Mario Kart: Drift Dash
Developer(s) KinglerMaster (tbc)
Publisher(s) FantendoHDLogo
Platform(s) Nintendo Wii U
Release Date(s)
Flag of USA January 1st, 2015
Flag of Japan January 1st, 2015
Flag of Europe January 5th, 2015
Canada January 29th, 2015
Flag of Australia February 1st, 2015
Flag of China February 18th, 2015
Single Player Grand Prix, Single Player Time Trial, Single Player VS Match, Single Player Battle Match, Single Player Mission Mode, Online Multiplayer
Genre(s) Racing
Media Included Nintendo Wii U CD

Mario Kart: Drift Dash is the 12th game in the Mario Kart series, and the 9th one in the mainstream series. The game is for the Nintendo Wii U, and is rated E for Everyone. The game was first released in the USA on January 1, 2015.

There were also special discs released including both this game and Super Mario Kart. Ten of these discs were randomly put into boxes (20% out of all of the originally released included SMK) and those who got the SMK + MKDD discs were lucky and didn't even have to pay extra. The boxes containing SMK were also designed the same as the regular boxes, so it was a mystery. The SMK versions had discs that had a picture of Super Mario World Mario under the words "Drift Dash", showing that it was the SMK-included one. The SMK-included games were not released for the eShop.


The game is mostly a mixture of past features in the Mario Kart series, but has one new notable feature: Drift Dashing. This is accomplished by drifting 5 times fast enough that the kart gains purple flames. When the player lets go of the drift button, they will get a speed boost that lasts for 7 & 1/2 seconds.

Sadly, customizable parts do not make a return, and the game goes back to the old different kart system, which is similar to the one used in Mario Kart Wii. However, gliders, underwater driving, and anti-gravity make a return, and the Double Dash!! feature appears as a separate mode so players will not always have to drive with two players in the kart.


Note: Only controls that have a function in this game will be shown.

Control What It Does
Control Stick (L) Lets the player move the kart left/right while racing.
D-Pad Scroll through the Menu, Up Arrow Key lets you look backwards while racing.
A Button Select on the menu, Accelerate.
B Button Cancel on the menu, Brake/Go Backwards.
X Button Use Items while racing.
Y Button Change into first-person view.
Start Button Used to begin and/or activate certain options.
Select Button Pause the game while racing, select on the menu.
L Button Use Items while racing.
R Button Drift/Drift Dash.
ZL Button Look Backwards
ZR Button Perform Tricks

Points Spread Comparison

Game(s) 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 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart: Drift Dash 8-player races
10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart: Drift Dash 12-player races
15 12 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Mario Kart 7 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Mario Kart 8 15 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Mario Kart: Drift Dash 12 10 9 7 6 5 3 2 1 0 N/A N/A


Grand Prix

Grand Prix is a mode in which you try to win a trophy by overall placing 3rd or higher in a cup, which is a group of 4 courses. Winning 3rd will gain you a bronze trophy, winning 2nd will gain you a silver trophy, and winning 1st will gain you a good trophy.

Grand Prix is divided into 6 difficulties: 25cc, 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, 150cc Mirror, and 200cc.


In this mode, the speed is the same as 50cc, but CPUs are set to Very Easy difficulty, and the tracks are changed to be made easier. This is perfect for beginners, and is available as soon as you start the game.


In this mode, the speed is slow, and the CPUs are set to Easy, making it easy, and good for beginners. This difficulty is default.


This mode has a medium speed and CPUs are also set to Medium. It is better for intermediate players.


This mode has a fast speed, and CPUs are set to Hard. Many consider this to be the hardest difficulty. It is better for trained players, and must be unlocked by completing all cups in 50cc.

150cc Mirror

This mode is indentical to 150cc, but all of the tracks are flipped to the opposite direction. This mode can only be unlocked by completing all cups in 150cx.


This mode has an extremely fast speed, and CPUs remain on Hard difficulty. It is best for expert players, and can only be unlocked by getting at least 1 star on every cup for 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc.

Time Trials



There are 4 modes: Balloon Battle, Coin Runners, Bob-omb Blast, and Shine Thief.

Balloon Battle

Coin Runners

Bob-omb Blast

Shine Thief

Mission Mode

Double Dash!! Mode

In Double Dash!! Mode, players race in pairs, just like in the game Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Double Dash!! Mode is unlocked after the player gets every character (excluding downloadable and premium). When the player first gets the mode, the players come in Default pairs (the default pairs section can be found here. However, after the player wins all of the Grand Prix cups for 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc, they can use whatever combination of 2 characters the want. The Mii Outfits, Premium characters, and downloadable characters can all pair with whoever they want.


For a list of characters and character-related things, see here.


For a list of items in the game, see here.


Nitro Courses



424px-Super Star Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Special Cup BS

Mushroom Cup

Flower Cup

Star Cup

Special Cup

Daisy Circuit Mario Circuit Piano Pathway Toad Circuit
Peach's Castle Sunshine Beach Wiggler Forest Dino-Torch Desert
Toad Town Leafy Woods Frosty Caves Bowser's Castle
Goomba Grassland Yoshi's Island Pipe Land Rainbow Road

Retro Courses

This game contains Retro Courses, just like every Mario Kart game after Mario Kart DS. The courses consist of 4 courses from previous Mario Kart games, with no cups having 2 courses from the same game.

  • Super Mario Kart courses are labeled as SNES
  • Mario Kart 64 courses are labeled as N64
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit courses are labeled as GBA
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! courses are labeled as GCN
  • Mario Kart DS courses are labeled as DS
  • Mario Kart Wii courses are labeled as Wii
  • Mario Kart 7 courses are labeled as 3DS
  • Mario Kart 8 courses are labeled as U

This game contains 3 SNES courses, 1 N64 course, 3 GBA courses, 1 GCN course, 1 DS Course, 2 Wii courses, 1 3DS course, and 4 U courses.

Green Shell Artwork - Super Mario 3D World




Shell Cup

Banana Cup

Leaf Cup

Lightning Cup

DS Figure-8 Circuit U Toad Harbor N64 Choco Mountain GCN Wario Colosseum
GBA Riverside Park SNES Vanilla Lake 1 U Sunshine Airport Wii Dry Dry Ruins
3DS Shy Guy Bazaar GBA Cheep-Cheep Island SNES Mario Circuit 4 SNES Ghost Valley 3
Wii Toad's Factory Wii DK Summit GBA Sunset Wilds DS Rainbow Road

Battle Stages

Nitro Battle Stages Retro Battle Stages
Mario Stadium SNES Battle Course 3
Boo Mansion GBA Battle Course 4
Beanbean Airport DS Tart Top
Good Egg Galaxy Wii Funky Stadium

Downloadable Packs

For the downloadable packs, see here.

Unlocking Criteria for Other Media

  • 100cc - Complete 50cc.
  • 150cc - Complete 100cc.
  • 150cc Mirror Mode - Complete and get gold trophies on all cups for 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc.
  • Double Dash!! Mode - Get all characters.
  • Double Dash!! Mode (Custom Pairs) - Complete the Double Dash!! Grand Prix.
  • Expert Staff Ghost Data (Time Trials) - Complete the course in Time Trials under a certain limit.


  • NOTE: An asterisk (*) indicates a brand new kart in the series.
Image Name Weight Class Unlocking Criteria
TBA Standard Kart F* Feather Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Mini Booster Feather Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Mushmellow Feather Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Blue Falcon Feather Unlock Dry Bones.
TBA Cheep Charger Feather Unlock Shy Guy.
TBA Standard Kart L Light Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Royale Light Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Egg 1 Light Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Bullet Blaster Light Unlock Bowser Jr.
TBA Daytripper Light Unlock Daisy.
TBA Standard Kart M Medium Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA B Dasher Medium Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Low Speedster* Medium Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Wild Wing Medium Unlock Mii Outfit B.
TBA Broom Blaster* Medium Unlock Kamek.
TBA Standard Kart C* Cruiser Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Wario Car Cruiser Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Gold Mantis Cruiser Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Boo Booster* Cruiser Unlock King Boo.
TBA Squiggler Train* Cruiser Unlock Wiggler.
TBA Standard Kart H Heavy Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Flame Flyer Heavy Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Offroader Heavy Already available at the beginning of the game.
TBA Funky Flasher* Heavy Unlock Funky Kong.
TBA Shooting Striker* Heavy Unlock Rosalina.

Time Trials Staff Ghost Data

Time Trial Staff Ghost Data
Course Character Staff Ghost Time
Daisy Circuit Daisy Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Peach's Castle Peach Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Toad Town Toadette Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Goomba Grassland Koopa Troopa Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Mario Circuit Mario Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Sunshine Beach Koopa Troopa Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Leafy Woods Petey Piranha Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Yoshi's Island Yoshi Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Piano Pathway Birdo Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Wiggler Forest Wiggler Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Frosty Caves Rosalina Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Pipe Land Petey Piranha Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Toad Circuit Toad Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Dino-Torch Desert Dry Bones Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Bowser's Castle Dry Bowser Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Rainbow Road Rosalina Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
DS Figure-8 Circuit Mario Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
GBA Riverside Park Donkey Kong Jr. Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
3DS Shy Guy Bazaar Shy Guy Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Wii Toad's Factory Toad Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
U Toad Harbor Toadette Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
SNES Choco Island 1 Dry Bones Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
GBA Cheep-Cheep Island Koopa Troopa Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Wii DK Summit Donkey Kong Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
N64 Choco Mountain Dry Bowser Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
U Sunshine Airport Daisy Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
SNES Mario Circuit 4 Mario Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
GBA Sunset Wilds Shy Guy Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
GCN Wario Colosseum Wario Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
Wii Dry Dry Ruins Dry Bones Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
SNES Ghost Valley 3 King Boo Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??
DS Rainbow Road Rosalina Nin✭Kingler ?:??:??

Beta Elements

  • The game has many names before its final name. These included Mario Kart Universe, Mario Kart Swift, Mario Kart Rapid, and Mario Kart: Fuel Boost.
  • This game originally contained 10 characters for the 5 weight classes.
  • At a Blizzard Direct, a beta retro course roster was shown (without MK8 courses). It contained the following (note that courses with asterisks made it in the final game, whether in the same cup or not):

Mushroom Cup: 3DS Daisy Hills, SNES Ghost Valley 1, DS Cheep-Cheep Beach, Wii Moo Moo Meadows

Flower Cup: SNES Choco Island 1, N64 Toad's Turnpike, GBA Riverside Park*, 3DS Mario Circuit

Star Cup: SNES Mario Circuit 4*, DS Tick-Tock Clock, Wii Wario's Gold Mine, GBA Sunset Wilds*

Special Cup: GCN Wario Colosseum*, SNES Donut Plains 3, GBA Bowser Castle 4, DS Rainbow Road*


  • This game has the most characters of any Mario Kart game so far, even if you exclude the Downloadable and Premium characters.
  • Some Items got redesigns.
    • The Golden Mushroom got a redesign; it originally had a crown and was a bit darker, but is now bright without a crown.
    • The Spiny Shell got a redesign; it was originally blue, but is now red like a Spiny's shell.
    • The Yoshi Egg got a redesign; it now resembles a Lime Green Yoshi Egg.
    • While the Banana item didn't get a redesign, the cup was redesigned to resemble a Donkey Kong Country Banana.
  • According to the game's official guide, Donkey Kong Jr. in the older games was the adult DK, and this Donkey Kong Jr. is Donkey Kong's son.


For info on this game's soundtrack, click here.

References to other Mario Kart games

  • Super Mario Kart: Vanilla Lake 1, Mario Circuit 4, and Ghost Valley 3 return as Retro Courses. Battle Course 3 returns as a Retro Battle Stage. Donkey Kong Jr., who hasn't been in a Mario Kart game since Super Mario Kart, appears in this game.
  • Mario Kart 64: Choco Mountain again returns as a Retro Course. Kamek, who was supposed to be in Mario Kart 64, makes his racing debut in this game. Banshee Boardwalk appears in a DLC Pack.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit: Riverside Park, Cheep-Cheep Island, and Sunset Wilds return as Retro Courses. Battle Course 4 returns as a Retro Battle Stage. Mario Circuit, Boo Lake, Yoshi Desert, Ribbon Road, and Rainbow Road appear in DLC Packs.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash: Wario Colosseum returns as a Retro Course. Bob-omb Blast and Shine Thief are battle modes. A seperate Double Dash!! mode is included in the game. Characters hold items in their hands. Rainbow Road appears in a DLC Pack.
  • Mario Kart DS: Figure-8 Circuit returns as a Retro Course. Tart Top returns as a Retro Battle Stage. Mission Mode and customizable kart emblems make a return.
  • Mario Kart Wii: Toad's Factory and DK Summit return as Retro Courses. Funky Stadium returns as a Retro Battle Stage. 12-player races are optional in VS Matches.
  • Mario Kart 7: Shy Guy Bazaar returns as a Retro Course. 8-player races are optional in VS Matches. Air gliding and underwater driving are in this game.
  • Mario Kart 8: Sweet Sweet Canyon, Toad Harbor, Dolphin Shoals, and Cloudtop Cruise return as Retro Courses. Anti-gravity is in this game.
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP Series: The Black Shell returns in this game, but it is called the Bombshell.
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