KartRider Drift powerslides onto PC and mobiles

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Mario is the long-reigning king of kart racers. But with Mario Kart only accessible on Nintendo consoles, the door is wide open for other contenders to steal the crown.

Disney Speedstorm is arguably this year’s most anticipated new kart racer, with a huge cast of iconic Disney and Pixar characters and recognisable locations. Unlike Mario Kart, Disney Speedstorm is multiplatform, making it accessible to a wider audience.

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But while the Disney-themed kart racer is delayed until an unspecified date, there’s another free-to-play kart racer that may have slipped under your radar.

KartRider Drift out now for PC and mobile

Based on the hugely popular KartRider series, KartRider Drift is a new multiplayer kart racer that launched this week.

Free-to-play, KartRider Drift is out now with a Preseason launch on PC, iOS, and Android. PS4 and Xbox One versions are set to follow soon when Season 1 launches, with a release date to be confirmed at a later date.

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It’s also cross-platform, so you can tear up the track with friends on any platform.

Game modes

KartRider’s preseason launch lets players choose from 16 characters and race 25 karts, with a wealth of character and vehicle customisation options.

As for game modes, Speed Mode is a standard race mode with an emphasis on drifting to fill up your boost meter. Time Attack Mode allows racers to compare times and compete for a top spot on the leaderboards, while Item Mode adds chaotic powerups to races.

KartRider Drift screenshot
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Additional characters, karts, accessories, and emotes can be unlocked with the Racing Pass where racers can compete in daily challenges and events.

While KartRider is free to play, purchasing a Premium Racing Pass unlocks bonus Premium challenges. Some items can also only be purchased with premium K-COIN premium currency, but others can be bought using in-game Lucci currency earned from playing challenges.

Can KartRider dethrone Mario Kart?

While KartRider is unfamiliar to western players, the series is massively popular in South Korea. Launched in 2004, the first game in the series, Crazyracing KartRider, has amassed over 380 million players and is the longest-running esports league.

KartRider Drift screenshot

If KartRider Drift can gain that much exposure outside of Asia, then Mario Kart may have a new challenger.