6 Things You Need to Know Before Starting KartRider: Drift Season 1
After launching in 2004, Nexon’s KartRider series became an immediate hit in Asia. It gained a huge following, with an official league starting a year later in 2005. Its popularity grew, amassing over 380 million players on PC alone. Its characters, gadgets, game modes, and approachable gameplay have made the multiplayer kart racing a hit over the last 19 years.
KartRider: Drift, the newest game in the KartRider franchise, has taken inspiration from past titles and leveled up with new game modes, more customization, and upgraded visuals courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. Season 1 is finally here, and players can dive in for free on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, mobile (iOS and Android), Steam, and the Nexon Launcher. This means racers from all over the world can experience the cross-platform, cross-play kart racing thrills against players on PC, mobile platforms and consoles. Here’s a list of six things you need to know before getting in the driver’s seat.
1. The Basics
KartRider: Drift is a free-to-play, multiplayer kart racing game complete with traditional racing via Speed Mode, kart battling in Item Mode, and a few other surprises. The online game has cross-platform progression and play giving you the ability to challenge your friends regardless of your chosen platform. Controls are beginner-friendly but have a variety of options to adapt to different players. When you launch, you’ll be greeted by a small android named Joy to help you through the basics. Learning the controls, when to drift, how to use items, and everything you need to know to start your race towards becoming a track legend.
2. Make the Game Your Own
KartRider: Drift’s customization is comprehensive, offering over 20 characters initially, each with multiple looks and outfits. Karts include modern-looking racing karts, fire engines, mining karts, futuristic hover cars, and more! You can edit colors and decals (more on that later) and make your character your own. With the anime art style, colorful visuals, and attention to small details on each character’s outfit, Nexon has given players options to express themselves.
3. Shifting Gears
There are five game modes to choose from in KartRider: Drift. Launch missiles or barricades at opponents as you fight to win in Item Mode or take part in a more traditional booster-fueled race to the finish line in Speed Mode. Other game modes include: License Mode, Time Attack, and Custom Race, where you can create or join a custom race event. Several modes also allow you to play solo, with a friend in a duo, or as part of a squad; where the goal isn’t necessarily to cross the finish line first, but rather helping anyone on your team to be the first across the line to help the entire team win. Lobbies allow up to 8 racers to go free-for-all or battle 4v4. Each requires slightly different skills to be successful, but the variety of races keep things fresh. For players looking for even more content, the Premium Racing Pass gives you access to even more daily and weekly challenges and additional customization items and rewards.
4. License? What License?
License mode is full of racing challenges and minigames that teach you boost timings and help you refine your technique by playing side missions. There are currently various licenses, each with progressively tougher challenges and even larger rewards. Rewards include exclusive decals and customization items to let other racers know who’s the king of kart racing. For example, cross the finish line first 10,000 times, and you’ll gain the coveted Throne decal. License Mode also allows you to unlock other tracks based on each license and exclusive skins for several characters.
5. Easy to Learn, Hard to Master
While KartRider: Drift is designed for players to pick up quickly, better technique will help set you apart from other racers. Each mode requires slightly different strategies to be successful. In Item Mode, defensive items are critical if you want to cross the finish line first. If you’re in first place, you’re an ambitious target for everyone looking to take that spot. In Speed Mode, where drifting can fill your boost gauge, poor drifting technique can lower your speed and be the difference between winning gold or not winning at all. The proper drifting technique is also key when taking the top spot in Time Trials and climbing the leaderboard.
6. Green Light: GO!
Right out of the gate, Season 1 launches with the first of two in-game collaborations: KartRider: Drift x Porsche, which offers players exclusive, limited time items from the high performance sports car brand. The iconic Porsche 718 Boxster convertible, 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, and Macan GTS karts will be available during Season 1. Racers logging in during Season 1 will have immediate access to the 718 Boxster, whereas the Macan GTS kart can be claimed by reaching level 30 on the racing pass. For the KartRider: Drift x MapleStory collaboration, players will get to meet two characters from the venerable Nexon franchise shortly after Season 1 launches. March 8th also brings with it eight new race tracks, two new Grand Prix modes, new cosmetic items, kart items, a new upgrade system, and a new racing pass offering free and paid tiers. Needless to say, Season 1 is loaded with more of what KartRider fans love.
Also on tap for Season 1: Exclusive Twitch drops will be available offering a unique decal, license plate, plus a new character “Undercover Sophia,” based on the amount of time watched.
For those interested in an easy-to-jump-in but difficult-to-master multi-platform racer, be sure to choose your character as Season 1 of KartRider: Drift is just revving up. As of today, KartRider: Drift is available to download and play for free on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, alongside PC (Steam, Nexon Launcher) and mobile (iOS, Android). Choose your character, customize your ride, and we’ll see you on the track!