Mario Kart Tour gacha mechanics set for removal

Mario Kart Tour is set to undergo a major overhaul in October, which includes the removal of gacha.
mario kart tour changes

Mobile racing game Mario Kart Tour is set to undergo a major overhaul on 5 October 2022, with a new update set to remove the game’s long-criticised gacha elements, replacing them with a Spotlight Shop where players will be able to purchase karts and other in-game items outright.

Previously, the gacha-based system required players to spend Rubies on unique Pipe collectibles, which opened to reveal drivers and other in-game goodies. The system relied on players continuously spending rubies with only a chance to earn rare collectibles. While these Pipes didn’t allow duplicates, there were 100 on offer for limited-time drivers – and any one of those could include special characters (even the 100th Pipe).

According to calculations from VGC, this means players could have been required to spend up to US $236.96 (AU $350) to collect these drivers.

From 5 October 2022, Nintendo will instead replace this mechanic with the Spotlight Shop, which will include fresh items, as well as other goodies from the past. If you’ve missed out on any exclusive racers, keep an eye on the rotating storefront, and you might be able to grab someone you’ve missed.

Read: Ranking the new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass Wave 2 tracks

Mario Kart Tour will also introduce Battle mode in its latest update. This mode, which will be familiar to players who’ve dived into Mario Kart on consoles, will see players entering into intense battles with balloons attached to their kart. To defeat opponents, you’ll need to pop their balloons by speeding around a stage, firing projectiles.

While it’s unclear why Nintendo has chosen to remove the game’s gacha elements three years on from launch, it reflects wider trends in the games industry. Activision Blizzard recently removed similar microtransactions from Overwatch in its sequel, with the company speaking out against loot boxes and their lack of player value.

Whether Nintendo’s decision will have an impact on the wider world of gacha in video games remains to be seen.

Mario Kart Tour‘s latest update is set to go live on 5 October 2022. From this date, no gacha Pipes will be available for purchase.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.