Who are the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe characters? If you’ve not heard of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe by now, then, well, where have you been? Hitting the ranks as one of the best-selling games and best Nintendo Switch games of all time, it’s no surprise that even years on from initial release, there’s plenty left to talk and think about from Nintendo’s iconic racing game. You know, something like the fact there’s 42 different playable characters to choose from. That choice might feel a little overwhelming when it comes to picking your best racer, but we’ve got you sorted.
The best way we’ve been able to put together this Mario Kart 8 Deluxe characters guide is by splitting them into three different weight classes – light, medium, and heavy. Of course, there’s a wealth of variation in each class depending on what each character is like and how much they… weigh. But there’s aesthetics, fun, and general favouritism that may also play a part in your decision.
For now, we’ve sorted the characters into divisions, provided a lowdown on the characters themselves, and hopefully ultimately we’ll help you make your big decision. Obviously, you can mix it up with every race, but everyone’s got a few they find wheel-y great. Without further ado, let’s tear it up with our list below.
All MARIO KART 8 DELUXE CHARACTERS
There are 42 playable Mario Kart 8 Deluxe characters to choose from. They are:
Baby Daisy – very light
There’s five infant counterparts to fully-grown characters in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Baby Daisy starts us off. She’s not fast and she’s certainly not heavy, but boy, can she accelerate and grip the track.
Baby Luigi – very light
We’re a bit gutted that he doesn’t come with his own baby moustache, but Baby Luigi is the, you guessed it, baby version of the main man, Luigi. Sharing stats with his brother, Baby Mario, Dry Bones, and any small Miis.
Baby Mario- very light
It’s-a Me, Baby Mario! He’s got an arsenal of skills from sports, helping his younger brother Baby Luigi, battling enemies, and, of course, driving karts. In the very light weight category, he’s extremely zippy round the tracks.
Baby Peach – very light
One of the lightest characters in the game, Baby Peach has the best handling and traction. You’d think so too given how teeny-tiny she is. She comes with all the same features of adult Peach, crown and all.
Baby Rosalina – very light
Fifth and final baby. There’s a lot of them causing havoc on the tracks! Infant-aged Rosalina is a lightweight racer similar in stats to Lemmy Koopa and she’s pretty cute to boot.
Dry Bones – very light
If you think playing as a skeleton would be more lightweight, you’d be right. Dry Bones is the boney form of Koopa Troopas that’s been around since 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 3. We suppose skeletons don’t age, right?
Lemmy Koopa – very light
The tiniest of the Koopaling siblings, Lemmy is vibrant, bouncy, and very, very short. He’s also great at making tires apparently with his Lemmy’s Tire Service adverts popping up around some of the game’s tracks.
Bowser Jr. – light
If one Bowser wasn’t enough to terrorise the Mario lands, he’s got a son. Bowser Jr. first appeared in Super Mario Sunshine and has been helping his dad ever since on his ultimate quest to kidnap Princess Peach. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, he’s just here for a good race.
Isabelle (DLC) – light
Joining the villagers from Animal Crossing: New Leaf further down on our list, Isabelle is a dog character from the popular AC franchise. Sure, she’s busy being a secretary in her usual game, but she’s down for a race and brings her signature City Tripper vehicle with her.
Koopa Troopa – light
The usual turtle-y form of the Koopa Troopa when not in skeleton form, Dry Bones, is a quirky little creature with removable shells. Yes, the very green, red, and blue shells you see storming round the tracks mixing up positioning.
Lakitu – light
Cloud-riding Koopa, Lakitu, can usually be found refereeing a lot of Mario sports games but he’s got himself a racing seat in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Donning his racer goggles, he’s eager for a friendly (and not-so-friendly) race.
Larry Koopa – light
Another of the childlike Koopalings, Larry is a lightweight racer. Although, we’d argue that most of his weight is carried in that enormous blue mohawk. He shares racing stats with the likes of Toad and Shy Guy.
Shy Guy – light
An iconic enemy of the Mario franchise, Shy Guy comes masked as per usual to take on the tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. He’s in an incredible number of Mario games and he’s not letting up anytime soon.
Toad – light
Protector of Mushroom Kingdom, Toad is often seen standing by Princess Peach’s side but he’s taking charge behind the wheel for this one. He also brings two of his own tracks, Toad Harbour and N64 Toad’s Turnpike to the game.
Toadette – light
Initially strictly for racing purposes, a female version of Toad, Toadette, joined for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and has been racing ever since. She’s one of the heavier lightweights, sharing stats similar to Toad, Koopa Troopa, Shy Guy, and more.
Wendy O. Koopa – light
The sole female of the Koopaling gang, Wendy O. Koopa is absolutely full to the brim with sass. A bright pink bow, some great gold jewellery, and bright red necklace are just some of her fashion accessories. Plus, her pink heels don’t slip on the pedals.
Cat Peach (DLC) – medium
Adorned with her cat suit from Super Mario 3D World, Princess Peach enjoys racing along in her pink cat outfit consisting of big white paws, tail, furry body, and some suitably cute ears. A little lighter than Peach and a noticeably different language consisting only of meows.
Inkling Boy – medium
A Splatoon x Mario Kart 8 Deluxe collab sees Inkling Boy join the roster in both male and female versions. Each with their own set of stats, Inkling Boy also comes with a few different outfit changers, should you wish to customise him even more.
Inkling Girl – medium
As mentioned, there’s also Inkling Girl in orange, lime, and magenta to play with. Hopping over from Splatoon in her human/squid form, playable for the first time in the Mario franchise, Inkling Girl joined during the Nintendo Switch port.
Princess Peach – medium
It wouldn’t be a Mario game without Princess Peach with her poofy pink dress and golden hair racing majestically through the racing tracks. Yes, there’s also Baby Peach and Pink Gold Peach and even Cat Peach, but Princess is the original and she’s in it to win it.
Princess Daisy – medium
Another member of royalty is Princess Daisy of Sarasaland. She’s one of the good guys and Luigi is especially a fan. Sharing stats with Princess Peach and Yoshi, Daisy is one of the lighter middleweights to choose from in the game.
Tanooki Mario (DLC) – medium
This form of Mario (or Luigi) is an old-timer, first turning up in Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1988. But his cute little fluffy tail, perked up ears, and cuddly body make him a lovely little animal choice for racing with, similar in stature to Inkling Boy and Villager Male.
Villager Male (DLC) – medium
From another iconic Nintendo franchise, Animal Crossing, comes the Villager – available in both male and female form for your racing needs. Initially part of a DLC in Mario 8, the Deluxe port gets Villager from the offset and they even come with the New Leaf logo to jazz up their kart.
Villager Female (DLC) – medium
And where there’s a male Villager, there’s also the female Villager. Suited and booted in her Animal Crossing attire of a red and white dress with pink ponytail, Villager shares her stats with Cat Peach.
Yoshi – medium
An absolute Mario franchise stalwart is the dinosaur-like little fella, Yoshi. Or not so little considering he sits amongst the rankings in medium weight. He’s done a lot of racing in his time, so he’s no novice to the Mario Kart tracks.
Iggy Koopa – medium heavy
There’s all seven of the Koopaling tribe on our list and Iggy Koopa is one of two sitting in the middleweight division sharing similar stats to Luigi with a little better handling than others in the middle, but worse traction overall.
Ludwig Von Koopa – medium heavy
The oldest and most voluminous-haired of the Koopaling gang is Ludwig. Whilst his brother shares stats with Luigi, Ludwig fancies himself as more of a Mario-type racer. His big blue hair doesn’t have any stat leanings, but it sure looks cool.
Luigi – medium heavy
Our last two characters on the medium weight list are the iconic brothers themselves, Luigi and Mario. Famed for his death stare that became somewhat of a meme across the world, he’s angry and he’s ready to race down for pole position.
Mario – medium heavy
Obviously Mario is one of the characters considering it’s his game. There’s multiple variants to Mario on our list – Tanooki, Metal, and Baby – but this here is the original and he’s a great hits all bases kind of racer.
Donkey Kong – heavy
A stalwart of the Mario Kart racing games and figurehead character in his own right, Donkey Kong is the big, brown monkey that dominates the race track. Aesthetically, he looks like he’d crush a car, but somehow he makes it work.
King Boo – heavy
Leader of Boos, racer of Mario Kart, King Boo joins the heavy ranks of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Perhaps surprisingly so considering he’s a ghost and all, but maybe the heavy responsibility of ruling a Kingdom weighs him down. King Boo also boasts the strongest mini-turbo boost of the heavyweight category.
Link (DLC) – heavy
The Legend of Zelda crossover saw Link join Mario Kart in a DLC, making it the first time you can play as Link in the Mario franchise. A lighter racer in the heavy category, he brings with him the Master Cycle, based on his Master Sword, as well as Zelda-themed course, Hyrule Circuit.
Metal Mario / Gold Mario – heavy
Metal Mario’s been around since 1996’s Super Mario 64, and he’s not done being Mario’s metallic variant yet. Returning in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, his heavy form returns, once helping him reach the bottom of water, now helping weigh him down in his vehicle to race round the track. Replaced by Gold Mario, the only unlockable character in the game, after winning all 12 base game gold cups at 200cc.
Pink Gold Peach – heavy
She’s the pink gold version of, you guessed it, Princess Peach. Mario Kart 8 is the first time Pink Gold Peach has appeared in the franchise and has been criticised for being a replica of another character rather than unique.
Rosalina – heavy
From Super Mario Galaxy comes Rosalina, protector of the cosmos and friend of Mario. Known for having the best mini-turbo boost of all the heavyweights, she’s also the first female to sit in this category.
Roy Koopa – heavy
An unlockable character in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from winning a Grand Prix, Roy is another of the seven Koopalings in the game. It’s the first time players have been able to actually play as Roy. He’s vibrant, aggressive, and he’s got some spectacular pink sunnies to style him out.
Waluigi – heavy
Waluigi, the very frowny purple nemesis of Luigi. Long gone are his days of tennis with his partner, Wario, and now he’s tearing his way through Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and bringing his signature bike, The Duke, along with him.
Bowser – very heavy
Famed Mario boss, Bowser, is the king of the Koopa Troop and a big, heavy king at that. Part of the very heavy category, he dwarfs any kart or bike he rides upon whilst chasing down archi-rival Mario on the track.
Dry Bowser (DLC) – very heavy
Appearing as part of the Animal Crossing DLC in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Dry Bowser is the undead, skeletal form of Bowser. Like Bowser, he’s grand in stature with identical stats to boot which also match with the likes of Wario, Morton, and the large Mii.
Morton Koopa Jr. – very heavy
Rounding out the heavyweight of the Koopalings is Morton Koopa Jr. He’s a random unlock from placing first in a Grand Prix cup. He’s quick and heavy, but his other stats pale in comparison. Good for zipping about the track and effortlessly pushing others out the way.
Wario – very heavy
Last but not least from our very heavy category is Wario, Mario’s nemesis. Given that he kind of looks like a large, angry, alternate coloured version of Mario, he sits as one of the heaviest racers in the game. Racing as Wario on a gold standard kart is a very popular choice amongst players.
Mii – all weights
Mii is your digital avatar inside of Nintendo. You can kind of make it look like you and you can give them a name. Depending on what size you made them depends on which category they’ll fall into in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. So, that’s why they can turn up in any and every weight class. Plus, you can give them a bunch of different racing outfits.
So there you have it, all the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe characters available in the game. Pair this with the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe kart in game and you’ll be off to a winner in no time at all.