Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo SwitchYou know you're better than your buddies, so why not prove it in a multiplayer race!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is now available on Nintendo Switch, and while much of the content is the same as it is on Wii U, there are a few changes, like most (but not all) of the characters, karts, tires, and gliders are already unlocked.

If you're setting up a multiplayer race to compete against your buddies for the first time, here are a few things to help you make the best race of your life.

How to select your controllers

Registering your controllers

Afer you've selected the type of multiplayer race — Grand Prix, Vs Race, or Battle — you'll have to pick the controllers you'll use to play the game.

Luckily, your Switch will automatically check for the type of controllers you are using to play a multiplayer game. Whether you have two, three, or four players, you'll be asked to register each controller by pressing the R and L buttons simultaneously. If you are using Pro controllers, or Joy-Con Grips, press the shoulder L and R buttons at the same time.

If you are using a split Joy-Con — one person is using the left controller and another is using the right — press the side L and R buttons (which will be orientated to the top when holding a Joy-Con in landscape position).

Have each player confirm their controller before continuing to choose your characters, karts, and the course.

How to set up a multiplayer race

You can pick from three different types of races in multiplayer mode: Grand Prix, Vs. Race, and Battle. Each one offers a different type of game play, and each type has options for what type of race you run.

  • Grand Prix - Choose from 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, 200cc, or Mirror. The "cc" means how fast your kart can go. If you're new to the game, pick 50cc until you're experienced enough to move on. In Mirror races, everything is backwards and upside-down, which is very disorienting, but tons of fun, especially if you're getting too familiar with a particular course.
  • Vs Race - In Vs Race, you get to customize the rules. You have the same cc speed options, plus the Mirror track, but you can also select whether you and the others are playing on teams or free-for-all. You can also choose the type of items that can be collected in the game: No items, no items or coins, frantic items, normal items, shells only, bananas only, mushrooms only, or Bob-ombs only. You can choose which level of COM the karts can be from no COM, or easy, medium, or hard. You can also restrict the type of COM vehicles to karts only or bikes only. When it comes to selecting courses for the full Vs. race, you can choose them yourself, have them randomly generated, or play in order. Lastly, you can play four, six, eight, 12, 16, 24, 32, or 48 races. If you plan on having a very long racing session with your buddies, you'll be needing a pitstop before you're done with all 48 races.
  • Battle - In Battle mode, you can select the style of battle, from Shine Thief, Random Battle, Balloon Battle, Renegade Roundup, Bob-omb Blast, or Coin Runners. You can also select the same customizable options as in the Vs Race, with the addition of round times for all but the Shine Thief battle.

Once you've selected a race type and customized your options, hit OK and you're ready to play.

How to join an online multiplayer race with friends

One of the joys of playing Mario Kart 8 is that you don't have to invite your friends over in order to race against them. You can do so while sitting in your pajamas by racing against them online.

  1. Select Online play from the game menu.
  2. Select one or two players, depending on how many of you are in the same room playing on the same Switch (you can have up to two).
  3. Select Friends from the Online Play menu.

    Select Online Play, then select Friends

  4. Select a friend that is currently playing.
  5. Select Join to join in a race with that friend.

    Select a friend, then select Join

If your friend is in the middle of a tournament, you'll enter Spectator Mode until that race is over. You can then join in on the next race.

How to set up an online tournament your friends can join

You can create a tournament that your friends can join by entering a special code.

  1. Select Online play from the game menu.
  2. Select one or two players, depending on how many of you are in the same room playing on the same Switch (you can have up to two).
  3. Select Tournament from the Online Play menu.

    Select Online play, then select Tournament

  4. Select Create Tournament.
  5. Select Yes to confirm that you want to create a tournament.
  6. Select an icon for your tournament, which will be on display for the public.
  7. Select OK.

    Select Create Tournament, then select OK

  8. Enter a Name for your tournament. This information will be public, so don't use anything personal (or offensive).
  9. Select OK when you're done naming the tournament.

    Name your Tournament, then select OK

  10. Set the tournament rules, and choose when it will be active.

    You can set up your tournament to take place weekly, daily, or on a specific date. You can choose a start and end time, and select the number of races for the entire tournament.

Once your tournament has been created, make a note of the code. This is how you will share your tournament with others. They will be able to enter the code to join.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to set up a multiplayer race on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Put them in the comments or head over to our Nintendo Switch forum.