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Mario Kart 8 – Everything We Know

Mario Kart 8 – Everything We Know

by Steve CullumMarch 5, 2014

Mario Kart 8 will be launching on Wii U on May 30, 2014, in North America. We’ve gotten a few trailers and other info that have given us a snapshot of what the full game will include. Much is still unknown, but here is what we know so far.

Also, be sure to check out our post on how to unlock everything in Mario Kart 8!



  • Japan: May 29, 2014
  • North America: May 30, 2014
  • Europe: May 30, 2014
  • Australia: May 31, 2014




Mario Kart 8 has been confirmed to have 30 playable characters.
*Indicates a NEW character to the series.


  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Yoshi
  • Toad
  • Koopa Troopa
  • Shy Guy
  • Baby Mario
  • Baby Luigi
  • Baby Peach
  • Baby Daisy
  • Bowser
  • Donkey Kong
  • Wario
  • Waluigi


  • Lakitu
  • Rosalina
  • Baby Rosalina*
  • Toadette
  • Metal Mario
  • Pink Gold Peach*
  • Iggy Koopa*
  • Larry Koopa*
  • Lemmy Koopa*
  • Ludwig von Koopa*
  • Morton Koopa Jr.*
  • Roy Koopa*
  • Wendy O. Koopa*
  • Mii

Downloadable Characters (DLC) – To unlock these characters, you must purchase them from the in-game shop (after software update on August 27, 2014).

  • Link (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • Tanooki Mario (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • Cat Peach (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • Villager  (Part of DLC Pack 2)
  • Isabelle (Part of DLC Pack 2)
  • Dry Bowser  (Part of DLC Pack 2)
  • Eight different colored Yoshis (Bonus if you purchase both DLC Packs 1 & 2)
  • Eight different colored Shy Guys (Bonus if you purchase both DLC Packs 1 & 2)

mariokart8_characters mariokart8-koopakids


Mario Kart 8 will include 16 new courses. Below is a list of the confirmed track with its confirmed cup.

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



Mario Kart 8 will include 16 remixed classic courses. Below is a list of the confirmed track with its confirmed cup.

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



Mario Kart 8 will include 16 additional new courses, available via DLC (AOC). Below is a list of the confirmed track with its confirmed cup.

Egg Cup Triforce Cup Animal Crossing Cup Cat/Bell Cup
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Wario’s Gold Mine (Wii) ??? ???
Excitebike Arena Rainbow Road (SNES) ??? ???
Dragon Driftway Ice Ice Outpost ??? ???
Mute City Hyrule Circuit ??? ???



When competing, you will get points based on the place you finish. Here is how the points are divided:

  • 1st – 15
  • 2nd – 12
  • 3rd – 10
  • 4th – 9
  • 5th – 8
  • 6th – 7
  • 7th – 6
  • 8th – 5
  • 9th – 4
  • 10th – 3
  • 11th – 2
  • 12th – 1



  • The only battle we know of so far is Balloon Battle.
  • Battles will be timed, but when you lose your 3 balloons, you are knocked out.
  • When you are knocked out, you will return as a ghost that can still interact with other racers.
  • Battle tracks are based on race tracks, which means there are no known battle-only courses this time.

Confirmed Battle Tracks:

Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) Mario Circuit Dry Dry Desert (GCN) Toad Harbor
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Sherbet Land (GCN) Toad’s Turnpike (N64) Yoshi Valley (N64)



  • Characters will hold many items in their hands, instead of merely showing up in the HUD.
  • All “triple” items will rotate around players’ vehicle (i.e. shells, mushrooms, bananas).
  • If someone hits your triple item while it is rotating around you, it will affect them. This also includes mushrooms.
  • You can still hold items behind you for defense, but you cannot pick up another item during that time.
  • When you have any an item in your possession, you cannot pick up another item until you use all of that item’s power.
  • You will get a line of fire following your vehicle after getting a boost from a mushroom (merely cosmetic).
  • Coins are returning with the same results as Mario Kart 7. You max out at 10, and drop 3 when you are hit.
  • In contrast to past Mario Kart games, if you get knocked off the course while holding an item, you will still have the item when you return to the track.

Confirmed Items:
*Indicates a NEW item.

  • Red Shell
  • Triple-Red Shells
  • Green Shell
  • Triple-Green Shells
  • Blue Spiky Shell
  • Super Mushroom
  • Triple-Mushtrooms
  • Golden Mushroom
  • Star
  • Fire Flower
  • Bob-omb
  • Banana
  • Triple-Banana
  • Blooper
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Bullet Bill
  • Coin
  • Piranha Plant* – Timed item; eats racers and items in your path; & gives a boost every time it lunges forward.
  • Boomerang Flower* – Three throws available; returns to you the first two times.
  • Super Horn* – Blasts anything within a small radius of your vehicle, including blue spiky shells.
  • Crazy-8* – Gives you eight items circling your vehicle (red shell, green shell, mushroom, star, bob-omb, banana, blooper, coin)



  • Kart customization returns, and it is similar to Mario Kart 7 (3DS).
  • Gliders and underwater vehicles also return from Mario Kart 7.
  • Bikes are back, as well as wheelies, but they will be merely cosmetic. In fact, you cannot pull a wheelie on your own; they only happen with mushrooms or other boosts.
  • Bikes can now access the level-2 boost via drift, similar to the karts.

Confirmed vehicles, tires, & gliders:


  • Standard Kart – Starter
  • Mach 8 – Starter
  • Badwagon – Starter
  • Biddybuggy – Starter
  • Landship
  • Cat Cruiser
  • Circuit Special
  • Pipe Frame
  • Prancer
  • Sneeker
  • Steel Diver
  • Sports Coupe
  • Tri-Speeder
  • Gold Standard


  • Standard Bike – Starter
  • Sport Bike – Starter
  • The Duke
  • Jet Bike
  • Flame Rider
  • Mr. Scooty
  • Moter Dozer
  • Comet
  • Yoshi Bike


  • Standard ATV – Starter
  • Teddy Buggy
  • Wild Wiggler


  • Standard – Starter
  • Monster – Starter
  • Roller – Starter
  • Slim – Starter
  • Wood – Starter
  • Azure Roller
  • Button
  • Block
  • Blue Standard
  • Cream Blocks
  • Crimson Slim
  • Cushion
  • Cyber Slick
  • Hot Monster
  • Metal
  • Retro Off-Road
  • Ring
  • Slick
  • Sponge
  • Spicy Rings


  • Super Glider – Starter
  • Parachute – Starter
  • Parafoil – Starter
  • Cloud Glider
  • Bowser Kite
  • Flower Glider
  • Koopa Kite
  • MKTV Parafoil
  • Peach Parasol
  • Plane Glider
  • Waddle Wing
  • Wario Glider

Downloadable Vehicles via DLC:

To unlock these vehicles, you must purchase them from the in-game shop (after software update on August 27, 2014).

  • Mercedes-Benz GLA (Part of Mercedes DLC Pack)
  • Mercedes 300 SL Roadster (Part of Mercedes DLC Pack)
  • Mercedes Silver Arrow (Part of Mercedes DLC Pack)
  • Master Cycle (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • Tanooki Kart (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • Blue Falcon (Part of DLC Pack 1)
  • B Dasher (Part of DLC Pack 1)





The main menu offers five play main modes:

  • Single Player
  • Multiplayer (local)
  • Online – One Player
  • Online – Two Players
  • Mario Kart TV

The following multiplayer options are available in custom VS. races:

  • Team or Individual
  • Items Available
  • Class (50, 100, 150cc)
  • CPU Difficulty
  • CPU Vehicles
  • Course (choose, random, etc.)
  • Race Count (3-50)



  • The main new feature for Mario Kart 8 is anti-gravity mode.
  • Anti-gravity is sometimes a required part of the track; but other times, it provides an optional route through a particular section of track.
  • Blue strips will activate anti-gravity mode to allow for racers to race along walls, upside down, and over water.
  • Spin Boost (new move): While racing upside down or on walls in anti-gravity mode, players can bump into other racers or certain track obstacles to get a speed boost. The Spin Boost fundamentally redefines the way that players compete, and makes anti-gravity racing even more exhilarating.




  • Mario Kart 8 will support a variety of control schemes, including the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel, Wii Classic Controller, and the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The game can also be played in off-TV mode using just the Wii U GamePad.
  • When playing with GamePad on TV, the GamePad will show a horn, mini screen of the race (the button to switch to off-TV mode), the track overview, and a button to switch to motion-controls.
  • When using the GamePad or Pro Controller, you can accelerate using the A button or the right analog stick.




  • Players can chat with one another in the lobby area using the Wii U GamePad microphone or text phrases as they wait for their friends to join.
  • Players also can create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, the time and the rules.




MKTV is a new feature for Mario Kart 8, which will allow players to:

  • Watch your own highlight racing reels, rewind them, and play them in slow motion.
  • Upload highlight reels to Miiverse.
  • Watch the world’s most popular highlight reels and comment on them.
  • Players with Google accounts can also upload their highlight reels directly to their YouTube channels.




The following is a list of random information that does not really fit into the above categories:

  • 12 racers at a time during a race (similar to Mario Kart Wii).
  • Points after each race are calculated similar to Mario Kart Wii, with first place getting 15, second getting 12, third getting 10, fourth getting 9, fifth getting 8, sixth getting 7, and so forth, with 12th getting 1 point.
  • Drifting is time-based (meaning no true snaking).
  • Blue jumps will activate glider mode.
  • Stunts return when going over jumps to allow for speed boosts.
  • Decals are present on karts, which may mean you can further customize your vehicles.
  • Live Recorded Music: For the first time in the Mario Kart series, select courses in Mario Kart 8 feature music recorded by live performers.
  • Lakitu will fish you out of the water or other times you fall off the track, and the camera will follow him back to the track, instead of cutting back to the track. You will also return much quicker than past games.
  • DLC has been confirmed. The first will come on August 27, 2014, in the form of three free Mercedes Benz karts. The second comes with three characters, four vehicles, and eight courses in November 2014. The third will come in May 2015 with the same amount of items as the November pack. The second two will cost $7.99 each or $11.99 packaged together.


UPDATES: We will try to keep this updated as we find out more information. So, keep checking back!

DLC Pack 1 Trailer

NINTENDO DIRECT (April 30, 2014)


GameXplain’s Demo of 8 new and 8 retro tracks (18 minutes)

Japanese Version demo (59 minutes)


(In addition to our own research, we would also like to thank the following sites for helping provide some of this information.)

  • GameXplain
  • You, our amazing NintendoFuse readers.
About The Author
Steve Cullum
Steve is a Senior Editor for NintendoFuse. He has been a Nintendo fan since the NES and Game Boy. His favorite types of games are action platformers, multiplayer “party” games, and any game that is pure fun and pulls him in for hours. Steve has been blogging for NintendoFuse since 2008.
  • SolarGalaxa
    March 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Mario Circuit in the Mushroom Cup? No way! It has always been Luigi Circuit, with Mario Circuit being the first track in the Flower Cup. Thus Flower is this: Mario Circuit then Toad Harbor (or Toad Bay in NTSC-U)

    • Steve
      March 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

      True… But the trailers so far seem to point to it being in the Mushroom Cup. We could be wrong, but this is what it seems like so far. All assigned cups on our list are definitely subject to change!

    • Jaylee
      April 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      ummm i dosent say mario circuit in mushroom cup its Mario Kart Staduim Water Park Sweet Sweet Canyon and Thwomp Ruins

  • Gamer_Greg
    March 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Steve, there’s like a 99.9% chance of the final course in Special Cup being called “Rainbow Road”

  • Gamer_Greg
    April 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Didn’t add the new characters from the press release to this listing 😉

  • ces715
    April 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    N64 Sherbet Land was in MKWii, so it’s almost certainly GCN Sherbet Land.

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