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How does Mario Kart Wii decide your rank letter (A, B, C, D, E, F) or star in a Cup that you raced?

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Marking an answer as accepted no longer awards a bounty. Could you award it before it expires? – Macha Jan 10 '11 at 18:53
@Macha - Done, thanks. I thought it still happened automatically when you accepted the answer (which makes more sense to me). – b.roth Jan 11 '11 at 9:29
up vote 9 down vote accepted

A number of factors determine your rank.


  • lowest possible race finish time
  • amount of time spent in 1st place
  • boosts from mini-turbo, beginning of race, tricks
  • successful item attacks
  • successful wheelies


  • falling off track or being slowed down by offroad areas
  • hitting walls or obstacles

A full breakdown is detailed here:

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The short answer is that no one knows. Some sites on the Internet claim that it is based on how often you went off the track, but I think it is more likely based on simple time around the course. Since going off course slows you down, it would be easy to confuse the two.

My belief (completely unconfirmed) with regards to the one, two and three star rankings is that if you beat the required time, you get the stars based on how many laps you were the fastest kart on the track. So for the three star ranking, you would need to be the fastest kart the entire race. However, it is difficult to get any data to back my belief up, so I'm probably wrong...

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When you say fastest cart for the entire race do you mean never being overtaken or just finishing each lap 1st? – Ronan Jan 1 '11 at 11:45
Fastest lap each of the three laps, so finishing each lap 1st. I've never received a three star ranking unless I have been in 1st at the end of every lap. – au revoir Jan 1 '11 at 15:22

I'm 90% sure that it it the time you got in the race (e.g. getting under x minutes gets a C) although the time required for the rank is different on each course.

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The currently accepted answer is nice speculation, but it is not fact. The author of his source link speaks authoritatively but provides no sources for the information.

The real answer is that no one knows the details outside of the Nintendo developers, because it has not been released publicly. However if you do finish all courses in particularly good times, you will get a 3-star rank.

Some people obsessed with the game have tried over many years to discover the formula, so maybe this approved guide on the Mario Kart Wii forums will help. It has been the most comprehensive article on it that I have found, despite poor spelling.

Mario Kart Wii Forums Guide


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There is a source in the accepted answer? It is possible to determine the information that Ryan gave from user-based tests. You don't have to be a Nintendo developer to find out. – aman207 Mar 7 '14 at 0:33
The link posted in the accepted answer is not a source, it is speculation by a user. It provides no information on any user-based tests. The information is not publicly known, despite how many user-based tests we've all done. I've held regional time trials records in this game for years, I know Mario Kart and I know they've kept this information a secret. – GarrettJ Mar 7 '14 at 18:38
So every answer to this question is all speculation? Including yours? Even though ryan is the only one that posted an external source, even though it is, as you call it, "speculation" – aman207 Mar 7 '14 at 19:26
Yes. The answer to this question is that no one accurately knows, we just know that a few things definitely play a big part, which is predominantly track completion times. The accepted answer is very ambitious speculation with no sources, most of which is probably false. If an external link makes it more legitimate even if it is false, I will edit my original answer with the most comprehensive and factual source I have found personally. Would that help? – GarrettJ Mar 7 '14 at 22:18
How do you know that the accepted answer's link is speculation as opposed to fact, do you have data to disprove it? You can't just say "no one knows because the devs didn't make it public"; there's a ton of stuff from games that the devs kept secret but the players know. – Toomai Mar 13 '14 at 23:01

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