Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launched late last week, and everyone seems to have rekindled their love for this expertly revamped Switch racer.

As an indicator of the generosity and openness of this package, the whole character roster is available to you from the get go. That includes all of the characters added to the Wii U original through DLC and a handful of new ones.

There are 42 characters in total, if you include the option to race as your Mii. That's the biggest Mario Kart roster yet.

All of which makes your character selection especially vital. While it's important to pick the right kart set-up for your style, the initial character you pick also has a massive influence on how your final package will handle.

Weighty decisions

It's all about weight. There are three basic classes of racer in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - let's call them Light, Medium and Heavy. But within those basic classes there are two distinct variations, resulting in six sub-classes altogether.

So which is best for you? As a basic rule of thumb, lighter characters are better suited to beginners, young players, and those who simply aren't that good at the game. Heavier characters are better suited for experts, as they have the most potential for setting quick lap times.

Light characters accelerate fastest, which is handy if you're constantly falling off the track, hitting the side, or getting hit by objects. They're also generally easier to handle in the corners, particularly when power-sliding. On the downside, their top speed is the worst and they're prone to being knocked around in a physical tussle.

Heavy characters have the highest top speed, which means they can put in the fastest lap times. They're also the most stable under physical contact with other racers. However, they take the longest to get up to speed, and they're generally harder to wrangle around the tracks.

The other classes essentially represent gradations of these characteristics.

It's worth spelling out which characters fit into which classes, because it's not always obvious to tell by appearance along. For example, did you realise that Mario and Tanooki Mario don't belong to the same sub-category? It's true.

Here, then, is the class breakdown for each of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's 41 (plus one) characters.

Mario
Class: Medium 2
Luigi
Class: Medium 2
Peach
Class: Medium 1
Daisy
Class: Medium 1
Rosalina
Class: Medium 1
Tanooki Mario
Class: Medium 1
Cat Peach
Class: Medium 1
Yoshi
Class: Medium 1
Toad
Class: Light
Koopa Troopa
Class: Light
Shy Guy
Class: Light
Lakitu
Class: Light
Toadette
Class: Light
King Boo
Class: Heavy
Baby Mario
Class: Very Light
Baby Luigi
Class: Very Light
Baby Peach
Class: Very Light
Baby Daisy
Class: Very Light
Baby Rosalina
Class: Very Light
Metal Mario
Class: Heavy
Pink Gold Peach
Class: Heavy
Wario
Class: Very Heavy
Waluigi
Class: Heavy
Donkey Kong
Class: Heavy
Bowser
Class: Very Heavy
Dry Bones
Class: Very Light
Bowser Jr.
Class: Light
Dry Bowser
Class: Very Heavy
Lemmy
Class: Very Light
Larry
Class: Light
Wendy
Class: Light
Ludwig
Class: Medium 2
Iggy
Class: Medium 2
Roy
Class: Heavy
Morton
Class: Very Heavy
Inkling Girl
Class: Medium 1
Inkling Boy
Class: Medium 1
Link
Class: Heavy
Villager (M)
Class: Medium 1
Villager (F)
Class: Medium 1
Isabelle
Class: Light
Mii
Class: Any