Mario Kart DS
[1] [2] Mario Kart DS's Cover Box Art.


Developer(s): Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform(s): Nintendo DS, Virtual Console (Wii U)
Release Date(s):
Nintendo DS:
[4] USA - November 14, 2005
[5] Australia - November 17, 2005
[6] Europe - November 25, 2005
[7] Japan - December 8, 2005
[8] Hong Kong - December 8, 2005
[9] Republic of China - December 8, 2005
[10] South Korea - April 5, 2007
Virtual Console (Wii U):
[11] Europe - April 1, 2015
[12] Australia - April 2, 2015
[13] USA - April 23, 2015
[14] Japan - May 25, 2016
Genre: Racing
ESRB: [15] - Everyone
PEGI: [16] - Three Years And Older
CERO: [17] - All Ages
ACB: [18] - General
Mode(s): Single-Player, Multi-Player: 2-8 players LAN, 2-4 Wi-Fi Connection
Wii U: Digital Download
Nintendo DS: Game Card Cartridge
Wii U: [19]Wii U GamePad
Nintendo DS: [20]Control PadStylus

Mario Kart DS is a racing Nintendo DS game developed and published by Nintendo. It is the fifth title created for the Mario Kart series and the second game for a handheld console, featuring for the first time an online multiplayer mode employing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, as well as including a Mission Mode. It also features a map that displays the objects and characters present throughout the courses, making use of the DS's bottom screen. It was released first in North America, in November 14, 2005, being the first and only mainstream Mario Kart game to be released first in North America. Unlike its predecessor, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it retains the traditional single-driver kart racing elements in the Mario Kart series, where players race against seven competitors in obstacle tracks, using item-based weaponry to gain further advantages over their opponents. It is the first handheld Mario Kart title to use live-rendered 3-D graphics for most of the objects in the game, including characters, vehicles, and race-tracks.

Mario Kart DS has been generally well received, especially because of including innovations such as the online mode, new tracks, characters, and other elements such as the items and graphics. As such, Mario Kart DS has earned various awards and acknowledgments. The game expands and introduces mechanics that would later become the standard in future titles, with the most standout and notable being the Retro Grand Prix, and the advent of retro courses in general, that revamps tracks from all previous titles from the Mario Kart series. Mario Kart DS is the first Mario title to support the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to race against opponents using online services across the world. Mario Kart DS's unique mechanics introduced include its single player-oriented Mission Mode that tasks players to complete objectives in a short series of special events, including defeating Mario franchise bosses and the ability to create custom emblems for their vehicles. Mario Kart DS takes advantage of the Nintendo DS features as well, using the bottom screen to display other HUD elements such as two types of maps, character order, and what items their opponents have.

On April 23, 2015, the game became available to purchase on the Virtual Console service for the Wii U, via the eShop, coinciding with the near 10th anniversary of the game's initial release, and the 2nd DLC pack for Mario Kart 8. However, the Virtual Console version of the game is only playable in single player mode.




A total of twelve Mario characters (thirteen including the Shy Guy) take part in the fifth installment of the fifteen-year Mario Kart racing series. Only eight drivers can be chosen at the beginning, but the player must win gold trophies in the Grand Prix mode in order to unlock the other four bonus characters. The big eight starting characters, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Bowser were taken from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, while the two playable characters, Daisy and Waluigi, return from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and the two playable characters, Dry Bones and R.O.B., make their first Mario Kart playable appearance:

Starting DriversEdit

[21] Mario
[22] Luigi
[23] Princess Peach
[24] Yoshi
[25] Toad
[26] Donkey Kong
[27] Wario
[28] Bowser

Unlockable DriversEdit

[29] Daisy
[30] Dry Bones

New Driver [31] Waluigi
[32] R.O.B.

New Driver

Unlock CriteriaEdit
Characters: Criteria:
Dry Bones Obtain all Gold Trophies on the 50cc Nitro Grand Prix Cups.
Daisy Obtain all Gold Trophies on the 50cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
Waluigi Obtain all Gold Trophies on the 100cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
R.O.B. Obtain all Gold Trophies on the 150cc Mirror Mode Cups (Nitro or Retro)

DS Download Play OnlyEdit

Non-playable charactersEdit

The following characters appear in the game as spectators, hazards, or obstacles of certain courses.

Names: Course Appearance(s): Description:
Angry Sun


Desert Hills The Angry Sun shoots out Fire Snakes onto certain areas of the track when the second lap begins.


Luigi's Mansion and N64 Banshee Boardwalk In addition to being items in the game, Boos appear at certain parts of the race and make their trademark noises. These Boos are merely there, and are not hazards nor obstacles.


N64 Banshee Boardwalk Bubba jumps out of the water over the track. It makes no interaction with the racers.
Bullet Bill


Airship Fortress Also in addition to being an item in the game, Bullet Bills are shot out of the Airship towards the starting line, knocking out any racers in their path.


Airship Fortress and Bowser Castle Burners drop out of the ceiling onto the ground for a brief moment, setting the racer on fire if contact is made.
Chain Chomp


Peach Gardens and GCN Luigi Circuit In Peach Gardens, chain-less Chain Chomps are all around the path. Some have a tail of Item Boxes. In Luigi Circuit, a Chain Chomp chained to a stake lunges at nearby players.
Cheep Cheep


Cheep Cheep Beach and SNES Koopa Beach 2 In both courses, Cheep Cheeps bounce on the shoreline and spin racers out of control if driven into them.


Cheep Cheep Beach Crabs are stationed on the sand, spinning players out of control if driven into them.
Fire Bar


Wario Stadium Different variations of Fire Bars are abundant on the track. Some spin in circles after a Dash Panel ramp. Others are in a triangle-like formation. Both set the racers on fire.
Fire Piranha Plant


Mario Circuit Fire Piranha Plants are stationed in pipes and spit fire at oncoming racers.
Fire Snake


Desert Hills Fire Snakes are projected from the Angry Sun and bounce around at certain points on the track.


Mario Circuit Goombas are situated on the track and spin players out of control. If Lightning strikes, they turn into Mushrooms.
Lava Bubble


GBA Bowser Castle 2 Lava Bubbles jump out of lava pits at many places around the map. If driven into, they set players on fire, usually resulting in the racer falling into the lava as well.
Monty Mole


Peach Gardens and N64 Moo Moo Farm Monty Moles peak out of holes and then jump, posing as obstacles for the drivers.
Moo Moo


N64 Moo Moo Farm Moo Moos are abundant in the background of the track, only posing as onlookers.


Delfino Square Piantas appear as spectators of the race. Additionally, a Pianta statue is found in the beginning of the track.
Piranha Plant


Mario Circuit and SNES Choco Island 2 Piranha Plants pose as obstacles on the race tracks, spinning drivers out of control for a brief moment.


Desert Hills Many Pokeys appear on the track, creating obstacles for the drivers.
Rocky Wrench


Airship Fortress Rocky Wrenches are situated under lids on the track. They briefly peak out, causing the driver to slightly jump if driven over. After peaking out, they expose their entire bodies, creating an obstacle for the drivers.


DK Pass and N64 Frappe Snowland Snowmen are situated on the track, causing the player to spin out if driven into them.


N64 Banshee Boardwalk A colony of Swoops fly towards the racers, slowing them down if they drive directly into the swarm.


Bowser Castle and GBA Bowser Castle 2 Thwomps appear as enemies, performing their trademark slam attempt at the drivers below. Additionally, some Thwomps move side to side on the ground.
Walking Tree


Luigi's Mansion Walking Trees walk in patterns and pose as obstacles for the drivers.


Mario Kart DS has controls so that players can learn how to play.

Menu ControlsEdit

  • Pad - Move, Scroll
  • A - Make Selection
  • B - Go Back One Screen
  • Stylus - Tap Selection

Race ControlsEdit

  • A - Accelerate/Rocket Start (hold at two during the countdown before the race starts)
  • B - Brake/Reverse
  • L/X - Use Current Item/Stop Item Roulette/Equip Item
  • Padleftright - Steer
  • Padupdown - Throw items backward or forward.
  • R - Hop/Powerslide/Drift (Hold)/Mini-Turbo (Release)
  • Stylus/Y - Change Map View (does not work in Mission Mode)
  • Start - Pause/Resume Game
  • Select - Blow Balloon (Balloon Battle), Toggle arrows/mushrooms on/off (Time Trial)

Wii U Menu controlsEdit

  • Pad - Scroll
  • A - Select
  • B - Back
  • Stylus - Tap Selection

Wii U Race controlsEdit

  • A - Accelerate/Rocket Start (hold at 2 during the countdown before the race starts)
  • B - Brake/Reverse
  • L/X - Use the current Item/Stop Item Roulette/Equip Item
  • Padleftright - Steer
  • Padupdown - Throw items backward or forward.
  • R - Hop/Powerslide/Drift (Hold)/Mini-Turbo (Release)
  • Stylus/Y - Change map view (does not work in Mission Mode)
  • Plus - Pause/Resume game
  • Minus - Blow Balloon (Balloon Battle), Toggle arrows/mushrooms on/off (Time Trial)
  • Mic - Blow Balloon (Balloon Battle)

Game ModesEdit

[58][59] The title screen with all of the modes and playable characters after the game's completion. As in the Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! versions of the series, sixteen new courses were added in the game for the four main cups: Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, and Special Cup. However, the game also includes sixteen courses that have appeared in the former Mario Kart games, each one referring the game console where debuted, The Super Mario Kart tracks for the SNES; the Mario Kart 64 tracks for the N64; the Mario Kart: Super Circuit tracks for the GBA, and the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! tracks for the GCN. The order of the tracks by game is the exact same as the order that the games themselves were released: SNES, N64, GBA, and GCN. Mario Kart Wii and the successors added on to this, with the DS, Wii, and 3DS the appropriate abbreviations for those games respectively.

These classic courses make up four new cups called the Shell Cup, Banana Cup, and Leaf Cup, as well as the Lightning Cup from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and these cups are sorted by difficulty in the exact same way that the nitro cups are, with the Shell Cup being on par with the Mushroom Cup, the Banana Cup being on par with the Flower Cup, the Leaf Cup being on par with the Star Cup, and the Lightning Cup being on par with the Special Cup. There are a total of thirty-two courses in eight cups. In addition, four new battle courses have appeared, while N64 Block Fort and GCN Pipe Plaza appear in this game as Retro Battle Courses.

Grand PrixEdit

In Grand Prix Mode (single-player only), a player competes in each cup in 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and Mirror 150cc engine classes, with ascending speed and difficulty. Which consist of 4 courses that differ for each cup. The game takes the point system of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! by awarding 10/8/6/4/3/2/1/0 points for first to eighth place respectively. Also, a rating of how well a player performed is shown after the trophy presentation: ★★★, ★★, ★, A, B, C, D and E (E, being the lowest ranking and ★★★ as the highest). An overall "game ranking" of ★, ★★, or ★★★ is shown in the Records area if the player has earned the designated ratings in all cups and all classes; for example, if the player earned three-star rankings in all cups and all classes, then they would have a game ranking of three Stars, but if they only got two-Star rankings in some cups or classes, then they would only have a game ranking of two-Stars, and the same applies for all other ranks.

Time TrialEdit

In Time Trial mode (single-player only), a player goes for the fastest time on a course. Interestingly, the item rating of a kart determines how many mushrooms a player can have when the race starts. Vehicles with low item rate can only use one Mushroom; the ones with average item rate use two and the ones with high item rate use three. Players can choose to race against their best time as a Ghost, the Staff Ghost (raced by a Japanese Nintendo staff player with a * game ranking), or no ghost. The game is also able to download records from other players and let the player race against their Ghosts.

VS. ModeEdit

In VS. Mode (single or multi-player), player(s) can choose their Karts and head out on the race track. They can earn points based of their finish position in each race. The player can also choose what course they race on (only provided if they've unlocked it). Up to eight players can play locally via wireless - simple mode only uses one game card but is limited. The essential requirement is that everyone has a game card, a DS, or a 3DS system. In VS. Mode, the player can choose the engine class, the CPU's difficulty level, the way the courses will be chosen - by the player, in order or random; the rules to win races (either free - never-ending races; number of wins from 1 to 10, which only the first racer earns points, or the number of races raced (going up to thirty-two creates the "All-Cup Tour " mode from Mario Kart: Double Dash!); and team race mode. The full experience is created when everyone has a game card. In single-player mode, the player can choose a) engine class, b) how hard the CPU will be, c) whether the courses will be chosen, in order, or random, whether the rules are d) free (never-ending), # of wins (1st place only counts), or # of races raced (going up to 32 creates the "All-Cup" of Mario Kart DS), and e) activating teams.

It is possible to have up to eight players play using just one Mario Kart DS game card - using the DS Download Play locally. Here, the tracks are limited, the disabilities for the Wi-Fi connection apply, and everyone must be a random color of Shy Guy, in which he becomes playable then. If everyone has a game card, all tracks are available and there are no disabilities. Battle Mode is also available. It is the same as the battle modes in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, but Shine Thief is changed into Shine Runners. The rules are different for this mode, in which players gather the most Shine Sprites on a course.

When playing in VS. Mode races where the players place for a set number of races rather than for a set number of wins, players score points based off their finish position. If the game is being played in teams, the amount of points each player earns for each race is multiplied by about 1.5. The point system is the same as the one used in Wi-Fi when playing with 2-4 players and the one used in Grand Prix when playing with 8 players or with CPU opponents. However, when playing with 5-7 players, the distribution is as follows:

Point Spread
Number of Players: 1st: 2nd: 3rd: 4th: 5th: 6th: 7th: 8th:
2 players 10 5 - - - - - -
3 players 10 7 4 - - - - -
4 players 10 7 4 1 - - - -
5 players[1] 10 8 5 2 0 - - -
6 players[2] 10 8 6 3 1 0 - -
7 players[3] 10 8 6 4 2 1 0 -
8 players 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0
  • Blue text indicates winning results.
  • Green text indicates moderate results.
  • Black text indicates losing results.

Battle ModeEdit

In Battle Mode (single to multi-player same setup as versus, for both), the players play a different aspect of kart racing that was born from Super Mario Kart on one of six courses, two of them from past Mario Kart games. The stage courses are the following:

[60] Nintendo DS. [61] Twilight House. [62] Shore. [63] Tart Top. [64] N64 Block Fort. [65] GCN Pipe Plaza.

Tracks listed with * above are not playable in the simple version of multi-player mode. In single-player mode, the user faces CPU controlled racers, whose difficulty can be set in the battle's setup menu. All racers drive their respective standard Kart only within this mode (note that all the standard karts have the same stats in battle mode and only the weight will differ, depending on the weight of the character chosen, unless the player uses cheats). Additionally, the other players can join a battle locally. However, Battle Mode is unavailable on the wireless connection mode. Like in Versus, battles can also be played in teams, and rounds in team battles end when all of one team's players have been eliminated.

Mario Kart DS is the only Mario Kart game that have the name of the retro battle courses that do not state the abbreviation of the game console version of the Mario Kart game they were from; in other words, the game does not list Block Fort and Pipe Plaza as N64 Block Fort and GCN Pipe Plaza. Additionally, its retro battle courses do not have the same music as in their original appearances. Instead, they have the same music used for nitro battle courses.

Balloon BattleEdit

[66] Mario in a Balloon Battle at Palm Shore. The classic battle mode seen in all Mario Kart mainstream, gets a new twist in Mario Kart DS. From the previous games, racers begin a match with three balloons. In this game, however, all players begin with a single balloon, though they can get more by blowing up their balloons using the microphone feature on the DS, or just holding the button. Each player has four balloons in stock (five in total) and racers can hold up to three balloons in battle. On the other hand, the less balloons a player has, the more powerful items will obtain from the Item Boxes. Racers may also take possession of a balloon from their opponents if the thief has used a Mushroom and made contact to the opponent's kart. If the player loses all of their balloons, then they are eliminated

The following is what the game describes this mode as: "Burst your opponents' balloons with items! If all your inflated balloons burst, you lose! Blow into the mic to inflate your balloons!"

Shine RunnersEdit

Adopted from the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! version, nine Shine Sprites are scattered onto the course at the beginning. Players need to capture the Shine Sprites, and avoid to be hit, as it causes a player to lose one sprite. The sprite then moves to a random spot for someone else to grab. In the meantime, a clock ticks down to 0. Anyone with or tied with the lowest Shine total when the clock hits 0 is eliminated. The clock resets itself to a lower time and the battle continues until at least one is left (there are 9 sprites to avoid a tie, but it is possible to have two players with 4 sprites each or 4 players with 2 sprites each or all 8 players with 1 sprite each trying to get that last 1 on the course when time expires or have three players with 3 sprites each. In this case, no one is eliminated and the clock resets as usual. The less sprites a player has, the better an item is obtained (Spiny Shells and Bullet Bills remain out). Shine Runners is almost the same as Coin Runners in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, but instead of the Shine Sprites, they use the Coins.

Description from the game: "Collect more Shines than anyone else! Steal opponents' Shines to add to your total. Those with less Shines get booted over time."

In single player mode, CPU bots are available for the player to "practice" his or her skills for the real game against friends locally. However, Battle Mode is unavailable on the wireless connection.


[67][68] Yoshi battling the Big Bully in Mission Mode. Missions mode is a new single-player mode for Mario Kart DS which the player must complete some tasks and earn a ranking similarly to that in Grand Prix mode. It involves seven levels, each containing eight "missions" and a boss battle, most of which are taken from Super Mario 64 DS. Almost always the ranks depend on how much time is left or taken. There are varying mission types:

  • Driving through gates - driving in between literally giant half wheels in the ground. Very often the player has to pass these gates in numerical order.
  • Collecting the Coins - Players must pick up all the coins set in the track. Players may lose these coins by some obstacle of such course.
  • Destroying the Item Boxes - Players must run over Item Boxes. Usually the racer will obtain Mushrooms after taking a box. In some cases, the Item Boxes will move, and the player will have to catch up with it. Other missions the player must take care not to pick up the Fake Item Boxes alongside real ones.
  • Using the Stars, Bob-Ombs, or Shells to destroy enemies, mostly involves Wario to clear these missions.
  • Driving backwards - players must use the B button to move, and directions on the D-pad are reversed. It is sometimes combined with other mission types.
  • Performing power boosts within a certain lap - as said. More power boosts are often required to finish faster, meaning a higher ranking.
  • Racing a CPU player for one lap - item boxes contain mushrooms and stars that the CPU can't use - the key to win. CPU players will always perform a Rocket Start. This mission type also includes a race against a Red Car and a Chain Chomp.
  • Pushing enemy using triple mushrooms-Player have to push the enemy using mushrooms and knock it off the stage.
  • Boss Battle - Unlocked after completion of the first eight courses in a level. Using items is usually a must in boss battles.

There are some one-time isolated missions as well that are self-explanatory. Each mission takes place on a course, often blocked off in some areas (sometimes even a battle course) and players are given a character in their own standard kart (CPU players are also in the standard karts). None of the unlockable characters are playable, and Bowser and Donkey Kong do not fight a boss. Sometimes mushrooms are laid across the track to help the player to complete the mission. When at least a ★ ranking is achieved on all missions and bosses in the first six levels, Level 7 is unlocked. Boss battles are unique. They have their own battlefields and different strategies are used to beat them. When the boss battles of Level 6 and 7 are completed, the first version of the staff credits will roll. All of the bosses come from Super Mario 64 DS.

  • The music heard in Mission Mode's level 5-1 is the same as the music heard when Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Petey Piranha, or King Boo use the Chain Chomp in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, considering that the objective of the mission is to race the Chomp.

Missions TableEdit

Mission Mode
1-1Drive through all the 5 numbered gates in order!0:35Figure-8 CircuitMario
1-2Collect all the 15 Coins!0:30GBA Peach CircuitPeach
1-3Destroy all the 10 item boxes!0:45Yoshi FallsYoshi
1-4Get the Star and use it to hit the 5 Cheep Cheeps!0:40Cheep Cheep BeachWario
1-5Drive through all the 6 numbered gates in order!0:30Nintendo DSToad
1-6Drive out of the mansion...backwards!0:45Luigi's MansionLuigi
1-7Collect all the 20 Coins!0:35N64 Moo Moo FarmDK
1-8Perform 4 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!0:45SNES Mario Circuit 1Mario
BossUse the Mushrooms to crash into the Big Bully and knock him off the stage!3:00Water Arena*Yoshi
2-1 Crash into all the 10 wooden crates and destroy every one! 0:55 Delfino Square Wario
2-2Collect all the 10 Coins!0:30Figure-8 CircuitYoshi
2-3Drive through all 5 numbered gates in order!0:45SNES Donut Plains 1DK
2-4Destroy all the 5 item boxes!0:35Luigi's MansionLuigi
2-5Collect all the 20 Coins!0:30Cheep Cheep BeachPeach
2-6Use the Bob-Ombs to destroy all the 5 Pokeys!0:55Desert HillsWario
2-7Drive through all the 10 numbered gates in order!0:55GCN Luigi CircuitToad
2-8Perform 6 power-slide turbo boosts in 3 laps!0:55GCN Baby ParkPeach
BossHit Eyerok's eyeball 3 times with shells!5:00Sand Arena*Mario
3-1 Destroy all the 5 item boxes! 0:50 Waluigi Pinball Wario
3-2Drive through all the 5 numbered gates in order...backwards!0:50Delfino SquareBowser
3-3Collect all the 15 Coins while avoiding the Chain Chomp!0:25GCN Luigi CircuitLuigi
3-4Reach the finish before Yoshi!0:00Yoshi FallsPeach
3-5Drive through all the 8 numbered gates in order!0:45GCN Pipe PlazaYoshi
3-6Hit Monty Moles with shells 5 times!1:05N64 Moo Moo FarmLuigi
3-7Perform 10 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!1:10Shroom RidgeDK
3-8Collect all the 20 Coins!1:05Twilight HouseMario
BossReach the finish before Goomboss!0:00GCN Baby ParkToad
4-1Reach the finish before Donkey Kong!0:00DK Pass**Wario
4-2Blastall the 20 crabs!12:00Palm ShoreYoshi
4-3Reach the finish before the red car!0:00Shroom RidgeMario
4-4Drive through all the 7 numbered gates in order!0:45Desert HillsWario
4-5Collect all the 15 Coins. If you get squished by a Thwomp, you fail!0:30GBA Bowser Castle 2Bowser
4-6Break all the 10 item boxes while avoiding the Fake Items!1:10N64 Choco MountainDK
4-7Drive through all the 10 gates!20:45Waluigi PinballToad
4-8Perform 9 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!1:00GBA Luigi CircuitLuigi
BossCollect 50 Coins while avoiding King Boo!5:00Lava Arena*Peach
5-1Reach the finish before the stray Chain Chomp!0:00Peach GardensPeach
5-2Drive backward and collect all the 15 Coins! If you hit a snowman, you fail!0:30N64 Frappe SnowlandDK
5-3Destroy all the 5 item boxes!0:35SNES Koopa Beach 2Toad
5-4Drive through all the 10 numbered gates in order!1:05GBA Bowser Castle 2Bowser
5-5Complete 1 lap in the opposite direction within the time limit!0:55GCN Mushroom BridgeMario
5-6Collect all the 18 Coins!0:45Tart TopYoshi
5-7Drive through all the 8 numbered gates in order!0:45DK Pass**Toad
5-8Reach the finish before Mario!0:00Mario CircuitLuigi
BossHit the King Bob-Omb with 3 Bob-ombs!5:00Sand Arena*Wario
6-1Drive backward across the spinning bridge! If you fall, you're out!0:30Bowser CastleBowser
6-2Get Stars and run over 15 Rocky Wrenches!0:55Airship FortressWario
6-3Collect all the 30 Coins!0:45SNES Choco Island 2Yoshi
6-4Destroy all the 10 item boxes!2:00N64 Block FortMario
6-5Drive through all the 8 numbered gates in order!0:50GBA Sky GardenPeach
6-6Perform 14 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!1:00GCN Yoshi CircuitYoshi
6-7Collect all the 40 Coins!1:30Tick-Tock ClockToad
6-8Reach the finish before Peach!0:00Peach Gardens**Bowser
BossUse the Mushroom boosts to hit Chief Chilly and knock him off the stage 3 times!5:00Water Arena*Luigi
7-1Perform 6 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!1:00Rainbow RoadPeach
7-2Reach the finish before Bowser!0:00Bowser CastleMario
7-3Complete 2 laps within the time limit!31:30Tick-Tock ClockDK
7-4Use shells to defeat all 30 Goombas within the time limit!2:00Mario CircuitToad
7-5Collect all the 20 Coins!0:55Wario StadiumWario
7-6Drive through all the 8 numbered gates in order!0:11Nintendo DSMario
7-7Drive backward and collect all the 12 Coins! If you hit a burner, you fail!0:50Airship FortressBowser
7-8Break all 10 item boxes while avoiding the Fake Items!1:05N64 Banshee BoardwalkLuigi
BossReach the finish before Wiggler!0:00GCN Mushroom BridgeMario
*Conjectural title based on surroundings.
**Denotes that the player drives through the course in the opposite direction.
1Using Green Shells (solo or triple) and Bob-Ombs
2The gates don't necessarily have to be driven through in order.
3Players can use any means - normal or powersliding - to finish.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ModeEdit

Mario Kart DS is the first Mario Kart game to ever; though it's worth noting that it's the second Mario Kart game to support online play connectivity, with the Japanese version of Mario Kart: Super Circuit being the first. (The use of online connectivity for this game was made primarily to exchange ghost data with other players.)[4] Being one of the first Nintendo DS games to feature wireless connection, the game mode required some technical changes in order to avoid connection malfunctions and long time loads during online play.

The following changes from the main game are enforced:

  • Only up to four players
  • Thus a different point system (see chart below)
  • Only 100cc engine is available
  • 12 of the 32 courses are omitted (unofficial hacks are available on the net to unlock those 12 courses)

Also there are in-game changes made to reduce possible excessive lags:

  • No triple Bananas or triple shells
  • No spilled Items onto course to be used or tripped on - items are just lost
  • Items cannot be dragged behind the kart
  • Item roulette cannot be stopped earlier
  • Course obstacles cannot be destroyed (e.g. boxes in Delfino Square or snowballs in DK Pass)
Point Spread Comparisons
1st: 2nd: 3rd: 4th: 5th: 6th: 7th: 8th:
Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
9 6 3 10000
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS Grand Prix
10 8 643210
Mario Kart DS Teams[5] 15 12 9 6 4 2 1 0
Mario Kart DS WFC 4 Players 10 7 4 1 -
Mario Kart DS WFC 3 Players 10 7 4 -
Mario Kart DS WFC 2 Players 10 5 -
Grove-green bg signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), best after-race music
Lime-green bg signifies moderate results (mild clapping, moderate character reaction), the same music in Wi-Fi as winner, but different in Grand Prix
Normal bg signifies losing results, losing music (kart engine stops if not in Grand Prix mode if the player placed last). In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the race will be restarted (0 pts) if the racer comes in 5th-8th. If this happens more than three times (except in Mario Kart 64), then the Grand Prix must be started over.
— means not available


Players connect using a wireless connection or a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector (preferably high-speed.) Racers choose to search for other players in "Friends" (more info below), "Rivals" (players with a similar record), "Regional" or "Continental" in Non-American versions of the game (players in same country or continent), and "Worldwide", the latter possible to cause long lags. Other racers searching in the same category are randomly grouped. The game tries to find four players, but will eventually settle for three or two if necessary. The players can choose their characters, karts, and the course that they want for the first of four races.

In addition to the 20 courses listed in order of when it is encountered, there is also a random button. After everyone's selection is placed, a course is chosen based on the responses. (If all players each pick a different course, the system randomly picks one. If four players choose two courses, two each, the game randomly picks from those two. On the other hand, the most voted course by a group of four or three users is selected to race. It goes like so for four races, then the points are tallied up, and after the match a player's wins and losses are totaled. Each player receives one "win" for finishing ahead of a player and one "loss" for finishing behind of a player. If a player ties with another player, it does not count as a "win" or "loss". For example:

  • A player winning a 3-player match, or ties for 1st with one other player in a 4-player match receives 2 wins and 0 losses.
  • A player coming 2nd in a 4-player match receives 2 wins and 1 loss.
  • A player tied for third in a 4-player match gets only 2 losses, as compared to 3.
  • A player tied with all the other players, no matter how many players are participating, in a 2-player match is simply called a tie and does not affect either player's record. Players can continue after the match to play the same racers again or quit to restart the process to find other players.


Problem: Trouble with friend codes

A) Friend Code System. Each copy of the game comes with a 12-digit code known as a "friend code". Players can enter other codes into the other player's "friend roster" to create a friend list, where Wi-Fi records between the players is stored. When a friend is online at the same time, a symbol will appear above the Wi-Fi strength symbol, whether trying to find racers or during racing. Yet, both (or more) players must have each (or all) of their friend codes registered and be looking in the friends section at the same time to hook up. If the player were to find a racer to compete against elsewhere online, there's no communication for a friend code swap; the only way to race again is to do it right away by selecting continue after a match.

Problem: Disconnecting racers change the outcome of the match; it is later reflected in the match records, unfortunately, the right way. It greatly troubles the experience for some players.

B) Disconnecting. Take this scenario into consideration:
Bob started in a four-player match, but two people have disconnected since, and he is now in a two-player match against a three-star player, and has come 2nd and 3rd in the first 2 races. It is 20-11. Bob realizes that he could still win the match with some luck and skill. He wins the next match, bringing the totals to 25-21. But, in the fourth race, the three-star player is a full half-lap ahead with one lap to go. Bob realizes that he might not win this race; however, Bob realizes that he ran out of luck, but he has researched about Wi-Fi online connections and has learned a very sneaky trick. He leaves his DS untouched, bringing his kart to a stop, then finds his wireless router, and disconnects it. According to the record-book, Bob has won the match from which he has disconnected.


  • The two players who disconnected earlier are experiencing certain effects. When a player is disconnected from Wi-Fi via turning of his or her DS, the player is charged with the same number of losses as there are other players, in this case 3, even if they are not in last place. Players can disconnect at any time, but if they cancel before the first course is chosen, there is no effect on the win-loss record. Other players finishing the whole match gain one win per disconnected player.
  • Refer to the point spread chart for WFC. Mid-match, due to disconnected players, the point spread can change. For example, when it goes down from 4 to 3 players, the point conversion is not affected for the top three. Yet, from three to two, it is. In the first two races, Bob lost 3 and 6 points to the three-star player, respectively, under the 10-7-4(-1) point spread. But, if he had won the last two races, under the 10-5 point spread, he would have recovered 10 points - and would have won, 31-30, even though he came in 3rd once and only won two out of the four races (which should be a tie at best). Unfair? Absolutely.
  • Players most often occasionally disconnect when losing, of course. Unfortunately, a glitch in the game effects the final results, and this is exactly what Bob does in the scenario. Instead of turning off the DS, he disconnects his actual connection. For each player from the start of the match, including disconnected players, Bob's loss total is reduced, in this case by 3. And the poor three-star player? He would have gained 3 wins, but when everyone disconnects, it takes no effect on the remaining player's record.
    • To restate and make clear: if Bob would have played it out and lost the 4th race, the result would have been 35-26, in favor of the three-star player, who would have gone 3-0 for the match, 1 win from Bob and 2 wins from the disconnected players. Bob would have gone 2-1 for the match, the 1 loss from of the three-star player. Instead, Bob used the glitch to go 0 - –3, and the three-star player went 0-0 – Bob gets the edge and wins in the end. Disconnected players often make it harder for the best players to get more wins, since they run before the match can be completed. There are some racers who have a record like 3000-0 – some turn out to live up to their record, but most turn out to be mediocre, and all have been dubbed "disconnectors" by many online communities.


In addition to the sixteen standard courses, Mario Kart DS is the first game in the series to include the Retro Grand Prix, which has been carried over into every future installment in the series to date. The Retro Grand Prix consists of sixteen courses from past Mario Kart games updated and compiled into four additional cups. Four courses are taken from each previous game, and are ordered according to the release dates of the previous games. Mario Kart DS is the only Mario Kart game where there is no Mario Circuit in the Flower Cup, unlike other Mario Kart games.

This is the only Mario Kart game to have three Grand Prix introduction fanfares; one for Figure-8 Circuit, Waluigi Pinball, Mario Circuit, and GCN Luigi Circuit, one for Wario Stadium, and one for the other courses. A * signifies that the course is playable via Wi-Fi. A - signifies that the course isn't playable via Wi-Fi. Another column shows the staff ghost time in time trial. Last column shows the staff ghost character and kart combo in time trial.

Nitro Grand PrixEdit

Mushroom Cup:
Flower Cup:
Star Cup:
Special Cup:
Figure-8 Circuit*
Desert Hills*
DK Pass*
Wario Stadium*
Yoshi Falls*
Delfino Square*
Tick-Tock Clock
Peach Gardens
Cheep Cheep Beach*
Waluigi Pinball
Mario Circuit*
Bowser Castle
Luigi's Mansion*
Shroom Ridge
Airship Fortress
Rainbow Road*

Retro Grand PrixEdit

Shell Cup:
Banana Cup:
Leaf Cup:
Lightning Cup:
SNES Mario Circuit 1*
SNES Donut Plains 1
SNES Koopa Beach 2
SNES Choco Island 2*
N64 Moo Moo Farm*
N64 Frappe Snowland*
N64 Choco Mountain*
N64 Banshee Boardwalk
GBA Peach Circuit*
GBA Bowser Castle 2
GBA Luigi Circuit
GBA Sky Garden*
GCN Luigi Circuit*
GCN Baby Park*
GCN Mushroom Bridge
GCN Yoshi Circuit*

* - Was playable on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

Staff GhostsEdit

Staff Ghosts are Time Trial races that were previously done by a Nintendo staff member. Every course has its unlockable Staff Ghost that the player can race against if their completion time is close to the Staff Ghost's. Most courses require a minimum of completing a course at least 5–10 seconds after the Staff Ghost does.

Courses: Time: Names: Characters/Karts:
Figure-8 Circuit 1:36:481 Ninten★たなか [109]
Standard MR
Yoshi Falls 0:57:677 Ninten★まっは [111]
Egg 1
Cheep Cheep Beach 1:43:654 Ninten★しんご [113]
Donkey Kong
Standard DK
Luigi's Mansion 1:59:357 Ninten★しんご [115]
Desert Hills 1:31:262 Ninten★かつ [117]
Delfino Square 1:54:601 Ninten★いわ [119]
Waluigi Pinball 2:23:288 Ninten★しんや [121]
Gold Mantis
Shroom Ridge 2:05:123 Ninten★ジョー [123]
DK Pass 2:14:607 Ninten★™NN [125]
Donkey Kong
Tick-Tock Clock 1:54:903 Ninten★だい8 [127]
Light Dancer
Mario Circuit 1:56:533 Ninten★モリオ [129]
Shooting Star
Airship Fortress 2:07:748 Ninten★シュン [131]
Wario Stadium 2:14:868 Ninten★マトゥ [133]
Peach Gardens 1:52:989 Ninten★ゆきつ [135]
Bowser Castle 2:19:661 Ninten★ひろむ [137]
Rainbow Road 2:16:246 Ninten★たえこ [139]
SNES Mario Circuit 1 0:50:688 Ninten★いわ [141]
Standard MR
N64 Moo Moo Farm 1:17:751 Ninten★だる® [143]
Donkey Kong
GBA Peach Circuit 1:12:011 Ninten★だい8 [145]
GCN Luigi Circuit 1:29:759 Ninten★おつぼ [147]
Poltergust 4000
SNES Donut Plains 1 1:08:027 Ninten★しばた [149]
Dry Bones
Dry Bomber
N64 Frappe Snowland 2:08:781 Ninten★ジョー [151]
GBA Bowser Castle 2 1:52:258 Ninten★ジョー [153]
Standard BW
GCN Baby Park 0:50:920 Ninten★ひょう [155]
SNES Koopa Beach 2 0:54:847 Ninten★しんや [157]
Egg 1
N64 Choco Mountain 2:15:571 Ninten★イシビ [159]
GBA Luigi Circuit 1:46:581 Ninten★モリオ [161]
Poltergust 4000
GCN Mushroom Bridge 1:30:600 Ninten★ひょう [163]
SNES Choco Island 2 1:01:620 Ninten★おつぼ [165]
N64 Banshee Boardwalk 2:14:403 Ninten★まさ [167]
Dry Bones
Dry Bomber
GBA Sky Garden 1:44:400 Ninten★ドリー [169]
Power Flower
GCN Yoshi Circuit 1:48:793 Ninten★たろう [171]
Standard YS


To know the probability of obtaining each item when an Item Box is opened in the various modes, see [173].

[174][175] Mario using the Bullet Bill item. Mario Kart DS includes the main element preserved in every Mario Kart created, and it is the use of the items; power-ups that allow the racer to take certain advantage over their opponents, obtainable by running through an Item Box. Afterwards, the Item Roulette in the top left of the screen will choose a random item. While most of the power-ups are the same since Super Mario Kart, the game have also included as well some other new to increase the challenge. There are also two new items: the Blooper and the Bullet Bill.

Normally, leader racers receive less powerful items than stragglers in the rear. The variety of items to receive is also determined by the Items stats ratio granted to a kart. While a kart has a higher Items ratio, the player has more possibility to obtain rare items to use. In subsequent games, this stat was removed so the only factor influencing items is position.

On the other hand, some items are not available in battle mode. Just as in racing mode, leaders who have the most balloons or shines, they will receive less powerful items accordingly.

The game gives the player an indication when they receive a more powerful Item. When the Item Roulette has chosen a normal Item, it will make a simple plong sound. However if the player receives a more powerful from the Item Roulette, it makes a more special sounding plong.

Some Items are not available in Battle Mode. Just as in Racing Versus Mode, leaders who have the most Balloons or Shines will receive less powerful items accordingly.

Stars, Bullet Bills, and Boos are examples of powerful items, as they provide speed boosts and total invincibility.

NOTE: These artworks - except Fake Item Box, Boo, Triple Banana and the new items - are reused from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Images: Names: Instruction Booklet Descriptions:
[176] Mushroom Provides a short speed boost.
[177] Triple Mushrooms Each press of the l or X buttons uses up one Mushroom.
[178] Golden Mushroom Allows you to use Mushroom boosts as many times as you want for a short period of time.
[179] Item Box Drive through the item boxes on the tracks to get the items contained within. The item inside is determined randomly.

1 In Balloon Battle, if the player is eliminated from the game and gets an Item Box, the player only receives an Item Box, as an actual item. This can be placed on the floor, and someone not eliminated can use it, but it only lasts for a short time before disappearing.

[180] Fake Item Box Looks just like an item box, but when you run into it, it knocks you over.
[181] Banana Makes karts spin out when run over.
[182] Triple Bananas Press the l or X buttons to deploy behind the kart. Tap the button again to drop one.
[183] Green Shell When thrown, this shell travels in a straight line and knocks over the first kart it hits.
[184] Triple Green Shells Press the l or X buttons to deploy, then press the button again to launch a shell. Each one has the same effect as a single Green or Red Shell.
[185] Red Shell These automatically lock onto and chase after the next kart in front of you. When hit, the kart rolls over.
[186] Triple Red Shells Press the l or X buttons to deploy, then press the button again to launch a shell. Each one has the same effect as a single Red Shell.
[187] Spiny Shell This shell travels and chases after the lead kart and blows up when it reaches its target. Any kart in the blast radius will be knocked over or spun around.
[188] Star Makes you invincible for a brief period of time. While invincible, you will knock over any kart you hit.
[189] Lightning Makes all opponents spin out, drop their items, and shrink for a brief period of time.
[190] Bob-Omb Explodes after a brief pause or when another kart comes near it. Any kart in the blast radius will be knocked over or spun around.
[191] Blooper
New Item
Sprays ink on all of the karts in front of you, obscuring those drivers' view of the track.
[192] Bullet Bill
New Item
Briefly transforms the user into a Bullet Bill that soars through the air along the track, knocking over karts along the way.
[193] Boo Unleashes Boo, who turns you invisible for a brief time, making you impervious to enemy attacks, and steals an opponent's item.
  • 1 — The instruction booklet provides this description in page 10.

Returning ItemsEdit

  • Banana - The old banana peel is back, and it's still an item that is most commonly received in the leader's spot. It can be simply dropped behind the player, thrown ahead using ↑ on the D-pad and L, or even dragged behind while holding L (but not in Wi-Fi mode). Once a racer hits a banana, they spin out, losing speed.
    • Triple Bananas (Banana X3) - A bunch of three Bananas that the player keeps them behind his or her vehicle upon pressing the button once. Pressing the button again, a Banana can be dropped back or thrown forwards. This item does not appear on Wi-Fi mode.
  • Green Shell - Another classic item commonly obtainable when first or lower, the green shell is a staple that the racer can shoot in any direction. The Green Shell is used the same way as a banana and slides in straight lines, bouncing around the walls until disappear by knocking a vehicle, item, or bouncing off several times. The kart will flip when touches a Green Shell. It bounces off anything 10 items before the shell is destroyed on the field.
    • Triple Green Shells (Green Shell X3) - Three shells circle the player's kart, providing a protective shield. This item is commonly reserved for second to fourth place. It is not available on Wi-Fi mode, same as the Triple Bananas.
  • Red Shell - The homing item of Mario Kart is the same as a Green Shell. Unlike a Green Shell, this red one will pursue the opponent before the driver to flip him or her when crash (In battle mode, it will hit the nearest player). The shell can be stopped using a Banana as shield or by any other obstacle on the track, but it's generally a reliable item. It can be shot backwards, but it will then act like a Green Shell.
    • Triple Red Shells (Red Shell X3) - Same as Triple Green Shells, except with homing capabilities when fired.
  • Spiny Shell - This blue winged, and spiked shell flies ahead to the leader to explode, popping the driver into the air while the victim loses the items on hand. Very deadly and rarely missing, It can be found from fourth to seventh place. This is one of the few items that are not present in Battle mode.
  • Fake Item Box - A classic tricky item. Instead of an upside-down ? mark as the difference between it and a real item box, the trap simply has no marking on it. It appears red on the bottom screen, while the real item boxes are blue. Fake Item Boxes can be dropped behind, thrown or held, ranging from the leader to the fourth of the pack.
  • Mushroom - This speed booster increases velocity momentarily over off-road areas, effective to make certain shortcuts while going into loose ground. In Balloon Battle, the players boosting and hitting an opponent will steal one of their balloons, unless they have 3 balloons, which is the maximum amount. It can be obtained from second to fifth place.
    • Triple Mushrooms - A bunch of three toadstools, providing three chances to use even greater shortcuts. Commonly in fourth to eighth place.
    • Golden Mushroom - Returning as an item that every character can get, this regal Mushroom provides unlimited boosts until wearing off once used. Ranges from sixth to eighth place.
  • Boo - Returning after an absence in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Boo makes the player invisible (the driver disappears from the map screen) and immune, able to steal an item from another player if possible. It can be found from fourth to sixth place.
  • Bob-omb - Now available to every player, the Bob-omb is a dangerous explosive that can be dropped backwards, thrown forward or dragged behind the kart. After being placed, the Bob-omb will either wait for a few seconds to explode or sense any driver coming in the vicinity and blow up. Players will fly to the air or spin around, losing their items held. Ranges from second to fifth place.
  • Star - One of the best items, a powerful Star that turns any driver invincible for some seconds. The Star will grant the player great speed, immunity against every item and power to bowl over other vehicles when hit. Ranges from sixth to eighth place.
  • Thunderbolt - The deadliest item, any driver that uses the rare and powerful Thunderbolt, will cause their opponents to spin out of control, shrink to microscopic size, as well as reducing their speed and lose all of their items. A feature added from Mario Kart DS is the Lightning's effect time. While a player is in a lower place, the time under the item's effect will be shorter. It can only be picked up in eighth place and even then can only be picked up when the player is far behind seventh place. The sound when characters are tiny is a "Pitch bend" effect on the course's music. It appears in Battle mode, but only in Shine Runners. In Shine Runners, it causes all players to lose one Shine (if they have one) in addition to the effects said. New to Mario Kart DS is that the lower in rank that the player is in, the faster the effects of being hit by a thunder bolt wears off. In battle mode, it is available only in Shine Runners, and causes all players to lose one Shine (if they have one) in addition to the effects above.

New ItemsEdit

  • Bob-Omb - Now available to every player, it has the same firing/carrying properties as a banana. After being placed, it will either wait for 5 seconds and explode or will sense player(s) coming near it and explode. The explosion has the same effect as being by a spiny shell. Ranges from second to fifth place; players lucky enough to take the lead with this item in stock can block a spiny shell with ample timing, or simply drop it behind them for a competitor to run into. Header racers who have this item in stock can block a Spiny Shell with ample timing, or simply drop it behind them to prevent the path from the other racers.
  • Blooper - When used, all players in front of the wielding player are sprayed by Blooper ink that blocks their view for a while. Racers can wear off the ink going at high speed like running over a Dash Panel or being propelled by a Mushroom or any other booster. Though the Blooper just spits ink to a player, causing no real damage to them, CPU racers slow down and wobble left and right when affected. It can be given when running in third to sixth place. In Balloon battle and Shine runners, all players except the wielding player are sprayed by Blooper ink. Unlike VS mode, CPU racers will never slow down and wobble left and right when affected.
  • Bullet Bill - Inspired by the Chain Chomp special item in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, this item turns the character into a Bullet Bill and automatically drives for the player for a limited period of time. Once used, the Bullet Bill is unstoppable, invincible, and has a very high top speed. The player hardly can maneuver the Bullet Bill, and the Bullet Bill will knock aside any racer that gets in its way, unless the racer uses a Star or a Boo. Additionally, the effect's duration may vary depending the current place the driver is. The Bullet Bill can be given in a place lower than fifth. It is not available in Battle mode. On a side note, it's worth noting that a kart with a high items rating will usually have lower overall stats than the standard karts. Likewise, karts with a low items rating will usually have higher overall stats than the standard karts. Regarding the kart's weight, karts with a high items rating tend to be heavier than the karts with a low items rating.

Racing TechniquesEdit

Rocket StartEdit

Throughout the entire series, the Rocket Start allows racers to give them an extra boost of speed and get a head start when a race begins. To activate the technique for this installment, players should stay at the starting line and wait for the countdown to hit two. When it does reach that number and when it starts to fade, players should hold the button to rev up the kart's engine. When START appears on the race screen, the kart receives a small boost of speed out of the starting line, which is a very helpful move to get first place early on in a race. But, there is a risk to this move. If players fail to succeed, and holds the same button after the final beep, the kart's engine dies out, and takes a few seconds to get back up to normal speed. If the player holds the after the second "ding" sound is heard and end, the player can get a boost that is a little faster than the normal small boost. [194][195]Yoshi powersliding at Figure-8 Circuit.

Drifting And PowerslidingEdit

In the entire Mario Kart series, players drift by holding the R button on a turn. Gray wisps come out of their kart as they turn around corners, possibly tighter or better than normal turning.

The next step up is powersliding. While drifting, players can move the +Control D-Pad to the right, left, and vice versa to produce sparks behind the kart. If done correctly, the sparks change their colors and intensity from blue to orange on each alternated move. After the sparks turn orange, the player releases the R button to stop drifting and release a brief Mini-Turbo after powersliding. This can be used to dodge Spiny Shell if combined with a hop only during the 100cc and 150cc races.

A player can perform a useful technique known as snaking by performing consecutive mini-turbos in a zigzagged direction, which offers a player the boost they need to get further ahead. This technique is much easier to perform with karts with higher handling, especially with Dry Bones.


Snaking is the act of powersliding multiple times on a turn by releasing R button, then immediately reholding it and starting another powerslide, or powersliding on straight-aways by powersliding to the left, then to the right, to the left again, and so on. This requires a kart with low drift, high handling, and preferably high acceleration, as powerslides last longer with better acceleration (See chart below). Snaking is a method that players can earn a high ranking in Grand Prix mode, because it is a exclusive technique that CPU drivers cannot do.


Back from Mario Kart 64, Slipstreaming is simply moving just behind another player. If racers can stay behind their opponent's vehicle for about four seconds, the players get a momentary turbo speed boost that is strong enough to pass the other player. However, doing this makes the player quite vulnerable to any items dropped by the leading racer, as there will be little or no time to swerve out of harm's way.

Rocket StartEdit

Throughout the Mario Kart series, the Rocket Start technique allows racers to give an extra boost of speed and get a head start when the race officially starts. To activate the technique for Mario Kart DS, the players should stay at the starting line line and wait for the countdown to hit 2. When it does reach that number, press and hold the A button to rev up the kart's engine. When START appears, the player receives a small boost of speed out of the starting line, which is a very helpful move to get first place early on in a race. But, there is a risk to this move. If the player fails to succeed, and holds the A button after START, the player's engine dies out, and takes a few seconds to get back up to normal speed. This technique can also be used in the Wii game, Mario Kart Wii, by doing it the same way, and has the same risk to it.


Multi Card PlayEdit

Eight people or less can play via the wireless connection of the Nintendo DS. There are little to no restrictions while activating this. Players can access any character and kart combination they want as long as they have unlocked it. All the tracks unlocked on any copy of the game can be selected as well.

DS Download PlayEdit

DS Download Play can allow up to eight people playing the Mario Kart DS game using one (or more) game card(s). In this mode, players can only choose tracks from the Mushroom and Shell Cups. Also, instead of six battle tracks, players are only able to race on Nintendo DS, Tart Top and Pipe Plaza (chosen randomly by the system). Tragically, only the people with the game can pick their character, while the others use Shy Guy only. Shy Guy is not playable in other modes unless the game is hacked. When the players that want to Download play begin to race, each player will have a different color of Shy Guy, randomly generated with each Download Play. Super Smash Bros. Brawl makes a reference to this, as Shy Guys on Go Karts drive through a Mario Kart-themed level. With some Cheats, Shy Guy is playable. Also, if the player use those cheats wrong, it will change the Shy Guy into a Donkey Kong or Princess Peach.


[196][197] The kart selection screen in Mario Kart DS with Mario only. In Mario Kart DS, there are thirty-six different karts in total (excluding Shy Guy).

Every kart shows six ratings:

  • Speed: How high the top speed of the kart is; how fast the kart can go. Bowser and R.O.B. have the fastest karts.
  • Acceleration: The time the kart's top speed is achieved when accelerating (the higher the acceleration, the shorter players wait until they reach their kart's top speed, and the lower it is, the longer they wait). Dry Bones's karts can reach their top speed very quickly.
  • Weight: While a vehicle is heavy, the driver can knock a lighter kart. Unlike other stats, the character contributes to this stat, with Bowser's and R.O.B. karts being very heavy.
  • Handling: How tight the kart can normally turn without drifting. Dry Bones has the best turning curve.
  • Drift: How tight the kart turns while drifting or powersliding. Peach has the best drifting curve.
  • Items: The variety of items to use when touching an Item Box (a high Items rating signifies a higher chance of getting Triple Bananas in first place, Triple Mushrooms in 3rd, 4th, etc).

For all the stats, one or more karts will have a rating of one-hundred for that stat; for example, the Hurricane and ROB-BLS have speed ratings of one-hundred, the Dry Bomber has both acceleration and handling rates of one-hundred, the Tyrant has a weight rating of one-hundred if normally paired with Bowser, the Light Tripper has a drift rating of one-hundred, and each character has one kart each with an items rating of one-hundred (one of the Exclusive Karts), an items rating of sixty-six (all of the Standard Karts), and an items rating of thirty-three (one of the Exclusive Karts).

The karts may also be sorted in three groups:

  • Large Exclusive Karts:
    • Large Kart with big wheels
    • Special Design
    • Higher Weight and Item
    • Lower Speed, Acceleration, Handling, and Drift
    • Three Mushroom Boosts in Time Trial Mode
  • Standard Karts:
    • Medium-Sized Kart with normal wheels
    • No special design (All Standard Karts look the same except for the color)
    • Average Speed, Acceleration, Weight, Handling, Drift, and Item
    • Two Mushroom Boosts in Time Trial Mode
  • Small Exclusive Karts:
    • Small Kart with tiny wheels
    • Special Design
    • Higher Speed, Acceleration, Handling, and Drift
    • Lower Weight and Item
    • One Mushroom Boost in Time Trial Mode

Originally, only two karts are available for each character; an Exclusive Kart and a Standard Kart. As the player wins gold trophies in the 100cc Nitro Grand Prix, the player will unlock a second Exclusive Kart for each character. When the player wins gold trophies in either the 150cc Nitro Grand Prix Special Cup or Lightning Cup , four Exclusive Karts from different characters will become available, bringing the total to seven karts for each character. After winning gold trophies in the 150cc Retro Grand Prix (to unlock the Mirror) and all the cups in Mirror Mode, each character can be paired in any of the 36 karts, making 432 combinations (excluding Shy Guy). CPU drivers will only use their characters' respective exclusive or standard karts in races and battles.

The following ratings are from zero to one hundred, directly obtained from the values used by the game to fill the bar in the kart selection screen.[6] On a side note, it is worth noting that a kart with a high items rating will usually have lower overall stats than the standard karts. Likewise, karts with a low items rating will usually have higher overall stats than the standard karts. Karts with a high items rating tend to be heavier than the karts with a low items rating. Karts with high items rating also receive more Mushroom boosts in Time Trial mode. The player will get one Mushroom boost if the items rating is low, two if the items rating is normal, and three if the items rating is high. The weight class of the character does not play an important role in Mario Kart DS, as the weight does not create Kart use the restrictions.

The following ratings are from 0 to 10 in one-tenth intervals. The Items rating will be either 3.3, 6.7, or 10. For the three karts related to each character, each one will have one and just one of all three ratings, the standard kart always being 6.7. In addition, not only does the kart's size affect weight, but the character's size does, as well (Bowser will make one of Peach's native karts much heavier), so weight is omitted.

On a side note, it's worth noting that a kart with a high items rating will usually have lower overall stats than the standard karts. Likewise, karts with a low items rating will usually have higher overall stats than the standard karts. Karts with a high items rating tend to be heavier than the karts with a low items rating. Karts with high items rating also receive more Mushroom boosts in Time Trial mode. The player will get one Mushroom boost if the items rating is low, two if the items rating is normal, and three if the items rating is high.

The weight system used in Mario Kart DS is different from the previous Mario Kart games. The weight class of the character is not as significant, as the weight does not create restrictions on the use of karts. However, the weight of a character can influence the weight of the kart. For example, Bowser driving on the Dry Bomber will have considerably more weight than Dry Bones on the same kart. For this reason, the weight is omitted in the table below.

In-game menu values of Mario Kart DS
Drivers: Driver Weight: Karts: Speed: Acceleration: Weight: Handling: Drift: Items:
Mario 32 [198]
B Dasher
58 69 41 52 55 100
Standard MR
64 72 32 56 57 66
Shooting Star
67 74 14 60 59 33
Luigi 32 [201]
Poltergust 4000
75 76 17 77 33 33
Standard LG 72 74 32 73 32 66
66 71 41 69 30 100
Peach 23 [203]
41 69 44 45 94 100
Standard PC 47 73 32 48 97 66
Light Tripper
51 75 20 51 100 33
Yoshi 20 [205]
Egg 1
59 91 14 89 41 33
Standard YS 55 90 32 84 39 66
49 88 38 80 37 100
Toad 17 [207]
43 87 17 69 69 33
Standard TD 39 85 32 65 67 66
4-Wheel Cradle
33 83 44 61 64 100
Donkey Kong 41 [209]
Rambi Rider
74 44 47 31 74 100
Standard DK
80 47 32 34 77 66
84 50 23 37 79 33
Wario 44 [212]
92 53 23 51 49 33
Standard WR 88 50 32 48 47 66
82 46 47 45 45 100
Bowser 50 [214]
90 25 50 25 64 100
Standard BW 96 30 32 28 67 66
100 34 29 32 69 33
Daisy 26 [216]
Power Flower
58 61 35 36 84 100
Standard DS 64 64 32 40 87 66
Light Dancer
67 66 20 43 90 33
Dry Bones 14 [218]
25 97 35 91 45 100
Standard DB 31 99 32 96 47 66
Dry Bomber
34 100 26 100 49 33
Waluigi 35 [220]
Gold Mantis
75 65 29 60 59 33
Standard WL 72 63 32 56 57 66
66 59 35 52 55 100
ROB 50 [222]
100 55 25 69 28 33
Standard RB 96 53 32 65 27 66
90 48 38 61 25 100
Shy Guy 20 Standard SG 55 90 32 84 39 66
Unknown Karts 50 54 32 50 50 66
63 32 32 31 63 66
31 69 32 56 56 66
75 25 32 25 56 66
38 55 32 44 75 66
69 38 32 44 44 66
44 71 32 69 38 66
56 58 32 63 31 66
25 75 32 75 44 66
50 50 32 38 69 66
56 50 32 50 50 66
75 49 32 56 25 66
44 71 32 69 38 66
Unknown Karts: The table with the menu values of the karts show the statistics of 13 additional karts, it's unknown if those karts are actually karts used in the game, since they don't have associated data about the tires.

In-Game StatisticsEdit

Mario Kart DS features several in-game statistics, some of which are not shown in the kart selection menu.[7] There are three types of Tires, either Small (S), Medium (M) or Large (L). Just like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, there is a Mini-Turbo statistics that corresponds to the length of the Mini-Turbo boost in frames. Acceleration is determined by three triplets of values, that are presumably related to the acceleration while drifting and the acceleration in all other conditions; there is also a deceleration value that determines the speed of the next frame as fraction of the current speed when not accelerating (such as when the kart is spinning or the acceleration button is not being held). There are four different types of off-road terrains, and accordingly the karts have four off-road statistics that are the relative top speed in each type of terrain.

In-game statistics of Mario Kart DS
Drivers: Karts: Tires: Weight: Mini-Turbo: Top Speed: Acceleration: Deceleration: Handling: Drift: Off-Road
Normal: While Drifting:
1st value: 2nd value: 3rd value: 1st value: 2nd value: 3rd value: Very Light: Light: Normal: Heavy:
Mario Standard MR kart_tire_M 0.5 45 7.5 0.0579 0.0239 0.7 0.0649 0.0239 0.75 0.984 0.0806 0.0537 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3
Shooting Star kart_tire_S 0.2 51 7.523 0.0598 0.0249 0.7 0.0669 0.0249 0.75 0.984 0.0823 0.0547 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3
B Dasher kart_tire_L 0.65 35 7.463 0.0549 0.0229 0.7 0.0608 0.0229 0.75 0.984 0.0789 0.0527 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3
Donkey Kong Standard DK kart_tire_M 0.5 30 7.6 0.0449 0.0229 0.45 0.0669 0.0188 0.9 0.978 0.0708 0.0635 0.85 0.62 0.4 0.22
Wildlife kart_tire_S 0.35 34 7.623 0.0469 0.0239 0.45 0.0688 0.0198 0.9 0.978 0.0723 0.0647 0.85 0.62 0.4 0.22
Rambi Rider kart_tire_L 0.75 23 7.562 0.043 0.022 0.45 0.063 0.0178 0.9 0.978 0.0693 0.0623 0.85 0.62 0.4 0.22
Toad Standard TD kart_tire_M 0.5 50 7.35 0.085 0.0269 0.7 0.085 0.0278 0.75 0.988 0.0842 0.0586 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
Mushmellow kart_tire_S 0.25 56 7.372 0.0879 0.0278 0.7 0.0879 0.0288 0.75 0.988 0.0859 0.0598 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
4-Wheel Cradle kart_tire_L 0.7 39 7.313 0.0798 0.0259 0.7 0.0798 0.0259 0.75 0.988 0.0825 0.0574 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
Bowser Standard BW kart_tire_M 0.5 25 7.7 0.0398 0.0188 0.45 0.0588 0.0168 0.9 0.976 0.0684 0.0586 0.84 0.6 0.38 0.2
Hurricane kart_tire_S 0.45 28 7.723 0.0408 0.0198 0.45 0.0608 0.0178 0.9 0.976 0.0698 0.0598 0.84 0.6 0.38 0.2
Tyrant kart_tire_L 0.8 19 7.662 0.0378 0.0178 0.45 0.0559 0.0159 0.9 0.976 0.0669 0.0574 0.84 0.6 0.38 0.2
Peach Standard PC kart_tire_M 0.5 40 7.4 0.075 0.0298 0.45 0.1099 0.0249 0.9 0.982 0.0769 0.0732 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
Light Tripper kart_tire_S 0.3 45 7.422 0.0779 0.0308 0.45 0.1138 0.0259 0.9 0.982 0.0784 0.0747 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
Royale kart_tire_L 0.7 31 7.363 0.0708 0.0278 0.45 0.1038 0.0239 0.9 0.982 0.0754 0.0718 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
Wario Standard WR kart_tire_M 0.5 35 7.65 0.042 0.0188 0.7 0.0479 0.0168 0.75 0.98 0.0769 0.0488 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Brute kart_tire_S 0.35 39 7.673 0.043 0.0198 0.7 0.0498 0.0178 0.75 0.98 0.0784 0.0498 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Dragonfly kart_tire_L 0.75 27 7.612 0.0398 0.0178 0.7 0.0449 0.0159 0.75 0.98 0.0754 0.0479 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Yoshi Standard YS kart_tire_M 0.5 60 7.45 0.095 0.0178 0.85 0.0618 0.0269 0.6 0.99 0.0928 0.0452 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
Egg 1 kart_tire_S 0.2 68 7.472 0.0979 0.0188 0.85 0.064 0.0278 0.6 0.99 0.0947 0.0461 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
Cucumber kart_tire_L 0.6 47 7.413 0.0898 0.0168 0.85 0.0588 0.0259 0.6 0.99 0.0908 0.0442 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
Luigi Standard LG kart_tire_M 0.5 55 7.55 0.063 0.0149 0.85 0.0488 0.0229 0.6 0.988 0.0879 0.0415 0.94 0.79 0.61 0.38
Poltergust 4000 kart_tire_S 0.25 62 7.573 0.0649 0.0159 0.85 0.0508 0.0239 0.6 0.988 0.0896 0.0422 0.94 0.79 0.61 0.38
Streamliner kart_tire_L 0.65 43 7.512 0.0598 0.0139 0.85 0.0459 0.022 0.6 0.988 0.0862 0.0408 0.94 0.79 0.61 0.38
Dry Bones Standard DB kart_tire_M 0.5 65 7.3 0.1199 0.022 0.85 0.073 0.0308 0.6 0.992 0.0977 0.0488 0.96 0.9 0.75 0.48
Dry Bomber kart_tire_S 0.4 73 7.322 0.1238 0.0229 0.85 0.0759 0.032 0.6 0.992 0.0996 0.0498 0.96 0.9 0.75 0.48
Banisher kart_tire_L 0.55 50 7.264 0.1128 0.021 0.85 0.0688 0.0288 0.6 0.992 0.0957 0.0479 0.96 0.9 0.75 0.48
Daisy Standard DS kart_tire_M 0.5 35 7.5 0.0618 0.0269 0.45 0.0898 0.022 0.9 0.98 0.0732 0.0684 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Light Dancer kart_tire_S 0.3 39 7.523 0.064 0.0278 0.45 0.0928 0.0229 0.9 0.98 0.0747 0.0698 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Power Flower kart_tire_L 0.55 27 7.463 0.0588 0.0259 0.45 0.085 0.021 0.9 0.98 0.0718 0.0669 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
Waluigi Standard WL kart_tire_M 0.5 40 7.55 0.0488 0.022 0.7 0.0559 0.0198 0.75 0.982 0.0806 0.0537 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
Gold Mantis kart_tire_S 0.45 45 7.573 0.0508 0.0229 0.7 0.0579 0.021 0.75 0.982 0.0823 0.0547 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
Zipper kart_tire_L 0.55 31 7.512 0.0459 0.021 0.7 0.053 0.0188 0.75 0.982 0.0789 0.0527 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
ROB Standard RB kart_tire_M 0.5 50 7.7 0.0459 0.012 0.85 0.043 0.0198 0.6 0.986 0.0842 0.0391 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
ROB-BLS kart_tire_S 0.38 56 7.723 0.0479 0.012 0.85 0.0449 0.021 0.6 0.986 0.0859 0.0398 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
ROB-LGS kart_tire_L 0.6 39 7.662 0.043 0.011 0.85 0.0408 0.0188 0.6 0.986 0.0825 0.0383 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
Shy Guy Standard SG kart_tire_M 0.5 60 7.45 0.095 0.0178 0.85 0.0618 0.0269 0.6 0.99 0.0928 0.0452 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
Unknown Karts 0.5 35 7.35 0.0598 0.0149 0.8 0.0598 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0879 0.0635 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3
0.5 35 7.37 0.0508 0.0139 0.8 0.063 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0842 0.0659 0.85 0.62 0.4 0.22
0.5 35 7.32 0.0659 0.0159 0.8 0.0659 0.021 0.85 0.98 0.0891 0.0647 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
0.5 35 7.39 0.0479 0.0139 0.8 0.054 0.0188 0.85 0.98 0.083 0.0647 0.84 0.6 0.38 0.2
0.5 35 7.33 0.0598 0.0149 0.8 0.0718 0.021 0.85 0.98 0.0867 0.0684 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
0.5 35 7.38 0.054 0.0139 0.8 0.054 0.0188 0.85 0.98 0.0867 0.0623 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
0.5 35 7.34 0.0688 0.0159 0.8 0.0569 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0916 0.061 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
0.5 35 7.36 0.063 0.0149 0.8 0.0508 0.0188 0.85 0.98 0.0903 0.0598 0.94 0.79 0.61 0.38
0.5 35 7.31 0.0718 0.0159 0.8 0.0598 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0928 0.0623 0.96 0.9 0.75 0.48
0.5 35 7.35 0.0569 0.0149 0.8 0.0688 0.021 0.85 0.98 0.0854 0.0671 0.86 0.64 0.43 0.24
0.5 35 7.36 0.0569 0.0149 0.8 0.0569 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0879 0.0635 0.88 0.67 0.46 0.27
0.5 35 7.39 0.0569 0.0149 0.8 0.0479 0.0188 0.85 0.98 0.0891 0.0586 0.92 0.74 0.55 0.34
0.5 35 7.34 0.0688 0.0159 0.8 0.0569 0.0198 0.85 0.98 0.0916 0.061 0.95 0.84 0.68 0.43
Unknown Karts: The statistics' tables show the statistics of 13 additional karts, it's unknown if those karts are actually karts used in the game, since they don't have associated data about the tires.


[224][225] The result. The emblem maker can be used to make a variety of designs, for example this picture of Mario. The options menu lets the player make their own emblem and name for racing throughout the game. They also have an option to make the emblem show up on the kart that they are currently driving. Additionally, this emblem will show up next to a player's name while driving in a multiplayer or Nintendo WFC race. Other options include audio options, and deleting data.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart DS.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Kart DS media.
[226] Figure 8 Circuit/Mario Circuit - The Main Circuit Theme 2:34

File info

[227] Waluigi Pinball/Wario Stadium - Waluigi Pinball/Wario Stadium Theme 2:07

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[228] Rainbow Road - Rainbow Road Theme 4:19

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Beta ElementsEdit

For a list of this game's beta elements, see here.

There were two unused items: the Chain Chomp and Bowser's Shell, although the Chain Chomp was the only one found in the item roulette. The Chain Chomp would have likely functioned the same as in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Professor Elvin Gadd was planned to be playable and would have had the Poltergust 4000 as his kart. Birdo may have also be planned as a playable character as there is a pink version of the Egg 1 found in the data.


For a list of this game's glitches, see here.

Choco Mountain Boulder GlitchEdit

In Choco Mountain, if the player goes to the lake and the water splashes before they fall, the boulder should hit them. If done correctly, they should start flying. The screen will then turn black as if they fell into the water. Lakitu will then pick them up. This glitch rarely works after the first time it's performed.

Delfino Square Boardwalk GlitchEdit

When the player goes up to the boardwalk that has the one item box, they must press the R button when they are on the wall. If timed correctly, the player can float on the side of the road. This will work in any mode.

Pipe Plaza Bob-Omb GlitchEdit

In Pipe Plaza, if the player has a Bob-Omb and drops it near one of the pipe holes, another player or a CPU should hit the Bob-Omb. If done correctly, the player should go through the pipe hole and he/she will fall. Lakitu will pick the player up as usual. This can also be done with a Super Star, but is harder to pull off.

Luigi's Mansion Freeze GlitchEdit

To perform this glitch the player must pick the Luigi's Mansion track in any mode with any character and kart. Once the race starts, the player must then park their character on the stairs at the entrance of the mansion. After that, hold down both the A and B buttons to drift in place. If the player tries to turn, the game will sometimes freeze. This glitch was fixed on the Wii U Virtual Console release.

Mini-Spin Turn Item GlitchEdit

To perform this glitch, the player must drive towards an item box in any mode (battle mode is preferred) and sit themselves right in the center where it appears so that they continuously break it open when it appears again. Then, the player should hold either left or right on the D-Pad. When the item box appears again, it will break as usual, and the player will turn a very small amount in the direction pressed. Given time, so long as the player doesn't move, the player can turn all the way round in the direction pressed.


Main Article: Mario Kart DS/Staff

General ProducerEdit



  • Makoto Wada
  • Yasuyuki Oyagi

Mission-Run Mode DirectorEdit

  • Kimiharu Hyodo

Wi-Fi Mode DirectorEdit

  • Katsuhito Nishimura


  • Shinya Hiratake
  • Taku Matoba

Programming DirectorEdit

  • Katsuhisa Sato

System ProgrammingEdit

  • Yusuke Shiraiwa

Critical AcclaimEdit

Mario Kart DS has been well received by the game critics. It still currently maintains a 9.2 average at Gamestats, #1 for a Nintendo DS game on the site (as of 15:40 22 December 2006). Gamespy reviewer Bryn Williams admitted that online, Nintendo "trimmed it back a little too much for my liking", but was certain that "Even with a few online flaws, this is the best Mario Kart game ever." With a rank of 5 out of 5 and describing the multiplayer experience as "great".

Gamespot reviewer Justin Calvert had similar quips with the online feature: "Whether these opponents were leaving voluntarily or because of network problems is anybody's guess, but it's equally irritating either way." Yet, he finished up similarly by saying that "Mario Kart DS is without a doubt one of the best games to hit the Nintendo DS to date." Mario Kart DS therefore received a score of 9.2 out of 10 and was regarded as Gamespot's Editor's Choice and DS game of the year. (9.2/10; Gamespot Editor's Choice; DS Game of the Year. IGN has given an overall score of 9.5 out of 10, granting the game as well the IGN Editor's Choice Award and DS game of the year. Reviewer Craig Harris commented that "it's just hard to ignore just how limited the online presentation is.", but ended the review with this: "The only way to finish this review is just to say it: this is the greatest Mario Kart game ever developed, and is without a doubt the best DS game of 2005."

IGN has also stated it as the best DS game in its top 25 Nintendo DS games.

Mario Kart DS is the 3rd best selling game for the Nintendo DS, selling 23.56 million copies worldwide.

Notable Mistakes And ErrorsEdit

  • The instruction booklet for earlier versions of this game makes an error in page 9. "Perform" is misspelled as "perfprm". This was fixed in later releases of the booklet.
  • On Page 12, the text of Blooper states, "Sprays ink on the all of the karts in front of you,...", where there is an extra "the" in between "on" and "all". This was not fixed in later releases of the booklet, however.

References To The Other GamesEdit

References In The Later GamesEdit

Names In The Other LanguagesEdit

Languages: Names: Meaning:
Japanese マリオカート DS, Mario Kāto DS Mario Kart DS
Spanish Mario Kart DS Mario Kart DS
French Mario Kart DS Mario Kart DS
German Mario Kart DS Mario Kart DS
Italian Mario Kart DS Mario Kart DS
Korean 마리오 카트 DS, Mario Kateu DS Mario Kart DS
Chinese 瑪利歐賽車DS, Mǎlìōu Sàichē DS Mario Racing DS



  • In the Japanese version of the game, ROB is red & white, the original Famicom Robot, HVC-012 (not truly the original Japanese ROB). Users have seen the Famicom Robot online as well. Additionally, the Famicom Robot is the true staff ghost on the Desert Hills and Rainbow Ride courses, not ROB (thus the * in the table above). The Famicom Robot has the same karts as ROB, even down to the same coloration.
  • A player's overall game ranking (*, **, or *** stars, if achieved) will appear next to his or her name online while racing. In the options menu, players can choose a name to be known as and create an emblem using 16-bit colors.
  • In all the four Nintendogs games, a kart is unlockable as a toy. These unlockable karts are the Mario k=Kart, Peach Kart, and Bowser Kart. (They are standard models from this game)
  • This is the only Mario Kart game where Lakitu does not start the matches off as a referee.
  • If the game is played on the original Nintendo DS, Mario says, "Yahoo!" on the Nintendo logo screen, but if it is played on the DS Lite, DSi, 3DS, any other DS system, Wii, or Wii U, he says, "Here we go!"[8]
  • During the race when a character gets the item, some sound effects, such as the item roulette and countdown chimes, and the sound effect stop selection was "Blah". were carried over to Mario Kart Wii (for the Wii) and Mario Kart 7.
  • The American version of Mario Kart DS is one of the few games on the DS to have a "Language Block". Depending on the language of the DS, the language of the game will change; however, it will not change into Japanese on non-Japanese copies of the game. Almost all European DS games have this function.
  • In the options menu, players can choose a name to be known as and create an emblem using 16-bit colors.
  • Mario Kart Slot Cars were created as a promotion for this game.
  • There has been a well-known glitch on the Luigi's Mansion course that allows the player to freeze the game. On the Luigi's Mansion course, on the stairs, if the player were to hold A and B and press one of the direction keys, and the game freezes.
  • The Chain Chomp was going to be an item, but it was replaced in favor of the Bullet Bill. However, the Chain Chomp Theme (similar to that of Double Dash's theme, but with a melody, extended bassline and bridge. This theme appears in Mission Mode level 5-1, where Peach has to race a stray Chain Chomp in Peach Gardens.
  • A number of other tracks were to be included in this game, and 4 of them can be accessed by using Action Replay DS.
  • This is the first Mario Kart installment to be released in Australia.
  • Mario Kart Wii's beta logo is similar to that of Mario Kart DS's logo.
  • Mario Kart DS is the only game in the Mario Kart series without Lakitu holding up the starting lights at the beginning of a race.
  • In the course Bowser Castle, when playing Versus Mode, there is a very common glitch in which the player starts in 7th place instead of 8th place.
  • One of Wario's karts is based on American sedans of the 1950s
  • Luigi's Streamliner is based on the prototypes used in the Can Am Series in the 1960s-70s
  • One of Yoshi's karts is based on open-wheel racecars of the fifties
  • Mario's default kart is based on open-wheel racecars of the sixties
  • As with the other games, due to the game's Rumble Pak capabilities, copies of the game made before the release of the Nintendo DSi will not work on the Nintendo DSi or Nintendo 3DS.
  • This is the first game in the series to use the current logo in its title.
  • The instruction booklet for earlier versions of this game makes an error in Page 9. "Perform" is misspelled as "perform". This was fixed in later releases of the game.
  • Another error can be found in Page 12, where the text of Blooper states, "Sprays ink on the all of the karts in front of you,...", where there is an extra "the" "in between "on" and "all". This was not fixed in later releases of the game, however.
  • This is the only game in the Mario Kart series where Peach and Daisy are not in the same weight class, although Daisy is slightly heavier than Peach and there are four drivers per weight class out of the twelve.
  • This game and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! are the only two games in the Mario Kart series where Waluigi is in the Medium class. Subsequent games moved him to the Large class, due to his size.
  • The default characters' Standard Karts use the same colors as their karts from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit (which were later known in Mario Kart 7 as the Pipe Frame for bodies). In subsequent games, Donkey Kong and Bowser ditched the yellow and dark orange (respectively) for signature colors (unless using the Pipe Frame for the body in Mario Kart 7).
  • This is the first, and by far the only Mario Kart game where Lakitu does not start the races off as a referee.
  • The official artwork for Dry Bones has an error; his kart is gold instead of grey.
  • The courses in the game's Battle Mode all have the same music. The course Twilight House reappears in Mario Kart Wii.
  • This is the first game to feature Bullet Bills and Bob-Ombs (The Bob-Omb is a special item used by Wario and Waluigi in Double Dash!! and have never appeared in the earlier Mario Kart games.


  1. Point System for 5 Players.
  2. Point System for 6 Players.
  3. Point System for 7 Players.
  6. A transcription of the in-game statistics of Mario Kart DS. The values used to fill the bars in the kart selection screen are found in the kartmenuparam and charmenuparam sections.
  7. A transcription of the in-game statistics of Mario Kart DS. Please note that due to the 16-bit Fixed Point format used by the game, rational numbers are shown as integers that must be divided by 4096.
  8. Mario Kart DS on the DS Lite YouTube. Retrieved October 11, 2015

External LinksEdit