Mario Kart Drift
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo NX
Release Date(s)
Versus, Time Trials, Versus Multiplayer, Grand Prix, Missions
Age Rating(s)
Genre(s) Racing
Series Mario Kart
Predecessor Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart Drift is a 2017 racing game released for the NX system. This game features something new, like how Mario Kart: Double Dash had doubles, Mario Kart Wii had tricks and wheelies, Mario Kart 7 had boating and gliding, and how Mario Kart 8 had anti-gravity, this game features drilling under stages to get to new locations.


The gameplay of the game is similar to Mario Kart 7 in which you can transform into different types of transportation, however this game allows drilling, which when you use it, it allows you to go under the track to find additional items, boost panels, etc. However, the game is just like Mario Kart 7 in terms character rankings when they win a Grand Prix. The gameplay was reduced to how hectic of a game as Mario Kart: Double Dash, and the speed of that game.

Mario Kart Drift has two new battle modes, Bob-Omb Throw and Boost Run. For the retro tracks, they are not remixed versions with a guitar because I just think that this makes sense. The name of the game, Mario Kart Drift actually has a new concept with the name of it. If you press the button exactly at go, the character will automatically drift three times on their own, although the third one gives you a faster speed boost.

Point Spread Comparisons (GP)
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 10000 - - - -
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
10 8 643210 - - - -
Mario Kart Wii 15 12 10 8 76543210
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart Drift
10 8 654321 - - - -
Mario Kart 8 15 12 10 9 87654321
Grove-green bg signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), best after-race music
Yellow-green bg signifies moderate results (mild clapping, moderate character reaction), same music in Wi-Fi as winner (different in MKDS GP)
Normal bg signifies losing results, losing music; - means not available
In Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart Super Circuit, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race. If the racer fares this badly four times, the Grand Prix must be started over. In Mario Kart 64, 5th or worse forces the player to retry the race, but without the restrictions on how many times the player can retry a race. Starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash to recent installments including this one, the Grand Prix normally goes forth.


Most modes return from past installments, but there are a few additions. All modes are available on single player, and various of them are available on multiplayer and online multiplayer.

Grand Prix

1 to 4 Players Just like the older installments, When you win the races in each track, and obtain the cup's trophy. The player can choose one of three default engine classes: 50cc, the computers are very easy on you, and the speed of the game is rather slow, 100cc, the speed is slightly quickened up, and characters may very rarely drift sometimes, however they don't try that hard, and 150cc, the game's speed is quick, every computer boosts at the start of the track, and items will be spammed. The higher the engine class, the harder and faster the races will be against opponents. This mode also supports multiplayer Grand Prix. After completing 150cc, Mirror Mode is unlocked, which is like 150cc but with all tracks reversed. If all the engine classes including Mirror Mode are completed, 200cc will be unlocked as well, in which the game is extremely quick, and no computer is joking around on this hectic mode however it can also get uncontrollable.

Story Mode

1 Player

A completely new mode. As the name implies, players will follow a story in the game. They will be able to choose a character (only the ones that have been already unlocked), their customized kart and then embark in an adventure.

The story takes place at Mario Circuit, where Mario won a race against Yoshi and Peach, however Bowser came in last place, and he wanted to win. Bowser becomes furious, and steals the Champion's Trophies, and acclaim them to him and his son. However, Mario and his friends will not allow that, as you will have to go through levels, as well as having a one-on-one race with someone, and if you win, that character becomes a member of your team.

Time Trials

1 Player

Works the same as in past installments. Players are allowed to race in a course of their choice (if it has been unlocked already) and complete all its laps in the fastest time possible. When doing so, the player's records will be saved as Ghost, allowing them to compete against their own Ghosts and see if they can exceed their previous record. Players can also exchange their Ghosts with other players, compare records and also race against them.

VS Race

1 to 4 Players

Vs Race is a multiplayer mode that can be played locally with up to 4 players. Races can be customized in this mode by adjusting different settings, which include choosing which items appear, CPU difficulty, Team or Solo racing, engine class and the requirements to win races. Nothing can be unlocked in this game mode, and only the already unlocked racetracks in Grand Prix will be available here.

Battle Mode

1 to 4 Players

The player can choose one of five types of battles available for play. Unlike in Mario Kart 8 and similarly to the other past games, the game features 8 all-new separate arenas, with 4 of them being completely new and the other 4 being retro Battle Courses.

Balloon Battle

The classic battle style consists on popping opponents' balloons to score, using the items from the Item Boxes. All the racers start with three balloons and must use the items from the Item Boxes to take away a balloon from their opponents. Hitting a rival is worth a score. Balloons can never be regained unless one is stolen from another player using a Mushroom, and if all balloons are lost points can no longer be lost or obtained. However, players are still able to drive and attack other players as a Ghost, so a player with a high score and no balloons is still able to win.

Coin Runners

In Coin Runners, racers collect the Coins spread in the battle course within the time limit. The racer that has the most Coins at the end wins. Racers can use the items to hit the opponents and let drop the Coins they've taken. They're also able to steal Coins by using Mushrooms or other items.

Bob-Omb Throw

Racers use Bob-ombs to hit their opponents and score points to win. The bombs can be obtained by running over an Item Box. Every player can hold up to five of these explosives, and throw whether forwards or drop them backwards. Any kart that make contact with the opponent's bomb or get blown by the explosion, will lose points.

Boost Run

In this mode their are boost panels all over the track, and you will have a point counter, and the objective is to get on as many boost panels as you can before the time runs out. You can take points away from other racers though, however. Just get on a boost panel and ram into the player to take points away.


1 to 12 Players (Nintendo Network Support)

In Online mode, one or two local players can play over the internet against other players. Online mode contains five options:

  • Worldwide: Players can race with up to eleven other racers around the world. Players are also able to join worldwide rooms with custom rules (like an online VS Mode). Additionally, players can also create their own room with their desired custom rules for other players around the world to join. Alternatively, online Battle Mode is also available, and worldwide rooms for battles can be created as well.
  • Regional: Like in Worldwide, players can race with up to eleven other racers, but only racers in their region. The rest is the same: players can create or join regional rooms for races or for battles.
  • Friends: Choosing Friends will allow players to race against friends from the Friends menu, or join their friends' rooms if there are currently any. Again, like in VS Mode, players and friends can choose custom rules for the races.
  • Tournament: Here, players are allowed to create their own tournaments by choosing an icon, a name, the rules, the times in which the tournaments are available (weekly, daily, etc) and set the tournament's availability for joining (open to anybody, code required, open only in region or open to players of certain ratings only). Players can also join other people's tournaments. If a tournament features DLC tracks for playing, players that haven't purchased the respective packs will not be able to join until they buy them.
  • Special Tournament: Or Competition Mode, consists in online tournaments created by Nintendo for play biweekly after the game's release. These can be 1-player or multiplayer missions, VS races and/or Boss Battles.

When playing worldwide or regional, players once again earn VR points (starting with 1000 by default) based upon their rankings in races and battles.


There will be 46 total playable characters, consisting of 15 default characters and 31 unlockable characters. The total amount of characters in this game is the highest in the series. It has been confirmed that downloadable content will be released in the future after the game's release, bringing more characters to the game and slightly increasing the roster.

Starting Drivers

Weight Characters
Feather Baby Mario NSMBDIYBaby PeachToad Artwork - Super Mario Crystalline WorldGreen Koopa NewToadette - Mario Party 10
Light Peach - Mario Party 10Daisy MP10Yoshi Artwork - Mario Party Island Tour
Medium Mario MPRLuigiart8
Cruiser RosalinaWaluigiMP8OfficialDKposes
Heavy WarioMP7BowzerPartyDS

Unlockable Drivers

Weight Characters
Feather Baby Luigi NSMBDIYBabyWarioMonty Mole NSMBU SoloGoomba Artwork - Super Mario 3D WorldShyguy MP9GreenSprixieDRY
Light BowserJr.SMGDixieKongToadsworth sunrise stroll by vinfreild-d7no3sqMushroombanditNSMBU
Medium 250px-MP8 BirdoHammerBroNSMBUKamek YBADiddyKongSpike BossE Gadd Solo LM2SilverGearmoSME
Cruiser Wiggler WalkingKing Boo Artwork - Luigi's Mansion Dark MoonJimmy T WWMFunkyKongJungleClimberPiantaTree
Heavy SolochuckLubba300px-Gooperblooper01MP9 Big Bob-OmbKing K. RoolGiga Bowser ArtPlessiee
Varies MiiIconMK8

Downloadable Drivers

The game includes two downloadable content packs, similarly to the previous installment. Both packs contain 4 playable characters, making eight total and increasing the total number of playable characters to 54.

Like in Mario Kart 8, if both packs are purchased, the player will obtain new colors for certain characters.

Downloadable Drivers
Pack Characters
Kirby X Mario Kart Drift SM3DL Boom Boom Solo ArtPunpunSoloKRtDL Meta KnightKirbyWiiNew
Pikmin X Mario Kart Drift Kritter SM3DWPeteyPiranhaPlantLouie&PikminNvF3DOlimar red


Nitro Tracks

There are currently 40 tracks in the main game, consisting of 20 new tracks and 20 retro tracks. Like in the retro tracks from the 3DS and Wii U installments, the retro tracks feature altered sections in order to incorporate gliding, underwater and surface driving, anti-gravity and sprint dash features. Names in italic are names used in the PAL version.

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
Mario Circuit Wario Caverns Soda Jungle Techno Laboratory
Toad Fountain Wuhu Tour Chocolate City Yoshi Lagoon
Underground Hell Bowser Jr.'s Kingdom Luigi Carnival Bowser's Castle
Mii Circuit Donkey Kong Temple Waluigi Twister Rainbow Road

Retro Tracks

Shell Cup Banana Cup Leaf Cup Lightning Cup
DS Figure-8 Circuit DS Shroom Ridge DS Mario Circuit Wii Moonview Highway
3DS Rock, Rock Mountain Wii DK Summit U Dolphin Shoals U Electrodome
Wii Toad's Factory U Twisted Mansion 3DS Rosalina's Ice World GCN Bowser's Castle
GBA Lakeside Park Wii Daisy Circuit N64 Wario Stadium GBA Rainbow Road

Downloadable Tracks

The game's two downloadable content packs are revealed to include 2 cups for a total of 4 additional cups, adding 16 more courses to the game that increase the number of courses to 56 total. This makes Mario Kart Drift the most extensive game in the series, beating Mario Kart 8 which had 48.

Kirby x Mario Kart Drift Pikmin x Mario Kart Drift
Dream Cup Acorn Cup Cloud Cup Blossom Cup
3DS Wario Shipyard U Toad Harbor DS Luigi's Mansion GCN Waluigi Stadium
U Shy Guy Falls GBA Sky Garden GCN Dino Dino Jungle GCN Mushroom City
Diamond City Pinna Park Final Destination Koopa Tunnel
Fountain Of Dreams Galactic Journey Funky Forestry Distant Planet

Battle Tracks

New Tracks Retro Tracks
Koopa Circus GBA Battle Course 4
Dave N' Busters DS Nintendo DS
Jimmy T Disco GCN Luigi's Mansion
Star Road Wii Chain Chomp Wheel
Engine Room 3DS Sherbet Rink


Items found on the track

Item Description
Item Box
Gives the player a random item. The items given depend on the driver's position.
Coin Artwork - Super Mario 3D World
Players receive a small boost and an increase to their top speed. Can be collected up to a maximun of 10.

New Items

Item Description
Magic Paintbrush
Bowser Jr.'s Magic Paintbrush allows you to draw ink on the ground for other drivers to slip on.
Metal Box Smash
Metal Box
You turn into metal and if someone throws an item, the item will reflect off of you.
Penguin Suit
You can freeze any racer that touches the ice balls thrown out when you are a penguin, as well as driving quicker.
Gold Flower
Allows you to throw golden fireballs at other drivers, and if you hit items or drivers, you get additional coins, although you are only able to throw ten golden fireballs one at a time.
Lakitu Cloud
Lakitu Cloud
You get to use Lakitu's Cloud, and hover over the race throwing Spiny Shells. This could also get used to make nifty shortcuts for yourself.
Poltergust 3000
This lets you use Luigi's nifty ghost vacuum tool, which ghosts come out giving you either items or coins, similar to the Boo item in the older installments.
8134 super-smash-bros-for-nintendo-3ds-wii-u
Smash Ball
Lets you unleash a super move in order to slow down opponents, and make them fear you.

Returning Items

Item Description
Green Shell
Can be thrown forwards or backwards. It travels in a straight line and knocks over a kart it hits.
Triple Green Shell
Three green shells orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Red Shell
If thrown forwards, it homes in on the closest kart in front of the player and knocks it over.
Triple Red Shell
Three red shells orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Protects the player from incoming items, and when thrown or dropped, it causes drivers that run into them to slip and slow down.
Triple Bananas
Three bananas orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks.
Provides the player's kart with a small speed boost.
Triple Mushrooms
Orbits the player's kart, providing them with three separate speed boosts.
Golden Mushroom
The driver gets an infinite amount of mushroom boosts for a short time.
Fire Flower
Allows the player to throw fireballs for a short time that cause other karts to spin out on impact.
Boomerang Flower
Can be thrown up to three times, hitting racers forward and when it returns.
Super Leaf
Gives the player's kart a tail that can be used to deflect items and knock over nearby opponents.
Provides the player invincibility from all terrain and items, and also giving a speed boost.
Squirts ink on any racer ahead of the user, partially obscuring vision. It eventually wears off, but can be immediately removed by a speed boost from a mushroom, boost tile, etc.
Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking over any kart in its blast radius.
Piranha Plant
Automatically chomps on obstacles and other racers, giving a short speed boost for each bite.
Spiny Shell
Returning to its winged variant, the blue shell flies directly to the first place racer and explodes.
MTUS Mega Mushroom
Mega Mushroom
The driver grows bigger, which allows them to squash other racers by running over them. If touching a Poison Mushroom or getting hit by a Lightning, the drivers will return to their regular size rather than becoming tiny.
Fake Item Box MKDB
Fake Item Box
This item imitates an Item Box, in which it is colored red and the ? mark is flipped upside down. It causes opponents to flip over once hit. It cannot block item attacks.
POW Block Artwork - Super Mario 3D World
POW Block
Causes any racer on the ground to spin out and drop their items. Can be avoided if in the air.
Causes all opponents to drop their items, shrink, and drive slowly for a short time.
Bullet Bill
Transforms the user into a Bullet Bill, rocketing through the track automatically, and providing invincibility from all terrain and items.
Super Horn
Emits a radial shockwave hitting racers, as well as destroying all obstacles, including the Spiny Shell.

Downloadable Content

Like Mario Kart 8, this game received an update to include an in-game shop feature through which players can purchase and / or pre-order downloadable content packs. It is also possible to buy them in the Nintendo eShop like normal. So far, Nintendo has released one add-on pack and another one will be available soon. Both packs include four additional characters, four vehicles and eight courses in two cups.

Kirby X Mario Kart Drift

The first pack is titled "Kirby X Mario Kart Drift" and it was revealed during August 2017 and released during december 2016 after the game's release. It includes Boom Boom, Pom Pom, and Kirby and Meta Knight from the Kirby series. Vehicles included are the returning Egg 1 and Sport Bike and the new Warp Star and Halberd. The cups included are the Dream Cup and the Acorn Cup. These cups combine retro tracks with new tracks, with the first two tracks in each being retro and the last two tracks being nitro.

Purchasing both this and the Pikmin X Mario Kart Drift pack automatically gives the player alternate color skins for characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Shy Guy, Hammer Bro., King Boo, Pianta, and Spike.

Pikmin X Mario Kart Drift

The second pack, titled "Pikmin X Mario Kart Drift" was revealed during December 2015, and released during January 2018. It includes Kritter, Petey Piranha, and Olimar and Louie from the Pikmin series as playable characters. Vehicles included are the returning Streamliner and Flame Runner, and the new Hocotate Ship and the S.S Drake. Cups included are the Cloud Cup and the Blossom Cup. Both cups also combine retro tracks with new tracks.

Purchasing both this and the Kirby X Mario Kart Drint pack automatically gives the player alternate color skins for characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Shy Guy, Hammer Bro., King Boo, Pianta, and Spike.


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