Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Allows For Vehicle Customization Within Lobby

One of the most frustrating menu setups in Mario Kart 8 will be fixed in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: changing your character and vehicle without leaving the lobby!

When I first started playing Mario Kart 8, I was constantly switching my characters and trying out the plethora of different kart configurations the game provides. All of these vehicle options are one of my favorite parts of the game. Want a little less speed but more acceleration? Just swap your wheels. Want less weight? Then try this motorcycle instead of a big ol’ kart.

But when you play online multiplayer, the game does not make swapping your vehicle load out between matches easy. At all. You can’t actually make any changes until you leave your current online lobby. So in a game that has an insane number of vehicle customization options, you have to leave your group, make your change(s), then queue back up to join a new group. I’ve never fully understood the logic behind this long and unnecessary process.

Mario Kart 8

Credit: Nintendo

To be completely granular, it takes a total of five clicks to get back to the kart customization menu, then another three clicks to select all three vehicle options. You press B to leave your current group, then are prompted if you want to leave the group. Hitting “Yes” will take you back to the screen to select the type of multiplayer (worldwide, regional, etc.). From there you select your race type (VS Race, Battle, or Custom). After that you finally get to select your character, then change your vehicle, your wheels, and your glider.

Granted, you start searching for a lobby while you are selecting your character. But the point is, you have to go through a lot of hoops to do something that should take only one or two button clicks. Plus having to requeue into a new lobby is ridiculous! But thankfully, my woes and pains will be eased when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is released for the Nintendo Switch.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Nintendo Switch


When we met with Nintendo at PAX East, we had the chance to play several Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Battle Mode matches via multiplayer LAN. During the demo, my Switch happened to be the one hosting the lobby. I noticed while we were in our multiplayer lobby, just a single button press took me back to the character selection screen, followed by the vehicle customization screen. This did not make me leave the lobby or kick any of the other players out.

Let me reiterate. It took a single button press to get to the screen that on the Wii U took me five. Plus I could do it all without leaving the current game lobby. I was honestly so surprised when I found this out I had to ask the Nintendo Treehouse representative on hand about it, who confirmed what I saw. Based on his response, I am under the impression this is not only a multiplayer LAN feature either. It’s also worth noting that the version we played in our demo was the full entire game, not a demo or unfinished version.

I know to some this seems like such a small change. But it was one of the sticking points for me in Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, and I’m sure for many others as well. It’s the small things that count, and Nintendo clearly took a good hard look at multiple aspects of the game when remastering it for the Switch.