Back in September, Mario Kart Tour launched for iOS and Android without a component many consider critical to the Mario Kart experience: multiplayer. Racing against other humans is one of the main draws of the Mario Kart franchise as a whole, so it was definitely strange to see Mario Kart Tour launch without it. Nintendo will be fixing that particular oversight in December, launching a real-time multiplayer beta at some point during the month.
Unfortunately, if you want to participate in the beta, you’ll need to shell out some cash. Nintendo’s tweet also confirmed that the beta will be available only to those who subscribe to Mario Kart Tour’s Gold Pass. The Gold Pass launched alongside Mario Kart Tour and runs $4.99 per month.
The Gold Pass grants players extra rewards as they play and special badges as they complete challenges. The biggest selling point for it seems to be 200cc mode, which is gated behind the Gold Pass. Now, the multiplayer beta is also being used to drive subscriptions to the service, and as evidenced in the replies to that tweet, some fans aren’t too happy about that (while others, in fairness, don’t seem to mind).
Whether or not multiplayer will be locked away behind the Gold Pass after this beta is another question entirely. It’s one that doesn’t have an answer at this point either, but it seems like a bad idea to charge people for multiplayer. We’ll have to wait and see what Nintendo says on the matter, but we may not get confirmation for a while yet.
In any case, multiplayer will be coming to Mario Kart Tour shortly, even though it probably should have been in the game since launch day. Nintendo says more details about the beta will be coming around the bend soon, and we’ll let you know when they land.