In Super Mario Kart the player takes control of one of eight Mario series characters, each with differing capabilities. In single player mode players can race against computer controlled characters in multi-race cups over three difficulty levels. During the races, offensive and speed boosting power ups can be used to gain an advantage. Alternatively players can race against the clock in a Time Trial mode. In multi-player two players can simultaneously take part in the cups or can race against each other one-on-one in Match Race mode. In a third multiplayer mode - Battle Mode - the aim is to defeat the other player by attacking them with power ups, destroying balloons which surround each kart.