Dry Bowser - - - - - 6 6
Small Mii 3 3 - - 3 - 3
Medium Mii 3 3 - - - 3 3
Large Mii 3 - 3 3 3 - 3


There are thirty-six total vehicles in the Wii installment (all of them can be seen here: [2]). 18 karts, 18 bikes, each divided into the 3 size classes, making 6 and 6 available to each character, 3 and 3 to begin (thus making half of the vehicles unlockables). Each has 7 stats, which are shown during character selection:

  • Speed: How high the top speed of the vehicle is. This does not affect off-road travel.
  • Weight: How heavy a vehicle is. With a higher weight, the player can knock lighter characters away by ramming them. Bikes are usually lighter than karts, but there are some exceptions, especially when size classes are applied.
  • Acceleration: How quickly the vehicle's top speed is achieved from a non-moving position.
  • Handling: How tight the vehicles can normally turn. Usually opposes the drift rating.
  • Drift: How tight the vehicle turns while using the drifting maneuver. Usually opposes the handling rating.
  • Off-Road: How much speed the vehicle retains when off of the track. A low rating of this can cause a near-standstill for the vehicle.
  • Mini-Turbo: When using the manual drift option, how effective a mini-boost will be. While all vehicles can perform a blue spark mini-turbo, only karts can execute an orange spark mini-turbo.

The following table includes vehicles in order of class primarily. The last half of each of these six sub-sections is the way the vehicle drifts (whether it's an internal drift or an external drift) and the unlockables; the right-hand column describes the requirement to unlock it: if it is a single cup, it must be simply won. The stats are displayed with number values, with the units being out of 80.[6]

Vehicle Stats
Small Karts Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Kart S 41 29 48 48 51 40 45 Out -
Booster Seat 27 27 56 64 37 54 59 Out -
Mini Beast 55 32 29 32 64 27 64 Out -
Cheep Charger 34 24 64 56 59 45 54 Out Rank 1 Star in all 50cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
Tiny Titan 46 35 43 43 29 64 40 Out Unlock an Expert Staff Ghost Data record in Time Trials / Win 50 WFC races
Blue Falcon 60 29 35 29 43 24 29 Out Win the Mirror Lightning Cup
Small Bikes Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Bike S 39 21 51 51 54 43 48 Out -
Bullet Bike 53 24 32 35 67 29 67 In -
Bit Bike 25 18 59 67 40 56 62 Out -
Quacker 32 17 67 60 62 48 57 In Win the 150cc Star Cup
Magikruiser 43 24 45 45 32 67 43 In Play Time Trials on 8 different courses
Jet Bubble 48 27 40 40 45 35 37 In Win the Mirror Leaf Cup
Medium Karts Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Kart M 46 45 40 43 45 35 40 Out -
Classic Dragster 37 43 59 54 54 40 51 Out -
Wild Wing 57 51 21 29 59 24 59 Out -
Super Blooper 50 40 35 37 21 54 35 Out Win the 50cc Leaf Cup
Daytripper 34 45 51 59 32 48 54 Out Win the 150cc Leaf Cup
Sprinter 64 48 27 24 37 21 24 Out Unlock 24 Expert Staff Ghost Data Records in Time Trials / Win 3000 WFC races
Medium Bikes Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Bike M 43 37 43 45 48 37 43 Out -
Mach Bike 55 37 24 32 62 27 62 In -
Sugarscoot 32 32 54 62 35 51 56 Out -
Zip Zip 41 35 45 51 29 62 45 Out Win the 100cc Lightning Cup
Sneakster 62 40 29 27 40 24 27 In Rank 1 Star in all 100cc Wii Grand Prix Cups
Dolphin Dasher 48 43 37 40 24 56 37 In Win the Mirror Star Cup
Large Karts Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Kart L 48 59 37 40 40 35 35 Out -
Offroader 39 64 48 54 18 43 45 Out -
Flame Flyer 62 59 16 21 48 18 48 Out -
Piranha Prowler 55 67 29 35 35 29 27 Out Win the 50cc Special Cup
Jetsetter 69 56 21 17 27 16 16 Out Rank 1 Star in all 150cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
Honeycoupe 53 62 27 29 56 24 56 Out Win the 150cc Lightning Cup
Large Bikes Speed Weight Acceleration Handling Drift Off-Road Mini-Turbo Drift-Type Unlock criteria
Standard Bike L 46 54 40 43 43 37 37 Out -
Flame Runner 60 54 18 24 51 21 51 In -
Wario Bike 37 59 51 56 21 45 48 Out -
Shooting Star 50 48 29 32 59 27 59 Out Win the 100cc Star Cup
Spear 67 56 24 18 29 18 18 In Unlock 12 Expert Staff Ghost Data records in Time Trials
Phantom 43 51 43 48 17 56 40 Out Win the Mirror Special Cup


Wario races towards a steep downhill portion of Wario's Gold Mine.

Race courses are divided into various Cups again: Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup and Special Cup for new courses and Shell Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup and Lightning Cup for old courses. Notably, these are the same as Mario Kart DS.

All thirty-two tracks have three laps, regardless of length and difficulty. At first, only two Wii and two Retro Cups are available, but clearing the former two in first place unlocks the Star Cup, while clearing the later two in first place unlocks the Leaf Cup; likewise, clearing the Star and Leaf Cups in first place unlocks the Special and Lightning Cups, respectively. This process only applies for the difficulty level the player is in, so it must be repeated for all others to have the secret Cups available in each of them.

New courses

There are sixteen new courses in Mario Kart Wii.

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
LuigiCircuit MKWii.jpg
Luigi Circuit
MarioCircuit MKWii.png
Mario Circuit
Daisy circuit1.PNG
Daisy Circuit
Dry Dry Ruins.PNG
Dry Dry Ruins
Mkwii MooMeadows.jpg
Moo Moo Meadows
CoconutMall MKWii.jpg
Coconut Mall
Koopa Cape.jpg
Koopa Cape
Moonview Highway
Mushroom Gorge
MKwii DKsummit.jpg
DK Summit
DK's Snowboard Cross
Maple Treeway
Bowser's Castle
Toad's Factory
WariosGoldMine MKWii.jpg
Wario's Gold Mine
Grumble Volcano.PNG
Grumble Volcano
Rainbow Road

Retro courses

These are courses that appeared in previous Mario Kart installments, much like in Mario Kart DS. This includes two courses from Super Mario Kart, four from Mario Kart 64, two from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, four from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! , and four from Mario Kart DS. All of these have been graphically updated and have some new details such as extra trees and ramps, new features such as jumps, pipe tricks, and even added shortcuts. These retro courses appear in the Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightning cups.

Shell Cup Banana Cup Leaf Cup Lightning Cup
Mkw peachbeach.jpg
GCN Peach Beach
N64 Sherbet Land
Desert Hills.PNG
DS Desert Hills
SNES Mario Circuit 3
MKwii Yoshifalls.jpg
DS Yoshi Falls
ShyGuyBeach MKWii.jpg
GBA Shy Guy Beach
GBA Bowser Castle 3
MKWii Peach Gardens.png
DS Peach Gardens
SNES Ghost Valley 2
MKWii DelfinoSquare.jpg
DS Delfino Square
D.K.'s Jungle Parkway.PNG
N64 DK's Jungle Parkway
DK Mountain.PNG
GCN DK Mountain
N64 Mario Raceway
WaluigiStadium MKWii.jpg
GCN Waluigi Stadium
GCN Mario Circuit
N64 Bowser's Castle

Battle stages

New Stages Retro Stages
Block Plaza.PNG
Block Plaza
Battle Course 4 (SNES).PNG
SNES Battle Course 4
Delfino Pier.PNG
Delfino Pier
Battle Course 3 (GBA).PNG
GBA Battle Course 3
Funky Stadium
N64 Skyscraper
Chain Chomp Roulette.PNG
Chain Chomp Wheel
Chain Chomp Roulette
Cookie Land.PNG
GCN Cookie Land
Thwomp Desert.PNG
Thwomp Desert
Twilight House.PNG
DS Twilight House

Other stages

These are only found in the Tournaments.


In Mario Kart Wii, there are Normal Staff Ghosts and Expert Staff Ghosts. Beating the normal staff Ghosts by a certain amount of time unlocks the Expert Staff Ghosts. Unlocking Expert Staff Ghosts can help unlock certain characters and vehicles in the game. Below are two tables: the first shows the Normal Staff Ghosts, while the second shows the Expert Staff Ghosts, and also shows the character and vehicle the Ghost used.

Normal Staff Ghosts

Course Staff Name Time Character Vehicle Wii Wheel Drift
Luigi Circuit Nin★sato 01:29.670 Luigi B Dasher Mk 2/Sprinter Yes Manual
Moo Moo Meadows Nin★YuNya 01:37.856 Baby Daisy Baby Booster/Booster Seat Yes Auto
Mushroom Gorge Nin★Murak 02:16.110 Toadette Quacker Yes Manual
Toad's Factory Nin★Misa 02:22.480 Toad Bubble Bike/Jet Bubble Yes Manual
Mario Circuit Nin★==Kony 01:44.777 Mario Rapide/Zip Zip Yes Manual
Coconut Mall Nin★♪SiMO 02:30.764 Daisy Bon Bon/Sugarscoot No Manual
DK Summit Nin★mokke 02:34.693 Donkey Kong Standard Bike L Yes Manual
Wario's Gold Mine Nin★morimo 02:19.585 Wario Wario Bike Yes Manual
Daisy Circuit Nin★Toki 01:56.822 Daisy Royal Racer/Daytripper No Manual
Koopa Cape Nin★Rose 03:03.022 Koopa Troopa Cheep Charger No Manual
Maple Treeway Nin★pico 02:58.633 Diddy Kong Nostalgia 1/Classic Dragster Yes Manual
Grumble Volcano Nin★Gorin 02:28.237 Dry Bowser Offroader Yes Manual
Dry Dry Ruins Nin★Kei 02:30.949 Yoshi Nostalgia 1/Classic Dragster Yes Manual
Moonview Highway Nin★KOZ★ 02:16.802 Peach Standard Kart M Yes Manual
Bowser's Castle Nin★YABUKI 03:04.836 Bowser Piranha Prowler No Manual
Rainbow Road Nin★Konno 03:05.895 Rosalina Twinkle Star/Shooting Star No Manual
GCN Peach Beach Nin★HIRO 01:34.233 Peach Royal Racer/Daytripper No Manual
DS Yoshi Falls Nin★DoTak 01:16.461 Yoshi Rapide/Zip Zip No Manual
SNES Ghost Valley 2 Nin★YOKO 01:06.595 King Boo Standard Kart L Yes Manual
N64 Mario Raceway Nin★Ichiro 02:14.799 Baby Mario Nanobike/Bit Bike Yes Manual
N64 Sherbet Land Nin★Sakat 02:48.651 Baby Luigi Quacker Yes Auto
GBA Shy Guy Beach Nin★Kato 01:45.568 Koopa Troopa Cheep Charger Yes Manual
DS Delfino Square Nin★iwaco 02:41.807 Wario Wario Bike Yes Manual
GCN Waluigi Stadium Nin★NARI★ 02:32.882 Waluigi Standard Bike L No Manual
DS Desert Hills Nin★CHIA 02:10.233 Dry Bones Standard Bike S No Manual
GBA Bowser Castle 3 Nin★Fukuda 02:58.304 Dry Bowser Standard Kart L Yes Manual
N64 DK's Jungle Parkway Nin★Matt 02:58.264 Donkey Kong Phantom Yes Auto
GCN Mario Circuit Nin★♪Miz 01:59.771 Mario Standard Bike M Yes Manual
SNES Mario Circuit 3 Nin★iwaco 01:38.880 Baby Mario Standard Kart S Yes Manual
DS Peach Gardens Nin★Ito.y 02:34.894 Baby Peach Magikruiser Yes Manual
GCN DK Mountain Nin★♪msk 02:57.744 Funky Kong Wario Bike Yes Manual
N64 Bowser's Castle Nin★GASK2 03:19.323 Bowser Jr. Standard Kart M Yes Manual

Expert Staff Ghosts

Course Staff Name Unlock Time Time Character Vehicle Wii Wheel Drift
Luigi Circuit Nin★Uta♪ 01:26.394 01:19.419 Luigi Mach Bike Yes Manual
Moo Moo Meadows Nin★Tkym 01:34.160 01:25.909 Baby Daisy Bullet Bike No Auto
Mushroom Gorge Nin★Miki 02:10.875 02:01.011 Toadette Concerto/Mini Beast No Manual
Toad's Factory Nin★GQO 02:17.653 02:05.593 Toad Blue Falcon No Manual
Mario Circuit Nin★fuyu 01:40.528 01:33.702 Mario B Dasher Mk 2/Sprinter No Manual
Coconut Mall Nin★MUGI★ 02:25.620 02:13.333 Daisy Wild Wing Yes Manual
DK Summit Nin★KOZ★ 02:29.076 02:17.546 Donkey Kong Flame Flyer Yes Manual
Wario's Gold Mine Nin★♪Ryo 02:15.323 02:04.800 Wario Flame Flyer No Manual
Daisy Circuit Nin★Taeko 01:51.786 01:41.362 Daisy Mach Bike No Manual
Koopa Cape Nin★morimo 02:56.867 02:41.370 Koopa Troopa Bubble Bike/Jet Bubble No Manual
Maple Treeway Nin★MUGI★ 02:51.684 02:37.812 Diddy Kong Nitrocycle/Sneakster No Manual
Grumble Volcano Nin★aki 02:22.856 02:11.852 Dry Bowser Torpedo/Spear No Manual
Dry Dry Ruins Nin★Akito 02:26.064 02:14.286 Yoshi Nitrocycle/Sneakster Yes Manual
Moonview Highway Nin★Koh 02:10.509 02:04.163 Peach Mach Bike Yes Manual
Bowser's Castle Nin★Masa 02:57.382 02:42.098 Bowser Bowser Bike/Flame Runner No Manual
Rainbow Road Nin★Syun1 03:00.007 02:44.734 Rosalina Aero Glider/Jetsetter No Manual
GCN Peach Beach Nin★Taeko 01:30.909 01:23.140 Peach Dolphin Dasher Yes Manual
DS Yoshi Falls Nin★FJ 01:14.072 01:09.175 Yoshi Super Blooper/Turbo Blooper Yes Manual
SNES Ghost Valley 2 Nin★sira〉 01:04.261 00:58.907 King Boo Torpedo/Spear No Manual
N64 Mario Raceway Nin★Yuuki 02:10.069 01:59.053 Baby Mario Concerto/Mini Beast No Manual
N64 Sherbet Land Nin★FJ 02:42.536 02:28.356 Baby Luigi Blue Falcon No Manual
GBA Shy Guy Beach Nin★Matt 01:41.174 01:32.867 Koopa Troopa Magikruiser No Manual
DS Delfino Square Nin★TARO 02:36.630 02:24.169 Wario Dragonetti/Honeycoupe No Manual
GCN Waluigi Stadium Nin★♪Ryo 02:26.335 02:12.367 Waluigi Piranha Prowler No Manual
DS Desert Hills Nin★solami 02:02.358 01:52.686 Dry Bones Rally Romper/Tiny Titan Yes Manual
GBA Bowser Castle 3 Nin★A24 02:53.651 02:39.391 Dry Bowser Bowser Bike/Flame Runner No Manual
N64 DK's Jungle Parkway Nin★Syun1 02:51.693 02:37.782 Donkey Kong Flame Flyer Yes Manual
GCN Mario Circuit Nin★Dai8 01:55.907 01:49.939 Mario Wild Wing No Manual
SNES Mario Circuit 3 Nin★Shige 01:35.213 01:26.659 Baby Mario Bullet Bike No Manual
DS Peach Gardens Nin★==Kony 02:29.793 02:16.777 Baby Peach Concerto/Mini Beast Yes Manual
GCN DK Mountain Nin★Miyam 02:52.100 02:38.130 Funky Kong Flame Flyer Yes Manual
N64 Bowser's Castle Nin★Kentan 03:09.228 02:55.933 Bowser Jr. Nitrocycle/Sneakster Yes Manual

Differences in multiplayer modes

As in the previous games in the Mario Kart series, there are several small changes made to the courses in split-screen mode, most likely to preserve the frame-rate.

  • The question marks in the Item Boxes spin around. They are static in single player mode.
  • There are no tourists on the Sunshine cruise ship in GCN Peach Beach.
  • Boos do not animate in SNES Ghost Valley 2.
  • Computer players do not animate. In Battle Mode, their voices are also absent.
  • The metal Piranha Plants in GCN Waluigi Stadium do not move their jaws.
  • The moving arrow signs in GCN Waluigi Stadium are absent.
  • The Jumbotron in GCN Waluigi Stadium is absent.
  • There are no Miis in the stores in Coconut Mall.
  • The crowd in Mario Circuit, Toad's Factory, Daisy Circuit, and DS Delfino Square do not animate.
  • No tourists are on the ship in N64 DK's Jungle Parkway.
  • The Jumbotron at Funky Stadium does not show the human player; instead it shows a picture of Funky Kong's face with the words "Funky Stadium".
  • Frame-rate slows to 30 frames per second if the screen is split 4 ways.

References to other games

References in later games


Mario Kart Wii has received positive reviews from critics. It has an average score of 82.07% from 74 reviews in GameRankings and an average of 82 based on 73 reviews on Metacritic.[7][8]

Bozon of IGN gave the game an 8.5 out of 10, praising the online play, the presentation, and the gameplay but criticizing the cheap AI in 150cc, the lack of voice chat, reliance on friend codes, and the random items. He finished off with, "Every player is going to have their own love/hate relationship with Mario Kart Wii, but in the end the game does so many things right that it'd be foolish not to give credit where due. Online seriously raises the bar for Nintendo, trumping even Smash in a big, big way. The sense of community you can get even with random racers online and ghost-supported leader boards is impressive, and the fact that you can head on to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection solo, with a friend via split screen, or hook up with buddies across the world without worry of lag and never-ending disconnect notices makes Mario Kart Wii a pure joy to play online. It isn't the best Mario Kart in the series, but it's a must-play experience on Wii, and standard-setting offering as far as online, channel support, and connectivity are concerned. Now if you'll excuse us, we've got some online stats to obsess over."[9] Sammy Barker of Nintendo Life praised the game for its polished gameplay and being well-thought and brilliant. Though he criticized the presentation, he wrote, "Poor presentation should not be an issue in this generation of gaming, particularly with the other consoles doing it so well, but, thankfully for us (as Wii owners), this game is a living, breathing example of gameplay over graphics." He gave the game 9/10 stars. [10] Oli Welsh of Eurogamer gave the game a score of 8/10. He praised the presentation of the game, the use of the Wii Wheel and the smooth gameplay, while criticizing the Battle Mode and the single player exclusive Grand Prix mode (though this was revised after being informed by Nintendo that four sequences of races with friends is still possible). He wrote, "Ultimately, the sheer sensory pleasure of playing Mario Kart Wii - from the charming animations, to the bopping tunes, to the sugar-rush boosting, to the exquisite steering - far overcomes the few concerns we have about it. It still has to be docked a mark for the awkward structure and compromised battle modes - but it's still unreservedly recommended to anyone for whom Mario Kart is a gaming cornerstone. And really, that should be everyone."[11]

Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb criticized the game for being safe. He wrote, "Mario Kart Wii is a good game stunted by its audience's apparently insatiable appetite for the exact same thing, over and over again. The addition of online play and motion controls are good, but they're also the most predictable choices possible. Personally, I'm completely tired of getting exactly what I expect." He gave the game a 3 out of 5 stars.[12] Edge gave the game 6/10, criticizing the game's compromising local, splitscreen multiplayer for online play. They ended with "Undercutting local multiplayer to benefit the online movement is a grievous error. Of all the multiplayer franchises, we struggle to think of a title in which four friends sat side by side seemed more natural. Having sacrificed racing integrity in Double Dash to side with social silliness, Nintendo has turned 180 degrees into an awkward halfway house. It’s a residence from where it has attempted to regain time-trial credentials with the loosest racing yet, and sees the company finally find its online feet by betraying one of its great pastimes. Perhaps first place in Mario Kart Wii isn’t the least enjoyable location in gaming after all."[13]


  • Favorite Video Game - Kids' Choice Awards - 2010
  • Fastest Selling Kart Game - Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition 2009 - 2013
  • Best Selling Racing Game - Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition 2009 - 2014


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

Pre-release and unused content

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

Unused graphics have been found unused depicting icons for a Hammer Bro, a Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha.


Main article: List of glitches in Mario Kart Wii

13 players online

Rarely, when a player finishes a race and leaves the results screen, the top left corner will say, "The next match might have 13 players", although it should say 12. It is also possible, although unlikely, to say more than 13 players (i.e. "The next match might have 14 players"). The next match will never have more than 12 players, though.

Grumble Volcano rock lap glitch

If the player manages to get on top of the large rock to the left of the starting line in Grumble Volcano, each time he or she drives around it, the game will act as if the player completed a lap, and will count a lap for the driver.


Main article: List of Mario Kart Wii staff

Mario Kart Wii is developed by Nintendo EAD. Shigeru Miyamoto is the general producer of the game, with the producer being Hideki Konno and the executive producer being Satoru Iwata. Yasuyuki Oyagi directed the game.

Trading cards

Main article: Mario Kart Wii Trading Cards

Mario Kart Wii Trading Cards were released to celebrate the release of Mario Kart Wii. Trading Card packs additionally included tattoos called FunTats.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Kart Wii media.
Audio.png Title Screen - The music for the Title Screen
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Main article: Mario Kart Wii Platinum Soundtrack

An official soundtrack was released in 2011 by Club Nintendo as a Platinum reward featuring 43 songs from the game itself.

Name in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオカート Wii
Mario Kāto Wī
Mario Kart Wii
Spanish Mario Kart Wii -
French Mario Kart Wii -
German Mario Kart Wii -
Italian Mario Kart Wii -
Korean 마리오카트 Wii
Mario Kateu Wii
Mario Kart Wii


  • For the marketing of Mario Kart Wii in the United States only, Nintendo of America did a series of three commercials starring Cowboy Jed, primarily to promote their slogan for this game: "Get Behind The Wheel!". The slogan focuses on the Wii Wheel, Nintendo's targeted gameplay control, as stated earlier in this article.
  • This game has the most retro Mario Circuit courses.
  • This game is the only one in the Mario Kart series where data cannot be transferred between consoles.
  • It is the only home console Mario Kart game to keep the same graphics as the previous home console installment,instead of improving them.


  1. ^ IR Information : Sales Data - Top Selling Software Sales Unites - Wii Software (as of March 31, 2013)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Wii - Mario Kart Wii - Country Flags - The Spriters Resource
  4. ^ IGN: Update: Mario Kart Wii Text Chat Details
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b Mario Kart Wii Stat Table
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links