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Ray Koopa 10-07-2017 08:49 PM

Welcome Back to KartRider!
Read this thread if you...
  • are a new KartRider player and want to get an overview on how to play it
  • played North American KartRider a decade ago and want to have an update on what's going on

What is KartRider?
KartRider is a fun-racer featuring an Item and Speed Mode plus several other modes, in different speeds, with hundreds of tracks, karts, characters and items.
It was originally created by Nexon Korea in 2004 for South Korea only, but over the time, other versions ("clients") were created for Asian countries like China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, and also North America. However, many of these have closed by now and cannot be played anymore. Here's a timeline which shows when which client was or still is available:

What happened to English / North American KartRider (NAKR)?
The "Open Beta" of NAKR was closed on 19th March 2008, and while the official website (kart.nexon.net) and Nexon America continously claimed the "full release" would open soon, it never did until today. There have been countless more or less realistic rumors of it returning, but the fact is that all signs of NAKR have been removed over the time; the website was taken offline, mentions of the game removed from Nexon America's homepage, and support tickets asking about it's state are simply trashed.
There were some English mobile or browser versions of KartRider, namely KartRider Rush for iOS and KartRider Dash for Facebook. They cloned the original game behavior more or less correctly, but eventually were closed aswell.
Right now, it is not possible to play KartRider in English - with some fan-made exception following below.

Which client to choose?
At the time of writing this article, the following clients are still open and playable: Korean KartRider (KKR), PopKart (Chinese KartRider, PK), Taiwan KartRider (TKR), and an English Private Server. The last one was made by a fan, but does not feature everything an official client would have.
Each of the clients has its advantages and disadvantages, as follows:

Korean KartRider (KKR)
  • Being the first / main client, it features the most content and provides it as early as possible.
  • Lots of players.
  • Partly uses English text, and can be translated further with a fan-made patch.
  • Impossible to create a personal account due to requirement of a Korean mobile phone. However, you can rent a pre-made account through a fan-made service.

PopKart / Chinese KartRider (PK)
  • Lots of players.
  • Impossible to create a personal account due to requirement of a Chinese mobile phone.
  • Sometimes has spam bots or abusers wandering around.

Taiwan KartRider (TKR)
  • Easy to create an account. (requires update: is a mobile phone a must now too?)
  • Not favorized by English players (they tended to choose PK instead).

English Private Server (PS)
  • Extremely easy to create an account.
  • Available in English.
  • Buggy and only supports Time Attack and Speed races correctly.
  • Barely has players.
  • Does not feature the newest content, currently frozen at ~4 year old content.

To sum it up, the client choice depends on the following factors:
  • If you want a personal account you own yourself, you must play TKR, as you cannot create Korean KartRider or PopKart accounts anymore unless you own a real mobile number of that specific country, which is required to validate new accounts.
  • If you don't care about personal accounts, but want the newest content, slightly better connections and try a fan-made patch to play KartRider in English, you should choose KKR.
  • If you want to play in English and only play Speed Mode, pick the Private Server. Be aware it barely has anyone playing on it, sadly.
  • If you want to pick the server where the most KartExtreme users are playing on, you can get an impression of who plays where with the IGN Thread for all Clients. The fact is that it's quite mixed, with always some additional users (2~3) having rented an account for Korean KartRider every month which aren't listed in that thread.

Where to go from here?
Click one of the following links after you made your decision:
Got any questions? Please post here or join our Discord server to get them answered! See you on the road!

Nova 10-09-2017 05:46 AM

Nice stuff! One thing though, I definitely understand Taiwan KR's login system is a bit wacky, but there are people that play on that server. I don't know if you mean "barely has any players" because you're speaking about English/non-Taiwan users, or what, but if you're speaking of Taiwan users then the server should be in the same category as KKR & PopKart.

Anyways, thanks for this post!

Ray Koopa 10-09-2017 10:47 AM

Thanks, last time I tried the beanfun launcher, it was a _pain in the ace_, but it might've gotten better. I hope it's as easy as NexonPlug for KKR by now. I remove the red bullet until I've checked back on it.

The other impression I had before was that it feels like a "deadish PopKart" with much less players than PK, that was a year or two ago. Has it changed to the better? I rename the bullet to say that it's not favorized by English players, because I think that's definitely the case (most go and play PK instead).

Nova 10-10-2017 04:50 PM

True. PK is definitely more popular with English players. And yeah, whenever I use TWKR I have to use the website method + launcher, and that method is a bit of a mess. So, I think you're spot on with that one.

Ray Koopa 10-10-2017 05:03 PM

I've also just played PK yesterday, just to get my client crashed from someone entering my garage and sending malformed packages. Then there were spammers in the game lobbies and no real game room open. Nothing going on at night; at least KKR has little activity then... :/

Nova 10-22-2017 02:17 PM

Yeah, both PK & TWKR have noticeable spammers when everything begins to settle down. I wonder if they actually make any money from it LOL.

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