Nintendo is finally launching an open-access multiplayer mode beta for Mario Kart Tour, meaning you’ll soon be able to race your friends in real time on iOS and Android.
The mobile racing game first launched back in September 2019. And while popular among fans, it initially lacked any sort of multiplayer gameplay — meaning players could only race against the clock or with computer-generated drivers.
Multiplayer gameplay has been on the table for a while, however. Back in December, Nintendo actually beta tested the feature. But, at the time, the test was only available to players who purchased a $5-per-month Gold Pass in-app subscription.
Now, the game studio is launching a second round of testing that will be open to all Mario Kart Tour players.
Players who have unlocked at least one cup within the game will be able to activate multiplayer mode within the game’s menu. After that, they’ll be able to race against other live players until the test period ends Tuesday, Jan. 28.
You’ll be able to race against randomly chosen competitors or, if you enable location access, nearby friends.
Of course, multiplayer mode is still in beta testing, which means that you may experience some bugs along the way. Similarly, Nintendo notes that multiplayer saves won’t transfer over to the actual release of multiplayer gameplay — at least, for now. Just a couple of things to keep in mind.
It isn’t clear whether multiplayer will remain open-for-all once it actually launches, or if players will need to be Gold Pass subscribers to access it.
In any case, the lack of a multiplayer component has been one of the chief complaints about Mario Kart Tour since its launch, in addition to questionable gameplay mechanics and the prevalence of objectively pricey in-app purchases.
The tenth game in the Mario Kart series, Mario Kart Tour was actually the first to not be released on a Nintendo console. In the game, players race as and against characters from across the Mushroom Kingdom and use a variety of power-ups to gain advantages over other drivers.
Mario Kart Tour multiplayer gameplay officially launches the same day beta testing ends on Jan. 28.