Want to play the iconic retro tracks in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass DLC, but don‘t want to spend any extra money? This comprehensive guide will explain multiple methods for unlocking the DLC packs for free.
What is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass?
The Booster Course Pass is a paid add-on for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. It includes 48 remastered tracks from previous Mario Kart titles, split into 6 separate waves releasing through the end of 2023.
Some highlights of the returning retro courses include:
- Coconut Mall from Mario Kart Wii
- Maple Treeway from Mario Kart Wii
- Peach Gardens from Mario Kart DS
- Choco Mountain from Mario Kart 64
- Tokyo Blur from Mario Kart Tour
- Waluigi Pinball from Mario Kart DS
With the DLC, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will ultimately contain a staggering 96 race tracks – doubling the content from the base game. The Booster Course Pass normally costs $24.99 if purchased individually. However, there are great options to access it completely free that I‘ll explain step-by-step in this guide.
Method 1: Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
The easiest way to get the Booster Course Pass at no additional cost is to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.
This upgraded membership tier bundles access to the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC along with a bunch of other benefits:
- Online play
- Cloud saves
- Classic Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games
- Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons
An individual Expansion Pack subscription is $49.99 for 12 months. For a family plan that supports up to 8 Nintendo Accounts, it‘s $79.99 yearly.
Once you have an active membership, you can instantly download the Booster Course Pass DLC:
- On your Nintendo Switch, open the Nintendo eShop
- Go to the Nintendo Switch Online section
- Select Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass
- Click Download
The tracks will automatically be added to your game for free. And as long as you maintain an Expansion Pack membership, you‘ll have ongoing access to use the DLC.
Method 2: Download during a free trial period
Nintendo periodically offers 7-day free trials for new subscribers to test out Switch Online and the Expansion Pack.
During one of these promotions, you can download the Booster Course Pass DLC at absolutely no cost. The steps are the same as above:
- Sign up for a free 7-day trial of the Expansion Pack
- Visit the eShop and download the Booster Course Pass
- Access and play on the tracks for free during the trial
After the trial ends, you‘ll lose access to the DLC courses unless you purchase the Booster Course Pass or renew your Expansion Pack subscription.
But the key is that even after the free trial expires, the DLC data will remain on your Nintendo Switch. So you can immediately restore access by resubscribing at any time.
I recommend creating a calendar reminder to download the Booster Course Pass during the next free trial period for Expansion Pack. Nintendo runs these promotions frequently, so be on the lookout!
Method 3: Game sharing with a friend or family member
The Nintendo Switch allows you to designate your console as the "primary" for your Nintendo account. This enables game sharing with other users on the same system.
So if you have a family member or friend who subscribes to the Expansion Pack, you may be able to access the Booster Course Pass for free through game sharing:
Have the person with the Expansion Pack subscription set your Switch as their account‘s primary console.
Now on your Switch, use your own separate Nintendo account to open the eShop and download the DLC.
As long as you play on the shared primary console, you‘ll have full access to the Booster Course Pass, even without your own membership!
The same method works for accessing DLC of any games like Splatoon 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, or Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. So consider going in with a friend on a family membership if you want to unlock more content.
Can I play the new tracks online without purchasing the DLC?
Surprisingly, yes! Nintendo has confirmed that even if you don‘t own the Booster Course Pass, you can still race on the remastered tracks during online play.
The new courses are selectable for all players as long as the lobby host has purchased and downloaded the DLC. This gives you a great opportunity to preview the additional tracks before deciding on buying the Booster Course Pass.
Is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass worth it?
For fans who already play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe regularly, the DLC is an excellent value. You get 48 iconic retro tracks for a reasonable $25 price tag.
The remastered courses are faithful to the originals while adding updated graphics and visuals. Longtime Mario Kart veterans will feel nostalgic playing childhood favorites on new consoles.
Here‘s a recap of what you get with the Booster Course Pass:
|Wave 1||March 2022||Coconut Mall, Tokyo Blur, Shroom Ridge, Sky Garden|
|Wave 2||Summer 2022||Ninja Hideaway, Paris Promenade, Toad Circuit, Choco Mountain|
|Wave 3||Fall 2022||Kalimari Desert, Waluigi Pinball, New York Minute, Mario Circuit 3|
|Wave 4||Winter 2022/2023||Snow Land, Peach Gardens, Merry Mountain, DK Summit|
|Wave 5||Spring 2023||TBA|
|Wave 6||Fall 2023||TBA|
As you can see, the 48 remastered courses feature a diverse selection of tracks from many fan favorite Mario Kart entries over the years. For the price, this DLC provides an exceptional amount of content and replay value.
Tips for unlocking the Booster Course Pass for free
Here are some tips to help you access the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC at no additional cost:
Monitor for Nintendo Switch Online sales – Retailers often discount membership codes making it cheaper to purchase an Expansion Pack subscription.
Use discounted eShop gift cards – You can save money on the Booster Course Pass by stacking store sales with discounted Nintendo eShop gift cards.
Split the cost of a family plan – Up to 8 accounts can share an Expansion Pack membership, so go in with friends to access the DLC.
Set a reminder for free Expansion Pack trials – Be ready to claim the free Booster Course Pass during promotional periods.
Game share with a friend or family member – Set your Switch as the primary to play a shared copy of the DLC.
The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass adds a ton of excellent retro tracks to an already stellar game. With the tips in this guide, you can gain free access to all the DLC content through Nintendo Switch Online, free trials, game sharing, or discounted membership deals.
Race through these nostalgic courses to relive childhood memories. And if you don‘t own the Booster Course Pass, don‘t worry – you can still preview the new tracks online when playing with friends.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow gaming fans unlock more content and get the most out of their Nintendo Switch.