- Control Pad: Steer your cart.
- Select: Switch the mirror in a 1-Player Game.
- Start: Pause the game.
- L Button: Makes your cart hop or perform a power slide.
- R Button: Same as L Button.
- Green Y Button: Brakes.
- Blue X Button: Same as L and R Buttons, but also cancels selections.
- Yellow B Button: Accelerate.
- Red A Button: Use items.
- 1-Player Grand Prix: Play by yourself against all the other racers.
- 1-Player Time Trial: Break time records on one track each. Used for practice.
- 2-Player Grand Prix: Play against an opponent, along with all the other racers.
- 2-Player Match Race: Same as above, except with no other racers.
- 2-Player Battle Mode: Pop each other's three balloons.
- Item Display: Shows what item you have collected. Without any item, you'll just see the number "1".
- Time Display: Shows how long you are currently finishing the track.
- Number of Carts Remaining: If you end the track in 5th Place or lower, you'll be ranked out and therefore lose one of these.
- Race Position: Ranged from 1 to 8, you'll start in 8th Place.
- Coins: You can lose or collect these. In each track, you begin with 5, but the starting number will decrease a bit if you start in a higher position.
There is no lap display, but you must race five laps on each track. And to move on, you must place 4th or better. As this happens, you'll earn points (9 for 1st Place, 6 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd and 1 for 4th). The maximum number of points you can win is 36. This way, you can gain first place.
- Mario: Top speed, acceleration and steering are all normal. Can use Star power.
- Luigi: Similar to Mario, can also use Star power.
- Princess: Fastest acceleration, can throw Mushrooms that causes you to shrink.
- Yoshi: Same abilities as the Princess, can throw eggs.
- Toad: A pretty slow high speed, but good acceleration and excellent steering. Can also throw Mushrooms.
- Koopa Troopa: Same as Toad, but throws Green/Red Shells.
- Donkey Kong Jr.: Slowest acceleration, but has the highest top speed. Throws bananas.
- Bowser: Similar abilities as Donkey Kong Jr., but throws lava balls.
- Zippers: Run over these and you'll get a boost.
- Jumper: Run over these to jump high.
- Question Block: Run over these and you'll get an item.
- Green Shell: Fires at other karts.
- Red Shell: Similar attack to the Green Shell, except it's also a guided missile.
- Banana: If you bump into one, you'll spin out.
- Feather: Used to jump high.
- Mushroom: Gives you a boost, like the Zippers.
- Star: Makes you invincible.
- Lightning Bolt: All other races will shrink when used.
- Coins: Adds 2 coins to your total.
- Ghost: Makes you invisible and steals you opponents' items.
Mario Circuit 1
- Location: Mushroom Cup, first track
Only six turns, you might want to use a Mushroom to cut one off.
Mario Circuit 2
- Location: Mushroom Cup, fifth track
There are two shortcuts here. The first one requires a jump over the turbo, while the other one, which is much easier, may require a Mushroom.
Mario Circuit 3
- Location: Flower Cup, fifth track
There is one shortcut -- use a Mushroom through the gap or hit the turbo to gain speed.
Mario Circuit 4
- Location: Star Cup, fifth track
There are many turns here. Use a Mushroom through the gap near the finish line to save time.
Donut Plains 1
- Location: Mushroom Cup, second track
Behind the finish line is a bumpy road on the corner.
Donut Plains 2
- Location: Flower Cup, third track
There are four areas with moles flying off more bumpy roads throughout.
Donut Plains 3
- Location: Special Cup, first track
Two mole areas are present -- both of them close to the finish line.
Vanilla Lake 1
- Location: Star Cup, third track
There are icy blocks that can slow you down even more along with the snowy grounds.
Vanilla Lake 2
- Location: Special Cup, fourth track
This one has a wider pond and more blocks than the first track.
Koopa Beach 1
- Location: Star Cup, first track
There may be Cheep-Cheeps hopping on the water. If you drive across the water, you may slow down.
Koopa Beach 2
- Location: Special Cup, second track
This one's harder. The track requires to go across deeper water and green grass.
Ghost Valley 1
- Location: Mushroom Cup, third track
Try using a feather to go across the shortcut and avoid two sharp turns.
Ghost Valley 2
- Location: Flower Cup, second track
Supposedly, there is one shortcut you can take by using a Feather.
Ghost Valley 3
- Location: Special Cup, third track
There are holes all over the ground, and the edges can cause you to fall off.
Choco Island 1
- Location: Flower Cup, first track
This one is muddy. There are also Piranha Plants living on the dirt.
Choco Island 2
- Location: Star Cup, second track
You may want to use a Mushroom to take a shortcut on the opposite side of the wide mud puddle.
Bowser Castle 1
- Location: Mushroom Cup, fourth track
Hit the turbos to gain lots of speed.
Bowser Castle 2
- Location: Flower Cup, fourth track
This one includes Thwomps. Starting at around the second lap, they'll start to move.
Bowser Castle 3
- Location: Star Cup, fourth track
In two of the three lanes, you'll find turbo boosts.
- Location: Special Cup, fifth track
That's right -- the very last track on nearly every Mario Kart game is called "Rainbow Road". If you fall off the edge, it may be impossible to finish first. There are also Thwomps present.
In this mode, two players battle each other in 4 different tracks. The goal is to pop all three of your opponent's balloons, but don't lose all of yours.