|Mario Kart D|
|Predecessor||Mario Kart 8|
A tie-in level editor, Mario Kart Maker, was announced for an autumn 2016 release.
Mario Kart D plays like previous installments in the series. is used to turn the kart, is used to accelerate, to brake and reverse, or to use items, and to hop and drift. After moving enough while drifting, sparks will fly from the kart's wheels, indicating that a speed boost will occur once is released. Drivers can also trick off of ramps, bumps, and bouncy platforms by hopping with just before flying off the object in question.
By touching special pads and rings and entering certain zones, karts will activate modes that change the gameplay and controls. For instance, they can drive underwater with a propeller, use hang-gliders to move through the air, Spin Boost on walls and ceilings in antigravity, and now zipline down ropes and poles. On ziplines, karts can be swung back and forth to collect coins and break Item Boxes, or dodge other racers and obstacles. In antigravity, drivers can swing their karts all the way around a zipline, but have a noticeably greater amount of inertia. Finally, if the glider's pitch is angled a certain way, the driver's vehicle will skim across the surface of water, which lets them use bouyant objects most effectively. However, this leaves a wake that can be tricked off of by others.
Mario Kart D features an initial roster of 24 characters, all from the Mario franchise. Purchasing a DLC pack will unlock four crossover characters each, with Pack 1 unlocking Don-chan, Isabelle, Kirby, and Link, and Pack 2 unlocking Pac-Man, Pikachu, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer, for a total of 32 playable characters.
|Mario Kart D|
unlockable by default
|DLC Pack 1|
|DLC Pack 2|
- Suggest recolors in the comments section!
Wii Fit Trainer
Players can once again customize their kart's body, tires, and glider to create a customized kart combo. Up to eight combos can be saved to a Display system, and these saved combos can be shared locally and online. However, to avoid rendering the part-unlocking system useless, players who recieve saved combos will be unable to customize them.
The vehicle's autobody, or its main frame to which tires and gliders are added and decals are stuck.
|SNES Pipe Frame||±0.00||+0.25||-0.25||+0.50||-0.50||+0.25|
|DS B Dasher||+0.50||-0.25||+0.25||±0.00||-1.00||±0.25|
|DS Shooting Star||+0.25||+0.50||-0.50||±0.00||±0.00||±0.00|
|DS Egg 1|
|WII U Varmint|
The wheels placed on the kart's axles; the number used varies depending on the type of body.
The non-motorized hangglider that allows the kart to maneuver in midair, popping out of the back of the body when the kart drives over a Glider Panel.
Up to five decals, found by playing Story Mode, can be applied to a player's kart at any time. As opposed to boosting specific stats like most abilities in Splatoon, which the decal system is loosely based on, decals provide special effects in specific situations. The same decal can be applied multiple times, and its effect will stack.
|Banana Peel-Off||Triple Bananas will rotate somewhat quickly around your kart instead of trailing behind.|
|Double Trouble||You have a slight chance of receiving a double item from an Item Box when you would normally get a single item.|
|Fake Check||Fake Item Boxes will appear dark red to you from farther away.|
|Feedback Loop||After every successful orange mini-turbo, your kart's handling will increase.|
|Fifty-Six-Leaf Clover||When you are in first place, computer players will be somewhat less likely to get Blue Shells and Lightning from Item Boxes.|
|Five-Leaf Clover||You will be somewhat more likely to get better items from Item Boxes.|
|Four-Leaf Clover||You won't get single Bananas or Green Shells from Item Boxes quite as frequently.|
|Frontrunning Flee||Your kart's speed will increase when you are front-running.|
|Heavy-Hearted||When using the Heart, your kart's weight will increase by a factor of the number of hearts left.|
|Home Stretch||Your kart's acceleration will increase on the final lap.|
|Kart Kombat||Upon being bumped into, your kart will gain weight.|
|Lakitu Life Insurance||Lakitu will rescue you more quickly.|
|Light-Hearted||While the Heart is in use, your kart's acceleration will increase for every remaining heart.|
|Mega-Hop||Hopping will launch your kart slightly higher into the air.|
|Mushroom Leak||Mushrooms being held in reserve will slightly increase your kart's speed until they are consumed.|
|Panel de Prisa||All panels provide a speed boost for your kart.|
|Recovery||Your kart won't spin and flip out for quite as long.|
|Runaway||Upon being bumped into, your kart will gain speed.|
|Shooting Super Star||While under the effects of a Super Star, all of your kart's stats will slightly increase.|
|Silver Lining||You can get a somewhat long speed boost after Lakitu rescues you by starting to accelerate when you hit the ground.|
|Spark Shield||A shield will briefly form around your kart after sparks appear from drifting.|
|Spin-Off||Your kart will stop spinning out rather more quickly, but will flip out for just as long as it would otherwise.|
|Standing Mini-Turbo||Spin Turning for long enough will allow your kart to get a mini-turbo.|
|Super Mushroom||Mushrooms provide a speed boost that is somewhat more powerful.|
As usual, items can be collected by driving through Item Boxes. Many items can be used for offense and defense, while others are speed-focused.
The item system has been reverted from its Mario Kart 8 incarnation, allowing racers to once again keep a second item in reserve. The developers have actively worked to make the random item selection more balanced as well, significantly toning down the luck factor.
In team-based gameplay, items have different color schemes depending on the user's team, an attribute formerly specific to Bob-ombs, their explosions, and Fake Item Boxes. The coloration of items has a minor effect on friendly fireproofing as well. When an item from a member of one team is dislodged (e.g. when they are hit by Lightning, or when the item is stolen by a Boo) and used by a member of the other team, the new user may then be able to hit their own team members with it.
A starburst (✺) indicates a new item to the series.
|The lowly Banana is a simple item causing whomever touches it to spin out. You can drag it behind your kart to protect it from oncoming projectiles, or throw it onto the track in a strategic place.|
|Upon using this item, three Bananas will automatically trail behind your kart. They can then be thrown one by one if need be.|
|Another basic item, the Green Shell can be dragged behind your kart or thrown as a projectile. It will bounce off of walls after being tossed, flipping out anyone it crashes into before breaking.|
|When you use a Triple Green Shell, three Green Shells will orbit around your kart, ready to be fired off at any time.|
|The Red Shell can be dragged and thrown just as its verdant counterpart, but will home in on the racer in front if thrown forwards.|
|This item makes three Red Shells orbit your kart. This works just as you'd expect by now.|
|Feared by all (competent) racers, the Spiny Shell flies to the racer in first place and explodes, setting them back several places for no fault of their own. It had to be included, though, having become a staple of the series since the second installment. But due to being universally loathed, and entirely unhelpful to whomever gets one from an Item Box, the Spiny Shell is now much more rare.|
|Using the Heart will split it into two small hearts that circle your kart, acting as a shield for up to two projectiles.|
|The iconic Mushroom boosts your kart forward when used. This is especially great for cutting corners across the off-road.|
|Three Mushrooms in one item. They are now packed snugly into your item slot, rather than rotating around the kart. This means opponents can't steal precious speed boosts just by jostling your vehicle.|
|A regal Gold Mushroom allows you to use as many speed boosts as you want for a limited time. A timer will start ticking down after you first use the Golden Mushroom, and when it runs out, the item will disappear. Check the border of your item slot to see how much shroompower you have left.|
|The Fire Flower can be used multiple times in rapid succession, letting you throw bouncy fireballs at other karts. A fireball will char and stun anyone it hits before dying out.|
|The Boomerang Flower lets you throw a boomerang up to three times to hit other racers.|
|With the Super Leaf in use, your kart will sprout a tail that can be swung around five times. The item is useful for close-combat situations, as well as destroying multiple projectiles at a time.|
|This explosive can be dragged behind a kart or thrown onto the track. It will always explode when hit, so using it as a shield isn't a safe plan. If tossed onto the track, the Bob-omb will explode when someone drives too close or after a few seconds.|
|The Double Cherry clones you and your kart. Either clone can take a hit before vanishing, upon which the remaining copy will have been the "real" one. It's Schrödinger's You.|
|The Star makes you invincible for a while when used. Hitting another vehicle will flip it out. Your kart will also go faster while invincible, letting it cross off-road terrain with ease.|
|The Metal Cap turns you and your kart to metal for a while, greatly increasing its weight in the process and letting you knock others aside with ease.|
|Upon using this item, your kart will turn into a Bullet Bill and automatically fly ahead, causing anyone who touches it to flip out.|
|This tricky bootleg Item Box will stun and flip out whomever breaks it. The Fake Item Box looks like a regular Item Box from afar, but its façade begins to falter the closer you are to one. The item is most effective when placed along existing rows of Item Boxes.|
|The rare Super Horn unleashes a large circular shockwave around your kart when used. The shockwave can flip out other racers and break items, including the Spiny Shell.|
|The P-Switch temporarily transforms all Coins on the track into solid Brick Blocks.|
|The Potted Piranha Plant will automatically be dragged in front of your kart when used, providing quick speed boosts by chomping periodically. It can eat other items and flip out whomever it bites. You can make it chomp manually by using the item again, but this will also deplete the timer faster.|
|This mischievous ghost makes your kart invisible for a while, and may steal the reserve item of the nearest racer for you.|
|The Blooper sprays ink on every racer ahead when used, making it hard for them to see and harder for them to drive. While rarer than ever, the item has received a considerable buff since previous games, making it viable for comebacks.|
|When this item is used, a bolt of lightning will strike every racer ahead of you, shrinking them down and letting you squish them by driving over them. Place is inversely proportional to how long the effect lasts.|
Mario Kart D is set to feature 32 tracks in the racing modes at launch, though DLC has been confirmed. As in Mario Kart DS, retro tracks will be split up evenly between the previous eight games, at the cost of using an already-remastered retro course from Mario Kart 64 in the main Cups.
Retro courses in the DLC cups will include never-remastered tracks, already-remastered tracks, Mario Kart Arcade GP-subseries courses, selections from other Fantendo Mario Kart games (used with permission), and even remakes of tracks and levels from other titles.
Battle Mode allows access to sixteen arenas, eight new and eight remastered. As Mario Kart 8 did not have any courses specific to Battle Mode, two stages from Mario Kart: Double Dash were remade instead, with one being an unlockable course in that game.
|Mushroom Cup||Flower Cup||Star Cup||Special Cup|
|Turbo Raceway||Ice Cream Circuit||Sunken City||Tightrope Circus|
|Yoshi Atoll||Colossus Forest||Halfpipe Skatepark||Glacial Raceway|
|Buzzsaw Woodland||Desolate Ruins||Aerial Armada||Bowser's Castle|
|Savannah Speedway||Roundabout Motorway||Mario Circuit||Rainbow Road|
|Shell Cup||Banana Cup||Leaf Cup||Lightning Cup|
|SNES Choco Island 1||GCN Mushroom City||SNES Vanilla Lake 2||N64 Wario Stadium|
|WII U Water Park||N64 Frappe Snowland||GCN Wario Colosseum||GBA Sunset Wilds|
|DS Shroom Ridge||WII Toad's Factory||WII Moonview Highway||DS Bowser Castle|
|3DS Rock Rock Mountain||WII U Electrodrome||3DS Rosalina's Ice World||GBA Rainbow Road|
|Coin Cup||Brick Cup||Spring Cup||Hammer Cup|
|Manic Mansion||Galactic Glide|
|Marauder Moorage||Koopaling Fort|
|Power Star Casino|
|Donut Cup||Vanilla Cup||Hammer Cup||Spring Cup|
|WII Maple Treeway|
|WII U Wild Woods||GBA Sky Garden|
|WII Koopa Cape||ARCADE Rainbow Downhill|
|Egg Cup||Feather Cup||Moon Cup||Cloud Cup|
|Heart Cup||Bell Cup||Cherry Cup||Rainbow Cup|
|DS Waluigi Pinball||GBA Broken Pier|
|GBA XXL Circuit||WII U Dolphin Shoals|
|N64 Bowser's Castle|
|GBA Lakeside Park||GCN Mute City|
|Semisphere Arena||SNES Battle Course 3|
|Reroute Hills||N64 Double Deck|
|Tinsel Timber||GBA Battle Course 2|
|Spaghetti Oasis||GCN Block City|
|Phantasm Point||GCN Luigi's Mansion|
|Frostburn Desert||DS Tart Top|
|Display||WII Chain Chomp Wheel|
|Rainbow Ring||3DS Honeybee Hive|
The quintessential Mario Kart mode, Grand Prix has from one to five players competing in one of several Cups, alongside seven to eleven computer-controlled racers, depending on the number of players. Each Cup has four tracks, which themselves take three laps or sections to complete. Mario Kart D's Grand Prix noticeably features heavier use of the kart modes and section tracks than any previous game in the series.
Time Trials is a single-player mode in which the player has to complete three laps around a specified race course as quickly as possible, whether to get a faster time than Ghosts, to beat one's personal record on the course, or to go for a world record. As with previous entries in the series, Mario Kart D comes with Normal and Expert Staff Ghost data for every Grand Prix course, with new Staff Ghosts available for DLC Pack courses on purchase. Nintendo Ghosts' names are prefixed with Nin★, and Ninkancho Ghosts' with Nkt★ (with the letters corresponding to the first consonant of each syllable in their Japanese company name, ニン間諜).
Based on a similar feature in Mario Kart 7, eleven manually- or automatically-selected Ghosts can be raced against at the same time, simulating a twelve-player race but with behaviorally static opponents.
VS Race is a mode similar to Grand Prix, where races follow custom rules and, thus, trophies cannot be achieved for any of the Cups. VS Races can be single- or local multiplayer. AI of any difficulty level is able to fill in remaining places with random computer-controlled drivers, as in a Grand Prix.
Players can battle opponents from around the world in online races. Courses can be voted for from a random selection before each round. A driver's place at the end of a race impacts their VR, as does quitting a race prematurely. However, other than by getting last place or quitting, there is no way to lose VR.
Online tournaments can be set up and joined as in Mario Kart 8. However, returning from Mario Kart Wii are bimonthly, one-player Official Tournaments. These cannot be recreated by players as they often use special conditions or even courses that otherwise cannot be accessed normally.
The new Story Mode is a simplistic mode based in part on New Super Mario Bros., Diddy Kong Racing's adventure mode, Mario Kart DS's missions, and even Splatoon's Hero Mode. Players drive through levels collecting coins, using items to defeat enemies, finding decals, and completing tasks when needed. Cannons and the Glider mode are heavily used in this mode as a means to travel from area to area. On the world maps, players can drive to tunnels to play their respective levels, upgrade their kart or buy new vehicles for Story Mode, and even find special items.
On what seems like a normal race at Turbo Raceway, a cape-clad perpetrator descends onto the track and begins duplicating Item Boxes, presumably for their own use. A Lakitu is dispatched with a red flag to warn the drivers. The race is quickly brought to a halt as officials catch and arrest the tamperer. A week later, racing continues. During a race held at WII U Water Park, the figure strikes again, blotting out the sun as a shield of eight Heart items circles around them, and preparing an attack. Just after the racers notice, the mysterious tamperer vanishes. The scene cuts to a Mushroom Kingdom news program announcing that Mario has been called upon to track down and defeat the criminal, and that go-karting has been cancelled until further notice. The other non-DLC characters convince Mario to let them help with the search, and suggest using their go-karts for faster transportation, as they aren't planned for use in future races anyway.
The track-down begins in World 1, the closest sector of the Mushroom Kingdom to Princess Peach's Castle. The player must complete predetermined objectives in W1-1 Toad Town, W1-2 Mineshaft Depths, W1-3 Treetop Drive, and W1-4 WII Toad's Factory, such that completing the levels will demonstrate that they have searched the areas thoroughly. When World 1 is completed, the characters meet again, only for all to turn up without any leads. Unfazed, the group moves on to World 2.
However, in this area, they begin to find strange variations on the typical Item Boxes. There are Item Boxes that only give out specific items, that get rid of held items, that are made out of dark matter and cause whatever touches one to disintegrate, and even more. Double Item Boxes also begin appearing alongside older Item Box designs from throughout the series. The levels also contain many discarded and broken items. Partway through completing the world, a breadcrumb trail of shattered iridescent glass, question marks, and bricks appears, and the player may follow it to W2-4 The Villain's Lair. This level is nothing but a small, dusty cave, the mouth of which is suddenly blocked by a large set of cell bars sliding down, trapping the player. After a couple of seconds, a strange Item Box appears in the center of the cave, ejecting the driver from their kart and thus allowing the player to run between the bars and leave the level. The player character meets with the rest of the team to share what happened, to learn that the same caped figure was the one to trap them before escaping again. However, the others were able to make out a few details, namely a spiky head, dark shoes, and a bright, creepy smile. When all four World 2 levels are completed, the characters race to track down the tamperer once and for all.
- The number D can be converted to 13 in decimal from tetradecimal (base 14) and numeral systems of greater bases. Ninkancho has hinted that this may be relevant to their Mystery Milestone™ of April 13, 2016.
- Mario Kart D was originally to be named Mario Kart 9. As such, a Cloud Nine item was planned. This would spawn nine items circling the user's kart, similar in concept to the Lucky Seven and Crazy Eight. After the game's name was changed, one of the staff members jokingly suggested a replacement called the Big D; the concept was not expanded on afterwards.
- Another planned item was the Traffic Cone. It could be dragged behind the kart as a shield, but would have no effect when thrown other than slightly slowing down anyone who knocked it over. There would be a Triple variant, as well.
- Characters including Goomba, Professor E. Gadd, Olimar, Pianta, R.O.B., and Samus were considered for the roster, but ultimately had to be cut. The development team has hinted that these characters and more may be playable in the next game.
- Kirby's reveal as a playable character was a hint towards the then-upcoming Kirby's Air Ride Spectacle, which had not yet been revealed.