When will Mario Kart 9 be released?

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Mario Kart is the undisputed king of kart racers. With over 150 million copies sold, it’s one of the best-selling racing game franchises of all time.

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To date, there are eight mainline Mario Kart games as well as the Tour mobile spin-off and Home Circuit, which uses augmented reality to superimpose characters and racetracks in your living room. But when will Mario Kart 9 be released?

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When will Mario Kart 9 be released?

While there were rumours Nintendo will announce MK9 this year, this seems unlikely. During February's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed a new Booster Course Pass, which adds another 48 retro tracks to MK8 Deluxe as paid DLC.

With the DLC, the number of tracks in MK8 Deluxe increases to 96. This is the most tracks in any MK game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass
48 tracks are coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the Booster Course Pass
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Nintendo is releasing these tracks in six waves until the end of 2023, with each wave containing eight tracks from past MK games. The timing suggests we won't get MK9 until 2024 at the earliest. But will MK9 be a Switch game?

Historically, each Nintendo system only has one Mario Kart game. For example, Double Dash!! was the only MK game on the GameCube. With this in mind, MK9 could be a launch title for Nintendo’s next console rumoured to arrive in 2024 or the long-rumoured 4K Switch Pro.

Is Mario Kart 9 in development?

Even though it launched in 2017 and is an enhanced port of a Wii U game from 2014, MK8 Deluxe sales are showing no signs of slowing down. Since 2017, MK8 Deluxe has sold 43.35 million copies, making it the best-selling Nintendo Switch game.

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Combined, MK8 and MK8 Deluxe have sold over 50 million copies. It’s a testament to its mass appeal that MK8 Deluxe still regularly appears in the UK’s best-selling games charts week after week.   

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe screenshot
Mario Kart 9 is reportedly in "active development" - but when will it be released?

With strong sales and people still playing MK8 Deluxe in droves, Nintendo doesn’t have much incentive to release a sequel right now.

According to an analyst, however, MK9 is in “active development.” It's worth noting Nintendo hasn't officially confirmed this, though. MK9 will also allegedly feature a “new twist.”  

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Mario Kart sequels often add new gameplay elements such as underwater tracks, motion controls, and gliders. MK9 could add a track editor or new vehicle types such as boats and planes to shake up the gameplay, but this is pure speculation. We also expect MK9 to have new powerups, circuits, and characters.  

Another rumour claims the new MK game is either called Mario Kart 10 (if you count Tour as the ninth MK game) or Mario Kart Crossroads.

Mario Kart 9 character and track list

No Mario Kart game is complete without a colourful cast of characters. MK9 will be no exception. MK8 Deluxe features the largest character roster to date, with characters from Animal Crossing, Zelda, and Splatoon making an appearance. There are also reinterpretations of classic F-Zero tracks.

Mario kArt 8 Deluxe screnshot Splatoon
MK8 Dexlue added characters from Splatoon - could characters from Super Smash Bros. be next?
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Recent rumours claim that characters and tracks from other Nintendo franchises such as Advance Wars, Animal Crossing, ARMS, Balloon Fight, F-ZERO, Kidicarus, Splatoon, and Zelda will appear in MK9.