KartRider: Drift – PC Game Review

KartRider: Drift – Review

Have you ever found yourself longing for the thrill of Mario Kart, only to remember that you no longer own the latest Nintendo Switch? You’re not alone. Many of us have cherished memories of zipping through colorful tracks, dodging shells, and battling for first place in the iconic racing game. But what if I told you that you could recapture that excitement on your PC or console, even without the latest Nintendo hardware?

Enter KartRider, a game that, while not Mario Kart, embodies the spirit and core gameplay that made Mario Kart a household name. It’s a vibrant, action-packed racing experience that promises to deliver just as much fun—if not more. With its intuitive controls, diverse range of characters, and inventive tracks, KartRider offers a fresh take on the kart racing genre.

Whether you’re a seasoned Mario Kart veteran or a newcomer to the world of kart racing, the burning question remains: Is KartRider worth playing? Let’s dive into the details and find out if this game packs the same punch as its iconic counterpart.

Characters Fay has Collected



At its heart, KartRider draws inspiration from the beloved kart racing genre, with a nod to the iconic Mario Kart series. Here’s what makes KartRider tick:

  1. Accessible Fun: KartRider embraces the essence of pick-up-and-play gaming. The controls are intuitive, making it easy for both seasoned racers and newcomers to jump right in. Whether you’re drifting around corners or launching power-ups, the game ensures that the thrill of kart racing is accessible to all.
  2. Colorful Characters: Just like Mario Kart’s roster of quirky characters, KartRider features a diverse cast. From adorable critters to futuristic avatars, each racer brings their unique flair to the track. Whether you choose the mischievous Lina or the tech-savvy Diz, or my favourite character a cross from Maplestory, Lucid; your character becomes an extension of your racing style.
  3. Inventive Tracks: KartRider’s track designers must have had a blast. The game boasts a variety of imaginative circuits, each with its own twists, turns, and surprises. From gravity-defying loops to underwater sections, these tracks keep you engaged and eager for the next lap.

Gameplay Experience

Now, let’s fasten our seatbelts and explore what KartRider offers during gameplay:

  • Race Modes: KartRider caters to different playstyles. Whether you prefer solo time trials, head-to-head duels, or chaotic multi-player races, there’s a mode for you. Compete against AI opponents or challenge friends—it’s all about the thrill of crossing the finish line.
  • Power-Ups and Items: Just like any respectable kart racer, KartRider features a range of power-ups. Grab speed boosts, drop banana peels, or unleash homing missiles on your rivals. The strategic use of items can turn the tide of a race, keeping you on your toes.
  • Customization: Personalize your kart and character. Unlock new skins, hats, and accessories as you progress. Whether you want to look sleek or downright silly, KartRider lets you express yourself.
  • Drifting Mastery: Mastering drifts is key to victory. Slide around corners to build boost energy, then unleash it for a burst of speed. Timing those drifts perfectly separates the winners from the backmarkers.
  • Community and Tournaments: KartRider thrives on its community. Join tournaments, compete in seasonal events, and climb the ranks. The thrill of outmaneuvering opponents and claiming victory is addictive.

In summary, KartRider isn’t just a substitute for Mario Kart—it’s a vibrant, standalone experience that captures the joy of kart racing. So, whether you’re a PC enthusiast or a console lover, buckle up and hit the tracks. KartRider awaits, ready to ignite your passion for high-speed fun!

Match Ending Example

Cash Shop


KartRider takes a refreshing approach: some pay-to-win. While the game offers in-game purchases, in mostly the notorious infamous gacha form with loot boxes, however, they are mostly all tied to cosmetic upgrades for both the driver and the kart. Let’s not forget, we also have a battle pass called the Racing Pass. Unlike some other games, where spending money directly translates to a competitive advantage, KartRider ensures that the number 1 primary factor in races remains as the skill. So, rest assured, your success on the track won’t be determined by how big your wallet—it’s all about your racing prowess.

Cash Shop is more or less about the cosmetics and you making your character yours truly, such as Kart part customisation, outfits, emotes & emojis or other goodies that doesn’t affect your game play in other way. While I did mention there are some pay to win such as buying character or karts directly off the cash shop.

Battle Pass as of May 2024


KartRider boasts a diverse cast of characters, each with unique designs, personalities, and special abilities that set them apart.

Each character in KartRider comes with a distinct skill that can be used in Item mode. These skills range from active abilities that can be triggered during a race to passive skills that provide ongoing effects. For example:

  • Dao has the “Leaps & Bounds” skill, allowing for agile maneuvers.
  • Diz possesses a “Competitive Spirit,” which might give a performance edge in tight situations.
  • Bazzi can use “Balloon Blast” to disrupt opponents’ races.
  • Lucid has the “Explosive Butterflies” which temporary increases her speed and explodes anyone who touches her.
  • Pink Bean has a passive “Attack Reflection” which reflects specifics items back at the castor for a small duration window.

So having an cash shop only character such as Pink Bean does have some advantage over others players who cannot get the passive skill Attack Reflection for example, making KartRider pay2win in my honest opinion.


In recent updates, KartRider: Drift has introduced changes to kart stats, including default speeds.

Default Speed and Acceleration

Previously, all karts started with the same default speed and acceleration. However, this has changed. Now, the default speed varies between different karts. Each kart has its unique base speed, which affects how fast it accelerates and maintains top speed.

Kart Upgrades and Customization

Players can still upgrade their karts through the Proficiency System. Upgrading karts unlocks new abilities and enhances their performance.

The six basic tuning options remain the same:

  • Booster Acceleration
  • Drift Acceleration
  • Boost Duration
  • Boost Charge Amount
  • Long Slide Drift Sustainability

Gearing Changes

Cornering deceleration, which was previously identical for all karts, now varies between karts. The maximum gear value also depends on this cornering deceleration. Keep an eye on gear adjustments based on these changes.

In summary, KartRider’s karts are no longer uniform in default speed. Each kart offers a unique starting point, and your upgrades and tuning choices will further shape your racing experience

Cash Shop as of May 2024

State of Game


The KartRider saga is a tale of anticipation, evolution, and the relentless pursuit of fun. It all began with a closed beta in America on May 1, 2007, which gave a glimpse of the excitement that was to come. This initial test phase concluded on May 31, leaving players eager for more. The open beta that followed on October 2, 2007, expanded the community until it came to a close on March 19, 2008. Mysteriously, all traces of the game vanished from Nexon America’s website shortly thereafter, leaving fans puzzled.

Fast forward to March 11, 2011, when Nexon America decided to take the KartRider experience mobile with KartRider Rush on the Apple App Store. This mobile iteration had its run before it, too, was retired. Not to be forgotten, KartRider Dash made a brief appearance on Facebook, only to cross the finish line for the last time on April 15, 2014.

The KartRider legacy refused to fade, however. On May 12, 2020, KartRider Rush+ zoomed onto Google Play and the iOS App Store, following a Chinese version’s release in 2019. This marked a new chapter in the KartRider chronicles, but the best was yet to come.

Enter KartRider Drift, the latest and most exhilarating instalment yet. With two closed beta tests in December 2019 and June 2020 for Windows and Xbox One, followed by a third in December 2021 adding PlayStation 4 into the mix, the anticipation was palpable. The “Global Racing Test” open beta, which ran from September 1 to September 6, 2022, finally put the game in the hands of Android and iOS users worldwide.

The official release on January 11, 2023, for Windows, Android, and iOS, followed by a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release on March 8, marked the culmination of a journey filled with twists, turns, and turbo boosts. KartRider Drift is not just a game; it’s a testament to the enduring love for kart racing that spans generations and platforms.

The game now runs pretty decent on PC although Steam Charts report only an shy average of 100 players per month. However, that is steam numbers only as when you play the game, you can see majority of the players you are up against are console or mobile players. Despite PC having smaller numbers, Nexon still has been providing updates consistently as a whole with new events on it’s way.

SteamCharts - KartRider 2024
SteamCharts – KartRider 2024



KartRider’s artwork style is a vibrant and colorful blend that captures the essence of fun and excitement inherent in the game. Here’s what sets the visual style of KartRider apart.

Bright and Bold Colors

The color palette of KartRider is deliberately bright and bold, reflecting the game’s energetic and playful nature. The use of vivid colors not only makes the game visually appealing but also helps to distinguish between different characters, karts, and tracks.

Stylized Characters and Karts

Characters and karts in KartRider are designed with a stylized, almost cartoonish approach. This not only adds to the game’s charm but also allows for a wide range of expressions and animations, making each character and kart feel unique and full of personality.

Dynamic Environments

The tracks and environments in KartRider are dynamic and full of life. From bustling cities to serene landscapes, each track is crafted with attention to detail, immersing players in a world that feels both fantastical and coherent.

Collaborations and Themes

KartRider often features themed events and collaborations that introduce new artwork styles into the game. These can range from partnerships with car manufacturers to seasonal events, each bringing its own flair to the game’s visuals.



KartRider captures the essence of kart racing fun, blending Mario Kart-like excitement with its own unique twists. It’s a game where skill and strategy meet whimsical chaos, offering a delightful experience for PC and console gamers alike. Without the need for additional hardware, players can dive into a world of vibrant tracks and quirky characters, ensuring that the joy of racing is just a few clicks away. Simply put, KartRider is worth playing delivering all the thrills of the genre in a charming and accessible package. Although, if I had to be honest, I would still take Mario Kart on PC over KartRider any day of the week.

Fayie Enterprise