Beginner’s Guide: How to Play Super Mario Run

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 15 Dec 2016

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Super Mario Run is finally available on the iPhone and iPad. It’s Nintendo’s first real game on the mobile device and it’s true to its form. It’s a side-scrolling automatic runner and you play the game using just one hand (and one finger). The game is really easy to play but the devil isn’t in the gameplay – it’s in the strategy. So read on to find out how to make the best out of this game and get hours of fun out of it.

Download: Super Mario Run

The Super Mario Run Story

In Super Mario Run, you’re invited by Princess Peach to the castle for a party. Princess Peach is baking a cake. But evil little Bowser kidnaps the Process and in the process wrecks your entire kingdom. Thanks to which, there are no toads in your kingdom left. It’s now on you to rescue Peach from Bowser’s castle, win back the respect of toads to ultimately rebuild your castle.

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These are in the most simple form – the three different modes in Super Mario Run.

In World Tour, you’ll travel from level to level, beating bosses and ultimately beating Bowser to free Princess Peach.

In Toad Rally, you’ll compete with other players online to win the respect of toads so they’ll come and join your kingdom.

In Kingdom Builder, you’ll use those toads to “build” your kingdom back.

How each of those mode works, is much more nuanced than that. And well, that’s what this guide is for.

How to Get Started

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When you first start the game, you’ll be asked to select the region and then you’ll be asked to log in or sign up for a Nintendo account. You really should do this. Not only will this make backing up your scores easy, it will also allow you to play exclusive mini-games and the multiplayer mode. You can sign up via Google, Twitter or Facebook. Once your account is created, you’ll be asked to accept the terms.

Then you’ll run through the tutorial where the game does a pretty good job of explaining how to play the game.

What is World Tour Mode

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World Tour is a level based campaign mode in Super Mario Run. Just like the classic game, you have to read to the end of the level to jump on the flag pole, before the clock runs out.

This is where Mario runs around, collecting coins and power-ups and jumps off to reach the highest point at the flag at the end of the level (remember that? Yeah it’s back). This is the mode you’ll be spending most of your time, trying to obsessively be better and get exclusive coins.

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World Tour is a level based campaign mode in Super Mario Run. The mode is made up of 24 levels across 6 different worlds. All the classic elements of the Super Mario world – the coins, power-ups, enemies, bosses, classic levels and worlds are here. This is Super Mario, as you’ve known and loved.

When you download the game, you’re limited to just a couple of levels in the World Tour Mode. To access all 24 levels, you’ll need to unlock the full game by paying $9.99 as an in-app purchase.

How to Play Super Mario Run

As this is a side scroller, Mario runs automatically. It will even jump over small obstacles and enemies for you.

All you do is tap on the screen to make him jump. And tap a bit longer to make Mario jump higher. And that’ basically it.

But it’s important to do the right jump at just the right time (and you’ll only get better and this by playing the level over and over again). Because there are so many elements involved and because you can’t control Mario’s speed, this is a tricky thing. You should use your ability to long jump and to do air twist (long jump and tap on the screen) to reach challenge coins and to jump on top of enemies to disarm them (so you can jump even higher off of them or send them spinning so they take out a bunch of enemies for you).

Jumping between walls is basically the only way to go higher up in the Super Mario world. Tap when you’re near the wall to jump, this will land Mario on the wall, right then tap again and Mario will jump to the wall next to it. Keep doing this till you climb to the top.

When you hit a slanted surface, Mario will automatically start sliding, on his butt. Sliding kills off enemies automatically. But it also makes you way faster. The game will show arrows for when it’s advisable to jump off the slide. To that to avid certain death.

When you die, you’ll either go back to the smaller size if you already had the power up, or you’ll be protected by a bubble. This bubble takes you back a few moments. Tap on the bubble to break free and resume running.

How to Get Points and Power Ups

Just like the classic game, you need to hit the question mark brick blocks by jumping to reveal power ups. You’ll need to jump and touch the coins to catch them.

You’ll get different kinds of power-ups each time. The classic Super Mushroom power-up that makes Mario bigger and gives him the ability to break blocks is still there.

You’ll also get a Bubbles power-up that saves you when you die and brings you back a few moments in the game so you can try again.

What All The Power-Ups Do

Arrow Blocks: You’ll find arrow blocks that will point in the direction where you can get bonus coins.

You’ll also find arrow blocks that point in the opposite direction from your movement. This will make you run backwards. You can use these blocks to jump on walls and levels in the opposite directions.

Bubbles: The question mark blocks give out power ups randomly. Sometimes you’ll get the Bubbles power-up. Bubbles are your saviour. When things go wrong, the bubble comes in and takes you back a few moments in the level. This lets you redo the part, without dying.

Pause Blocks: Red blocks with the pause icon on them do something really simple but very useful – they freeze the time and the movement of the screen. This gives you time prepare for your next move.

Super Mushroom: This one we’re all familiar with. The Super Mushroom makes Mario bigger. And when you’re bigger, you can break through brick blocks.

Stars: Stars power-up makes you invulnerable and gives you the vacuum effect for longer.

How to Get More Points Using Exclusive Coins

There are multiple levels of exclusive coins in each level of the World Tour. They’re harder to get and require you to make impressive moves to get there.

When you’re starting out, you’ll see 5 pink coins. You’ll see the counter of 5 coins collected in the top-right corner.

Once you get those 5 pink coins, next time it’s 5 purple coins and lastly it’s 5 black coins. And then finally you’ve mastered the level.

How to Beat The Boss in World Tour

At the end of every 3 levels, you’ll need to fight a boss. All you have to do is find their weakness, or an element around them to used against them. This is different for each boss. And before heading into the battle with a boss, always make sure you’re fully powered up.

To beat Bowser for example, you’ll from an axe on the bridge when he’s standing on it. Beating Boom Boom needs your head bouncing skills.

How to Impress Toads in Toad Rally Mode

Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder modes are related. While Toad Rally might seem like a normal multiplayer mode at first – it’s not. You’re not exactly competing with the opposite player based only on time. In fact, even the player’s character you see on screen isn’t really how they’re playing – it’s just a representation of their progress.

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Getting more points than your competitor in Toad Rally is all about style. Now just how many points you collect but how you collect them. How you jump in impressive ways, pull off snazzy moves. Also keep an eye on your Coin Rush meter. Once it’s full coins will literally start raining on you.

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And this matters because what you’re really doing in this mode is impressing toads that are watching your gameplay. And that’s important because, at the end of the game, toads that were cheering for you will choose to come with you to the kingdom. And that’s really important because its the Toads that will help you rebuild your kingdom. Kingdom that evil little Bower destroyed.

How to Rebuild Your Kingdom in Kingdom Builder

From the app’s home screen, when you tap the “Build” button, you’ll get to the Kingdom Builder mode. In the beginning, your kingdom is empty. You can tap on the kingdom image on top to see how beautiful your kingdom used to be.

You’ll be able to build the first part of the kingdom for free when you enter the mode. This part gives you access to a special stage every 8 hours.

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This is the thing. The reason you rebuild your kingdom is to discover all these new and interesting mini-games. Plus it also unlocks interesting characters like Luigi. So keep playing in Toad Rally, keep winning, keep impressing toads, keep using them to rebuild your kingdom.

Download: Super Mario Run

Your Super Mario Run Tips and Tricks

What are your favorite tips and tricks for mastering Super Mario Run? Share with us in the comments below.