Eight players can play all at once on one Game Pak in multiplayer mode.
Multi-Card and Online Play are added as new features.
Tracks can now be created and the player can race with T.T.
Conker and Banjo are removed from the game, due to Rare joining Microsoft and were replaced by Dixie Kong and Tiny Kong.
Taj and Wizpig are now unlockable playable characters.
Each vehicle has a turbo effect that corresponds to an action on the touchscreen. The kart has a tire spin using the stylus, the hovercraft has a propeller spin by blowing into the mic, and the plane has a propeller spin also by blowing into the mic.
A new "arcade" mode replaces the "tracks" mode on the original game.
There is a cutscene at the start of adventure mode
T.T. does not say "Diddy Kong Racing! Press start." on the title screen.
The game now has new sound effects that were not featured in the original game.