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Mario Kart Solaris is the ninth mainline entry in the Mario Kart series, the second to appear on the Nintendo Switch, and the first on the Switch that isn't a remake. It was released in June 202X.

Mario Kart Solaris carries forward the usual tradition of Mario characters racing through Mario-inspired tracks, all while using various items to attack each other. The game's main addition to the Mario Kart formula is the ability to customize your vehicles mid-match. In between races, players can spend coins on various upgrades. Other major additions include that every track now has a “day” and “night” version, with small changes to the track or environment, and that karts can now drive along the surface of the water. It also contains a loose story mode, portrayed as a series of trials posed by the spirit of an old kart racer, Arkartius. In terms of the franchise legacy, it's also the first appearance of Wapeach, a character generally portrayed as Peach's rival or doppelganger in the same sense as Wario is to Mario.

Gameplay and Changes

Mario Kart Solaris uses a similar structure to previous games. Each race sees 12 characters racing through the track, using items to attack other racers or enhance their own abilities. Items are collected from item boxes placed on the track. Characters can hold up to two items at a time, and players can switch which one is active at the press of a button. Additionally, any weapon can now be aimed or thrown in a specific direction; however, since this involves holding the item button to aim, it's no longer possible to drag an item behind you anymore. Almost every race is 3 laps, with a few instead going through a single lap or start-to-finish race split into 3 segments.

Driving on land, gliding through the air, and anti-gravity return; however, underwater driving has been removed, instead replaced by driving along the surface of the water, in a manner similar to jet skis. Traveling on water uses different physics and is prone to waves and other water currents. The physics of gliding have also changed with respect to collisions – attacks may cause additional coin and time loss if they fall far enough, and a heavier character colliding with a lighter one is more likely to send them off-course.

Characters once again have character-exclusive items; however, these items are shared between multiple characters. Characters are no longer explicitly sorted into weight classes. Instead, each character has a natural affinity towards different stats, but has access to the same vehicles and parts, splitting the difference between how they operated in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8.

The game features 40 tracks – 20 new and 20 returning from previous games (with more set to be added via DLC). Unlike most previous games, each cup now contains 5 tracks. Each track also has a Mirror version, which flips all left-right movement, and a Reverse version, which traverses the track backwards (with minimal changes to bridge sections that would otherwise be impossible to cross). In addition, tracks now have a “day” and “night” version, which will make changes to some of the track layout or provide extra obstacles. In general, the day versions of the tracks are a bit easier and more straightforward.

In between races, players can now spend coins earned during the race on custom parts or enhancements, essentially allowing players to upgrade and customize their vehicles mid-game. In addition to coins on hand when crossing the finish line or extra coins awarded based on overall placement, coins collected during the race in excess of the 10-coin limit are “banked” for use here. After the race ends, players can buy an upgrade, which can increase kart stats, enhance the use of specific items or techniques, or provide other passive upgrades. These upgrades remain for the remainder of the cup or match – in other words, all players will always start a new game from a blank slate.

Other major changes from Mario Kart 8 include:

  • Off-road is now a displayed kart stat, replacing Traction.
  • A sixth kart stat, Technique, has been added. It measures how much of a boost you get from drift turbos, tricks, and other more advanced techniques, making it functionally similar to the Mini-Turbo stat used in previous games.
  • Characters can again hold two items, and can tap a button (defaults to Y) in order to switch which one is currently about to be used.
  • By holding the item button (defaults to L or ZL) and holding a direction, players may aim a thrown item in a specific direction, or press the left thumb stick to drop the item. Pressing the brake button cancels this. Because of this, it's no longer possible drag items behind the kart (though there is an upgrade that adds this back in).
  • When damaged, how many coins you lose is now dependent on your placement – you lose 4 coins if in 1st or 2nd place, 3 if in 3rd through 6th, and 2 if in 7th or lower.
  • Drift turbos are back to having two levels, dropping the third level added from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. (However, there is an upgrade that adds this third level back in.)
  • Performing tricks from a jump gives a more substantial boost for doing a variety of different tricks, completing the entire animation for a trick before landing, or doing a lot of tricks in a short period of time. Characters also are considered damaged if they collide with another character during a trick, and are stunned for longer if they are damaged normally during a trick.
  • Ties on the leaderboards for Grand Prix and Vs Mode are now broken with preference to whoever has more banked coins.
  • A few trailers and scenes between races more heavily imply this as an organized event, with a group of (unnamed) characters of many different species appearing as tournament organizers and branding themselves as the MKRA.
  • Characters no longer do victory laps after winning a race. Instead, they simply park after crossing the finish line, exit the vehicle (usually), and do a victory animation from there.
  • Every track now has multiple music tracks available. Nitro tracks have one original song, while retro tracks have a new mix of its previous theme as well as its songs from any previous incantations of the track. In both cases, tracks also contain songs from thematically similar tracks from other Mario Kart games and songs taken from other Mario games. Songs' frequencies can be changed in the options menu, using an interface similar to My Music in the Smash Bros. games.
  • Retro tracks now use the intro and pre-race fanfare from the games they originated from. Games that didn't contain one of these before have a new one in the style of songs from these previous games.

Controls

All controls listed assume the player is using the controller in its default, dual-Joy-Con state; however, the game can be played using a single Joy-Con and will move all other buttons to the appropriate position. Also note that these are the default controls, and can be changed as needed.

Left Stick - Move
A - Accelerate
B - Brake
X - Hold to see rear view
Y - Change active item
L or ZL - Use item
L or ZL + Left Stick - Throw item in a specific direction, or press the Left Stick to drop the item. This only applies to items that are normally dropped or thrown.
R or ZR - Jump
R or ZR when driving over a ramp - Perform a trick. The trick used depends on whether a direction is also pressed with this.
Hold R or ZR + Control Stick - Drift. Release R or ZR to get a turbo boost.
- - Change onscreen display (cycles between map, ranked list, or nothing at all)
+ - Pause

Game Modes

Mario Kart Solaris features the following modes.

Grand Prix – race in one of several cups. Each race can initially be played in 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, 200cc, affecting all karts' top speed and aggressiveness of an AI-controlled characters. 200cc is unlocked by completing 150cc on all cups. In addition, Mirror, Night, and Reverse options are also given and can be enabled or disabled in any combination, moving them to an option rather than their own dedicated cup. Mirror is available from the beginning, but Night (which makes miscellaneous changes to the track to make it more difficult) and Reverse (which has characters racing through the track backwards, with some tracks making minimal adjustments) are both unlocked as part of Arkartius's trials. In addition to the usual cups, there's also a Random Cup, which simply picks 5 random tracks to use (but does not store records afterwards), and the Grand Tour Cup, which uses every track in the game in a random order.

Time Trial – Players race to try and get the best time. Players start with a Triple Mushroom in supply, but can also choose up to 25 coins' worth of upgrades.

Vs. Race – players compete against each other to score the most points by finishing each race the fastest. Players can choose various options for this to customize their experience:

  • Races: how many races before the game ends. Defaults to 5.
  • Variations: a new option added in v1.01. This allows for extra rules to be added on as follows:
    • Red Coin Challenge: 8 red coins are included on the track, and players must collect as many of them as possible before finishing the race. Collecting more coins than another racer automatically wins over any other racer with fewer coins regardless of time. Resembles one of the Trials of Arkartius.
    • Time Panic: Each race starts with a countdown (usually 30 seconds, but varies by track). Collecting a coin adds 1 second to that timer, and starting a new lap adds even more time. If that timer ever counts down to zero, that racer is automatically eliminated. Resembles arcade racing games.
    • Survival: Each racer gets four balloons, and collects one balloon after finishing a lap. Whenever a racer is damaged, they lose a balloon, and if they lose all of their balloons, they are eliminated.
    • Countdown Elimination: A 15 second timer counts down, and at the end of that timer, the player currently in last place is eliminated, then a new timer starts. The race ends when only one racer is left. In this mode, races can last longer than 3 laps (except for non-circuit races, which do still end the same way).
  • Teams: sets whether teams are used. Up to 4 teams can be specified, and players can assign racers to teams on the next menu. Defaults to No Teams.
  • Engine: sets the game speed. Defaults to 100cc.
  • Difficulty: sets the aggressiveness of AI racers, or disables them entirely. Defaults to medium.
  • Laps: how many laps are included in the race. This setting does not affect any tracks that don't use a circuit. Defaults to 3.
  • Items: sets the likelihood of various items appearing. Defaults to “default”.
  • Upgrades: enables or disables collecting upgrades between races. Defaults to “on”.
  • Track selection: sets how tracks are selected. Defaults to “Normal”. Other choices include Winner's Pick, Loser's Pick, Round Robin, or Random.

Battle – players compete against each other in one of several non-race modes. Battles can also be played individually or in teams, and the match will continue until a player or team gets a specified number of wins.

  • Balloon Battle – Survival – the classic mode. Each player has 3 balloons, and each time the kart is damaged, they lose a balloon. If you lose all your balloons, you are eliminated. The last player or team with any remaining balloons wins.
  • Balloon Battle – Time – the remixed version of the above used in later games. If you lose all your balloons, your score is reduced by half. The player or team with the most points after time is called (defaults to 2 minutes) wins.
  • Balloon Battle – Points – a new version similar to the above. In this version, you play until a player has reached a particular point total. If you lose all your balloons, your score is again reduced by half. The player or team who reaches the specified point total first (5 in individual play, 10 when using teams) wins.
  • Moon Thief – one player has a Power Moon and wins if the timer counts down to zero while holding it. If that character is hit, they lose the Power Moon and the timer resets (unless they're able to pick it back up before another player claims it).
  • Coin Runners – Time – player compete to collect the most coins. There are no limits to how many coins can be stocked in this game. The player or team with the most when time is called wins.
  • Coin Runners – Points – same as the above, but with a different win condition. The player or team who collects a specified amount first wins.
  • Renegade Roundup – a team-only based game. One team, the Authorities, is equipped with Chain Chomps (which function similar to the Piranha Plants from before, except able to hit on all sides of the vehicle) to catch members of the other team, the Renegades. The Authorities win if they catch all Renegades, and Renegades win if time runs out before they have a chance to do that.
  • Soccer Smash – another team-only based game. Both teams compete to launch a ball into a specific portion of the track. However, the ball can only be moved by hitting it with items or by using any sort of turbo boost.

Weekly Challenge - a mode added in version 1.01. This is a rotating challenge that changes every week, making it similar to the Mario Kart Channel from Mario Kart Wii. This challenge can be attempted once every 6 hours or once every 30 races, whichever comes first.Each challenge is pre-set to a specific track, win condition, items, and rarely, characters. Some of the more common challenge types include:

  • Completing a course in the fastest time, frequently with altered item probabilities
  • Racing against another character with altered stats, items normally unavailable to them, or unusually aggressive AI
  • Collecting a certain number of coins as fast as possible
  • Completing a course while going through numbered gates
  • Completing a course while landing a certain number of hits on other characters, frequently with altered item probabilities
  • Completing a course with altered track hazards

While not a separate game mode in of itself, many of these are integrated into the closest thing this game has to a story or game progression, the Trials of Arkartius. See that section for more details on how it works.

Online Play

Mario Kart Solaris features online play, generally working in similar ways as previous online games. One major exception to this is that instead of doing single races, online play keeps the same group for 5 games at a time, with upgrades still being buyable between races but wiped clean at the start of a new 5-game set, and declaring a winner based on the point system used in offline modes. (However, as of v1.01, single races and 10-game matches are now also available.)

When going online, players are given the following choices:

  • Play with friends: Connect to someone you already know. Once in this mode, players can play in any mode as specified by the host.
  • VS.: Immediately join an available VS. Mode game using the default rules.
  • Solo Battle: Immediately join an available Battle Mode game using the default rules.
  • Team Battle: Immediately join an available Battle Mode game using teams and all other default rules.
  • Host custom game: Set up a room with custom rules you specify.
  • Find custom game: Search other rooms using specified criteria.

Online play has been streamlined to feature identical play to the base game, but with a few exceptions.

  • All tracks to be used in the game are known ahead of time. To determine them, each player selects one track they would like to race on, and tracks are randomly selected and revealed from this list before the first race.
  • Each race automatically ends when all but one player has crossed the finish line, or 40 seconds after the first player crosses the finish line, or after 4 minutes, whichever comes first. (However, as of v1.01 of the game, this rule now extends to offline modes as well.)
  • Players buy upgrades almost immediately after finishing the race. Players have 10 seconds after the race ends to complete this upgrade phase.
  • CPU racers can optionally be added into the game, and will automatically replace any human characters that drop out.
  • The above point also works in reverse, as human players can replace CPU players if they join mid-match, inheriting their progress up to that point.
  • If any unlockable content is unlocked for one player, everyone else has access to it for the duration of the match.

Characters

Mario Kart Solaris features a familiar cast of 32 characters. Of the characters included, 9 (Pauline, Cappy, the Broodals, E. Gadd, Luma, Nabbit, Kamek, Boom Boom, and Sprixie) are making their debut as a playable appearance in a Mario Kart game (though Pauline was playable in Mario Kart Tour), and two (Wapeach and Arkartius) are making their series debut. 20 of them are available from the beginning, while the other 12 have to be unlocked.

As compared with other Mario Kart games, weight class is downplayed in this game, and the primary differentiation between characters is in base stats and special items. With a few exceptions, each character has three special items, each of which are shared by two other characters. Every character has 4 (more in the case of the Koopalings) different skins, usually changing the character's colors or changing to a different but related character, but this skin has no effect on anything other than appearance. Unlike most previous games, multiple players can choose the same character, but will be differentiated using different skins.

Character

Special Items

Stat Changes

Notes

Mario

435px-Mario Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Fire Flower

FLUDD

Mega Mushroom

No changes

Luigi

346px-Mario Party- Island Tour Luigi Artwork

Ice Flower

Poltergust

Super Leaf

No changes

Peach

335px-NSMBW Peach Artwork

Heart Shield

Poison Mushroom

Parasol

Acceleration + 0.5

Technique – 0.5

Daisy

MKT Artwork Daisy

Heart Shield

Fire Flower

Ice Flower

Handling + 0.5

Top Speed – 0.5

Yoshi

392px-Yoshi - Mario Party 10

Yoshi's Egg

Golden Mushroom

Guardian Wings

Handling + 1.0

Technique + 0.5

Acceleration – 0.5

Top Speed – 1.0

Bowser

548px-Bowser - Mario Party 10

Bowser Shell

Piranha Plant

Fire Flower

Top Speed, Weight + 1.0

Acceleration, Handling – 1.0

Dry Bowser is an alternate skin.

Bowser Jr.

386px-SMG BowserJr

Bowser Shell

Sand Bomb

Boomerang

Acceleration, Handling + 1.0

Top Speed, Weight - 1.0

Wario

513px-Wario MP100

Fake Item Box

Magnet

Bob-Omb

Weight, Off-Road + 0.5

Acceleration, Handling – 0.5

Waluigi

Waluigi MP10

Bob-Omb

Sand Bomb

Black Shell

Top Speed, Technique + 0.5

Acceleration, Handling – 0.5

Toad

386px-Toad - Mario Party 10

Golden Mushroom

Poison Mushroom

Mega Mushroom

Acceleration, Handling, Off-Road + 0.5

Top Speed, Weight, Techniques – 0.5

Captain Toad is an alternate skin.

Rosalina

348px-Rosalina-MPTop100-Transparent

Star Rain

Ice Flower

Guardian Wings

Top Speed, Handling + 0.5

Acceleration, Off-Road – 0.5

Koopa Troopa

377px-NSMB Green Koopa Troopa Artwork

Gold Shell

Bowser Shell

Black Shell

Off-Road, Technique + 0.5

Weight, Top Speed – 0.5

Paratroopa and Dry Bones are alternate skins. While not explicitly named as such, another skin resembles Kooper from Paper Mario.

Shy Guy

584px-ShyGuyCTTT artwork

POW Block

Piranha Plant

Boomerang

Acceleration, Off-Road + 0.5

Top Speed, Weight – 0.5

Pauline

MKT Artwork Pauline

Gold Shell

Giant Banana

Parasol

Handling + 0.5

Technique – 0.5

Donkey Kong

527px-SuperMarioParty DonkeyKong

Giant Banana

Metal Box

POW Block

Top Speed, Weight + 1.0

Technique + 0.5

Off-Road - 0.5

Acceleration, Handling – 1.0

Diddy Kong

449px-MPDS Diddy Kong Artwork

Giant Banana

Bubble

Boomerang

Technique + 1.0

Off-Road + 0.5

Top Speed – 0.5

Weight – 1.0

Baby Mario

376px-BabyMarioSluggers

Bubble

Super Leaf

Yoshi's Egg

Acceleration, Handling + 1.0

Top Speed, Weight – 1.0

Baby Luigi, Peach, and Daisy are alternate skins.

King Boo

636px-King Boo Artwork MSS

Nabbit's Bag

Fake Item Box

Magic Hex

Off-Road + 1.0

Top Speed + 0.5

Acceleration – 0.5

Handling – 1.0

Topper

Topper - Mario Kart X

Magnet

Fake Item Box

Poison Mushroom

Top Speed, Off-Road + 0.5

Handling, Technique – 0.5

Rango, Hariet, and Spewart are alternate skins.

Koopalings

437px-NSMBU Larry Koopa Artwork

Bob-Omb

Magic Hex

Piranha Plant

Off-Road + 1.0

Technique + 0.5

Acceleration – 0.5

Handling – 1.0

Larry Koopa is the default; the others are alternate skins. The only character to contain 7 skins rather than 4.

Birdo

391px-MP9 Birdo Main Artwork

POW Block

Yoshi's Egg

Poltergust

Top Speed, Weight + 0.5

Acceleration, Techniques – 0.5

Unlocked by playing each track once.

Toadette

529px-Toadette - Mario Party 10

Golden Mushroom

Bubble

Parasol

Acceleration, Handling + 0.5

Top Speed, Weight – 0.5

Unlocked by placing first on any two cups.

Cappy

541px-SMO Art - E3 Char4

Nabbit's Bag

Heart Shield

Guardian Wings

Handling + 1.0

Weight – 1.0

Tiara, Cappy-as-Mario's Cap, and Tiara-as-Peach's crown are alternate skins (the last two still referred to in-game as Cappy or Tiara). Unlocked by winning any four cups on 100cc or higher.

Nabbit

524px-NSMBUDX Nabbit

Nabbit's Bag

Metal Box

Black Shell

Top Speed + 0.5

Handling – 0.5

Unlocked by getting 1000 total hits on other characters.

Luma

Luma Shot - Mario Kart X

Star Rain

Gold Shell

Super Leaf

Handling + 1.0

Off-Road + 0.5

Top Speed + 0.5

Weight – 1.0

Lubba is an alternate skin. Unlocked by getting first place on 200 total races.

Kamek

240px-Magikoopa Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Magic Hex

Sand Bomb

Star Rain

Acceleration, Handling + 0.5

Weight, Technique – 0.5

Unlocked by winning any four cups or 20 tracks on Mirror.

E. Gadd

454px-Professor Elvin Gadd Artwork - Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon

FLUDD

Poltergust

Magnet

Top Speed, Off-Road + 0.5

Handling, Technique – 0.5

Unlocked by winning any four cups or 20 tracks in Night mode.

Wapeach

Metal Box

Mega Mushroom

FLUDD

Acceleration, Handling, Off-Road + 0.5

Top Speed, Weight, Technique – 0.5

Unlocked by winning any four cups or 20 tracks on Reverse.

Boom Boom

DMW-BoomBoom

None

All stats + 0.5

Pom Pom is an alternate skin. Unlocked by winning any four cups on 150cc or higher.

Lakitu

428px-MK7 RedLakitu Artwork

2 items selected by the player during character selection

All stats – 0.5

Unlocked by winning any four cups on 200cc.

Sprixie

456px-Green Fairy Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

3 randomly selected items, set and revealed during character selection

No changes

Green Sprixie Princess is the default, but they are always referred to in-game as “Sprixie” regardless of which is being played. Unlocked by buying any every upgrade at least once.

Arkartius

3 randomly selected items before each race begins

No changes

Unlocked by completing all of Arkartius' trials.

Note: All unlocked characters can also be unlocked by finishing a certain number of races, regardless of their results, or by beating a Time Trial staff ghost that is using that character.

Vehicles

Vehicles in Mario Kart Solaris use a similar style as Mario Kart 7 and 8. After selecting a character, players choose a vehicle base, tires, and glider, all of which affect the kart's stats. Unlike these previous games, vehicles don't have different stats based on different environments or any other “hidden” stats, so all stats are known up front. Also unlike previous games, karts and bikes don't have any sort of different drifting mechanics, making the differences between them purely cosmetic. Since characters do not have as much of an impact on overall stats, the stats on these are generally higher than they were in these previous games.

About half the vehicle parts in this game are unlocked from the start. Every 5 first place victories will unlock a random vehicle part. Once 8 parts have been unlocked this way, every 10 first place victories will unlock a random vehicle part. After another 8 vehicle parts, every 15 wins will unlock a random part until all parts have been unlocked. In the tables below, unlockable vehicle parts are marked with an asterisk.

Stats are broken down into the following categories:

  • Acceleration: How quickly the character reaches their top speed. A vehicle with higher acceleration will reach their top speed quickly.
  • Top Speed: How fast the character can go. A vehicle with higher top speed will drive faster. This is further augmented by the number of coins collected.
  • Handling: The vehicle's maneuverability. A vehicle with higher handling has a wider turning radius.
  • Weight: The vehicle's weight. Heavier vehicles are less influenced by wind and collisions with other vehicles.
  • Off-road: How well the vehicle drives anywhere other than the standard road, measured as a percentage of their acceleration and top speed.
  • Technique: How much of a boost the character gets from drift turbos, tricks, and other more advanced techniques, and how long these boosts last.

The above stats are displayed on a scale from 0 to 6, broken into 0.25-point increments, with the character and vehicle part stats being summed together to derive the overall driving stats. However, stats can't actually fall below 0.25 or above 6 even if their stats would otherwise allow that.

Vehicles

Vehicle

Accel.

Speed

Hand.

Weight

Off-Road

Tech.

Standard Kart

2

2

2

2

2

2

Pipe Frame

3

1.5

2.5

1

1

3

Circuit Special

1.5

3.5

1.25

1.75

1.25

2.75

Badwagon

1

3

1

2.5

3.25

1.25

Biddybuggy

3.5

0.5

3

0.75

1.25

3

Daytripper

2

1

2.5

2

2

2.5

Koopa Clown

1

2

2

1.5

3.5

2

Standard Bike

2.5

1.5

2

1

2.5

2.5

Flame Rider

2.25

3.25

2.5

1

0.5

2.5

Sparkwire

2

1.5

3.5

1.5

0.75

2.75

Standard ATV

1.5

1.5

2.5

2

3

1.5

Wild Wiggler

2.5

1.5

2.5

1.5

2

2

Jaxi Max

0.5

3.5

1.25

2.5

2

2.25

Cloud 9

1.5

1.5

2.5

1.5

2.5

2.5

Offroader

2

1.5

1

3

3

1.5

Cheep Charger*

3.25

1

2.75

0.5

2

2.5

Barrel Train*

2

2.75

0.5

2.25

1

3.5

Bullet Blaster*

2.75

2.25

1.5

0.5

2.25

2.75

Piranha Pipes*

1

2.75

1

3.25

1.75

2.25

Landship*

2.5

1.25

2

0.75

2.75

2.75

Koopa Chase*

0.5

3

1

3.5

1.5

2.5

Honeycoupe*

1.5

2.5

2

1.5

2

2.5

Comet*

2.5

2

2.5

1.5

1

2.5

Steel Driver*

1

2.5

1.25

3

2.5

1.75

Toy Time*

2.75

1.5

3

0.5

1.75

2.5

Mach 8.1*

1.5

2.5

2

1.5

2.5

2

Bumble V*

3

2.25

0.5

0.75

2

3.5

Delphinus*

1

2.25

3

1.5

2

2.25

P-Wing*

2

2.5

2.5

1.5

2.5

1

Streamliner*

2.5

3.25

0.75

2.5

1.5

1.5

Tires

Tire

Accel.

Speed

Hand.

Weight

Off-Road

Tech.

Standard

1

1

1

1

1

1

Monster

0.5

1

0

2

1.5

1

Roller

2

0

2

0

0

2

Slim

1

1

2

0.5

0.5

1

Slick

0.5

1.5

0.5

2

0.5

0

Metal

0.5

2

0.5

2

1

0

Button*

2

1

1

0

0.5

1.5

Off-Road*

0.5

1

1

1.5

2

0

Sponge*

1.5

0.5

1

0.5

1.5

1

Wood*

1.5

1

1.5

1

0.5

0.5

Mushroom*

1

0.5

1

0.5

1.5

1.5

Cookie*

1.5

1

1.5

0.5

1

0.5

Spike*

0

2

0

2

1

1

Gold*

1

1.5

0

2

0

1.5

Gliders

Glider

Accel.

Speed

Hand.

Weight

Off-Road

Tech.

Standard Glider

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Parachute

0

0.25

1

0.5

0.75

0.5

Parafoil

0.5

0

0.5

0.5

0.5

1

Paper Glider

1

0.5

0.5

0

0.5

0.5

Floral*

0.75

0

0.5

0.25

1

0.5

Heart Balloons*

0.5

0.5

0.75

0

0.25

1

Swooper*

0.5

0.5

1

0.5

0.5

0

Cloud Glider*

0.25

1

0

0.75

0.5

0.5

Donut Plane*

0.25

0.5

0.5

1

0

0.75

Starchute*

0.5

0.75

0.25

1

0

0.5

Items

Mario Kart Solaris features many different items. Each character has access to a general pool of 20 items, most of which are taken from the classic items seen in most other Mario Kart games. Of these, four items are new – the Star Coin, Double Cherry, Warp Pipe, and Lucky Card. There are also 28 special items. With a few exceptions, each character has access to three special items that only they and two other characters can get. Of these, 14 of them are new to the main Mario Kart games (though some appeared in Mario Kart Tour or a Mario Kart arcade game) – the Ice Flower, Black Shell, Gold Shell, Bubble, Magnet, Sand Blaster, FLUDD, Poltergust, Nabbit's Bag, Star Rain, Magic Hex, Metal Box, Guardian Wings, and Parasol.

Items On The Track

Coin

498px-CoinMK8

Gain 1 coin, in turn boosting your top speed. If this would put you above 10 coins, instead bank 1 coin for purchasing upgrades.

Item Box

550px-ItemBoxMK8

Gain a random item.

Double Item Box

Double Item Box - Mario Kart X

Gain two random items.

Special Item Box

SpecialItemBox

Gain a random item. The items gained from this are always higher-tier items or character-exclusive items.

Amulet

This item is only used during one of Arkartius's trials. Finding it and carrying it across the finish line will break the magic inside of it, weakening Arkartius.

Items From Item Boxes

Items marked with a * can be gained from a Special Item Box. However, these items can still be gained from a regular Item Box as well.

Item

Description

Coin

498px-CoinMK8

Gain 2 coins, and 1 coin to your bank. Coins in excess of 10 are automatically banked.

Star Coin*

616px-NSMBU Starcoin Artwork

Gain 3 coins. If this would result in having less than 5 coins, also gain enough coins so that you now have 5. In addition to these scenarios, gain 2 coins to your bank.

Green Shell

GreenShell - MarioPartyStarRush

Throws a shell. This shell will continue banking off walls until hitting another character or object.

Triple Green Shells*

638px-TripleGreenShellsMK8

Surrounds the vehicle with three shells, which can be fired individually. These shells are otherwise identical to the basic green shell.

Red Shell

697px-RedShellMK8

Throws a homing shell that seeks out the player in the position ahead of you (or behind you, if thrown backwards). However, this shell is more fragile and will break on hitting a wall.

Triple Red Shells*

638px-TripleRedShellsMK8

Surrounds the vehicle with three red shells, which can be fired individually.

Spiny Shell*

603px-SpinyShellMK8

Throws a shell that will move along the track, attempting to hit every character, then explode on whoever's in first place.

Banana Peel

634px-Banana - Mario Kart Wii

Throws a banana peel, causing anyone to hit it to slip.

Triple Banana Peel*

Triple Bananas - Mario Kart X

Surrounds the vehicle with three banana peels, which can be fired off individually.

Blooper

452px-Blooper - MarioPartyStarRush

Deploys a Blooper to spray all other characters ahead of them with ink, obscuring their vision and reducing their handling.

Mushroom

200px-MushroomMarioKart8

Gives the character a speed boost.

Triple Mushroom*

777px-TripleMushroomMK8

Gives the character three speed boosts.

Boo

Boo CTTT

Turns the character invisible. The character can't be seen by anyone else or be the target of items, but can still be hit (so as an example, a red shell won't lock onto an invisible driver, but they can still be hit by one if the shell collides with them anyway). Also steals an item from a player ahead of you.

Star*

600px-New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Super Star

Turns the character invincible. They can't be hit or targeted from any items, can attack other characters on contact, and have a higher top speed.

Super Horn

689px-SuperHornMK8

A short range attack that hits all characters in a circle around you.

Bullet Bill*

800px-BulletBillMK8

Transforms into Bullet Bill, who drives on auto-pilot for about 5 seconds and plows through all other characters.

Lightning Bolt*

434px-LightningBoltMK8

Shrinks all other characters, reducing their top speed.

Double Cherry*

627px-Double Cherry Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Creates a duplicate of you which continues racing automatically, as controlled by the AI. Lasts until this duplicate driver is damaged, or about 15 seconds.

Warp Pipe*

333px-Warp Pipe Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Instantly warps you ahead on the track.

Lucky Card

LuckyCard

This item does nothing and trying to using it simply throws it away. It is used automatically if you fall off the track to negate the coin loss from being towed back on. However, if you finish the race with it, you gain a random upgrade for free. This item only shows up on the second lap and only if it is not the last race of the match.

Character-specific Items. All of these can be gained from a Special Item Box.

Item

Characters

Description

Fire Flower

200px-New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Fire Flower

Mario

Daisy

Bowser

Throws 10 fireballs, which have medium range and can bounce off walls.

Ice Flower

200px-New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Ice Flower

Luigi

Daisy

Roasalina

Throws 10 iceballs, which have short range but have a larger "blast radius" and freeze hit characters for a few seconds on impact.

Black Shell

200px-MKAGPDX Shell Black

Koopa Troopa

Waluigi

Nabbit

Throws a shell forward. Once it hits someone, it explodes, hitting nearby opponents.

Gold Shell

200px-Gold Shell Artwork - New Super Mario Bros. 2

Koopa Troopa

Pauline

Luma

Throws a shell forward. This works the same way as a green shell, except it also drops coins as it travels.

Bowser Shell

200px-MKT Icon Bowser's Shell

Bowser

Bowser Jr.

Koopa Troopa

Throws a giant Bowser shell forward, which also causes hit characters to drop items.

Giant Banana

200px-MKT Icon Giant Banana

Donkey Kong

Diddy Kong

Pauline

Throws a giant banana peel that is harder to avoid than other banana peels. Unlike previous instances of it, it does not split into smaller bananas after impact, but instead can take multiple hits before disappearing.

Heart Shield

200px-MKT Icon Heart

Peach

Daisy

Cappy

Activates a shield around you. While active, you collect any item you were hit with. Lasts until hit, or for about 15 seconds.

Bubble

MKT Icon Bubble

Toadette

Diddy Kong

Babies

Activates a shield around the character. While active, you can't be hit with any items and are less affected from driving off-road. Lasts until hit, or for about 15 seconds.

Mega Mushroom

200px-Mega Mushroom - MTUS

Mario

Toad

Wapeach

Increases the size of your kart, allowing you to flatten opponents and protects you from most attacks.

Golden Mushroom

200px-GoldenMushroomMK8

Toad

Toadette

Yoshi

Gives a turbo boost. This item can be reused as often as needed for about 5 seconds.

POW Block

POW Block - Mario Kart Wii

Birdo

Shy Guy

Donkey Kong

Automatically hits all characters on the ground ahead of you about 3 seconds after being used. Unlike the Wii version of this item, it no longer causes characters to lose their items.

Magnet

120px-MKAGPDX Magnet

E. Gadd

Wario

Broodals

Automatically collects coins and items near the character for about 10 seconds.

Sand Bomb

SandBomb

Bowser Jr.

Waluigi

Kamek

Sprays a bit of sand in a fan shape behind the vehicle. This sand is treated as if the driver was off-road, but does not otherwise damage vehicles.

Fake Item Box

250px-MKW Fake Item Box Artwork

Wario

King Boo

Broodals

Drops a counterfeit item box behind the vehicle, which explodes on contact with another character. Can no longer be thrown, but does remain suspended in the air.

Poison Mushroom

200px-SMP Poison Mushroom

Peach

Toad

Broodals

Drops a poison mushroom. Anyone who hits it will shrink for a few seconds, reducing their speed and allowing larger characters to run them over.

Bob-Omb

200px-Bobomb - MarioPartyStarRush

Wario

Waluigi

Koopalings

Throws a Bob-omb, which explodes a few seconds after being thrown. Holding the item button increases how far the item is thrown.

Boomerang

DrMarioWorldBoomerang

Bowser Jr.

Shy Guy

Diddy Kong

Throws a boomerang, which then returns back to you. Can be thrown up to three times.

Nabbit's Bag

NabbitsBag

Nabbit

King Boo

Cappy

A short-range attack that steals coins and an item from the player it hits. Alternatively, can be used to swipe an object on the track. Can be used up to three times, but is immediately lost and replaced if it successfully hits something.

FLUDD

FLUDD SSB4

Mario

E. Gadd

Wapeach

Sprays water around the vehicle, pushing everyone around you back, followed by a large circular water wave. Effect lasts longer if used in the water. Does not deal damage.

Star Rain

StarBits

Rosalina

Luma

Kamek

Rains star bits across the entire course, with a larger density of star bits along the track near and just ahead of you. Star bits that hit other racers are damaged. Star bits left on the track afterwards can be picked up and act as coins.

Poltergust

250px-LM3 Poltergust G-00 artwork

Luigi

Birdo

E. Gadd

Draws in characters around you. If it catches any, spits them back out for damage and immediately steals the coins they lost.

Magic Hex

MagicHex

King Boo

Koopalings

Kamek

Fires a magic projectile quickly in a specified direction. Affected characters are damaged and have their controls inverted for a few seconds afterwards.

Yoshi's Egg

200px-NSMBU Green Yoshi Egg Artwork

Yoshi

Birdo

Babies

Throws an egg forwards, which homes in on the next opponent. After the egg breaks, other items burst from it that can be collected.

Piranha Plant

PiranhaPlant SSBUltimate

Bowser

Shy Guy

Koopalings

Spawns a potted Piranha Plant that lunges towards opponents or coins, providing small speed boosts as it does. Can also be used to prevent a Blooper from affecting you.

Metal Box

MetalBox0

Donkey Kong

Nabbit

Wapeach

Turns you into metal, causing any you to be unaffected by collisions and some damage sources for a few seconds.

Super Leaf

180px-Super Leaf Artwork - Super Mario 3D World

Luigi

Luma

Babies

Adds a tanuki tail to your vehicle for a bit, which automatically attacks other vehicles, defends from some attacks and slows your rate of descent when gliding.

Guardian Wings

GuardianWings

Yoshi

Rosalina

Cappy

Prevents you from falling off the course and from losing speed from hitting solid walls. Lasts about 10 seconds.

Parasol

150px-MKT Icon PeachParasol

Peach

Pauline

Toadette

Allows this character to gain additional height from any ramp, going into a glide from there. Also protects from Lightning and other attacks coming from above. Lasts about 7 seconds, or until any functionality of it has been used.

Upgrades

After playing each track, players can use earned coins to buy upgrades for their karts. More specifically, the player receives any coins that the player crosses the finish line with, as well as any coins that were banked during the race (from the Coin items or coins collected when already at maximum) and a bonus based on their finish position (equal to half the points earned in the standings) for upgrading; however, all of these together is rounded up to 5 if lower than that. Any unspent coins remain banked and can be used for later rounds. These upgrades only last until the end of the cup or match, so all players will start from a blank slate but can customize their kart differently from there.

Players are presented with a selection of 3 upgrades, each in a different category, and players may buy any or all using the coins they've banked up to this point. In any multiplayer mode, including online, each player is given the same assortment of upgrades.

The categories are:

  • Vehicle upgrades – increases one of the stats for your vehicle.
  • Item upgrades – increases the functionality of a specific item type, or allows you to gain items you would otherwise not have access to.
  • Ability upgrades – increases something related to driving techniques, or allows for other hidden techniques.
  • Support upgrades – provide some other passive, “always on” ability, or covers any upgrades that don't fall into any of the above categories.

Note that the costs given are not exact and will increase based on if you have already bought similar upgrades or if they involve a character-specific item your character has access to.

Upgrade

Category

Cost

Description

Accel Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's acceleration by 0.5 points.

Speed Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's top speed by 0.5 points.

Weight Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's weight by 0.5 points.

Handling Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's handling by 0.5 points.

Off-Road Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's off-road by 0.5 points.

Technique Plus

Vehicle

15

Increases the vehicle's technique by 0.5 points.

Ground Plus

Vehicle

25

Increases all stats by 0.25 points when the vehicle is on standard track.

Water Plus

Vehicle

20

Increases all stats by 0.25 points when the vehicle is on water.

Glide Plus

Vehicle

20

Increases all stats by 0.25 points when the vehicle is in the air.

Anti-Gravity Plus

Vehicle

20

Increases all stats by 0.25 points when the vehicle is in anti-gravity.

Accel Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's acceleration by 1 point.

Speed Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's top speed by 1 point.

Weight Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's weight by 1 point.

Handling Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's handling by 1 point.

Off-Road Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's off-road by 1 point.

Technique Boost*

Vehicle

30

Increases the vehicle's technique by 1 points.

Ground Boost*

Vehicle

50

Increases all stats by 0.5 points when the vehicle is on standard track.

Water Boost*

Vehicle

40

Increases all stats by 0.5 points when the vehicle is on water.

Glide Boost*

Vehicle

40

Increases all stats by 0.5 points when the vehicle is in the air.

Anti-Gravity Boost*

Vehicle

40

Increases all stats by 0.5 points when the vehicle is in anti-gravity.

Mushroom Plus

Item

10**

Increases the speed boost gained from using Mushrooms.

Green Shell Plus

Item

10**

Increases the speed at which Green Shells and other shooting items are thrown and how long they remain in play.

Red Shell Plus

Item

15**

Increases the speed at which Red Shells and other homing items are thrown and how well they home in on opponents.

Flower Plus

Item

10**

Increases the ammunition available for Fire Flowers and Ice Flowers.

Banana Plus

Item

10**

Increases how long other characters are stunned after being hit by a Banana Peel.

Melee Plus

Item

15**

Increases the range of the Mega Horn and other short-range items.

Explosives Plus

Item

10**

Increases the explosion radius of Bob-Ombs and other explosive items and protects you from your own Bob-Ombs.

Shield Plus

Item

15**

Increases the duration for any shielding or defensive item.

Coin Plus

Item

10

Coins collected from item boxes now give 1 extra coin.

Star Plus

Item

20

Increases the duration and speed gained from a Star.

Bullet Bill Plus

Item

20

Increases the duration and speed gained from a Bullet Bill.

Blooper Plus

Item

15

Increases the duration of the Blooper effect and how much of the screen it smudges.

Lightning Plus

Item

20

Increases how long other characters are shrunken when using Lightning.

Warp Pipe Plus

Item

25

Increases how far you advance when using the Warp Pipe.

Mystery Item

Item

20

Allows you to gain a random character-specific item that can also be gained by another character next to you on the scoreboard.

Rocket Start Plus

Ability

10

Increases the speed gained from a rocket start.

Trick Plus

Ability

20

Increases the speed gained from performing a trick after a jump.

Trick Streak

Ability

15

Increases the speed gained from performing multiple tricks within a few seconds of each other.

Drift Turbo Plus

Ability

20

Increases the speed gained from performing a drift turbo.

Quick Drift

Ability

15

Drifts cycle through successive turbo boosts faster.

Final Drift

Ability

20

Adds a third level to drift turbos.

Item Drag

Ability

20

Holding the item button allows you to drag certain items behind you.

Slipstream Plus

Ability

10

Increases the speed gained from a slipstream

Easy Slipstream

Ability

10

Reduces the amount of time needed to perform a slipstream.

Dash Panel Plus

Ability

15

Increases the speed gained from a dash panel.

Antigrav Spin Plus

Ability

15

Increases the speed gained from hitting spinning objects when in driving in anti-gravity.

Skid Recovery

Ability

20

If you hit a banana peel or similar item straight on, braking afterwards will prevent damage.

Item Mulligan

Ability

20

Once per lap, press Y 3 times to exchange all of your items for different ones.

Item Shielding

Ability

30

Hold L to drag the item behind your kart, using it as a shield.

Auto Aim

Ability

15

If no direction is pressed, any throwing item is automatically aimed towards the nearest opponent.

Gold Engine

Support

20

Increases the maximum number of coins this character can hold by 2.

Bank Card

Support

10

Start each race with all remaining banked coins.

Item Bag

Support

20

Allows you to have three items.

Coin Purse

Support

10

Lose less coins when being attacked if you have fewer than 5 coins on hand.

Spiky Frame

Support

20

Collisions with another vehicle cause them to lose 1 coin unless they also have Spiky Frame.

Fortune Dice

Support

15

The first time you collect an item from a basic Item Box, it will always have a rare item.

Quick Item Box

Support

10

Instantly gain a random item as soon as the race begins.

Mercy Item Box

Support

10

Instantly gain a random item if you have no items for 20 seconds.

Sticky Grip

Support

15

Hold onto items, even if hit by powerful attacks.

Turbo Swipe

Support

20

Steals items from opponents if hitting them after using a Mushroom or other turbo boosts.

Drift Shield

Support

25

Prevents damage from most sources while drifting for more than 2 seconds.

Towing Bar

Support

10

If you fall off the track, you are towed back on faster and for fewer coins.

Parachute Shield

Support

15

If hit while gliding, your parachute remains deployed.

Quick Recovery

Support

15

Recover faster and lose fewer coins when hit by multiple items or hazards in quick succession.

*These abilities are not available unless you have bought the corresponding “plus” skill already.
**For each special item this character can gain that also fits the criteria described, the cost increases by 5 coins.

Tracks

Not including any DLC, there are 40 tracks available – 20 new tracks and 20 previously returning. Of the returning tracks, 2 each are taken from the SNES, N64, GBA, and GCN Mario Kart games, and 3 each from DS, WII, 3DS, and WII U games. Unlike most of the previous games, each cup now contains 5 tracks.

Mushroom Cup

Flower Cup

Star Cup

Special Cup

ToadsTestTrack
MarioCircuit
PapercraftParkway
ForestOfIllusion
GoombasUnderground
NewDonkLoop
MacroManor
GlitchyGlade
AcornPlainsMKS
MKRAExhibitHall
GrandPrixGalaxy
BeatBlockBeltway
ShyGuyStadium
BobOmbBattlefieldMKS
GangplankGalleonMKS
BowsersCastleMKS
YoshisIslandMKS
DelfinoHarbor
KoopalingsAirFleet
RainbowRoadMKS

Toad's Test Track – an introductory track resembling a traditional race track. It features gentle turns and hills, an anti-gravity segment, a gliding section, and an open lake for a water section in a sort of hourglass shape. A good track to familiarize new players with the basics of the game. The night version changes the hourglass shape to a figure-8, changing the order of obstacles a bit.

Goomba's Underground – a track featuring an underground cave, followed by an underground lake, then leading through to an elevated segment to return to the beginning. The night version adds more Goombas and Cheep Cheeps wandering through the track as obstacles.

Acorn Plains – a track based on the starting levels of New Super Mario Bros. U. Contains many rolling plains, jumps, and gliding segments. The night version has the rolling plains moving faster and adds additional ramps.

Shy Guy Stadium – a track based on the Mario Sports games, where you can see a tennis match in progress. The track goes through the edge of the stadium's playing field and stands. The night version changes the tennis match to a baseball game, and changes the track within the field to resemble going around the baseball diamond and outfield.

Yoshi's Island – a track based on and including setpieces from the Yoshi's Island games and features the Naval Piranha as an obstacle. Takes place primarily on the water, going around an island. The Naval Pirhana is more aggressive at night, and the tides along the water are rougher.

Mario Circuit – a track set on a more traditional raceway. In the tradition of other similarly-named tracks, it features a little bit of all basic track features. The night version extends a tunnel, now including an anti-gravity segment.

New Donk Loop – a track set in New Donk City. Features traffic from other cars, first going through a wide, mostly-straight highway, then going into more narrow sections within the city. Contains a shortcut involving going through a building still under construction. The night version adds construction to some of the track, blocking off multiple routes and making some roads more narrow.

MKRA Exhibit Hall – a track set in a giant museum, with pieces and replicas from other Mario Kart games on display. The pieces are just for show normally, but are moving obstacles at night.

Bob-Omb Battlefield – a track resembling the Super Mario 64 stage of the same name. It's a climb to the spiral mountain, followed by a gliding segment back to the start. Bob-ombs will wander or launch themselves onto the track and blow up as a track hazard, but in much larger numbers for the night version.

Delfino Harbor – a track themed around Isle Delfino. Alternates heavily between land and water, with a final segment scaling part of the city buildings and the large shining arch in anti-gravity. The night version changes the path along anti-gravity, adding a lot more curves.

Papercraft Parkway – a track themed around the Paper Mario games. It's not based on any particular Paper Mario location in particular, aside from a small recreation of Decalburg from Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but travels through a town, castle, lake, and wooded area, all modeled in the series' paper style. The night version has a rougher track, sometimes allowing for trick opportunities, and more of the track is considered off-road.

Macro Manor – a track that travels through a giant house. The pathway goes through the living room, kitchen, study, and an outdoor deck. The night version changes the outdoor segment to a more difficult track.

Grand Prix Galaxy – a track that travels through multiple planets, similar to Super Mario Galaxy. This track is not a circuit and goes through 3 legs, each around a different planet type, using launch stars (treated as gliding) to traverse them. The first is themed around the Honeyhive Galaxy, the second is an amalgamation of several water levels, and the third with a more mechanical/clockwork theme to it. The night version primarily adds attacking worker bees in the first leg, rougher tides in the second, and more moving parts in the third.

Gangplank Galleon – a track going through and around a pirate ship, themed in part around the Donkey Kong Country games. About half the track is on water. Cannons fire at you while on the water, and do so much more aggressively at night.

Koopaling's Air Fleet – a track consisting of seven airships. The track alternates frequently between standard, anti-gravity, and gliding segments. As in the previous track, cannons and Bullet Bills shoot across the track, and do so more often at night.

Forest of Illusion – a track set in a dense, misty forest. The track is split into three (four in the night version) paths that occasionally merge back together and don't consistently lead to the same area each time.

Glitchy Glade – a track themed around an unstable reality, as if it were part of a level that loaded incorrectly. It contains a few elements from other tracks, but out of place and sloppily merged with the rest of the track. About one minute into driving (as soon as the race starts if driving at night), the track starts to degrade and segments of it disappear.

Beat Block Beltway – a track based on the beat/blinking blocks from various 3D Mario games. Several segments will appear or disappear based on the beat of the song, including shortcuts that are only available on specific beats. The beat is faster at night.

Bowser's Castle – a track going into, through, and back out of Bowser's Castle. This track is not a circuit and goes through it once, separated into 3 legs, with the first going into the castle, the second deeper into it, and the third escaping from it. There are multiple paths through most of the track, usually a high and low route, or on different track types. There are a few segments where you can drive across the lava (similar to water), but will expend coins doing so and will sink into it if you run out. The night version adds more obstacles, including Thwomps, firebreathing statues, and lava geysers.

Rainbow Road – a track across the rainbow. Notable in that there is no “standard” track here and the whole course is done in anti-gravity or gliding, and very little in terms of any rails. Features a glide into a U-turn, eventually leading to driving on the reverse side of the track. The night version features more twists and turns, and a slightly more narrow track.

Shell Cup

Banana Cup

Leaf Cup

Lightning Cup

Track 1

N64 Moo Moo Farm

DS Shroom Ridge

WII Dry Dry Ruins

N64 Wario Stadium

Track 2

3DS Shy Guy Bazaar

GBA Sky Garden

SNES Ghost Valley 3

GBA Broken Pier

Track 3

GCN Peach Beach

SNES Bowser Castle 2

DS Peach Gardens

U Cloudtop Cruise

Track 4

WII DK Summit

U Electrodrome

3DS Rosalina's Ice World

DS Bowser's Castle

Track 5

U Thwomp Ruins

3DS Mario Circuit

GCN Wario Coliseum

WII Rainbow Road

N64 Moo Moo Farm – several bumps in the road can now be tricked off of, and moles now have behavior similar to the Mario Kart 8 version of Moo Moo Meadows. Cows will wander onto the track in the night version.

3DS Shy Guy Bazaar – a few straightaways have been shortened to make the track a bit shorter. Aesthetically changed to happen in the daytime. The night version makes the actual bazaar area more cluttered.

GCN Peach Beach – dash zones have been added throughout the track, mostly along the beach. Since karts can drive along the surface of the water but not underneath, access to dash zones and items along the ground is only sometimes available on the beach. The tides still go in and out, but do so at higher extremes at night.

WII DK Summit – the cannon is now treated as a gliding segment, requiring wind currents and dash rings to remain elevated enough to reach the top of the mountain. The night version doesn't change the track any, but sets it during a windy blizzard, reducing visibility and making gliding segments more difficult.

U Thwomp Ruins – aesthetically changed to be in the middle of a dense jungle, as if nature was reclaiming the ruins. Track has otherwise has no serious changes. Thwomps are more active at night, and the pool of water in the middle of the track has been drained.

DS Shroom Ridge – no major changes. There's a little more traffic on the road at night, as well as some Swoopers in the tunnel.

GBA Sky Garden – different clouds are at different elevations to make the track less flat and to close off a potential shortcut. Adds a gliding segment between clouds. The clouds are further apart from each other at night, and adds a crosswind that effects the jumps between clouds.

SNES Bowser Castle 2 – the shortcut that previously required a feather is redesigned to include a ramp, turning it into a gliding segment, but requires going off-road to reach, thereby only being useful with a mushroom. A small anti-gravity segment follows this resembling a corkscrew. The split towards the end of the track has taller walls preventing characters from switching between sides. The night version removes some walls around portions of the track.

U Electrodrome – the “green” side of the track split now reverts back to standard driving, whereas the “red” side remains as anti-gravity. The night version has some of the dance party spill onto the track itself, adding track obstacles.

3DS Mario Circuit – The tunnel segment after the castle has been extended and is now anti-gravity. The are more enemies on the track at night, and the path out of the castle changes to a lower path that requires riding along the castle's moat to reach the end.

WII Dry Dry Ruins – the track inside the ruins has changed to anti-gravity, and the tracks in and out of it have changed to include ramps for gliding. The night version has the inside of the ruins filling with sand much faster and enemies inside it to be more aggressive, and a crosswind making the ramps in and out of it more difficult.

SNES Ghost Valley 3 – aesthetically changed to more closely resemble a Super Mario World-style ghost house. Added a few ramps to make the track less flat. Guard rails and walls have been added for some of the track in the day version (whereas the night version has track borders closer to the original). Additionally, the night version is dark enough that visibility becomes an issue.

DS Peach Gardens – no major changes from its Mario Kart Wii version. The night version changes the Chain Chomps from free-roaming to anchored in place, lunging at anyone nearby.

3DS Rosalina's Ice World – the water is initially removed from the segment between caves, aesthetically turning it into another ice cave, with more coins and rare item boxes in that segment; however, after about one minute, it begins filling again, forcing players to take the top road and skimming across the water.

GCN Wario Coliseum – segments of the middle third of the track are now anti-gravity, and most ramps now go into a glide. Track is now 3 laps again. The night version removes some of the dash zones, ramps, and gliding portions.

N64 Wario Stadium – changed to only do one lap in 3 segments. The straightaway that is later jumped over is now covered in mud, turning it into a water segment. Some segments of the stadium's edge are now driveable in anti-gravity as an alternate path, similar to Thwomp Ruins or the MK8 version of Toad's Turnpike. The night version adds some enemies onto the track as track hazards, mostly Goombas and Chain Chomps.

GBA Broken Pier – aesthetically changed to resemble a haunted shipyard. Most of the track is in shallow water, with debris forming the walls and occasional falling objects making waves. At night, a monster resembling Mollusque Lanceur appears in the center of the track, firing projectiles and making additional waves. U Cloudtop Cruise – the lightning strikes in the thunder cloud have increased range, but still give ample warning before lightning strikes. The night version inverts the thunder cloud effect, removing it from the end of the track but adding it everywhere else.

DS Bowser Castle – the segment after the spinning bridge now goes into a glide along the high road. The lava towards at the end of the track can now be driven on, using the same mechanics as this game's Bowser Castle. The version previously seen is the night version; the day version slows down some of the obstacles and adds more guard rails.

WII Rainbow Road – almost all of the track is anti-gravity. The half-pipe segment is now a full cylinder, but still with holes in similar places. The night version makes most of the track more narrow and removes guard rails.

Battle mode, as usual, has 12 separate tracks. 6 of them are new and 6 have been taken from previous games, with the SNES and GBA Mario Kart games being the only ones not represented.

Tostarena Arena

N64 Double Deck

Shellcreeper Sewers

GCN Cookie Land

Lava Pit

DS Twilight House

Pipe Maze

WII Delfino Pier

Nintendo Switch

3DS Honeybee Hive

Battle Ball

U Battle Stadium

Tostarena Arena – a square arena with many short stone walls. Based on the Sand Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey.

Shellcreeper Sewers – a multi-layered arena with ramps to ascend to different levels. The base level is a rectangle with water running through it, while the upper levels contain many gaps to return back to the base level, along with an anti-gravity tunnel connecting different sides of it. Loosely based on the level from Mario Bros.

Lava Pit – a level surrounded on all sides by lava. The level map resembles the letter H, with the connecting bridge made of a chainlink bridge where lava geysers occasionally erupt. Most of the item boxes are near the edges of the level. Resembles the Bowser's castle levels.

Pipe Maze – a maze level. Pipes will occasionally extend up or retract back down, loosely changing the map, but will never leave a single area completely enclosed. Uses a forest/jungle setting, evoking a style similar to world 7 of Super Mario Bros. 3.

Nintendo Switch – a level running on the front of a Nintendo Switch. The game screen will occasionally project images that can be used as walls. The Joy-cons will disconnect occasionally, but there are ramps connecting them.

Battle Ball – a spherical arena, where the track resembles the inside of a ball, with pillars connecting it at the center. Notable in that the entire arena uses anti-gravity.

N64 Double Deck – contains more ramps to connect different layers, and is a bit smaller than before.

GCN Cookie Land – no major changes.

DS Twilight House – two rooms, along the central column of the map, now have curved walls allowing players to drive along the walls in anti-gravity. Also added a secret passage connecting them.

WII Delfino Pier – the water level now begins a bit higher up, making most of the base level on water. The water does still rise after about a minute, eventually making the lower level inaccessible.

3DS Honeybee Hive – no major changes.

U Battle Stadium – no major changes.

Trials of Arkartius

Arkartius is the spirit of an old kart racer who challenges the player to complete various tasks. His trials make up the bulk of any story or game progression. Rather than being treated as a separate game mode, they are integrated with playing the rest of the game, at least until the very end where he gets more directly involved. Below is a step by step instruction of his trials.

Arkartius has a few blink-and-you-miss-it appearances in the background of some trailers and cutscenes, and can be seen observing a race in Glitchy Glade. This aside, he first makes his presence known when the following conditions are met:

  • The player has won all cups on 100cc or higher
  • The player has won each track on 100cc or higher. Local multiplayer does not count for this unless there was at least one CPU racer. (However, winning an online race does count.)
  • The player has completed at least 200 total races across all modes
  • The player has won at least one race using at least 8 different characters.

As the player completes a race that meets these conditions, Arkartius will appear and cast the Mario Kart race into eternal night. This unlocks the night version of each track, as well as adds “Trials of Arkartius” as an option when selecting any game mode that supports it. This option will pre-select all settings to continue his trials where they were left off. However, before this is unlocked, there is about a 5% chance that the night version will be randomly used anyway, hinting at it its presence and giving a hint as to the conditions above.

To dispel the “Night Curse”, the player must win all cups in night mode, each using a different character, on 150cc or higher. Once the spell is broken, Arkartius disappears and the characters used to dispel it celebrate. From then on, playing Grand Prix gives the option of using Day, Night, or randomly selected versions.

Arkartius appears again the next time the player selects race mode other than online, interrupting the first race just before it starts to take over the tournament and put himself on the MKRA. This starts the next trial, in which racers must complete each track in reverse. Similar to before, winning each cup on 150cc using 8 different characters breaks this curse and unlocks the Reverse version of each track.

Arkartius's next appearance is after the game is closed down, then launched again, where he'll “hijack” the game's opening sequence, demanding additional money to keep the Mario Kart event going. This starts the next trial, the red coin challenge. 8 of the coins on the map have been marked, and the player must win each track while collecting them all. These coins still function as regular coins otherwise, and hve no bearing otherwise on the overall race progress and standings. Completing this challenge at least once on every track finishes this trial. The “Random Cup”, when attempting this trial, will always use tracks this has not yet been completed for. This trial is functionally similar to the silver coin challenges in Diddy Kong Racing.

The next trial is revealed after completing any race. Afterwards, Arkartius taunts that he can race faster than you, and challenges you to beat his time. This can be attempted in Time Trial mode as a staff ghost, but in any other mode it will simply display a time after the race ends. His times are unusually fast and initially impossible to complete, but his kart is also powered by a magical source that can be disabled. Hidden within most tracks are an amulet resembling a gray gear with green stripes. Finding it, then finishing the race in the top 3 will cause it to shatter, reducing Arkartius's overall time for all courses by half a second. Getting a better time than Arkartius in any 10 races wins the trial and unlocks a new set of staff ghosts for Time Trials.

Afterwards, Arkartius will race as a competitor, but has also driven the rest of the racers against him in the process. For this trial, you'll race a 200cc Grand Prix in the Grand Tour cup, with the Mirror, Reverse, and Night options randomized, as a team event – specifically, you and 7 other racers against Arkartius and 3 other randomly selected characters. To make up for the uneven teams, Arkartius uses a special vehicle with much higher stats than usual; however, any amulets destroyed in the previous trial will reduce his stats, and can still be collected now to weaken him. Racers will be outright eliminated from the race if they become mathematically unable to beat him in the overall standings, and the cup will simply end if all human players are eliminated this way. If anyone on your team ends up beating Arkartius and winning the cup, or if you lose the overall cup to him but make it to the final race 3 times, he declares himself impressed with your racing ability, in turn unlocking the Grand Tour Cup for play.

Arkartius declares his final trial immediately after – defeat him in battle! For the final trial, you'll go to Battle mode for a 4 vs. 4 battle royale. You'll play a best-of-9 match against Arkartius's team, using random tracks and modes (but never repeating tracks and using each battle type once before repeating them). Winning the match clears the trials, rolls the credits, unlocks Arkartius as a playable character, allows you to replay any previous trial in the Trials option.

Downloadable Content

DLC packs are planned. At present, three packs have been announced, each expected to be released approximately four months from each other. Each pack will be priced at $10, but a package deal called the Solaris Gold Pass covers all three DLC packs and costs $25. Each is promised to add, at minimum, two additional characters and two additional cups for a total of 10 tracks.

The first DLC pack is the Retro Pack, which primarily adds material taken from other Mario Kart games. It is scheduled for release in September 202X. While exact details have yet to be announced, pre-release material suggests it will contain the following tracks:

  • SNES Chocolate Island 2
  • N64 DK's Jungle Parkway
  • GBA Lakeside Park
  • GCN Luigi Circuit
  • DS Rainbow Road
  • WII Toad's Factory
  • 3DS Rock Rock Mountain
  • U Mount Wario
  • U Super Bell Subway
  • MBL Vancouver Velocity

Notably, this also makes this the first time a track from Mario Kart Tour appears in a console Mario Kart game.

This DLC pack also adds Petey Piranha and Wiggler to the character roster. The Thunder Cloud item, from Mario Kart Wii, also appears, suggesting one or both of them may have this as their special item. Additional vehicle parts, all taken from or inspired by older Mario Kart games have been promised, but not detailed. It is not yet known if it will add any further material beyond this.

The other two DLC packs are named the Nitro Pack and Crossover Pack. Nothing else is known about them yet, but the names suggest that one will add new material, and the other will include tracks and characters from other franchises.

Version History

Mario Kart Solaris has been updated a few times with the following changes:

v1.01 - released July 202X

  • Added support for extra VS. mode variations.
  • Added support for the Weekly Challenge.
  • Loading screen tips now include references on how to start the next Trial of Arkartius if available.
  • The functionality of ending the race early that was used in online matches (all but one racer has finished or 40 seconds after the first driver or 4 minutes after the race begins) now applies to all offline game modes.
  • Added new options for online VS. Mode to do single races or 10-game sets.
  • Some vehicles' stats have been tweaked for gameplay balance.
  • Fixed other miscellaneous glitches.

Trivia

  •  The subtitle “Solaris” was chosen to reference the solar cycle, since each track has a day and night version, as well as to avoid disputes on whether this or Mario Kart Tour would count as “Mario Kart 9”.
  • The first 8 tracks of the retro cups match the themes of the New Super Mario Bros. games (grass, desert, water, ice/snow, forest, mountain, sky, and lava).
  • Thanks to N64 Wario Stadium being included, this marks the game in which every track from Mario Kart 64 has been featured as a retro track at least once.
  • This is the first appearance of Wapeach. The character appears to be a bad counterpart to Peach in the same sense Wario and Waluigi are to Mario and Luigi. Her character design also appears to be inspired by the Bowsette meme that became popular after the initial trailers for Switch re-release of New Super Mario Bros. U.
  •  Arkartius has an appearance resembling the Pipe Frame kart fused into a Dry Bones. One of his victory animations involves swinging his “knuckles” into each other, which resembles Koopa Troopa's podium win animation in Super Mario Kart. Based on this, it's likely Arkartius is the same Koopa Troopa.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game to contain a direct reference to a Paper Mario game.
  • Pre-release videos reveal that retro tracks used Item Box models resembling their source games, but the final game only uses one universal Item Box everywhere. This was likely changed because the Fake Item Box didn't change to match this, making it stand out more than it should.
  • This is not a real game, and is merely an attempt to portray an idea of what a Mario Kart sequel could look like.
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