How to Reduce Cellular Data Usage When Playing Super Mario Run

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 21 Dec 2016

super mario run reduce cell data featured

Even though it got off to a rocky start, millions of people are playing Super Mario Run. Of course, they could be playing it a lot more often, in different ways if Super Mario Run would run offline or had a different pricing strategy. But it’s Nintendo’s first mobile game after all the company is now learning the lessons developers learned years back.

New to Super Mario Run? Read: Our Complete Beginners Guide for Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is not a light game. The download itself is around 200 MB and that doesn’t mean you’re done. I’ve routinely been greeted with the “wait while we download some stuff” prompts. Between this, in-game new features, Nintendo updates, and rewards, using Super Mario Run on cellular data could end up being an expensive affair.

The game’s data usage varies a lot, depending on what you’re doing and just how often you’re playing the multiplayer Toad Rally mode. Some users have been reporting data usage in KBs! While some say it eats up 50-60 MBs per hour!

If you’re one of those people, read our guide to stop Super Mario Run from draining your data plan.

Must ReadHow to Reduce Your iPhone’s Mobile Data Usage in iOS 10 – iOS 10.2

Use Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Whenever you’re in an area with a public Wi-Fi hotspot, just use that. In a lot of metro areas, you’ll find them easily. Also in places like cafes and airports. Public Wi-Fis aren’t the best when it comes to security. So make sure to use a VPN when connecting to a Public Wi-Fi. Opera’s Free VPN app is pretty good.

Or a Portable Router If You Have One

I’ve been using a portable router/hotspot, a Mi-Fi as it’s sometimes referred to recently. The one I use is from an upcoming network called Jio here in India. The reason I like it is it has an 8-hour battery life so in the morning I just unplug it in and thrown it in my bag. My iPhone is constantly connected to it, instead of using a data connection.

And my iPhone 6s Plus gets a phenomenal battery life compared to if I was using data the whole day. I usually still have 50% at the end of the day.

If you already have a Mi-Fi router or a portable hotspot with a data plan, use it instead of your iPhone’s Cellular Data feature.

Get a Mi-Fi device with a cheap cellular data plan and you’ll end up saving both money and battery life.

Disable Data Usage In Other Apps

It’s time to play a bit of bait and switch with your data usage. If you absolutely, must play Super Mario Run, you’ll have to spend some data. But to save your data overall, you should limit/disable data access in other apps.

Yes, Super Mario Run is notorious for using a lot of data but you’ll be surprised just how much data apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat will eat up. When I was traveling recently, these three apps were eating up around 100 MB every single day.


So to save on data in this apps, go to “Settings” -> “Cellular Data” and toggle off data access for these apps. Also, make sure Podcast apps don’t use data for downloading new stuff in the background.

Disable Auto Updates

In this day and age, where there are no lightweight apps, it’s a good idea to disable auto app updates, especially when they could happen over cellular data.

Open the “Settings” app and from “iTunes and App Store”, turn off “Updates” option. This will make sure the app won’t be updated in the background – potentially costing you upwards of 200 MB.

Read: Our Super Mario Run Review

Turn off Wi-Fi Assist

Wi-Fi Assist is the controversial feature where the iPhone automatically switches to cellular data when it thinks the Wi-Fi is dropping out. And it does this in the background, without letting you know, ever.


So if your Wi-Fi is spotty, you could potentially be using data the entire time.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Go to “Settings” -> “Cellular” -> “Wi-Fi Assist” and turn it off.

Related: How to Find Data Used By Wi-Fi Assist

Force Quit Game When You’re Done Playing

This is of course, an extreme measure. But these are desperate times. While we don’t recommend force quitting an app every single time after you’ve used it – it doesn’t improve your iPhone’s performance – this is a different thing.

You should try force quitting the app because it could potentially help when it comes to the app using data in the background for downloading new content.

Double click the home button and swipe up the Super Mario Run card.

Try Compressing Data

We’ve talked about data compression feature in browsers like Chrome. There are apps that let you do the same on an OS level. The work similar to a VPN. Your data is router through their servers and compressed before ending up on your device.

We don’t recommend using a service like this for private communication but we think when you’re playing a game like Super Mario Run, a 50% data compression can come in really handy. Give the Data Compress app a shot.

Setup a Wi-Fi Hotspot with Friends

If you’re in a group, you can turn one person’s phone into a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Someone who has a family sharing plan with good data caps, with the fancy tethering option included.

Cut Yourself Off Entirely

If you just can’t afford to spend any kind of cellular data on Super Mario Run, in any way whatsoever, it’s time to disable any kind of cellular data access for the app.

Go to “Settings” -> Cellular” and turn off the toggle next to “MARIO RUN”. This means the app will only function when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

How Do You Like Super Mario Run?

Are you playing Super Mario Run a lot? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Check out our complete coverage of Super Mario Run