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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe unlockables

You’ll still have to work for some of it, but at least all of the DLC is included

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

When you start playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, all of the characters (except one) are available, as are all of the tracks — and this includes tracks from all three downloadable content packs for the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8. You’re still going to have to collect coins to unlock the various karts and parts, though.

In this guide, we’ll review what used to be locked or part of a DLC and show you what’s different now. We’ll also talk about the things we know have been added in the Switch version of the game, like new characters and karts.

Mario Kart 8 unlockable and DLC characters

Mario Kart 8 locked characters in two ways: 14 of which were baked into the game and several more arrived with DLC.

From YouTube user ShadowMario3

Unlockable characters

On Wii U, Mario Kart 8 had 14 characters that unlocked in a random order as you completed cups. (Technically, it wasn’t completely random since the eighth character to unlock was always the Mii.)

If you’d like to begin Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the previously locked characters, you can choose from Baby Rosalina and grown-up Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy, the Koopalings Iggy, Roy, Larry, Lemmy, Wendy, Ludwig and Morton (who doesn’t get a link), Toadette, Laikitu from the general Super Mario universe, Pink Gold Peach and Metal Mario — metallic versions of the classic characters, and Mii.

DLC characters

Mario Kart 8’s DLC added seven playable characters. Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach and Link were part of Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8. The boy and girl villagers and Isabelle from Animal Crossing and Dry Bowser were added with Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8.

Purchasing both of these DLC packs would also unlock eight color variants each for both Yoshi and Shy Guy.

So what’s different in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

Gone are the days of randomly unlocking characters. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has done away with that. Every character is available at the start except for one: Gold Mario (and his gold kart).

New and returning friends

That’s not to say that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn’t have any changes to the lineup (racing pun). King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. have been added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as playable characters. Additionally, the Inklings from Splatoon are making their debut for the first time in the Mario Kart series.

How to unlock Gold Mario

From YouTube user ShadowMario3

To unlock Gold Mario, first you’ll have to progress through the 50cc, 100cc and 150cc Grand Prix cups normally to unlock the 200cc races. Then, you’ll have to take first place in all of those Grand Prix cups as well. Once you pull that off, Gold Mario will replace Metal Mario on the character select screen.

How to unlock karts and parts

Unlockable karts and parts

Mario Kart 8 started you off with seven bodies — four karts, two bikes and one ATV — four sets of wheels and one glider. You could unlock 18 more bodies, 17 more sets of wheels and 10 additional gliders. These were unlocked as you collected coins during races — one would unlock every 50 coins until you reached a total of 1,000 coins, at which point one would unlock every 100 coins.

There were three more parts — the gold standard body, gold tires and gold glider — that were unlocked while playing. You’d unlock the gold standard body by getting a star in every Grand Prix cup in every engine class. The gold tires were unlocked by beating the staff ghosts in every time trial. Collecting 10,000 coins would unlock the gold glider.

DLC karts and parts

The three DLC packs added 11 bodies, three sets of wheels, and two gliders.

So what’s different in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

You’re still going to have to collect coins to unlock karts and parts, but all of the DLC additions are available to you.

New parts

Three new bodies have been added for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: the Koopa Clown from Mario Kart 7 and the Inkstrider and Splat Buggy from Splatoon.

How to unlock gold parts

You’re going to have to put in a bit of work to unlock the gold parts. To unlock the gold standard body, you’ll need to get a star rank in every cup in mirror mode (which you unlock by completing all grand prix cups in all engine classes). The tires will now require you to beat the staff ghosts in all of the 150cc time trials. The glider is still unlocked when you collect 10,000 coins.

Mario Kart 8 unlockable and DLC tracks

Unlockable tracks

You started Mario Kart 8 with only one cup (four tracks) available in the Mushroom Cup. Placing third or better in the cup would unlock the next cup, and then you just repeated that process until everything was unlocked.

DLC tracks

In addition to the 32 tracks — eight cups worth — in Mario Kart 8 by default, there were 16 additional tracks — four more cups — available as DLC. The Triforce and Egg Cups were part of the Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8 DLC and the Bell and Crossing Cups were added by Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8.

So what’s different in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

All of these tracks (and cups) are available at the start of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — even the DLC tracks.

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