- 1-Player Grand Prix: Play by yourself against all the other racers. Comprised of 50cc, 100cc and 150cc (also applies to Quick Run).
- 1-Player Time Trial: Break time records on one track each.
- 1-Player Quick Run: Race against all seven opposing drivers for practice.
- 2-Player Grand Prix: Play against an opponent, along with all the other racers.
- 2-Player VS: Same as above, except with no other racers.
- 2-Player Battle: Pop each other's three balloons.
VS and Battle modes also apply to 3-Player and 4-Player versions.
Press Select on the menu screen to access these options:
- View Ghost
- Change the number of laps (3 for regular tracks, or 5 for extra tracks)
- Enable/disable item blocks and coins
- Race Position: Shows what position you are currently on. The lower the position, the color changes from yellow to red.
- Top Four: Shows which racers are about to win points.
- Lap Display: There are three per track. Once you're on "LAP 3/3", the music speeds up.
- Item Display: Shows what item you got from the Item Box.
- Time Display: Displays how long the track lasted.
- Lower-right picture: Shows a layout of the racetrack, your current speed and all the race positions.
- Coins: Shows how many coins you have currently. There are lots of coins scattered all over the course.
- Mario: Perfectly balanced!
- Luigi: Great steering!
- Peach: Check out true lightweight racing!
- Toad: No one has faster acceleration!
- Yoshi: Dirt is no obstacle!
- Donkey Kong: Better steering than Wario!
- Wario: True heavyweight power!
- Bowser: There's nobody faster!
- Banana: One single hit and you may spin out.
- Green Shell: Can hit other karts and be used as a shield from other power-ups.
- Triple Green Shells: They spin around you until you get rid of them.
- Red Shell: It will target itself to the leading driver.
- Triple Red Shells: This one's really helpful, but often cannot be used for 1st Place.
- Spiny Shell: The most powerful item, it hits all other drivers in the way.
- Boo: Allows you to steal other driver's item.
- Lightning Bolt: Shrinks all the other drivers.
- Mushroom: Gives your kart a boost.
- Super Star: If you use this, you can run into other karts and send them flying.
The Tracks: Mushroom CupEdit
- Background: The Princess's castle on a grassy place.
- To get a boost off the starting line, press and hold the gas button just before Lakitu's green light is illuminated.
Shy Guy BeachEdit
- Background: A shy-guy like big boat floats on a watery island.
- Press and hold the L Button to drag Shells and Bananas behind your kart. This allows you to pick up an extra item and also acts as a shield against other shells.
- Background: Some kind of jungle.
- Press the R Button to begin a power slide. If you pull it off just right, you'll get an extra boost of speed when you stop sliding.
Bowser Castle 1Edit
- Background: A lava-like castle with Bowser doors.
- Pick up as many coins as possible. Coins increase your top speed and improve your ranking at the conclusion of each Cup.
The Tracks: Flower CupEdit
- Background: A big field.
- Near the finish line, watch for a path which branches to the right. Take it to find valuable coins and a boost pad to send you speeding away.
- Background: A haunted house.
- After the floating field of Boos you'll find two Power-ups in the road. Just past these, hang a quick left to take a shortcut over a makeshift bridge. Be careful not to fall off the edge.
- Background: A dark blue sky with cheesy grounds.
- When you hit the second boost pad, hold left and aim your driver toward the white bars. You'll bounce right off these bars and be back on track.
Bowser Castle 2Edit
- Background: The same lava-like castle, except with different walls.
- Avoid the Thwomps at all costs, and take advantage of the two boost pads on this track. Power slide as much as possible around the castle's tight corners.
The Tracks: Lightning CupEdit
- Background: A rainy land.
- Slick road conditions make for great power sliding on this track. Avoid the puddles and hug the corners to make the best time.
- Background: A sky blue scheme, above a white track.
- Look for a power-up hovering just above a jump. If you have a Mushroom, you can head straight for the jump and boost over to the next portion of the track, bypassing the dogleg.
- Background: A sunset sky, on another beach.
- Sometimes, you can hop out of the water or lava without Lakitu's help by tapping the R Button.
- Background: As you reach the next lap, the sky turns from sunset to twilight to nighttime.
- Just after the teepees, there is an inconspicuous jump off to the right. Use a Mushroom just before hitting this jump for an awesome shortcut.
The Tracks: Star CupEdit
- Background: A snowy ground.
- When you have to be picked up by Lakitu, you can get a boost if you press the gas button at exactly the right time. Listen to your engine and try to time it so that your wheels hit the ground right before your RPMs max out. If you hold the button too long, you'll spin out.
- Background: A colorful road full of ribbons.
- When you come to the first set of boost pads, you can skip a large portion of the track by jumping to the right instead of aiming straight ahead. If you don't hit both boost pads, though, you're out of luck.
- Background: A sandy area with a Yoshi pyramid.
- Stay on the track in Yoshi's Desert. There are dangerous pits of quicksand lurking just off the beaten trail.
Bowser Castle 3Edit
- Background: This one takes place on castle grounds.
- Pay close attention to the edge of the track. If the track is bordered by yellow and black stripes, you'll know that there is no safety rail to protect you from the lava.
The Tracks: Special CupEdit
Note: You must clear all the previous cups to access these tracks.
- Background: A volcano that erupts, leaving out lava balls.
- The Lakeside Park track was built dangerously close to active volcanoes. Be careful to avoid falling lava rocks along the way.
- Background: Another haunted house, with a different sky color scheme.
- When you come to the first boost pad, head to the left instead of to the right. You'll find a narrow railroad track which can be used as a shortcut.
Bowser Castle 4Edit
- Background: Yet another lava-like castle.
- There are two forks in the road on this track. Each time, stay to the right. The first right-hand fork will give you a power-up, and the second is a shorter route.
- Background: A night sky.
- Most portions of this track are edged with white bouncy bars. Use these bars to hop from one section of the track to the next, bypassing doglegs and tight corners.
The maximum number of points you can win is 36. This way, you can gain first place (Gold Cup). 2nd Place is awarded the Silver Cup, and 3rd for the Bronze Cup. You will also get one of eight different ranks from greatest to lowest: 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star, A, B, C, D and E. Also, to access the Extra Tracks (tracks from the original Mario Kart Super Circuit), you must get an "A" rank or higher on all five cups.
You will need a Game Link Cable and multiple cartridges and game systems for this. See if you can pop all three balloons of all your opponents!