Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit — Is it worth buying two or more karts?

Mario Kart Live Two Karts
Mario Kart Live Two Karts (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit changes up Nintendo's classic racing game by bringing the racetrack and karts into the real world. Up to four players can race against each other. It used to be that if you want to play against real people and not just the virtual opponents in the game, each player had to to have their own Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite and their own kart. But with the latest update, two karts can be controlled from one Nintendo Switch in split-screen multiplayer. Just hand a Joy-Con to a friend and use the one side of the controller to control your kart.

But is it worth buying more than one Mario Kart Live kart to play multiplayer? That really depends on who you are and how you like to play. Here are some things to consider to help you determine whether or not it's worth buying multiple Mario Kart Live cars.

Do you need multiple cars to enjoy Mario Kart Live?

Mario Kart Live Luigi Switch And Gate

Mario Kart Live Luigi Switch And Gate (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Not necessarily. As I said in my Mario Kart Live review, this is a novelty game best shared with others. But that doesn't mean you need multiple cars. During part of my testing, I took turns sharing one car with other people in my home. Each person was allowed to play through one race, and then it was the next person's turn. As long as people are patient and willing to wait, you can have plenty of fun with only one RC car.

If you plan on sharing one remote control car with multiple people, I suggest playing with the Switch docked to your TV so everyone in the room can see what's happening within the game. Those who aren't playing can work together creating the track for the person who's at the wheel (so to speak).

Mario Kart Live Luigi Red Shell Piranha Plant (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

If you're planning on playing by yourself, the software does a good job of giving you things to work towards. The Koopalings can be hard to beat, but not so much that you want to rip your hair out. So you'll be willing to race against them time and time again. Additionally, you unlock virtual obstacles that you can customize the track with as you continue to play. Not to mention gathering coins on the track helps you unlock virtual costumes for Mario, Luigi, and their karts. So there's plenty to keep solo players entertained.

The difference between one kart and multiple karts

Mario Kart Live Mario And Luigi With Gate (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

I also tested the game when a second Mario Kart Live RC car was present. My husband and I played against each other, and we were cackling and trash-talking each other within minutes. Obviously, the biggest change with Mario Kart Live multiplayer is that you race competitively against others instead of just racing against the software.

This made it more fun for me since having another person to play against gave me a reason to win. It also gave me someone to laugh with when something went wrong, like when my cat walked right in the middle of the track just as my husband's RC car came around a corner. If you think using multiple RC cars looks fun and are willing to spend the money, it can really provide an exciting social multiplayer experience for everyone that plays.

Should I buy multiple Mario Kart Live cars? Consider the cost

Mario Kart Live Mario And Luigi Facing Forward (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

As I said before, up to four players can race together. Two karts can be controlled by one Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite or another options is for each player to have their own Switch and their own kart. If you've already got multiple Switch consoles in your house, this will feel a little more feasible. However, purchasing more gaming systems just to play this game will run you at least $300 a pop.

Then, of course, the karts sell for $100 each. That's rather expensive if you want to get multiple cars for your home. If that's way out of your budget, then an alternative would be to get a Nintendo Switch racing game that everyone can enjoy from the same gaming system.

Should I buy multiple Mario Kart Live cars? Space requirements

Mario Kart Live Course

Mario Kart Live Course (Image credit: Nintendo)

You really ought to have at least a 10-by-12-foot hard floor playing area if you're hoping to host Mario Kart Live races in your home. The cars work best on hard floors and low-pile carpets or rugs. However, they can easily get stuck on medium to high-pile fibers and make races frustrating. Not to mention, the local WiFi signal can easily get interrupted by walls and large objects in your home, so you need a large and open playing space. Even my kitchen island, though small was enough to disrupt the signal when it stood between me and my kart.

What about playing outside?

Nintendo says you should not play Mario Kart Live outside. This is likely because the karts can get damaged if dirt, mud, water, grass, or dust get inside the RC car's wheels or main body. However, it might be safe to play on a clean hard surface like a driveway or a tennis court if that's available to you. Just remember to play carefully and consider the risks of damaging those expensive karts.

Who will get the most out of Mario Kart Live?

Since this is such an expensive purchase, it's good to consider whether or not you'll get hours and hours of fun out of it or if it will be a novelty experience that you just end up throwing in the closet after one or two uses.

You should buy multiple Mario Kart Live sets if...

  • You love building things: Friends and families who love to build, whether that be with blocks, LEGOs, or other projects, will have more fun setting up interesting courses for others to try out. I highly recommend creating racetrack boundaries with things like blocks, cones, and other objects.
  • You're an RC car enthusiast: If people in your family already love playing with remote control race cars, then this will definitely be something you'll want to whip out frequently.
  • You frequently have get-togethers: If it's common for you to have family or friends over for special parties, then having multiple Mario Kart Live Mario and Luigi sets will be a fun activity to whip out for everyone.
  • You're a collector of all things Nintendo: Mario Kart Live is seriously one of the biggest examples of Nintendo being Nintendo. If you're an avid collector, then you really ought to pick up both the Mario and the Luigi set.

You should not buy multiple Mario Kart Live sets if...

  • You don't have the space: It can be hard setting up a decent track unless you have a large open space to work with. If you're forced to create a small playing area, you'll really only be able to create one type of track. Additionally, if the course is too small, it will likely get frustrating for multiple people to take tight turns.
  • You don't like the idea of creating your own racetrack: Half of the fun with Mario Kart Live is setting up new courses for you and your friends to run through. If the track creation process doesn't sound appealing, then maybe you should just stick to playing the traditional Mario Kart 8 Deluxe racer for Nintendo Switch.

Mario Kart Live Multiple cars

Whether or not you should purchase multiple Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit sets really comes down to how you and your family or friends will use them. If you think this game might not hold your attention for very long, then maybe you should stick to getting a co-op Nintendo Switch game that everyone can enjoy from the same screen. It will be a lot less expensive than purchasing multiple karts.

However, if you and the people you want to play with love to build and love playing with RC cars or other remote control gadgets, then you probably should consider getting more than one car. This also makes for a fun activity for special occasions like family reunions, birthdays, and other get-togethers. So it might just be worth it to have on hand if you frequently host groups of people in your home.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.