Mario Kart Tour is removing its gacha pipe, putting a stop to its most controversial feature.
Gacha mechanics are a popular form of loot box-like drops in mobile gaming, and Mario Kart Tour offered them in the form of the Pipe. The Pipe feature previously allowed players to randomly obtain drivers, karts, and gliders by paying in-game currency rubies. Much like the old gachapon machines, it would give players an entirely random item. Although it didn’t allow duplicates, it still meant a certain element of luck was needed to get the karts or drivers you wanted. Worse still, it could set players back hundreds of dollars to pick up particular limited-time drivers.
Now, the game is replacing the Pipe with a new Spotlight Shop with a rotating inventory, which allows players to purchase drivers, karts, and gliders without having to resort to pure luck to get the ones they want.
“We’ll be adding a Spotlight Shop, where you can exchange rubies for drivers, karts, and gliders featured in tours,” reads an in-game notification (via VGC). “New drivers, karts, and gliders, as well as drivers, karts, and gliders that have appeared in the past, will be available.”
According to the in-game notification, the pipe you can currently fire using rubies will be completely removed from the game. The new Spotlight Shop will debut with tours that begin after October 4, 2022. While it could still be expensive, it’s certainly a fairer way for players to be able to pay for their items.
As well as the new Spotlight Shop, Mario Kart Tour is also adding a brand-new Battle Mode, that allows players to go head-to-head with other players and is available in single-player and multiplayer modes.
Similar to other Mario Kart Battle modes, each player begins with a number of balloons attached to their kart, with the goal to pop their opponents’ balloons while saving their own.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Booster Course Pass Screenshots
Mario Kart Tour launched back in September 2019 and has seen a huge number of drivers and karts in the game – over 190 drivers, 240 karts, and 170 gliders made available so far, with many of them as a gacha Pipe exclusive. Now, it looks as though players will get the chance to pick up any they missed via the Spotlight Shop.
Mario Kart Tour has also offered plenty of new courses, many of which are heading to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the Booster Course Pass DLC. Want to read more about Mario Kart? Check out what’s coming in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 2 as well as how Coconut Mall got a new update.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.