Mario Kart Tour is almost a week old, and Nintendo's mobile take on the popular spin-off franchise has been receiving mixed reviews. On the plus side, Tour has apparently been played by more people than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe already. On the downside, many players aren't happy that the only option they have at the moment is to compete against CPU rivals.
While that might be true on the track, players do have a chance to compete against other players in a more indirect way. It happens once they have progressed enough to unlock Tour's ranking system. While there still won't be an opportunity to race against other actual players in real-time, the game will pair you up with 19 other racers as you vie for the top spot in a certain cup each week.
If you are yet to encounter Tour's ranking system, it simply means you haven't progressed far enough to have unlocked it yet. Players will need to complete the first three cups (Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi) before it becomes available. If you have collected enough Grand Stars across those three cups, the Shell Cup will unlock, and with it, Tour's first ranked cup.
As mentioned above, at that point, Tour will match players up with 19 other racers. Those 20 players will then compete against one another for the following seven days. The aim is to accumulate as many points as possible during that week and amass more than the rest of the racers in that league. The higher you've placed come the end of the week, the higher your tier will rise. As your tier rises, the competition will stiffen as players will be paired with others of a similar skill level.
Chances are if you have unlocked the Shell Cup and been racking up points in week one, you're finding it quite easy and maybe even a tad boring. That will change as the weeks pass by. Not only will casual players jumping on the bandwagon gradually fall away, but as mentioned above, players will soon begin to be paired with others who have ranked up to higher tiers in subsequent leagues. Our assumption is that increasingly more difficult cups will be chosen with each passing week too.
As for amassing points, that's as simple as participating in as many races as possible. Points are granted for any number of things. Your finishing position in a race, the number of stunt jumps you complete, and how many items you use successfully among other things. Do all of that and more as much as possible in the selected cup and you'll find yourselves ranking up in no time.
As of right now, that's as close as players are able to get when it comes to competing with others. A multiplayer option has been promised by Nintendo in the future, at which point the game's ranking system may change. Hopefully, the tier/rank we have achieved by that point will count for something when Tour truly goes online, otherwise, all of this early grinding will have been for nothing.