The Red Shell is an Item that has made its way into all the Mario Kart games. It is favored as a strong attack Item, as it almost always succeeds in knocking over an enemy driver.

Triple Red Shells, first introduced in Mario Kart 64, work the same as a single Red Shell. The only difference is that you receive three of them that revolve around your kart. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Triple Red Shells (and Triple Green Shells) are the Special Item of Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa. Petey Piranha and King Boo can use three Shells, too.


Red Shells, once released, will home in on an opponent ahead of the player and hit them. They can also be dragged behind the player. However, if the player are at the first place and firing it, the Red Shell will continuously cruise through the entire circuit until it collides with any racer or item that gets in the way. This only applies at Mario Kart 64.

The only exception to this rule is in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, where the shells are carried rather than circled around a character's kart, either by juggling them or in a stack. Getting struck by another item will disrupt the character holding the shells, dropping all but one.

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Red Shells have an additional function. It can also be planted behind the racer instead of released forward. The shell will not rocket forward, but sit on the track, slowly rotating around. If another driver comes within range, the Red Shell will squeal three times and immediately smash into the racereven if said racer was the one who set the shell on the track. This is useful for competitors sitting in first place, who have no one to target but the drivers trailing behind them. If a player is in first place, Red Shells do not target anyone; depending on the game, they either travel in a straight line or follow the track, until they hit an item or obstacle.

In Mario Kart 8 (and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe), Red Shells behave in the same manner as they did in the previous games. While playing on 200cc, Red Shells, when used, will approach the driver in front of them, but if the driver has any sort of speed boost, they can outrun the Shell until it either catches them or until it despawns.

In Mario Kart Tour, Red Shells are used similarly to how they're used in other games. However, on some of the Trick and Reverse/Trick tracks (like Mario Circuit R/T, Toad Circuit T, etc.), they can easily be destroyed by parts of the stage. They're usually obtained in the middle positions (2nd-6th), and Triple Red Shells either aren't or have yet to be in the game. There are certain gliders that will increase the player's chances of getting a Red Shell. Characters who can use three item slots in a race can receive a Red Shell Frenzy, which encircles the player's kart with Red Shells and making them invincible. The player can then fire off an unlimited amount of Red Shells at a time. When one of them are fired off during the Frenzy, they will hit anyone in front of the user as well as collide with walls. The Red Shells circling the kart will disappear one by one as the Frenzy ends.

A Red Shell is a part of the Lucky Seven item, and will home in on the kart in front of the user as long as nothing is in its way.



  • The Red Shell's ubiquity and reliability as a weapon throughout the entire Mario Kart series has earned it recognition amongst gaming websites, such as ScrewAttack and GameTrailers.
  • A Red Shell being fired backwards will travel in a straight line (like Green Shells), and will continue in its path until it collides with a another kart, item, or an obstacle or wall.
  • If the player reverses their entire kart and fires a Red Shell forwards from their perspective, it will turn around and go in the right direction.
  • In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, players can drop Red Shells behind them and they come in contact with anyone who drives past them, like a land mine (but less destructive).
  • If players jump over traveling Red Shells, they may reverse direction and hit the player from the front.
  • Around tight corners, Red Shells may hit players from the sides, rendering trailed items useless. This happens in Mario Kart DS more so than any other Mario Kart titles.
  • When you set the items to shells only in Mario Kart 7, there is a small chance to get a Lucky Seven, which gives you seven red or green shells surrounding your kart.
  • With the Super Leaf item in Mario Kart 7, using the tail on a dropped Red Shell will send it forward, making it home in on whoever is in front of the user. Green Shells act similarly when hit with the tail.
  • In Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and its remake, Triple Red Shells are player exclusive, meaning CPU racers can't receive this item under any circumstance.
  • Also, in Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, if you're playing a team battle in Battle Mode, you can hit your teammates with Red Shells (unlike in Mario Kart Wii), even though they don't lock onto them (this pretty much applies to all items.)
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