Characters in Mario Kart are typically unlocked by playing the game and slowly unlocking them over time. You can still do that indirectly in Mario Kart Tour, but it’ll take you a while. Here’s how to unlock new characters in Mario Kart Tour.
Unlocking New Characters in Mario Kart Tour
That’s right, you need to spend those sweet, sweet emeralds to get a new character. Mario Kart Tour is generous with this currency early on, but they become scarcer quickly. Spending emeralds is the only way to unlock any characters, karts, or gliders.
When you dump five emeralds, you’ll get to fire the pipe canon once for an unlockable. If you save up 45 emeralds, you can get a small discount and get 10 shots of the canon.
There are also spotlight events that let you earn more points for using certain characters. You’re always guaranteed to get the featured character before the pipe empties. Each pipe has 99 unlockables before it is considered empty. It’ll take about 450 emeralds to empty a pipe. It’s an expensive proposition, but you’re at least guaranteed something good if you have the means to do so.
Buying vs Earning
Emeralds can’t be bought in the Mario Kart Tour store yet, but there are plans to add that functionality in the future. It seems that buying this currency will be the easiest way to amass large amounts of it.
You can earn emeralds a couple of ways by just playing the game. There is a challenges section on the main menu that can be filled out like a bingo card. Once every challenge on the board is complete, you will earn the pre-determined number of emeralds.
You can also win emeralds by earning gifts. These gifts are unlocked by using the stars you win in races. This is the easiest and most consistent way to earn emeralds through most of the game.
You can keep getting gifts as long as you keep performing well on new tracks. You can also earn stars in races you’ve already completed if you have yet to get five stars on that course.
There’s everything there is to know about how to unlock characters in Mario Kart Tour. If you want some new cars for the latest Mario Kart game, then check out our guide on unlocking Karts and Gliders.