Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing game in the Mario Kart series for the Nintendo Switch, and the first Mario game overall for the console. It is an enhanced port of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. It has additional features such as several new characters, many new DLC courses (added as of 2022-2023), and more options for Battle Mode. First teased in the Switch's announcement video on October 20, 2016, the game was formally announced as part of the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 13, 2017.
Dual Joy-Con / Pro Controller
Differences from the original
The game features most of the base and DLC content of Mario Kart 8. Content excluded includes Miiverse compatibility, stamps, and the ability to upload highlight reels on YouTube - all of which were discontinued on the Wii U version when Miiverse was terminated on November 7, 2017. Battle Mode has been significantly altered.
Characters that were originally unlockable or exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 are available from the start in this game, marking the largest starting roster of any Mario Kart game.
Characters can now carry up to two items at once, even if they do not drag the first item, and the game features the return of the Double Item Box from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. The game also introduces Smart Steering and auto-accelerate for beginners; the former makes driving and staying on the track easier, while the latter makes the vehicle automatically accelerate. If the Smart Steering mode is on, the player's vehicle will have an antenna sticking out of its rear end; this antenna blinks and bends when Smart Steering is activated. There is also an additional level of Mini-Turbo, called Ultra Mini-Turbo, denoted by purple (pink in the British English version) sparks that appear after the orange sparks. This new level of Mini-Turbo can only be used if Smart Steering is off.
200cc engine class for Time Trials has been added (separately recorded from the 150cc Time Trials). There are new staff ghosts for 200cc, while some of the 150cc staff ghosts have slightly different times compared to the original.
The game also features an in-game guide, directly accessible from the game's menu; this guide explains various techniques, battle mode and the functions of each item. There is also an option to change character and vehicle combinations during an online lobby without having to leave; this is done by pressing ( when playing with a single Joy-Con) during the course selection screen of an online lobby. The game also has reduced loading times when compared to the Wii U game.
Some of the vehicle parts that are exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 (i.e. parts included within the Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8, and Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 add-on packs) are now randomly unlocked by collecting coins during gameplay.
There are more character weight classes when compared to the Wii U game, with several returning characters having different statistics, thus resulting in fewer characters having the same stats as each other. Similarly, the statistics of some vehicle parts have been altered, and certain physics elements, such as the speed increase per stat and the acceleration tiers, have been adjusted.
The overall game difficulty has been reduced, as CPUs slow down closer to the player when compared to the original version, and do not charge Mini Turbos or Super Mini Turbos as quickly. The default speed of the CPU's have also been reduced in the Normal and Easy difficulties.
CPU players now have a chance to obtain Triple Red Shells from item boxes. However, this primarily only happens in the Shells Only item setting.
Online lobbies have been changed in that players playing Worldwide or Regional VS Race between 1000 VR and 3000 VR will be randomized either a 100cc or 150cc race, and starting at over 3000 VR, players will now be randomized a 150cc, Mirror, or even 200cc race.
Mii characters in the original Wii U version would wear their normal outfits in online lobbies. However, in the Nintendo Switch version, they wear racing attire instead.
The game now mostly renders in native 1920x1080 resolution in TV mode (sometimes switching to native 1728x972), and always renders at native 1280x720 resolution in Tabletop and Handheld Mode, instead of the dynamic 1280x720/1152x648 rendering resolution used in the original Wii U version. Motion blur when boosting is present in LAN and online mode, and in earlier builds, it was also present in splitscreen. The shadows present in the game are of higher quality in multiplayer.
If a Blooper is about to ink the player as they cross the finish line, the player will now still get inked. This is unlike the Wii U version, where the Blooper or the ink disappeared instead. Characters also no longer verbally react when they are inked by a Blooper.
The course map color on the race tracks is now white instead of blue, including the maps of all three Rainbow Roads and GCN Baby Park, which originally had multiple colors. However, the battle courses have color shaded areas and lines on their maps to make it easier for players to determine where they are. The character icons on the course map are now slightly larger, more detailed, and are of a higher resolution. In a race, the first place player no longer has a crown on their mini-map icon, though they still do in battles. When a Bob-omb or Spiny Shell explodes, its explosion is now shown on the course map. When in local splitscreen multiplayer, there will only be one map in the center of the screen, rather than each player having their own copy of the map like in the Wii U version.
When using the rearview mirror, the character will now move their eyes slightly to the left to look back, like how they do in Mario Kart Wii; however, their eyes will stay looking to the left as long as the rearview is active, rather than switching back after a second like in Mario Kart Wii.
When playing with teams, flags colored to correspond to the teams are added behind the vehicles. If Smart Steering is on, then the Smart Steering antenna serves as the pole of the flag. These flags do not appear in Balloon Battle nor Bob-omb Blast, as the color of the balloons show the teams in these modes.
During online race lobbies, the engine class for the upcoming race is now shown as the course is selected, via "50", "100", "150", a mirrored "150" (for Mirror) or "200" icons in the bottom right of the selected course icon. This extends to online battle lobbies, which will display a yellow balloon (Balloon Battle), a potted Piranha Plant (Renegade Roundup), a Coin (Coin Runners), a Shine Sprite (Shine Thief), or a Bob-omb (Bob-omb Blast) to denote which battle mode is about to be played.
Players can now see the lap count or timer when spectating an online race or battle respectively. However, it is no longer possible to see the lap count when crossing the finish line nor the full results in multiplayer (including online lobbies) at the end of the race while watching replay videos via Mario Kart TV.
The biggest change made between Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the original release of Mario Kart 8 is the Battle Mode. Battle Mode now returns to the arena-based battle and unlike previous games, each player starts with five balloons, as opposed to three. Another addition to Battle Mode is that the character in the lead now wears a crown, unlike in Mario Kart 8 where the crown is displayed only on the HUD map. Additionally, players now start out with zero points instead of Mario Kart 8's default three points, and their balloons do not serve as the remaining three points. Returning from Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 is the ability to respawn after all balloons are popped; this causes the player's total score to halve and the player respawns with three balloons instead of five. A new addition to this mode is the feature to tell exactly which character hit whom, which appears on the bottom of the screen. Furthermore, after getting hit, players now have about 1.5 seconds of invincibility frames, unlike in Mario Kart 8. The item options also appear to have been updated; alongside the "Frantic Items" option, which chooses rare items more frequently, a "Skilled Items" option is also available for selection, which chooses only offensive items; in this mode, powerful items appear less frequently, similar to Mario Kart Wii's "Strategic" ("Basic" in the PAL version) item option.
There are five different Battle Mode types:
There is also the option to randomly select one of the five available modes by choosing "Random Battle".
Eight battle courses are present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; five new and three classic, replacing the repurposed racetracks used for Battle Mode in the Wii U version.
Similar to regular races, a course introduction scene is now added at the start.
All base and DLC characters from Mario Kart 8 are present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Additionally, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features 7 new characters not present in Mario Kart 8, which consists of veteran characters Bowser Jr., King Boo, and Dry Bones, who were last playable in Mario Kart Wii, Gold Mario (as a variant of Metal Mario), who makes his playable debut in the mainline Mario Kart series after previously being playable in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, and two new non-Mario characters, being the Inklings from Splatoon. Players can choose either the Inkling Girl or Inkling Boy, and they include three selectable colors each; additionally, the two Villagers have also been separated, after being present in the same character slot (with the female Villager being considered a variant of the male one) in Mario Kart 8. Excluding character variants, there are a total of 42 playable characters in this game.
There is only one unlockable character in this game, that being Gold Mario. He is unlocked by clearing all cups of the 200cc Grand Prix. Additionally, the version 1.6.0 update added a new variant for Link based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When Gold Mario is unlocked and Breath of the Wild Link is downloaded, they become the default variations of their character, while Metal Mario and Skyward Sword Link are relegated to alternate costumes.
Characters and variants playable in this game that were not playable in the original Mario Kart 8 are listed in bold.
Like in Mario Kart 8, characters have set rivals that consistently appear when racing in Grand Prix races. They are once again restricted to Grand Prix only, not appearing in single player versus or battle mode. Unlike the previous game, more characters have rivals: the twelve characters from the previous game who had rivals retain their rivals in this game, while other characters range from having one to two rivals each, or even none at all.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features six additional vehicle body parts. One is the Koopa Clown, returning from Mario Kart 7. Two new vehicles are Splatoon-based ATVs; the Splat Buggy and Inkstriker. These three change their colors for certain characters: the former for the Koopalings, and the latter two for all Inkling variations. Ver. 1.6.0 adds the Master Cycle Zero, Ancient Tires, and Paraglider.
Computer characters now also choose from a wider variety of kart parts than the original version, such as the Flame Rider and the Sports Coupe. However, they are still restricted to a set amount of body parts per character. A computer Baby Daisy has the tendency to choose a Wild Wiggler with Wood wheels, for example. In total, there are 41 vehicle bodies, 22 tires, and 15 gliders, resulting in up to 13,530 different combinations.
The parts available are listed here in the order shown in the vehicle customization screen, with the following notation:
The "8" logos on the parts are replaced with the character's emblem, except on the Gold Standard and Gold Glider.
All of the characters in the game (except Gold Mario) have four different combinations of vehicle parts that they can use if they are CPUs. These combinations are listed below.
Drivers' and vehicle parts' statistics
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features different statistics with respect to Mario Kart 8.
Statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen
Just like Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the game uses "points" ("PT") which are conferred by characters and vehicle parts to determine the final values of the game's statistics. 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. There are a total of 7,560 different stat combinations. The Level of five statistics is displayed in the vehicle customization screen:
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 0.75 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:
Drivers are still grouped into small groups of characters sharing the same statistics, the number of groups has been increased with respect to Mario Kart 8.
In addition to the statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen, there are the following statistics:
Just like in Mario Kart 8, Miis can be Light, Medium, or Heavy, depending on their height and weight.
The statistics are shown in points.
The number of groups of vehicle parts sharing the same statistics has increased as well when compared with Mario Kart 8.
The statistics are reported in points. There is an unused stat for on-road traction, which can be viewed here.
The only unlockable playable character in this game is Gold Mario, who is unlocked by winning all twelve base-game gold cups at 200cc. Once unlocked, he replaces Metal Mario on the character select screen. Metal Mario is from then on treated as a color variant of Gold Mario. The two differ only in their color scheme and the voice clip used when selecting them. Their other voice clips, horn sounds, animations, and statistics are identical.
A vehicle part is randomly unlocked every 30 coins. Once reaching 450 coins this changes to every 50, and once reaching 1500 coins this changes to every 100. Eventually, the last non-gold vehicle part is unlocked on reaching 3100 coins.
Special gold parts are unlocked with the following criteria:
Alternate title screens
Additional title screens can appear on start-up and are unlocked by obtaining a gold trophy in every base-game cup on Mirror Mode and 200cc.
There are 48 race courses in the base game (including all four cups that were DLC in the original Mario Kart 8), these being the 25 courses introduced in the original game and 23 classic courses, including two courses from Super Mario Kart, three courses each from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, and four courses each from Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart 7. It is also the first Mario Kart game since Mario Kart 64 to have all courses available from the start.
Names in italics indicate the British English name for the course.
Booster Course Pass
The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, which includes 48 additional classic courses, will release in waves of eight from March 18, 2022, to the end of 2023, increasing the game's total number of courses to 96 and the number of classic courses to 71. Currently, the selection of classic courses includes one course each from Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7, and three courses from Mario Kart Tour, making Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the first and only game in the series to feature classic courses of a Mario Kart game released after it.
150cc Staff Ghosts
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the times for staff ghosts in 150cc are slightly different from the original Mario Kart 8. Also, unlike the original game, players will not unlock any stamps if they beat the ghosts.
200cc Staff Ghosts
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features a new option for players to race in Time Trials in the 200cc engine class. This option also features entirely new staff ghosts for each of the courses.
The Boo and Feather items make a return in this game, functioning as they had previously. All other items from the Wii U version return as well. Also, the item distributions have been altered beside the addition of the new items.
New amiibo compatibility
In addition to all of the compatible amiibo in Mario Kart 8 with their respective Mii Racing Suits, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds compatibility with amiibo from the Splatoon line, which unlock a Mii Racing Suit based on Splatoon. Additionally, more amiibo can be used to unlock the returning Mii Racing Suits, as all Animal Crossing related amiibo being compatible and unlocking the Animal Crossing Mii Racing Suit, and the Pikmin amiibo unlocking the Pikmin suit.
Note that in order to play online, players must have downloaded the most recent software update.
An update was released on May 17, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on June 28, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on August 9, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on October 18, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on December 12, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on June 25, 2018. The following changes were made:
An update was released on July 19, 2018. The following changes were made:
An update was released on September 19, 2018. The following changes were made:
An update was released on January 23, 2019. The following changes were made:
An update was released on May 25, 2021. The following changes were made:
An update was released on March 17, 2022. The following changes were made:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been received with universal acclaim, garnering higher aggregate scores than the original Mario Kart 8. The game has been praised for being well-suited to the Switch's portability, the increased performance, and particularly the redesigned Battle Mode, although several reviews noted Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would not be as appealing of a proposition to players who already own Mario Kart 8 and its downloadable content.
In the United Kingdom, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe debuted at No. 1 on the sales chart, making it the first Nintendo game to be No. 1 in the UK since 2011's Pokémon Black and White, and the first Mario game to place such since Mario Kart Wii.
The game sold 459,000 copies for its US launch day, making it the fastest-selling Mario Kart game in the US and meaning 45% of US Switch owners purchased the game.
As of December 31, 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had sold 7.33 million units worldwide. On March 31, 2018, it reached 9.22 million units, exceeding the original Mario Kart 8's 8.42 million and making it the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch behind Super Mario Odyssey. As of January 31, 2019, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had sold 15.02 million units worldwide, exceeding Super Mario Odyssey's sales and making it the best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch. By June 30, 2021, the game had sold 37.08 million units worldwide. By September 30, 2021, the game had sold 38.74 million units worldwide, surpassing Mario Kart Wii as the best-selling game in the series. By December 31, 2021, the game had sold 43.35 million units worldwide, making it the single best-selling game in the Mario franchise, surpassing Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. By March 31, 2022, the game had sold 45.33 million units worldwide.
Awards and acknowledgements
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was nominated for the "Best Family Game" and "Best Multiplayer" awards at The Game Awards 2017. However, it won neither, losing the former to Super Mario Odyssey and the latter to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages