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by the NWR Staff - November 7, 2005, 10:38 pm PST

TYP answers your Mario Kart DS and WiFi questions, including which tracks are online and missing chat features. Apparently no one cares about Super Mario Strikers.

In order to use Nintendo Wifi. What would i need?? Just a wireless router? The nintendo USB thing? Or both?? And, if I am on a Wifi Hotspot (not a nintendo one) will i be able to play on nintendo wifi service??



Ah, the basics! OK, I'll break it down for you. At home you have two options: you can use a wireless router or Nintendo's USB wireless connection device.

Standard Wireless Router: Any 802.11b or 802.11g router should fit the bill, though apparently some have compatibility problems. Simply connect your DSL or cable modem to the router. (You may connect your computers with Ethernet cables or wirelessly). The wireless network should be visible within the Nintendo WFC settings menu and work with no configuration (unless you want a secure network).

USB Connector: You can think of Nintendo's adapter as creating a proprietary network that only Nintendo DS (and assumedly Revolution) may use. After installing the bundled software on your Windows PC and connecting the USB device, you can connect to Nintendo WFC through your computer. The PC may be connected to the internet through any means, including another wireless network. The USB Connector is a good choice for anyone who wants maximum online mobility or does not want to compromise their current wireless network's security. (Nintendo DS does not support WPA, but the USB Connector could safely relay the DS connection through a WPA network.)

Outside of the home, you can connect to Nintendo WiFi through any standard WiFi hotspot, though you may need to jump through hoops. For example, my school's wireless network requires me to register my handheld's MAC address. "Hotspots" rarely have WEP or WPA security features that require special passwords, since their purpose is to provide a readily available internet connection. Commercial hotspots that charge for service will invariably require a laptop to pay for service and the USB connector to share that connection with the DS. Since Nintendo and Wayport have teamed up, any free Wayport hotspot that normally requires browser authentication is compatible with Nintendo WiFi.

The official Nintendo WiFi site provides a convenient archive of hotspots around the world—except for Australia. Sorry Aussies, but apparently wireless standards are either kooky down under, or NAL once again cannot be arsed to do anything.

Hey Michael!

Thanks for a great article. I just have one question, a very

important one that I hope you can answer. (Or maybe I shouldve sent

this to the mailbag? Im not sure.)

Gamespot stated that only a small number of the 32 MKDS has can be

played online, is this true? I hope not, if it is then I dont see

why they made it online if only a small number of levels are

playable online.

You tested this game online, could you play all 32 tracks? Also, is

battle mode online?


Yes, after connecting at home I can confirm only 20 of the 32 tracks are online-capable. I've heard a dubious comment about the others being unlockable, which seems far-fetched considering all twenty tracks are available regardless of what is unlocked on your copy of the game.

I guess Nintendo potentially could "unlock" them on the server, but I suspect the WiFi implementation cannot handle these tracks. It isn't really a surprise: it's clear the MK team had trouble handling many moving objects in online mode: there is no Battle Mode, items cannot be dragged, and only four may compete online. It's a shame, since many the tracks unavailable online are great, but 20 tracks isn't such a "small number." Double Dash and MK64 each only had 16 tracks. There are many good online tracks, don't worry.

I've been looking at the Nintendo WiFi site and I keep

seeing you online. You're the number two most frequent

Nintendo WiFi user right now. ARGH! You have no idea

how happy that should make you.

Anyhow, I've been hearing about a "service" that NOA

will provide in Animal Crossing, where you can have

someone come into your village and clean it up for you

in exchange for some Bells. Does this mean an actual

person from NOA will be control a character, enter

your village, and clean it up for you? Or is it an NPC

or does it just suddenly become clean?


Hah, well, frankly that's more indicative of my flakey router than anything else. Every time my router craps out on me and I have to reconnect, I get another "point". Nintendo has rated my router at 2/5 stars—anyone hunting for a router really should keep Nintendo's compatibility chart handy.

This is the first I've heard of this service. Sure, I imagine someone could visit your town online to clean the place for a fee, but it sounds unlikely. Only those listed in your Animal Crossing friends list may visit your town—and even then, you must have your visitors' gate open (and, of course, you must be playing the game). If such a feature exists in Wild World, it most certainly involves a NPC.

Mario Karts has four player online single races.Knowing that, has Nintendo

or third parties indicated wether or not future games will have more

robust onlne gameplay(8 or 16 player mariokart online with all modes

availble. 16 player metroid prime hunters with all modes online)? Or even

if it is possible with the DS?


More players cause complications, and Nintendo likes erring on the safe side to avoid lag-tastic or sloppy gameplay. I doubt Nintendo WiFi is inherently limited to any number of online players, since the Nintendo DS is only talking directly with one system.

I am convinced that we will eventually see eight-way online multiplayer from some Nintendo WiFi games on the Nintendo DS, assuming the online strategy isn't a complete flop. However, Nintendo DS probably is not powerful enough to handle 16 players in sophisticated games like Mario Kart or Metoid Prime Hunters, regardless of online play. We might see 30-player rounds of F-Zero on the Revolution, though.

Can you settle these questions once and for all? I

have seen many conflicting reports on the internet and

would like to finally be able to resolve them.

1. Are you allowed to use all 32 courses in WiFi mode

in Mario Kart or are you limited to only 20 courses?

2. Is battle mode available in WiFi mode?

3. Will people be able to communicate at all in WiFi mode?

Thanks for you answers


I already answered your first two questions earlier. As for WiFi communication, sadly it is nonexistent within Mario Kart DS, though the game will notify you if a friend is searching for opponents. No, there is no chat, even within the friends-only mode. For Mario Kart DS, your best bet is to keep your favorite IM program or Skype handy.

Before everyone freaks out, this lack of communication is not Nintendo WiFi policy. Animal Crossing will have textual communication, Nintendo has entertained questions regarding online PictoChat, and Reggie himself stated that Nintendo is still "testing out" Voice over IP for Nintendo DS.

Dear TYP,

As someone who's been following the MKDS news and rumors for quite a

while, there has been one pressing question on my mind. I hear there are

some limitations on Wi-Fi gameplay. Now, no item-dragging has been confirmed

quite a few times in the past week, but what other limitations are there?

I've heard that the number of courses we can play online has been limited.

Is this true? And if so are some of the cooler tracks

*coughSkyFortressTickTockClockandSkyGardencough* victims of this limitation?

Your reader,

Chris Sutton

Alas, the crazier tracks are axed online, strongly supporting my suspicions of technical limitations. Sky Fortress, Tick Tock Clock, and the ever-popular Mushroom Bridge (MK:DD) did not make the online cut. Sky Garden (MK:SC) is WiFi-enabled and more fun than I had remembered. Battle mode and versus options such as teams are also unavailable online, though the latter isn't such a big deal.

1. Does the 59 next to your name on the Nintendo Wifi site mean you've been

playing 59 hours? And where/when did you pick the PGC-TYP? Is that your

universal account name, or what?

2. Can we get a list of all the online tracks? And are there any unlockable

tracks other than the 32 we already know about? Thanks


1. As far as I can tell, that simply means I've connected to Nintendo WiFi 59 times in the last two weeks. You can be a scoreboard leader, too, if you want to spend your free time connecting and disconnecting from Nintendo WiFi or fighting with marginal WiFi hardware.

PGC-TYP is my Nintendo DS user name (you know, the one set in the system's BIOS menu for PictoChat). You can tie your Nintendo DS to a My Nintendo account, and it sounds like Nintendo may eventually display My Nintendo screen names to diminish the inevitable chaos and deception.

2. Oh fine, so my response to the previous question wasn't enough? I have only seen 32 tracks, though there are quite a few characters and karts to unlock.

Here is a list of the tracks, with spoiler protection. Courses available online are designated with (*).

Figure-8 Circuit (*)

Yoshi Falls (*)

Cheep Cheep Beach (*)

Luigi's Mansion (*)

Desert Hills (*)

Delfino Square (*)

Waluigi Pinball

Shroom Ridge

DK Pass (*)

Tick-Tock Clock

Mario Circuit (*)

Airship Fortress

Wario Stadium (*)

Peach Gardens

Bowser Castle

Rainbow Road (*)

SNES Mario Circuit 1 (*)

N64 Moo Moo Farm (*)

GBA Peach Circuit (*)

GCN Luigi Circuit (*)

SNES Donut Plains 1

N64 Frappe Snowland (*)

GBA Bowser Castle 2

GCN Baby Park (*)

SNES Koopa Beach 2

N64 Choco Mountain (*)

GBA Luigi Circuit

GCN Mushroom Bridge

SNES Choco Island 2 (*)

N64 Banshee Boardwalk

GBA Sky Garden (*)

GCN Yoshi Circuit (*)

Also note that there is a mirror mode (offline only).

I'm assuming the answer is "no" but I'll ask just to make sure anyway.

Is there a centralized invite system similar to what you find on Xbox

Live where, if my friend is playing Tony Hawk's American Sk8land and I

want to challenge him in Mario Kart, I can chuck him a quick invite

that'll overlay on his screen? (At that point, he would confirm (or

deny), power off his DS, insert Mario Kart, boot up and find me.)


Nope, though NintendoWiFi.com might provide a crude version of this through its "Now Online" section. Each game is a separate entity, with its own friends list and friend codes. For Nintendo DS you'll have to rely on old-fashioned IM services, though hopefully Nintendo will have such a system in place for Revolution. After all, Revolution has far more permanent storage space and will obviously be online-aware out of the box.

On a side note, friend codes are tied to both the DS system and game card, so don't put your copy of Animal Crossing in someone else's system.

I enjoy races with as many karts on the track as

possible, so my question is what modes of play allow 8

players (human and/or CPU) on the track at once?

My understanding is that 8P is only possible in a 1P

Grand Prix or in 8P LAN play, in which all 8 players

are human. It's a slight bummer because I'm going to

miss 2P Grand Prix, which has always been a favorite

for me and my sister since SMK. I wanted to double

check with somebody who knows in a "hands-on" way,



-yo mama

Good news, everyone! Actually, you can use bots pretty much anywhere in local multiplayer. I played multiple rounds of battle mode with a mix of human and CPU players. So yes, while you cannot play a 2P Grand Prix, per se, you could create a VS match consisting of X races, two human players and six CPU players. You could also create a team match or compete for X wins. Unfortunately, I do not have a second DS right now to check if the host can specify the exact number of bots.

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