5 Confusing Things About Super Mario Run Explained

BY George Tinari

Published 7 Jan 2017

While it’s true Super Mario Run might be the most straightforward game Nintendo has launched for the franchise, it’s still confusing at times. The game doesn’t always adequately explain some of the features or gameplay aspects. That’s especially true of features like the friend system, My Nintendo points, and even the final boss stage.

If you’re confused about something in Super Mario Run, you’ve come to the right place. Browse through our list of questions and explanations below to hopefully get the answers you’re looking for.

What are friendly runs?

Friendly runs are a slightly new addition to Super Mario Run because Nintendo did not include them in the initial release. They’re rather odd though. They play very much like a rally except you can play against specific friends you choose instead of random players. However, they don’t count for anything at all.

Friendly runs let you see a ghost of your friends and how they played in a particular world, but the competitiveness doesn’t equate to anything. No one gains or loses any toads or coins, plus the enemies you defeat don’t count toward the main game either. The only benefit you might sometimes get out of it is a toad rally ticket at the end.

That’s what makes these “friendly” runs. They allow you to select a friend to duel which is great, but the meaninglessness of them is discouraging.

Can I compete against friends in rallies?

Unfortunately, you can not. It’s a very odd limitation of Super Mario Run, and I think part of the reason why Nintendo quickly released friendly runs. When you choose to start a toad rally, you’re given five potential opponents selected at random. They’re real online players, but not your friends.

It’d be fun to compete against friends in this way, but friendly runs for now are the only way to go. Look at the bright side though: maybe competing against strangers has its benefits. If your friends aren’t seasoned players, you won’t have many toads to gain from them as opposed to die-hard players with a lot to lose to you.

How do I earn and spend My Nintendo points?

A quick summary of My Nintendo points is that they’re a third form of currency — toad rally tickets and coins are the first two — earned mainly by just playing the game. You get them from playing in the toad rally every day, getting through worlds in the Super Mario Run tour, linking your Nintendo account to the app and more.

You can spend My Nintendo points on bundles of toad rally tickets, coins, and other fun rewards like an in-game golden Super Mario statue. There aren’t many prizes outside of those right now. These points mostly just act as quick ways to boost your ticket and coin counts.

We wrote a full guide on My Nintendo points in Super Mario Run, so be sure to check that out for a more in-depth look.

What are pink, purple and black coins?

The pink, purple, and black coins throughout Super Mario Run levels are separate goals for you to obtain besides just getting through to the flag. If you only know of pink coins, it’s because you haven’t been playing the game long enough. Every level initially just has five pink coins. They’re typically placed so that they’re somewhat hard for Mario to get. After you get all five in one shot, you now have purple coins to find in that level. Then lastly, you have to get all five black coins.

The positions of these coins change with each successful collection of all five in a category. Additionally, you win two toad rally tickets for collecting all five of any color. Not only do these specialty coins offer that monetary perk, but they ensure Super Mario Run is always fun to replay because the levels change along with the coins you’re after.

In rally mode, pink coins don’t work quite the same as in tour mode. Instead, just try to grab as many as you can while in a rally because they boost your coins; one counts for 10 coins.

How do I defeat Bowser in the final boss stage?

I spent way more time than I’d like to admit in World 6–4. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I was supposed to beat Bowser. If you’re in this position thinking you need to outrun all the obstacles and eventually duel with him head-on, think again.

The obstacles he throws at you are your weapons. Stay on Bowser’s level in this final boss stage and hop right onto the bob-ombs he throws. When you do that, they’ll bounce right back at him and stun him. Get Bowser with three bob-ombs before the time runs out and you’ve just won the game.

Check out our Super Mario Run category page for all the tips and tricks to become an expert at the game.