Home » KartRider Drift Review: A Free Kart Racing Game (Pros & Cons)

KartRider Drift Review: A Free Kart Racing Game (Pros & Cons)

After almost 15 years of anticipation, Nexon, the esteemed South Korean game developer and publisher, has finally launched a reboot of their beloved classic, KartRider, now reborn as KartRider: Drift. This dynamic, free-to-play kart racing game, which mysteriously disappeared years ago, has made a triumphant return.

In fact, with its unique features and captivating gameplay, KartRider: Drift could very well be seen as a promising alternative to the renowned Mario Kart series for PC, mobile, and console gamers. It's a fresh start for the popular racing game that once left its eager Western fanbase hanging, longing for the thrill of its exhilarating races and the chaos of its fun-filled mayhem.

KartRider Drift Review

The Powerhouse Behind the Game

Nexon has quite a reputation for providing some of the most memorable free-to-play games on the market.

Its impressive portfolio includes hits such as Maplestory, Combat Arms, and Mabinogi, which all broke barriers with their unique gameplay and engaging narratives. But, like many other developers, Nexon has had its share of controversy, particularly around implementing pay-to-win elements and unexpectedly shutting down games.

With KartRider: Drift, it seems that they're taking a turn for the better, building upon their past experiences and striving to deliver a fair and enjoyable game for all.

Learning the Ropes

Getting started with KartRider: Drift is a bit of a journey. It requires some time to go through the tutorial mode and complete the License Mode, which unlocks access to higher-level racetracks.

This is where you face a series of challenges designed to teach you the game's mechanics such as drafting, item usage, and the all-important drifting.

Some challenges can be a bit tough, but the rewards they offer, like the game's currency "Lucci", make it worth the effort.

Mastering the Drift

At its heart, KartRider: Drift is a thrilling racing game packed with colourful visuals and a plethora of modes to keep you hooked. But, what sets it apart is its challenging drifting system.

Indeed, the skill of mastering the drift is crucial for maintaining speed and momentum in this fast-paced game.

In any case, it is the drift that adds a layer of complexity and excitement, making each race a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat experience.

The Nitty-Gritty of Drifting

While KartRider: Drift offers a unique and vibrant racing experience, its drifting mechanics is an aspect that could certainly use further refinement.

Mastering the art of drifting in this game isn't a walk in the park; it requires extensive practice and enduring patience. This may initially pose a challenge for new players who are yet to familiarize themselves with the gameplay.

However, once conquered, the drifting mechanism can significantly enhance your racing prowess, enabling you to maintain optimum speed and stylishly outmaneuver your competitors. That being said, it's worth noting that the sensation and fluidity of the drifting system could do with a bit more polish.

KartRider Drift Review (Pros & Cons) - Drifting

An ideal drifting mechanic should not only be challenging but also satisfying to execute, giving players a sense of achievement and thrill each time they perfectly drift around a tight corner. Furthermore, it should intuitively convey its nuances to the players, guiding them to organically grasp and eventually master the art of drifting.

As it stands, KartRider: Drift's current drifting system, despite its potential, falls slightly short of delivering this crucial immersive experience. The game's driving model, on the other hand, is robust and realistic, adding a distinct layer of excitement and immersion to each race.

Redemption on the Track

KartRider: Drift is forgiving to players who make mistakes, offering numerous ways to recover and regain speed.

For instance, in Item mode, players trailing behind receive powerful items and speed boosts to help them catch up. This maintains the competitive edge of each race, keeping all racers engaged and invested till the very end.

Item Mode

Exploring New Horizons

In its recent season, KartRider: Drift introduced a range of new stages, expanding its already diverse roster of tracks. From the scorching Egyptian deserts to the bustling streets of Turkey and South Korea, each race offers a unique setting and challenge.

Additionally, the high-energy background score and strong audio direction add to the game's lively ambiance, keeping the adrenaline pumping throughout each race.

A Game of Rewards

In KartRider: Drift, there's always something to aim for. The game offers a battle pass with various rewards like Lucci, emotes, and even rare karts, which can be earned by completing challenges and participating in events.

Most importantly, this encourages regular play and ensures a sense of progression, which is often lacking in free-to-play games.

The Alluring Charm of Customization

One of the game's standout features is its extensive customization options. Players can personalize their karts and characters with a range of skins, accessories, and emotes. These not only make your avatar stand out but also add a personal touch to the game.

Similarly, the kart upgrades system allows you to improve your vehicle's performance, making races even more thrilling and competitive.

KartRider Drift Review - Customization

A Competitive Edge

KartRider: Drift also hosts a variety of competitive modes, catering to the more serious gamers.

These include Time Trial and Speed Mode, where players can race against the clock or compete with other players without the randomness of power-ups, focusing purely on skill and precision.

Unquestionably, these modes offer a challenging experience for those looking for a high-stakes competition.

Striking a Balance

While KartRider: Drift is a free-to-play game, it strikes a fair balance between providing content for free and optional in-game purchases.

The items available for purchase are mostly cosmetic and don't give any significant advantage in races, thus maintaining the game's competitive fairness.

Community and Connectivity

KartRider: Drift shines in its multiplayer experience, offering cross-platform play across Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

This ensures a large, diverse player base, keeping the game perennially alive with activity. On top of that, the game encourages community interaction with regular in-game events and competitions.

The Final Verdict

In conclusion, KartRider: Drift is a refreshing take on the kart racing genre, offering a challenging yet enjoyable experience. It's a game that demands skill but also provides ample room for fun and relaxation. With its vibrant visuals, tight controls, and engaging gameplay, it's definitely a game worth checking out. Whether you're a fan of the genre or a newcomer looking to try something new, KartRider: Drift is likely to provide hours of entertainment.

With constant updates and new content, KartRider: Drift shows promise for a long and exciting future. This is a game that will never leave you bored or lacking in challenges. The only question is: Are you ready to burn some rubber and master the art of the drift?

KartRider Drift Review: Pros & Cons

Let's now break down the key strengths and weaknesses of KartRider: Drift.


  • Free-to-Play: It is undoubtedly worth emphasizing that KartRider: Drift is completely free to play. This opens up the world of competitive kart racing to everyone, regardless of their budget.
  • Visually Pleasing: With its vibrant and colorful graphics, KartRider: Drift is undeniably a feast for the eyes. The racetracks are diverse, each with its own unique charm and visual appeal.
  • Extensive Customization: The extensive customization options, from karts to characters, give players a chance to express their unique style.
  • Balanced Gameplay: The game does an excellent job of balancing skill and fun, making it accessible to players of all skill levels.
  • Fun Factor: KartRider: Drift brings an immense level of fun to the table. Whether you're competing with friends or racing solo, the game never fails to deliver an enjoyable experience.
  • Fair Monetization: The game's monetization is primarily focused on cosmetic items, ensuring that it doesn't interfere with the competitive balance of the game.
  • Cross-platform Play: The cross-platform play feature is a major plus, allowing friends to compete regardless of their preferred gaming platform.


  • Drifting Mechanic: While the drifting mechanic is an integral part of the game, it could use some fine-tuning. Beginners might find it challenging to get the hang of it initially.
  • Learning Curve: While the game is generally accessible, the precision required in drift mechanics may be daunting for beginners.
  • Repetitive Gameplay: Some players might find the gameplay somewhat repetitive over time, though the developers are continuously adding new content to keep things fresh.
  • Limited Offline Content: The game is primarily focused on online play, which might be a downside for those who prefer a more substantial single-player experience.

Despite these minor drawbacks, KartRider: Drift remains a remarkable entry in the kart racing genre. It's a game that has managed to strike a balance between competitive gameplay and casual fun, making it a must-try for fans of the genre and newcomers alike.

Loved our KartRider: Drift review? Then, you'll surely enjoy our critique on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Packed with insights and thoughtful analysis, it's a must-read for any Star Wars fan. Hop over to our Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review now!