Mario Kart characters guide – keep track of everyone

Diving back into Mario Kart 8? Stop spinning your wheels and win some matches, with our Mario Kart characters guide and learn more about each racer

Mario Kart 8 characters: Toad rides a kart on a track while Link from The Legend Of Zelda rides on a bike next to him

It’s been a while since its release, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still absolutely doing laps around the competition, closing in on 40 million sales, and it has recently become the best selling Mario Kart ever made. So it’s safe to say, people love this game and a lot of you are still having a blast playing it.

If you’re one of the 40 million, you might want to get an idea of which Mushroom Kingdom resident to choose when you’re racing, and luckily we’re here to help you with a Mario Kart character guide. With so many to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you consider the extra Nintendo characters that have joined the fun this time!

There’s a lot of strategy to Mario Kart, and a lot of people to play as, each with their own pros and cons. So, if you’re getting ready to buckle up and bash out a few laps, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need in our extensive Mario Kart 8 Deluxe characters guide.

Here’s our guide to each Mario Kart character and their weight class.

Mario is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Mario – medium-heavy

The main man himself, it wouldn’t be karting without him. Like in so many other sports games, Mario is a great all-rounder and the perfect place to start.

Luigi is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Luigi – medium-heavy

Mario’s brother, but a great guy in his own right, Luigi became famous in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for his menacing and very memorable death stare.

Princess Peach is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Princess Peach – medium

Is royalty allowed to race? Perhaps she needs the winnings for more cake ingredients, though I do wonder if Mario ever actually got to eat that cake?

Princess Daisy is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Princess Daisy – medium

The princess that Luigi pines over, Daisy is another great all-rounder and apparently a dab hand at sports, as you’ll always see her in Mario Tennis and Golf games as well.

Rosalina is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Rosalina – heavy

Everyone’s favourite intergalactic lady, Rosalina comes from the Super Mario Galaxy game, where she looked after the Luma’s and helped Mario find Princess Peach.

Tanooki Mario is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Tanooki Mario – medium

Who doesn’t like to dress as an animal? Well, Mario has been doing it for decades, as this particular outfit dates all the way back to Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES.

Cat Peach is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Cat Peach – medium

I guess Peach didn’t want to feel left out of Mario’s animal outfit shenanigans. So, here she is with one of the cat suits from Super Mario 3D World. Very adorable.

Yoshi is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Yoshi – medium

Is Yoshi a dinosaur? Or is Yoshi just a Yoshi? Either way, they’re smart enough to race and have been doing so since the very beginning with Super Mario Kart on the SNES.

Toad is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Toad – light

Toad is one of the many denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, so named after their mushroom-like… hats? Or are they the Toad’s heads? Can they take them off? Who knows.

Koopa Troopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Koopa Troopa – light

Usually one of Bowser’s minions, Koopa Troopa is taking a day off for some light racing antics. Though maybe it’s a long-con and they’re actually planning to ram Mario off the tracks…

Shy Guy is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Shy Guy – light

The masked menaces date all the way back to Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES. What are they shy about? Maybe what’s under the mask, but I don’t want to know personally.

Lakitu is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Lakitu – light

This flying friend normally holds the camera for Mario when he’s off adventuring and has also been seen moonlighting and holding up traffic signals in Mario Kart as well.

Toadette is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Toadette – light

A female Toad, we think? I’m assuming it’s a Smurfette scenario because you always see a lot more Toads and just the one Toadette. Also, are the mushrooms her hair now?

King Boo is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

King Boo – heavy

Who knows why a ghost wants to race, but he’s here and he’s cute. I’m not sure why he’s a heavy character though, because surely he wouldn’t weigh a thing?

Baby Mario is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Baby Mario – very light

First featured in Yoshi’s Story on the SNES, Mario and Luigi needed to be delivered to their parents, and a group of friendly Yoshi’s ensured they got there.

Baby Luigi is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Baby Luigi – very light

Alongside his brother, were they just born with the huge hats? Was the idea that they would grow into them? Why didn’t they get baby-sized hats? Anyway, they’re very cute.

Baby Peach is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Baby Princess Peach – very light

At least baby Princess Peach has a crown that fits a baby. Though let’s face it, her parents probably had a lot more money. Were Mario’s parents’ plumbers as well?

Baby Daisy is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Baby Princess Daisy – very light

Another baby, because sure why not. It’s not like there are any other tiny characters we could have in Mario Kart. Why can’t I race around as Monty Mole instead of all these babies?

Baby Rosalina is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Baby Rosalina – Very Light

ANOTHER BABY. What’s going on? Who’s letting them drive? How do the babies drive? This is dangerous stuff honestly, I saw Koopa Troopa shove Mario off a cliff at one point.

Metal Mario is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Metal Mario – heavy

This power-up first appeared in Super Mario 64, where Mario had to turn metal to weigh himself down to reach the bottom of bodies of water. Suitably, he’s much heavier than Mario.

Pink Gold Peach is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Pink Gold Peach – heavy

Peach just had to do one better, didn’t she? Imagine getting a magical power to turn into metal, and your friend – who is already royalty – does the same but with fancier metals. Rude.

Wario is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Wario – very heavy

The moustachioed menace to Mario, Wario first appeared in Super Mario Land 2 on the Game Boy. He’s been bothering Mario ever since in his quest to steal treasure and get rich.

Waluigi is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Waluigi – heavy

Originally created as a tennis partner for Wario (I’m not joking), Waluigi has come into his own and been truly accepted by Mario fans. Hopefully, he gets to appear in Smash one day.

Donkey Kong is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Donkey Kong – heavy

Never mind a baby, how does a monkey get a driver’s license? Look, I’m not sure who’s in charge of Mario Kart safety, but I think a few regulations are being violated.

Bowser is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Bowser – very heavy

King Koopa himself, perhaps he’s here to try and whisk Peach away from Mario? Or perhaps he’s just here to embarrass his son? Either way, it’s cute seeing him on a tiny little bike.

Dry Bones is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Dry Bones – very light

The existence of Dry Bones implies the existence of Wet Bones, two words I don’t really want to think about. How’s this thing alive anyway? Is it just a soul in a skeleton? Anyway, it can drive apparently.

Bowser Jr is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Bowser Jr – light

Bowser’s true heir, Bowser Jr has an interest in the arts, and when he isn’t terrorising Isle Delfino with paint, he can also be found helping Mario to calm Bowser’s Fury.

Dry Bowser is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Dry Bowser – very heavy

It’s just Bowser but he’s dead. And that’s alright apparently? I hope in the next Mario Kart we get Dry Mario as an option and it’s just a moustache on a skull with a silly little hat.

Lemmy Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Lemmy Koopa – very light

One of the more chaotic Koopalings, who were first introduced as the antagonists in Super Mario World. Lemmy is named after Lemmy from Motorhead, as the American translator was a huge music fan.

Larry Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Larry Koopa – light

This Koopaling just has the regular guy name Larry. Some people say he’s named after Larry King, others say he’s named after the U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Either way, what kind of name is Larry?

Wendy Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Wendy O. Koopa – light

The only female Koopaling, Wendy is named after the punk singer Wendy O. Williams, and with her bow and bangles is one of the most stylish enemies Mario ever faced.

Ludwig Von Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Ludwig Von Koopa – medium heavy

With his distinctive pile of hair, Ludwig here is named after the infamous composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. He also got a cool dog named after him, which is a bit greedy honestly.

Iggy Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Iggy Koopa – medium heavy

This green-haired Koopaling is named after iconic punk singer Iggy Pop, though we doubt this one ever lived with David Bowie. He does seem to have inherited his namesake’s lean physique though.

Roy Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Roy Koopa – heavy

With his large glasses, Roy is named after iconic singer Roy Orbison, which will probably go over a lot of younger players’ heads. Personally, I love the pink frames on him.

Morton Koopa is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Morton Koopa Jr. – very heavy

Though he’s named after the actor Morton Downey Jr, Morton has the iconic star make-up of Paul Stanley from KISS. It’s a weird mash-up, but I dig the aesthetic.

Inkling Girl from Splatoon is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Inkling Girl – medium

Are they a kid? Are they a squid? Are they legally old enough to drive? I need answers to these questions. Anyway, the Inklings make their way over from Splatoon in all their ink-redible glory.

Inkling Boy from Splatoon is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Inkling Boy – medium

Not content with just one racer, Splatoon also brings over the Inkling Boy so everyone can play as their favourite kid/squid hybrid. There are even a few extra options to show off your fave Splatoon fashion.

Link is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Link – heavy

The legendary warrior himself, Link from the Legend of Zelda makes his way into Mario Kart atop his mighty Master Cycle, as well as bringing Hyrule to life with a gorgeous track. Where’s Zelda though? I would pick her over baby Rosalina…

Villager male is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Villager Male – medium

Nintendo’s other juggernaut franchise gets some representation, with the adorable villagers from Animal Crossing taking part in the karting chaos for the very first time.

Villager Female is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Villager Female – medium

Both villagers rock fashion from the original titles and bring over the beautiful Animal Crossing course which changes depending on the seasons, just like the games.

Isabelle is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Isabelle – light

This adorable dog originally popped up in Animal Crossing: New Leaf to help players run their town. She’s also named Isabelle because her head looks like a bag of bells. Get it? She IS a bell. Wild stuff.

A Mii is visible on a character selection screen, sitting in a kart

Mii – all weights

Finally, players can plop their very own Mii into the action, with the weight depending on the size of your character. You can even unlock special outfits for your Mii with compatible amiibo figures.

There you have it, that’s every single Mario Kart character! Hopefully, this helps you when picking your racing partner, but if you need even more speed in your life, check out our guide to the best Switch racing games next.