Mario Kart: Charged
The game's American box art.
Developer(s) .chromicsalt (tbc)
Nintendo EPD
Publisher(s) ThermoBurst
Release Date(s)
1-4 players (local)
2-8 players (local wireless)
2-12 players (online connection)
Age Rating(s)
ESRB2013E Cero a YfgPEGI 3.svgUSK 6
Genre(s) Racing
Series Mario Kart (series)
Predecessor Mario Kart 8 (Deluxe)

Mario Kart: Charged is an installment in the Mario Kart series released for the Nintendo Switch. It is the thirteenth installment in the series (ninth excluding side games and remakes).

The game introduces a wide assortment of new features to series, most prominently the new Charge Meter, which gives a huge boost to players and upgrades their items. Other new features include the Drill and Jetski mechanics, and new modes such as Campaign Mode.


Gameplay in Mario Kart: Charged is relatively similar to that of previous installments. New to the franchise are the Drill and Jetski mechanics, activated by running over colored panels.

In Drill mode, players get a powerful drill attached to their vehicle that can charge through various obstacles with force. Drills have a time limit, although destroying obstacles prolongs that time. Using the drill, players can find shortcuts, and even ram into other players. Drills are activated by running over a green panel.

In Jetski mode, players can quickly run over the surface of water by running over a purple panel. In Jetski mode, Speed is increased, but running into an obstacle will put the vehicle to a full stop and cause them to sink into the water. It is much more difficult to steer in Jetski mode.

The Coin system has also been revamped. First off, the maximum amount has increased to 20. Additionally, aside from coins increasing the kart's speed very slightly, having more coins increases the chance of players getting rare items. For instance, first-place players have a higher chance of receiving a Super Horn if they have 20 coins, whereas it is very rare to get one with 0 coins.

One of the most prominent features to be added to the game is the Charge Meter. The meter can be filled up by pulling off successful mini-turbos and attacks with items; additionally, the stronger the mini-turbo, the more it is filled. As players raise in rank, the meter fills slower to avoid high-rank players overpowering low-rank players. Once the meter is fully filled, players gain a rainbow aura around them and can release a Special Attack with dynamic effects. This feature can be turned off in the settings if racers desire a less erratic gameplay experience.


Grand Prix

In Grand Prix, players can choose one of many cups to race against 11 other players in. Each cup has a total of four courses to race in, and the main goal of Grand Prix is to achieve as many points as possible to get the best prize. The player with the most total points receives a gold trophy, with 2nd and 3rd receiving silver and bronze trophies, respectively.

The point spread system is depicted in the table below:

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 10 8 654321----
Mario Kart 8 15 12 10 9 87654321
Mario Kart: Charged 15 12 10 9 7654321-1
Gold background signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), unique finish music, and best after-race music
Silver background 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 (no clapping, character(s) showing sad expression; - means not available
In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, 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 (except in Mario Kart 64, where the player gets infinite retries). Starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, to recent installments including this one, the Grand Prix normally goes forth.

Players are rated for their performance in a Grand Prix using a lettering system; from best to worst, players can receive 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star, A, B, C, D, and E.

Grand Prix can be played in one of five speed engines:

•50cc - Slow speed, with Easy CPUs. Good for beginners.
•100cc - Moderate speed, with Medium CPUs. Good for intermediate players.
•150cc - Fast speed, with Hard CPUs. Good for advanced players.
•150cc Mirror - The same as 150cc, but all tracks are flipped vertically. To unlock this speed engine, players must get first place on every non-DLC cup in 150cc.
•200cc - Very fast speed, with expert CPUs. To unlock this speed engine, players must get one star on every non-DLC cup of every speed engine (besides Mirror Mode).

Like in Mario Kart 8, Grand Prix can be played in multiplayer mode. However, the results are only determined by first player's performance.

Adventure Mode

In the brand new Adventure Mode, up to two players can follow a storyline in which a evil deity is corrupting the Mushroom Kingdom, removing the life from racers and using them as mere dolls to play with. Mario and Luigi, who evaded the corruption, must go on a journey to uncorrupt other racers to save the kingdom.

Three files are available in case Adventure Mode wants to be replayed.

Time Trials

Time Trials is a single-player mode in which players race on courses to get the best record possible. Players can create Ghost Data that is saved and can be raced against to strive for an even better record; Staff Ghosts also appear, and are records left behind by staff members of the game. Players can also upload their data to Mario Kart Network to allow players around the world to race against their data.

VS Race

In VS Race, up to four players can race on a variety of courses with settings customized to the player(s)' liking. Gameplay changes such as CPU behavior, items available, and the speed engine can be adjusted before races begin. Only courses unlocked by the player will be available in this mode.

Battle Mode

In Battle Mode, players can duke it out on a variety of battle stages, also customized to the player(s)' liking. There are a total of 7 different sub-modes, all sporting their own unique gameplay and rules.

A new twist to Battle Mode is that up to four teams can be supported in a game, with two new colors (Yellow and Green) being available for play. Regardless of how many teams are in the game at once, any combination of the four colors can be used. Alternatively, Battle Mode can be played with no teams.

Balloon Battle

The classic Battle Mode, Balloon Battle is a mode in which players are equipped with four balloons. The objective is to score points by popping other players' balloons; this can be done with items retrieved from Item Boxes. Once a player's balloons are all popped, the player is revived with half of their points lost. Balloons cannot be regained without a Mushroom, which can steal a balloon from another player. There are two ways to play Balloon Battle; Standard Mode uses the regular rules, whereas Survival Mode eliminates players the moment they lose all of their balloons. In Survival Mode, after a player is eliminated, they become a "Ghost" that can still collect projectile-based Items to use around the course, although the ghost themselves cannot interact with anything in any form or way.

Coin Runners

Coin Runners is a mode in which coins are scattered along the course, and the main objective is to simply collect as many as possible. Three Star Coins are also hidden in each course, each worth 10 coins. Racers can use items to cause opponents to drop coins, or can steal coins using a Mushroom.

Bob-omb Blast

In Bob-omb Blast, players must use Bob-ombs to attack their opponents. A point is gained for each successful attack. Bob-ombs can be stacked; up to 5 can be stacked and thrown at once. Only Bob-ombs can be obtained from Item Boxes in this mode.

Shine Thief

During Shine Thief, a Shine Sprite appears in the middle of a course that must be held by racers. If the Shine is knocked out of a racer, the timer counting down will receive extra time to prolong the match. Whoever has the Shine at the end of the match wins.

Renegade Roundup

Debuting in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Renegade Roundup is in the style of a classic cops-and-robbers game; with the new teams being named the "authorities" and "renegades". Authorities must use Potted Piranha Plants to capture Renegades, placing them in prison cells above the course. Renegades can free their allies by pressing switches under the respective cells. The renegade team wins if at least one is still free, and the authorities win if all are captured. This mode cannot be played with three or four teams.

Drill Duel

The new drill mechanic is the spotlight in Drill Duel, where every player is equipped with a Drill that lasts infinitely. The goal is to destroy as many obstacles as possible using the drill, with players gaining a point with each obstacles. If a player is hit by a Drill, they become immobilized for a second. Obstacles regenerate over time in this mode.


One of the two new modes of the game, Light-and-seek straps a Light Box to every vehicle, allowing them to shine light in front of them in the now completely dark stages. Players must shine their lights on other players for prolonged amounts of time to damage them, taking a point away from the opponent which is then gifted to the user. Light Boxes will wear out over time, so Item Boxes (which are much less common in this mode) contain batteries that can recharge the Light Boxes. Like in Balloon Battle, this mode can be played in two ways; Standard Mode uses the normal rules, whereas Survival Mode eliminates players the second they are damaged.

Mission Mode

Mission Mode has returned from Mario Kart DS, with a very similar structure to its original counterpart. However, Mission Mode is now in the style of an adventure; players must venture through 7 worlds to retrieve a "Power Crystal" that is said to give infinite luck to the racer wielding it. Each world contains 6 missions, with a boss mission. A bonus world is available to players after they complete each mission with a star ranking; players can ranked from one star, A, B, and C in this mode. Getting a star ranking on every mission, including the bonus missions, unlocks the silver skin for every racer.


Mario Kart: Charged includes a total of 42 characters.

In comparison to every previous Mario Kart installment, characters are classified drastically different in Mario Kart: Charged. Players are classified similarly to how they are in the Mario Tennis series, based on their stats as a whole rather than just weight. There are five levels of classification displayed in this game; All Around, Speedy, Powerhouse, Technique, and Sneaky. Due to this new classification system, each character now has their own individual set of stats, allowing each character to differentiate from others. Each classification is listed below:

Classification Description
All Around All Around characters are notable for their average stats in practically every category. This leaves them with practically no disadvantages, although no particular advantages either. Some All Around characters may have slight boosts or detriments in specific stats, however.
Speedy Speedy characters specialize in well...speed. They utilize their proficiency in this stat to zoom past all other players, although their low acceleration leaves them off to a shaky start. These characters typically have decent mini-turbos as well.
Powerhouse Powerhouse characters are notable for their extreme weight that allows them to dominate the track. They can push around whoever they like with little to no difficulty, although they have trouble keeping up with other racers. They have the best mini-turbos of the roster, and do decent off-road.
Technique Technique-based characters utilize their high acceleration stats to get the upper hand in races quickly. They can keep a good, steady speed, although it does not go very high. Their grip is phenomenal as well.
Sneaky Sneaky characters utilize their small size to quietly pass opponents, maneuvering well with their great handling and off-road stats. They however suffer from having horrible speed and mini-turbos, meaning they start off well, but won't last long against faster characters.


Character Classification Stats Charge Attack
Mario MKC All Around
Heat Wave - Mario releases a shock wave of thermal energy around him, knocking over opponents affected.

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