Our Mario Kart Tour guide will help novices and experts alike get to grips with Nintendo’s latest mobile game. It plays much like Mario Kart on Wii, 3DS, and Switch, so if you’ve played one of those versions you’ll find this instantly familiar.

If you haven’t, our guide should help bring you up to speed. Heck, even if you have, the new control schemes can be tricky to learn, and then there’s the new points system that won’t make sense to newcomers or veterans.

Looking for more Mario Kart Tour content? Check out everything else we’ve written in our Complete Guide.

Mario Kart Tour Guide – How it Works:

If you’ve played Mario Kart before, you should have a decent understanding of how Tour works. Generally speaking, it’s Mario Kart as you know and love it. You’ll race against eight opponents (down from 12 in most of the others) as one of your favourite Nintendo characters.

Much like in the mainline games, each character has its own weight class that adjusts its acceleration, top speed, turning, and drifting abilities. Heavier characters like Donkey Kong and Bowser tend to have a higher top speed and are more difficult to knock about but have a lower acceleration and turning ability.

Each character also has a special ability. For example, Bowser can throw a much bigger shell at enemies, Donkey Kong can drop a much larger banana, and Metal Mario can throw out fireballs. Then there’s the various different karts and gliders, which can increase your chances of getting a specific item or boost the effect from items and in-race effects, like speed boosters and gliding.

As you race, you’ll pick up coins, which increase your top speed, and items, which you can use to to provide yourself with a variety of buffs or against your enemies to hinder them. Items include positive effects like speed-boosting mushrooms, extra coins, and protective hearts and negative effects for your enemies like shells, bombs, and lightning.

You can control the action in numerous different ways, though primarily with touch. Using the simple control scheme you’ll slide your thumb left and right to turn in either direction, sliding further to each way to pull off a drift. Drift mode triggers a drift each time you press your thumb on the screen, sliding left and right to adjust the direction and how far either way you drift.

If you’re familiar with the Wii version of Mario Kart, you can turn on gyro controls to physically move your phone to turn in either direction. You can then turn on manual or automatic drifting and steering assist to fine tune your experience.

You can earn a total of five stars per race, and earn a star for hitting certain point thresholds. You earn points for every action you perform, from selecting a certain character, kart, and glider combination for each race, and using items, performing tricks, collecting coins, boosting, and flying during a race. At the end of the race, your score gets tallied and you’ll receive stars based on your performance.

Generally, if you place first in a race you’ll earn sufficient points to get the maximum number of stars. By choosing a character, glider, and kart combo that has a good affinity with the particular track, you can get a much higher score than usual and can finish in second or third place and still get five stars.

Each time you use a character, kart, or glider in a race you’ll earn experience for it, levelling up each individual piece when you hit an experience threshold. Levelling up a character or an item increases the points you’ll receive for bringing the, into a race with you.

The final aspect of Mario Kart Tour we want to touch on is the gacha mechanics. As you progress, you’ll unlock rubies that you can spend on summoning new characters, karts, and gliders. You can summon a single item for five rubies, or 10 at once for a discounted price at 45 rubies.

You can purchase rubies with cash but there’s no real need to. You’ll unlock plenty of characters, gliders, and karts just by playing the game. If you collect multiple of the same pieces you can level them up to increase their effects in numerous different areas.

Mario Kart Tour – Tips, Cheats, and Strategies

Now that you understand the basics, let’s take a look at a few specific tips and tricks to help you master it:

  • Pick a rider, kart, and glider combo that’s good for each track: Each track you race on provides bonus points and score combos for using certain characters, karts, and gliders. If you’ve unlocked these particular parts, use them for that particular race to give yourself a massive score boost from the get go.
  • Try and master drift mode: Drift mode is the best of all of the control schemes in Mario Kart Tour. It’s difficult to pick up but mastering it will pay off in the long run, as you’ll be more in control over your drift boosts.
  • Save up to 45 rubies before summoning: You’ll get free rubies regularly just for playing Mario Kart Tour, and we recommend saving them up until you have 45 before summoning. That gives you a free summon, and these can build up over time, saving you a lot of rubies.
  • Chase challenges to earn more stars and rubies: Challenges unlock fairly early in the game, and provide you with extra rewards for performing particular activities. If you’re running short on stars or rubies, we recommend looking for a challenge that you can complete fairly quickly for the reward you need.
  • Get your two week Gold Pass trial for extra rewards: The Gold Pass costs $5 per month and provides you with a bunch of rewards just for playing. You can get two weeks worth of a free trial when you first start playing, which is worth signing up for as you can just cancel your subscription before paying.