Update: March 9, 2020 (12:35 PM ET): After much anticipation, Mario Kart Tour multiplayer mode is officially available for everyone as of yesterday, March 8. Nintendo first announced the mode’s official release date last week, and it looks the company has stuck to its word.
Multiplayer for #MarioKartTour comes out on Mar. 8, 8 PM PT! You can compete against seven other players, whether they’re in-game friends, nearby, or around the world. Are you ready to play? pic.twitter.com/IRwBONq560
— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) March 3, 2020
The game also received a new camera feature allowing players to toggle between camera angles during races. Other than that, multiplayer works as expected and features the three previously announced racing modes: friends or others nearby, standard races, and gold races. Though gold races require Nintendo’s monthly $4.99 Gold Pass subscription, nearby and standard races are available to everyone.
If you haven’t given Mario Kart Tour a test drive yet, be sure to download it at the link below and practice on your own a little before going head to head with other players.
Original Article: December 19, 2019 (03:50 AM ET): One of the main criticisms of Mario Kart Tour, when it was first released, is that it didn’t have multiplayer. Being able to sit down with your (soon to be ex-) friends and launch red shells at each other is a critical part of the Mario Kart experience. The good news is it’s technically available already, but there’s a big catch.
Mario Kart Tour multiplayer: How to get access to the beta
Before you grab your mushrooms and rev up your engines, there’s one huge banana peel to dodge in order to gain access. The Mario Kart Tour multiplayer beta is limited to Gold Pass subscribers, and it’s only available from December 12-27. Players on the free Gold Pass trial are also able to access multiplayer, but otherwise it will cost you $5. That’s a lot of coin.
The Mario Kart Tour multiplayer beta is exclusive to Gold Pass subscribers.
The $5 a month Gold Pass fee has been controversial from the start, as it locks certain Mario Kart Tour modes behind a steep paywall. Those include the fastest mode (200cc), Gold challenges, progression rewards, and now multiplayer (the beta, at least). Plus, in recent events the rewards on offer have been pretty weak, with mostly older drivers and karts available.
Why you might want to wait
For the same monthly price as the Gold Pass you could gain access to hundreds of premium games on Apple Arcade, and for less than half that access to lots of great games on Play Pass. To make matters worse, paying the fee doesn’t even guarantee access to your favorite drivers (including the titular character Mario), and you’ll still need to suffer through gacha-style unlocks for new characters.
Once the Mario Kart Tour multiplayer beta is over and all the bugs and oil spills have been cleaned up, it will be made available to free-to-play players as well. There might be other restrictions, but at the very least everyone will be able to launch hate-filled blue shells at friends and strangers online.
If the cost of Gold Pass isn’t too much of an inky blooper in the face, hop into Mario Kart Tour now to try out the new multiplayer mode. The game notes that any progress you make during the beta might not be saved, and it might cause your device to heat up or the battery to drain while testing. You can download the game via the button below and check out more information here.