How to Play Super Mario Run
Available now on iOS and Android, Super Mario Run is a delight. But while Mario's first mobile outing is fairly easy to play, it has lots of quirks that veterans of both Mario games and auto-runners will have to get used to. Here are some tips for beginning your quest to save Princess Peach, from basic jumping and movement to how to build the ultimate Mushroom Kingdom.
Link your Nintendo account
Super Mario Run will prompt you to link your Nintendo Account when you first start out, and you should. Linking your account not only lets you access your save from another device, but it also gives you access to exclusive in-game items and lets you earn My Nintendo reward points that can be put toward games and other digital goodies.
One of the biggest new mechanics in Super Mario Run is the vault, which allows Mario to automatically hop over small enemies and obstacles, such as Goombas. If you tap the screen while vaulting over an enemy, you'll perform a Vault Jump, which gives you some extra height and sends the bad guy flying.
Skillful jumping is the key to succeeding at any Mario game, and Super Mario Run is no exception. Jumping works a lot like it does on standard Mario games — the longer you press the screen, the higher you'll go, and you can get some extra height by tapping the screen as soon as you land on an enemy's head.
Wall jumping, stalling and spinning
Another returning Mario staple is the wall jump, which you can perform by simply tapping the screen as soon as you hit a wall. You can chain wall jumps together to reach new heights, so keep an eye out for tight, vertical corridors. To spin, you can tap the screen while in midair, which will cause Mario to attack nearby enemies and keep him in the air a little longer — something that will prove crucial for clearing long jumps. Finally, if you want to stall your jump, simply swipe left while in midair.
Rolling and climbing
Mario will automatically roll on the ground when he lands from an extra-high jump. You'll barrel through enemies while rolling, and can jump out of a roll for some extra momentum. If you feel like you might miss a jump, don't panic — you can now cling to the edge of platforms by simply landing near a ledge. Mario will pull himself up automatically, though you can tap the screen while climbing to perform a boosted jump.
Know your blocks
It wouldn't be a Mario game without lots of blocks, and Mario Run has some unique ones that are crucial to master. The game's red Pause Blocks keep you in place, allowing you to time your next roll or jump. The transparent, dotted-line arrow blocks produce a trail of coins when you run past them, while the solid-arrow blocks give you a speed boost if you jump while running over them.
Use your Bubble
You'll enter each level with two Bubbles, which will save you and drop you back into the action if you fall down a pit or get killed by an enemy. Bubbles will activate automatically once you die, and you can tap the screen to jump out of one whenever you're ready to. You can also trigger your Bubble manually by simply tapping the Bubble icon at the top of the screen -- which is super useful for not just avoiding death, but also floating backwards a bit to catch that special coin that you missed.
Replay levels and look for secrets
Just like any great Mario game, Super Mario Run's 24 levels are rife with secrets. Each course has five pink coins to discover (which lead to purple coins, and then black coins), so it's worth revisiting them until you collect them all. Keep an eye out for hidden or alternate paths — you'll need to have a good grasp on moves like wall jumping and edge climbing in order to navigate them.
Trust your Mario instincts
If a technique worked in classic Mario games, it probably works in Super Mario Run. That means that you can stomp a Koopa and watch its shell barrel through every enemy behind him, and you can earn bonus points for stomping multiple enemies in a row. And of course, the higher you land on the flagpole at the end of every level, the more coins you'll get.
Unlocking new characters
Why should Mario have all the fun? Super Mario Run also lets you play as some of his best pals, and they all have their own unlock conditions. You can get Toad by simply linking your Nintendo Account, and you'll nab Luigi, Yoshi and Toadette once you've earned enough color-specific Toads to build their houses in Kingdom Builder mode. Last, you can unlock Peach by completing all six worlds.
Leveling up enemies
Another great reason to replay courses is to level up enemies, which you'll do by defeating a certain amount of them. The higher an enemy's level, the more coins that enemy will drop in Toad Rally mode. To track your progress for each enemy, check out your Notebook from the main menu.
Toad Rally basics
Toad Rally is Super Mario Run's asynchronous multiplayer mode, which lets you compete with other players' high scores. Every time you clear a world in the main World Tour mode, you'll unlock those courses for use in Toad Rally. Playing Toad Rally requires you to spend tickets you'll earn in the main game, and allows you to earn Toads that will populate your personal Kingdom. If you're looking to earn a specific color Toad, pay close attention to your list of opponents -- you'll see a preview of which Mushroom-shaped pals are expected to join the event next to each player's name.
Leveling up your kingdom
At the heart of Super Mario Run's main menu is your personal Mushroom Kingdom, which you can level up by playing Toad Rally. Leveling up your Kingdom gives you access to a wider range of buildings and decorations, including foliage, toad houses and a whole bunch of green pipes.
Crush those Thwomps!
Want to get rid of those pesky gray Thwomp blocks in your Kingdom? Simply tap the Build icon, select your Hammer and tap on a Thwomp to knock it away.
If you want to see how you stack up with your buddies, why not add them as friends? To add a friend, tap the Friends icon at the top left of the main menu and select Add from the bottom right. From there, you can enter your friend's player code, or send someone your own via text or email. That's my Player ID by the way — add me!