AR Cards are plastic cards that the Nintendo 3DS uses as position trackers for some augmented reality experiences, such as AR Games. When the image of an AR Card is in clear view of the console's outer cameras, it can cause some in-game effect. Only the image on an AR Card is important, though the size and material of replacement AR Cards can impact readability.
Six AR Cards are bundled with the Nintendo 3DS: the "?", Mario, Link, Kirby, Samus, and Pikmin Cards, respectively labeled A-1 through A-6. The "?" Card has a ? Block symbol and is used to start AR Games. Games such as Nintendogs + Cats have Mario-related content accessible by scanning the Mario Card. Some games, like Photos with Mario, use additional sets of AR Cards.
In addition to using Mario characters and assets in other modes, AR Games supports the bundled Mario Card in the Star Pics mode. As with the other Character Cards, a 3D model of Mario appears on his AR Card, which can be manipulated and photographed.
Nintendogs + Cats
Nintendogs + Cats includes an AR Camera item that uses the bundled AR Cards. If a Character Card is used, the pet appears in a related costume. The Mario Card causes the pet to wear a Mario Cap, Luigi Cap, or Toad mushroom cap.
Mario Party: Island Tour has two Extra minigames that require the "?" Card. In Ka-Goomba!, the objective is to shoot the Goombas that appear near and on the card. In Sinking Feeling, the tower that the player characters must climb is positioned on top of the card.
Single AR Cards