Custom Track Tutorial

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This is the main page of the Custom Track Tutorial. Here, you'll see a brief overview of the (track) folder, a listing of programs you might need to edit them and in-depth tutorials on creating and editing each of the files. All files and sections are combined together to form a track, so it is important to know what each of them does while working with them. It is important to read all the tutorials and topics thoroughly before starting to make the track. The tutorials are presented in order, however, you will find yourself jumping to previous and later steps, as it's impossible to define a strict "order" of building the track. During this process, it's common, even for advanced track makers, to run into issues or freezes of unknown origin. This is also addressed in the tutorial.

You can use the blue links box at the bottom of each page to navigate faster through the tutorials. If you have any questions, you may post them on the talk page (please sign your posts with --~~~~).

Overview of a Custom Track

Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have folders for each track's data; all of the original tracks can be found and extracted from the game's ROM using a program such as (INSERT PROGRAM HERE). You will mainly be working with the following files when creating a custom track; they are all required for your track to load and work.

  • Your Track Folder
The track folder contains all the files needed by your track, including:
  • course_model.bfres, which is compressed in an .szs archive.
BFRES files contain 3D models and textures. They have no solidity of their own.
  • course_maptexture.bflim
This is the minimap image.
  • course_mapcamera.bin
This is the point of view that you are looking at the minimap image from. It is normally a birds-eye view of the track, but can also be set on an angle like on GCN Luigi's Mansion.
This is the 3D model that defines collision data. It determines what parts of the level can be driven on, where the walls and boost pads are, and which parts of the level are out of bounds.
This is a binary data file which controls the placement of all objects in a level, including item boxes and other animated objects, as well as enemy routes, start positions, checkpoints, intro and replay cameras, gravity paths, and more.
  • course.ptcl
  • course.bgenv
  • course.bglpbd
These files contains data for effects such as particles, fog, glow, bloom, lighting, reflections, and more.

Other files that may be found in the track folder include; battle_muunt.byaml (which is used on Mario Kart 8 only when playing balloon battle on a racetrack), course_muunt_200.byaml (which is used on Mario Kart 8 for courses that needed to be adjusted in 200cc, in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this file was merged into the regular course_muunt.byaml)


If you're creating your first custom track, you should begin with the Modeling with 3D Editor page.

Main Tutorials

These tutorials cover all the normal procedures for making a Custom Track.

Model Related

How to import and export textures to and from BFRES files.
How to make sure your track will be the right size; not too big or too small. And make sure that all drivable points (or the complete track) use coordinates between -131071 and +131071. Otherwise items will function improperly. (THIS IS FROM MKWII BUT DOES APPLY TO MK8 IN SOME WAY TOO, CHECK TO MAKE SURE THE NUMBERS ARE ACCURATE)
Guidelines on making your track's model with a 3D model editor.
How to convert your model to a BFRES/SZS file that Mario Kart 8 or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can load using Track Studio.
How to create a minimap for your level.

KCL Related

Guidelines on creating an optimized collision model, assigning properties such as boosts, walls, and off road to surfaces in your level.
How to convert your optimized collision model into a KCL using Track Studio.

MUUNT Related

How to set up objects, routes, checkpoints, gravity paths, and many other important things.
How to properly place and use objects.
How to set up intro and replay cameras in your level for a professional look.


How to change data for effects such as fog, glow, bloom and lightning of the world.

Miscellaneous/Advanced Tutorials

These tutorials cover additional topics.

Model Related

Various things that can be done with your BFRES in Track Studio, either to make the track look better or fix issues.
How to create and edit model or texture animations using Track Studio.
How to add shadows so your track doesn't look like the floor emits its own light.

KCL Related

How to create moving terrain in your track.

MUUNT Related

How to create a custom battle arena.


How to convert music into the BFSTM format used by Mario Kart 8 and many other Nintendo games.
How to extract an existing model (such as from Nintendo or another custom track) from a BRRES back into the 3D model editor.
How to Port 3D levels from other games such as Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Double Dash!!, or Super Mario 64.

Testing and Reviewing

In all phases of the development, it is important to test the track. This is especially true before releasing the new track.

Testing check list.
Scale your track, if it is too small or too large.

Crashes and Bugs

These pages cover various glitches and errors that may occur in your course.

Common reasons why your track might freeze the game.
A little discussion about often found KCL glitches.
How to fix various problems with checkpoints.
Slow frame rates can make a fun level a dread to play.


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