Mario Kart DS uses the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to support multiplayer matches with 2 to 4 players. Karts and characters you've unlocked via the single player mode are selectable on an online match. In a multiplayer game you can race against your friends (if you have exchanged friend codes), but the most common way is to be matched up against random opponents from around the world.
Playing Mario Kart DS online can be quite a daunting experience and often much more challenging than racing against CPU opponents. See the Online Walkthrough section to help you get up to speed on the techniques that experienced online opponent will use against you, and how to overcome them.
Nintendo WFC Match
When you choose this option it will ask if you want to connect to Nintendo WFC. If you have setup your Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, then go ahead and choose Yes.
A Nintendo WFC match consists of 2-4 players racing on four chosen tracks. Points are awarded for each race and the player with the most points after 4 races wins the cup.
Starting a game
You now need to select what type of opponents to be matched with; there are 4 options:
- Friends - If you choose this option, the game will pick opponents only from the list of friends whose friend codes you have registered. This should only be done if you have arranged to race against someone and you know they will be online to race you. Otherwise there is very little chance of you actually finding anyone to race.
- Rivals - If you choose Rivals, the game will select people with similar abilty to you (based on how many races they have won and lost). This option is good if you are a beginner and you don't want to be racing against experts with hundreds of wins under their belts.
- Continental - If you choose this option you will be matched against any available players from your continent (e.g. Europe or North America), regardless of how good or bad they are.
- Worldwide - If you choose this option, you will be matched against any available players from around the world. This is the best chance of finding opponents at quiet times.
As an incentive for players whom have done well in the single player mode, a maximum of three stars will appear next to your name before and during an online match. This star rating is based your performance in Grand Prix mode. If you have completed every cup with at least a one-star rating, your overall rating will be one star. Likewise, if you have completed every cup with the maximum three-star rating then your overall rating here will be three stars. Getting a three-star rating takes a lot of practice so it is a good indication of how good someone is at the game.
When you opponents have been chosen and everyone has chosen a driver and kart, it's time to decide on a track. Only 20 of the games 32 tracks are available for online races. They are:
A new track is selected before each race, using a voting system. Everyone chooses a track, and these choices appear on the top screen. The track with the most "votes" wins and becomes the selected track for that race. If there is a tie, one of the tied tracks is chosen at random by the game.
The number of points awarded after each race varies depending on the amount of players in that race.
- 4-player race: 1st = 10, 2nd = 7, 3rd = 4, 4th = 1
- 3-player race: 1st = 10, 2nd = 7, 3rd = 4
- 2-player race: 1st = 10, 2nd = 5
- Register Friend Code - This is where you enter the friend code of someone you want to race against.
- Confirm Friend Code - Use this option to display your Mario Kart DS friend code. This is the code you give to other people so that you can race them in a multiplayer game.
Nintendo WFC Settings
This takes you into the advanced setup options for the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.