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Mario Kart 8

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This article is about the original Wii U version of Mario Kart 8. For the Nintendo Switch port of this game, see Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Mario Kart 8
North American box art of Mario Kart 8.
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo EAD
Namco Bandai Holdings[1][2]
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date Japan May 29, 2014
Mexico May 29, 2014[3]
USA May 30, 2014[4]
Europe May 30, 2014[5]
Australia May 31, 2014[6]
Genre Racing
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO rating A - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
DEJUS:DEJUS L.png - General audience
Mode(s) Single Player, Multiplayer, Online Play
Wii U:
Compact disc icon for use in templates. Optical disc
Digital download icon for use in templates. Digital download
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)

Mario Kart 8 is a racing game developed primarily by Nintendo EAD, with Namco Bandai Holdings assisting, for the Wii U. It is the eighth console installment in the Mario Kart series (hence the game's name). This installment is the 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. The game was released on the last three days of May 2014 worldwide.

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 12-racer fields, 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. The game is also the best-selling title for the Wii U, selling 8 million copies as of September 30, 2016, surpassing sales of both Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

On November 7, 2017, Nintendo terminated the Miiverse service, which made it impossible for players to use this game's Miiverse stamps, upload highlight reels onto YouTube, and create new online tournaments (though it is still possible to attend the pre-existing ones).

A Nintendo Switch port titled Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released in 2017, which retains much of this game's base and downloadable content while adding other new content.


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. Players pick a character of three weight classes and drive vehicles of varying stats, strengths, and weaknesses around an obstacle course-like racetrack, in an attempt to finish first of the twelve racers, the number of racers used in Mario Kart Wii.[7] During the race, racers can pick up items from Item Boxes, where the probability of receiving items is dependent on the racers' distance from the frontrunner[8]; for example, first place typically receives defense items such as Bananas and Green Shells, while racers at intermediate distance from the lead receive more powerful offense items such as Triple Red Shells and Fire Flowers and racers far from the lead receive items that lead to an increase in speed or the possibility of going off-road without losing speed, such as the Super Star or Bullet Bill, to help compensate their distance. Players receive an amount of points depending on the position they end up with. Whichever player has the most amount of points wins the entire race.

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 from Mario Kart 7, as well as Coins, with the player being able to collect up to ten in one race, and automatic drifting activated by steering in a direction for a certain amount of time, with a turning capability that, unless a Wii Remote without motion controls is used, matches the one while drifting (and even surpasses that in the case of sport bikes)[9], with the ability to slowly charge Mini-Turbo and Super Mini-Turbo boosts, added in this game.[10] 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 a "Spin Boost".

Two types of bikes return: standard bikes, that perform regular drifts, and sport bikes, that lean toward the inside of the turn instead of drifting.[11] While leaning instead of drifting, sport bikes lose less speed,[12] but have a lower turning capability with respect to outside drifting vehicles, this being a feature seen in Mario Kart Wii as well.[9][13]

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.[14] 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.

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.[15] Another change is that in 2-player mode, the screen splits vertically instead of horizontally as 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 3rd place get an extra point. Also, 6th place is not a losing position. 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), unique finish music, and 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 (no clapping, character(s) showing sad expression); - 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 four times, the Grand Prix must be started over (except in Mario Kart 64, where the player gets infinite retries). Starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and continuing to recent installments including this one, the Grand Prix goes forth normally.


Navigating menus

Wii U GamePad
Wii U Pro Controller
Wii Classic Controller Pro
Wii Classic Controller
Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Wheel
Select Classic Controller Left Control Stick / +Control Pad Nunchuk Control Stick +Control Pad
Confirm A Button Two Button
Cancel B Button One Button


Wii U GamePad Wii U Pro Controller
Wii Classic Controller Pro
Wii Classic Controller
Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Wheel
Accelerate / Rocket Start (press and hold when the countdown shows 2 before the race starts) A Button / Y Button / Classic Controller Right Control Stick (tilt forward) A Button Two Button
Brake/reverse B Button / Classic Controller Right Control Stick (tilt back) B Button One Button
Steer Classic Controller Left Control Stick / +Control Pad (both on stick/pad controls) / Tilt GamePad (tilt controls) Classic Controller Left Control Stick / +Control Pad Nunchuk Control Stick Tilt Wii Remote (tilt controls) / +Control Pad (pad controls)
Hop / drift ZR Button / R Button B Button / One Button
Trick ZR Button / R Button B Button / Flick Wii Remote / One Button
Use item / stop item roulette / honk ZL Button / L Button Nunchuk Z Button +Control Pad (tilt controls) / B Button (pad controls)
Pause / Resume Plus Button
Display/remove TV Map Minus Button
Home Menu HOME Button
Rear view 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. Players choose a cup, which takes them through four consecutive races of set order in that cup. Only the Mushroom and Shell Cups (and the DLC 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. 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

Mario begins his Time Trial run 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 on N64 Rainbow Road.

VS mode can be played locally with up to four players. Players can set rules such as which items appear, the difficulty level of the CPUs, how many races to play, and whether to race on a Team or race Solo. 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. The point system is the same as the 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,[16] 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. Between 1000 and over 4000 VR when playing Worldwide or Regional VS. Race, players race at 100cc, and starting at over 5000 VR, players race at 150cc.

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 a code is required, or if it is open to anybody worldwide or 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 (this is to prevent people from selecting the same course repeatedly). 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.

Point Spread
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
2 players 3 1
3 players 4 2 1
4 players 5 3 2 1
5 players 6 4 3 2 1
6 players 7 5 4 3 2 1
7 players 9 7 5 4 3 2 1
8 players 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1
9 players 11 9 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
10 players 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
11 players 13 11 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
12 players 15 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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 could also share their highlights on Miiverse and YouTube; only up to 60 seconds of video could 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 DLC packages.[17] 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. Even though there are a total of nine groups of characters sharing the same statistics, the official site divides the initial 30 characters in three weight classes dependent on the weight of the character: light, medium, and heavy.[18] Unlike other Mario Kart games (barring the use of glitches), multiple players can use the same characters, both in local and online play.

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 as well. 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

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

Downloadable drivers

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 Tanooki Mario's icon from Mario Kart 8Cat PeachLink's icon from Mario Kart 8
Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 MK8 Villager Icon.png Isabelle's icon, from Mario Kart 8. Dry Bowser's icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Color skins
Colored Yoshis* Red YoshiBlue YoshiLight-blue YoshiYellow YoshiPink YoshiBlack YoshiWhite YoshiOrange Yoshi
Colored Shy Guys* Green Shy GuyBlue Shy GuyLight-blue Shy GuyYellow Shy GuyPink Shy GuyBlack Shy Guy iconWhite Shy GuyOrange 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 has 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.[19]

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 racers.

Rival order

Mario Kart 8 uses a Rival system that is similar to how its predecessor, Mario Kart 7 handles it, with several alterations. A set rival system is present only in the Grand Prix mode of the game; all other modes, including single player VS and battle are not affected and have randomized CPU opponents. Furthermore, only the original characters from the E3 build of the game receive a set system of rivals (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Waluigi, Toad, and Toadette). The rest of the playable characters do not have a rival system of any sort, and all of their opponents in any modes are randomized. If there is more than one player participating in a Grand Prix, the first player's character determines whether there is a rival system or not, and what specific rivals the game gives the character. If other players choose the rival characters, the rivals are replaced by another, random character.

Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s)
Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 PeachBowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8
Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8
Peach Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy
Daisy PeachWaluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8

Background characters

These characters appear as part of a crowd and world-building scenery and do not directly affect any participating racers.

Additional enemies, obstacles, and species

These characters and features may either aid or act as obstacles and other interactable objects which impede racers if bumped into.

Characters and elements
Character/element Location Description
A Barrel in Cloudtop CruiseBarrel from Mario Kart 8
Toad Harbor, Cloudtop Cruise, 3DS DK Jungle, N64 Yoshi Valley, Wild Woods These stationary objects break and slow down the player on contact, while having a chance of releasing a Banana, a Mushroom, or a Green Shell when broken. In 3DS DK Jungle, they appear as DK Barrels.
Boards from Mario Kart 8
3DS Piranha Plant Slide These are in the shape of Goombas and plants. Players can break through them, but this lowers the vehicle's speed.
Bone Piranha Plant from Mario Kart 8
Bone Piranha Plant
Bone-Dry Dunes These enemies stay situated in a Warp Pipe and lunge at any racer that drives near them in the direction they face. Racers who are struck by them flip over.
Boo from Mario Kart 8
Twisted Mansion Several Boos appear in the gliding segment of Twisted Mansion. Players who bump into them lose some air speed.
Boulder from Mario Kart 8
Bowser's Castle Two cannons that shoot boulders are found in the last segments of Bowser's Castle. The cracked ground indicates where the boulder is going to land. If players get hit by a rolling boulder, they flip over.
A Bouncing Note from Mario Kart 8
Bouncing Notes
3DS Music Park These enemies bounce to the rhythm of the course, and for every bounce, players can trick off of the ground if in the appropriate area. When a certain time has passed, typically around the length of a final lap, these notes bounce faster, though not as fast as they did in their original iteration. Bouncing Notes can squash players, but otherwise serve as walls rather than obstacles, akin to Thwomps.
Bowser Golem from Mario Kart 8
Bowser Monument
Bowser's Castle This huge stationary obstacle pounds the ground with his fists, sending shockwaves that create trickable ramps. Racers can get squashed by him if they are under his fist when he punches, but otherwise, his arms do not harm racers who touch them.
Model of a Car from Mario Kart 8.
N64 Toad's Turnpike As in previous Mario Kart games, these obstacles knock over any drivers that collide with them. However, the Bob-omb Car is absent from this game.
Chain Chomp from Mario Kart 8
Chain Chomp
GBA Cheese Land As in previous Mario Kart games, these enemies are bound by a stake and lunge when players drive close to them. Players that get hit by them flip over.
Cheep Cheep from Mario Kart 8
Cheep Cheep
DS Cheep Cheep Beach These jump above the water and serve as minor obstacles. Similarly to Boos, they slow air speed for players that hit them during gliding sequences.
Chomp from Mario Kart 8
N64 Rainbow Road Chomps bounce on certain parts of the track, not performing any other movement. They create distortions on the road, allowing players to trick off of the waves created by the bounce. Players who get hit by Chomps flip over.
A Crate from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Toad Harbor, Sunshine Airport Similarly to Barrels, these stationary objects break when crashed into and slow down the player responsible, while having a chance of releasing a Banana, a Mushroom, or a Green Shell when broken.
Deku Baba from Mario Kart 8
Deku Baba
Hyrule Circuit Their design taken from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, these act identically to Bone Piranha Plants and the lunging Piranha Plants. They lunge after players who drive too close to them. Any player who gets hit by them will flip over.
A Drain Pipe from Mario Kart 8
Drain Pipe
3DS Piranha Plant Slide These Warp Pipes well water that cancels the gliding of players that drive under it. The Warp Pipes themselves, on the other hand, merely serve as an obstruction.
Dry Bones from Mario Kart 8
Dry Bones
Bone-Dry Dunes Dry Bones wander back and forth on the last stretch of the track. They act similarly to destructible walls; any player who collides with them slows down and ends up destroying the Dry Bones in the process.
Fire Bar from Mario Kart 8
Fire Bar
Bowser's Castle, DS Wario Stadium Fire Bars are stationary objects that rotate their fireballs. Players that run into the fire burn and spin out.
Fire Snake from Mario Kart 8
Fire Snake
Wii Grumble Volcano Fire Snakes emerge from Warp Pipes. They bounce around an area of the track, and disappear over time. They spin out any player who runs into them.
Freezie from Mario Kart 8
GCN Sherbet Land Freezies are stationary objects found in the latter part of the course. They are breakable, and any player who runs into them spins out. Unlike their original appearance in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, they do not freeze players.
Frogoon from Mario Kart 8
3DS DK Jungle These enemies slowly hop back and forth, and any player who gets hit by them spins out.
Goomba from Mario Kart 8
Mario Circuit, N64 Yoshi Valley, 3DS Piranha Plant Slide Goombas walk slowly back and forth. Running into one causes the player to spin out.
Goomba Tower from Mario Kart 8
Goomba Tower
Mario Circuit Appearing near the end of the course, Goomba Towers vary in height from each other, but are always taller than regular Goombas; as such, they are an obstacle to airborne racers. Running into them causes the player to spin out, and, if the player was gliding, fall to the ground as well.
Bowser Statue
Bowser Statue
Bowser's Castle In the beginning of the course, usually on only the first lap, these statues serve as decoration. As time passes, however, they shoot out lasers that hit the ground. Any player who drives into the lasers spins out.
A Hammer Knight in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Hammer Knight
Twisted Mansion These enemies, possessed by Boos, appear at the end of the track, swinging their hammers towards incoming racers. Players who are beneath a hammer when it falls get squashed. The parts of the road that the hammers hit are visibly more damaged than the rest of the road.
N64 Royal Raceway from Mario Kart 8
Hot-air balloon
N64 Royal Raceway Floating objects which push the player back when touched.
Keese from Mario Kart 8
Hyrule Circuit These enemies replace the Swoops seen in other courses, and they take their design from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Hitting one of them slows the player down.
Mechakoopa from Mario Kart 8
GBA Ribbon Road These enemies are found slowly patrolling the green section of Ribbon Road. Hitting one causes the player to spin out.
Monty Mole from Mario Kart 8
Monty Mole
Wii Moo Moo Meadows, SNES Donut Plains 3 Monty Moles burrow underground, leaving behind a trail of trickable ramps. Monty Moles eventually pop out of the ground and leap up; players who hit them spin out.
Moo Moo from Mario Kart 8
Moo Moo
Wii Moo Moo Meadows Moo Moos stay stationary early in the race, but wander to the road as time goes on. Any player who runs into a Moo Moo spins out. Moo Moos can be hit by items such as shells.
Mr. Resetti from Mario Kart 8
Mr. Resetti
Animal Crossing (all seasons except winter) Mr. Resetti occasionally pops out of the ground near the end of the track and appears to be angry. Hitting Mr. Resetti causes players to flip over. He does not appear in the winter version of the track.
Oil slick from Mario Kart 8
Oil slick
GBA Mario Circuit Dotted throughout the latter part of the course, oil slicks cause players who drive onto them to spin out. They can be avoided by hopping over them.
Piranha Plant from Mario Kart 8

Piranha Plant from Mario Kart 8
Piranha Plant

Sweet Sweet Canyon, Mario Circuit, Electrodrome, N64 Royal Raceway, 3DS Music Park, 3DS Piranha Plant Slide, GCN Yoshi Circuit Two types of Piranha Plant exist. The type that is found on N64 Royal Raceway is a stationary, small, passive obstacle that is found throughout the track. Players who run into them spin out. The other type of Piranha Plant, which is always found in a pipe, is found in Sweet Sweet Canyon, Mario Circuit, Electrodrome, 3DS Music Park, 3DS Piranha Plant Slide, and GCN Yoshi Circuit. While also stationary, they lunge towards any racer in front of and close enough to them. These Piranha Plants are found only in set areas of the track and flip racers that they successfully hit. The Piranha Plants in Sweet Sweet Canyon, 3DS Music Park, and 3DS Piranha Plant Slide are much larger than other ones, and the Piranha Plants in 3DS Piranha Plant Slide change direction of where they bite over time, similar to some of the Bone Piranha Plants. Additionally, the Piranha Plants in Electrodrome are visually replaced by Raving Piranha Plants, which dance in time with the music, while the Piranha Plants in Sweet Sweet Canyon are pink rather than red.
Pokey from Mario Kart 8
GCN Dry Dry Desert Pokeys are enemies that slowly lumber back and forth. At times, they bend over to form small archways; coins appear in the center of these archways, and disappear when Pokeys revert to their original position. Players spin out if they hit a Pokey.
Screaming Pillar from Mario Kart 8
Screaming Pillar
3DS DK Jungle These are statues that blow air at intervals. The air they blow out lowers air speed of players who glide into it.
Sidestepper from Mario Kart 8
DS Cheep Cheep Beach Sidesteppers patrol back and forth underwater in DS Cheep Cheep Beach. They can be defeated with items such as shells, but running into one of them spins the player out.
Shy Guy from Mario Kart 8
Skating Shy Guy
GCN Sherbet Land Ice skating Shy Guys dance around at the beginning of the course. Any player who runs into them spins out. There are two color varieties: the blue ones, who skate by themselves, and the the red ones, who skate together holding hands.
Snowboy from Mario Kart 8
Animal Crossing (winter only) Snowboys appear exclusively in the Winter version of the Animal Crossing track, in the end section where Mr. Resetti usually is. These obstacles slow players who hit them down via acting like a destructible wall (therefore functioning identically to snowmen).
Snowman from Mario Kart 8
GCN Sherbet Land Snowmen appear off-road. Unlike previous Mario Kart games, these obstacles only slow down players who collide with them via acting like a destructible wall.
Spinner from Mario Kart 8
Bowser's Castle This obstacle appears hanging on a ceiling, swinging back and forth. Racers who drive into it get flipped over.
A Super Thwomp in Mario Kart 8
Super Thwomp
SNES Rainbow Road Behaving as they did in their original appearance and their appearance in Mario Kart 7, these are obstacles that slam the ground repeatedly. The force of the impact creates waves that players can trick off of. Players can get crushed by these Thwomps, and unlike regular Thwomps, players who touch one flip over.
Swooper from Mario Kart 8
N64 Yoshi Valley, Wii Wario's Gold Mine Swoops fly in groups in certain areas. They slow down any player who hits them, though players can temporarily defeat them with items.
Thwomp from Mario Kart 8
Thwomp Ruins Thwomps are obstacles that rise up and smash the ground repeatedly. They crush any player that is underneath them as they smash the ground, though touching them otherwise is similar to hitting a wall.
Tiki Goon from Mario Kart 8
Tiki Goon
3DS DK Jungle Tiki Goons patrol back and forth. They move more slowly than in their original iteration. Players who drive into them spin out.
Toads from Mario Kart 8
Bone-Dry Dunes, N64 Rainbow Road One of the only directly helpful characters, Toads throw coins onto the track. In Bone-Dry Dunes, they do so from a ship sailing across quick sand soon after the start, while in N64 Rainbow Road, they do so from a flying train which appears at various points in the race.

Vehicle parts

There are 22 karts, 6 standard bikes, 5 sport bikes, 4 ATVs (37 bodies in total), 21 sets of tires, and 14 gliders available to use in Mario Kart 8 for a grand total of 10,878 vehicle combinations.[20][21] Of these, 8 karts, 1 standard bike, 1 sport bike, 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.[22]

Some parts can change colors either for every character, a specific group of characters, or based on a limited number of color schemes. The color schemes used by each Mii color serve as a default set of color schemes for each of the 12 colors which are also used by alternative Yoshi and Shy Guy colors as well as the Mii Racing Suits. All of them use the default color scheme for parts which have unique color schemes for only certain characters. The other characters may have personalized color schemes for their Standard bodies, Pipe Frame and Super Glider, and for the other parts, they may use other color schemes other than those of their expected color; for example, Mario's GLA is the gray one used by the yellow Miis instead of the red one used by the Miis wearing the racing suit based on him.

Available parts

The parts available are listed here in the order shown in the vehicle customization screen, with the following notation:

  • 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.
  • (DLC) = Part is only available as downloadable content.

The "8" logos on the parts are replaced with the character's symbol, except on the Gold Standard and Gold Glider.


Standard bikes

Sport bikes




Unlocking criteria

Vehicle parts are unlocked by collecting coins from Grand Prix, VS Mode, Time Trials, and online races.[23] 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 have collected by viewing the statistics screen from the main menu (this feature is available for only Ver. 2.0 and further of the game).

  • 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:

Drivers' and vehicle parts' statistics

For the in-game tables from which these values were derived and for the tables to translate those values into the actual statistics used by the game, see Mario Kart 8 in-game statistics.

Statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen

To calculate the final values of the game's statistics, the game uses points (PT) which are conferred by characters and vehicle parts. In each statistics, the points given by the character, body, tires, and glider are summed to obtain a final value called Level (Lv) which is then used by a table to convert the level into appropriate physical parameters used by the game. The Level of five statistics is displayed in the vehicle customization screen:

  • Speed: The top speed of the vehicle on land with normal gravity.
  • Acceleration: The rate of speed increase when holding the acceleration button.
  • Weight: The weight of the vehicle. Vehicles with higher weight knock away vehicles with lower weight.
  • Handling: The turning ability of the vehicle on land with normal gravity. A higher stat means vehicles turn sharper, and will continue turning normally for longer before automatically initiating a drift.
  • Traction (Grip in Europe and Oceania): 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.

Said Level is represented through bars by adding three points to the sum of points, then dividing the result by four, resulting in values ranging from 1.0 to 5.75. As an example, the process through which the statistics of a certain combination of character and vehicle parts are calculated and displayed is shown below:

A combination consisting of Lemmy, Sport Bike, Slim Tires, and Bowser Kite.
Element Points conferred
Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction
Lemmy's head icon in Mario Kart 8
0 5 0 10 5
Green Varnish Version of Sport Bike.
The icon for sport bike bodies in Mario Kart 8.Sport Bike
3 5 1 5 0
Slim Tires from Mario Kart 8
The icon for tires in Mario Kart 8.Slim Tires
3 1 2 4 2
Bowser Kite glider from Mario Kart 8
The icon for gliders in Mario Kart 8.Bowser Kite
1 2 1 1 1
Final values Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction
Level 0 + 3 + 3 + 1 =
5 + 5 + 1 + 2 =
0 + 1 + 2 + 1 =
10 + 5 + 4 + 1 =
5 + 0 + 2 + 1 =
Value shown in the vehicle customization screen (7 + 3) / 4 = 10 / 4 =
(13 + 3) / 4 = 16 / 4 =
(4 + 3) / 4 = 7 / 4 =
(20 + 3) / 4 = 23 / 4 =
(8 + 3) / 4 = 11 / 4 =
The values actually shown in the vehicle customization screen, matching the values calculated.

Drivers' statistics

The following table shows the statistics of the various drivers. In addition to the statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen, there are the following statistics:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mini-Turbo: The length of the vehicle's mini-turbo speed boosts.

Just like in Mario Kart Wii, Miis can be Light, Medium, or Heavy, depending on their height and weight.

The following tables report the statistics in points.

Drivers' statistics
Vehicle size Character Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Small Baby Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Daisy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Rosalina's head icon in Mario Kart 8Lemmy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Mii (Light) 0 0 0 0 5 0 10 10 10 10 5 5
Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8Shy Guy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Lakitu's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8Larry's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wendy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Isabelle's icon, from Mario Kart 8. 2 2 2 2 4 2 8 8 8 8 4 4
Medium Cat Peach's icon from Mario Kart 8Female Villager's icon. 4 4 4 4 4 3 6 6 6 6 3 4
Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 4 4 4 4 3 4 6 6 6 6 3 3
Tanooki Mario's icon from Mario Kart 8Male Villager's icon. 6 6 6 6 3 5 4 4 4 4 2 3
Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Iggy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Ludwig's head icon in Mario Kart 8Mii (Medium) 6 6 6 6 2 6 4 4 4 4 2 2
Metal Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Pink Gold Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8 8 8 8 8 0 10 2 2 2 2 0 0
Large Rosalina's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Roy's head icon in Mario Kart 8Link's icon from Mario Kart 8 8 8 8 8 1 8 2 2 2 2 1 1
Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Morton's head icon in Mario Kart 8Mii (Heavy)Dry Bowser's icon, from Mario Kart 8. 10 10 10 10 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0

Vehicle parts' statistics

The following table shows the statistics of the various parts in points. The Super Glider and Paper Glider form their own group, due to having different values in an unused statistic, which is On-Road Traction (ON).


Body Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Standard KartCat CruiserPrancerSneeker (Bounder)300 SL RoadsterThe DukeTeddy Buggy 3 3 2 4 2 2 2 2 1 3 5 3
Pipe FrameW 25 Silver ArrowStandard BikeFlame RiderVarmintCity TripperWild Wiggler 3 4 3 3 3 1 4 4 3 4 3 4
Mach 8Circuit SpecialSports Coupe (Sports Coupé)Gold Standard (Gold Kart)B DasherP-Wing 5 4 4 5 1 3 2 2 1 2 1 1
Steel DriverTri-SpeederBadwagonGLAStandard ATV (Standard Quad) 3 5 2 3 0 4 0 5 0 0 7 0
Biddybuggy (Buggybud)LandshipMr. Scooty (Mr Scooty) 0 5 4 0 7 0 4 5 4 3 4 7
Blue FalconStreetle 4 3 3 5 3 1 2 2 1 3 3 3
Tanooki KartBone Rattler 3 5 3 3 1 3 1 5 4 1 6 1
CometSport BikeJet BikeYoshi Bike 3 3 2 3 5 1 5 5 4 5 0 5
Master Cycle 4 5 4 3 2 2 4 4 4 5 2 3


Tire Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Standard (Normal)Off-RoadBlue Standard (Normal Blue)Retro Off-RoadGLA Tires (GLA Wheels) 2 4 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 2
MonsterHot Monster (Funky Monster) 2 2 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 0
RollerButtonAzure RollerLeaf Tires (Leaf Tyres) 0 4 4 0 6 0 4 4 4 4 3 6
SlimCrimson SlimTriforce Tires (Triforce Tyres) 3 3 3 3 1 2 4 4 4 4 2 1
SlickCyber Slick 4 0 4 4 1 3 3 3 3 3 0 1
MetalGold Tires (Gold Wheels) 3 3 3 3 0 4 3 3 3 3 2 0
SpongeWood (Wooden)Cushion 1 0 3 1 3 1 2 1 3 2 6 3


Glider Speed Acceleration Weight Handling Traction Mini-Turbo
Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity Ground Water Air Anti-Gravity
Super GliderPaper Glider 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
Cloud GliderPeach ParasolParachuteParafoilFlower GliderBowser KiteMKTV ParafoilHylian Kite 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2
Wario WingWaddle WingPlane GliderGold Glider 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1


There are 32 courses in the main game (excluding DLC Cups); 16 new and 16 classic, featuring one course each from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, four courses 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 courses from the 3DS installment, those in this game feature altered sections that incorporate the game's glider, underwater, and anti-gravity features. The game features orchestrated music for all of the new courses and most of the classic courses. The courses have been described as narrower compared to previous Mario Kart courses, specifically those from Mario Kart Wii.[25] Names in italics are names used in the PAL version.

Unlike several previous installments of the Mario Kart series, the retro courses use their respective Mario Kart logo, excluding the DLC tracks GCN Yoshi Circuit, GBA Cheese Land, and GBA Ribbon Road; the tracks from SNES to GCN use an updated version of the classic logo, while the tracks from DS to 3DS, and the three DLC tracks mentioned, use the current logo.

New courses

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

Classic courses

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

Downloadable courses

Four additional cups, each one containing four courses for a total of 16, are included in the game's two downloadable content packs.[22] This makes Mario Kart 8 the second most extensive installment in the Mario Kart series behind Mario Kart Tour, as it contains up to 48 courses, beating Mario Kart: Super Circuit's previous record of 40 courses in total. Each of the DLC cups contains a mixture both new and classic courses, making them the first cups in the Mario Kart series to do so. Because of the imbalance of new and classic courses, this makes Mario Kart 8 the only installment in the series to include more new courses than classic courses, with 25 new courses and 23 classic courses. The inclusion of SNES Rainbow Road also makes Mario Kart 8 the first game in the series to have more than two Rainbow Road courses. Of those 16 courses, seven of those are classic courses, adding one course 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 courses consist of four original courses and five courses based upon other Nintendo franchises, including Excitebike, F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing. Additionally, while some of the courses have gliding and/or anti-gravity sections, none of them have any underwater sections. The back of the trophies earned in these cups reads "PROFESSIONAL KART RACING DISTINGUISHED DRIVER".

The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8
Egg Cup icon
Egg Cup
Triforce Cup icon
Triforce Cup
Crossing Cup icon
Crossing Cup
Bell Cup icon
Bell Cup
<small>GCN</small> Yoshi Circuit icon from Mario Kart 8
<small>Wii</small> Wario's Gold Mine icon, from Mario Kart 8.
<small>GCN</small> Baby Park icon, from Mario Kart 8.
<small>3DS</small> Neo Bowser City icon, from Mario Kart 8.
3DS Koopa City
Excitebike Arena icon, from Mario Kart 8.
<small>SNES</small> Rainbow Road icon, from Mario Kart 8.
<small>GBA</small> Cheese Land icon, from Mario Kart 8.
<small>GBA</small> Ribbon Road icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Dragon Driftway icon, from Mario Kart 8
Ice Ice Outpost icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Wild Woods icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Super Bell Subway icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Mute City icon from Mario Kart 8
Hyrule Circuit icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Animal Crossing icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Big Blue icon, from Mario Kart 8.

Battle courses

Unlike previous installments of the series, there are no courses unique to Battle Mode; instead, eight of the original 32 courses (two new, six classic) 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.[26] Courses enabled for Battle mode are the following:

<small>Wii</small> Moo Moo Meadows <small>GCN</small> Dry Dry Desert <small>SNES</small> Donut Plains 3 <small>N64</small> Toad's Turnpike
Mario Circuit Toad Harbor <small>GCN</small> Sherbet Land <small>N64</small> Yoshi Valley


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, beating the Staff Ghost for each of the game's standard courses unlocks a stamp that can be used in Miiverse posts, rather than an Expert Staff Ghost.

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


For the probability of getting each item when an Item Box is opened, see Mario Kart 8 item probability distributions.

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. In the races, each item's probability of being obtained depends on probability distributions that are chosen based mainly on the distance from the driver in 1st place[8]. This means that it is possible to get even a Bullet Bill in second. 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, the Triple Mushrooms and the eight items of the Crazy Eight 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 and the Star. Racers only lose the items they are holding in their hand when struck by a Lightning while items surrounding the drivers, with the exception of the Mushrooms, are lost when other racers touch them. 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 in Mario Kart 8
Item Box
Gives the player a random item. Items given are based on the player's position.
Coin in Mario Kart 8
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, used for Hyrule Circuit. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Bell sprite.
The equivalent of a coin, used for Animal Crossing. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.

New items

Boomerang Flower in Mario Kart 8
Boomerang Flower
Can be thrown up to three times, hitting racers forward/backward and when it returns to its user after the first and second use.
Piranha Plant in Mario Kart 8
Piranha Plant
Automatically chomps on obstacles and other racers, giving a short speed boost for each bite.
Super Horn in Mario Kart 8
Super Horn
Emits a radial shockwave hitting racers, as well as destroying all obstacles, including the Spiny Shell.
Crazy Eight in Mario Kart 8
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

Coin in Mario Kart 8
Grants the player two extra coins and a micro boost.
Green Shell in Mario Kart 8
Green Shell
Travels in a straight line and knocks over a kart it hits.
Triple Green Shells in Mario Kart 8
Triple Green Shells
Three green shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Red Shell in Mario Kart 8
Red Shell
Homes in on the closest kart in front of the player and knocks it over.
Triple Red Shells in Mario Kart 8
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 in Mario Kart 8
Triple Bananas
Three bananas that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Artwork of a Mushroom in Mario Kart 8 (also used in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe)
Provides the player's kart with a small speed boost.
A Triple Mushroom in Mario Kart 8
Triple Mushrooms
Orbits the player's kart, providing them with three separate speed boosts.
Artwork of a Golden Mushroom in Mario Kart 8 (also used for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe)
Golden Mushroom
Provides the player's kart with continuous speed boosts for a short time.
Fire Flower in Mario Kart 8
Fire Flower
Allows the player to throw fireballs for a short time that cause other karts to spin out on impact.
Star in Mario Kart 8
Provides the player invincibility from all terrain and items, and also giving a speed boost.
Blooper in Mario Kart 8
Sprays ink on all racers ahead and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed.
Bob-omb in Mario Kart 8
Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking over any kart in its blast radius.
Spiny Shell in Mario Kart 8
Spiny Shell
Targets the racer in first place, knocking over all other karts in its path.
Lightning in Mario Kart 8
Causes all opponents to drop their items, shrink, and drive slowly for a short time.
Bullet Bill in Mario Kart 8
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, which could previously be used 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 packs, as well as adding prompts where the character and cup icons are when purchased. Alternatively, players can purchase content packs 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, Princess Peach, and Luigi driving karts themed after Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

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.[27] The content was released in all regions during August 2014.[28]

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,[29] includes playable characters Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise. It also includes additional kart parts, such as the returning B Dasher and the new Tanooki Kart. The cups included are the Triforce Cup and the Egg Cup. Additional courses include both retro ones, such as Wario's Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, new courses inspired by non-Mario franchises such as the Excitebike-based Excitebike Arena, and completely new ones such as Dragon Driftway.

Purchasing both this and the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 pack unlocks eight alternate color skins for both Yoshi and Shy Guy each.[22]

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, returning from Mario Kart Wii. The cups included are the Crossing Cup and the Bell Cup.[30] Like The Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8, additional courses include retro ones such as Cheese Land (returning from Mario Kart: Super Circuit), courses based on non-Mario franchises like Big Blue from the F-Zero series, and completely new ones like Wild Woods.

Purchasing both this and The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 pack unlocks eight alternate color skins for both Yoshi and Shy Guy.[22]

Update history

Note that in order to play online, players must have downloaded the most recent software update.

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. A records section has been added to the main menu also by pressing Minus Button, which shows how many total 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 exists 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.

The speed values of the CPU racers has also been adjusted for tracks such as Dolphin Shoals. Also, animations of some characters, such as Daisy, Rosalina and Ludwig have been tweaked.

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 purchase and download add-on content.[31] 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.[32][33] 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.[34][35]

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.[36] Ten new Miiverse stamps have also been added.[37] 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 racers when playing with custom rules, though only human players will count for scoring.[38] 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. Finally, additional tournament settings have been added to support 200cc and the two cups in the second DLC pack.

200cc engine class

Larry Koopa, performing the new braking technique that is introduced in the 200cc engine class.

Introduced as part of the version 4.0 update, 200cc is an engine class that presents a few important differences with respect to the other engine classes.

Among the differences discovered so far, the most important are the speed, which is 150% the speed of the 150cc engine class (for comparison, the speed of the 50cc and 100cc engine classes are respectively 80% and 90% of the speed of the 150cc engine class)[39] and causes acceleration to change every time the acceleration statistics changes,[40] and a new braking technique, triggered only when braking while drifting: orange sparks come out of the driving wheels that start rotating at a low speed, a braking sound can be heard and the deceleration is slower, allowing tighter turns without necessarily losing the Mini-Turbo charge.[41] Furthermore, in this engine class the Star item significantly increases both acceleration and maximum speed, unlike in 150cc where maximum speed is mostly unaffected.

Furthermore, some physics exploits appear to be less effective.[42] The angular velocity of autodrifting has been revised as well and furthermore only in this class it appears to be unaffected by drifting type (inside drifting or outside drifting) and coins.[9]

Twenty-one of the tracks are also altered to accommodate for the different 200cc physics, such as modifying the boost value of the ramps with Dash Panels on them or locally increasing gravity in various areas including jumps or glider sections[43]. The following is an alphabetized list of all racetracks that have different 200cc physics:

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.[44]

Differences in multiplayer modes

When playing in split screen, there are some minor and major differences on the race courses. Most changes are removals and simplifications to maintain proper frame rate.

General differences

  • The game will occasionally lower its rendering resolution to 1152x648 when many racers and particle effects are on screen. This happens more often in two player modes with CPU's turned on, and in GCN Sherbet Land.
  • There is a lack of motion blur in online and offline multiplayer.
  • Shadow resolution, shadow draw distance, and the resolution of alpha and lighting effects are reduced in multiplayer.
  • The polygon count of CPU and other player characters are reduced.
  • Trick animations of CPU's and other players are 30 fps in Two-Player Online.
  • Some of the side spectators (Toads, Yoshis, Shy Guys, Piantas, and etc.) are absent in race courses that have them.

Course-specific differences

Mario Kart Stadium

  • The large broadcasting screen rotates between the players' point of views.
  • The MKTV broadcast van is absent.
  • Some of the bleach banners are absent.
  • The helicopter near the anti-gravity section is absent.
  • The hovering platforms, carrying the spectators, are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the fireworks have less sparkles.

Water Park

  • The balloons, that come out of the big warp pipes, are absent.
  • The Mecha Cheeps are absent.
  • The tent-shaped water fountain does not spray out water.
  • Some sailboats are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, at the start-and-finish line, the hanging banners on the lamps, are absent.

Sweet Sweet Canyon

  • The soda bottles do not have soda geysers coming out. For the soda bottles underwater, the bubbles do not come out.
  • Most of the candied hot air balloons are absent.
  • The Cheep Cheeps are absent.

Thwomp Ruins

  • The torches, located at the left turn after the start-and-finish line, do not have flames. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of the torches outside do not have flames, except the first two on the glide ramp.
  • Some dandelions are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the hanging long flags are absent.

Mario Circuit

  • The MKTV broadcast van is absent.
  • At the left turn around Peach's castle, the flagpoles do not have flags.
  • On top of Peach's castle, the flags are absent.
  • In front of Peach's castle, the hanging banners are absent.
  • The birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.
  • Some line of flags are absent.

Toad Harbor

  • Some of the sailboats are absent.

Twisted Mansion

  • Some of the boos are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, only the boos at the wavy dining area are present.

Shy Guy Falls

  • The butterflies, around some group of flowers, are absent.
  • The flying eagle is absent.

Sunshine Airport

  • The hanging flags on the light posts are absent.
  • At the first gliding section, the first pair of airborne markers are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • After the second gliding section, the two flags after the first two are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the Toad mechanics are absent.

Dolphin Shoals

  • The cheep cheeps and the manta are absent.
  • At the start-and-finish line, two of the three schools of fish are absent and most of the scuba toads are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of the schools of fish and scuba toads are absent.
  • Some jellybeams are absent.


  • At the right turn before the anti-gravity section, the rotating stage lights that move around are absent.
  • Some sparklers are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.

Mount Wario

  • The swoops are absent.
  • In the background, some of the skiing Shy Guys are absent.

Cloudtop Cruise

  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the airborne markers, located at the first gliding section, are absent.

Bone-Dry Dunes

  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the line of lamps, hanging over the race track, are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the flags are absent.

Bowser's Castle

  • The airship is absent.
  • Some of the flags are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • Two of the cannons on the towers, located at the right turn to the start-and-finish line, are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • On the start-and-finish truss, the flames coming out are absent.
  • Some of the lava geysers are absent. The ones at the entrance of Bowser's castle are absent.

Rainbow Road

  • The satellites, one near the first anti-gravity section and the one near the end of the second anti-gravity section, are absent.
  • The blooper space shuttles are absent.
  • Some of the floating ? blocks and Toads in space capsules are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • The airborne markers, located at all the gliding sections, are absent.
  • The two bleachers, located at the start-and-finish line, each have a rotating wheel missing. The two bleachers, located near the launch star rings, do not have rotating wheels. In 3 and 4 player mode, all the rotating wheels on every bleachers are absent.
  • On the projector, the hologram of the Special Cup trophy is absent.
  • The oval-shaped tube, where the start-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.
  • The solar cells at the bottom of the space station are absent.

Wii Moo Moo Meadows

  • Some of the cows, located in the background, are absent.
  • The birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.

GBA Mario Circuit

  • Some of the spare tires are absent.
  • The birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.

DS Cheep Cheep Beach

  • The sailboats and the Piantas very far in the background are absent.
  • Some schools of fish are absent.

N64 Toad's Turnpike

  • The helicopter is absent.

GCN Dry Dry Desert

  • At the underwater section, some of the paratroopas are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.

SNES Donut Plains 3

  • On the fortress, the flames on the torches are absent.

N64 Royal Raceway

  • Some of the swan boats are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode:
    • The MKTV broadcast vans are absent.
    • The bleach banner at the bleacher is absent.

3DS DK Jungle

  • Some of the DK barrels are absent.
  • Some of the parrots are absent.

DS Wario Stadium

  • The MKTV broadcast vans are absent.
  • The large broadcasting screen rotates between the players' point of views.
  • Some of the bleach banners are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, all of them are absent.
  • Some of the hanging banners are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, most of them are absent.

GCN Sherbet Land

  • The sparklers are absent.
  • The line of flags are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode:
    • The line of lights are absent.
    • One snowman is absent.
    • The jellybeams are absent.
    • The fireworks have less sparkles.

N64 Yoshi Valley

  • The swoops are absent.

DS Tick-Tock Clock

  • In 3 and 4 player mode, the red gear, located near the left turn to the start-and-finish line, is absent.

3DS Piranha Plant Slide

  • The cheep cheeps are absent.
  • In 3 and 4 player mode, at the start-and-finish line, the toads, paratroopas, hanging banners, and some flags are absent. Only two toads on the top of the start-and-finish truss are present.

Wii Grumble Volcano

  • The lava geysers are absent.
  • Some torches do not have flames.
  • Two of the four torches before the start-and-finish line are absent.
  • The flames on the start-and-finish truss are absent.

N64 Rainbow Road

  • The city is not active; the cars and trains in the city are absent.
  • The Luigi-shaped firework and most ordinary fireworks are absent. In 3 and 4 player mode, the ordinary fireworks have less sparkles.

GCN Yoshi Circuit

  • In 3 and 4 player mode, some of the spectators and sailboats are absent.

Excitebike Arena

  • The MKTV van and the bleach banners are absent.
  • All the spectators are absent.

Dragon Driftway

  • The birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.

Wii Wario's Goldmine

  • All the spectators are absent.
  • Only one mining Shy Guy is present.
  • The mine carts in the background are absent.

Ice Ice Outpost

  • The helicopter is absent.

Hyrule Circuit

  • The flags on the castle are absent.
  • The spectators are absent.

Wild Woods

  • The birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.
  • The flying eagles in the background are absent.

Animal Crossing

  • In spring and summer seasons, the birds, that fly away when racers approach them, are absent.
  • The train is absent.
  • The crab shells, players can knock over, are absent.
  • The flag at the start-and-finish line is absent.

3DS Neo Bowser City

  • The hovering platforms carrying the spectators are absent.
  • The anti-gravity cars in the anti-gravity glass tunnels are absent.

Big Blue

  • The large broadcasting screen rotates between the players' point of views.
  • The jets in the background are absent.

Regional differences

  • Wherever text appears in the background elements of the game's racetracks (notably in 3DS Neo Bowser City and 3DS Music Park), it is generally written in American English, regardless of the language or region of the game itself.
  • In the Japanese version, the classifier for the Retro courses from Mario Kart 64 has changed to N64, from 64 which was used prior to Mario Kart 8. This change is also applied to the Chinese and Korean translation of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.


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.[45] By scanning certain amiibo, players can unlock one of ten costumes for use by Miis based upon the amiibo character.[46]

The amiibo originally compatible are Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Link and Toon Link, Kirby, Captain Falcon, Samus, and Fox.[47] 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.[48]


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.[49] 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,[50] with the game being officially revealed during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct.[51]

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.[52] 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.[53] 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.[53]

Most of the game's musical tracks are orchestrated, making this game the first Mario Kart game to feature orchestrated tracks.[54][55][56]

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.[57] 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[58] 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.[59]


Critical reception

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 amount of baby and metal characters and the lack of previous racer veterans has received some criticism. The battle mode, however, has a universal negative reaction among reviewers, with most of reviewers preferring the traditional battle modes that previous Mario Kart games did rather than this iteration. 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[60] and the best selling title for the Wii U as well, selling approximately 2.82 million copies worldwide as of July 30, 2014.[61] As of September 30, the game sold over 3.49 million copies worldwide.[62] 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,[63] and by March sales had reached 1.9 million.[64] As of March 31, 2015, the game has sold 5.11 million copies worldwide.[65] By the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, sales have reached to 7.24 million.[66] At September 30, 2016, Mario Kart 8 has reached 8 million sales, including digital, physical, and bundle sales;[67] as of March 31, 2018, it reached 8.42 million, although it was exceeded by its Nintendo Switch port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which sold 9.22 million units.[68] As of September 30, 2021, it had sold 8.46 million units worldwide.[69]


Mario Kart 8 won two awards at The Game Awards 2014, being the "Best Family Game" and the "Best Sports/Racing Game".[70]

Play Nintendo

Mario Kart 8 received a browser game on the Play Nintendo website called Mario Kart 8 Party Starter, where it is designed for players to host Mario Kart 8 tournaments.

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.svg Mario Kart Stadium - Music for Mario Kart Stadium.
File infoMedia:MK8-Music-MarioKartStadium.oga
Audio.svg Mario Circuit - Music for Mario Circuit.
File infoMedia:MK8-Music-MarioCircuit.oga
Audio.svg Dolphin Shoals - Music for Dolphin Shoals
File infoMedia:MK8-Music-DolphinShoals.oga
Audio.svg Cloudtop Cruise - Music for Cloudtop Cruise.
File infoMedia:MK8-Music-CloudtopCruise.oga
Audio.svg Rainbow Road - Music for Rainbow Road
File infoMedia:MK8-Music-RainbowRoad.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


The game's official soundtrack.

An official soundtrack could be ordered by Club Nintendo members in Japan, Europe, and Oceania featuring 68 songs from the game, including those from the two DLC packs. Mario Kart 8 is the first game in the Mario Kart series in which none of the courses share background music; all previous installments in the series have had courses that used the same background music. As well, similar to Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World, the entire soundtrack for this game is orchestrated/live-recorded, including the songs that are electronic-sounding; previous games usually had their music already pre-programmed with only keyboards and synthesized/artificial sounds. A North American release is yet to be announced.

The soundtrack was also created using Apple's Logic Pro, Best Service's Gigapack and Orchestral Colours, EastWest's Goliath, Gypsy, Ministry of Rock and Symphonic Orchestra, Korg Triton, MOTU's Universal Loops & Instruments, Native Instruments' Kontakt Factory Library, Roland's Fantom X and Sound Canvas SC-8850, Samplemodelling's The Trumpet, Sonic Reality's World Traveler, Spectrasonics' Omnisphere and Supreme Beats and Steinberg's HALionOne[72].

The music in the credits, arranged by Ryo Nagamatsu, includes melodic quotations from Thwomp Ruins, Electrodrome, and Mario Kart Stadium. Additionally, it also has an ending similar to the ending of the credits in Mario Kart Wii (also written by Nagamatsu), but much more elaborate.


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.[73][dead link]


Main article: List of Mario Kart 8 staff

Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development developed Mario Kart 8 in cooperation with Bandai Namco Studios, who made roughly half of the 3D visual assets of courses, characters and vehicle parts.[2] Furthermore, an undisclosed number of 3D models for artwork illustrations have been made by Marza Animation Planet, a subsidiary of SEGA[74]. 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.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオカート8
Mario Kāto 8
Mario Kart 8
Chinese (Simplified) 马力欧卡丁车8[75] (McDonald's China, Mario Kart 8 Happy Meal promotion)
Mǎlì'ōu Kǎdīngchē 8
Mario Kart 8
Chinese (Traditional) 瑪利歐賽車8[76]
Mǎlì'ōu Sàichē 8
Mario Kart 8
Dutch Mario Kart 8 -
French Mario Kart 8 -
German Mario Kart 8 -
Italian Mario Kart 8 -
Portuguese Mario Kart 8 -
Russian Mario Kart 8 -
Spanish Mario Kart 8 -

External links


  1. ^ Ward, Jamie (May 28, 2014). Namco Bandai Credited On Mario Kart 8. Nintendo Enthusiast. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  2. ^ a b List of products from Bandai Namco Studios. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Mario Kart 8 para Wii U. LevelUp.
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  7. ^ Mario Kart 8 at E3 2013
  8. ^ a b Mister Wu (April 18, 2015). A look at the item system. MKBoards. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Mister Wu (December 8, 2015). Angular velocity in steady-state drifting and autodrifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Mister Wu's raw Mario Kart data (December 2, 2015).MK8 - angular velocity test part 5: autodrifting - outward drifting vehicles. YouTube. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  11. ^ Musa, Alexander (May 30, 2014). "There are actually two sub-categories of bike: standard and sport. Standard bikes drift similarly to every other body type. Sport bikes more or less commit to the turn during a drift, sharply cutting in the direction of the turn." Mario Kart 8 PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 28. Prima Games. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Mister Wu (July 4, 2016). Outward drifting vehicles gradually reach a lower speed while drifting. MKBoards Forums. Retrieved january 25, 2017.
  13. ^ A transcription of the Actual in-game stats. Please note how inside drifting bikes always have a lower Drift - Manual and Drift - Auto values range than that of the karts. Custom Mario Kart Wiiki. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
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  18. ^ Drivers section of the official North American site of Mario Kart 8.
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  21. ^ (dead link)
  22. ^ a b c d
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  24. ^ a b c
  25. ^ Mario Kart 8 Team Talk GamePad Features, Track Design And F-Zero @ Nintendo Life
  26. ^ GameXplain - Mario Kart 8 Q&A: Online, Battle Mode, Rainbow Road, Secrets & more!
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  28. ^ Mercedes-Benz in Nintendo's new Mario Kart 8. Mercedes-Benz. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
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  30. ^ Nintendo Direct 4.1.2015. Posted to YouTube by Nintendo of America on April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  31. ^ Nintendo adds three Mercedes-Benz cars and enhancements to Mario Kart 8 from 27th August
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  36. ^ Nintendo Announces New Details on Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and More. (April 1, 2015). Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  37. ^ [5] -Version 4.0 update notes
  38. ^ Here's The Mario Kart 8 Patch Notes For 4.0 Update. My Nintendo News (April 22, 2015). Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  39. ^ Mister Wu (June 11, 2015). The relative speed of the engine classes. MKBoards. Retrieved February 19, 2018. For a frame-by-frame comparison using direct game time instead of MKTV, see Raw Results and Results of The tables of top speed in km/h as function of speed value and coins, in particular 200cc class. 1.0 speed without coins: the speed increase with respect to the same case in the 150cc engine class is 50 ± 1 %.
  40. ^ For more information, see the section on the in-game acceleration statistics and the section on the in-game speed statistics.
  41. ^ Mister Wu (October 7,2015). post 37 of the "MK8 Technqiues Thread". MKBoards. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  42. ^ TWD98 (May 2, 2015). Mario Kart 8 - Is Fire Hopping Faster On 200cc? YouTube. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  43. ^ A list of elements used in Mario Kart 8. The Adjuster200cc is among the Objects, and its effect is to increase gravity. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  44. ^ King, Ashley. (May 1, 2015.) Mario Kart 8 update 4.1 is now live. Nintendo Today. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
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  52. ^ Scrapped ideas led to the anti-gravity idea in Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Today
  53. ^ a b E3 2013: Nintendo's Hideki Konno Pulls Back The Curtain On 'Mario Kart 8'
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  62. ^ Makuch, Eddie (October 31, 2014). About Half of All Wii U Owners Have a Copy of Mario Kart 8. GameSpot. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  63. ^ 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.
  64. ^ Duwell, Ron. (April 17, 2015.) Majora's Mask 3D edges towards 1 million sales in the States. TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  65. ^ Lee, Tyler. (May 7, 2015). Mario Kart 8 Sales Crosses The 5 Million Mark. Ubergizmo. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
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  67. ^ Hansen, Steve (October 26, 2016). More like Mario Kart 8 million: Here are the Wii U and 3DS best-sellers Destructoid. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  68. ^ IR Information : Sales Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units. Nintendo. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  69. ^ Nintendo (November 4, 2021) Top Selling Title Sales Unites. Nintendo Japan. Retrieved November 8, 2021. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021.
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  73. ^ YouTube - Mario Kart 8 - (N64) Yoshi Valley - Spiny Shell's Bad Day
  74. ^ Mario Kart 8 | MARZA ANIMATION PLANET. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  75. ^ 欠你的儿童节惊喜,都在这里补齐了! | 热点更新 | 麦当劳中国 McDonald's China. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  76. ^ Official Chinese website for the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary. Retrieved October 23, 2020.