Atari Karts is a kart racing game, similar to Super Mario Kart, featuring both single-player and multiplayer modes. During gameplay, players take control of one of seven available characters at the beginning of the game and drive karts around tracks. Before starting to drive, a traffic light will appear and start the countdown. When the light turns green, the race begins. Races are viewed in third-person perspective, as if from a camera hovering behind the player's kart. The goal of the game is to either finish a race ahead of other racers, who are controlled by the computer and other players. Unlike Super Mario Kart, however, no battle and/or time trial modes are present. When the game starts, four levels of difficulty are available to choose from, each consisting of three cups, though only one difficulty level is accessible at the start. The player can access the "Miracle Race" challenge by winning all of the three cups at the selected level of challenge. In the Miracle Race, either one or two players compete in a race against a boss character and when defeated, they become playable characters. By pressing Option at the main menu, players can access the options screen where a number of settings can be changed, such as controls and set the type of terrain display when racing, with hill (which gives tracks a roller coaster-like feel to them) being the default mode. When selecting a characters, another player can join at any given time on the character select screen. Progress and settings are automatically kept into the cartridge's internal EEPROM and the game also features support for the ProController.