Nintendo first began testing a multiplayer option in December, a step towards the full multiplayer mode that's considered essential to the mobile title's long-term success.
However, the first round of testing was only open to players with a Mario Kart Tour Gold Pass subscription, which costs $4.99 a month and introduces various in-game items and badges, and unlocks the faster 200cc mode. In contrast, the next real-time beta test will be open to all players.
In addition, this will be the first test that allows players to race with other people "in your immediate vicinity," so long as they've enabled location data on their devices.
A second multiplayer test is on the way, and this time all players can join in, not just #MarioKartTour Gold Pass subscribers. Further details will be posted here and in-game soon, so buckle up and start your engines! pic.twitter.com/8l3YVEabll— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) January 21, 2020
Nintendo offered no concrete date for the second test, but said further details would be published both in-game and through its official social media accounts.
Nintendo's latest smartphone app was downloaded over 90 million times in its first week, according to Sensor Tower.
The number eclipses both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Super Mario Run, which were downloaded a respective 14.3 million times and just under 13 million times in their debut week, making Mario Kart Tour Nintendo's biggest mobile game launch to date.
Mario Kart Tour is a free download from the App Store, requires iOS 10 or later to play, and officially supports iPhone 5s or iPad Air and later devices. A Nintendo Account is also required to play the game. [Direct Link]
Update 1/23: Nintendo says the beta test is now live and open to all players. Simply launch the app, tap Menu, then Multiplayer in-game.