The main culprit for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s multiplayer mishaps may be Nintendo’s decision to use peer-to-peer servers rather than dedicated ones. In short, while the protocol is still favored by lots of console games today, it’s not well suited for a fast-paced game like Mario Kart. The basics of the technology suggest that much of the gameplay functions are handled off the server itself. That requires keeping track of 12 racers, their positions and the items each one is carrying. As we’re seeing, that load is too heavy for this game to handle.
So, if you’re looking for any magic fixes for your woes, you won’t find them here. The problems being encountered seemingly spring from Nintendo’s online design choice rather than an option that can be toggled in settings. Netcode can obviously improve with time, but the larger P2P environment makes that job all the more difficult.
This is especially frustrating considering gamers are expected to pay a fee for multiplayer access by the end of this year. While shifting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe off P2P would likely require too much heavy lifting to be viable, is its release a preview of what we’ll be seeing in 2018 and beyond? Will the same old Nintendo repeat its online regressions?