How to Unlock "Mario Kart Wii" Characters
By Seth Amery
Updated September 22, 2017
At the time of its release, "Mario Kart Wii" featured the largest roster of any other installment in the series, offering 26 playable characters. You can play 12 characters right away, but 14 start off locked. This includes the two Mii "character" options you can select as drivers: Mii Outfit A and Mii Outfit B.
Of the 26 total characters available to start, you can choose among 12 of them from the moment you start putting together your very first race. Baby Mario, Baby Peach, Toad and Koopa Troopa are the first four of the Small racing class. The Medium racing class features adult Mario, adult Luigi, adult Peach and Yoshi. Finally, the Large racing class lets you pick Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong and Bowser at the start of the game.
Some fan favorites hide behind the crude question mark on the driver selection screen, like Baby Luigi, Toadette and Dry Bones of the Small class. This class also features a brand new driver in Baby Daisy. Unlockables in the Medium class include Bowser Jr., Diddy Kong, Birdo and Daisy. Joining King Boo for the Large class are three brand new drivers: Dry Bowser, Funky Kong and Rosalina of "Super Mario Galaxy." You can also unlock two variations of your Mii; the weight class of your Mii varies depending on how you created it.
All characters have separate prerequisites for unlocking. For example, Dry Bones, Daisy, King Boo and Mii Outfit A only require winning cups. Toadette, Baby Daisy, Bowser Jr. and Rosalina require completing something; for instance, Toadette unlocks when you run a time trial on every course in the game. Funky Kong, Baby Luigi and Mii Outfit B become available as you unlock expert staff ghost records for the time trials. Some of these characters require skill, but there is another way to unlock them all.
Playing enough races allows you to unlock all characters in the game, regardless of whether or not you fulfilled their standard criteria. Don't expect this to be the easy route, though; you won't get your first new character until you've played 50 races, and that's only if you have a "Super Mario Galaxy" save file on your console to fulfill Rosalina's requirements. Otherwise, your first character will be King Boo at 750 races. Just like with standard criteria, Mii Outfit B takes the most investment, demanding a whopping 5,100 races and battles played.
Seth Amery is a long-time writer whose specialties extend to all areas of video games, having written thousands of tutorials, fully-featured strategy guides and reviews across all platforms. His experience also includes one-on-one relationships with major gaming publishers to write previews on upcoming games, establish interviews with game designers and hold early game giveaways.