March 09, 2023 Birdo is now playable in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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. And a lot of the fun is the different Mario Kart characters.
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!
Here’s our guide to each Mario Kart character and their weight class:
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
- Tanooki Mario
- Cat Peach
- Koopa Troopa
- Shy Guy
- King Boo
- Baby Mario
- Baby Luigi
- Baby Princess Peach
- Baby Princess Daisy
- Baby Rosalina
- Metal Mario
- Pink Gold Peach
- Donkey Kong
- Dry Bones
- Bowser Jr
- Dry Bowser
- Inkling Girl
- Inkling Boy
- Villager Male
- Villager Male
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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
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.
Birdo – light
Originally an enemy from Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES, Birdo is somewhat of a fan-favourite character, appearing in several sports, parties, and other Mario games since. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you can even choose from many different colour options.
Now that the latest Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course wave is live, the character select screen suddenly has a few conspicuous absences. If the gaps in the roster are anything to go by, then fans could expect five more racers to be heading to the game soon.
Nintendo is pointing towards these being returning characters, and with a roster already exhausting a lot of the regular picks, there is room for some more peculiar picks to return. Favourites like R.O.B. or Honey Queen could be up for a resurgence, or perhaps even the pixelated stylings of Donkey Kong Jr from Mario Kart Tour. Only time will tell.
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.