Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (JP) (also called MK8D or MK8DX) is an expanded version of the 2014 Wii U racing game, Mario Kart 8, for the Nintendo Switch that was released on April 28, 2017. It includes all the original content and its DLC alongside new features, including a revised Battle Mode much similar to past games, minor gameplay changes, some new items, and several new characters like the Inkling.

First teased in the Switch's announcement video on October 20, 2016, the game was formally announced as part of the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 13, 2017.

Differences from the original

  • Characters can now carry up to two items at once, even if they do not drag the first item, and the game features the return of the Double Item Box from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The game also introduces smart-steering and auto-accelerate for beginners; the former makes driving and staying on the track easier, the latter makes the vehicle automatically accelerate.
  • 200cc engine class for Time Trials has been added (separately recorded from the 150cc Time Trials), and there is an additional level of Mini-Turbo, called Ultra Mini-Turbo, denoted by purple (pink in the British English version) sparks that appear after the orange sparks. This new level of Mini-Turbo can only be obtained if Smart Steering is off.
  • The game also features a different in-game guide, directly accessible from the game's menu. There is also an option to change character and vehicle combinations during an online lobby without having to leave; this is done by pressing Y or jc-left when playing with a single Joy-Con) during the course selection screen of an online lobby. The game also has reduced loading times when compared to the Wii U game.
  • Some of the vehicle parts that are exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 (i.e. parts included within the Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8, and the Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8 add-on packs) are now randomly unlocked by collecting Coins during gameplay.
  • There are more character weight classes when compared to the Wii U game, with several returning characters having different statistics. Also, the statistics of some vehicle parts have been altered, and certain physics elements, such as the speed increase per stat and the acceleration tiers, have been adjusted.
  • The game features most of the base and DLC content of Mario Kart 8. Content excluded includes the battle mode in the Wii U game, Miiverse compatibility, stamps, and the ability to upload highlight reels on YouTube - the latter three of which were discontinued on the Wii U version when Miiverse was terminated on November 7, 2017. The same 48 race courses are present.
  • Red Shells and Spiny Shells are now slower when they lock onto their target, meaning players are able to outrun them in 200cc when they have any kind of speed boost. The pathing and drifting patterns for the CPU racers have been adjusted to accommodate for the 200cc engine class.
  • CPU players now have a chance to pull Triple Red Shells from item boxes. However, it primarily happens in the Shells Only item setting.
  • Online lobbies are also changed. Players playing Worldwide or Regional VS Race between 1000 VR and 3000 VR will be randomized either a 100cc or 150cc race, and starting at over 3000 VR, players will now be randomized a 150cc, Mirror, or even 200cc race.
  • Battle Mode has been significantly altered (further detailed below), and characters that are unlockable or exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 are available from the start in this game.
  • There's now a map that's present on-screen and the lap and coin count have been moved more towards the corner.

Smart Driving

In the menu, there are now options for Smart Steering and Auto-Acceleration. The former helps prevent the player from falling off the edge and the latter keeps the acceleration always on though not very fast. Smart Steering also disables Purple Sparks, which means the player cannot do an Ultra Mini-Turbo.


The game includes all thirty-six racers from Mario Kart 8 including the DLC and the following new ones:


All the 48 tracks from Mario Kart 8 return as courses, maintaining their cups and orders.

Battle Modes

The game features 5 modes with 4 returning from the earlier Mario Kart games. They are as follows:

  • Balloon Battle
  • Bob-omb Blast
  • Coin Runners
  • Shine Thief
  • Renegade Roundup

Battle Courses

Eight battle courses are present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; five new and three retro, replacing the repurposed racetracks used for Battle Mode in the Wii U version.

Similar to regular races, a course introduction scene is now added at the start.


The game supports all the amiibo the previous game supported. These unlock Mii Costumes for the game. There is one new costume this time, the Inkling Mii Costume, unlocked by scanning a Splatoon series amiibo.


Starting in June 2018, the game started to receive content updates. In the June 2018 update, Nintendo added a Nintendo Labo control option using the Toy-Con Motorbike. The Joy-Cons are inserted when the race starts. The game automatically puts the player in an over-the-shoulder view though the player can change it to the normal view with the down button.

In the July 2018 update, the game added new Breath of the Wild content including the Champion's Tunic for Link, with the Master Cycle Zero, Ancient Tires and the Paraglider as the parts.


The music for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was composed by Shiho Fujii, Atsuko Asahi, Ryo Nagamatsu, and Yasuaki Iwata and plus new tracks composed by Asuka Hayazaki who was previously involved with Mario Kart Wii also Toru Minegishi, Kazumi Totaka, and Koji Kondo composed songs for this game which was their first Mario Kart game that they composed music for. They composed songs which was based on tracks such as MKDS's Luigi's Mansion and Sweet Sweet Canyon.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe receives "universal acclaim" reviews and is tagged as a "Must-Play" game on Metacritic, it has a metascore of 92/100 based on 95 critic reviews.[3]


In the United Kingdom, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe debuted at No. 1 on the sales chart, making it the first Nintendo game to be No. 1 in the UK since 2011's Pokémon White Version, and the first Mario game to place such since Mario Kart Wii.[4]

The game sold 459,000 copies for its US launch day, making it the fastest-selling Mario Kart game in the US and meaning 45% of US Switch owners purchased the game.[5]

As of December 31, 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had sold 7.33 million units worldwide. On March 31, 2018, it reached 9.22 million units, exceeding the original Mario Kart 8s 8.42 million and making it the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch behind Super Mario Odyssey.[6] As of January 31, 2019, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold 15.02 million units worldwide, exceeding the sales of Super Mario Odyssey and making it the best-selling first-party game on the Nintendo Switch.[7] As of September 2019, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 19.01 million units worldwide. As of the end of December 2019, the game sold over 22.96 million units making it the first Nintendo Switch game to ever cross the 20 million mark. By the end of March 2020, the game reached 24.77 million unit sold worldwide. As of June 30th, 2020 the game has sold more than 26.74 million units.

Awards and acknowledgements

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was nominated for the "Best Family Game" and "Best Multiplayer" awards at The Game Awards 2017.[8] However, it won neither, losing the former to Super Mario Odyssey and the latter to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.


  • The best-selling Nintendo Switch game ported from the Wii U, both versions of Mario Kart 8 are the best-selling games for both systems.
    • Combining the sales with the original game and Deluxe, the total worldwide sales is 34.22 million.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe marks the sub-series' return of King Boo, Bowser Jr., and Dry Bones as playable characters.


  • While not present in the original Wii U, Nintendo composers have composed new music for this version.
    • Asuka Hayazaki's first involvement in the Mario Kart series since Mario Kart Wii.
    • Koji Kondo's very first Mario Kart game after working on the mainline Super Mario series during his career. He is rumored to have composed the "Battle Stadium" music, though this is yet to be confirmed.
    • In the same instance, a couple new staffers who have worked on this game have not worked on the original: Toru Asakawa (sound programmer) and Takahisa Yamamoto (sound effects; MK8D is Yamamoto's very first project).


  1. Official Nintendo website (Korea). Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. Official Nintendo website (Taiwan). Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  3. Metascore of Mario Kart 8 DeluxeMetacritic, Retrieved February 14, 2020
  4. Dring, Christopher (April 30, 2017), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Nintendo's first UK No.1 since 2011, GameIndustryBiz
  5. Brian (May 1, 2017) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sells 459,000 copies in the US on launch day, fastest-selling Mario Kart game. Nintendo Everything. Retrieved May 1, 2017
  6. IR Information : Sales Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units. Nintendo. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  7. [2]
  8. Awards - The Game Awards 2017. The Game Awards. Retrieved December 9, 2017.

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