by Katie Chase, staff writer

With its strong player base, Mario Kart Wii in North America just celebrated its 15th birthday on  April 27. Though Nintendo shut down the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection in 2014, fans have kept the online Wii services alive through a replacement called Wiimmfi, which is still running in 2023. Mario Kart Wii, even upon its release, had vibrant competitive and casual scenes. This scene has been kept alive through Wiimmfi and other services like CTGP-R.

The main way of playing competitively is through a team-based format called Clan Wars. The basic rules of Clan Wars are as follows: two teams of (normally) five players compete for better placements over four sets of three races each. The main forum for participating in Clans and Clan Wars is called Mario Kart Central, which is a forum website where one can join a clan, and events are organized.

A lot of the Mario Mart Wii competitive scene has moved onto Discord over time as the main means for organizing events, verifying players and communicating between players. (Discord is a social media platform designed around chatrooms for different communities.)

Mogi Lounge is a newer way of playing competitively with many formats (free-for-all, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, 6v6). It is more a solo endeavor than joining a Clan, as teams are picked at random for team events, and the focus is on increasing your rating on an individually ranked ladder. Information on the time when Lounge came about is scarce.

The steps to joining Lounge are as follows: You need to verify your Mario Kart Wii friend code in the Mogi Lounge Discord server, and then wait for your authenticity to be validated by a moderator. Following this, you will be put into a placement category, where you can play your first event. Depending on your performance in that event, you will be placed in a tier in the server. A more extensive list of these steps and the rules of participation in Lounge events can be found within the Mogi Lounge Discord server.

CTGP-R (Custom Track Grand Prix-Revolution) is a modification (mod) for the game developed by Mr. Bean and Chadderz, it is still being updated regularly to this day, and is currently on version 1.03. The mod includes over 200 custom tracks added to the game, a knockout tournament feature, a speed mod called 200cc, item rain, online play on original tracks and custom tracks, and is currently in the beta stages of a 24-player mod, soon to be taken out of beta, according to tweets from CTGP News and Updates, which is a Twitter page dedicated to keeping track of news about CTGP.

Mario Kart Unlimited is a project that was newly launched this year. It is meant to facilitate a more accessible entry into casual and competitive Mario Kart Wii, with new formats for events.

Mario Kart Unlimited is organized through a forum website: with the tagline “Mario Kart Wii’s only home built around Player’s Choice.” Involved in this project was one of the most community famous competitive Mario Kart Wii players, Emil595. Emil’s video announcing the launch of Mario Kart Unlimited was the source for the information about the project.

The game has been compared to Super Smash Bros. Melee, in the sense that it has stayed alive with a strong competitive scene many years after its release and has some of the most dedicated players of any game in the franchise. “The Melee of Mario Kart” is practically a nickname for this game.

Mario Kart also has a feature called “Time Trials” where the goal is to do 3 laps of the track in the fastest time possible. Currently, Time Trials in the game is undergoing a revolution in both glitch and non-glitch categories. This is aided by TAS, which is short for Tool-Assisted-Speedrun.

TAS works by allowing to edit runs frame by frame and for inhuman inputs, which allows for exploits in the game which had not previously been discovered. This information comes from public statements from a content creator who has been playing the game since its release and who documents all of the updated world records on the original 32 tracks every year, NMeade.

There are many more mods for this game as well, the modding community is just as diverse and dedicated as the player base itself. One of the most interesting is Online Time Trials, where players compete in a race with Time Trial settings.

The most exciting features of this mod are that the racers perform the time trial attempt simultaneously in real time, with only one attempt. On top of this mod, there are ways to replace characters, game music, menu screens, and the tracks themselves which adds another layer of customizability to the user experience.

There have also been other mods which have drastically changed the game mode, such as Formula Kart, which increases the lap count to 50, while also adding other features such as random items to increase the chaos.