The Red Shell is an Item that has made its way into all 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, are the same effect, however, there is three of them and they also rotate around the 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 hit an item or obstacle.

Prediction Poll

Do you want the Red Shell to return in Mario Kart 9?

The poll was created at 19:54 on November 5, 2017, and so far 221 people voted.



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and its remake, Triple Red Shells are player exclusive.
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