MK8 Booster Pass Art
Image: Nintendo

It's only around a month before we'll be able to dive into some shiny new content in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with the release of the 'Booster Course Pass' first wave. Up to the end of 2023 there'll be six waves that'll bring a combined 48 courses to the game, priced at $24.99 USD / $32.99 CAN / £22.49 to get them all; it'll also be included in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. Wave 1 arrives on 18th March and will include the following:

Golden Dash Cup

Lucky Cat Cup

A question we've seen posed is whether you'll need to own the Pass or have the NSO+ Expansion Pack to actually play the courses. The answer is no, if you're happy to either take your chances in the online rotation or play with a friend that does have access to the Pass.

Below is Nintendo's official info on this:

Courses from wave 1 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass can be played from March 18th locally or online in Friends and Rivals races, even if only one player owns the Booster Course Pass or has access to it as part of a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. From March 22nd, courses from wave 1 will also appear in the Random selection when playing Global or Regional races with anyone online.

Though playing online in 'Global' or 'Regional' from 22nd March will give you a chance of seeing the tracks, this will be a long odds game; each race gets a randomised group of 4 tracks, with the final race determined by everyone's votes. It won't be an ideal way to see them all quickly.

If you have a friend or family member that has the Pass, however, you just need them to host a room in the 'Friends and Rivals' section from any point after the courses are launched, in local or online multiplayer. Once there are at least two players in the lobby the host can then set the rules for play, everything from speed category, to the presence and difficulty of CPU racers and more. Most importantly the host can directly pick the tracks that are played, so you can quickly experience all eight in just two Cups racing with a buddy.

It's a potentially useful workaround if you want to try before you buy, for example.

Are you planning to pick up the Booster Course Pass, or perhaps just play the courses with a friend? Let us know, as always, in the comments.