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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a massive game by Mario Kart standards. It features all the content, and downloadable content, from Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, plus battle modes, battle arenas, characters, and items exclusive to the Deluxe version. Let's take a look.

  • Game: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Racing
  • Price: $59.99
  • Release Date: April 28, 2017

Play Modes

These are the standard play modes for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Grand Prix allows you to race through the different cups either by yourself or against other friends locally or online.

VS mode allows you to customize your races, including difficulty setting, and can be played as either single or multiplayer, or online.

Grand Prix

Deluxe will have five different difficulty levels in the traditional Grand Prix. You can work your way through all the cups in 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, Mirror Mode, and a 200cc mode for those of us who like our kart-racing at almost F-Zero-like speeds.

VS. Mode

Since it’s now on Switch, multiplayer options open up significantly.

  • There's the traditional split-screen multiplayer on your TV with up to four people.
  • Or you can play in tabletop mode on one Switch screen with up to four people.
  • Nintendo has enabled play for up to 12 different Switch consoles for TV play. One to two players can play on each Switch console in LAN play.
  • Or you can play multiplayer wirelessly in handheld mode. Up to eight Switch consoles can play together locally in handheld mode.
On your mark!
On your mark!

Time Attack

Solo racing, for those who like to learn the different courses without having to worry about being pelted with shells and banana peels by other racers.

Battle Mode

(see below)

Online (VS, Battle, Tournaments)

Two local players can play together against other racers from all over the world over the internet in VS. mode, Battle Mode, or competing in tournaments.

Control Options For The TV And Tablet

Mario Kart 8 in tabletop mode
Mario Kart 8 in tabletop mode

Given how many different ways there are to play Deluxe, the different control options accommodate that. You can play with both Joy-Con attached to the grip. You can play with them unattached to the grip, and one Joy-Con in each hand. You can play with one Joy-Con turned sideways NES-style. Or you can play with the Switch Pro Controller.

Also, Nintendo will be releasing a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe wheel for a more authentic experience.

Deluxe also features the Smart Steering feature for beginners, which allows them to race without having to worry about falling off the course.

Complete Character Roster, Exclusive Characters

Mario Kart 8 characters
Mario Kart 8 characters

For the first time, a Mario Kart game has characters from other Nintendo series as playable racers. Link from Legend Of Zelda, plus the Male Villager, Female Villager, and Isabelle from Animal Crossing make an appearance in Mario Kart 8.

Dry Bones, King Boo, Bowser Jr., and the Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from Splatoon are all exclusive to the Deluxe version.

Also, if you have an , you an get an exclusive racing suit fashioned for your character.

The total in this list is currently at 43 racers (number subject to change).

  • Baby Daisy
  • Baby Luigi
  • Baby Mario
  • Baby Peach
  • Baby Rosalina
  • Bowser
  • Bowser Jr. (exclusive to Deluxe)
  • Cat Peach
  • Daisy
  • Donkey Kong
  • Dry Bones (exclusive to Deluxe)
  • Dry Bowser
  • Female Villager ()
  • Gold Mario
  • Iggy Koopa
  • Inking Boy (Splatoon, exclusive to Deluxe)
  • Inkling Girl (Splatoon, exclusive to Deluxe)
  • Isabelle (Animal Crossing)
  • King Boo (exclusive to Deluxe)
  • Koopa Troopa
  • Lakitu
  • Larry Koopa
  • Lemmy Koopa
  • Link ()
  • Ludwig Koopa
  • Luigi
  • Male Villager (Animal Crossing)
  • Mario
  • Metal Mario
  • Mii
  • Morton Koopa
  • Peach
  • Pink Gold Peach
  • Rosalina
  • Roy Koopa
  • Shy Guy
  • Tanooki Mario
  • Toad
  • Toadette
  • Waluigi
  • Wario
  • Wendy Koopa
  • Yoshi

New Tracks

Mario Kart Stadium
Mario Kart Stadium

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe blows out the number of tracks for a standard Mario Kart game, 48 tracks total that we know of. These are the courses we know about for certain:

Mushroom Cup

  • Mario Kart Stadium
  • Water Park
  • Sweet Sweet Canyon
  • Thwomp Ruins

Flower Cup

  • Mario Circuit
  • Toad Harbor
  • Twisted Mansion
  • Shy Guy Falls

Star Cup

  • Sunshine Airport
  • Dolphin Shoals
  • Electrodome
  • Mount Wario

Special Cup

  • Cloudtop Cruise
  • Bone-Dry Dunes
  • Bowser's Castle
  • Rainbow Road

Retro Tracks

Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii
Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues the tradition of including remade retro-tracks from previous Mario Kart games.

Shell Cup

  • Moo Moo Meadows (Wii)
  • Mario Circuit (GBA)
  • Cheep Cheep Beach (DS)
  • Toad's Turnpike (N64)

Banana Cup

  • Dry Dry Desert (GCN)
  • Donut Plains 3 (SNES)
  • Royal Raceway (N64)
  • DK Jungle (3DS)

Leaf Cup

  • Wario Stadium (DS)
  • Sherbet Land (GCN)
  • Music Park (3DS)
  • Yoshi Valley (N64)

Lightning Cup

  • Tick Tock Clock (DS)
  • Piranha Plant Slide (3DS)
  • Grumble Volcano (Wii)
  • Rainbow Road (N64)

Wii U DLC Tracks

Big Blue from the F-Zero series
Big Blue from the F-Zero series

These courses were downloadable content for the version, but will be included for free in the Deluxe version for Switch. Tracks inspired by Nintendo's Excitebike, F-Zero, , and Legend Of Zelda series all make an appearance.

Mario Kart 8 also introduces anti-gravity courses for the first time in the series, which introduce another layer of strategy in getting the upper hand in a race.

Egg Cup

  • Yoshi Circuit (GCN)
  • Excitebike Arena ()
  • Dragon Driftway
  • Mute City (F-Zero)

Triforce Cup

  • Wario's Gold Mine (Wii)
  • Rainbow Road (SNES)
  • Ice Ice Outpost
  • Hyrule Circuit (Legend Of Zelda)

Crossing Cup

  • Baby Park (GCN)
  • Cheese Land (GBA)
  • Wild Woods
  • Animal Crossing ()

Bell Cup

  • Neo Bowser City (3DS)
  • Ribbon Road (GBA)
  • Super Bell Subway
  • Big Blue (F-Zero)

Eight Dedicated Battle Arenas

Lunar Colony Battle Arena
Lunar Colony Battle Arena

The lack of dedicated battle arenas was a glaring omission in for Wii U. Thankfully, Nintendo has remedied this in the Deluxe version for with eight dedicated battle arenas, including the Splatoon-themed Urchin Underpass.

New Battle Arenas

  • Battle Stadium
  • Dragon Palace
  • Lunar Colony
  • Sweet Sweet Kingdom
  • Urchin Underpass (Splatoon)

Retro Battle Arenas

  • Battle Course 1 (SNES)
  • Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
  • Wuhu Town (3DS)

Four New Battle Modes

Shine Thief Battle Mode
Shine Thief Battle Mode

Mario Kart 8 for offered a single Battle Mode: Balloon Battle. That has been supplemented for with an additional four battle modes. All of these can be played locally or online.

  • Balloon Battle
  • Bomb-omb Blast
  • Coin Runners
  • Renegade Roundup
  • Thief



Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will have three different vehicle-types: karts, bikes, and ATVs. As in , you will be able to customize your own vehicle with parts that will unlock as you collect coins during races.

There are three weight classed for all vehicles: light, medium, and heavy. Also, new to the Deluxe version will be the ability to brake while drifting and a steering assist option for beginners.

  • 300 SL Roadster
  • B Dasher
  • Badwagon
  • Biddybuggy
  • Blue Falcon
  • Cat Cruiser
  • Circuit Special
  • GLA
  • Gold Standard
  • Landship
  • Mach 8
  • P Wing
  • Pipe Frame
  • Prancer
  • Sneeker
  • Sports Coupe
  • Standard Kart
  • Steel Driver
  • Streetle
  • Kart
  • Tri-Speeder
  • W 25 Silver Arrow


Princess Peach
Princess Peach
  • City Tripper
  • Comet
  • Flame Rider
  • Jet Bike
  • Master Cycle
  • Mr. Scooty
  • Sport Bike
  • Standard Bike
  • The Duke
  • Varmint
  • Bike


Wendy Koopa
Wendy Koopa
  • Bone Rattler
  • Standard ATV
  • Teddy Buggy
  • Wild Wiggler

Customizable Vehicle Parts

Vehicle customization
Vehicle customization

You'll be able to customize your vehicle to your liking. It's not just for show either. The parts you pick affect how your vehicle handles, so choose carefully.


  • Kite
  • Cloud Glider
  • Flower Glider
  • Gold Glider
  • Hylian Kite
  • MKTV Parafoil
  • Paper Glider
  • Parachute
  • Parafoil
  • Peach Parasol
  • Plane Glider
  • Super Glider
  • Waddle Wing
  • Wing


  • Azure Roller
  • Button
  • Crimson Slim
  • Cushion
  • Cyber Slick
  • GLA Tires
  • Gold Tires
  • Hot Monster
  • Leaf Tires
  • Metal
  • Monster
  • Offroad
  • Retro Off-road
  • Roller
  • Slick
  • Slim
  • Sponge
  • Standard Blue
  • Standard Tires
  • Tires
  • Wood

New And Returning Items

Crazy Eight item
Crazy Eight item

said they believe Mario Kart 8 offers the most item-balance in the history of the series. Maybe the most significant change is the Super Horn, which officially gives players a way to avoid the dreaded Blue Shell. Also, racers will have the ability to have two items at once.

New Items

  • Boomerang Flower
  • Crazy Eight
  • Piranha Plant
  • Super Horn

Returning Items

  • Banana
  • Blooper
  • Blue Shell
  • Bomb-omb
  • Boo
  • Bullet Bill
  • Coin
  • Feather (exclusive to )
  • Fire Flower
  • Green Shell
  • Gold Mushroom
  • Lightning
  • Mushroom
  • Red Shell
  • Star
  • Triple Bananas
  • Triple Green Shells
  • Triple Mushrooms
  • Triple Red Shells

Graphics And Specs

While docked, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe runs in 1080p, at a solid 60 FPS, even in 1-2 local multiplayer. In more than two-player multiplayer, the frame rate drops to 30 FPS, but still in 1080p.

Undocked, the whole game will run at 720p, that being the maximum resolution of the portable screen.

The version of Mario Kart 8, while still very respectable and playable, dropped to 30 FPS in all multiplayer, and only ran in 720p, even in single-player.

How excited are you for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Have we missed anything or gotten anything wrong? Let us know in the comments!

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