How to play Custom Tracks

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Introduction

This tutorial will help you install and launch Custom Tracks for Mario Kart Wii on your Wii.

As a bit of background, Custom Tracks are not official add-ons and they're not approved or acknowledged by Nintendo. Custom tracks came about because of people hacking the game. Eventually more and more was learned about the Wii and Mario Kart Wii's inner workings that it became possible to replace standard tracks with simple hacked levels. This progressed to creating fully functional, high-quality tracks that can even be played online.

First, before you make any change to your system, you need to be aware of a few things. Installing unapproved software on your system could void your warranty. In a worst-case-scenario your Wii system could be rendered unusable (i.e. bricked, made as useful as a brick).

Installing custom tracks does not require any physical alteration to your Wii system. The only hardware you will need is a SD card and a way to transfer files from your computer to the SD card, such as a built-in SD slot, or an inexpensive SD card adapter. Instead of hardware changes, you will be making changes to the software on your Wii system by exploiting certain bugs that will allow you to install a custom channel called Riivolution.

Riivolution

Riivolution is a Homebrew app/channel that tricks your Wii into loading files from an SD Card. This is what allows you to play Custom Tracks. This section will teach you how to install Riivolution.

Installing the Riivolution Channel

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Installing the Homebrew Channel

The Homebrew Channel is a channel in which allows you to boot Homebrew apps from you Wii. One thing it can do, is launch Riivolution. This section will give step by step instructions on how to install the Homebrew Channel.

LetterBomb

LetterBomb is currently the newest method of hacking your Wii. It's easy, fast, and will get it done with no hassle. This will only work for Wiis using System Menu 4.3 (any version lower will not work) and that has Internet connectivity (Wi-Fi or LAN Adapter).

What you will need:

  • An SD Card formatted as FAT16 or FAT32
  • HackMii Installer
  • A Wii connected to the Internet

On your Wii, go to the System Settings. Locate your Wii's MAC Address, and write it down. Go to LetterBomb's Website.

From there, choose a region (America/Europe/Asia). Enter in your Wii's MAC Address, and make sure your Wii is connected to the Internet.

Now, extract the Homebrew Channel data to your SD Card. Insert your SD Card into the Wii.

If you selected the proper region, and if you correctly entered your MAC address, you should get a message on the Wii's message board that looks like a letter with a Bomb in it. If you don't find it, try searching some days back in the calendar.

With your SD Card in, and the "LetterBomb" in place, simply select the Letter with the bomb on it and get ready for the Homebrew Channel to be installed onto your Wii.

On the HackMii Installer screen, first select "Continue", "Install The Homebrew Channel", "Yes, continue", now it will install. After it installs, select "Continue", then "Exit". Homebrew Channel is now installed!

If you already had the HBC and have altered your MAC Address on it, it will not work. This only works with the Wii's original MAC Address.

Bannerbomb

Bannerbomb is an out-of-date method for hacking your Wii that works on the Wii's System Menu 4.0-4.2.

What you will need:

  • An SD Card formatted as FAT16 or FAT32
  • HackMii Installer
  • Bannerbomb data

It works in a manner close to LetterBomb, except no Wi-Fi is needed, and it will only operate on System Menu 4.0-4.2.

If you have any saved Wii channels on the SD card (located in the "private" folder), rename the folder, or move them somewhere else.

It will mess up the installation if there is any channel data on the SD card besides Bannerbomb/HackMii Installer files.

First, extract the Homebrew Channel data to the root of your SD Card. Do the same with the Bannerbomb data.

Now, put the SD card in the Wii and go to the SD Card Menu, there should be a blank channel.

Select it, it should say "Load boot.dol/elf?", select "Yes" and the installation should boot.

On the HackMii Installer screen, first select "Continue", "Install The Homebrew Channel", "Yes, continue", now it will install. After it installs, select "Continue", then "Exit". Homebrew Channel is now installed!

Bathaxx

See Bathaxx

Indiana Pwns

See Indiana Pwns

Smash Attack

See Smash Attack

Twilight Hack

See Twilight Hack

Downgrading

Downgrading is a method of bringing your Wii from System Menu 4.3 to 4.0-4.2 for use with Bannerbomb.

Downgrading is not recommended and can brick your Wii (brick means your Wii will no longer work, and your Wii will be as useful as a brick).

Using the Homebrew Channel

If you already have the Homebrew Channel, then this should be easy.

What you'll need:

  • Riivolution data

OR

If you choose Riivolution data, all you have to do is download the Riivolutin data (link above), and put it on your SD Card (must be on the root of your SD Card like always).

Then you put it into your Wii, launch the Homebrew Channel, and you can use it.

You will also be given the option to download the Riivolution Channel.

If you choose Homebrew Browser (download link above), then all you have to is put it on the root of your SD Card (Wi-Fi Needed to use the Homebrew Browser).

Put the SD Card into your Wii, and launch the Homebrew Channel. Press the "Homebrew Browser", and wait for it to connect.

Once connected, locate Applications, then find Riivolution and download.

Playing Custom Tracks

This section will teach you how to play Custom Tracks, assuming you have Riivolution (see above sections on how to download).

Computer Setup

Now that you have Riivolution, you can now play Custom Tracks.

In order to get the proper data you need to play custom tracks, see Custom Track Distributions. Once you have downloaded a Riivolution Custom Track Distribution, proceed to the following.

Extract the data you have downloaded to your SD Card.

Check the "riivolution" folder to see if the extracted files are there.

There should also be, for example, a new folder named "mkwii", which Riivolution will read custom track data from.

On the Wii

Now that you have some custom track data on your SD Card, insert it into your Wii's SD Card slot.

Launch Riivolution.

You should get a screen with some features you can enable/disable/change. If launching from the Homebrew Channel, you may be asked to install the Riivolution Channel as well.

When you are ready, press launch, and the custom track data will be loaded.

In-game

Now that the custom track data has been loaded, you may notice a few changes.

Some Custom Track Distributions may use new title screens or music. Some may use new layout, courses, characters, etc.

Mostly everything as far as controls and menu options should be in the same place.

Some Custom Track Distributions like CTGP Revolution use "Extra Course Slots" which adds more than the original 32 courses available when playing normally.

From here, you can play any custom track that has been included in that distribution.

Helpful Tips

Here is a list of helpful tips:

  • Use a SD card instead of a USB drive. It is much faster.
  • Don't try to load custom menus for the standard game with CTGP Revolution. The CTGP menu has special features not found in standard menus and will cause problems if replaced.
  • It is preferably to use non-SDHC Cards to install Channels. Your game may crash if using a SDHC card.
  • NEVER use official Nintendo SD Cards.
  • When using Riivolution, do not eject the SD Card.
  • Usually when the Homebrew Channel is present on a Wii, as the Wii is turned on there will be a green flash (there is nothing wrong with this).
  • NEVER update your Wii Menu unless there is an update for the Homebrew Channel to work with the new System Menu.

From Dolphin

Since version 5.0-4950, Dolphin can play a game from a folder such as an extracted ISO or WBFS file. This allows you to switch out files quickly.

Extracting the Game file

In order for this feature to work correctly, your game file must be extracted with build 4950 or later.

Make sure you have a folder to extract the game into. Right click the MKW, click Properties, then click on the Filesystem tab and right click the first item on the list, usually named Disc. Click "extract entire disc" Then navigate to and select the folder you created prior.

Swapping in Custom tracks

Once you have a properly packaged course file, switch it out with a file on the folder you made already. MKW tracks are located at Race>Course

Find a course name you recognize (ie Rainbow Road) and replace the files with your own. You may want to rename the original course so that you can restore it back to normal after testing

Playing your Course

Now start the game and click on the track you replaced.