The single-player-focussed racer includes a number of modes, unlockables and rotating ‘Tour’ seasons. To answer any questions you might have about the game, here’s a comprehensive guide of how Mario Kart Tour works, micro-transactions and all.
UPDATE 22/10: This article has been updated to reflect new characters, karts and courses added in the Halloween tour update.
- What is Mario Kart Tour and how do I download it?
- Which characters/drivers are in Mario Kart Tour?
- How to unlock Mario Kart Tour characters and karts
- How rare is each Mario Kart Tour character, kart and glider?
- Which courses are in Mario Kart Tour?
- How to complete cups in Mario Kart Tour
- How to get points in Mario Kart Tour
- How do combos, Frenzy and favoured courses work?
- What are Mario Kart Tour’s London, Paris and Tokyo events?
- How to race friends in Mario Kart Tour multiplayer
- Which Mario Kart Tour Items are returning?
- How do you buy new characters in Mario Kart Tour?
- What are Mario Kart Tour’s Challenges?
- How to tier and rank up in Mario Kart Tour
- How to do Coin Rush in Mario Kart Tour
How much is Mario Kart Tour?
Servers for the mobile racer went live at around 1am PT/10am CEST on Wednesday, September 25, from which point users were able to play the game.
Mario Kart Tour is “free to start” but includes micro-transactions and an optional paid subscription.
Which characters are in Mario Kart Tour?
Mario Kart Tour features a number of the series’ hallmark racers. After the Tokyo tour update, there are 34 characters to unlock (new characters added with Halloween tour are indicated in bold):
- Baby Daisy
- Baby Luigi
- Baby Mario
- Baby Peach
- Baby Rosalina
- Bowser Jr
- Diddy Kong
- Donkey Kong
- Dry Bones
- Dry Bowser
- King Boo *Halloween tour only
- King Boo (Luigi’s Mansion) *Halloween tour only
- Koopa Troopa
- Luigi *Halloween tour only
- Mario (Hakama) *Tokyo tour only
- Metal Mario
- Musician Mario *New York tour only
- Pauline *New York tour only
- Peach (Kimono) *Tokyo tour only
- Rosalina (Halloween) *Halloween tour only
- Shy Guy
- Waluigi *Halloween tour only
Players start the game with one character unlocked at random via The Pipe. In order to unlock new characters, players must spend Rubies for random Pipe unlocks, complete cups for set content gifts, or use coins to purchase the daily characters available in the Shop (the amount of content available to purchase is based on your level).
Dry Bowser, Metal Mario, Peachette, Hakama Mario, Kimono Peach and Musician Mario are statistically the most rare characters to unlock in the game.
Each character has its own special item which can be collected during a race:
- Banana Barrels (Diddy Kong)
- Boomerang Flower (Baby Mario & Larry)
- Bowser’s Shell (Bowser & Dry Bowser & Bowser Jr.)
- Bubble (Baby Peach & Baby Daisy & Baby Rosalina & Lemmy)
- Coin Box (Hakama Mario)
- Dash Ring (Ludwig & Rosalina)
- Double Bob-ombs (Musician Mario & Shy Guy & Roy & Wario)
- Fire Flower (Mario & Metal Mario)
- Giant Banana (DK & Morton)
- Heart (Peach & Daisy & Wendy)
- Lucky 7 (Pauline).
- Mushroom Cannon (Peachette & Kimono Peach)
- Triple Green Shells (Koopa Troopa & Dry Bones & Iggy)
- Triple Mushrooms (Toad & Toadette)
- Yoshi’s Egg (Yoshi)
How do I unlock new characters and karts in Mario Kart Tour?
Players get Grand Stars based on how many points they earn in a race. Grand Stars can unlock new cups, which in turn reward Tour Gifts. Tour Gifts are reward packages given upon the completion of a cup, offering a combination of drivers, karts, gliders and more. Only certain unlockables are available via Tour Gifts during each Tour.
Another way to unlock content is via The Pipe, a gacha-style mechanic which unlocks random content. Rubies are required to use The Pipe, which can be earned by completing races or “other sources” including micro-transactions.
Each Pipe contains 100 fixed items, with players guaranteed to receive the Tour ‘Spotlight’ items (ie, Pauline and New York items) within those 100. Players are not guaranteed to receive all unique items within a Pipe’s lifetime, but The Pipe can be reset and filled up again.
The number of characters, karts and gliders in each Pipe is determined by their rarity. It is possible to obtain duplicate items, which will cause the existing character’s, kart’s or glider’s skill level to increase.
Finally, coins are collected in races and Coin Rush mode and can be spent in the Shop on drivers, karts and gliders. Coin Rush mode has players racing as Gold Mario and collecting as many coins as possible. Rubies are required to start Coin Rush, with a multiplier applied to the number of coins you collect for higher Rubies purchases.
How rare is each Mario Kart Tour character, kart and glider?
The number of characters, karts and gliders in each Pipe is determined by their rarity. In Mario Kart Tour, Rarity is defined as normal, super, high-end and high-end spotlight (which are items related to the on-going Tour such as Pauline).
Each Pipe contains 100 ‘launches’, with players guaranteed to receive the Tour ‘Spotlight’ items within those 100. The Pipe can be reset, but players are not guaranteed to receive all unique items within its use.
Mario Kart Tour’s launch item rarity is as follows:
Normal (around 2 – 3% appearance rate)
- Baby Daisy
- Baby Mario
- Baby Peach
- Baby Rosalina
- BBIA Parafoil Glider
- Biddybuggy kart
- Birthday Girl Kart
- Bullet Blaster Kart
- Cheep Charger kart
- Droplet Glider
- Dry Bones
- Koopa Dasher Kart
- Koopa Troopa
- Landship Kart
- Mushmellow Kart
- Paper Glider
- Parachute Glider
- Parafoil Glider
- Pipe Frame Kart
- Shy Guy
- Super Glider
Super (around 0.6% appearance rate)
- Barrel Train Kart
- Bob-omb Parafoil
- Bowser Jr.
- Cloud 9 Kart
- Daytripper Kart
- DK Jumbo Kart
- Donkey Kong
- Diddy Kong
- Flame Flyer Kart
- Flower Glider
- Koopa Clown Kart
- Lightning Oilpaper Glider
- Mach 8 Kart
- Oilpaper Umbrella Glider
- Peach Parasol Glider
- Royale Kart
- Shell Parachute Glider
- Soda Jet Kart
- Super Blooper Kart
- Turbo Yoshi Kart
- Wario Wing Glider
High-End (around 0.25% appearance rate)
- Badwagon Kart
- Bullet Bill Parachute Glider
- B Dasher Kart
- Blue Badwagon Kart
- Circuit Special Kart
- Cloud Glider
- Dry Bowser
- Full Flight Glider
- Kabuki Dasher
- Gold Glider
- Mario (Hakama)
- Metal Mario
- Musician Mario
- Swooper Glider
High-End Spotlight (around 1% appearance rate)
- Mario (Hakama) (Tokyo tour week two only)
- Kabuki Dasher kart (Tokyo tour week two only)
- Full Flight glider (Tokyo tour week two only)
- Peach (Kimono) (Tokyo tour week one only)
- Purple Oilpaper Umbrella glider (Tokyo tour week on only)
- Quickshaw kart (Tokyo tour week one only)
- Fare Flier (New York tour only)
- Pauline (New York tour only)
- Yellow Taxi (New York tour only)
Which Mario Kart Tour courses / tracks are in the game?
As of the Tokyo tour update, Mario Kart Tour features 15 race courses, with several variations of each (new Halloween tracks highlighted in bold):
- Bowser’s Castle (GBA)
- Cheep Cheep Lagoon (3DS)
- Choco Island 2 (SNES)
- Daisy Hills (3DS)
- Dino Dino Jungle (GameCube)
- Ghost Valley (SNES)
- Kalimari Desert (N64)
- Koopa Troopa Beach (N64)
- Luigi’s Mansion (DS)
- Mario Circuit 1 (SNES)
- Mario Circuit 2 (SNES)
- Mario Circuit (3DS)
- Neo Bowser City (3DS)
- New York Minute
- Rainbow Road (SNES)
- Rock Rock Mountain (3DS)
- Shy Guy Bazaar (3DS)
- Toad Circuit (3DS)
- Tokyo Blur
- Waluigi Pinball (DS)
- Yoshi Circuit (GCN)
Each course has a favoured character, who will gain more items per item box when racing on that course.
How to complete cups in Mario Kart Tour
Each tour adds 16 cups, each comprised of three races and one challenge.
Players get Grand Stars based on how many points they earn in a race. Grand Stars can then be used to unlock new cups, as well as Tour Gifts packages containing rewards.
How to get points in Mario Kart Tour
Your total Points at the end of a race are comprised of Base, Position and Bonus Points.
Bonus Points are earned through actions you perform during a race such as jumps, collecting coins or successfully attacking opponents. Using favoured karts will multiply your bonus points.
Base Points are based on the driver, kart and glider you’re using. These points increase the more you use the same character, kart or glider each day.
Finally, Position Points are based on your placement in the race:
- 1st place: x1
- 2nd place: x0.85
- 3rd place: x0.75
- 4th place: x0.65
- 5th place: x0.55
- 6th place: x0.45
- 7th place: x0.35
- 8th place: x0.2
How to do Mario Kart Tour combo and Frenzy
Combos are earned by performing point-scoring actions in close proximity, such as taking out multiple opponents with a Bob-omb, jumping off a ramp and collecting a coin. Using favoured gliders will multiply your combo points.
Favoured courses are course bonuses based on the setup you choose. These bonuses are unique to each track, so one character might have a large bonus for one course but not another.
Depending on the character you select, you can obtain more than one item per item box on selected courses, for example. If you collect three of the same item at the same time, a Frenzy is activated, giving unlimited use of that item for a brief period.
Similarly, better karts will give the player a higher bonus points multiplier, while Gliders will give a Combo bonus multiplier.
What are Mario Kart Tour’s New York, London, Paris and Tokyo events?
Tours are fortnightly events which add a new course and unlockable content based on a real world location, such as London, Tokyo and Paris.
The game’s first “Tour” event is based on New York City, with players able to unlock Pauline from Super Mario Odyssey and a New York-themed kart and New York-themed glider which will only be available during the two-week event.
The event will start on October 22 at 11:00pm PT (or 7am Oct 23 in the UK) and add Halloween-themed content including the Luigi’s Mansion course (DS) and the Luigi driver. The tour will run for two weeks.
It’s likely the Halloween tour will also add some of the known upcoming characters King Boo, Baby Luigi and Waluigi.
How to race friends in Mario Kart Tour multiplayer
Nintendo will add online multiplayer to Mario Kart Tour in a future update.
That’s according to a UI item on the newly-launched mobile game’s menu screen, which states that multiplayer will be “available in a future version update.”
At launch, the mobile racer is focused on single-player races and bonus challenges, with competition encouraged via the game’s online leaderboards.
Which Mario Kart Tour Items have returned?
Mario Kart Tour’s standard items include Mushroom, Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, Super Horn, Mega Mushroom, Bob-omb, Spiny Shell, Lightning Bolt and Blooper.
In addition, each character has its own special item; The Mushroom Cannon (Peachette), Banana Barrels (Diddy Kong), Giant Banana (DK), Bowser’s Shell (Bowser), Dual Bob-ombs (Musician Mario), Lucky 7 (Pauline) and more.
Depending on the driver you select, you can obtain more than one item per item box on selected courses. If you collect three of the same item at the same time, a Frenzy is activated, giving unlimited use of that item for a brief period.
How do you buy Mario Kart Tour characters and karts?
Mario Kart Tour includes a ‘Gold Pass’ subscription service that helps players unlock more in-game rewards.
In Gold Challenges, Gold Pass players are able to unlock special golden badges that are not available to normal players.
The service costs $4.99 / £4.99 per month and includes benefits such as unlockable Gold Gifts (such as Metal Mario or a golden kart), plus access to Gold Challenges and 200cc races.
A two week free trial for Gold Pass is available for each Nintendo account.
In addition, players can purchase Rubies which are used to enter Coin Rush or use The Pipe for random content unlocks.
What are Mario Kart Tour’s Challenges?
Mario Kart Tour features a number of Challenges, which are accessed and tracked via the game menu.
Challenges are completed by achieving various game milestones, such as getting 1st place 100 times or taking out pipes by running them over whilst giant, or using Bowser’s shell.
These will unlock badges and rewards such as Rubies and Stars. Special Gold Challenges can be tracked if you are subscribed to the Gold Pass, as well as time-sensitive Tour challenges.
Some Challenges require secret conditions in order to finish them. These are:
- Take Out Pipes: Players need to take out pipes using either a Mega Mushroom or Bowser’s Shell.
- Break 5 Jars: These jars are located on the Shy Guy Bazaar course.
- Earn a score of 7,000 using a driver with 3 hairs: Players must use either Lakitu or Morton
How to tier or rank up in Mario Kart Tour
When racing in the weekly rank-eligible cup, players can increase their online ranking by achieving high scores in that cup’s races.
Scores then translate into a cup ranking which are comprised of 20 other players of roughly the same skill level. If you place highly, you’ll earn rewards such as coins and rubies at the end of each week.
Rankings are split into different different tier sections, which will increase your tier rank should you place inside them. The higher your tier, the more difficult the opponents you’ll be matched with.
You can also compare your weekly rank against friends in a separate leaderboard.
How to do Coin Rush in Mario Kart Tour
Coin Rush is a single race in which players must grab as many coins as possible, with all collected coins being added to their collection.
Rubies is how to access Coin Rush mode: A minimum of 5 rubies will give access to Coin Rush with a 2x multiplier. 15 rubies will enable at 6x multiplier and 25 rubies a x10 multiplier. Players can also access Coin Rush with special tickets, if they have them.
In Coin Rush players drives as Gold Mario, a character which cannot be unlocked for normal races. Gold Mario will automatically draw coins as he gets near them.
Each Coin Rush race contains 300 coins. During New York Tour, Coin Rush takes place on the New York Minute track. During Tokyo Tour, Coin Rush takes place on Rainbow Road.