The much-anticipated release of Mario Kart Tour this September (after an extended period of testing) was a bit of a letdown. The game was riddled with excessive in-app-purchases, had a questionable loot box mechanism, and lacked a multiplayer component — arguably the selling point of the entire Mario Kart series. At the time, the in-game-menu said that multiplayer was "inbound", and we now know more details.

Come December 2019, Nintendo will begin beta testing real-time multiplayer in Mario Kart Tour. To be a part of the beta test, one would have to be a Gold Pass subscriber though — that'll run you $4.99 a month, though there's a free 3-day trial available.

We don't know if multiplayer will remain Gold Pass exclusive after the beta, but I want to believe that won't be the case — it could be hard to find enough humans to play with if you were limited this way.

That's all we really know at this point, but an online multiplayer mechanism may be the shot in the arm Mario Kart Tours needs to remain relevant. And now, for no good reason, here's a GIF of Jane from Breaking Bad that Stephen stumbled upon.

Mario Kart Tour's multiplayer beta now live for Gold Pass subscribers

Today the official Mario Kart Tour Twitter account revealed that the anticipated real-time multiplayer beta test is live for Gold Pass subscribers. This beta will run from today until December 26th, and of course, a Gold Pass subscription is required. Luckily interested players can take advantage of the Gold Pass free-trial-period to jump in today without spending a dime. Because the new multiplayer feature is currently in beta testing, bugs are expected, and Nintendo has highlighted that dropped connections, freezes, and input lag may be a few of the issues you'll run into as you explore the beta. So far, a few users on Twitter have mentioned that many races are unbalanced, so clearly, Nintendo still has some work on its hands to get the new multiplayer mode into acceptable shape before the stable release, whenever that may be.

Mario Kart Tour's second multiplayer beta coming soon

As you can see in the tweet above, the official Mario Kart Tour account has revealed that a second multiplayer test is coming soon, and this time around, a Gold Pass subscription won't be required. We still don't know when this second beta will take place, but clearly, it's "on the way." Now I know the last multiplayer beta ruffled a few feathers since the only way to test was if you were subscribed to the game's monthly Gold Pass subscription, so it's great news to hear that the next beta will be open to everyone. Of course, I would have much preferred to see a functioning online multiplayer mode when Mario Kart Tour was released last September, but I suppose a late arrival is better than never.

Everyone can now jump into Mario Kart Tour's second multiplayer beta

It would appear that we did not have to wait long for the flood gates to open. Earlier this week, Nintendo announced that the second multiplayer test for Mario Kart Tour would arrive shortly, and lo and behold, it's live as of this morning. Unlike the first multiplayer test Nintendo ran last month, a Gold Pass is no longer required to play the multiplayer mode. Just keep in mind that this new testing phase is expected to run until the 28th of January, which is next Tuesday, so the clock is ticking.

If you'd like to participate in the multiplayer beta test, all you'll have to do is install Mario Kart Tour, and then navigate to the game's menu button on the Cup selection screen. Once you click the menu button, you will be able to tap on a Multiplayer icon, and then, it's off to the races.

Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour
Developer: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Price: Free+