Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first true smartphone game, arrives today on iOS. It’s a little different than your typical Mario fanfare, which typically send the mustachioed plumber out on a grand adventure. Instead, the game has three modes — which you can test out for free — for players to sink their time into.
The game does include in-game purchases with coin currency and a one-time fee of $9.99 to unlock its full features, and it will require an active internet connection to play. To help you make the most of your mobile Mario time, we’ve compiled our best tips and tricks.
World Tour Mode
World Tour Mode is a mashup of classic side-scrolling Mario gameplay and auto runner. Mario is set to automatically dash through levels while the player controls his jumps to grab coins, dodge, or smoosh foes to death under his mighty boot. You’ll want to scoop up all the coins you can, but your ultimate goal is to reach the flagpole at the end of each level.
Master your jumps: The style of your jump is important to leapfrogging enemies or collecting every coin you come across. A quick press will grant you short jump, but if you press and hold, you can achieve greater heights.
Be on the lookout for Pause blocks: Occasionally you’ll come across red blocks with a “pause” symbol on them; if Mario stands on them, he’ll stop his run. Make sure to use these when you can. It’s great for a break, but more importantly, the extra time will help you figure out which path to take — and how to avoid enemies.
Replay: Each level has different paths to take. If you want to find everything the game has to offer, return to levels you’ve already cleared.
...And explore: Super Mario Run has its fair share of linear levels, but it’s worth taking the time to dig around each level for hidden coins or items. Exploration is crucial if you plan to replay the game after completing the 24 stages.
Try new characters: Don’t play favorites when it comes to your runner. Characters like Peach or Yoshi have different jump styles that can prove useful when you’re trying to reach new areas that Mario just can’t crack.
Sync your My Nintendo account: If you’re part of Nintendo’s “My Nintendo” rewards program, take the time to add Super Mario Run. Aside from its usual point offering, it’ll also help you unlock Toad as a playable character.
Toad Rally, in which you face off against performance data set by other players, is as close to multiplayer as Super Mario Run gets. So, although it’s not a competition happening in real time, you’re still trying to beat someone else’s score.
Take note of color: When you’re picking your opponent, pay attention to the color of the toads displayed by their username. In-game, toads are like a form of currency — you need different-colored toads to buy specific things. If you need a yellow toad, for example, look for opponents offering that color.
Pick your foes carefully: It’s good to have goals, but if you’re not confident you can beat someone, consider a new opponent. Losing a round in Toad Rally will actually dock your Toad totals. Please, think of your toads.
Mix up your jumps: Toad Rush tallies your score according to your coin collection and how far you get, but it also takes your overall performance into account. Add style to your run by mixing up your moves with wall jumps or hopping over enemies.
...But don’t sacrifice your coins: Coins are a huge boon to your final score. If you grab enough of them, you can also trigger a “coin rush” mode, which lets you earn a lot of coins in a very short amount of time.
Don’t die: No, but, really. I know you’re gonna get impatient at some point and try to pull off a crazy move, but put more value into each life. Dying will significantly drop your score, slow you down, and reset your coin rush meter.
As its name implies, the Kingdom Builder mode lets you create your very own mushroom kingdom. This is where you’ll want to bring your coins and collected toads.
Focus on special houses: I get it. You’re probably going to want to buy decorations for your kingdom. Hold off and save your toads for houses dedicated to characters like Luigi, Yoshi, and Toadette in order to unlock them.
Check back regularly: The multi-colored “bonus game” houses let you play minigames, which regenerate over time. So make sure to check back at least once a day to maximize your payout.