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Mario Kart 8 on Switch will get more DLC characters — who could be next?

Mario Kart Tour may have the answers

A screenshot of Mario Kart Tour, featuring Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Meowser, Kangaroo Yoshi, Baby Mario and 16-bit Donkey Kong racing over a wooden bridge Image: Nintendo
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo had a surprise for Mario Kart fans on Wednesday during its Nintendo Direct presentation, revealing that an all-new course and a familiar face are coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch. The Yoshi’s Island track and fan-favorite Birdo are headed to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sometime this spring in wave 4 of Nintendo’s Booster Course Pass DLC.

Just as exciting, Nintendo also promised that additional returning characters from the Mario Kart series will be added in future waves of the Booster Course Pass. Previously, Nintendo had only committed to new courses — 48 in total — being added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The addition of Birdo and additional racers makes the Booster Course Pass’ $24.99 price much more compelling.

Who’s next? With an existing roster of more than 40 playable characters — not including many multi-colored Yoshi and Shy Guys — who’s left to join Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Past games, like Mario Kart Wii and Double Dash hint at a few candidates. Mobile game Mario Kart Tour offers even more possibility. A good chunk of the “new” courses coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as paid DLC are brought over from Mario Kart Tour, after all.

Mario Kart Tour boasts a whopping 220 playable characters, though many of them are variants. For example, in addition to regular ol’ Mario, Tour feature Musician Mario, Santa Mario, Builder Mario, Chef Mario, Sunshine Mario, Halloween Mario, Golf Mario, and... a whole lot more Mario. But Tour also includes some drivers that aren’t available in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (or any other Mario Kart game).

Here are some of the best candidates for future Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC from Nintendo’s mobile Mario Kart game.


Perhaps the most obvious choice for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s future driver class is Pauline, the mayor of New Donk City. Pauline made her Mario Kart debut in 2019, when she was added to Tour as a playable driver. The Mario Kart series has a high dude quotient and this elected official should really be in the Switch port of Mario Kart 8, given that she’s also a prominent figure in Super Mario Odyssey.

The Kongs

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has but one Kong: Donkey. Mario Kart Tour has five (including a kinda weird Donkey Kong Jr. Super NES sprite driver). That’s not only disrespectful to Diddy Kong, who once headlined his own racing game, but to Dixie and Funky, who both bring much-needed levels of monkey business to Tour. What better way to boast that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has a New Funky Mode than by adding a couple more fan-favorite Kongs?

Petey Piranha

If a generic Piranha Plant can be in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Petey can be in a mainline Mario Kart.

Captain Toad

It physically pained me to wait until candidate No. 4 to bring up Captain Toad. The star of Captain Toad Treasure Tracker and the breakout character of Super Mario 3D World needs much more exposure, and what better way to bring him to the masses than through a mainline Mario Kart? While we’re at it, let’s shoot for equality and bring Explorer Toadette with him.

Monty Mole

I don’t personally have much fondness for Monty Mole, who is kind of a jerk in Super Mario World, but there’s something quite funny about a mole who can drive. Monty Mole made his Mario Kart debut in Tour in 2020, and I’d love to see him graduate to the big leagues. Can he even see the road?!

The Furries

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has multiple metallic Marios, but what it doesn’t have are cat versions of Peach, Luigi, Toad, and Bowser (aka Meowser). Mario Kart Tour is stuffed with furry driver options, stretching all the way to White Tanooki Mario, Kitsune Luigi, and Tanooki Rosalina. Spice things up, Nintendo! With more body hair!!


Kamek will have a prominent role in April’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie. I can only assume that when Kamek Mania sweeps the globe this April, it will grease the wheels for the Magikoopa’s appearance in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. That will begin to make amends for Kamek being cut from the roster of Mario Kart 64 more than 25 years ago.

Chargin’ Chuck

Does Chargin’ Chuck need to be in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? No. Does his Combo Cruiser kart, composed of a cheeseburger, fries, and a medium drink need to be in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? 1,000,000% yes. This is non-negotiable. But throw in Chuck along with it. It’s HIS signature car!

Wave 4 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Booster Course Pass DLC arrives sometime this spring. Two more waves are planned to roll out through the end of 2023.

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